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HEALTH CONSULTATION

SMITH ROAD MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE LANDFILL
HOMERVILLE, CLINCH COUNTY, GEORGIA


PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

The purpose of this health consultation is to examine the potential for adverse health effects to residents living in the vicinity of the Smith Road Municipal Solid Waste Landfill (MSWL) in Homerville, Georgia. The discussion of these health effects will be limited to those which may result from exposure to contaminants released from this particular source. This document specifically examines any potential routes of exposure that have existed in the past, that may currently exist, and that may exist in the future. The discussion of exposure issues focuses on any impacts that releases from the landfill may have on private wells in the areas surrounding the site. Because this is a public health document, it does not address issues of liability, remediation alternatives, future land use, and other issues that are decided by state or federal environmental agencies unless the issue affects public health. Ultimately, this document provides conclusions on the public health issues which are relevant to this site and recommendations to protect the health of the residents who live in the area.


BACKGROUND

The Georgia Division of Public Health (GDPH) was asked by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division (EPD), to conduct a health consultation on the MSWL in Homerville, Georgia. The cooperation between EPD and GDPH was initiated through a memorandum of agreement for GDPH to address public health hazards at any Georgia sites where EPD is concerned about environmental contamination releases from a site that they regulate. EPD is concerned about possible adverse health effects caused by past, present, and future exposures to environmental contamination from the landfill.

The Clinch County MSWL is located approximately 2.3 miles north-northwest of the city of Homerville, Georgia. The landfill is located adjacent to Woodyard Creek on relatively flat land. A number of residences are in the surrounding areas south and southeast of the landfill.

The landfill was opened in 1983 for disposal of municipal solid waste on land which was leased by Clinch County. As part of an agreement with EPD for irrigation and promotion of on-site contaminant volatilization, 17 trenches, each four feet deep by 30 feet wide, were dug, along with a perimeter ditch that extended below the water table. In June of 1990, Clinch County purchased the property on which the landfill is located.

In June 1991, a groundwater monitoring plan was prepared and sent to EPD for approval. The plan called for establishment of 13 downgradient wells and 2 up-gradient wells. The monitoring plan was approved by EPD in February 1992. The wells were installed in May 1992, and sampling began in July 1992. These on-site wells contained very high levels of several volative organic chemicals (VOCs) when sampled in July 1992.

In January 1994, the landfill was closed, and EPD ordered Clinch County to begin an assessment monitoring program at the landfill.

In July 1997, Mr. Steve White of EPD's Hazardous Waste Management Branch conducted a site investigation on site and off site at the landfill.

In April 1998, GDPH conducted a site visit and an interview with Mr. John Strickland, Clinch County Commissioner. Over the years, most of the trenches had been filled by topsoil runoff. In the areas where the perimeter ditch was still in place, a great deal of standing water was found. There did not appear to be any on-site activity, but access to the site is unrestricted.



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