Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT Troy Mills Landfill
Troy, Cheshire County, New Hampshire

EPA ID No. GAD980559413
October 28, 2004

Prepared by:

Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
Under a Cooperative Agreement with
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry




IV. Health Outcome Data

Health outcome data were not evaluated for this site for the following reasons:
  • A large exposed population is needed for a health outcome data analysis to provide meaningful results. The number of individuals who may have come into contact with contaminated sediments and surface water in the nearby wetlands area is likely very small.
  • Low contaminant levels exist in these media and the opportunities for exposure are limited (distance to populated areas, frozen ground conditions during part of year, etc.). Consequently, it is very unlikely that any health effects associated with actual exposure to site contaminants could be detected through a health outcome data review.
Some local residents have expressed a concern about cancer rates in the community. The State of New Hampshire maintains a registry for cancer incidences. Information from the New Hampshire State Cancer Registry is available at URL: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DHHS/HSDM/LIBRARY/Data-Statistical+Report/cancer-mortality98-99.htm.

Information can also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Health Statistics and Data Management at telephone (603) 271-5926 or toll free at 800-852-3345 ext. 5926.

V. Community Health Concerns

When performing any public health assessment, BEOH gathers information from local residents about health concerns associated with the site. The health concerns that local residents express are then addressed in the public health assessment. At the Troy Mills Landfill site, BEOH accomplished this task through two activities:
  • On September 23, 2003, BEOH held a public availability session at the Troy Elementary School. Town residents of Troy and Fitzwilliam had the opportunity to meet with BEOH staff, in a confidential setting, to discuss their health concerns and questions regarding the Troy Mills Landfill site. The public availability session was advertised in the local news media.
  • On November 6, slightly more than 1,000 needs assessment surveys were sent to residents of Troy and Fitzwilliam. The survey was supported by the local town selectmen and was advertised in the local Troy newspaper and through flyers that were posted at the post office, the library, and the Troy town hall.
The following is a list of questions gathered during the public availability session and the needs assessment survey with BEOH and ATSDR's responses. Because the residents' concerns are considered confidential, all comments have been paraphrased to protect the identity of the respondent.

  1. Is it safe for my family to participate in recreational activities such as swimming, canoeing, and fishing at Sand Dam Pond?

    Yes. In the past few years, EPA, DES, and the Town of Troy have sampled Sand Dam Pond. The chemical analyses of surface water and sediment samples collected during 2001-2002 do not indicate that there is a hazard associated with the use of this water body for recreational purposes. Recreational activities such as swimming, wading, and fishing conducted in Sand Dam Pond should not present a health risk.


  2. What kinds of chemicals are located at the Troy Mills Landfill site? Will they spread? What kinds of health effects are associated with these chemicals? Do they have a long-term effect?

    Between 1967 and 1978, chemical wastes in the form of plasticizers, Varsol (mineral spirits), pigments, vinyl resins, and top-coating products were disposed in the TML. These wastes consist of numerous VOCs, SVOCs, and inorganic compounds. Investigations conducted between the early 1980s and 2001 have shown that the groundwater beneath the drum disposal area has been contaminated by a large number of these compounds. Some of these contaminants have leached into the drainage ditch, downslope from the disposal area. From there, the contaminants have migrated to the wetland area west of the TML. The spread of contamination appears to be limited to the section of Rockwood Brook and the wetlands area to the west and immediately adjacent to the drum disposal area. Sand Dam Pond, located downstream from Rockwood Brook, has been sampled several times in recent years and has not been affected. The TML was proposed for listing to the National Priorities List in spring 2003. Efforts to monitor contamination will continue while EPA and DES work long-term to clean up the site.

    Individuals who came into contact with sediments or surface water in the wetlands area adjacent to the TML area may have been exposed to contaminants originating from the site. The levels of contamination are low. It is unlikely, given the low contaminant concentrations, frequency of contact, and other circumstances related to exposure, that harmful health effects would occur.


  3. Is the site being cleaned up and what is happening to the chemicals that have been found here?

    The TML has been proposed for listing on the National Priorities List, or Superfund. EPA and DES will work to ensure that the site is cleaned up so that it will not become a hazard to public health and the environment. EPA recently completed construction of a temporary containment system to limit the migration of contaminated groundwater from the landfill to the wetland area bordering the site. EPA will remove contaminated product collected by this system to an off-site location for disposal. In April 2004, EPA secured funding for $8,000,000 to remove buried waste drums at the TML. This removal action should be completed by the end of this year.


  4. How will the Troy Mills Landfill site affect the water supply in Rockwood Brook, Sand Dam Pond, and the drinking water?

