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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MESSER STREET MANUFACTURED GAS PLANT
LACONIA, BELKNAP COUNTY, NEW HAMPSHIRE


VI. CONCLUSIONS

  1. The Messer Street MGP Site is a public health hazard because people who swim or wade in the river would be at risk for short-term skin or eye irritation if they were to contact coal tar in the sediments. Chronic exposures of this nature may increase an individual's risk of developing skin cancer. Children are more likely to swim or wade in the river than adults and, therefore, would be at higher risk. However, noncancerous effects on internal organs or developmental effects are not expected.

  2. Eating fish caught near the site is not expected to result in adverse health effects. The concentrations of PAHs in the tissues of fish caught near the site are low and, therefore, pose no apparent public health hazard.

  3. Use of the boat launch area is not expected to result in exposures to contaminants at levels of health concern. Therefore, sediment contamination in this area poses no apparent public health hazard.

  4. Due to the possible carcinogenicity of the site contaminants and because of concerns expressed by local residents, DHHS reviewed and summarized cancer incidence data for Laconia between 1993 and 1997. No cancers were found to have significantly elevated rates among the people who live within one-quarter mile of the site.

VII. RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Residents and visitors should not swim or wade in the section of the river starting at the Messer Street bridge and extending 1,000 feet downstream to where the river narrows. Permanent "No Swimming" signs are posted around the perimeter of the contaminated section of the river.

  2. Residents and visitors should follow DHHS' state-wide freshwater fish consumption advisory. The general population is advised to limit their consumption of freshwater fish from New Hampshire waterbodies to four 8-ounce meals per month. Young children (6 years old or younger) and women of child-bearing age are recommended to eat only one 8-ounce meal per month. DHHS issued this advisory to protect the public from exposures to mercury in fish tissues, which is common throughout the state.

  3. Residents and visitors should not enter restricted areas of the site while remedial actions are ongoing.

VIII. PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan is to ensure that this Public Health Assessment not only identifies any current and potential exposure pathways and related health hazards, but also provides a plan of action to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposures to hazardous substances in the environment. The first section of the Public Health Action Plan contains a description of completed and ongoing actions taken to mitigate environmental contamination. In the second section there is a list of additional public health actions that are planned for the future.

(A) Completed or Ongoing Actions

Significant progress has been made by the parties who have assumed responsibility for the remediation of the Messer Street MGP Site and DES towards cleaning up the contamination on the site. The following is a summary of major accomplishments and works in progress that bear specifically on public health aspects of the site.

  1. Starting in 1994, the parties who have assumed responsibility for cleaning up the site have completed multiple environmental investigations at the site [1-7]. In combination, these assessments provide a comprehensive description of the nature and extent of contamination on the site.

  2. In 1995, after reviewing environmental data for sediments near the site, DHHS issued an advisory against swimming in the section of the river starting at the Messer Street bridge and extending 1,000 feet downstream. Permanent "No Swimming" signs were posted around the affected area.

  3. In January 1999, a Remedial Action Plan [6] for the site was developed that, when completed, would eliminate the public health hazard on the site. Work on the first phase of the remedial actions began in the fall of 1999.

  4. In March 1999 DHHS held a public availability session at the Laconia City Hall. At this session, residents identified their health concerns to state health officials in confidence.

  5. In July 1999, DHHS distributed a survey to residents in the immediate vicinity of the site to gather information on their health concerns about the site. Forty two (42) of the 113 surveys (37%) were returned. The results are summarized in Appendix D.

  6. Between September 1999 and January 2000, the first phase of the remediation was nearly completed, the objective of which was to stop discharges of mobile coal tar to the river.

  7. In January 2000, DHHS completed a draft Public Health Assessment for the site and distributed it for public comment. The public comment period ended on February 18, 2000.

  8. In February 2000, at the request of DES, DHHS prepared a health consultation on the public health impacts of the proposed plan for remediating contaminated sediments in the Winnipesaukee River and Opechee Bay (attached as Appendix G).

(B) Planned Actions

  1. In the spring of 2000, DES and DHHS will identify any "No Swimming" signs that were damaged or removed during the previous winter and will work with the parties who have assumed responsibility for the site cleanup to replace them. The "No Swimming" signs in the contaminated area will remain in place until the remediation of the river sediments is finished and the advisory is deemed unnecessary.

