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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

RE-SOLVE, INCORPORATED
DARTMOUTH, BRISTOL COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the information reviewed, this site is deemed a public health hazard because of human exposure to PCBs via the consumption of contaminated eel and fish from area water bodies. Specifically the consumption of fish and eel from Re-Solve site area water bodies may result in human exposure to PCBs at levels of health concern.

  2. Past and present elevated levels of PCBs have been detected in fish and eel sampled from area surface water where fishing activities have been reported.

  3. In the past, some organic compounds have been detected intermittently in residential well water. However, these past exposures are not expected to have resulted in adverse noncancer health effects or in significant increased risk of cancer. Annual monitoring conducted from 1992 to the present has not detected elevated contaminant levels. Therefore, current exposure is no longer occurring.

  4. Elevated lead levels were measured in waters drawn from six residential homes in 1985 and 1986 monitoring; however, recent monitoring has not analyzed samples for lead contamination. It is believed that lead contamination in these waters is due to lead in residential plumbing.

  5. VOC migration through ground water from the site to surface waters is occurring. This contamination is diluted via surface water flow and also evaporates into air above these surface water bodies.

  6. Completed soil remediation and future ground water treatment which is planned by EPA will further reduce the potential for further off-site migration of contaminants.

  7. Further monitoring for PCB contamination in groundwater is recommended to accurately characterize the potential for offsite migration of these compounds. Approximately ten years have elapsed since PCBs were analyzed for in site groundwater. The presence of VOCs in groundwater increases the solubility of PCBs that may be present in groundwater, and hence, may increase the potential for offsite migration.

  8. Review of any results of post remedial monitoring of on-site ground water, including that for PCBs, will enable health officials to more accurately assess the health hazards, if any, associated with future consumption of water drawn from private wells that might be installed in the area the site currently encompasses.

RECOMMENDATIONS

In order to protect the public health of individuals engaged in activities on or near the Re-Solve Site, the MDPH in conjunction with ATSDR puts forth the following recommendations:

  1. Consideration should be given to further fish monitoring following site remediation. This recommendation, however, will be addressed by an annual fish monitoring program beginning in 1996 which will be conducted by the Settling Parties of the site. Various species of fish will be collected from Cornell Pond and the Copicut River and monitored for PCBs on an annual basis.

  2. The private wells within a one-mile radius of the site should continue to be monitored. As the Management of Migration component of site remediation is finalized, the Settling Parties for this site will monitor 16 residential wells around the site (focusing on residents abutting the site and downgradient/cross gradient from the site) for VOCs on an annual basis beginning in September 1995.

  3. Post-remedial monitoring of groundwater, including that for PCBs, at or near the site should be conducted in order to ascertain the safety of future use of waters drawn from wells that may be installed in this area.

  4. The eight residential wells that contained elevated lead levels should be remonitored. Residents of these homes as well as the Dartmouth Board of Health should be informed of both past and, if relevant, current lead levels, and the potential health effects associated with exposure to lead in drinking water.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATIONS PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATION

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Re-Solve site was evaluated by ATSDR and MDPH to determine the need for follow-up health actions. Because of probable past and present exposure to site-related contaminants, the HARP determined that follow-up health actions are indicated. Community education is the primary activity indicated by HARP in order to assist the community in understanding its potential for exposures and assessing any adverse health occurrences. It was determined that there is a need for community education regarding the potential exposure to PCBs through the consumption of contaminated eel and fish from area water bodies. It was also recommended that water from wells previously identified as lead contaminated be re-monitored for lead contamination. Based upon the results of this monitoring, community education should also address the presence of lead in the tap water of some homes, possible alternatives, and possible health effects. There is no follow-up health study recommended based upon the data reviewed for this site.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Re-Solve Inc. NPL site contains a description of the actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the MDPH at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this Public Health Assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this 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 site related contaminants in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR/MDPH to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

  1. The MDPH will provide education to the Dartmouth community to assist in their understanding of potential exposures, including the ingestion of PCB-contaminated biota and/or lead-contaminated well water, and assessing any adverse health occurrences.

  2. The MDPH will continue to monitor cancer incidence rates for the town of Dartmouth through the Massachusetts Cancer Registry at the MDPH.

ATSDR Child Health Initiative

Children were considered as the most sensitive population in this health evaluation.