    Investigations conducted to date indicate that the migration of contaminants in surface water run-off and leachate from the drum disposal area have affected the wetland area to the west of the TML. These investigations have also indicated that there has been no significant migration of site-related contaminants to downstream sections of Rockwood Brook or to Sand Dam Pond. Environmental sampling conducted at Sand Dam Pond does not indicate that there is a hazard associated with the recreational use of this water body.

    Public and private drinking water supplies have not been affected by contamination from the TML. Groundwater beneath the drum disposal area has been contaminated by a number of chemical contaminants associated with the site. No drinking water wells are located close to the site. The direction of the contaminated groundwater flow is away from habitable areas of Troy and Fitzwilliam. DES has offered to sample local residents' drinking water wells to assure that they are not being exposed to site-related contaminants in their water supplies. EPA will remove the major source of contamination (buried drums), beginning in the summer of 2004. After the removal action is completed, the threat of chemicals in the buried drums affecting the Brook and Sand Pond will be eliminated.


  5. Could current or past exposures to chemical contamination at the site have caused an increased rate of cancer in the community?

    Given the low levels of contaminants found at the site, coupled with the limited opportunities for exposure (distance to populated areas, frozen ground conditions during part of year, etc.), increased cancer rates are not expected in the community.

    Some local residents have expressed a concern about cancer rates in the community. Any concerns about cancer rates in the community can be directed to the New Hampshire State Cancer Registry. The State of New Hampshire maintains a cancer registry for cancer incidences. Information is available at URL: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DHHS/HSDM/LIBRARY/Data-Statistical+Report/cancer-mortality98-99.htm.

VI. Children's Health Considerations

BEOH has prepared this Public Health Assessment under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR. BEOH has included the following information in accordance with the ATSDR's Child Health Initiative.

Children can be at greater health risk than adults from exposure to hazardous substances released into the environment. Children spend a good deal of time outdoors and, therefore, have an increased likelihood of coming into contact with harmful chemicals that may be present in soil, air, and water. Children are shorter than adults, and their breathing zones are closer to the ground (increasing the likelihood that may breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors). Children are also smaller than adults, so they experience comparatively higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if certain toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Most importantly, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions where they live and access to medical care.

In the past, individuals, including children, who hiked, fished, or participated in other recreational activities in the wetland area bordering the TML, may have come into contact with contaminated leachate or surface water. Given the limited frequency of detection, low concentrations, and limited opportunities for exposure, it is unlikely that these exposures would have resulted in any adverse health effects.

VII. Conclusions

Individuals (hikers, children who play, etc.) who visit the wetlands area bordering the TML may come into contact with chemical contaminants in the drainage ditch, surface water, and sediments. It is not likely, however, given the limited opportunities for exposure, and the generally low levels of contaminants detected in these media, that actual exposures would result in adverse health effects.

Groundwater beneath the TML is contaminated with a number of chemicals associated with the site. There are no exposures to site contaminants in drinking water, however, because area residents are not using this contaminated groundwater as a source of water supply.

Some local residents have expressed concerns about the possibility of breathing VOCs from buried wastes in the drum disposal area. Field screening performed during previous site investigations did not indicate that airborne releases were a concern. There are no indications that area residents are being exposed to high levels of VOCs in ambient air at the TML. It is possible that contaminant releases to ambient air could occur during the proposed drum removal action scheduled for later in 2004. BEOH can re-evaluate this exposure pathway if air-sampling data becomes available.

Residents are also concerned about exposure risks from swimming, wading, and other recreational activities conducted in Sand Dam Pond. An evaluation of environmental sampling data (surface water and sediments) collected in recent years does not indicate that Sand Dam Pond has been contaminated by chemical releases from the TML. Individuals who use Sand Dam Pond for recreation are not at health risk from chemical contaminants associated with the site.

BEOH did not evaluate health outcome data for the community in relation to the Troy Mills site for the following reasons:
  • A large exposed population is needed for a health outcome data analysis to provide meaningful results. The number of individuals who may have come into contact with contaminated sediments and surface water in the nearby wetlands area is likely very small.
  • Given the low contaminant levels that exist in these media, coupled with the limited opportunities for exposure (distance to populated areas, frozen ground conditions during part of year, etc.), it is very unlikely that any health effects associated with actual exposure to site contaminants could be detected through a health outcome data review.
Some local residents have expressed a concern about cancer rates in the community. Any concerns about cancer rates in the community can be directed to the New Hampshire State Cancer Registry. The State of New Hampshire maintains a cancer registry for cancer incidences.

Information is available at URL: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/DHHS/HSDM/LIBRARY/Data-Statistical+Report/cancer-mortality98-99.htm.

