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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER
(a/k/a DAVISVILLE NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION CENTER)
DAVISVILLE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, RHODE ISLAND


CONCLUSIONS

Based on a thorough evaluation of available environmental information, ATSDR has reached the following conclusions:

  1. Metals, VOCs, SVOCs, dieldrin, 4,4'-DDD, and PCBs have all been detected in the groundwater at NCBC, Davisville above CVs. No drinking water wells exist on NCBC, Davisville property. Past and current exposures to contamination have not occurred because contamination is either downgradient of identified public and private wells or these wells are too far away to be impacted by site contaminants. Future exposure to groundwater contamination at Calf Pasture Point (Site 07) and Allen Harbor Landfill (Site 09) is not expected since deed restrictions will prevent groundwater use at these sites. Investigations of the VOC plume under the Nike Battery Site and NCBC, Davisville Site/Study Areas 01, 02, 03, and 04 are ongoing. No public water supply wells are located downgradient of the Nike Battery Site's VOC plume and monitoring has shown that residential private wells to the north have not been affected by the harmful levels of contaminants. The Army (USACE) will continue to monitor water from these private wells in the future.

  2. Lead and PCB-1260 levels above CVs were found in soil in localized areas where exposure was infrequent or unlikely. These areas have been remediated preventing any future exposure. Access to Allen Harbor Landfill has been restricted by a fence in the past. A cap placed over the landfill and other remedial measures at the site have further reduced the potential for current and future exposure to soil contaminants. Land use restrictions/institutional controls will limit uses that could disturb the cap in the future.


  3. Few chemicals were detected more than slightly above CVs in surface water and sediment samples at or near NCBC, Davisville. People do not swim in local streams or ponds, but limited swimming occurs in the entrance channel area to Allen Harbor and at local beaches. Such limited dermal contact and incidental ingestion exposure to the low levels of contaminants detected is unlikely to result in any adverse health effects and poses no public health hazard.

  4. Data from the 1990s indicate the shellfish in Allen Harbor accumulated chemical contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, and metals. ATSDR concludes that shellfish contamination from NCBC, Davisville posed a public health hazard prior to 1984, when the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) instituted a shellfishing ban in Allen Harbor due to bacteriological contamination. Although RIDEM originally issued the ban due to concerns about bacteriological contamination in shellfish, the ban also served to protect people who adhered to the ban from exposure to chemical contaminants in shellfish. Based on shellfish data from the mid-1990s, the mercury content (methylmercury) in shellfish could result in adverse health effects such as neurologic effects. Therefore, we also conclude that a current and future public health hazard could exist if a ban is not continued or adhered to. ATSDR supports continuation of the shellfishing ban for Allen Harbor and advises people to adhere to it.

  5. Because there are no known current or future public health hazards associated with the Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC), Davisville, ATSDR classifies this site as a no apparent public health hazard.

RECOMMENDATIONS

ATSDR recommends that following actions to ensure that residents near or visitors to the area near NCBC, Davisville are not exposed to unhealthy levels of contaminants that may have, at least in part, originated from the NCBC, Davisville:

  1. ATSDR recommends that the state agencies responsible for fish toxicity issues (RIDEM and RIDOH) sample edible fish in Allen Harbor and Narragansett Bay waters and analyzed the samples for PCBs, PAHs, pesticides, and metals. We also recommend that shellfish continue to be monitored for the above contaminants. Sources or potential sources of mercury available to seafood should be identified, if possible.

  2. Anecdotal information suggest that grass shrimp from the harbor may be harvested for consumption. EPA and/or the Navy should consider sampling grass shrimp for contamination if indeed people are consuming this shellfish.

  3. ATSDR and/or state or local health departments should provide health education to local residents on contamination in seafood, the shellfishing ban, and any other seafood consumption restrictions that may arise in the future. Specifically, health education should focus on pregnant and nursing women and children as well as any subsistence fish/shellfish consumers.

