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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

LEONARD CHEMICAL COMPANY INC.
CATAWBA, YORK COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA


SUMMARY

The Leonard Chemical Company (LCC) site covers approximately 6 acres of land in anindustrial area about 1/2 mile east of Catawba and 9 miles southeast of Rock Hill, SouthCarolina. It is located in York County on Cureton Ferry Road (County Road 46-697). LCCbegan operations in the mid-1960s and continued through 1983 when it was ordered to stopaccepting and processing waste materials. LCC provided waste solvent treatment, storage, anddisposal services. The waste solvents were generated by cleaning processes and containedalcohols, ketones, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.

Contaminants were identified in on-site soils and groundwater and in off-site groundwater,surface water, and sediments. No off-site soil samples were collected. Contaminants of concernat the LCC site include: acetone, arsenic, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, cadmium, chromium,copper, 4,4'-DDT, 1,2-dichloroethane, dimethyl phthalate, iron, isophorone, lead, methylenechloride, methyl-ethyl-ketone, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), tetrachloroethene, toluene,1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, and vinyl chloride.

In 1991, The EPA conducted a community relations plan and interviewed local residents togather community concerns (EPA, August 1991). The report states that local residents knew ofMr. Leonard and of the activities at the site, but were unaware of the site's status and of whatactivities had occurred to date. Some residents living adjacent to the site were concerned thattheir private drinking water wells may be contaminated. They were concerned about possiblehealth effects associated with contaminated water and requested that their wells be tested. Concerns were also expressed about previous discharge practices into Ferry Branch creek thatoccurred while the site was operational.

No completed exposure pathways were identified for the Leonard Chemical site. Potentialexposure pathways were identified for exposures to on-site soils. Exposures could occur toanyone who may wander onto the site and accidentally ingest or have dermal contact withcontaminated soils. Future potential exposure pathways were identified for on-site soils,groundwater, and air, and for off-site groundwater, surface water, and sediments. Humanexposure by ingestion, inhalation, and/or dermal contact with contaminated on-site media couldoccur if the site is developed in the future. Off-site exposures could occur from ingestion,inhalation, or dermal contact with contaminated groundwater, surface water, and sediments. Off-site soil has not been sampled; sampling is required to evaluate the potential for humanexposures to contamination from this site.

The LCC site is classified as being an indeterminate public health hazard. This classificationwas based on the fact that the available data do not indicate that humans are being or have beenexposed to levels of contaminants that could be expected to cause adverse health effects. However, data are not available for all environmental media to which humans may be exposed. Off-site soil data is needed to better characterize the extent of off-site contamination that couldlead to human exposures. In addition, private water wells were not tested during the RemedialInvestigation (RI) and the RI concluded that site-related contaminants have not migrated towardthese wells. Additional groundwater samples are needed to better define the extent of contaminant migration in the bedrock aquifer.

This Public Health Assessment recommends that: (1) EPA identifier signs be posted on the siteproperty and that access to the site is restricted; (2) that "do not enter" signs be posted along theboundary of the site adjacent to Ferry Branch creek; (3) that the various industrial andcommercial equipment found throughout the site be removed to eliminate physical hazards onthe site; (4) that off-site soil and private well samples be collected to better characterize theextent or amount of site-related contaminants that may exist off-site; (5) that additional surfacewater and sediment samples be collected from the existing locations and that additional locationsbe sampled to better define the extent of contaminants in these media; and, (6) that additionalgroundwater samples be collected to better define the groundwater contaminant plume in thebedrock aquifer.

In accordance with CERCLA, as amended, the data and information contained in the LeonardChemical Company Public Health Assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR HealthActivities Recommendation Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. However, no follow-up activities are indicated at this time.


BACKGROUND

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), under acooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR),will evaluate the public health significance of this site. SCDHEC will determine whether healtheffects are possible and will recommend actions to reduce or prevent possible health effects. ATSDR, in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health andHuman Services and is authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response,Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to conduct health assessments at hazardouswaste sites.

