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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

WHITEHOUSE WASTE OIL PITS
WHITEHOUSE, DUVAL COUNTY, FLORIDA


SUMMARY

The Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits National Priorities List (NPL) siteis located about 0.5 mile northwest of the community ofWhitehouse in western Duval County, Florida. After waste oilspilled into the northeast tributary of McGirts Creek in 1968 and1976, the Environmental Protection Agency stabilized and coveredthe remaining waste oil from the abandoned oil recyclingbusiness. Soils and ground water at the site are contaminatedwith heavy metals, primarily lead. Low level contaminationremains in the surface water and sediments of the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek. All of the 25 families that livewithin 0.5 mile south of the site depend on ground water fordomestic use. These residents are particularly concerned aboutchildren who play on the site being exposed to toxic chemicalsand about contamination of their private potable wells. Dermal contact with the exposed waste oil is a likely exposure pathwayfor children and other trespassers on the site. Dermal contactwith the waste oil by remediation workers and ingestion ofcontaminated ground water by nearby residents are potentialexposure pathways. This public health assessment recommendscovering the exposed waste oil, restricting site access,continuing monitoring of the nearby private potable wells, andeffectively protecting workers during any future siteremediation. Based on public accessibility to exposed waste oilon the site and the potential for contamination of nearby privatepotable wells, this site is judged to be a public health hazard.

The data and information developed in the Whitehouse Waste OilPits Public Health Assessment have been evaluated for appropriatehealth follow-up activities by the Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Activities RecommendationsPanel. The panel recommends health education about potentialexposure for the community.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

Allied Petroleum Products Company operated a used motor oilrecycling business at the Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits site from1958 until it went out of business in 1968. The City ofJacksonville obtained title to the site when the property taxeswere not paid. In 1980, Mr. Richard D. Peters obtained title toa portion of the site from the City of Jacksonville by paying theback property taxes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has concluded that Mr. Peters is not a likely source offunds for cleanup of this site.

Disposal of waste acid sludge and clay in unlined pits at thissite contaminated soil and ground water. Releases from the wasteoil pits in 1968 and 1976 contaminated the northeast tributary ofMcGirts Creek and portions of McGirts Creek (also known as OrtegaCreek). In 1976, EPA, in cooperation with the U.S. Coast Guard,the U.S. Navy, the Jacksonville Oil Spill Committee, the FloridaDepartment of Environmental Regulation (DER) and theJacksonville/Duval County Bio-Environmental Services Division(BESD), cleaned up most of the oil from McGirts Creek and itsnortheast tributary. The fluids remaining in the pits consistedof oils floating on a layer of water and sludge.

From 1977 to 1978, the City of Jacksonville Mosquito ControlBranch bottom drained the water, treated it to meet surface waterstandards, and discharged it to the northeast tributary ofMcGirts Creek. The remaining oil and sludge was removed from thepits, mixed with a highly absorbent clay-like material, andreturned to the pits. This oil/clay mixture was then coveredwith selected construction debris, scrap lumber, trees, and woodchips. The site was covered by a layer of sand and planted withgrass.

The Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits site was added to the NationalPriorities List in 1983. This same year the Florida DERcompleted an investigation delineating soil and ground-watercontamination (1). EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) in 1985following the completion of a Remedial Investigation andFeasibility Study (RI/FS). This ROD proposed construction of animpermeable cap over the entire site, installation of a slurrywall to contain the contaminated ground water, and treatment ofthe contaminated ground water (2).

In a 1989 Health Assessment, the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR) concluded that the Whitehouse Waste OilPits site is of potential health concern (3). In January 1989,EPA conducted a Post Remedial Investigation at the site tofurther characterize the water and sediment quality in thenortheast tributary of McGirts Creek (4). In January 1991, EPAprepared a risk assessment for this site (5). This public healthassessment is being prepared by the Florida Department of Healthand Rehabilitative Services (HRS) for ATSDR in conjunction with aforthcoming change of the 1985 ROD.

The Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits site is located near the communityof Whitehouse in Duval County, Florida. Whitehouse is about 10miles west of Jacksonville near the intersection of US Highway 90W. (Beaver Sreet) and Chaffee Road. The site is located about0.5 mile northwest of Whitehouse, at the end of Machelle Drive(see Figures 1-3, Appendix A).

The site occupies about 7 acres and is bounded on the south andeast by drainage ditches and on the northwest by the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek. Due to past remedial actions, thearea of the former pits are raised about 5 to 7 feet above thesurrounding land. The site is covered by grass, but in severalplaces the waste oil has migrated to the surface. These placesor "boils" are a viscous mass of semisolid black oil that softensduring the hot summer months.

The following is a history of the oil recycling operation andsubsequent remedial actions at this site as summarized inRemedial Action Master Plan for Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits, DuvalCounty Florida: Ecology and Environment Report (6).

Allied Petroleum constructed the pits to dispose ofwaste oil sludge and acid from its oil reclaimingprocess. The first pits were constructed in 1958, andby 1968 the company had constructed and filled sevenpits [See maps in Appendix A]. Allied Petroleum[Products Company] then went bankrupt and most of theproperty transferred to the City of Jacksonville fornonpayment of taxes. It is suspected that variouscompanies, including a local General Electric Companytransformer repair shop, used the pits for wastedisposal after they were abandoned by Allied Petroleum.

In 1968 the dike surrounding Pit No. 7 ruptured, andthe contents spilled onto adjacent private property andinto McGirts Creek. Photographic evidence indicatesthat Pit No. 7 was backfilled with soil after thisincident; however, confirmatory information is notavailable. Recognizing the need to control the waterlevel in other pits to prevent further discharges, theCity of Jacksonville Mosquito Control Branch beganbuilding a two-cell oil-water separator in series witha limestone filter to dewater the pits. The Cityattempted to reinforce the ponds' retaining walls toprevent further pollution problems in 1967, 1972, and1974.

On June 29, 1976, the EPA Region IV EnvironmentalEmergency Branch became involved following a 200,000gallon oil spill from Pit No. 6. The spill resultedwhen the Jacksonville Mosquito Control Branch wasattempting to repair a dike wall. An oil spillemergency was declared and the U.S. Coast Guard, theJacksonville Oil Spill Control Committee, the U.S.Navy, and the Bio-Environmental Services Division(BESD) were mobilized under the direction of the OilSpills Group of the EPA Region IV EnvironmentalEmergency Branch. Cleanup measures were initiated onthe evening of June 29, 1976 (Ecology and Environment,1981). EPA also recognized the potential hazard posedby the remaining five pits, and with the assistance ofthe City of Jacksonville, constructed a treatmentsystem in order to drain the pits. The treatment plantconsisted of the following processes in series: twooil-water separation ponds, a limestone-filledneutralization pit, an oil-water separation pump, anactivated-carbon mixing chamber, a sedimentation basin,and a sand filter. The treated water was discharged toMcGirts Creek.