From reviewing available site information, BEOH and ATSDR conclude that trespassers in the wetlands area bordering the TML may have been exposed to site-related contaminants in sediments and surface water. Those exposures, however, are not at levels expected to cause adverse health effects. In other words, opportunities for exposure exist, but adverse health effects from these exposures are unlikely. Consequently, BEOH has categorized the TML as No Apparent Public Health Hazard, according to the ATSDR hazard classification system (see Appendix F). Site remediation is needed, however, because changes in land use in the area of the TML could occur in the future, which could increase exposures.

Information can also be obtained by contacting the Bureau of Health Statistics and Data Management by telephone at (603) 271-5926 or toll free at 800-852-3345 ext. 5926.

VIII. Recommendations

DHHS will evaluate new environmental data to determine if there is a health concern, especially as new data relate to potential exposures to air.

IX. Public Health Action Plan

This document identifies current and potential human health hazards associated wit the Troy Mills Landfill. The Public Health Action Plan outlines steps to mitigate and prevent injuries or human health effects resulting from exposures to hazardous substances at the site. The first section of the Public Health Action Plan describes completed or ongoing actions to mitigate exposures to environmental contamination. The second section lists additional public health actions that will be implemented in the future.

Completed or Ongoing Actions
  • Between 1980 and 2001, a series of environmental investigations were conducted to characterize the nature and extent of contamination at the site.
  • In May 2003, EPA proposed the Troy Mills Landfill for the National Priorities List (Superfund).
  • EPA, DES, and the Town of Troy have sampled surface water and sediments in Sand Dam Pond.
  • EPA is currently conducting a removal action to restrict the migration of contaminated groundwater at the site.
Planned Actions
  • EPA will complete the ongoing removal action.
  • EPA will conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) as part of the Superfund process.
  • EPA will conduct a separate removal action to remove the estimated 6,000-10,000 buried drums to an off-site location.
  • DES will test local residents' private drinking water wells if requested.
  • BEOH will evaluate any additional sampling data that becomes available for the Troy Mills Site that may indicate a future hazard to the community.


X. Preparers of Report

Dennis Pinski, Supervisor
Vickie Shallow, Health Promotion Advisor

Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
Office of Commissioner
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive P.O. Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095

XI. References

  1. Weston Solutions. Final expanded site inspection report for Troy Mills Landfill, Troy, New Hampshire. Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team. Wilmington, Massachusetts. January 21, 2003.
  2. Splendore JL. Personal communication; New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Waste Management Division. June 11, 2003.
  3. GEI Consultants, Inc. Phase I pre-design studies- volume I, Rockwood Brook landfill, Troy, New Hampshire. Concord, New Hampshire. October 5, 1995.
  4. New Hampshire Department of Health and Welfare. Letter to Troy Mills, Inc. New Hampshire Department of Health and Welfare. October 24, 1978.
  5. New Hampshire Department of Health and Welfare. Letter to Troy Mills, Inc. New Hampshire Department of Health and Welfare. September 15, 1978.
  6. GeoInsight, Inc. Letter to New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services regarding Rockwood Brook unlined solid waste landfill. Manchester, New Hampshire. February 23, 2001.
  7. Roy F. Weston, Inc. Final Site Inspection Prioritization for Troy Mills Landfill, Troy, New Hampshire. Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team, Burlington, Massachusetts. September 25, 1996.
  8. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Letter to Town of Troy regarding request for information- Troy Mills, Inc. June 4, 2001.
  9. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Letter to EPA regarding Troy-draft expanded site inspection report, Troy Mills Landfill. October 16, 2002.
  10. Weston Solutions. Task work plan for source, surface water, and sediment sampling, Troy Mills Landfill, Troy, New Hampshire. Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team. Wilmington, Massachusetts. December 6, 2001.
  11. Splendore JL. Personal communication; New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Waste Management Division. March 12, 2004.
  12. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Letter to Town of Troy regarding sample collection and analysis at Sand Dam Pond. November 13, 2001.
  13. Town of Troy (2003). Letter to New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services regarding Sand Dam Pond water testing and analysis. August 1, 2003.
  14. New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. NH DES Contaminated Sites Risk Characterization and Management Policy. 1998 Jan.
  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2002 Sep.
  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,2-dichloroethene. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 1996 Aug.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for manganese. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2000 Sep.


Appendix A : Figures

Figure 1: Area Map of Troy Mills Landfill Site and Surrounding Communities.

Figure 2: General Map of Troy Mills Landfill Site.

Figure 3: General Map of Troy Mills Landfill Site and Adjacent Wetlands Area.

Figure 4: Population Distribution for Town of Troy, NH.



Next Section    Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #