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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE
ALBANY, DOUGHERTY COUNTY, GEORGIA


CONCLUSIONS

A PHA for MCLB, Albany, was released in March 1993. At that time, ATSDR classified the multiple PSCs with contaminated soil and groundwater at MCLB, Albany, as indeterminate public health hazards because of limited sampling and monitoring data. Since the release of the 1993 PHA, ATSDR has collected and reviewed additional soil and groundwater data. These additional data through 2000 do not indicate that people have been or are being exposed to contaminants at levels that could result in adverse health effects for individuals living on or close to the base. ATSDR's conclusions from evaluating the environmental data and information from 1993 through 2000 are presented below.

  • It is unlikely that on-base residents and workers at MCLB, Albany, have been, are, or will be exposed to harmful levels of contaminated groundwater. Elevated levels of VOCs have been detected in groundwater beneath MCLB, Albany, in the Upper Floridan aquifer. The base drinking water is drawn primarily from the deeper Claiborne, Clayton, and Providence aquifers, which are not impacted by contaminated groundwater. Although PW1 has shown traces of 1,1 dichloroethane, drinking water tests (2000) have met state and federal standards.

  • Using the most recent environmental data and information, ATSDR concludes that exposure to off-base groundwater near the MCLB, Albany, site poses no apparent public health hazard in the Ramsey Road neighborhood and an indeterminate health hazard in the Fleming Road neighborhood, southwest of the base.

    1. Some contaminants detected in the Long Term Landfill area (PSC 3) have also been found in a few private wells immediately north of the base, in the Ramsey Road neighborhood. VOCs were detected in a few off-base private wells but at levels below CVs and below levels at which adverse health effects occur. Two private wells contained lead exceeding the EPA action level during one sampling in 1998 but not the next sampling in 1999. MCLB, Albany, has provided all Ramsey Road private-well owners connections to municipal water supplies. All but two residences have taken advantage of these connections and are using municipal water. Because of the potential for off-base migration of groundwater contaminants and as a precautionary measure, ATSDR recommends the two remaining Ramsey Road residences, still using groundwater from private wells as their drinking water source, connect to municipal water and that abandoned private wells be permanently sealed to prevent any future potential exposures. Based on the low levels of contamination and the provision of municipal water, ATSDR has categorized the off-base groundwater exposure pathway in the Ramsey Road area as a no apparent public health hazard.

    2. Residential well sampling in 2000 has shown contamination in two private wells on Fleming Road, southwest of MCLB, ATSDR recommends that remediation and monitoring of the DMA plumes continue. ATSDR supports further sampling of private wells in this area of Fleming Road and recommends that sampling be conducted at least semi-annually (preferably quarterly) to account for seasonal variations. If chemical concentrations in private well water samples are found to exceed MCLs, ATSDR recommends that Fleming Road residents, southwest of the base, be connected to the city water supply.
    3. Seventeen private wells in the Fleming Road area, southeast of the base, have been sampled and no contaminants were detected above CVs.

      Based on the need for additional private well results, ATSDR has categorized the groundwater exposure pathway for the Fleming Road area, southwest of MCLB, as an indeterminate public health hazard.

  • Low levels of pesticides were found in some of the private wells sampled during MCLB's site investigations. The pesticide levels are well below the EPA maximum contaminant levels for drinking water and below levels at which adverse health effects occur.

  • Exposure to soil contaminants was and still is limited and not likely to result in adverse health effects. Remedial actions have taken place at the PSCs where contaminants were found to exceed ATSDR's health-based CVs. Although some sites may still have residual contamination, interim control measures such as land use and access restrictions limit potential present and future exposures to contaminants in soil. ATSDR does not consider soil to pose a public health hazard.

  • Limited information suggests that on-base groundwater and soil contaminants have not migrated to surface water bodies where people fish or areas where crops are grown. Therefore, ATSDR believes that surface water and food chain exposure pathways do not pose past, current, or future public health hazards. ATSDR has categorized these exposure pathways as no apparent public health hazards.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The public health action plan (PHAP) for MCLB, Albany, contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and other government agencies at and in the vicinity of the site upon completion of this public health assessment. The PHAP is designed to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The plan includes a commitment on the part of ATSDR to follow up and ensure that the plan is implemented. The public health actions completed and to be implemented are as follows:

Actions Completed

  1. MCLB, Albany, completed RODs for five OUs. Remedial activities and land-use control measures have been instituted at PSCs where RODs have required response actions. These response measures have minimized potential exposure pathways at the multiple PSCs.

  2. A pump and treat system was installed as an interim measure on the north side of PSC 3, near the perimeter fence, to prevent migration of contaminants associated with the PSC 3 groundwater plume to off-base locations. This system pumps and treats groundwater from the UWBZ.

  3. MCLB, Albany, has released the final base-wide OU 6 RI/BRA investigation report on the nature and extent of groundwater contamination at MCLB, Albany.

  4. Private wells north of the base, in the Ramsey Road neighborhood, have been sampled on five occasions. In all sampling periods, VOCs associated with site groundwater plumes were found to be below ATSDR's health-based CVs. Although lead at or exceeding CVs has been detected in two private wells, the levels do not pose public health hazards. EPA resampled the two wells with lead detections of 15 ppb and 17 ppb. Lead was not detected in either well at the time of the resampling.

  5. As a precautionary measure, MCLB, Albany, has provided residents living in the Ramsey Road area who obtain drinking water from private wells connections to municipal water.