Analysis of a waste sample for design and constructionof the treatment plant, indicated the presence ofpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (8.7 to 23.33 partsper million (ppm), acids (less than Ph 2), and heavymetals (copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, and chromium). The primary purpose of the waste treatment plant was tocontrol PCBs, and the plant was successful in that theeffluent consistently contained less than 1 parts perbillion (ppb) PCBs...

After draining the water from the pits, the MosquitoControl Branch took measures to stabilize the ponds. Since the remaining viscous water oil sludge would notsupport heavy construction equipment, the ponds werebackfilled with selected construction debris, scraplumber, trees, wood chips, and non-degradable wastes. A three-inch layer of automobile shredder waster wasplaced on top of this matrix. The more liquid portionof the waste oil sludge was pumped off, mixed withFuller's earth, and then (sic) used as abackfill/sealer over the automobile shredder waste. This layer of Fuller's earth and oil was relativelyimpervious and should have prevented verticalpercolation of rainwater. The Fuller's earth mixturewas then covered with eight to twelve inches of cleanearth (mostly sand). After the project ran out ofFuller's earth, local clay was substituted as alandfill capping material for the Fuller's earth andoil mixture. Figure 1-3 provides a schematicrepresentation of the pits configuration after theseactivities were completed.

After stabilization was completed, the site was plantedin local grasses, and ditches were constructed northand south of the oil pits. The runoff from theseditches during low flow periods was diverted to alimestone neutralization pit before discharge to theNortheast Tributary of McGirts Creek. During stormevents, drainage flowed directly to the NortheastTributary. This system was destroyed by vandals, andsubsequent monitoring in 1979 showed the continuingrelease of pollutants to surface water and groundwater.

Following this monitoring, the City of Jacksonvilleunder contract with FDER [Florida Department ofEnvironmental Regulation] covered the surface and sidesof the pits and dikes with six inches of lowpermeability local clay, followed by twelve inches oftopsoil. This cover was revegetated using localgrasses. The drainage was modified by filling thenorth ditch and constructing a new ditch along the eastside. The new ditch was lined with clay to keepleachate out of the surface water and 3 drop structureswere constructed to control flow velocity and erosion. The south ditch was also reconstructed by removing thesite access culverts and installing a clay liner and 3drop structures. This arrangement diverted surfacewater away from the landfill, thus reducing themechanism for pollutant transport. This secondstabilization project was completed in the summer of1980.

B. Site Visit

Dr. Joe Sekerke, Florida Department of Health and RehabilitativeServices (HRS), Office of Toxicology and Hazard Assessment (HSET)and Mrs. Grazyna Pawlowicz and Mr. Mac Atwood of the Florida HRSDuval County Public Health Unit (CPHU), Office of SanitaryEngineering visited the site on January 23, 1991. No fences orother security measures were observed at the site. One warningsign was found face down at the northeast corner of the site. Evidence of trespassers eating, drinking, and smoking on the sitewas observed. There was also evidence of target practice withsmall caliber guns and riding of all-terrain vehicles over thesite. Construction debris and junked automobiles were observednorth of the site boundary.

A large "boil" consisting of about 36 square feet (ft2) of blackviscous semisolid oil with a distinct petroleum odor was observedat the surface in the northeast corner of the site. This "boil"was apparently the result of the destruction of the vegetativecover by vehicular traffic, subsequent erosion of the cap, andexposure of the underlying waste oil. Five other smaller "boils"were observed on the site. There were 20 to 30 unmarked 55-gallon drums on the site, most likely from the feasibility andtreatability studies. No aquatic life was observed in thenortheast tributary of McGirts Creek adjacent to the site. Therewas evidence of children playing upstream from the site in thistributary of McGirts Creek.

Dr. Sekerke and Mr. Atwood visited the site again on February 5,1991 to confirm the location of the monitoring and private wells.

Mr. Randy Merchant of the Florida HRS and Mrs. Leghia Mora-Applegate of the Florida DER, Bureau of Waste Cleanup met withMr. Gerald Young and Mr. Greg Radlinski, City of JacksonvilleBio-Environmental Services Division and Ms. Sally Heuer, FloridaDER on June 27, 1991 to discuss public health concerns and sitehistory. Mr. Merchant, Mrs. Mora-Applegate, and Mr. Atwood ofthe Duval CPHU visited the site that afternoon. The siteconditions were similar to those observed in January andFebruary. Blackberry plants were abundant on site. Mr. Merchantand Mr. Atwood observed seepage from the site toward thenortheast tributary of McGirts Creek. This seepage had a faintpetroleum odor and an oil sheen. Mr. Merchant and Mr. Atwoodspoke with the nearest resident to the site. Although thisresident has not had any problem with his water quality, heabandoned a potable well located 20 feet south-southeast ofmonitoring well number D-1 in 1988 due to fear of futurecontamination. He now only uses the well on the south side ofhis property which is about 100 feet south-southeast ofmonitoring well D-1. No air, soil, or water samples werecollected during these site visits.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resources Use

The Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits site is located about 0.5 milenorthwest of Whitehouse, a predominately white, low to middleincome community of about 600 residents (5). An elementaryschool and a sewage treatment plant are located on the south sideof Whitehouse. US Highway 90 and Interstate 10 run east-westsouth of Whitehouse.

It is not known how many people Allied Petroleum employed at thissite. It is unlikely that anyone lived on this site when it wasin operation from 1958 to 1968. Nobody currently lives on thissite.

Land use within 1 mile of the site is predominately residentialand hardwood swamps. An uninhabited cypress-hardwood swamppredominates the area north and west of the site. Southwest ofthe site, along Machelle Drive, there are about 25 low to middleincome, single family houses and trailers, the nearest of whichis within 50 feet of the site. The area south and southeast ofthe site is covered by grasses and woods, respectively. Most ofthe community of Whitehouse is within 0.5 mile radius east of thesite.

The northeast tributary of McGirts Creek marks the northwestboundary of the site. This tributary joins McGirts Creek (alsoknown as Ortega Creek) about 1200 feet west of the site. TheFlorida DER Northeast District office and the Jacksonville BESDboth estimate that people fish in McGirts Creek as far upstreamas Chaffee Road. This is about 1.5 miles downstream of the site(7). McGirts Creek is classified by the Florida DER as Class IIIWaters: recreation, propagation and maintenance of a healthy,well-balanced population of fish and wildlife. The northeasttributary of McGirts Creek is too small, however, forrecreational use such as swimming, boating, etc. McGirts Creekflows about 16 miles southeast, east, and then northeast beforejoining the Ortega River. The Ortega River flows northeast about4 miles before joining the St. Johns River. None of thesesurface water bodies is used as a drinking water supply.

