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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ROCHESTER PROPERTY
TRAVELER'S REST, GREENVILLE COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA

SUMMARY

The Rochester Property site (Rochester) is a fenced 0.6-acre site, located on a 15-acre parcel ofland, approximately 3 miles west of the town of Travellers Rest in Greenville County, SouthCarolina. After evaluation of the data for this site, we conclude that it represents a no public health hazard. This classification is based on the fact that the available data do not indicateexposures to contaminants at concentrations that could result in adverse health effects.

Colonial Heights Packaging Inc. (CHP), the former owner of the site, generated and buried wastes in four on-site trenches between the latter part of 1971 and early 1972. Wastes included wood glue, print binders, powder materials, natural gums, adhesive for food packages and adhesive restick for envelopes. Each of the trenches was approximately 40 feet long, three feet wide and 10 feet deep.

In November 1984, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) conducted a site inspection and sampled wastes, soil, surface water, and groundwater in the area. Based on this investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranked the site and proposed it for inclusion to the National Priorities List (NPL). The site was proposed for inclusion to the NPL on June 10, 1986 and was added to the NPL on October 4, 1989.

Potential exposure pathways were identified for the Rochester site. Exposures could occurthrough ingestion, inhalation, or dermal contact with contaminated on-site and off-site media. Iron and manganese were identified as contaminants of concern in groundwater. Theconcentration of iron in groundwater may make the water taste bad but are below levels known tocause adverse health effects. The levels of manganese detected in groundwater are below levelsknown to cause adverse health effects.

In April 1988, SCDHEC under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed a preliminary public health assessment (PPHA) forthe Rochester site. The data presented in the PPHA was based on the most current data availableat that time. The document stated that community members expressed concerns about the site inletters to the Governor and their State House Representative; however, no reference was madeabout the nature of their concerns.

In May 1992, EPA representatives interviewed members of the community to gather communityhealth concerns for incorporation into a Community Relations Plan (CRP) for the site. Residentsand local officials were not aware of remedial activities at the site. Once they learned about theactivities on the site, the officials expressed concerns about the potential for groundwater andsurface water contamination of Armstrong creek. They requested to receive updated informationabout site activities and about possible health effects associated with exposures to site-relatedcontaminants. Residents have also expressed concerns that their private wells may becontaminated. However, current data suggest that the contaminants detected in groundwater areat levels that are not of public health concern.

This Public Health Assessment recommends that identifier signs be posted on the site's perimeter to prevent trespassing. This recommendation is made due to physical hazards identified on the site during a 1993 site visit.

In accordance with CERCLA, as amended, the data and information contained in the RochesterSite Public Health Assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health ActivitiesRecommendation 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 the Rochester Property (Rochester) Site. SCDHECwill determine whether health effects are possible and will recommend the actions to reduce orprevent possible health effects. ATSDR, in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal agency within the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services and is authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) to conduct publichealth assessments at hazardous waste sites.

A. Site Description and History

The Rochester Property Site (Rochester) is a fenced 0.6-acre site, located on a 15-acre parcel ofland, approximately 3 miles west of the town of Travellers Rest in Greenville County, SouthCarolina (Figure 1, Appendix A). The site is located approximately 300 feet north of CountyRoad 268 (Ledbetter Road) and approximately 0.25 mile east of County Road 102. The sitecoordinates are 34o58'19" north latitude and 82o30'05" west latitude.

Rochester is located on a small hill between two small streams. An unnamed tributary toArmstrong Creek borders the site to the north and another small stream borders the site to thesouth (referred to as the north and south streams, respectively). The small south stream flowseastwardly and discharges into the north stream tributary to Armstrong Creek approximately 400feet east of the site. Site topographic features range from 1010 feet above mean sea level (msl)on the eastern portion of the site to 1047 feet above msl on the western portion of the site (Figure 2). Vegetative cover on the site consists of small pine trees and undergrowth in the southernportion of the site and deciduous and pine forest in the northern portion of the site. The site issecured by a six-foot-high fence topped with one strand of barbed wire.

