PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
JACKSON TOWNSHIP LANDFILL
JACKSON TOWNSHIP, OCEAN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY
- NJDOH has concluded that this site is an indeterminate public health hazard since insufficient data exist for some environmental media to which humans may be exposed. However, available data and information do not indicate that humans are presently being exposed to contaminants at levels expected to cause adverse health effects. This site also poses a public health hazard since information indicates that past human exposure to volatile organic contaminants in drinking water has occurred at levels that may result in adverse health effects.
- Environmental data indicate a minimal ongoing impact of former landfill operations on ground water, surface water, sediments and air quality.
- Environmental data do not adequately characterize the extent or amount of site contamination that may exist in on site surface soils (0-3 inches). Insufficient data exist to determine whether site trespassers are being potentially exposed to contaminated soil.
- Indoor air monitoring data is inadequate to determine whether subsurface methane gas is migrating into residences adjacent to the landfill area.
- In the past, residents reported site-related odors and adverse health effects associated with drinking water. The primary community health concern involved the contamination of private potable wells and surface water near the site. Although community health concerns have been minimal since the landfill was closed and public water was supplied to the area in 1980, residents have more recently expressed concerns about the potential for exposure to contaminants through the ingestion of garden produce and municipal water supplies. Based on available site information, current human exposure to site contaminants through these pathways are not likely. Further discussion of community health concerns is found in the Public Health Implications section.
- In January 1980, NJDOH conducted a health survey of 94 Legler households. The most commonly reported health complaints were skin and eye irritation. A health census of 162 Legler households in August through November 1980 evaluated the relationship between reported adverse health effects and exposure to residential well water. An association was found between reports of various skin problems and exposure to well water. Further discussion of health outcome data is found in the Public Health Implications section.
Recommendations to Cease/Reduce Exposure
- Restrict public access to the site.
- Implement landfill closure activities.
- Protect on-site remedial workers from physical hazards, particularly from fire or explosion, due to the release of methane gas during ground-intrusive remedial activities in confined spaces.
- Provide on-site remedial workers with adequate protective equipment and training, in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.120, and follow appropriate National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.
- Implement optimal dust control measures to protect persons on and off the site from exposure to dusts that may be released during landfill closure/remedial activities.
Site Characterization Recommendations
- Conduct indoor air monitoring for methane in nearby homes, particularly in the residence located adjacent to the landfill area.
- Obtain additional data for surface soil (0 to 3 inches deep) in order to adeuately characterize the extent and amount of site contamination that may exist on the site.
- Conduct monitoring of ambient air and any other appropriate media during landfill closure/remedial activities in order to determine if nearby workers and residents are being exposed.
Health Activities Follow-up Recommendations
The data and information developed in the public health assessment
for the Jackson Township Landfill, Jackson Township, New Jersey has
been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel
(HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities.
This site is not being considered for follow-up activities at this
time. Specifically, the HARP determined that the previous
community health investigation performed by NJDOH and individual
evaluations being performed by private physicians are appropriate
actions to followup the past exposure to contaminated drinking
The following public health actions for the Jackson Township Landfill site will be taken by NJDOH and/or ATSDR at and around the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of these public health actions are to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substance in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of NJDOH and ATSDR to follow-up on these actions to ensure that they are implemented.
Public Health Actions Taken:
The NJDOH has conducted a health survey of reported health complaints of 94 Legler residents.
The NJDEPE has revised the methane monitoring program which should be sufficient to detect landfill gases before they pose a threat to nearby residences.
The NJDEPE is constructing a 6-foot perimeter fence which should help mimimize the potential for exposure to any on-site soil cotaminants.
Public Health Action Planned:
NJDOH will coordinate with appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the cease/reduce and site characterization recommendations contained in this public health assessment. NJDOH will evaluate the need for additional public health actions if data become available that suggest the need for further actions at this site.
ATSDR will re-evaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan
(PHAP) when needed. New environmental, toxicological, health
outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed
actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.
The Public Health Assessment for the Jackson Township Landfill was prepared by the under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the public health assessment was initiated.
Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC
The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.
Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR
Laurie A. Pyrch, M.Ed.
Research Scientist II
Environmental Health Service
New Jersey Department of Health
ATSDR Regional Representative:
Senior Regional Representative
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR Technical Project Officer:
Mr. Gregory V. Ulirsch
Environmental Health Engineer
Remedial Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Any questions concerning this document should be directed to:
ATSDR Project Manager
The New Jersey Department of Health
Environmental Health Service
Trenton, NJ 08625