There are some small scale (<0.5 acre) vegetable gardens in theresidential areas near the site. Hunting does not appear to beprevalent near the site.

There are some industrial facilities along US Highway 90 on thesoutheast side of Whitehouse. The Coleman-Evans Wood PreservingCo. Superfund hazardous waste site is located about 0.25 milesoutheast of Whitehouse and about 0.75 mile southeast of theWhitehouse Waste Oil Pits site. Past disposal of wastepentachlorophenol and fuel oil wood preservatives has resulted insoil and shallow ground-water contamination near this site. Itdoes not appear that the deeper drinking water aquifer at thissite is contaminated. Soil and surface water contaminationappear to be limited to within 500 feet of the site (8). TrinityIndustries, a fabricated plates work and Owens Steel Company ofFlorida are also located in the same area southeast ofWhitehouse.

The shallow aquifer below the Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits siteextends from 0 to 30 feet below the surface and is composedmostly of sand. It is divided into two layers by a lowpermeability ("hardpan") layer that slows the downwardinfiltration of water. The pits that were dug at this site cutthrough this "hardpan" layer. Site specific measurementsindicate that ground-water flow in the upper portion of theshallow aquifer is northwest toward the northeast tributary ofMcGirts Creek, and flow in the lower portion is west toward themain channel of McGirts Creek.

The next aquifer below the site is commonly referred to as the"rock" aquifer. It is composed of limestone and extends fromabout 90 to 130 feet below land surface. It is separated fromthe shallow aquifer above by about 60 feet of low permeabilitysandy clay. This rock aquifer is the source of potable water forall nearby residences. The hydraulic head between the shallowand the rock aquifer is upwards. At times, some of the wells inthe rock aquifer flow without being pumped. Regional flow forthis aquifer is east to east-northeast. Site specificmeasurements, however, indicate that in and around this site, therock aquifer flows to the south-southwest. This may be theresult of pumping by domestic wells along Machelle Drive.

The Floridan aquifer in western Duval County is composed oflimestone and extends from about 500 to 2,000 feet below landsurface. It is separated from the aquifers above by 200-300 feetof low permeability clays of the Hawthorne Formation. Consequently, there is little or no recharge of this aquiferwithin the county. This aquifer is not used for potable supplyin the Whitehouse area due to the expense of drilling wells tothis depth. The nearest potable supply well in the Floridanaquifer is about 10 miles to the east. Regional flow in thisaquifer is to the southeast.

D. State and Local Health Data

The Duval County Public Health Unit (CPHU) has sampled theprivate wells near the Whitehouse Oil Pits site but has notconducted any independent health studies or investigations. Whitehouse Elementary School officials were contacted regardingany pattern of illnesses that could be linked to exposure to thissite.

Florida HRS epidemiologist reviewed the state birth defect andcancer registry data bases for the 32220 zip code. This zip codeincludes this site and an area of western Duval County bounded onthe north by Pritchard Road, on the east by Interstate 95, on thesouth by Interstate 10 and on the west by Otis Rd (see Figure 4,Appendix A). The birth defect data base covers birth defectsreported from 1980 through 1982 and the cancer data base coverscancers reported from 1981 through 1987. In 1980, the populationin this zip code was 7,345. The population of Whitehouse makes upabout 8% of the total population of this zip code.

Observations by Whitehouse Elementary School officials andresults of the state birth defects and cancer registry data basesearches are discussed in the Health Outcome Data Evaluationsection.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

This site has received considerable media attention. It was thesubject of a 1979 ABC-TV documentary "The Killing Ground" and anationally syndicated newspaper column by Jack Anderson in August1986. Whitehouse residents, especially those living adjacent tothe site, expressed these health concerns at EPA/Florida DERsponsored public meetings on May 9, 1984, March 28, 1985, April18, 1985, and January 30, 1992 (9):

  1. The community is concerned that contamination of their individual potable wells might cause cancer.


  2. The community is concerned that children and othertrespassers on the site might have been exposed to toxicchemicals and may suffer adverse health effects.


  3. The community is concerned that vegetables grown near thesite might be contaminated.


  4. The community is concerned that the water, fish, andsediments in McGirts Creek and its northeast tributary havebeen contaminated.


  5. Former remediation workers are concerned that they sufferedtransient skin irritation from contact with the waste oilbetween 1978 and 1979.

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

To identify facilities that could contribute to the soil andground-water contamination near the Whitehouse Oil Pits site, the1987, 1988 and 1989 Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) database was searched. TRI was developed by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) from the chemical release (air, water,soil) information provided by certain industries. Fourfacilities within the 32220 zip code, which includes theWhitehouse Waste Oil Pits site, reported releases between 1987and 1989. Trinity Industries, a fabricated plates work, islocated at 11,934 W. Beaver, near the intersection with ChaffeeRoad. Trinity Industries estimated it released 53,412 pounds ofxylenes to the air between 1987 and 1989. Owens Steel Company ofFlorida is located at 10,483 General Avenue, about 0.75 milesoutheast of the Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits site. Owens Steelestimated that in 1989 it released 510 pounds of chromium and 44pounds of manganese to the air. Owens Steel also estimated thatin 1989 it released 74 pounds of chromium and 630 pounds ofmanganese to the land. The other two facilities in this zip codereporting releases between 1987 and 1989 were FloFab, alubricated wire products manufacturer and Dantzler Lumber andExport Company. Both are located about 3 miles east of the site. Due to the distance, releases from these two facilities areunlikely to have had an impact around the Whitehouse Waste OilPits site.

Past waste oil and acid disposal has caused soil, ground-water,surface water, and sediment contamination at this site. Spillsin 1968 and 1976 contaminated McGirts Creek and its northeasttributary downstream from the site.

Soil, ground-water, surface water and sediment quality data werecompiled from 4 sources: the 1983 Florida DER report (1), the1989 EPA Post Remedial Investigation (4), the 1991 EPA RiskAssessment (5), and private wells sampled by the Duval CPHU from1976 to 1991 (10). These data indicated that heavy metals andpolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the most significantcontaminants. Other metals and some extractable and volatileorganics were found, but at concentrations below levels ofconcern.

Four chemicals or chemical groups: lead, chromium, nickel, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), were selected as representativeof the chemicals associated with this site. Lead, chromium, andnickel were selected because of their toxicity and occurrence inhigh concentrations in soil and ground-water samples. PCBs wereselected because of their detection in the soils on site andtheir toxicity. Mere selection of these chemicals, however, doesnot imply that a human health threat exists at this site. Thehealth implications of these chemicals are discussed in thePublic Health Implications section.

In this public health assessment, the contamination that existson the site will be discussed first, separately from thecontamination that occurs off the site. "On site" will bedefined as the area bounded on the south and east by the drainageditches and on the north and west by the northeast tributary ofMcGirts Creek. The creek and drainage ditches themselves will beconsidered "off site."