A. Site Description and History

The Leonard Chemical Company (LCC) site is a former recovery facility for organic wasteslocated at latitude 34°51'02" and longitude 80°54'18" in York County, South Carolina (Figure 1,Appendix A). It is located in an industrial area approximately 1/2 mile east of Catawba and 9miles southeast of Rock Hill on Cureton Ferry Road (County Road 46-697). Bowater CarolinaCompany, a large paper mill, is located to the southeast of the site.

The LCC site is a rectangular parcel of land approximately 6 acres in size that slopes to thenortheast (Figure 2). Site elevations range from 497 feet above mean sea level (amsl) to 515 feetamsl and generally slopes from the southwest to the northeast. The eastern boundary of the siteis the lowest elevation point at the site and is formed by Ferry Branch creek (a small tributary tothe Catawba River). The creek flows from the northwest to the southeast toward the Catawbariver. There are two on-site ridges that trend north and northeast and direct groundwater runoffto adjacent ravines prior to intercepting the creek. These shallow ravines and other lessdistinguishing areas characterize the middle portion of the site's natural features. The site iscovered by moderate to thick vegetation consisting primarily of hardwoods, pines, and brush.

The LCC property is bounded by a four-foot fence (topped by three strands of barbed wire)along three sides, with the remaining boundary along Ferry Branch creek being unfenced. Theaccess road to the facility enters from Cureton Ferry Road. A system of CSX railroad tracks arelocated adjacent to the northern boundary of the site. The site has three main areas of previousoperational activity: the truck turn-around/process area, the storage area, and the former landfillarea.

LCC provided waste solvent treatment, storage, and disposal services from the mid-1960s to1983. The generators of the wastes were manufacturers of paint and ink, users of thesematerials, and printers. The waste solvents were generated by cleaning processes and containedalcohols, ketones, and chlorinated hydrocarbons. The majority of the waste solvents wereemptied into storage tanks after arriving at the facility. These storage tanks fed directly into adistillation unit. The distilled solvents were placed in drums and returned to the generator orsold. Recovery residue wastes from this process were deposited in several disposal areas acrossthe site. Uncontained wastes were dumped in a marshy area between the active portion of thefacility and Ferry Branch. Uncontained wastes were also dumped into an on-site ravine, alsoreferred to as the formal landfill area.

Mr. Lawrence K. Leonard purchased the site property from Bowater Carolina Corporation onDecember 3, 1965 and then transferred ownership of the property to Leonard ChemicalCompany on May 11, 1966. Once developed, the LCC facility consisted of a large concrete padsupporting a steam generator, a Rodney-Hunt Thinfilm evaporator (used for solvent distillation),and several storage tanks and trucks.

On February 24, 1971, the South Carolina Pollution Control Authority (SCPCA), whichpreceded SCDHEC) visited the LCC facility in response to an unknown complaint. During aninvestigation of the site, inspectors from SCPCA noted the facility's waste handling practices andlater notified LCC that it would be operating in violation of State regulations if it continuedpracticing the same disposal methods. LCC began to contain some of the wastes into varioussize drums that were either landfilled or stored in several on-site locations. This practicecontinued until the site ceased operations in 1983.

During the 1970s, SCDHEC conducted several investigations at the site. In 1973, SCDHECinspectors noted an area near the facility entrance that had been used to dispose of still bottomsand drums (the former landfill area). The marshy area near the site was being used to dispose ofdrums, still bottoms, and dirt in an attempt to fill in the area. In 1974, SCDHEC conductedpreliminary investigations that did not provide evidence of pollution from site operations. In1978, a hydrogeologic investigation detected evidence of several hundred overturned or partiallyburied drums. This investigation also determined that the site was unsuitable for waste disposalbecause it is located in a groundwater recharge area. In the same year, SCDHEC collected soilsamples that indicated the presence of volatile organic compounds. In 1979, SCDHEC requestedthat a site remediation plan be formulated and submitted for approval. SCDHEC alsorecommended that monitoring wells be installed.

