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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

M & T DELISA LANDFILL
OCEAN TOWNSHIP, MONMOUTH COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


SUMMARY

The M & T Delisa Landfill site is situated in Ocean Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey. At present, the Seaview Square Mall complex covers most of the former landfill area. Limited metal contamination exists in the shallow aquifer at the site. Arsenic, chromium, and lead were detected in one downgradient shallow monitoring well sample at levels above public health assessment comparison values. There are about 13 domestic water supply wells within a one-mile radius of the site. Four off-site potable wells receive water from the shallow aquifer; however, they are all upgradient of the site. The 9 potable wells in the deeper aquifer do not appear to be affected by past landfill activities. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected at outdoor gas vents, and in indoor air inside the Mall at levels usually found in most buildings. It is estimated that at least several thousand people work in the Mall or visit it daily. Potential exposure pathways include the ingestion of contaminated ground water and the inhalation of contaminants in air inside the Mall. Community concerns include the potential health effects of fish consumption and the impact of the site on water quality and biota in Deal Lake. From the information reviewed, this site is judged to be of no apparent Public Health Hazard, and is not being considered for a follow-up health actions since there is no evidence of human exposure to significant levels of contamination or evidence of adverse health effects associated with the site.

The data and information developed in the Public Health Assessment for the M & T Delisa Landfill, Monmouth County, New Jersey, has been evaluated for appropriate follow-up health actions. This site is not being considered at this time for follow-up health activities. However, if data or information become available suggesting that human exposure to hazardous substances, at levels of public health concern, is currently occurring or has occurred in the past, ATSDR will re-evaluate this site for any indicated follow-up.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

The M & T Delisa Landfill site is in the southeastern corner of Monmouth County, northwest of the city of Asbury Park in Ocean Township, New Jersey (See Appendix A; Figure 1). The 132-acre site is bounded by New Jersey state highway no. 35 on the east, New Jersey state highway no. 66 on the south, and New Jersey state highway no. 18 on the west (See Appendix A; Figure 2). An industrial park off Sunset Avenue borders the site to the north. There are marshy areas in the western and north-eastern sections of the site. Adjacent streams are found to the west, north, and south.

The M & T Delisa Landfill occupied approximately 39 acres of the 132-acre site. The former landfill reportedly received municipal wastes from about 1941 until it closed in 1974. There is no documented evidence which demonstrates that the landfill was used for the disposal of hazardous waste.

Currently, three major building complexes are located on the 132-acre site (See Appendix A; Figure 2). The Seaview Square Mall complex was constructed between 1975 and 1977 and covers approximately 30 acres of the former landfill. In the area where the Mall buildings were constructed, the landfill material was excavated down to underlying soils (to a maximum depth of 47 feet) and replaced with clean fill. An impermeable side wall liner was installed around the fill during construction to prevent landfill gas migration to the buildings. The excavated material was moved to a location north of the Mall, which already contained most of the refuse from former landfill operations and which was destined to become paved parking areas for the Mall. Following the completion of the Mall complex, a southern extension to the complex was constructed outside the impermeable liner.

A passive methane-venting system consisting of 23 vents was constructed along the outside perimeter of the impermeable liner in the parking area around the Mall buildings to prevent gas migration to the buildings. A storm-drain system was designed to help prevent leachate generation and migration. A horseshoe-shaped leachate-collection system was installed downgradient to intercept ground water and leachate moving towards Deal Lake Brook. The liquid is collected in a 10,000 gallon underground tank in the southern portion of the Mall parking area, and pumped into the Ocean Township Sewer Authority system. Further details on the environmental control design features of the Mall are described in Appendix C.

In June 1980 and March 1981, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) collected and analyzed sediment and surface water samples taken at the site. Heavy metals and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons were found in the samples. The site was subsequently proposed to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in December 1982 and was officially added to the NPL in September 1983.

USEPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent in November 1983 to conduct a Remedial Investigation (RI) on the site. The objectives of the RI were to characterize the nature and extent of any contamination associated with the site, to identify off-site contamination and its impact on public health and the environment, and to determine whether there is a need for remedial measures to protect human health and the environment. USEPA determined that the RI, completed in June 1984, inadequately characterized the site, and they recommended that additional sampling be performed.

The Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) issued a Preliminary Health Assessment for the M & T Delisa Landfill site on January 4, 1989 (See Appendix D).

Pursuant to a second Administrative Order on Consent of March 1988, a supplemental RI was conducted. The supplemental RI program was completed in January 1989. Problems with air monitoring data necessitated an additional round of indoor and outdoor air sampling in October 1989. The final RI report was submitted in March 1990.

