BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES
The Region I U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has requested that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) provide health consultations assessing properties associated with the General Electric (G.E.) site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts . ATSDR personnel, accompanied by a representative from EPA and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), conducted a site visit on March 13, 1998. The evaluation of sites will be based on information contained in the data packages along with the information acquired during the site visit. This health consultation will only address polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination at Lots J10-4-1,-2,-3,-4,-5 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
The subject sites are residential properties that may have either received PCB contaminated fill material from the G.E. facility, or may have become contaminated through migration by one of several possible transport mechanisms. EPA provided ATSDR with surface soil (0-to-6-inches) and subsurface soil (various depths) sampling data. Samples were analyzed for PCBs.
Although three of the lots covered in this health consultation (J10-4-1,-2,
and -5) do not have residential dwellings on the property, the assessments assumed
a residential exposure scenario.
Four of the highest surface soil samples collected from the lot detected PCBs from 2.2 to 13 parts per million (ppm). The average PCB concentration of these samples is 9.5 ppm.
PCB levels ranged from 1 ppm to 231 ppm in the surface soils. There were ten surface soil samples that exceeded 2 ppm. Subsurface PCB concentrations were also elevated. Subsurface PCB levels ranged up to 10 ppm, 65 ppm, and 140 ppm at depths of 0-to-0.5, 0.5-to-1.0, and 1.0-to-2.0 feet, respectively.
Eleven surface soil samples exceeded 2 ppm with the highest sample detecting 19.1 ppm. Higher PCB concentrations were detected in the near surface samples (maximum-123 ppm) at greater depths (maximum-640 ppm at 4-to-6 feet). Subsurface PCB contamination on this lot would also pose a health threat if excavations or other activities resulted in subsurface soil being brought to he surface.
Slightly elevated levels of PCBs were identified in three surface soil samples at 2.2, 2.6, and 4.0 ppm, respectively. All the subsurface concentrations were less than 3 ppm.
Three surface soil samples averaging 12.1 ppm were located within close proximity on this small lot. Subsurface concentrations on this lot were similarly elevated.