In 1982, SCDHEC issued an Administrative Consent Order that required LCC meet InterimStatus Standards under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation andLiability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). However, LCC was not able to meet the conditions of theconsent order and SCDHEC ordered LCC to stop accepting and processing waste materials. SCDHEC closed the operations at the site and cited improper handling and disposal of hazardouswastes occurring at the site throughout this time period as reasons for the closure. The LCC sitewas evaluated this same year using the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) for possible inclusion onthe National Priorities List (NPL). LCC was added to the NPL in September, 1984.

As part of the Superfund process, potentially responsible parties (PRPs) were identified. PRPsare parties that were involved in generating hazardous wastes that were sent to LCC fortreatment. Certain PRP individuals formed a steering committee to oversee remedial effortsconducted at the site. In 1983, SCA Chemical Services (SCA) issued a report to the Generator'sCommittee that outlined tasks and costs associated with the cleanup of the site. The cleanupproposed in the report was not inclusive of all wastes on-site.

In February 1983, SCDHEC oversaw the removal of 116 empty drums from the site. Removalactions were performed by LCC and wastes were transported to Snipes Junkyard in Rock Hill,South Carolina. Later that year, SCDHEC contracted SCA for site cleanup. SCA removedapproximately 3,957 drums, 11 various sized tanks, 544 cubic yards of landfill material, and 66cubic yards of contaminated soil from the creek. However, removal actions were more involvedthan previously estimated and SCA did not remove 776 drums containing wastes, or all of thecontaminated soil, buried drums, buried still bottoms, the tanks, the still, or other on-siteequipment.

In June 1983, SCDHEC conducted a preliminary hydrogeologic investigation at the LCC site. The purpose of the investigation was to provide a general indication of the quality ofgroundwater in the uppermost aquifer at the site. Samples collected during this investigationindicated the presence of phenols, barium, lead, volatile organic compounds, and base-neutralextractables in the groundwater. These findings indicated that the groundwater in the uppermostaquifer beneath the site had degraded to varying degrees by activities conducted at the LCC site.

In 1984, Wehran Engineering conducted a site assessment in an attempt to identify thehorizontal and vertical extent of contamination in certain areas of the site, to characterize thecontamination, and to develop volume estimates of the contamination. However, this study waslimited to areas above the water table. The data accumulated from soil samples indicated on-siteareas of concern -- the former landfill area, the drainage ditch, the truck turnaround area, and thecreek bank (Figure 2).

In 1987, EPA assumed the lead on the investigation at LCC and released a Work Plan forCompliance Oversight of a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS). In 1990, EPAissued an Administrative Consent Order to the LCC Generator Steering Committee. Thepurpose of this order was to perform a Remedial Investigation at the LCC site to define thenature and extent of any threat or potential threat to public health or the environment caused bythe release or threatened release of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants at/or fromthe site.

In 1988, SCDHEC, under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR, prepared a Preliminary PublicHealth Assessment for the LCC site. The assessment was based on limited data and concludedthat the site represented a potential health concern to the public. The assessment recommendedadditional sampling to better access potential exposure pathways and public health concerns.

In 1989, an Environmental Priorities Initiative (EPI) was conducted by the NUS Corporation. The EPI was intended to identify and characterize solid waste management units (SWMUs) andother areas of concern. No areas or concern were identified. Seven SWMUs were identified;these included the incinerator and storage tank disposal area, the truck unloading area, drumstorage areas, tank storage areas, the chemical process area, the still bottom burial area, and thetruck turn-around area. The NUS investigation found that the incinerator and storage tankdisposal area was operable for one year, that there was no evidence of releases and therefore,recommended that no further action for this area. The investigation also found that theremaining six areas operated for 16 years and that there was evidence of releases in these areas. NUS recommended that: subsurface soil, groundwater, and sediment samples be collected fromthe truck turn-around area; that surface soil, subsurface soil, and groundwater samples becollected from the remaining five areas. Wastes identified and managed on the site includedmethyl ethyl ketone, acetone, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, polyester solids, printing inks, solvents,isopropyl acetate, plastics, pigments, plasticides, and tar-like resins.

