PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
PICKENS, PICKENS COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
The Sangamo Weston site has been included on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL). This site consists of approximately 224 acres of property previously used by Sangamo Weston, Inc. and portions of Twelve Mile Creek and of the Twelve Mile Creek arm of Lake Hartwell. EPA has divided this site into two operational units (OU): OU-1 and OU-2. OU-1 consists of the plant site and 6 nearby dump sites used by the company; OU-2 consists of the Twelve Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell watershed and addresses contamination of fish, sediment, and surface water. This health assessment will only address the public health impact from OU-2.
Sangamo Weston Inc. had manufactured electrical capacitors at the plant site since 1955; they used polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the manufacturing process until 1977. PCBs from the Sangamo site have contaminated fish and sediment in Twelve Mile Creek and Lake Hartwell. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and the EPA issued an advisory against eating fish from the lake in 1976; the advisory has been modified periodically and is reevaluated annually on the basis of fish and sediment sampling conducted by SCDHEC. SCDHEC has posted advisory signs at recreational areas around the lake. The Sangamo Weston OU-2 is considered to be a public health hazard because of past, present and potential future exposures to PCBs through the consumption of contaminated fish; in particular, subsistence fishermen may face a high increased health risk if they consume large amounts of lake fish. Dermal contact with contaminated sediments does not pose a significant public health risk at present. The advisory should remain in effect; however, it may need to be modified to be protective of subsistence fishermen.
Exposures to PCBs may also be occurring through the ingestion of contaminated drinking water. Continued monitoring of drinking water from residential taps is needed to better characterize the health risk from this medium. Remedial efforts should be considered to reduce and/or eliminate exposures.
The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) has recommended the following public health actions for this site: identify people who consume large quantities of fish from the areas impacted by the site; conduct a site-specific community Health Investigation of the impacted communities, particularly for cancers and birth defects; conduct biological indicators of exposure testing to determine the extent of PCB exposures to humans through the consumption of fish and municipal drinking water; conduct community education programs focused on potential health effects that may occur from long-term exposures; and develop a program to inform fisherman of the advisory and on the possible health effects that may occur from fish consumption.
The Sangamo Weston, Inc./Twelve Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell Superfund site (Sangamo) was finalized on the National Priorities List (NPL) in February 1990. Because of the size and complexity of this site, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has separated it into two operational units (OU): OU-1 and OU-2. OU-1 consists of the plant site and six nearby dump sites which were used by the company to dispose of the plant's wastes; OU-2 includes the Lake Hartwell/Twelve Mile Creek watershed. At the request of the EPA regional staff, this health assessment will focus only on OU-2.
- 1. Site Description: Sangamo Plant Site (OU-1)
The Sangamo plant site is located in a rural area of Pickens County, approximately 1 mile north of the city of Pickens. The plant site covers approximately 220 acres and is heavily wooded except for the plant facilities, parking lots, and wastewater treatment area. (See Figure 1 Appendix A).
- 2. Site Description: Lake Hartwell/Twelve Mile Creek (OU-2)
Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake located in the northwest corner of South Carolina, along the Georgia state line. It is bordered by Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee Counties in South Carolina and is bordered by Stephens, Franklin, and Hart Counties in Georgia. It was created between 1955 and 1963 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Hartwell Dam on the Upper Savannah River 7 miles from its confluence with the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers. Extending 49 miles up the Tugaloo and 45 miles up the Seneca at normal pool elevation, Lake Hartwell covers nearly 56,000 acres of water with a shoreline of 962 miles. It is the second largest lake in the State by volume and the third largest lake in the State by surface area.
The lake was built for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. It is also popularly used for recreation; activities include fishing, swimming, boating, and water skiing.
- 3. Site History
The Sangamo facility was built in 1955. Sangamo Weston, Inc. originally constructed the plant for the manufacture of electrolytic capacitors (capacitors are used to temporarily store electrical charges and generally consist of two metal plates separated by a dielectric fluid). Sangamo Weston expanded the plant in 1956 and 1961 to include the manufacture of mica capacitors, power factor capacitors, and potentiometers; these became the facility's major products.
Sangamo Weston sold the operation and leased the buildings and a portion of the property to another company, Cornell-Dubelier, in May 1987. The plant is still in operation as a capacitor manufacturing facility; PCBs are not used in any operations. The current manufacturing area covers 130,000 square feet. There are approximately 280 employees. The plant runs three shifts.
