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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT ADDENDUM

GARDEN STATE CLEANERS
AND
SOUTH JERSEY CLOTHING COMPANY
MINOTOLA, ATLANTIC COUNTY, NEW JERSEY

SUMMARY

The Garden State Cleaners (GSC) and South Jersey Clothing Company (SJCC) sites are located in Buena Borough, Atlantic County, New Jersey. The GSC is a dry cleaning facility in operation since 1966, while the SJCC facility, presently inactive, was a manufacturer of military uniforms. The two facilities are separated by approximately 500 feet, and are considered as one site. In the early 1980s, the SJCC routinely discharged contaminated wastewater and production wastes to on-site soils resulting in significant soil and groundwater contamination by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other volatile organic compounds. Until the mid-1980s, the GSC discharged wastewater containing tetrachloroethylene (PCE) to on-site soils, resulting in additional ground-water contamination. Plume migration has resulted in the closing of private wells downgradient (to the south) of the site. Municipal water supplies were made available to affected residents in 1984. The GSC was placed on the National Priority List in March 1989, and SJCC in October 1989. A Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) has been completed (Phase 1; 12/89 to 2/90, Phase 2; 1/91 to 4/91) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Remedial Activities at the site have included groundwater treatment, and currently, the USEPA is facilitating installation of a soil vapor extraction system at the GSC site.

Completed human exposure pathways existed in the past at the site and were associated with groundwater, and ambient air (SJCC). Potential exposure pathways are associated with groundwater and on site soils (SJCC). Because of community concerns regarding site contaminants (TCE, PCE) a review and evaluation of New Jersey Cancer Registry (NJCR) data was conducted by the NJDOH. Cancer incidence rates were found to be less than State averages. Based upon the likelihood of past exposure, ATSDR and NJDOH consider this site to have posed a public health hazard. Community health education has been conducted by the USEPA; however, ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel determined that additional community health education should be considered if after an evaluation of, among other factors, comments received during the public comment period for this addendum indicate a need. The NJDOH and ATSDR will evaluate public comments and determine the need for additional community health education. The NJDOH conducted a public comment period for the Public Health Assessment Addendum from September 23, 1994 to October 28, 1994.

BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

Refer to the Site Description section in the Health Assessment(s). Additionally, the following adjuvant information is addended:

The SJCC is a presently inactive manufacturer of military clothing which disposed of liquid process wastes and sludge containing trichloroethylene onto the grounds of its facility from 1972 until 1981. Additionally, 275 gallons of TCE were released from an on site storage tank during a fire at the facility in 1979. As a result, soils adjacent to the existing site structure, as well as groundwater below and downgradient from the site, have been contaminated with TCE and other volatile organic substances. In 1981, an investigation of the potable well of an immediately adjacent resident showed TCE concentrations of approximately 16,000 ppb. Subsequent on-site investigations (1982) revealed soil concentrations of TCE as high as 940,000 ppb. In 1981, the SJCC contracted the removal of 33 drums of contaminated soils. Under a 1984 Administrative Consent Order (ACO) the SJCC conducted a hydrogeological investigation and installed a groundwater extraction and treatment system (two air strippers in series; operating at 25 gallons/minute).

Located approximately 500 feet to the south of the SJCC is the GSC, a presently active dry cleaning facility in operation since 1966. Until 1985 the GSC discharged steam containing tetrachloroethylene directly onto on-site soils. As a result, soils adjacent to the existing structure, as well as groundwater below and downgradient from the site, have been contaminated with PCE. Initial soil samples obtained in 1984 revealed PCE concentrations of a maximum of approximately 24,000 ppb.

The sites are underlain by the Cohansey Sand aquifer. Soils in the region are an unconsolidated mixture of sand, silt, and clay. In 1982, as a result of the suspected PCE and TCE contamination of area groundwater, Buena Borough tested adjacent residential wells, and found 40% failed to meet USEPAs standards for VOCs. A plume of contamination is thought to extend approximately 3,000 feet downgradient of the site. As a result, a municipal water supply system with a supply well 2,000 feet upgradient of the site(s) was installed in 1984. Connection to this supply was elective and sealing of private contaminated wells was not mandatory.

The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) was conducted by USEPA between November 1989 and July 1991. As the two sites are in proximity to each other, share similar processes, and their respective plumes intermingle, the GSC and the SJCC were addressed by one study. The USEPA in conjunction with the NJDEP, has selected air stripping and carbon adsorption for treatment of underlying groundwater, and vapor extraction for treatment of contaminated soils.

B. Site Visit

Refer to the Site Visit section of the Health Assessment(s). Additionally, the following adjuvant information is addended:

Representatives of the NJDOH (James Pasqualo) and the USEPA conducted a site visit of both facilities on September 9, 1993. The SJCC facility was observed to be non-operational and was not fenced or marked as a NPL site. The GSC facility was observed to be in normal operation.

No overt physical hazards were apparent with regard to either facility.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Refer to the Demographics section of the Health Assessment(s). Additionally, the following adjuvant information is addended:

Approximately 3,800 persons live in Buena Borough with less than half of these residing to the south (downgradient) of the site. The surrounding community is a mixture of residential and light commercial areas. The Cleary Junior High School is located approximately 2,000 feet to the south of the sites. A retirement community is located adjacent to the SJCC property. The sites are surrounded by residential dwellings and no restrictions are in place to prevent contact by trespassers with areas of soil contamination at either location.

Land use in the area of the site(s) is primarily agricultural and is irrigated by groundwater. There is an irrigation well located approximately 2,000 feet downgradient from the site. The closest residents known to be using groundwater for potable purposes are approximately 4,000 feet downgradient, although numerous private wells exist in proximity to the site(s). There are no surface water features associated with the sites or in the immediate environs. There are no wildlife refuges, wetlands or other sensitive environments within the immediate environs of the sites.

D. Health Outcome Data

There are multiple sources of health outcome data in New Jersey. State and local data for health outcome information include the New Jersey State Cancer Registry, Birth Defects Registry, Vital Statistics Records, Renal Dialysis network, and hospital discharge reports. Federal databases such as those maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services (National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and ATSDR) are not site-specific but may be used for comparison and evaluation purposes.

Using health data bases, it may be possible to determine whether certain health problems are higher than expected in Buena Borough. This section identifies the relevant, available data bases; their evaluation occurs in the Public Health Implications section.

Of relevance to this Public Health Assessment Addendum is the New Jersey Cancer Registry (NJCR). The New Jersey Cancer Registry is a population Based incidence registry that includes cancer cases among New Jersey residents diagnosed since October 1, 1978. New Jersey Administrative Code 8:57-6 requires the reporting of all newly diagnosed cancer cases to the registry within three months of hospital discharge or six months of diagnosis. The basic source of information is the patient's medical records. Demographic and medical data are abstracted from those records and do not contain information regarding modes of treatment or survival. The only follow-up information included is the date of death.

Cancer might be possible from long-term exposure to at least one of the site contaminants. Please refer to the Toxicological Implications subsection of the Public Health Implications section for more information on cancer.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Refer to the Community Health Concerns section of the Health Assessment(s).

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