In June 1990, the Sirrine Environmental Corporation of Greenville, South Carolina prepared apreliminary RI/FS Work Plan for the site. In February 1991, OHM Remediation ServicesCorporation issued a Project Operations Plan (POP) for Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study(RI/FS) activities at the LCC site.

During a Remedial Investigation (RI), studies are conducted to determine the nature ofhazardous wastes, the nature of the threat, if any, that may be posed to human health or theenvironment, and the boundaries and extent of contamination that is present at the site. TheFeasibility Study (FS) is the portion of the cleanup process during which options for cleaning upthe site are described and evaluated and is based on the information presented in the RI.

Field work for the RI/FS investigations began in April 1991. The RI report was released in December 1992. The FS and the Baseline Risk Assessment have not been finalized.

B. Site Visit

On June 16, 1988, SCDHEC project staff conducted an LCC site visit. At that time, the site wasmostly overgrown with scrub vegetation including blackberry bushes. The site was enclosed bya barbed wire fence; however, the fence was pulled apart in two places and a locked gate in thesouthern portion of the site was off of its hinges.

Project staff noted various industrial equipment and other debris on the site. The staff also noteda deciduous wooded area and a ditch in the western section of the site where chemical wastesand distillation bottoms were used as fill dirt. Oily cloths and rounded masses were present inthe ditch. Project staff described red, blue, green, and turquoise colored sludge in soil in thecentral and north-central sections of the site. In addition, three man-made, active beehives werelocated in the central portion of the site. The presence of domestic litter and debris on the sitesuggested that people had trespassed onto the site.

On April 4, 1991, project staff consisting of Charles Lewis, Lovyst Howell, Ed Gregory, andYanqing Mo conducted a site visit to the LCC property. The site was secured by a locked gate. There were several trees down throughout the site and various breaks in the fence that wereconducive to trespassing onto the site. The site consisted of various conifers and hardwoods andwas highly vegetative and overgrown. The soil was humid due to rain the week prior to thevisit. As the site vegetation was so thick, the site visit was limited to the more accessible areasof the site.

Project staff noted various types of industrial equipment, old refrigerator/freezers, an oldautomobile, three metallic storage buildings, several areas where the site soil had a greenish tint,semi-collapsed drums, evidence of buried drums, and one drum that was left open and containedan unidentified substance. We also noted a man-made beehive in the area closest to the mainentrance of the site.

On March 15, 1993, project staff consisting of Lovyst Howell and Todd Going conducted a sitevisit of the Leonard property (Figure 9). No identifier signs were noted at the gate or at anyother locations around the site. The site is surrounded by a four foot-high fence toped with barbwire strands. The gate at the entrance of the site prevents direct access to the site by vehicles. However, breaks in the fence at several points around the site provide easy access to humans andanimals. Access to the facility can also be gained through Ferry Branch creek.

In general, industrial equipment and other debris noted in the 1991 site visit were still present. The beehives, however, were no longer present on the site. Project staff noted dog and animaltracks throughout the site. In addition, the site was not as overgrown and many areas on the sitehad been cleared of heavy vegetation. The site visit was conducted after a period of extremeweather conditions and project staff observed many downed or partially downed trees. Projectstaff also noted a strong sulfuric odor across the site, possibly due to emissions from the nearbypapermill. All the on-site monitoring wells were found locked and appeared to be in good condition.