  6. EPA and MCLB have sampled some private drinking water wells in the Fleming Road neighborhood, southwest of MCLB.

  7. ATSDR has provided health education to community members and health care providers. ATSDR trained health care providers in environmental health/medicine who will in turn provide training to other health care providers in the Albany area. ATSDR also established a reference section on environmental health topics for the community and health care providers at two different libraries in Albany, Georgia.

  8. To address community concerns regarding cancer and other health outcomes, ATSDR evaluated cancer mortality and selected vital statistics data for Dougherty and Worth Counties, Georgia (Appendix E).

  9. ATSDR participated on the Albany Community Alliance from its establishment in March 2000 through its completion in April 2001.

  10. ATSDR held focus groups meetings for the community in December 2000. As a result of the focus group sessions, ATSDR was invited to be a guest speaker at the Albany Ministerial Alliance held in January 2001. The agency presented our public health findings and activities to area ministers.

Actions Planned

  1. ATSDR recommends that MCLB, Albany, continue to delineate the extent of groundwater contamination for all plumes as soon as possible and take the necessary remedial measures to ensure that contaminants do not impact drinking water supplies in the future.

  2. Because of the potential for off-base migration of groundwater contaminants, ATSDR recommends that any remaining Ramsey Road residents still drinking water from private wells use municipal water. ATSDR also recommends that abandoned private wells be permanently sealed to prevent future potential exposures.

  3. ATSDR supports additional groundwater monitoring between the DMA LWBZ plume near the southern boundary of the base and the Fleming Road area. ATSDR also supports further sampling of private wells in the Fleming Road area, southwest of OU4. ATSDR recommends that this sampling be conducted at least semi-annually (preferably quarterly) to account for possible seasonal variations. If chemical concentrations in private well water samples are found to exceed MCLs, ATSDR recommends that Fleming Road residents, southwest of the base, be connected to the city water supply.

  4. ATSDR supports MCLB, Albany's decision to routinely test base drinking water wells for groundwater contaminants. ATSDR recommends more frequent sampling and analyses of supply well #1, in the center of the base, due to low level VOC contamination.

  5. An irrigation well (IR-W8) located in OU 5 draws water from the UFA to irrigate a pecan grove located about 500 feet southeast of PSC 14. This well has not been sampled. However, groundwater investigations have not identified contamination at OU 5, where the well is located. ATSDR recommends that additional measures be taken (e.g., sample water) if future monitoring shows contamination migrating toward the irrigation well.

  6. Many PSCs have interim control measures or land-use restrictions. ATSDR supports these remedial measures and recommends frequent monitoring of these activities to ensure they are in place for the period of time required by the RODs. The GEPD will conduct this monitoring as part of the routine Compliance Evaluation Inspections performed to evaluate MCLB, Albany's, compliance with its Hazardous Waste Facility Permit.

  7. ATSDR has provided and will continue to provide its public health assessments on MCLB, Albany, to the Emory Clinic, an affiliation of the AOEC, at 1525 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia, 30322.

  8. ATSDR will evaluate any new site-related environmental, toxicologic, or health outcome data that may alter current conclusions and will determine the need for additional actions at MCLB, Albany.

PREPARERS OF REPORT (ATSDR)

Laura Frazier
Geologist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


REFERENCES

ABB Environmental Services, Inc (ABB: Asea, Brown, Boveri- Tallahasee, Florida). MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 2. September 1996.

ABB. MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 1. August 1997a.

ABB. MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 3. August 1997b.

ABB. MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 5. November 1997c.

ABB. MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 4. February 1999.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Public health assessment guidance manual. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1992. 'Interim Criteria of Actions for Levels of Public Health Hazard", Table 8.1 (Revised). Revision Effective May 1, 1999.

ATSDR. Public Health Assessment for MCLB, Albany. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, March 30, 1993.

ATSDR. Guidance for ATSDR Health Studies. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Services, Division of Health Studies. April 1996.

ATSDR. HAZDAT computer program. Substance Comparison Value System. Last update 2/11/2000.

Albany Water, Gas, and Light. Drinking water monitoring results for samples collected on April 28, 1998. June 1999.

Envirodyne Engineers, Inc. Initial Assessment Study, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. September 1985.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Site Management Plan, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. December 21, 1990.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia.. November 1993.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. April 1994.

EPA. Internal memorandum concerning fish tissue sample analyses, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. September 1995.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. May 1997.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. August 1998.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. January 1999a.

EPA. Private well sampling data, Marine Corps Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. February 2000.

Harding Lawson Associates (HLA). Operable Unit 6 Draft Remedial Investigation/Baseline Risk Assessment Draft Report. MCLB, Albany. November 1998.

HLA. MCLB, Albany. Record of Decision, Operable Unit 4. February 1999.

HLA. Operable Unit 6 Final Remedial Investigation/Baseline Risk Assessment Draft Report. MCLB, Albany. December 1999.

Harding ESE, Inc. Sampling and Analysis of 70 OU 6 Monitoring Wells, Marine Core Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia. December 2000a.

Harding ESE, Inc. Sampling and Analysis of Water Supply Wells at the Marine Core Logistics Base, Albany, Georgia, and Residences in the Vicinity of Fleming Road. December 2000b.

Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB). Timeline of actions taken at MCLB, Albany, Georgia, December 1999.

MCLB, electronic communication with D. Owens, September 27, 2001.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Hydrogeology of the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Vicinity of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Near Albany, Georgia. 1999.


Note: Record of Decisions and other EPA documents for the MCLB, Albany, site can be obtained at the repository, EPA Region IV, Atlanta, Georgia.



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