A. On-Site Contamination

The contamination on this site is concentrated in the viscousoil/soil mixture that underlies most of the site. Leaching ofthis waste oil has contaminated ground water under the site.

On-Site Surface Soils and Exposed Waste Oil

In May 1990, EPA contractor Ebasco Services collected eightsurface soil and exposed waste oil samples (depth not specified)from various locations on the site (5). Three of these sampleswere from the waste oil "boils" where the waste oil was exposedat the surface. The highest concentrations of lead, chromium,nickel, and PCBs were found in these waste oil "boils." Theconcentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs found in thesesamples were above the levels found in the background subsurfacesoil sample. It should be noted that the site is heavilyvegetated, and unless it is disturbed, the contaminated soil orwaste oil is not likely to become airborne.

Table 1.

On-Site Surface Soils and Exposed Waste Oil (depth not specified)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/kg) Background Concentration (mg/kg)

Lead 7/8 nd - 36,000 nd
Chromium 5/8 nd - 45 5
Nickel 2/4 nd - 11* nd
PCBs 2/4 nd - 46 nd

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
* - estimated concentration based on sample dilution

Source: 1991 EPA Risk Assessment (5)

On-Site Subsurface Soils and Buried Waste Oil

In 1983, Florida DER collected 12 subsurface soil and 3 buriedwaste oil samples (5-30 feet deep) from the site. Florida DERalso collected a background subsurface soil sample about 300 feetsoutheast of the site, near the intersection of Grayson Streetand Chaffee Road (1). In May 1990, EPA contractor EbascoServices collected 8 buried waste oil samples (6-14 feet deep)(5). The highest concentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, andPCBs were found in the buried waste oil samples.

Table 2.

On-Site Subsurface Soils and Buried Waste Oil (5-30 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/kg) Background Concentration (mg/kg)

Lead 19/23 nd - 22,000 nd
Chromium 22/23 nd - 110 5
Nickel 10/23 nd - 45 nd
PCBs 5/23 nd - 54 nd

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report (1), 1991 EPA Risk Assessment (5)

On-Site Shallow Ground Water

In 1983, Florida DER sampled the shallow ground water (5-15 feetdeep) from 6 monitoring wells on the northern half of the site. For comparison, Florida DER also sampled the uncontaminatedshallow ground water about 300 feet southeast (hydraulicallyupgradient) of the site (1). In 1990, EPA contractor EbascoServices resampled two of these on-site wells (5). Table 3summarizes results from both of these sample events.

The shallow ground water on site was contaminated with highlevels of chromium and nickel, well above the health basedcomparison values. The concentrations of lead in the shallowground water were only slightly above the health based comparisonvalues. Health based comparison values are EPA or ATSDRestimates of daily exposure to contaminants below which adversehealth effects are unlikely to occur. Background concentrationsof lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs in the shallow ground waterwere 0.01 mg/L, 0.01 mg/L, 0.17 mg/L, and below detection limits,respectively. Detection limits were not specified.

Table 3.

On-Site Shallow Ground Water (5-15 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/L) Health Based Comparison Values (mg/L)

Lead 8/8 0.05 - 0.90 0.015a
Chromium 8/8 0.2 - 68 0.05b
Nickel 7/8 0.6 - 43 0.1c
PCBs 1/8 nd - 0.001 0.05d

mg/L - milligrams per Liter
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)
a - June 1991 EPA action level for lead in drinking water.
b - Derived from the oral Reference Dose for children
c - Lifetime Health Advisory.
d - 1992 ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG) for children.

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report (1) and 1991 EPA Risk Assessment(5)

On-Site Deep Ground Water

In 1983, Florida DER sampled the ground water in the rock aquifer(90-130 feet deep) from a monitoring well in the northwesternpart of the site. For comparison, Florida DER also sampled theuncontaminated ground water in the rock aquifer from a well about300 feet southeast of the site (1). In 1990, EPA contractorEbasco Services sampled the deep ground water from anothermonitoring well in the northwestern part of the site (5).

The ground water in the rock aquifer on site was contaminatedwith high levels of chromium, well above the health basedcomparison value. Health based comparison values are EPA orATSDR estimates of daily exposure to contaminants below whichadverse health effects are unlikely to occur. Lead, nickel andPCBs were below the comparison values. Background concentrationsof lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs in the deep ground water were0.03, 0.01, 0.001 mg/L, and below detection limits, respectively.

Table 4.

On-Site Deep Ground Water (90-130 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/L) Health Based Comparison Values (mg/L)

Lead 2/2 0.02 - 0.05 0.015a
Chromium 2/2 0.03 - 5.70 0.05b
Nickel 2/2 0.1 - 0.26 0.1c
PCBs 0/2 nd 0.05d

mg/L - milligrams per Liter
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)
a - June 1991 EPA action level for lead in drinking water.
b - Derived from the oral Reference Dose for children.
c - Lifetime Health Advisory.
d - 1992 ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG) for children.

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report (1) and 1991 EPA Risk Assessment(5)

B. Off-Site Contamination

Past waste oil spills contaminated off-site soils, ground water,surface water, and sediments. Although none of the privatepotable wells in the rock aquifer south and southwest of the sitealong Machelle Drive have been affected, they are threatened bythe proximity of contaminated ground water. The water quality inMcGirts Creek and its northeast tributary has improved since theoil spills in 1968 and 1976. Shallow ground-water discharge tothe drainage ditches and the northeast tributary of McGirtsCreek, however, continues to be a source of low level surfacewater contamination. The sediments in McGirts Creek and itsnortheast tributary are still contaminated compared tobackground.

Off-Site Surface Soils

In May 1990, EPA contractor Ebasco Services collected one surfacesoil sample about 5 feet south of the site at the end of MachelleDrive (depth not specified). The concentration of lead washigher than the background sample. The concentration of chromiumin this sample was the same as in the background subsurface soilsample. The concentrations of nickel and PCBs were belowdetection limits (5). Since there are no data on the prevailingwind direction, it is not possible to determine if this sample isrepresentative of off-site soil down wind from the site. Thisone surface soil sample is inadequate to determine the extent ofoff-site surface soil contamination. Additional samples shouldbe taken to better characterize the extent of the off-sitesurface soil contamination. These surface soil samples should betaken along the southwest boundary of the site on either side ofMachelle Drive.

Table 5.

Off-Site Surface Soils (depth not specified)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/kg) Background Concentration (mg/kg)

Lead 1/1 18 nd
Chromium 1/1 7.6 5
Nickel 0/1 nd nd
PCBs 0/1 nd nd

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)

Source: 1991 EPA Risk Assessment (5)

Off-Site Subsurface Soils

In 1983, Florida DER collected subsurface soil samples (10-30feet deep) from 2 off-site locations. One location was about 100feet south of the site at the end of Machelle Drive and the otherwas about 1,400 feet southwest of the site in a pasture. Concentrations of lead, nickel, and PCBs were all below detectionlimits. The concentrations of chromium were similar tobackground levels (1).

