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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MANNHEIM AVENUE DUMP SITE
ATLANTIC COUNTY, GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY


SUMMARY

The Mannheim Avenue Dump Site is a former sand and gravel mine located on a 2-acre sand and gravel-covered clearing in a rural location within Galloway Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. During the years 1964-1967, Lenox China, with the knowledge and approval of Galloway Township, used the site to dispose of industrial wastes produced at its manufacturing facility in Pomona, New Jersey. The principal contaminants associated with the site are trichloroethene (TCE)and lead. An Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) preliminary health assessment was performed in November, 1988.

Tap samples were collected from 13 residential wells. Lead (may not be site-related) and TCE was detected in one or more wells. The ATSDR Region II was contacted for a health consultation in February 1991. ATSDR reviewed the results and recommended that EPA resample all the residences using 5 ppb of lead as a detection limit. ATSDR stated that there is no need for undue concern as no overt health effects have previously been reported in individuals drinking water containing 15 ppb of lead which is the federal guideline for protection of public health. ATSDR, however, indicated that because of the uncertainty surrounding the levels of lead that produce adverse health effects, it was prudent to reduce exposures via all media including drinking water.

The Mannheim Avenue Dump Site is considered to pose no apparent public health hazard. Human exposure to TCE may have occurred in the past via inhalation, direct contact and ingestion of contaminated groundwater from downgradient residential wells. Exposure to TCE is unlikely to result in adverse health effects. Periodic sampling of residential wells and monitoring wells located downgradient is recommended.

Human exposure to lead poses an indeterminate public health hazard. Human exposure to lead may have occurred or be occurring via ingestion of residential well water. Lead contamination of residential water may not be site related.

The Mannheim Avenue Dump site has been reviewed by ATSDR and the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) to determine appropriate follow-up public health actions or health effect studies. ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel determined that all children between 6-7 months, who were exposed to lead through ingestion of contaminated drinking water (probably not site-related), be screened for blood lead. The NJDOH is referring this public health assessment to the Atlantic County Department of Health for consideration to include these children (and possibly adults) in their lead screening program.


BACKGROUND

A. SITE DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY

The Mannheim Avenue Dump Site is located on a 2-acre sand and gravel-covered clearing in a rural location within Galloway Township, Atlantic County, New Jersey. A map showing the site location is included as Appendix 1. The site lies on Mannheim Avenue between Shiller Road and Clarks Landing Road. The site is approximately 1500 feet southeast of the Tar Kiln Branch and two miles southwest of the Mullica River and associated tidal marsh. The area immediately surrounding the site is comprised of relatively flat woodlands of scrub pine and low bush. This area is within the New Jersey Pineland Protection Area.

The Mannheim Avenue Dump Site is owned by Galloway Township. Historically, the site was mined up to a depth of 5 feet to obtain sand and gravel for the construction of Township roads1. After mining operations ceased in 1964, the excavated portions of the site were used for waste disposal.

During the years 1964-1967, Lenox China, with the knowledge and approval of Galloway Township, used the site to dispose of industrial wastes produced at its manufacturing facility in Pomona, New Jersey1. Approximately three hundred 55-gallon drums of degreasing sludge were buried at a depth of 5 feet below the ground surface. Drummed wastes, some of which included solid asphaltic sludge, were deposited on the excavated portions.

An 1981 industrial survey report submitted by Lenox China notified the NJDEPE that hazardous wastes may have been disposed of at the Mannheim Avenue Site5. The survey indicated that 55-gallon drums of trichloroethene (TCE) degreasing sludge were disposed of at the site and in other locations. A subsequent investigation by NJDEPE revealed that many of the 55-gallon drums were exposed and/or deteriorating. Sampling of these exposed drums indicated the presence of TCE at a maximum concentration of 1,640 parts per million (ppm), toluene at 230 ppm, ethylbenzene at 350 ppm, methylene chloride at 220 ppm, cadmium at 22 ppm, lead at 2,600 ppm, nickel at 27 ppm, and chromium at 6 ppm1.

The site was placed on the NPL in 1983. In December 1984, the EPA issued an Administrative Order (AO) to Lenox China and the Township of Galloway to remove the waste material buried in the soil mounds at the Site, conduct soil and groundwater sampling, and excavate and remove contaminated soil from the site. By August 1985, Lenox China completed the excavation and approximately 25,000 pounds of degreasing sludge were separated from the general trash. Asphaltic sludge was packed into 247 new fiber drums and incinerated off-site. This removal represented over 95 percent of the total sludge. Thirty-five mounds of soil remained, many with residual contamination. These wastes were subsequently compacted along with other municipal wastes, and covered with soil. Leaded porcelain fragments and household refuse were also mixed in the waste mounds.

Lenox China conducted soil, groundwater, limited surface water, and domestic well sampling. The principal contaminants associated with the site were lead and TCE. In June 1989, the 35 mounds of lead and TCE contaminated soil were excavated and disposed of off-site by Lenox China. In July 1988 and March 1989, EPA sampled the drinking water from 25 local residential wells surrounding the site and one well from Bethel Christian School for VOCs and metals. No VOCs or metals were detected above EPA's drinking water standards. In May 1988, EPA entered into an Administrative Order of Consent with Lenox China, Inc., identified as a potentially responsible party (PRP) and the Township of Galloway to conduct a remedial investigation (RI) and feasibility study (FS) at the site6. An RI/FS was completed in June 1990.

