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BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) prepared this health consultation for the Dauphin Disposal site to evaluate the latest available data for the site and to present information about the current site conditions. In 1994, ATSDR was petitioned to prepare a health assessment in response to a citizen's concern that a nine year old child may have developed nephrogenic diabetes insipidus from exposure to lithium-containing materials that were possibly disposed of on the site. ATSDR responded to the petition by releasing two health consultations for the site in 1995 and 1996. The first health consultation addressed the petitioner's concerns of lithium induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus in a nine year old child. The second health consultation addressed the possible public health threat posed by contaminants in groundwater, surface water, air, and soil. On June 12, 1996, ATSDR Region I Office sent the petitioner a letter summarizing the findings of both consults (1). Table 1 provides a summary of the 1995 and 1996 health consultations.

The Dauphin Disposal site is an 18-acre landfill owned by the Bath Iron Works Corporation (BIW). The site is located approximately one mile south of the center of the town of Bath, Sagadahoc County, Maine (Appendix A, Figure 1)(2). Site coordinates are north 43 53' 57.5" latitude, west 9 49' 39.9" longitude. The site is bounded on the west and south by woods, undeveloped except for a Central Maine Power Company line-cut, on the north by wooded property of the town and the Central Maine Power Company, and on the east by the Tarbox Hill neighborhood and Spruce Street.

Beginning in 1962, the Dauphin site was used to store junked automobiles, scrap metals, and used oils. In the mid-1960's, the site started receiving refuse from the Bath Iron Works Corporation. BIW is located 0.5-mile north of the site on the west bank of the Kennebec River. BIW is a large ship builder and refurbishing contractor for the United States Navy (3). From 1976 to 1985, the site was used exclusively by BIW for disposing construction debris, general refuse, scrap metals, paints, thinners, rust preventatives, anti-fouling agents, oils, hydraulic fluids, asbestos, fiberglass insulation, dredging spoils, and sandblasting grit (also known as "black beauty") from its ship-building operations. Figure 2 in Appendix A presents the areas where the various wastes were stored on the site. Scrap metals and oils were recovered for resale, while the refuse, spoils and grit were landfilled on the western slope of the site (2).


Table 1

Summary of 1995 and 1996 Health Consultations

  • Addressed the petitioner's concerns about the possibility of lithium induced nephrogenic diabetes insipidus in a nine year old child (4).
  • Examined child's medical history, the history of the possible exposure, and available medical literature.
  • Conclud ed that "there was not enough clear evidence of chronic lithium exposure to assign cause and effect" for the nephrogenic diabetes insipidus diagnosis [4]

1996 Health Consultation

  • Addressed the possible public health threat posed by contaminants in groundwater, surface water, air, and soil (5).
  •   Reviewed and evaluated the data contained in the Phase I Remedial Investigation Report from September, 1994 and DEP's Expanded Site Inspection Report of March, 1990.
  •   Concluded that the nature and extent of groundwater and surface soil contamination was not fully characterized at the site.
  •   Recommended: 1) to define the extent of groundwater & soil contamination; and, 2) to restrict site access.

Wastes were disposed of on the western or eastern portions of the site according to the type of waste. The eastern portion of the site was approximately 7 acres in size and was used from 1968 until 1980 to store junked cars, scrap metal, dredge spoils, paint cans, drums of chemicals, above-ground tanks, and other miscellaneous debris. The western portion of the site (also known as the "landfill") was approximately 11 acres in size and received dredge spoils and sandblasting grit from 1981 until 1984. In 1988, the western portion of the site was clay-capped and seeded as part of the site closure activities; the eastern portion of the site was capped in 1996 as part of the final closure of the site [3].

There have been a number of state supervised activities at the site including remedial investigations, feasibility studies, and removal actions that have resulted in remedial activities to clean the site, the capping of the western and eastern portions of the site, and the closure of the facility. More information about the operative and investigative history of the site are located in appendix B.

ATSDR released the Dauphin Disposal site Health Consultation for public comment from July 17, 1998 through August 23, 1998. The public comment period was intended to give the public and/or interested parties an opportunity to review and provide additional comments and/or concerns pertaining to the Dauphin Disposal site. The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry received comments during the public comment period and incorporated the responses into the document.



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