Sangamo Weston used polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) under the brand names "Aroclor" and "MCS" as the dielectric fluid for the power factor capacitors. Sangamo used Aroclor 1242 and MCS 1016 as the primary impregnation fluids and used Aroclor 1254 to drive the ring jet booster diffusion pumps used in the impregnation process. In the early 1970s, MCS 1016 (a less chlorinated product) became the main dielectric fluid used in manufacturing processes; Aroclor 1254 was still used for the ring jet booster diffusion pumps.
In 1970, Sangamo Weston put into operation a 1.4 million gallons per day wastewater treatment facility, consisting of a primary settling basin and a large stabilization lagoon. Sangamo Weston used this facility for neutralizing the acid solutions used in the etching and forming processes and for precipitating dissolved materials such as aluminum. The aluminum precipitates settled in the primary settling basin.
During the 1970s and into the 1980s, Sangamo Weston made a number of significant changes in both the general plant operations and the operation of the treatment facility to reduce PCB discharges to the wastewater treatment system. They added a bentonite clay layer to the stabilization lagoon to trap PCB-laden materials. Plant personnel sealed off the drains running from the 2 impregnation areas of the power factor division to the treatment facility. They eventually modified the wastewater treatment facility replacing the earthen basin with a concrete-lined equalization basin.
In 1975, the Division of Drinking Water Quality and Enforcement, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) determined that PCBs were present in the finished water supply at Norris, South Carolina. In response to this finding, SCDHEC and EPA in 1976 evaluated the fish and sediments in Lake Hartwell and found them to be contaminated with PCBs. They determined that Sangamo was the source of the contamination. PCBs were primarily used in their power capacitor impregnation area. From this area, PCBs reached the wastewater treatment ponds through drainage ditches and stormwater run-off. They eventually entered Town Creek, a tributary of Twelve Mile Creek, via wastewater discharges. Twelve Mile Creek is a major tributary to Lake Hartwell.
In 1976, EPA conducted an extensive, multi-media evaluation of Lake Hartwell, the Sangamo plant site water treatment plants, and nearby landfills. One of the recommendations from this study was to immediately institute a long-term monitoring program to follow the trend of PCB levels in Lake Hartwell fish. This supported SCDHEC's fish monitoring program which had just been put into place. This program will be discussed in detail both in the section on Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards (A.5. Food Chain: Fish) and in Appendix C.
In August 1976, SCDHEC and EPA jointly issued a public health advisory warning the public not to eat fish taken from any portion of Lake Hartwell. Using the FDA tolerance level for PCBs as a guideline, this advisory was modified in November 1976 to include only the Seneca River portion of the lake, north of SC Highway 24. In 1984, the FDA lowered their tolerance level for PCBs in fish from 5.0 parts per million (ppm) to 2.0 ppm. In response to this change, SCDHEC and EPA expanded the advisory in 1985 to include all fish of three pounds or more from any area of the lake. Sampling results from prior years had shown that some fish larger than 3 pounds had tissue levels of PCBs in excess of this revised level. The advisory was expanded as a precautionary measure until fish from all areas of the lake could be reassessed. SCDHEC reevaluates the advisory each year in light of the data generated by annual trend monitoring of fish and sediments. Periodic news releases are jointly issued by SCDHEC and EPA to update the public on the status of Lake Hartwell fish. It is not known when or if the advisory will be lifted. The fishing advisory was issued only in South Carolina. The Department of Natural Resources of the State of Georgia also issued a fishing advisory in July 1987 but rescinded it in June 1988 because they found PCB concentrations in fish to be less than FDA's 2 ppm tolerance level.
Since October 1983, the Bureau of Drinking Water Protection, SCDHEC, has been analyzing drinking water for PCBs. Samples were collected at 7 locations within Easley-Central #I's distribution system and at 1 location within the Town of Central's distribution system. From 1983-1986, monitoring was conducted for total PCBs at the following 5 locations within Easley-Central #I: raw and finished water taps at the water treatment plant, the fire hydrant near Clark's furniture store, a faucet at the Shell Station and the fire hydrant at the old Riverside plant. Two sampling points within Easley-Central #I (the fire hydrant at the end of North Street and the fire hydrant at 22 Main Street) and 1 sampling point within the Town of Central water district (a faucet at the Plez-u-store) were added to the monitoring program after 1986. While the distribution lines within these districts are made of polyvinyl chloride, cast iron, and galvanized iron, these sampling points are primarily supplied by cast iron pipes. In January 1985, staff from the Drinking Water Section of EPA-Region IV and SCDHEC conducted a joint inspection of the Easley-Central public water system to evaluate methods for reducing consumer exposures to PCBs in drinking water. In a January 29, 1985 letter to SCDHEC, they recommended that scale deposits from representative points within the transmission lines be checked for thickness and PCB content. They noted that PCB levels increased with physical distance from the water treatment plant. They theorized that PCBs could have been absorbed by calcium carbonate deposits on the interior surface of the transmission lines. Past PCB accumulation within the scale would allow for a slow redissolution as physicochemical equilibria conditions permit (4).
