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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

AT & SF (ALBUQUERQUE)
ALBUQUERQUE, BERNALILLO COUNTY, NEW MEXICO


CONCLUSIONS

  1. People may be potentially exposed to contaminated drinking water in private drinking wells in the San Jose community. This contamination may not be site related. Because data gaps prevent complete understanding of the nature and extent of contamination and the resulting potential risk of exposure to contaminated groundwater, surface water, biota and soil the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concludes that this site is an indeterminate public health hazard.

  2. Data inadequacies include the following:

    1. Information on usage patterns in off-site wells impacted or potentially impacted by contamination emanating from area sources.

    2. Analytical results describing creosote and creosote-affiliated constituents, including carcinogenic PAHs, in on-site groundwater.

    3. Data on the nature and extent of on and off-site groundwater contamination, particularly in the shallow aquifer in the vicinity of residences closest to the AT&SF; and contamination levels in surface water and aquatic biota in surface water bodies where recreational fishing for the purposes of consumption is known to take place.

    4. Data on the nature and extent of soil contamination.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. If significant levels of carcinogenic PAHs are in the groundwater, this water should not be used for irrigation purposes.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Improve detailed understanding of the local hydrogeology, in order to assess the potential for off-site private wells and municipal wells to become contaminated.

  2. Identify domestic wells which are contaminated at levels of health concern and which are being used for drinking water purposes in the vicinity of the site. Notify people who are drinking from any contaminated well of the contamination and of health concerns which may be related to exposure.

  3. Characterization of off-site biota and surface water where recreational fishing takes place.

  4. At this time, data regarding soil contamination is not necessary because people are not being exposed to the soil (there is no completed exposure pathway). If additional information indicates the need for soil sampling, ATSDR will consider making this recommendation.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, the data and information developed in the Public Health Assessment for the AT&SF Tie Treating Plant site in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico, have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. Available information indicates that exposure of individuals to contaminants at levels of public health concern is not occurring; however, that information is insufficient. In addition, the community has expressed health concerns. For these reasons, ATSDR has concluded that community health education activities are indicated at this time. These activities should assist the community in understanding their potential for exposure, procedures to prevent or mitigate the effects of exposure, and how to assess adverse health effects. Due to the proximity of the South Valley NPL site, consideration should be given to combining community health education activities at the two sites.

If more information becomes available in the future indicating that human exposure to hazardous substances is occurring or has occurred in the past at levels of public health concern, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for any additional indicated follow-up.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards but also provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

Based on the HARP determination that community health education activities are indicated, ATSDR Division of Health Education is pursuing identifying a local agency to conduct such activities.

Future environmental or health outcome data may determine the need for additional actions at the AT&SF site.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Health Reviewer:                Stephanie Prausnitz

            Environmental Health Scientist
            Health Science Section
            Remedial Programs Branch

Environmental Reviewer:      Rosalyn Lee

            Environmental Health Engineer
            Environmental Science Section
            Remedial Programs Branch

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Region VI Representative:    Roberta Erlwein

            Office of Regional Operations
            Dallas, Texas

REFERENCES

  1. Environmental Protection Agency, Hazard Ranking Documentation: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company Former Woodtreating Facility. Albuquerque, New Mexico. February 1992.

  2. Radian Corporation, Site Investigation Report: Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company Former Woodtreating Facility. Albuquerque, New Mexico. October 1988

  3. Letter from the City of Albuquerque to ATSDR November 22, 1993.

  4. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary tape files 1A & 1B (New Mexico) [machine-readable data files]. Washington, D.C. 1991.

  5. Record of Communication. Number of Wells, Population Served by the City of Albuquerque. To Roy Robinson, Albuquerque Water Utilities Division, Plant Operations Manager. From: Brenda Nixon-Cook, HRS Coordinator, ICF Technology, Inc. January 15, 1992.

  6. Albuquerque/Bernilillo County Ground-Water Protection Policy and Action Plan, October 1992.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR record of activity for telephone communication with New Mexico Tumor Registry representative. July 16, 1993.

  8. Stevens, J, et al. Residents' Perceptions of Health Concerns and Environmental Degradation of the San Jose Community of Albuquerque, New Mexico. May 1993.

  9. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Hazard Ranking Report for Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Tie Treating Plant. February, 1992.

  10. Letter from the City of Albuquerque to EPA Region VI December 28, 1992.

  11. Letter from U.S. Department of Interior Fish & Wildlife Service. To: Monica Chapa-Smith EPA Region VI from: Jennifer Fowler-Propst March 8, 1993.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethene. Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, 1992.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for 1,1-dichloroethane. Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, 1990.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological profile for 1,2-dichloroethane. Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, 1992.

  15. The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia on-line database. 1991.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR record of activity for telephone communication with United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, representative. July 16, 1993.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological profile for 1,1-creosote. Atlanta, Georgia: ATSDR, 1994.


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