Approximately one-hundred unmarked fiber drums, covered by tarps, were stored in areas alonga dirt road at the entrance of the site. Some of the drums were dated 3/92 and some wereseverely damaged and deteriorated. Three metal sheds, containing school desks, were noted inthe south-central section of the site. Various equipment and other debris were noted in this area.

The remains of the evaporator were noted in the central portion of the site. Seven 55-gallondrums, wood pallets, and other miscellaneous equipment, including large tanks and industrialblowers, were located in this area. There was a large tarp, approximately 25' x 25', coveringunknown materials. Also present were several discarded batteries, refrigerators, freezers, abicycle frame, the remains of an old vehicle, and other debris. Project staff also noted whatappeared to be the remains of three partially buried, ruptured, drums in the dirt road in this samegeneral area (the previous truck-turn-around area).

Ferry Branch runs along the eastern border of the site. Overall, the water in the creek flowsuninhibited but areas of stagnant water were noted. No fish were observed in the creek but algaewas noted growing on objects in the creek. There was a hose and two metal pipes originatingfrom the site into the creek. Areas of standing water were noted in the southeastern portion ofthe site adjacent to the creek. The creek is not known as a source of fishing or recreation.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

The Leonard Chemical Company site is located approximately 1/2 mile east of the community ofCatawba, in an industrial corridor in the southeastern area of York County, South Carolina. Most of the population in the area are permanent residents, with the number of residentsincreasing toward the Catawba Community.

TABLE 1.

LEONARD SITE DEMOGRAPHICS
A*.Demographics for 1-mile radius

Total Population       638 (RI Report)
B*.Demographics for 2-mile radius

Total Population       951 (Census)

%
White
%
Black
%
Other
%
<10
yrs
%
65+
yrs
%
Rental
Units
<$200/
month
**
%
Houses
<$50,000
%
Renter-
Occupied
A* 91 9 0 11 9 25 21 17
B* 76 23 1 19 10 28 13 19
** Percentage includes all rentals; some subsidized housing includes those who pay no cash rent.

C.York County

Total Population 131,497
D.Rock Hill

Total Population 41,643

During the 1993 site visit, project staff surveyed areas surrounding the site. Residential areaswere noted to the west, southwest, and northwest of the site. Project staff noted approximately15 middle income homes, several mobile homes, and a nursing home along Bowells Road withinone mile south of the site.

A convenience store is located on Reservation Road. Approximately 10 middle income homeswere noted along Reservation Road and Ford Drive to the west of the site. Many of these homeslooked new and additional construction of homes in this area was apparent. Toys, swing sets,and sand boxes were observed in several yards in all of the residential areas surrounding the site.

Land Use

Land within a 3-mile radius of the site is used primarily for forestry and agriculture. Cropsgrown in the area include soybeans, grain, hay, and pulpwood. Cow-calves are raised in areasclose to the site and are shipped out-of-state at about 10 months of age to be sold in feed lots.

The Bowater paper mill and the Georgia-Pacific Corporation facilities are located adjacent toone another approximately 1/2 mile southeast of the site. There are an estimated 1,250employees at the Bowater plant and 250 employees at Georgia-Pacific's facility.

One daycare center is operated in a mobile home located approximately 1/4-mile west of the site. A local resident estimated that five or six children attend this daycare nursery (OHM, 1992).

This area of York County is thought to be poorly suited for future residential development due tothe location of the paper mill, heavy railroad traffic, and the steeply sloped nature of the land.

Natural Resource Use

Natural resources utilized in this area include groundwater, surface water, and timber. Groundwater is the primary source for domestic use in the area surrounding the site. This wateris obtained from private and community well systems. The RI estimates that 1,487 residenceswithin a 3-mile site radius of the site utilize water from private wells to meet their water needs. The RI also reports that no homes are located immediately downgradient (east) from the site. Itstates that the nearest upgradient well to the southwest is located approximately 620 feet fromthe main gate. This well serves 20 residences and is completed in the bedrock (deep) aquifer. There are no drinking water wells located within 3 miles of the site that are screened in thesaprolite (shallow) aquifer.