In response to this recommendation, the Water Management Division of EPA-Region IV analyzed 2, 13-inch sections of water pipe taken from water mains within the Easley-Central #I water distribution system. Although the analysis was not conducted under conditions that duplicated the effects of water flowing through the distribution pipes, they found that PCBs were able to be desorbed from the pipe. In a December 3, 1986 letter to SCDHEC, they suggested that PCBs could desorb from the pipes contributing to the PCB concentrations in the water samples. In addition, prior hydrant flushing experiments had demonstrated the presence of PCBs bound to sediment within the distribution lines. They believed that desorption of PCBs from the sediment may also be contributing to the PCB concentration in the water samples (SCDHEC files). In a June 9, 1987 letter to SCDHEC, the Office of Drinking Water, EPA-Region IV did not feel the PCB concentrations presented an "imminent and substantial endangerment" to human health; they advised SCDHEC that the Easley-Central #I water treatment plant could continue to withdraw water from Twelve Mile Creek and provide finished water to its patrons. They did recommend, as a preventive measure, that all reasonable efforts be made to reduce the concentration of PCBs in finished water to as low a concentration as possible.
In June 1991, 8 new sampling points were selected from within 4 water districts; this effort was made to better characterize the extent of contamination within Easley-Central #I and the other systems served by this water supply. Four samples were taken from the fire hydrants at Clayton Street/Wesleyan Drive (within Easley-Central #I water district), Moore Street/Tarrant Street (within the Town of Central water district), Fabrica Street (within East Clemson water district), and Central Road/Howe Road (within Highway 88 water district). The remaining 4 samples were taken from sink faucets at a BP Station (within Highway 88 water district) and at 3 private residences (2 taps were within Easley-Central #I water district and 1 tap was within East Clemson water district).
Water samples were assayed only for total PCBs (as Aroclors) until September 1987 when they were identified by specific Aroclor mixtures. Aroclors 1016, 1232, 1242, 1248, and 1254 have been identified in 16 of the last 24 sampling periods. Aroclors 1242 and 1248 were the predominant mixtures identified.
This situation was re-evaluated in light of the proposed EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PCBs of 0.5 ppb as decachlorobiphenyls to be effective July 1, 1992. Previously, there was no MCL for PCBs. In the summer of 1991, SCDHEC's Division of Drinking Water Quality requested assistance from EPA's Region IV Water Compliance Unit because PCBs were detected in water samples taken from the fire hydrants in excess of the promulgated MCL. SCDHEC staff believed these sample results could have been affected by the turbulence created in the water line when the hydrants were opened. Thus, they believed the data may not reflect PCB concentrations at the residential tap.
As a result, EPA and SCDHEC conducted a joint study in September 1991 of the drinking water from private residences randomly selected from within the following 10 water districts: Easley-Central # I and # II, Liberty, Southside # I and # II, Highway 88, Town of Clemson, East Clemson, Town of Central, and Sandy Springs. EPA collected samples from 29 private residences and SCDHEC collected samples from another 21 residences (a sample from 1 home was split between the 2 agencies and analyzed at their respective laboratories). The purpose of the study was to gather additional information on the presence of PCBs in the water serving the residential taps within these systems. The data from this study will be presented later under the section on Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards (A.2.b. Municipal Drinking Water).
In 1984, SCDHEC consulted the Centers for Disease Control concerning the reports of adverse health effects among residents near Twelve Mile Creek. Their evaluation will be presented later under the section on Public Health Implications (B.2. Local Health Data).