Colonial Heights Packaging Inc. (CHP), the former owner of the site, generated and buriedwastes in four on-site trenches between the latter part of 1971 and early 1972. Wastes includedwood glue, print binders, powder materials, natural gums, adhesive for food packages andadhesive restick for envelopes. Each of the trenches was approximately 40 feet long, three feetwide and 10 feet deep.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) first becameaware of the site in 1982 while conducting a routine septic tank investigation on an adjacentproperty. At that time, SCDHEC representatives noted wastes "oozing" from the ground on thesite.

In November 1984, SCDHEC conducted a site inspection and sampled wastes, soil, surfacewater, and groundwater in the area. Based on this investigation, the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) ranked the site and proposed it for inclusion to the National Priorities List (NPL). The site was proposed for inclusion to the NPL on June 10, 1986 and was added to the NPL onOctober 4, 1989.

CHP retained an environmental engineering firm (RMT) to conduct a site assessment. In July1987, CHP submitted a Workplan for Remedial Investigations for the site to the EPA. TheWorkplan specified conducting a geophysical survey, sampling and analysis of waste and soil,and sampling and analysis of private wells in the vicinity of the site.

In April 1988, SCDHEC under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substancesand Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed a preliminary public health assessment (PPHA) forthe Rochester site. The data presented in the PPHA was based on the most current data availableat that time. The document stated that community members expressed concerns in letters to theGovernor and their State House Representative about the site; however, no reference was madeabout the nature of their concerns. The PPHA identified several data gaps that included lack ofon-site groundwater samples, lack of information pertaining to the depth of soil contamination,and information pertaining to the extent, if any, that site-related contaminants have migrated offthe site.

In June 1989, CHP signed an Administrative Order of Consent with the EPA. The documentrequired CHP to submit a Workplan to characterize the vertical and horizontal extent ofcontamination, to remove affected materials, and to perform sampling to document theeffectiveness of the waste removal. Wastes from the trenches were removed from the site inJanuary 1990 and disposed of at an approved hazardous waste landfill. Following the excavationand confirmation sampling activities at the site, the excavations were backfilled with off-sitesoils. The backfill material consisted of a clay and sand mixture.

After the completion of the PPHA in 1988, RMT, Inc. conducted a Remedial Investigation andFeasibility Study (RI/FS) following the EPA-approved Workplan. The Remedial Investigation(RI) Report was completed in March 1993; the Feasibility Study (FS) was finalized in April1993.

B. Site Visit

On August 6, 1993, Lovyst L. Luker and William T. Going (SCDHEC project staff), conducted asite visit of the Rochester site. The site is secured by a six-foot-high fence topped with onestrand of barbed wire. A metal gate allows access to the site but it was chained and locked. NoEPA identifier signs were posted around the perimeter of the site. The site was highly vegetativeand staff noted approximately fifty 55-gallon drums in different clusters throughout the site.

A double-wide trailer and a workshop were located approximately 500 feet to the west of the site. Two homes were located approximately 300 feet to the east of the site; children's toys, a child'sswimming pool, and fenced areas with horses and dogs were noted in the yards between thesehomes. Staff also noted a home about 700 feet to the south/southeast of the site along LedbetterRoad; this residential yard had a small vegetable garden.

Staff drove around the neighborhoods surrounding the site and noted approximately 13 homes,three mobile homes, and a car repair shop along Ledbetter Road within one mile to the east of thesite. Five homes were seen along Ledbetter Road within 1 mile to the west of the site. Fivetrailers and two travel trailers were within a half-mile of the site. The area surrounding the site isrural and predominately residential.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

The Rochester property is located approximately 3 miles west of Travellers Rest in GreenvilleCounty. Current census figures for Greenville county indicate a population estimate of 320,167residents. 1993 census data estimates the total population of the town of Travellers Rest to be3,069 residents. The area surrounding the site is rural and residential. The homes surroundingthe site are composed of single-family middle-income homes.