A Record of Decision was signed in September 1990, calling for groundwater remediation and both short-term and long-term groundwater monitoring. The ATSDR preliminary health assessment of 1988 concluded that there was risk to human health by the possibility of human exposure to hazardous substances via migration of hazardous substances into groundwater used for potable purposes. To ensure that the community was not drinking contaminated water, tap samples were collected from 13 residential wells for analysis. After reviewing sampling results, EPA Region II contacted ATSDR Region II for a health consultation on February 2nd, 19913. The questions posed by EPA were:

(1) Is the water safe for drinking and other domestic uses? and

(2) Do residents need to stop drinking the water and immediately seek remedial actions?

ATSDR Region II representatives reviewed the results from the November 5 and 6, 1990 sampling of these thirteen residential wells. ATSDR recommended that EPA resample all the residences using 5 ppb lead as a detection limit. ATSDR stated that there is no need for undue concern as no overt health effects have been noted in individuals drinking water containing 50 ppb4. ATSDR, however, indicated that because of the uncertainty surrounding the levels of lead that produce adverse health effects, it was prudent to reduce exposures via all media including drinking water. In addition, ATSDR recommended quarterly monitoring3 of residential wells.

B. SITE VISIT

On October 30, 1990 Laurie Pyrch and Rosaline Dhara of the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) visited the Mannheim Avenue Dump Site. The purpose of the visit was to inspect the site and record the observed physical condition of the site. NJDOH personnel were accompanied on the site visit by the Case Manager for Mannheim Avenue Dump Site from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE). Approximately two hours were spent in the site vicinity. The site was inspected from outside the fence as it was only two acres in size and observed the following:

On-site:

* The site is located in a two-acre sand and gravel clearing on Mannheim Avenue road and is readily accessible. The area around the site is surrounded by relatively flat woodlands of scrub pine and low bush. The terrain is composed of sand and gravel.

* The site was fenced, locked and posted with Hazard and No Trespassing signs. There were no signs of trespassing on-site.

*

There were two 55 gallon drums on-site.

* There were no observed lagoons, pits or stacks of drums on-site.

* Sampling equipment for on-site monitoring wells was observed.

* Scattered mounds of soil and scant vegetation were present.

* Porcelain fragments and municipal wastes were present on-site.

* No persons were seen on or in the immediate vicinity of the site.

Off-site:

*

A walking path trail was observed along the perimeter of the site.

*

Northeast of the site is a suspect covered trench, an alleged source of volatile organic chemical (VOC) contamination. It is currently unclear and undetermined if this VOC contamination is attributable to the Mannheim Avenue Dump site or another independent sourceIa.

*

A second sand and gravel pit, owned and operated by Galloway Township, is located across the street from the site. Suspected shallow surface water contamination in this region is currently being evaluatedIa.

Conditions at the site have not significantly changed since the 1990 site visit.

C. DEMOGRAPHICS, LAND USE, AND NATURAL RESOURCE USE

Demographics

There are approximately 328 residents who live in at least 82 residences which lie within a one-mile radius of the site1. The closest residence is approximately 0.1 mile from the site7. The Bethel Christian Elementary School with approximately 200 students is located within 5000 feet south of the site.

Land Use

The site is located in a rural area that is zoned as residential with a minimum lot size of 5 acres. The area to the northeast is predominantly zoned as a preservation area. Based on current zoning, the maximum development downgradient from the site is an additional seven houses.

Natural Resource Use

The site is underlain by the Cohansey Sand and the Kirkwood Formation. A clay aquitard with an average thickness of 3 to 5 feet underlies the shallow system at a depth of approximately 50 feet below the land surface. The clay unit has low permeability and is continuous within the area of Mannheim Avenue site. Underlying the clay is the deeper flow system or aquifer which flows toward the northeast. The deeper flow system is assumed to extend from a depth of approximately 55 feet below the land surface of the site to a depth of approximately 200 to 250 feet below land surface. The deeper ground-water system flows toward and discharges into the Mullica River. Flow in the shallow system is toward the west and changes to a northwesterly direction away from the site.

Only groundwater from the deeper system is used for potable purposes. Eighty-two residences and facilities within a one-mile radius of the site rely on ground water wells. Twenty three of these are located downgradient from the site; nine are downgradient with respect to the deeper flow system; and 14 are downgradient with respect to the shallow flow system. However, only five of these houses are located between the site and Tar Kiln Branch, the presumed discharge boundary for the shallow flow system.

The nearest surface water bodies are the Tar Kiln Branch, located approximately 1500 ft northwest of the site, and the Mullica River, located approximately 2 miles northeast of the site. While people use the Mullica River for recreational fishing and swimming, no information exists on the number of persons engaged in these activities.

D. Health Outcome Data

Health outcome data was not evaluated for this site. Please refer to the Health Outcome Data Evaluation section below for a discussion why this source of information was considered inappropriate for evaluation.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Community health concerns primarily centered around ground water contamination and the spread of the contamination8. Forty citizens attended the Mannheim Avenue Town meeting in August, 1990. The only community health concern expressed was with regard to the consumption of contaminated drinking water by the children of Bethel School9.

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