In 1986, EPA requested ATSDR to evaluate fish and sediment sampling data from Twelve Mile Creek, Eighteen Mile Creek, the Tugaloo River, and Lake Hartwell. Along with PCBs, dibenzofurans and dioxins were identified in fish and sediment samples. In a March 26, 1989 memorandum from Stephen Margolis, PhD, Acting Director, Office of Health Assessment, ATSDR, the concentrations of dibenzofurans and dioxins were not believed to pose a significant public health concern. Exposures through direct contact with contaminated sediments was not considered significant because of the infrequency and short duration of activities such as wading and swimming. The PCB concentrations in fish tissue were considered to be of concern and of much more significant risk than the low levels of dibenzofurans that were detected. In his opinion, the data supported SCDHEC's continued advisory against the consumption of fish caught in these areas. He further recommended that consideration be given to extending the advisory to the Tugaloo River.
Presently, EPA is in the midst of conducting a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for this site. Under the current workplan, Bechtel Environmental, under funding and direction provided by EPA, will perform the sediment study of the Lake Hartwell watershed. The objective of this study is to determine the vertical and horizontal extent of PCB-contaminated sediment present in the Lake, especially Twelve Mile Creek and the Twelve Mile Creek arm of the Lake. The Savannah District of the US Army Corps of Engineers, under direction by the EPA, will perform a biological investigation (fish and invertebrates) of Lake Hartwell. The overall goal of this study is to establish species-specific, target levels for PCB concentrations in fillet fish tissue and to determine how PCBs are getting into the fish.
SCDHEC staff conducted a site visit on December 21, 1990. The plant's wastewater treatment lagoon was functioning, discharging what appeared to be clear water to a tributary of Twelve Mile Creek. Signs warning against the consumption of contaminated fish were seen at some boat landings and bridges over Twelve Mile Creek but were not seen at other locations. SCDHEC district staff attribute the missing signs to theft and vandalism.
Robert Marino, MD and Uwe Klauk, Appalachia II EQC District Office, made another site visit on March 25, 1992. The visit consisted of a windshield survey of the impacted surface water bodies, beginning at the Sangamo plant and ending at Lake Hartwell. It began to rain at the onset of this visit. Rain continued throughout the day with precipitation becoming quite heavy from mid afternoon through the evening.
A fence encircled the plant site; a sign with the words "Cornell-Dubelier" was seen at an entrance. We could not determine if the plant was in operation. However, the parking lots were essentially empty (only 2 cars were seen) and they appeared somewhat overgrown with weeds. The settling basins for the wastewater treatment plant were seen. Although they were full of standing water, we could not determine whether the treatment plant was in operation. We noted the approximate discharge point from this treatment plant to nearby Town Creek.
Using local roads, we followed as much as possible the course of Town Creek, Twelve Mile Creek, the Seneca River arm of Lake Hartwell and Lake Hartwell. We wanted to gain an appreciation for the proximity of local residences to these waterbodies as well as any popular places along the shorelines where fishing or swimming might occur.
At the time of the visit, Town Creek was flowing quite freely and the water level looked high. Several houses and trailers were seen within approximately 20 to 50 feet of the shoreline. We noted several private residences near a bridge which crossed the Creek; we did not see any posted signs warning the public about the fishing advisory.
We followed Twelve Mile Creek as it passes around the Cateechee community. We found the community to be the same as what was described by staff during the 1990 site visit. Cateechee, a former mill village, is located directly on Twelve Mile Creek approximately 15 miles south of the Sangamo plant. The community consists of approximately 50 single-family homes of an older vintage (approximately 30-50 years old) in various states of disrepair. Two man-made dams are located on Twelve Mile Creek at Cateechee. They were originally built to provide local hydroelectric power for the mill which formerly operated in this community. Below the second dam, within one mile of Cateechee, is a picturesque ravine where local residents can easily wade and fish in the Creek. A short distance away, an old metal bridge (Lay Bridge) crosses the Creek. Next to this bridge is a sandy shoreline where swimming is possible.
We traversed the bridge where Twelve Mile Creek meets the Seneca River arm of Lake Hartwell. Bullet holes were seen in the road signs at both ends of the bridge, including the signs posted for the fishing advisory.
We visited the Twelve Mile Recreation Area which is about 6 miles downstream from Cateechee. When we arrived we met representatives of the Army Corp of Engineers, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and SCDHEC. Using a field laboratory set up in the picnic area, they gathered analytical data for a fish health assessment of largemouth bass caught in Twelve Mile Creek. We saw a fishing advisory sign posted at the boat ramp. Another sign was seen at a location just off the highway about a mile beyond the entrance to this recreation area. The absence of vegetation and the numerous tire tracks indicated to us that this place was frequented often.
