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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SACRAMENTO ARMY DEPOT
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA


SUMMARY

The Sacramento Army Depot Activity (SADA) is in the Florin-Perkins Industrial Area at 8350 Fruitridge Road in the city and county of Sacramento, California. Established in the 1940s, SADA received, stored, issued, and maintained electronics, supplies, and commodities. Operational activities at the depot included metal plating and treatment operations, painting, electro-optics equipment repair, manufacturing, and shelter repair. SADA closed in September 1994.

A total of 55 areas of potential concern have been identified at SADA. These sites include areas such as lagoons, disposal pits, and storage and treatment areas. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted a site visit in 1991. All 55 areas were examined for potential exposure pathways, but only one pathway was identified through which people may be exposed to site-related contaminants--exposure to groundwater in the vicinity of the South Post (SP) groundwater plume. The evaluation of this pathway is the focus of this public health assessment (PHA).

Exposure to Groundwater in the Vicinity of the SP Groundwater Plume

The SP groundwater plume is in the southwestern portion of SADA and extends beyond the depot's property boundary. ATSDR identified nine off-site wells in the vicinity of the SP plume. All nine of the residences or businesses associated with these off-site wells currently receive their water from municipal wells, which have not been affected by the SP groundwater plume. ATSDR assumes, therefore, that none of the private wells are currently being used for drinking water purposes. One well is currently being used for non-drinking water purposes, but ATSDR concludes that exposure to the groundwater from this well does not pose a current public health hazard. It is unlikely that future exposures to groundwater will pose a health hazard because corrective activities should remediate the groundwater to a condition acceptable for drinking (that is, all contaminants will be reduced to concentrations below federal or more stringent state standards). All nine wells may have been used for drinking water purposes in the past. Evaluation of groundwater data collected in the 1980s indicates that past exposures to groundwater via ingestion, inhalation of vapors, and dermal contact did not pose a public health hazard.

BACKGROUND

Site Description and History

The Sacramento Army Depot Activity (SADA) is in the Florin-Perkins Industrial Area at 8350 Fruitridge Road in the city and county of Sacramento, California. SADA is approximately 7 miles southeast of downtown Sacramento. The depot is bordered by Fruitridge Road to the north, by Florin-Perkins Road to the east, by Elder Creek Road to the south, and by Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on the west (see Figure 1).

Established in the 1940s, SADA received, stored, issued, and maintained electronics, supplies, and commodities. Operational activities at the depot included metal plating and treatment operations, painting, electro-optics equipment repair, manufacturing, and shelter repair (Kleinfelder, 1995). These activities, particularly the first two, involved the use of hazardous materials such as metal plating baths, caustic solutions, oil and grease, fuels, lubricants, and organic solvents. SADA closed in September 1994.

The Army began evaluating SADA in the late 1970s through its Installation Restoration Program (IRP). The IRP is designed to identify, evaluate, and clean up environmental contamination resulting from past waste management practices. During these investigations, soil and groundwater contamination were discovered. As a result, SADA was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) on August 21, 1987. The U.S. Army, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the state of California entered into a federal facilities agreement in December 1988 to investigate, remediate, and monitor activities at the depot.

A total of 55 areas with potential contamination were identified at SADA including 8 IRP sites (Figure 2), 13 solid waste management units (SWMUs) (Figure 3), 29 non-SWMUs (Figure 4), and 5 additional sites (Figures 2 and 4). These sites include lagoons, disposal pits, and storage and treatment areas (Appendix A).

In April 1991, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) conducted a site visit at SADA. During the site visit, ATSDR staff members toured the depot and met with personnel from SADA, California State Department of Health Services, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB), Sacramento Area Council of Governments, Sacramento Planning Office, Sacramento Environmental Services, Sacramento Area Water Works Association, and local community members. ATSDR identified the South Post (SP) groundwater plume as the only area associated with a potentially completed exposure pathway (ATSDR, 1991). Exposure to contaminants in the SP groundwater plume will be evaluated and discussed in this public health assessment (PHA). The remaining 54 areas at SADA are described in Appendix A.

Local Demographics

Before the depot's closure, SADA supported a staff of approximately 3,430 people, 76 of whom lived on site (Kleinfelder, 1992). Now, no residents live on the property (Kleinfelder, 1997a). ATSDR used 1990 Bureau of the Census data to compile demographic information for areas within a 1-mile radius of SADA. Information was gathered for Tract 51.03, which includes the depot, and three tracts immediately west of the depot. The three western tracts were included because off-site production wells potentially affected by the SP plume are within these tracts. Demographic information is summarized in Figures 5 and 6.

The demographics of Tract 51.03 vary markedly from the demographics of the tracts west of it. Tract 51.03 was sparsely populated in 1990, supporting a total population of only 710 persons. That tract's population density also was low: 173 persons per square mile. In contrast, tracts west of SADA were very densely populated with nearly 7,000 persons per square mile. Residents of Tract 51.03 were predominantly white, but tracts west of it consisted of a more racially and ethnically diverse population, including high percentages of blacks, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and persons of Hispanic origin. Tract 51.03 had an extremely high percentage of persons age 65 and older (nearly 35%); tracts to the west had a high percentage (21%) of children under age 10. The difference in age patterns was also reflected in the number of persons per household. The tracts west of Tract 51.03, which contained many children, had a high number of persons per household (3.37); in Tract 51.03, which had fewer children, there were only 2.22 persons per household. The majority of homes (75% in tract 51.03 and 58% in the tracts west of it) within a 1-mile radius of SADA are owner-occupied. High percentages of owner-occupied homes reflect a more stable population because renters tend to move more frequently than owners.

Land Use

SADA is surrounded by industrial and commercial establishments on all sides (Kleinfelder, 1995). Residential areas, vacant land, and two elementary schools are within a quarter-mile of the depot.

In March 1995, 306 of SADA's 485 acres were transferred to the city of Sacramento under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program (Foster Wheeler, 1995; Kleinfelder, 1997a). The city leased the majority of the 306 acres to Packard Bell Corporation (Foster Wheeler, 1995). Also, SADA has transferred 19 acres to the Navy/Marine Corps Reserve Center and 28 acres to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is planning to let the California Emergency Food Link use the land (Foster Wheeler, 1995; SADA, 1997a). The Army will be making additional transfers (65 acres to the city of Sacramento and 8 acres to the Department of Education) in late 1997 (SADA, 1997a). The Army will retain the remaining land for use as its Reserve Enclave (Foster Wheeler, 1995).

The majority of the land will be reused for industrial and commercial purposes; however, some areas may be suitable for recreational use (Kleinfelder, 1997a).

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing PHAs, ATSDR relies on the information provided in the referenced documents and contacts. The agency assumes adequate quality assurance and control measures were followed with chain-of-custody and laboratory procedures and data reporting. The validity of the analyses and conclusions drawn in this document are determined by the availability and reliability of the referenced information.

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