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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

TABERNACLE DRUM DUMP
TABERNACLE TOWNSHIP, BURLINGTON COUNTY, NEW JERSEY


SUMMARY

The Tabernacle Drum Dump NPL Site is located in Burlington County, New Jersey about one-half mile from Bozarthtown. The site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and inorganic chemicals, primarily lead, cadmium and chromium. Levels of 1,1-dichloroethene (DCE) were found in two monitoring wells. The site surface soils are primarily contaminated with chromium, lead and cyanide. There are approximately 80 to 100 wells within one-mile of the site and about 25 residences and wells within one-half mile of the site. The closest residential well is about 650 feet from the site. As of December 1986, the contaminated TCA groundwater plume apparently had not reached the residential wells; however, contamination of downgradient wells by the plume is estimated to occur within 14 years. The Tabernacle Drum Dump site poses a potential public health threat. Currently, some residential wells are contaminated with lead, potentially site-related, which may result in adverse health effects. If the site remains unremediated, the levels of TCA, DCE, cadmium, chromium and lead found in the on-site groundwater may further increase the contamination of residential wells. Populations at risk of exposure are trespassers, children that play on the site, construction and remedial workers, and nearby residents.


BACKGROUND

A. SITE DESCRIPTION

The Tabernacle Drum Dump Site is located on Carranza Road (Block 1202, lot 22) in the Tabernacle Township, Burlington County, New Jersey (see Appendix, Figure 1). The site is approximately one acre although the drums of waste were stored on a portion (about 2,000 square feet) of the site. To the south and east of the site, the area is mostly bog and woodland. Agricultural pursuits in this area are mainly cranberry and blueberry farming.

There are approximately 100 residences within a one-mile radius of the site. About 25 residences are within one-half mile of the site. Potable water for the residences are from wells which draw their water from the Cohansey Aquifer. The average depth of these residential wells is 80 feet. The well closest to the site is about 650 feet to the southwest. The nearest downgradient well is about 2,300 feet southeast of the site. Other wells are located to the south along Carranza Road and still others are east and southeast of the site along Bozarthtown Road. The local groundwater flows are to the southeast. Downgradient residential wells have potential for contamination by on-site groundwater.

The site was privately owned, but occupied by tenants (a husband and wife) in 1977. In that year, the husband's employer disposed of approximately 200 containers, including 55-gallon drums, 5-gallon and 20-gallon containers, on the site. Sampling was performed in October 1982 on three of the drums by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The analyses indicated the presence of PCBs, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, xylenes, vinyl chloride, TCA, trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, ethylbenzene, chromium, copper, lead, zinc, and cyanide.

A surface cleanup of the Tabernacle Site was ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region II in February 1984. A subcontractor discovered that 40 of the 200 drums and containers were empty. The locations of all on-site containers were mapped and the containers with chemicals were analyzed. Approximately 200 drums, eight truckloads of excavated soil, and about 3,000 gallons of liquid materials were removed from the site. Soil sampling and analyses were conducted a year later; however, the groundwater monitoring wells were not installed until July, 1985 by an EPA Contractor. The Remedial Investigation (RI) report indicated that the site is not fenced.

B. SITE VISIT

A site visit was deemed unnecessary for the preparation of this Health Assessment.

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