During the 1993 site visit, project staff surveyed the areas surrounding the site. They noted adouble-wide trailer and a workshop approximately 500 feet to the west of the site, two homesapproximately 300 feet to the east of the site, and one home approximately 700 feet to the southof the site. Table 1 presents the demographic characteristics of a 1-mile and 2-mile radius aroundthe site.

Land Use

Land use in the vicinity of the site is primarily residential, agricultural (small farms), forest(timber), and recreational. A one-half mile radius land survey identified 60 single-familyresidential homes, one church, and a workshop business.

Natural Resource Use

Armstrong creek is located within a one-half mile radius of the site. Within this area, fourunnamed stream tributaries originate in or transverse across the area to discharge to Armstrongcreek. Surface water ponds are located on two of the stream tributaries. The closest pond islocated 1400 feet to the north-northeast of the site; the other pond is located 2300 feet to thesouth of the site. The Greenville Water System reports that these waters are not used as a potablewater source.

TABLE 1
ROCHESTER PROPERTY SITE DEMOGRAPHICS

A*. Demographics for 1-mile radius
Total Population
(Census)
473
B*. Demographics for 2-mile radius
Total Population
(Census)
3,152
Percent WhitePercent BlackPercent OtherPercent <10 yrsPercent 65+ yrsPercent Rental Units
<$150/month**
Percent Houses
<$30,000
Percent Renter-Occupied
A* 9721161016612
B* 97301411231219

** Percentage includes all rentals; some subsidized housing includes those who pay no cash rent.

As part of the RI, a private well survey was conducted to assess the number of residences thatutilize private drinking water wells as their source of potable water. Sixty two residences wereidentified within a one-half radius of the site; of these 35 residences participated in the survey. Of these residences all but two use private wells as their primary potable water source. Springswere listed as the water supply source for two of these homes. A potable water supply pipeline isavailable in the vicinity of most of the homes identified that still use private wells. The RIreports that water is primarily used for drinking, household uses, irrigation, and for livestock.

D. Health Outcome Data

No health outcome data are available for review for the Rochester Property site as of September,1994. We contacted the Greenville County Health Department, the SCDHEC EnvironmentalQuality Control District Office, and the SCDHEC Central Office for information on healthoutcome data relevant to the site area. These offices and the State Health Office had no healthoutcome data.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

In September 1994, project staff contacted the SCDHEC Central Office and the SCDHECAppalachia II District Office for community health concerns related to the site. These offices didnot have information on any health concerns expressed by the community. The PreliminaryPublic Health Assessment did not list community health concerns.

In May 1992, EPA representatives interviewed members of the community to gather communityhealth concerns for incorporation into a Community Relations Plan (CRP) for the site. Residentsand local officials were not aware of remedial activities at the site. Once they learned about theactivities on the site, the officials expressed concerns about the potential for groundwater andsurface water contamination of Armstrong creek. They requested to receive updated informationabout site activities and about possible health effects associated with exposures to site-relatedcontaminants. Officials indicated that Armstrong creek is used as a drinking water source for thelivestock and horses and want to know if the creek has been impacted by site-relatedcontaminants.

In June 1993, EPA held a public meeting to inform the community about activities at theRochester site. Some community members were concerned about the impact that the site mayhave on their property value. No community health concerns were expressed during thismeeting; however, the community requested to be informed of activities at the site and want toreceive information about possible adverse health effects associated with exposures to site-related contaminants. One resident stated that he utilizes a private well and is concerned that hiswater may be contaminated because he lives so close to the site.

The Rochester Property site's Public Health Assessment was available for review and publiccomment from February 10, 1995 to March 10, 1995. Copies of the Public Health Assessmentwere available to the community at the Travellers Rest Branch Library, in Travellers Rest CityHall, and the Division of Health Hazard Evaluation at SCDHEC in Columbia. Additionally,news releases were sent to all the weekly and daily newspapers in the state, all televisionnetworks in the state, the Associated Press, and the South Carolina Radio network. Thecomment period was intended to give the public an opportunity to voice additional concerns ormake comments pertaining to the Rochester Property Public Health Assessment. The Division ofHealth Hazard Evaluation of the South Carolina Department of Health and EnvironmentalControl did not receive comments during this period.



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