  2. DHHS will conduct an educational campaign about the state-wide fish consumption advisory before the start of the fishing season in 2000.

  3. DHHS will continue to advise DES on questions of health risk during the full remediation of the site, which is scheduled for completion in January 2001. As part of this, DHHS will review new environmental and air monitoring data collected at the site.

  4. If conditions on the site change from those evaluated in this public health assessment, DHHS will revisit its conclusions regarding the public health hazards present on the site.

IX. PREPARERS OF REPORT

Report Authors

Phil Trowbridge, Health Risk Analyst
Stephanie Miller, Assistant State Epidemiologist
Kerran Vigroux, Health Promotion Advisor
Dennis Pinski, Supervisor

Bureau of Health Risk Assessment
Office of Community and Public Health
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
6 Hazen Drive
Concord, New Hampshire 03301

ATSDR Technical Project Officer

Greg Ulirsch

Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
1600 Clifton Avenue, Mailstop E-32
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

ATSDR Regional Representatives

William Sweet, Ph.D., DABT, Senior Regional Representative
Elizabeth Timm, Regional Representative

Office of Regional Operations, Region I
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
One Congress Street, Suite 1100
Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2023


X. REFERENCES

  1. GEI Consultants, Inc. (1995) River Sediment Investigation Report, Former Manufactured Gas Plant Site, Laconia, New Hampshire. Concord, New Hampshire. January 1995.

  2. Northeast Utilities Service Company (1995) Freshwater Mussel and Fish Tissue Analysis Results. Manchester, New Hampshire. April 1995.

  3. Northeast Utilities Service Company (1995) Results of the 1994 Site Investigation. Manchester, New Hampshire. June 1995.

  4. GEI Consultants, Inc. (1995) Fish Collection and Analysis Results, Winnipesaukee River - Former MGP Plant, Laconia, New Hampshire. Concord, New Hampshire. August 1995.

  5. Parsons Engineering Science, Inc. (1996) Site Investigation at the Laconia, New Hampshire, Messer Street Site. Syracuse, New York. December 1996.

  6. Haley & Aldrich, Inc. (1999) Remedial Action Plan, Messer Street Project, Laconia, New Hampshire. Manchester, New Hampshire. January 1999.

  7. GEI Consultants, Inc. (1999) Final Report, Investigation of Source Areas at the Messer Street Former Manufactured Gas Plant Site, Laconia, New Hampshire. Colchester, Connecticut. September 1999.

  8. Haley & Aldrich, Inc. (1998) Proposed Workplan, Supplemental Data Collection in Support of Risk Assessment and Remedial Action Plan, Messer Street Site, Laconia, New Hampshire. Manchester, New Hampshire. July 1998.

  9. Minicucci, R.P. (1999) Letter to Ronald Klattenberg, Northeast Utilities Service Company, and Kenneth Margossian, EnergyNorth Natural Gas Inc., regarding Remedial Action Plan and Application for Groundwater Management Permit. N.H. Department of Environmental Services, Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau, Concord, New Hampshire. March 16, 1999.

  10. Minicucci, R.P. (1999) Letter to Ronald Klattenberg, Northeast Utilities Service Company, regarding Final Report of Investigation of Source Areas. N.H. Department of Environmental Services, Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau, Concord, New Hampshire. September 29, 1999.

  11. Minicucci, R.P. (1999) Personal Communication. N.H. Department of Environmental Services, Hazardous Waste Remediation Bureau, Concord, New Hampshire. November 1999.

  12. Kennedy, T.A. (1995) Memorandum to James Hewitt, N.H. Department of Environmental Services, regarding Former Winnipesaukee Gas & Light Site. N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health Risk Assessment, Concord, New Hampshire. April 12, 1995.

  13. Sudweeks, S. (1997) Memorandum to Paul Currier, N.H. Department of Environmental Services, regarding Preliminary Review of Laconia Gas Plant Site Investigation Report. N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health Risk Assessment, Concord, New Hampshire. June 17, 1997.

  14. Sudweeks, S. (1998) Memorandum to Robert Minicucci, N.H. Department of Environmental Services, regarding Review of Haley & Aldrich Proposed Workplan of 7/30/98 for Supplemental Data Collection at the Messer Street MGP Site. N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health Risk Assessment, Concord, New Hampshire. August 11, 1998.

