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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MARTIN AARON, INCORPORATED
CAMDEN CITY, CAMDEN COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


SUMMARY

The Martin Aaron, Inc. (MAI) site is approximately 2.4 acres, located in a mixed industrial and commercial area (with some residential sections), at 1542 South Broadway in Camden City, Camden County, New Jersey. The site is bordered by South Broadway to the west and buildings to the north, south, and east. The site was included on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA's) National Priorities List in July 1999. The USEPA is currently performing removal and stabilization actions at the site. The USEPA will conduct a supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the extent of groundwater contamination at the site and to evaluate remedial alternatives to address the contamination.

The MAI site is currently inactive. From 1969 to 1998, the site had been used for drum reconditioning and recycling. The drums were drained, pressure washed with caustic solution, and runoff collected in sewer basins to be discharged to the sanitary/storm sewage system. Prior investigations conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) have confirmed reports of disposal and observed buried drums of hazardous waste on-site. As a result of these practices, on-site soils and groundwater have been contaminated with volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals.

Various organic compounds and metals were detected in soil throughout the site, both in near- surface (0 to 2 feet) and subsurface (2 to 8 feet) samples. Some of the contaminated near-surface and subsurface soils have been removed and replaced with 2 to 7 feet of clean fill material by the USEPA. Based on groundwater sampling results, contamination appears to be more prevalent in the shallow zone of the upper aquifer of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy (PRM) aquifer system as compared to deeper zones. Elevated levels of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals have been detected in groundwater samples. Public supply wells tapping the PRM aquifer system within 4 miles of the site provide water to approximately 105,000 persons. The nearest of these wells is a Camden City public supply well located approximately 1 3/4 miles to the east-northeast. There are no private potable wells within the site study area.

Under current site conditions and based upon data and information available to the ATSDR and the NJDHSS, no completed human exposure pathways associated with the site were identified. The only two potential exposure pathways associated with the site are related to soils and groundwater contamination. ATSDR and NJDHSS evaluated the soil pathway and determined that because of current and past site access limitations and because surface soils have been remediated by the USEPA, it is unlikely that persons have been exposed to on-site soil-related contamination. Monitoring of the nearest public supply well (Camden City) has not indicated any site-related contamination. However, the extent of the off-site migration of site contaminants has not been determined. The USEPA will be conducting a remedial investigation and feasibility study, which addresses off-site migration of contaminants and potential impact to the municipal water supply.

This Public Health Assessment evaluates data and information relevant to completed and potential human exposure pathways associated with the MAI site. Since there are no completed human exposure pathways associated with the site, the site is evaluated by the ATSDR and the NJDHSS to currently present no public health hazard. However, there is a concern that if the groundwater is not remediated, then the public water systems in the vicinity of site, especially the closest Camden City well located at a distance of approximately 1 3/4 miles, may become contaminated and increase the potential for exposure. In order to gather information on community health concerns at the site, NJDHSS contacted the Camden County Health Department, the USEPA, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. No community concerns regarding the MAI site were identified. The NJDHSS has prepared a Citizen's Guide for the MAI site for distribution to the Camden County Health Department and other interested parties.


PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

This Public Health Assessment evaluates the public health issues associated with the Martin Aaron, Inc. (MAI) site, which has been included on the National Priorities List (NPL). NPL or "Superfund" sites represent those sites that are associated with significant public health concern in terms of the nature and magnitude of contamination present, and the potential to adversely impact the health of populations in their vicinity.

This document evaluates the potential for human exposure pathways associated with known contaminated environmental media within or associated with the site, and recommends actions consistent with protection of the public health. At the MAI site, the known contaminated media are on-site soils and groundwater.


BACKGROUND

Site Description And History

The Martin Arron Inc., SiteThe Martin Aaron, Inc. site is approximately 2.4 acres, located in a mixed industrial and commercial area with some residential sections, at 1542 South Broadway in Camden City, Camden County, New Jersey (see inset). The site is bordered by South Broadway to the west and buildings to the north, south, and east (see Figure 1- site location and 1 mile radius).