Table 6.

Off-Site Subsurface Soils (10-30 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/kg) Background Concentration (mg/kg)

Lead 0/2 nd nd
Chromium 2/2 2 - 8 5
Nickel 0/2 nd nd
PCBs 0/2 nd nd

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report (1)

Off-Site Shallow Ground Water

In 1983, Florida DER sampled the shallow ground water (5-15 feetdeep) from 8 off-site monitoring wells located on all sides ofthe site. For comparison, Florida DER also sampled theuncontaminated shallow ground water about 300 feet southeast(hydraulically upgradient) of the site (1). In 1990, EPAcontractor Ebasco Services sampled the shallow ground water from2 additional off-site monitoring wells in order to more preciselydetermine the extent of ground-water contamination (5). Table 7summarizes the results from both of these sampling events.

The concentrations of lead and chromium in the off-site shallowground water were slightly above the health based comparisonvalues. Health based comparison values are EPA or ATSDRestimates of daily exposure to contaminants below which adversehealth effects are unlikely to occur. Background concentrationsof lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs in the shallow ground waterwere 0.01, 0.01, 0.17 mg/L, and below detection limits,respectively.

Table 7.

Off-Site Shallow Ground Water (5-15 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/L) Health Based Comparison Values (mg/L)

Lead 10/10 0.01 - 0.15 0.015a
Chromium 10/10 0.01 - 0.20 0.05b
Nickel 10/10 0.02 - 0.16 0.1c
PCBs 0/10 nd 0.05d

mg/L - milligrams per Liter
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)
a - June 1991 EPA action level for lead in drinking water.
b - Derived from the oral Reference Dose for children.
c - Lifetime Health Advisory.
d - 1992 ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG) for children.

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report (1) and 1991 EPA Risk Assessment(5)

Off-Site Deep Ground Water

In 1983, Florida DER sampled the ground water from a monitoringwell (D-1) in the rock aquifer (90-130 feet deep) about 40 feetsouth of the site at the end of Machelle Drive. In additionFlorida DER sampled 16 private wells south and southwest of thesite along Machelle Drive. Those private wells, which are thepotable water supply in this area, draw water from the rockaquifer. For comparison, Florida DER also sampled theuncontaminated ground water in this aquifer from a monitoringwell (D-3) about 300 feet southeast of the site (1). In 1990,EPA contractor Ebasco Services sampled the same monitoring wellat the end of Machelle Drive (D-1) and two nearby private wellsnear the end of Machelle Dr (5). The Duval County Public HealthUnit (CPHU) has been sampling the private potable wells south andsouthwest of the site along Machelle Drive periodically from 1976to the present. The most recent samples were taken in February1991 (10).

Ground-water contamination in the rock aquifer (90-130 feet deep)has been found in only one monitoring well (D-1) 40 feet south ofthe site at the end of Machelle Drive and has not spread furthersouth to the private wells along Machelle Drive. Theconcentration of lead in the ground water taken from this wellwas above the health based comparison value. Health basedcomparison values are EPA or ATSDR estimates of daily exposure tocontaminants below which adverse health effects are unlikely tooccur. The concentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs inthe private potable wells south and southwest of Machelle Drivehave all been below detection limits.

Background concentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBswere 0.03, 0.01, 0.001 mg/L, and below detection limits,respectively. Although the background concentration of lead inground water at this site is above the health based comparisonvalue, it is within the normal range for this aquifer. TheFlorida DER operates a state-wide network of monitoring wellslocated in unaffected areas to measure the background ground-water quality. The range in lead levels in the 5 backgroundmonitoring wells in Duval County is 0.010 to 0.031 mg/L.

Table 8.

Off-Site Deep Ground Water (90-130 feet deep)
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/L) Health Based Comparison Values (mg/L)

Lead 2/20 nd - 1.60 0.015a
Chromium 2/20 nd - 0.12 0.05b
Nickel 2/20 nd - 0.19 0.1c
PCBs 0/20 nd 0.05d

mg/L - milligrams per Liter
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)
a - June 1991 EPA action level for lead in drinking water.
b - Derived from the oral Reference Dose for children.
c - Lifetime Health Advisory.
d - 1992 ATSDR Environmental Evaluation Media Guide (EMEG) for children.

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report(1), 1991 EPA Risk Assessment(4),and Duval CPHU files (10).

Off-Site Surface Water

The waste oil spills into the northeast tributary of McGirtsCreek in 1968 and 1976 resulted in contamination of McGirts Creekand its northeast tributary. The concentrations of contaminantsin those two creeks, however, have been decreasing since 1976. The maximum concentrations cited in Table 9 reflect conditions in1980 and 1981. Currently, the concentrations of lead, chromium,nickel, and PCBs in McGirts Creek and its northeast tributarymeet the Florida DER standards for Class III surface waters.

The 1983 Florida DER report includes May 1977 and May 1979surface water quality data downstream from the pits. Althoughthese 1977 and 1979 data must be considered carefully due to thelack of specific location or reference, they do show that thehigh concentrations of lead and chromium in the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek after the 1976 oil spill (1.6 and 0.1mg/L, respectively), were greatly reduced by 1979 (0.025 and0.013 mg/L, respectively). Analyses for PCBs were not mentioned(1).

In 1980 and 1981, Florida DER conducted a bioassay on leachateseeping from the site and on water samples from the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek. Florida DER found the leachate fromthe site to be acutely toxic to three species of fish native toFlorida. The toxicity was attributed to the low pH (pH=2) andhigh concentrations of dissolved metals (concentrations notgiven) in the leachate flowing from this site. The water samplefrom the northeast tributary of McGirts Creek downstream fromthis site was more toxic to the fish species tested than theupstream sample (11, 12).

In 1983, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) collected 5surface water samples (2 upstream and 3 downstream) from McGirtsCreek and its northeast tributary for the Florida DER. Althoughwater quality had improved since 1980 and 1981, comparison ofupstream samples with downstream samples indicated thatcontaminated ground-water discharge from these pits was stillcausing degradation in the water quality of McGirts Creek and itsnortheast tributary (1).

In 1989, EPA collected 4 surface water samples from the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek (1 upstream and 3 downstream). Theconcentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs were belowdetection limits. Only a few extractable and volatile organicchemicals were found and the concentrations were below levels ofconcern (4).

In 1990, EPA contractor Ebasco Services collected 4 surface watersamples from the northeast tributary of McGirts Creek adjacent tothe site (1 upstream and 3 downstream). Concentrations of lead,chromium, and nickel were slightly higher downstream of the site. Concentrations of PCBs were below detection limits both upstreamand downstream of the site (5). The water quality was, however,still within the Florida DER standards for Class III freshwaters:recreation, propagation and maintenance of a healthy, well-balanced population of fish and wildlife (Rule 17-302.560,F.A.C.).