  15. Sudweeks, S. (1999) Memorandum to Robert Minicucci, N.H. Department of Environmental Services, regarding Comments on Human Health Risk Assessment for the Haley & Aldrich Remedial Action Plan for the Messer Street MGP Site. N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Health Risk Assessment, Concord, New Hampshire. February 18, 1999.

  16. Currier, P.M. and Snook, H. (1997) Memorandum to the file regarding Summary of Investigations for MGP-related contamination in downstream reaches of the Winnipesaukee River. N.H. Department of Environmental Services, Waste Management Division, Concord, New Hampshire. July 28, 1997.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1995) Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1996) Toxicological Profile for Creosote. Atlanta, Georgia. August 1996.

  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (1995) Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene. Atlanta, Georgia. August 1995.

  20. Van Schooten, F., et al. (1994) Dermal uptake of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons after hairwash with coal tar shampoo. Lancet. 334: 1505-1506.

  21. Rothman, N., et al. (1993) Association of PAH-DNA Adducts in Peripheral White Blood Cells with Dietary Exposure to Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons. Environ. Health Perspect. 99: 265-267.

  22. Warshawsky, D. (1999) Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Carcinogenesis. Environ. Health Perspect. 107: 317-319.

  23. Environmental Protection Agency (1993) Provisional Guidance for Quantitative Risk Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. EPA/600/R-63/089. Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC. July 1993.

  24. Mackenzie, K.M., and Angevine, D.M. (1981) Infertility in mice exposed in utero to benzo(a)pyrene. Biol. Reprod. 24: 183-191.

  25. Rigdon, R.H., and Neal, J. (1965) Effects of feeding benzo(a)pyrene on fertility, embryos, and young mice. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 34: 297-305.

  26. Perera, F.P., et al. (1999) Molecular epidemiologic research on the effects of environmental pollutants on the fetus. Environ. Health Perspect. 107, Supplement 3: 451-460.

  27. Department of Environmental Services (1998) Contaminated Sites Risk Characterization and Management Policy. Concord, New Hampshire. January 1998.

  28. Environmental Protection Agency (1995) Guidance for Assessing Chemical Contaminant Data for Use in Fish Advisories. EPA 823-R-95-007. Office of Water, Washington, DC. September 1995.

  29. Melanoma Patients Information Page - http://www.mpip.org/

  30. American Cancer Society (1999) Cancer Facts & Figures - 1999. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia. 1999.

  31. Diagnosis and Treatment of Early Melanoma, Consensus Statement from the National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference, January 27-29, 1992. Office of Medical Applications of Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Available online at http://text.nlm.nih.gov/nih/cdc/www/88txt.html.

  32. Dennis, L.K. (1999) Analysis of the Melanoma Epidemic, Both Apparent and Real: Data from the 1973-1994 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program Registry. Archives of Dermatology, 135(3): 275-80.

  33. Reis, L.A.G., Kosary, C.L., Hankey, B.F., Miller, B.A., Clegg, L., Edwards, B.K. (eds.) (1999) SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1996. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. 1999.

  34. Weinstock, M. (1998) Issues in the Epidemiology of Melanoma. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America, 12(4): 681-698.

  35. Campbell, D.E. and Stevens, M.S. (1999) Cancer in New Hampshire 1997. New Hampshire State Cancer Registry, Hanover, New Hampshire. July 1999.

  36. Hennekens C., Buring, J. (1987) Epidemiology in Medicine. Little, Brown and Company, Boston/Toronto. Page 255.

CERTIFICATION

ThePublic Health Assessment for the Messer Street MGP Site, Laconia, New Hampshire, was prepared by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the Public Health Assessment was begun.

Gregory V. Ulirsch, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
Acting Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


APPENDICES

Appendix A was not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333


APPENDIX B: Figures

Intro Map, Messer Street Site, Laconia, New Hampshire
Figure 1. Intro Map, Messer Street Site, Laconia, New Hampshire

Schematic of the Messer Street MGP Site and its Vicinity
Figure 2. Schematic of the Messer Street MGP Site and its Vicinity

Total PAHs (in mg/kg) in Surface Sediments of the Winnipesaukee River
Figure 3. Total PAHs (in mg/kg) in Surface Sediments of the Winnipesaukee River

Example of a Completed Exposure Pathway
Figure 4. Example of a Completed Exposure Pathway


APPENDICES C - G

Appendices C-G were not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch E-56
1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333



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