  4. ATSDR recommends that the Navy provide future land owners with information on the locations of contaminated groundwater at NCBC-Davisville. In particular, the Navy should make future owners of Sites/Study Areas 01, 02, 03, and 04 aware of the deep VOC contamination that has migrated to these sites from the Nike Battery Site (non-Navy) property. Future owners should also know that new wells installed at these sites could accelerate the movement of contamination from the Nike Battery Site.

  5. ATSDR supports source remediation measures and use restrictions that will prevent future exposure to contaminated groundwater originating from either the former Nike Battery Site or the Navy property.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for NCBC, Davisville contains a description of actions taken and those to be taken, as necessary, by ATSDR, the Navy, EPA, RIDEM, and the USACE at and in the vicinity of NCBC, Davisville subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of this PHAP is to ensure that the public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions that are completed, being implemented, or planned are as follows:

Completed Actions

  1. RIDEM placed a ban on shellfishing in Allen Harbor in 1984 due to concerns about bacteriological contamination; the ban is still in effect.

  2. IRP remedial activities have been completed at several sites/study areas: Sites 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and Study Area 15.

  3. A ROD that identified remediation design has been issued for the following sites: Sites 07, 09, 12, and 14; the soil at Site 05; and the soil and groundwater at Sites 06, 08, 10, 11, and 13.

Ongoing Actions

  1. Remediation at Allen Harbor Landfill (Site 09) is complete, including the addition of a soil cap beneath the surface of the landfill and recent removal of PCB-contaminated soil detected in the northern portion of the site. Land use restrictions are in place to protect the cap, but the Navy may re-vegetate the area to prevent erosion which left unchecked could compromise the integrity of the cap.

  2. Deed restrictions will continue to be enforced for both Calf Pasture Point (Site 07) and Allen Harbor Landfill (Site 09). The deed restrictions for Calf Pasture Point target the groundwater plume and prohibit underlying groundwater use and well drilling. The deed restrictions for Allen Harbor Landfill protect the integrity of the landfill cap and prohibit underlying groundwater use.

  3. ATSDR supports continued USACE groundwater investigations with special focus on determining the likelihood of private well contamination in the future. ATSDR will review additional data as they become available.

  4. EPA conducted fish tissue sampling in the areas of Allen Harbor in 2000 as part of a larger nationwide survey. The data will become available in mid-2001. Depending on the results for Allen Harbor, ATSDR will take actions or make recommendations as needed to protect public health.

  5. EPA and RIDEM have recommends that the Navy conduct additional monitoring of soils and storm drains around Building 41 (before demolition of the building) to further investigate potential sources of groundwater contamination associated with Site 16.

Planned Actions

  1. Long-term monitoring plans will be developed and implemented for (1) Calf Pasture Point, (2) Allen Harbor Landfill, (3) Site 16, and (4) Sites/Study Areas 01, 02, 03, and 04.

  2. Additional investigations will be conducted by the USACE for groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the former Nike Battery Site and by the Navy for IRP Site/Study Areas 01, 02, 03, and 04. Further data collection is recommended to determine the likelihood of future exposures to contaminated groundwater.

  3. The Allen Harbor Landfill area will be used for public, non-residential use in the future. The landfill will be vented to allow the release of any gases created from decomposing waste. The Navy will routinely sample offgases at the vents for methane and hydrocarbons and they will treat contaminants measured at levels above air quality guidelines. ATSDR will assess the offgas data and pertinent exposure situations to identify if any public health hazards exist.

  4. ATSDR will evaluate any new site-related environmental and health data as they become available. If these data alter previous conclusions or recommendations, ATSDR will determine the need for additional actions.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

This report was prepared under the direction and supervision of:

Laura Frazier
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Susanne Simon
Regional Representative
ATSDR Region I Office

Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


REFERENCES

ATSDR. 1995. Health Consultation, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. October 1995.

ATSDR. 1998. Site visit to NCBC, Davisville. November 18-19, 1998.