We drove past the Clemson Recreation area and continued on to SC highway 24, a boundary used in the current fishing advisory. Andersonville Island could be seen at a distance. We were about to travel further on to the Hartwell dam when it began to rain quite heavily. We ended the site visit at this place.
We did not observe anyone fishing these waterways, either from the banks, from the bridges, or from boats on the water. However, because of the inclement weather, we did not expect to find any fishermen. Since it was March, we also did not expect to find anyone swimming or wading in the creeks or visiting any of the recreation areas.
- 1. Demographics
Lake Hartwell borders Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee Counties in South Carolina; thus, we expect that residents of these counties are among the most frequent users of the lake. These counties have a total estimated 1990 population of over 292,000. Pickens County, where the plant site is located, had a 1989 population of 91,316 (See Table 1 Appendix B).
Three communities/towns are located along Twelve Mile Creek: Cateechee (estimated 1990 population of 158), Norris (estimated 1990 population of 884), and Central (estimated 1990 population of 2,438). The town of Clemson (estimated 1990 population of 11,096) is located near the confluence of Twelve Mile Creek and the Seneca River arm of Lake Hartwell. The number of residential homes along Town and Twelve Mile Creeks, and around Lake Hartwell is not known. However, there are 6500 permitted boat dock owners on Lake Hartwell.
- 2. Land Use
Lake Hartwell is a major source of drinking water for this region of the State. The Easley-Central Water District #I operates its own water treatment plant; Twelve Mile Creek is the source of its raw water. This water district directly serves 1900 residential taps with drinking water for 5320 people. It indirectly supplies drinking water to 10,246 people through the distribution systems of the following 4 public water districts: Town of Central (3587 people), East Clemson (3814 people), Highway 88 (2285 people), and Sandy Springs (560 people).
Water is available on an emergency basis from Easley-Central #I to the following 5 water districts: Town of Clemson (8120 people), Town of Liberty (3500 people), Easley-Central #II (2632 people), Southside #II (2251 people), and Southside #I (3130 people). These districts, however, do not use Easley-Central #I as their primary water supply. The Town of Clemson Water District receives water from the Duke Power Water Treatment Plant which has an intake on Lake Hartwell. The Town of Liberty operates its own water treatment plant, drawing water from Eighteen Mile Creek. The Town of Liberty Water District also supplies water to Southside #II and Southside #I water districts. Easley-Central #II receives its water from the Greenville water system through the Easley Combined Utilities (See Figure 2).
Clemson University, Duke Power Company, and DeFore Mills operated water treatment plants which used Lake Hartwell as a raw water source. Clemson University discontinued use of their treatment plant in July 1989; they now get their water from Duke Power's plant. DeFore Mills still operates its water treatment plant but uses it only for plant operations; they get their drinking water from Duke Power.
While SCDHEC district staff believe that some private residences in the immediate vicinity of Twelve Mile Creek/Lake Hartwell are using local groundwater as a source of drinking water, the actual number and location of these wells are unknown.
- 3. Natural Resources
Lake Hartwell is one of the Southeast's largest and more popular recreational lakes. According to a 1989 Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) survey, more than 15 million persons visited the lake. One recreation area on Twelve Mile Creek had over 301,000 visitors; an estimated 125,787 visits were made for fishing, 76,892 for boating, 30,310 for water skiing, and 28,139 for swimming. These figures represent total visits to this area including any repeat visits made by the same individuals. Thus, the actual number of people who used the lake is somewhat lower. These figures do not include those visits made by nearby residents who may have access to Twelve Mile Creek at points outside of designated recreation areas.
There are 79 recreation areas/campgrounds around Lake Hartwell: 49 recreation areas are in South Carolina and 30 are in Georgia. Of the South Carolina areas, 22 are above SC Highway 24 (the boundary used for the fishing advisory). There are 2 recreation areas along Twelve Mile Creek: the Twelve Mile Recreation area and the Clemson Recreation area. The Twelve Mile Recreation area includes a beach, a boat ramp, and 51 picnic sites. It is located in a populated area. According to the 1989 ACE survey, 1,360,303 visits were made to these two areas; this figure includes visits to several side tributaries not likely to be impacted by PCBs.
- 1. State-based Health Data
The Office of Vital Records and Biostatistics, SCDHEC, collects, compiles and maintains birth and death certificate data. Site- specific, crude cancer death rates for the State, as a whole, are available. Crude cancer death rates for 9 selected cancers (oral cavity, digestive organs, respiratory systems, breast, genital, urinary, leukemia, unspecified sites, and lymphatic) are available by county of residence. These data will be discussed later under the Public Health Implications section (B.1. Health Outcome Data).