Table 9 summarizes the 1983 Florida DER data (1) and the 1989 and1990 EPA data (4,5).

Table 9.

Off-Site Surface Waters
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/L) Background Concentrations (mg/L)

Lead 4/9 nd - 0.2 nd
Chromium 2/9 nd - 0.3 nd
Nickel 4/9 nd - 0.2 nd
PCBs 0/9 nd nd

mg/L - milligrams per Liter
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report(1), 1989 EPA Post RemedialInvestigation (4), and 1991 EPA Risk Assessment (5).

Off-Site Sediments

In 1983, Florida DER collected and analyzed 2 sediment grabsamples from the northeast tributary of McGirts Creek downstreamfrom the site and 1 background sediment sample upstream from thesite. The concentrations of lead, chromium, and nickel in thedownstream sediments were not different from those of theupstream sample. The concentration of PCBs in one downstreamsediment sample was higher than the upstream sample (1).

In 1989, EPA collected and analyzed 3 sediment grab samples fromthe northeast tributary of McGirts Creek adjacent to the site and1 background sediment grab sample upstream from the site. Theconcentrations of lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs were eitherbelow detection limits or less than the background concentration(4).

In 1990, EPA contractor Ebasco collected and analyzed 4 sedimentgrab samples from the ditch south of the site and from thenortheast tributary of McGirts Creek downstream of the site. Ebasco also collected and analyzed a background sediment samplefrom the northeast tributary of McGirts creek upstream from thesite. The concentrations of lead in two sediment samples werehigher than the background. The concentration of chromium waselevated above background in one sample. The concentrations ofnickel and PCBs were below detection limits in all of thesediment samples (5).

The sediments in McGirts Creek and its northeast tributary havenot been dredged or otherwise disturbed either before or afterthese samples were taken. Thus the concentrations of lead,chromium, and PCBs in the sediments of McGirts Creek and itsnortheast tributary downstream from the site remain slightlyhigher than the background concentrations upstream.

Table 10 summarizes the results from 1983 Florida DER (1) and1989 and 1990 EPA (4,5) sampling.

Table 10.

Off-Site Sediments
Contaminants of Concern # Positive/ # Sampled Concentration (mg/kg) Background Concentrations (mg/kg)

Lead 6/9 nd - 20 3
Chromium 5/9 nd - 38 2.1
Nickel 0/9 nd nd
PCBs 1/9 nd - 0.017 nd

mg/kg - milligrams per kilogram
nd - not detected (detection limits not reported)

Source: 1983 Florida DER Report(1), 1989 EPA Post RemedialInvestigation (4), and 1991 EPA Risk Assessment (5).

C. Quality Assurance/Quality Control

In preparing this public health assessment, Florida HRS relies onthe information provided in the referenced documents and assumesthat adequate quality assurance and quality control measures werefollowed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures,and data reporting. The validity of the analysis and conclusionsdrawn for this public health assessment is determined by thecompleteness and reliability of the referenced information.

Although quality assurance and quality control information isunavailable for the Florida HRS private well sampling data or the1983 Florida DER Report, there are no indications that these dataare not reliable. Samples for the 1991 EPA Risk Assessment werecollected according to the Engineering Support Branch StandardOperating Procedures and Quality Assurance Manual, U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV, EnvironmentalServices Division, April 1, 1986. Those samples were analyzedthrough the EPA's Contract Laboratory Program and validated byEPA.

D. Physical and Other Hazards

No physical hazards were observed during the site visits and nonewere mentioned in any of the site-related documents reviewed forthis public health assessment.


PATHWAY ANALYSIS

A. Completed Exposure Pathways

Direct dermal absorption of contaminants from the exposed wasteoil by former remediation workers and by children and othertrespassers on site is believed to be the only completed exposurepathway. Exposure is believed to be occurring, or likely tooccur, since site access is unrestricted and there is frequentsite trespass. Evidence of trespass on this site was seen duringsite visits in January, February, and June 1991. The exactnumber of children or other trespassers on this site, however, isunknown. Contaminants of concern include lead, chromium, nickel,and PCBs. The data are inadequate to determine if there were anycompleted exposure pathways in the past.

Completed Exposure Pathways

Completed Exposure Pathways

1 2 3 4 5
Time Source of Contamination Environmental Media Transport Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Receptor Population

1978-1979 oil pits waste oil waste oil skin remediation workers
1981-present oil pits waste oil exposed waste oil skin children/trespassers

B. Potential Exposure Pathways

There are two potential exposure pathways. The first is thepotential for residents south and southwest of the site to beexposed via ingestion of contaminated ground water from theirprivate potable water wells. Lead from the waste oil pits hascontaminated the ground water in the rock aquifer (90-130 feetdeep). This contamination has moved off site to within 100 feetof the nearest potable water well. Although none of these wellshas been contaminated to date, continued movement of thecontaminated ground water might result in contamination of thosewells. Exposure could occur if the contaminated ground water inthis aquifer reaches any of those wells before the site iscleaned up. Exposure could include ingestion of contaminatedwater and inhalation of aerosolized water during showering. Thelow permeability of skin to these metals makes dermal absorptionfrom the ground water an unlikely route of exposure.

The second potential exposure pathway is direct skin contact withPCBs in the waste oil by remediation workers on the site. Exposure of clean up workers is likely to occur if properprotective equipment is not used.

Potential Exposure Pathways

Potential Exposure Pathways

1 2 3 4 5
Source of Contamination Environmental Media Transport Point of Exposure Route of Exposure Receptor Population

1. waste oil pits ground water private wells ingestion/ inhalation nearby residents
2. waste oil pits waste oil surface of waste oil skin absorption remedial workers

C. Incomplete or Eliminated Exposure Pathways

Although no plant samples have been analyzed, it is unlikely thatconsumption of plants grown around the site is a significantexposure pathway. Contamination at this site is associated withthe waste oil and it is assumed that off-site soil contaminationis not widely distributed. This assumption is supported by theelectromagnetic survey conducted by Florida DER in 1983 whichindicated upper soil contamination was confined to the site (1). A few off-site samples (3 to 5), however, should be taken toconfirm the limited extent of surface soil contamination. Thesesurface soil samples should be taken along the southwest boundaryof the site near Machelle Drive.

Lead was the only contaminant of concern in the one surface soilsample taken off site. This sample, taken at the end of MachelleDrive, had 18 mg/kg of lead which is higher than the backgroundconcentration. Eighteen mg/kg of lead, however, is within therange of normal lead levels for uncontaminated soil in theeastern United States (13). Watering of plants with groundwater from the private potable well is not a source ofcontamination since these wells have not been contaminated.