EA. 1996. Revised Draft Final IR Program Site 09, Allen Harbor Landfill, Phase III Remedial Investigation, Volume I: Technical Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. August 1996.

EA. 1997a. Final Record of Decision Site 09 - Allen Harbor Landfill, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 1997.

EA. 1997b. Community Relations Plan, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. October 1997.

EA. 1998a. Final Phase II Environmental Baseline Survey, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. February 1998.

EA. 1998b. Final Phase II Environmental Baseline Survey Follow-on Investigation Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. March 1998.

EA. 1998c. Final No Further Action Decision Document Building 56 - Study Area 15, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. May 1998.

EA. 1998d. Final IR Program Site 07, Calf Pasture Point, Phase III Remedial Investigation, Volume I: Technical Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 1998.

EA. 1998e. 30th Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting, NCBC, Davisville, Rhode Island, Meeting Notes - 8 October 1998. EA Engineering, Science, and Technology. October 27, 1998.

EA. 1998f. Revised Draft Final Study Areas 01 and 04 and IR Program Sites 02 and 03, Phase III Comprehensive Remedial Investigation, Volume 1: Technical Report and Appendix A, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester Pennsylvania. December 1998.

EA. 1999a. 31st Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting, NCBC, Davisville, Rhode Island, Meeting Notes - 10 December 1998. EA Engineering, Science, and Technology. January 13, 1999.

EA. 1999b. Draft Final Record of Decision, Site 07 - Calf Pasture Point, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. February 1999.

EA. 1999c. EBS Review Item 21 (Former Above-ground Storage Tank DC-133) Site Investigation Interim Report 1. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. April 1999.

EA. 1999d. Final Record of Decision, Site 07 - Calf Pasture Point, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 1999.

EA. 2000a. Draft Feasibility Study, Study Area 01 - CED Drum Storage Area, Site 2 - CED Battery Acid Disposal Area, Site 03 - CED Solvent Disposal Area, Study Area 04 - CED Asphalt Disposal Area, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by EA Engineering, Science, and Technology for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester Pennsylvania. May 2000.

EA. 2000b. 42th Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting, NCBC, Davisville, Rhode Island, Meeting Notes - 9 November 2000. EA Engineering, Science, and Technology. November 9, 2000.

Ecology and Environmental. 1994. Final Archaeological Sensitivity Assessment and Archaeological Survey for Base Closure and Realignment, Redevelopment, and Reuse at the Naval Construction Battalion Center Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Ecology and Environment, Inc., for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. October 1994.

EPA. 1999a. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. February 8, 1999.

EPA. 1999b. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. April 14, 1999.

EPA. 1999c. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 3, 1999.

EPA. 1999d. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 3, 1999.

EPA. 1999e. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 3, 1999.

EPA. 1999f. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May 6, 1999.

EPA. 1999g. Fact Sheet, Office of Water, Mercury Update: Impact on Fish Advisories, EPA-823-F-99-016, Retrieved June 29, 2000, from the World Wide Web: http://www.epa.gov/ost/fish/mercury.html Exiting ATSDR Website

EPA. 2000a. Letter to ATSDR from Christine Williams, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. August 18, 2000.

EPA. 2000b. Letter to ATSDR from Christine Williams, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. October 6, 2000.

EPA. 2000c. Letter to ATSDR from Christine Williams, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. November 6, 2000.

EPA. 2000d. Letter to ATSDR from Christine Williams, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. November 15, 2000.

EPA. 2000e. Personal communication between ATSDR and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lab in Narragansett, R.I., Dr. Richard Pruell. July 5, 2000.

ERLN. 1993. Risk Assessment Pilot Study - Phase III (Draft Final Report), Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Environmental Research Laboratory Office of Research and Development. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ERLN Contribution No. 1428. September 1993.

Halliburton NUS. 1994a. Draft Final Study Area Screening Evaluation Report CED Drum Storage Area, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Halliburton NUS Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. April 1994.

Halliburton NUS. 1994b. Final Study Area Screening Evaluation Report for Calf Pasture Point Munitions Bunkers, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Halliburton NUS Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 1994.