In the 1989 NUS report, it was estimated that Bowater, Inc. employees consumed water fromfive wells located on the Bowater property that were constructed at depths of 500 feet belowsurface level; however, these wells are no longer used. Bowater, Inc. is located approximately0.8 mile southeast from the site and an estimated 1,400 employees are believed to be consumingthe water. Ferry Branch creek intersects the Catawba river approximately 2.4 miles downstreamfrom the site. The river encounters a surface water intake approximately 3.1 miles downstreamfrom the site. This intake is operated by Bowater, Inc. and is used as a potable water supply andin their manufacturing processes. The RI reports that the Bowater paper mill sells water to theadjacent Georgia-Pacific Corporation (OHM, 1992).

Eleven non-community public water systems are located within a 3-mile radius of the site. These small well systems supply water to a limited number of users and are not regulated bystate and federal drinking water standards. The non-community wells in this area supplydrinking water to mobile home subdivisions and local grocery stores. The Lancaster CountyWater and Sewer District supplies potable water to residents who do not use private wells orwho are not connected to a non-community public water supply. The source of the water islocated approximately 13.3 miles from the site.

Softwood and hardwood trees from this area in York County are used for timber needs. Softwoods are used for both pulpwood and lumber and hardwoods are used for lumber.

Ferry Branch creek, that bounds the site to the east, is not known for fishing or recreation. During the 1993 site visit, project staff did not see marine life in the creek. Ferry Branch creekis a small tributary that flows eastwardly toward the Catawba River. The Catawba River is usedfor fishing and recreation. There are no critical habitats identified in the area of the site. Severalendangered species are known to exist in this portion of the state. These include the red-cockadewoodpecker, kirtlands warbler, the eastern cougar, and the bald eagle (NUS, 1989).

D. Health Outcome Data

No health outcome data are available for review for the Leonard Chemical Company site or forthe community of Catawba as of March, 1993. We contacted the York County HealthDepartment, the SCDHEC Environmental Quality Control District Office, and the SCDHECCentral Office for information on health outcome data relevant to the site area. These officesand the State Health Office had no health outcome data.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

We contacted the SCDHEC Central Office and the SCDHEC Catawba District office forinformation on community health concerns relevant to the site area. These offices did not haveinformation on any community health concerns expressed by the community. The PreliminaryPublic Health Assessment prepared by SCDHEC and ATSDR in 1988 did not list anycommunity health concerns.

In 1991, the EPA conducted a community relations plan and interviewed local residents togather community concerns (EPA, August 1991). The report states that local residents knew ofMr. Leonard and of the activities at the site, but were unaware of the site's status and of whatactivities had occurred to date. The community believed that since the site was closed in 1983,that any necessary site remediation was completed.

Some residents living near the site were concerned that their private drinking water wells may becontaminated. They were concerned about possible health effects associated with exposures tocontaminated water and requested that their wells be tested. Concerns were also expressed aboutprevious discharge practices into Ferry Branch creek that occurred while the site was operational.

The EPA indicated that there are several active environmental groups in York County. However, most of the group members contacted were unaware of the Leonard Chemical site. Ingeneral, local residents requested additional information about the Superfund remedial processand activities conducted at the LCC site.

The Leonard Chemical Co. Public Health Assessment (PHA) was available for review andpublic comment from November 1, 1993 to December 6, 1993. Copies of the PHA wereavailable for comment/interested parties at the York County Library, the Rock Hill PublicLibrary, the Fort Mill Public Library, and the Division of Health Hazard Evaluation at SCDHECin Columbia. Additionally, news releases were sent to all weekly and daily newspapers in thestate, all television networks in the state, the Associated Press, and the South Carolina Radionetwork. This comment period was intended to give the public and/or interested parties anopportunity to voice additional concerns or make comments pertaining to the Leonard ChemicalCo. Public Health Assessment



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