Ground water in the shallow aquifer (5-15 feet deep) near thesite is contaminated, but it is not a pathway for human exposuresince there are no wells at this depth.

Ingestion of contaminants from McGirts Creek is unlikely since itis not a source of drinking water. Although people fish inMcGirts Creek within 1.5 miles of the site, it is unlikely thatany of the contaminants of concern from this site haveaccumulated to measurable levels in fish. Fish from McGirtsCreek, however, have not been tested for contamination. The lowlevels of lead and chromium in the water and sediments are notexpected to accumulate in fish (14, 15). Fish can accumulatePCBs from contaminated waters and eating contaminated fish can bea major source of PCB exposure to humans (16). PCBs, however,were not detected in any of the surface water samples at thissite and only at a low concentration in one sediment sample in1983.

Contact with the contaminated sediments in McGirts Creek and itsnortheast tributary is not a likely exposure pathway since thiscreek is too small for swimming or boating in the vicinity of thesite. Children have, however, been seen playing in the northeasttributary of McGirts Creek upstream from the site and may play onoccasion in the tributary downstream from the site.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

As discussed in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazardsand Pathways Analyses sections of this public health assessment,remediation workers and children trespassing on the site may beexposed to lead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs via dermal absorptionafter skin contact with the waste oil "boils." Residents nearthe site may be exposed to lead, chromium, and nickel viaingestion of drinking water if the contaminated ground waterreaches their potable wells. Remediation workers were previouslyexposed to contaminants and might be exposed in the future tolead, chromium, nickel, and PCBs via dermal absorption if propersafety precautions are not taken during site cleanup.

A. Toxicological Evaluation

Trespassers, including children, and remediation workers on thissite may suffer skin irritation after contacting the exposedwaste oil ("boils"). PCBs contained in the waste oil canpenetrate the skin and cause skin irritation, liver effects, andpossibly cancer, but the doses causing these effects are notknown. Occupational studies suggest that exposure to PCBs viainhalation or dermal contact causes mild liver damage in humanscharacterized by liver enlargement and increases in blood enzymeand lipid levels (16). PCBs have been classified by EPA asprobable human carcinogens. This determination is based onsufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in animals butinsufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. The evidenceof carcinogenicity in animals is mostly from ingestion of PCBs. The evidence of carcinogenicity in animals from skin absorptionof PCBs is weak. Although skin absorption of PCBs by humans mayincrease the risk of cancer, the data are inadequate to estimatethe risk. Lead, chromium, and nickel in the waste oil areunlikely to be absorbed through the skin (14, 15, 17).

Ingestion of lead in the ground water from this site wouldincrease the risk of brain and kidney damage. Exposure to leadis especially dangerous for unborn children because their bodiescan be harmed while they are being formed. If a pregnant womanis exposed to lead, it can be carried to the unborn child andcause premature birth, low birth weight, or even abortion. Forinfants and young children, lead exposure has been shown todecrease intelligence (IQ) scores, slow their growth, and causehearing problems. These effects can last as children get olderand interfere with successful performance in school (14). Themaximum concentration of lead in the off-site ground water frommonitoring wells, 1.6 mg/L, exceeds the health based comparisonvalue of 0.015 mg/L. This health based comparison value is theJune 1991 EPA action level for lead in drinking water. Lead hasnot been detected in any of the private potable wells.

It is unlikely that the maximum chromium concentrations in theoff-site ground water would cause adverse health effects fromshort term ingestion. The maximum concentration of chromium inthe ground water from off-site monitoring wells, 0.12 mg/L, isgreater than the health based comparison value of 0.05 mg/L forchildren but is less than the health based comparison value of0.2 mg/L for adults. The health based comparison values arederived from the oral Reference Dose. Since the concentration ofchromium in the ground water only slightly exceeds the healthbased comparison value which has a substantial safety factorbuilt in, adverse health effects for children would be unlikely. Chromium has not been detected in any of the private potablewells.

It is unlikely that the maximum nickel concentrations in the off-site ground water would cause adverse health effects from shortterm ingestion. Although the maximum concentration of nickel inthe ground water from off-site monitoring wells, 0.19 mg/L, isslightly above the health based comparison value of 0.1 mg/L, thehealth based comparison value is based on a lifetime's ingestion(70 years) of the contaminant. Nickel has not been detected inany of the private potable wells and monitoring of those wellsshould detect nickel if it eventually contaminates the wells.

PCBs have not been detected in any ground water samples takenfrom wells either on or off site. Due to their extremely lowwater solubility, it is unlikely that they will be detected inany water samples.

B. Health Outcome Data Evaluation

The Duval County Public Health Unit (CPHU) has sampled theprivate wells near the Whitehouse Oil Pits site but has notconducted any independent health studies or investigations. Whitehouse Elementary School officials have not noticed anypattern of illnesses that could be linked to exposure to thissite.

Guided by community concerns of increased cancer incidence in thepopulation living around the site, Florida HRS consulted withstate epidemiologists for an evaluation of cancer and birthdefect incidence in this area. They found that the rates ofcancer and birth defects in the population near the WhitehouseOil Pits site are not unusual as compared to county or statestatistics. Since the actual number of birth defects and cancerin this zip code are small, a comparison with rates for the stateor entire country would not be statistically valid.

C. Community Health Concerns Evaluation

The residents in the community around this site have expressedthe following heath concerns:

  1. The community is concerned that contamination of theirindividual potable wells might cause cancer.
  2. To date, none of the private potable wells near the sitehave been contaminated. If they become contaminated in thefuture, the metals contaminating the ground water areunlikely to cause cancer. If the contaminated ground waterreaches these potable wells, the lead in this water cancause brain damage, especially to children and unbornbabies. The private potable wells, however, have not yetbeen contaminated and are tested on a regular basis by theDuval CPHU.

  3. The community is concerned that children and othertrespassers on the site might have been exposed to toxicchemicals and might suffer adverse health effects.
  4. Children and other trespassers may have been exposed to PCBsin the waste oil on this site via skin contact and maysuffer skin irritation. Long-term exposure to PCBs alsoincreases the risk of liver damage and cancer, but the dosescausing these effects are not known (16). Nearby residents,especially children, should not go on this site and shouldnot come in contact with the exposed waste oil.

  5. The community is concerned that vegetables grown near thesite might be contaminated.
  6. Although plants grown around the site have not beenanalyzed, it is unlikely that they are a significantexposure pathway. Contamination at this site is associatedwith the waste oil and it is assumed that off-site soilcontamination is not widespread. Additional off-sitesurface soil samples should be taken to confirm thisassumption. The concentration of lead in the one off-sitesurface soil sample was within the normal range foruncontaminated soil.