Halliburton NUS. 1994c. Final Study Area Screening Evaluation Report for CED Asphalt Disposal Area, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Halliburton NUS Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 1994.

Maguire Group. 1994. Comprehensive Reuse Plan, Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center. Prepared by Maguire Group, Inc., for Davisville Base Reuse Committee. January 1994.

Navy. 1994. Final Environmental Impact Statement for Disposal and Reuse/Redevelopment of the Former Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Department of the Navy. December 1994.

Navy. 1998a. Fact Sheet 11, Explanation of Significant Difference for the Record of Decision for Installation Restoration Program Sites 12 and 14. Department of the Navy. September 1998.

Navy. 1998b. Fact Sheet 12, Navy Proposes Change to the Federal Facility Agreement Schedule, Installation Restoration Program. Department of the Navy. September 1998.

Navy. 1998c. Fact Sheet 13, Site 03/Nike Characterization. Department of the Navy. December 1998.

Navy. 1999a. Draft Fact Sheet 14, Explanation of Significant Difference for the Record of Decision for Installation Restoration Site 09, Allen Harbor Landfill. Department of the Navy. March 1999.

Navy. 1999b. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Department of the Navy. April 16, 1999.

Navy. 2000a. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Department of the Navy. May 19, 2000.

Navy. 2000b. Letter to ATSDR and Department of the Navy, Mr. John Mayhew. August 29, 2000.

Navy. 2000c. Personal communication between ATSDR and Department of the Navy, Mr. John Mayhew, June 12, 2000.

North East Independent. 2000. Reports find little human risk from military dumping at Davisville by Charles St. Martin, Vol. 2, No. 33, page A12, November 9, 2000.

RAB. 2001. 43rd Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) Meeting, NCBC Davisville, Rhode Island, Meeting Notes-February 15, 2001.

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Manager (RIDEM). 2000. Letter to ATSDR from Richard Gottlieb, PE, Office of Waste Management. September 6, 2000.

Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). 2000. Correspondence between ATSDR and Robert Vanderslice, RIDOH, September 12, 2000.

Stone & Webster. 1996. Closeout Report, IR Program Site 02, NCBC, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Stone & Webster Environmental Technology & Services for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. September 26, 1996.

Stone & Webster. 1998. Final Record of Decision, Soils and Ground Water Operable Units Site 10 - Camp Fogarty Disposal Area and Ground Water Operable Unit Site 08 - DPDO Film Processing Disposal Area, Former Naval Construction Battalion Center Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by Stone & Webster Environmental Technology & Services for Department of the Navy, Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. June 1998.

TRC. 1987. Final Report, Verification Step, Confirmation Study, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by TRC Environmental Consultants, Inc., for Northern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. February 27, 1987.

TRC. 1991. Draft Final Report, Remedial Investigation, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Volume I. Prepared by TRC Environmental Consultants, Inc., for Northern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. May 1991.

TRC. 1993. Allen Harbor Landfill Remedial Investigation Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Volume I. Prepared by TRC Environmental Consultants, Inc., for Northern Division, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. November 1993.

TRC. 1994a. Final DPDO Film Processing Disposal Area, Remedial Investigation Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by TRC Environmental Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. May 1994.

TRC. 1994b. Draft Final Volume I Allen Harbor Landfill Remedial Investigation Report: Technical Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by TRC Environmental Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. June 1994.

TRC. 1994c. Draft Final Volume I Remedial Investigation Report: Technical Report, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by TRC Environmental Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. July 1994.

TRC. 1994d. Draft Final Volume II Remedial Investigation Report: Human Health Risk Assessment, Naval Construction Battalion Center, Davisville, Rhode Island. Prepared by TRC Environmental Corporation for Northern Division Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Lester, Pennsylvania. July 1994.

USACE. 1999. Draft Statement of Work, Characterization of CVOC Contamination Former PR-58 Nike Site, North Kingstown, RI. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Concord, Massachusetts. April 7, 1999.



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