The site is currently inactive and all operations ceased approximately at the end of 1998. From 1969 to 1998, the site had been used for drum reconditioning and recycling. The drums were drained, pressure washed with caustic solution and the runoff collected in sewer basins to be discharged to the sanitary/storm sewage system. However, it has been suspected that effluent was discharged directly to surface soils. Investigations conducted by NJDEP have confirmed reports of drums being buried and/or emptied directly into on-site soils. As a result of these practices, on-site soils and groundwater have been contaminated with volatile organic compounds and metals.(1)

The MAI site was added to the National Priorities List in July 1999.(3) The USEPA is currently performing removal and stabilization actions at the site. The USEPA will conduct a supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the extent of groundwater contamination at the site and to evaluate remedial alternatives to address the contamination.

Demographics and Land Use

The MAI site is in a mixed industrial and commercial area with some residential sections. Residences on Jackson Avenue are located south of the site. Three schools are located within one-half mile of the site. The West Jersey Hospital-Camden is located one-half mile east of the site.(1)

The site is located within the outcrop area of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy (PRM) aquifer which is the primary source of groundwater in Camden City. The PRM is the most heavily used aquifer in the Coastal Plain of New Jersey. Within the PRM aquifer system, five mappable hydrogeologic units are defined. These five units include three water-bearing units identified as the upper, middle and lower aquifers, and two confining beds composed of silt and clay. The PRM system is more than 300 feet thick in the area of the site. There is some degree of vertical hydraulic interconnection throughout the PRM aquifer system in the Camden area. Shallow groundwater flow within the upper aquifer is believed to be to the east and southeast based on groundwater elevations measured in on-site monitoring wells. Deeper groundwater flow within the upper aquifer appears to be to the southeast. Groundwater within the middle and lower aquifers is expected to flow southeast from the site but is likely to have been altered due to heavy pumping by public supply wells in the area.(1)

Public supply wells tapping the PRM aquifer system within 4 miles of the site provide water to approximately 105,000 persons. The nearest of these wells is a Camden City well located at a distance of approximately 1 3/4 miles. According to current site information provided by the NJDEP, there are no private potable wells in use which have been impacted by the area-wide groundwater contamination, and all residences in the vicinity of the site are provided with public water supplies.(1,9)

Population demographics based upon the 1990 census have been prepared by the ATSDR using area-proportion spatial analysis, and are presented with Figure 1 (see Appendix). There are approximately 10,528 homes with approximately 29,536 people living within one mile of the site.

Previous ATSDR/NJDHSS Activity

The ATSDR and the NJDHSS conducted a site visit and generated a Site Visit Report (SVR) in June 1998. The report noted the on-going investigation and remediation conducted by NJDEP at the site, including removal of drums and drilling of monitoring wells. The ATSDR and the NJDHSS concluded that further information is needed to adequately assess the potential impact of the site on public health.(4)

Site Visit

On December 10, 1999, Suzanne Hooper, Jeff J. Winegar, and Narendra P. Singh of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (NJDHSS) visited the site. The NJDHSS staff were accompanied by representatives of the USEPA and the ATSDR. The following observations were made during the site visit:

  1. As noted in the site documents, the surrounding area is industrial/residential;


  2. Conditions at the site have changed since the 1998 site visit, as the on-going remediation is being undertaken;


  3. The contents of all drums, tanks and other containers have been sampled and drums relocated off-site for disposal. The surface and subsurface soils have been removed from the site and replaced with fill materials. The fill layer ranges from 2 to 7 feet in thickness; and,


  4. The site is fenced and hazard warning signs are posted. The site contains a one-story structure on a 2.4 acre lot. During the 1998 site visit there was some evidence of trespassing. No evidence of trespassing was observed during the site visit conducted for this Public Health Assessment. The USEPA on-scene coordinator informed us that trespassing at the site had not been documented due to the presence of on-site security.

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