The State does not maintain a population-based, birth defects or cancer registry. Data from hospital-based tumor registries are not readily available.
- 2. Local Health Data
In response to 14 petitioned requests for PCB testing, SCDHEC
collected serum samples from 27 residents of the Cateechee
community in July 1984 (4). These people were volunteers; they
were not randomly selected to represent all those who use Twelve
Mile Creek and Lake Hartwell for recreational purposes. They
were asked to complete a brief, self-administered questionnaire
about their use of Twelve Mile Creek for swimming or fishing,
about their source of drinking water and how they are currently
using it, and about any "signs/symptoms" they were presently
experiencing. This study will be discussed later under the
Public Health Implications section (B.2. Local Health Data).
Most of the local health concerns have been expressed by the residents of Cateechee. They have always been quite concerned about potential health effects from exposures to PCBs at this site. A group of concerned area residents formed "Citizens Against Toxic Substances" (CATS) in the wake of the discovery of PCBs in Lake Hartwell, at six nearby dump sites, and at the Sangamo plant. CATS has been quite active in publicizing the contamination and in getting support for health studies. CATS has also maintained regular contact with EPA, SCDHEC, and elected officials. CATS members have been active in public meetings concerning the site.
There have been at least 2 attempts by local residents to survey the health of their community. In August 1984, 250 residents were asked if they experienced the following health complaints: skin rashes, kidney and liver problems, bladder infections, excessive loss of hair, diabetes, hypertension, menstrual disturbances, miscarriages, birth defects (deafness, retardation, liver malfunction, etc.) and any other problems. The majority of the reported complaints were about skin rashes, kidney problems, and bladder infections. Some respondents reported cancers, hysterectomies, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, diarrhea, ovarian cysts, and ulcers.
In 1988, several residents attempted to collect data on the cancer experience in Pickens County. Setting up a table at a shopping center in Easley, Pickens, they asked local residents for information about people within their communities that had cancer. While the local newspaper reported that at least 900 names were collected, there is no information available as to whether the data were ever evaluated.
Three hundred and thirty Cateechee residents entered into a class-action lawsuit against Sangamo Weston and Monsanto. As part of the out-of-court settlement, basic medical care and regular medical evaluations would be provided to these residents; in addition, an epidemiological study of these residents and their descendants would be conducted by the University of South Carolina's School of Public Health. In the months following this settlement, there was some disagreement between the parties as to how these activities would be carried out. Responding to a petition from the plaintiffs, the court distributed the funds earmarked to support these activities among the 330 residents. As a result, no health studies/evaluations will be conducted (Personal communication with Carol Macera, PhD, USC School of Public Health).
At a public meeting conducted by EPA in July 1990 to discuss the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for OU-1, a number of area residents, including some CATS members, expressed continued concern over the potential health consequences of both past and present PCB exposures. According to one fishing supply store owner, many local fishermen are aware that PCB's may have contaminated the fish, but they catch and eat them anyway.
In January 1991, EPA promulgated a maximum contaminant limit (MCL) for PCBs. Since then, the Bureau of Drinking Water Protection, SCDHEC, has received several inquiries from a citizen's group known as "Toxic Watch" concerning the potential health effects associated with continued consumption of water from the Easley-Central #I Water District.
The Sangamo Public Health Assessment was made available to the public for review and comment from September 21, 1992 to October 23, 1992. Copies were sent to the following local repositories: the R.M. Cooper Library at Clemson University, Clemson; the Village Library on Main Street, Pickens; Pickens County Public Library, Easley Branch, Easley; Pickens County Public Library, Allen Branch, Central; Anderson County Library, 202 E. Greenville Street, Anderson; Hart County Library, Benson Street, Hartwell, Georgia; and the Division of Health Hazard Evaluation, SCDHEC, Columbia. Copies were also sent to the following organizations: the Foothills Group of the Sierra Club, Toxics Watch, the Lake Hartwell Association, and Schlumberger. The public was notified of the availability of the Public Health Assessment via a press release to all television networks in the State, the Associated Press, and the South Carolina Radio network. This comment period was intended to give the public and other interested parties an opportunity to make comments about statements in the Public Health Assessment prior to its finalization. Three parties submitted comments in writing to the Division of Health Hazard Evaluation during this period. Response to these comments can be found in Appendix D. Names of the reviewers are not included; however, they are subject to Freedom of Information requests.