Based upon a review of historical documentation which did not reveal any past disposal of hazardous waste at the site, the results of the RI which demonstrate that the landfill is not a source of significant concentrations of any hazardous substance, and a conservative assessment of risk attributable to the release of hazardous substances from the landfill, USEPA determined that the current risk posed by the site is within an acceptable range.

B. Actions Implemented During the Public Health Assessment Process

The following actions were taken at the site while the public health assessment process was in progress:

  1. On September 20, 1990, USEPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site stating that the site should be addressed under the authorities designated to close and monitor solid waste landfills.
  2. Subsequent to the ROD, USEPA on March 6, 1991, after appropriate public comment, removed the site from the Superfund NPL.

C. Site Visit

On October 3, 1990, a site visit was conducted by Laurie A. Pyrch from the New Jersey Department of Health, accompanied by a representative of the Monmouth County Health Department (MCHD).

At the southwest corner of the Seaview Square Mall parking lot, a liquid discharge was observed draining from the base of a utility pole into Deal Lake Brook. Odor, bacterial growth and red discoloration were noted in water exiting storm drains to the south of the Mall.

The parking area pavement to the south of the Mall is cracked in numerous locations and stained orange, providing visual evidence of possible leachate breakthrough.

During the site inspection, two persons were observed walking along unpaved footpaths to the north of the Mall and Ring Road in areas reported to contain landfill materials. Several unpaved areas covered with grass and soil are immediately behind the northern boundary of the Mall buildings.

There is a child care center on the upper floor on the northern side of the Mall. The center operates an unpaved, outdoor playground for children, including a sandbox, which is immediately north of the Mall. An exercise facility for adults occupies portions of both the upper and the lower level of the northern end of the Mall.

Based on discussions with the EPA Remedial Project Manager in the Fall of 1992, the conditions at the site have not changed since the October 1990 site visit.

D. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

There are about 62,000 people living within the 16 square miles surrounding the site and about 2,372 people living within a 1-mile radius of the site. Approximately 3,500 people work at the Seaview Square Mall and 11,000 people visit it daily.

Land Use

The site is in a suburban area surrounded by mostly commercial or industrial development. The nearest off-site residence is approximately 1,250 feet to the east.

Natural Resource Use

The site is underlain by numerous unconsolidated geological formations. The three uppermost formations are the Kirkwood, Shark River Marl and Vincentown. The groundwater yield from the shallow Kirkwood Formation is limited and is not considered a major source of potable water. Groundwater flow in the Kirkwood aquifer is to the southeast towards Deal Lake Brook. Based on hydrogeologic information, it appears that the Brook is an expression of the groundwater table and that the shallow groundwater flow is intercepted by the Brook.

The Shark River Marl, a continuous clayey, silty formation found below the Kirkwood Formation, is an average of 35 feet thick underlying the site. The extensiveness of the Shark River Marl combined with its low hydraulic conductivity (a measure of the ability of fluid to move through a porous media under force) reduces the potential for contaminant transport between the upper Kirkwood Formation and the deeper Vincentown Formation. The deep Vincentown Formation is a major source of potable water for local residences.

There are 13 residential water supply wells within a one-mile radius of the site. The four drinking water wells that receive ground water from the shallow aquifer are located upgradient of the site. Of the nine potable wells that receive ground water from the deep aquifer, only one well is located downgradient near the southern boundary of the site. Public water supplies are available to most residences to the northeast, southwest and southeast of the site.

Deal Lake Brook, approximately 357 feet to the south of the Mall, discharges into Deal Lake less than 1 mile to the southeast. Deal Lake is used for recreation, including fishing.

E. Health Outcome Data

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.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

On July 12, 1990, Laurie A. Pyrch and Rosaline Dhara from NJDOH attended a public meeting with local residents that was held by USEPA, Region II, to discuss the Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the site. During the meeting, several community members were concerned about whether or not it is safe for people to eat fish caught in Deal Lake. That health concern will be addressed in the Public Health Implications section.

The community expressed several other concerns, including concerns about the potential effects of the site on aquatic life in Deal Lake and Deal Lake Brook, the effectiveness of monitoring the leachate-collection system, and the recommended transfer of the site to NJDEPE for further action. A local health official expressed concern that ground water/leachate may be bypassing the leachate-collection system. Strong odors, discoloration, and bacterial growth have been observed at the exit of storm drains that discharge to Deal Lake Brook. The local health official also expressed concern that shallow groundwater flow direction has not been sufficiently characterized since ammonia (0.26-9.3 parts per million) has been detected in water samples collected to the south of Route 66. Since the focus of the public health assessment is on public health, NJDOH will refer those issues to the appropriate regulatory agency for follow-up.

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