  7. The community is concerned that the water, fish, andsediments in McGirts Creek and its northeast tributary havebeen contaminated.
  8. The water and sediments in McGirts Creek and its northeasttributary were contaminated by past spills. The waterquality has improved greatly since the spills in 1968 and1976, but low level water and sediment contamination remainsdue to continued discharge of contaminated ground water. Since no fish samples have been taken, it is not possible todetermine if fish in these two streams have beencontaminated. It is unlikely, however, that fish fromMcGirts Creek would concentrate high enough levels of PCBsor metals from the water or sediments to pose a health riskto humans from consumption. Skin contact with the lowconcentrations of PCBs and metals in the sediments ofMcGirts Creek and its northeast tributary are unlikely tocause adverse health effects.

  9. Former remediation workers are concerned that they sufferedskin irritation from contact with the waste oil between 1978and 1979.
  10. Remediation workers might have suffered transient skinirritation and mild liver damage from exposure to PCBs inthe waste oil via skin contact with and inhalation ofcontaminants at the site.


CONCLUSIONS

Based on public accessibility to exposed waste oil on the siteand the potential for contamination of nearby private potablewells, this site is judged to be a public health hazard. Specific reasons for the site being classified as a public healthhazard are as follows:

  1. Past waste disposal practices have resulted in soilcontamination at this site. Past remedial actions havereduced the mobility of the waste oil by mixing withabsorbent material and capping the resulting mixture. Erosion of the cap in places has exposed the waste oil("boils").


  2. Site access is currently unrestricted and there are no signswarning of the existence of hazardous waste at this site. There is extensive evidence of human trespass on this site.


  3. Past waste disposal practices have resulted in ground-watercontamination at this site. Ground-water contamination hasmoved at least 40 feet south of the site in the rock aquifer(90-130 feet deep). To date, however, none of the existingprivate potable wells around the site that use this aquiferhave been contaminated.


  4. The one surface soil sample taken off site at the end ofMachelle Drive is inadequate to determine the extent of off-site surface soil contamination.


  5. Remediation workers might have experienced transient skinirritation and mild liver damage from exposure to PCBs atthe site in the past. Workers who perform remediationactivities in the future could be exposed to thecontaminated oil/soil mixture via skin contact if protectiveequipment is not used.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Cap the areas of the site where the waste oil is exposed atthe surface ("boils") as soon as possible to prevent humanexposure.


  2. Restrict site access to prevent nearby residents (especiallychildren) from trespassing on this site. Post signs warningof the existence of hazardous wastes on this site asrequired by Florida Statutes 403.704 and 403.7255, and Rule17-736, Florida Administrative Code.


  3. Continue to sample private wells south and southwest of thesite along Machelle Drive on a routine basis (every 3months) to minimize any future human exposure to siterelated contaminants in the ground water. If contaminationis discovered, install filters or other devices to removethe contamination or provide an alternative source of water.


  4. Collect and analyze a few off-site surface soil samples (3to 5) to confirm the extent of off-site surface soilcontamination. These surface soil samples should be takenalong the southwest boundary of the site near MachelleDrive.


  5. During any future site remediation, ensure effectiveprotection measures are used to prevent exposure of remedialworkers and nearby residents to the contaminated oil.


  6. The data and information developed in the Whitehouse OilPits Public Health Assessment have been evaluated forappropriate public health actions. The Health ActivitiesRecommendation Panel (HARP) determined that education aboutthe potential for exposure to on-site contaminants wasneeded for the community. Since restriction of access tothe site is inadequate, a specific program targeting parentsof local children and potential trespassers is indicated inaddition to release of this Public Health Assessment. HARPdetermined that there is no need for additional healthfollow-up actions at this time because human exposure cannotbe documented at this time. If information becomesavailable indicating exposure at levels of concern, ATSDRwill evaluate that information to determine what actions, ifany, are needed.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health actions that will be performed as recommendedby HARP include:

The Office of Toxicology and Hazard Assessment, in conjunctionwith Duval County Florida HRS Duval County Public Health Unitstaff, will conduct educational activities by preparing anddisseminating fact sheets informing local residents of thehazards associated with the site.

EPA and HRS will work together to restrict site access.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

E. Randall Merchant
Biological Administrator
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Toxicology and Hazard Assessment

H. Joseph Sekerke, Jr. Ph.D.
Biological Scientist IV
Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services
Office of Toxicology and Hazard Assessment


ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Chuck Pietrosewicz
Regional Services Representative
Office of the Assistant Administrator


ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Rick Gillig
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry


CERTIFICATION

This public health assessment was prepared by the FloridaDepartment of Health and Rehabilitative Services under acooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approvedmethodology and procedures existing at the time the public healthassessment was initiated.

Gail Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC


The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, hasreviewed this health assessment and concurs with its findings.

Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. FinalReport, Whitehouse Oil Pits, Duval County, Florida, SiteAssessment. December 1983.


  2. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV. Record ofDecision, Remedial Alternative Selection. Whitehouse WasteOil Pits. May 1985.


  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. HealthAssessment for Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits, Whitehouse,Florida. August 1989.


  4. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV. Post RemedialInvestigation. Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits. January 1989.


  5. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV. Revised FinalRisk Assessment, Whitehouse Oil Pits Site, Duval County,Florida. Volumes I and II. May 1991.


  6. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV. Remedial ActionMaster Plan for Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits, Duval CountyFlorida. 1982.


  7. Personal communication with Lee Banks, Florida DER,Northeast District Office (Jacksonville), and BetseyDeuerling, City of Jacksonville, Bio-Environmental ServicesDivision, July 1991.


  8. Environmental Protection Agency. National Priorities ListSites: Florida. Site summary for Coleman-Evans WoodPreserving Co. EPA/540/4-90/010. September 1990.


  9. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV. Final CommunityRelations Plan, Whitehouse Waste Oil Pits Site,Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. June 1989.


  10. Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services,Duval County Public Health Unit. Whitehouse Waste Oil Pitsfile. 1976 to 1991.


  11. Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. Bioassay ofWhitehouse Landfill, Duval Co., Florida. April 1980.


  12. Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. Bioassay ofWhitehouse Oil Pits Leachate, Whitehouse, Duval County,Florida. October 1981.


  13. U.S. Geological Survey. Element concentrations in soils andother surficial materials of the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270. Shacklette,HT, Boerngen JG. Washington DC: U.S. Government PrintingOffice 1984.


  14. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for Lead, ATSDR/TP-88/17, June1990.


  15. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for Chromium, ATSDR/TP-88/10,July 1989.


  16. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Arochlor -1260, -1254, -1248, -1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016), ATSDR/TP-88/21, June 1989.


  17. ATSDR, Toxicological Profile for Nickel, ATSDR/TP-88/19, December 1988.

APPENDIX

Figure 1. Regional Map
Figure 1. Regional Map

Figure 2. Topographical Map
Figure 2. Topographical Map

Figure 3. Site Map
Figure 3. Site Map

Zip Code Map
Figure 4. Zip Code Map

Table of Contents

  
 
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