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Keri-Nicole Dillman
Environmental Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, MDPH

Kathryn A. Heithaus
Research Analyst
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, MDPH

Martha Steele
Deputy Director
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, MDPH

Suzanne K. Condon
Director
Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, MDPH

Louise House
ATSDR Regional Representative
Regional Services
Office of the Assistant Administrator, ATSDR

Gregory Ulirsch
ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch


REFERENCES

ATSDR. 1987. Health Assessment for Re-Solve, Inc. Site. Dartmouth, MA. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1989. Toxicological Profile for Lead prepared by Syracuse Research Corporation, for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1989. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride, prepared by Syracuse Research Corporation for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1991. Draft Toxicological Profile for Cadmium prepared by Life Systems Inc. for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1992. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Arochlor-1260, - 1254, - 1248, - 1242, - 1232, - 1221 and - 1016) prepared by Syracuse Research Corporation for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1993a. Draft Toxicological Profile for Benzene prepared by Clement International Corporation, for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1993b. Draft Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride prepared by Life Systems Inc., for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1993c. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene prepared by Clemente International Corp. for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

ATSDR. 1994. Toxicological Profile for 1,2 Dichloroethenes prepared by Clemente International Corp. for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta, GA.

CDM. 1983. Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study for Re-Solve Inc., Hazardous Waste Site, Dartmouth Massachusetts. Camp Dresser and McKee, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

CDM. 1985. Draft Remedial Investigation Report Re-Solve Site Off-Site Investigation. Camp Dresser and McKee Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prepared for NUS Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I Boston, Massachusetts.

CDM. 1987. Re-Solve Site Dartmouth, Massachusetts Draft Off-Site Investigation. Camp Dresser and McKee Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prepared for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region I Boston, MA; Document Control No. 243-RI1-RT-DZZB.

CLPPP. 1995. Personal communication (conversation with Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. May 17, 1995).

Dartmouth BOH. 1995. Personal communication (conversation with Dartmouth Board of Health. June 5, 1995).

ENSR. 1994. Personal communication (memorandum to EPA Remedial Project Manager on residential well sample data, Re-Solve Superfund Site). Dated September 29, 1994.

MDEP. 1989. Personal communication (memorandum from Robert J. Marietta, MDEP, to Arthur S. Johnson, Biomonitoring Program Manager, Technical Services Branch, Water Pollution Control, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, on 1988 Copicut and Shingle Island Rivers Toxics in Fish Monitoring, dated October 5, 1989).

MDEP. 1992. Technical Services Branch, Water Pollution Control, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to Ngozi Oleru, Chief Toxicologist, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, MDPH; Subject: Size and utilization of fish species throughout Massachusetts, May 15, 1992.

MDEP. 1995. Personal communication (conversation with DEP Project Manager for Re-Solve Site, dated May 30, 1995).

MDPH. 1992. Personal Communication (conversation with Director, Dartmouth Conservation Commission, July 7, 1992).

MDPH. 1994. Internal DPH Memorandum. "Copicut River Public Health Fish Consumption Advisory Update." April 28, 1994.

PRC. 1992. Personal communication (memorandum from PRC Environmental Management, Inc. to EPA Remedial Project Manager for Re-Solve Inc. Superfund Site, on available results from X*TRAX site demonstration). Dated September 29, 1992.

U.S. EPA. 1987a. Re-Solve Inc. Site, North Dartmouth, MA. Superfund Program Fact Sheet. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 1, Boston, MA.

U.S. EPA. 1987b. Drinking Water Health Advisory for Methyl Ethyl Ketone, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Drinking Water, Washington, DC.

U.S. EPA. 1992. Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD). Re-Solve, Inc. Superfund Site. North Dartmouth, MA. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Region I, Boston, MA.

U.S. EPA. 1995. Personal communication (letter from EPA Remedial Project Manager regarding split sampling data from 1994 residential well data, June 5, 1995, and conversation with EPA Remedial Project Manager of Re-Solve Site, August 1995).


RESPONSE TO EPA COMMENTS SUBMITTED IN PRERELEASE REVIEW

Re-Solve Site
September 28, 1995

GENERAL COMMENTS
Comment: EPA considers present and future onsite PCB and VOC exposure via soils implausible. (Also specific comment 1.)
Response: Based on confirmatory sampling discussed by EPA in its status report, there are no present or future PCB or VOC exposures to onsite soils. Therefore, the appropriate changes throughout the document have been made.
Comment: EPA argues that past residential exposures are not of concern because the presence of trichloroethylene, benzene, 12,-dichloroethane, N-nitrosodiphenylamine, and methylene chloride in residential wells was not confirmed. (Also specific comment 17.)
Response: Although MDPH agrees that these contaminants were detected intermittently at the residential wells without an established contaminant plume, these detections did occur. Therefore, throughout the health assessment the presence of these contaminants is discussed as a completed past exposure pathway. However, their intermittent detection and lack of contaminant plume are also repeatedly discussed to adequately inform the public about the limited risk of exposure. In addition the health assessment concludes that past exposures did not pose risks of adverse noncancer health effects nor significant increased risks of cancer.

Comment:

EPA does consider lead a groundwater chemical of concern for the site but does not attribute the elevated lead levels in surrounding residential wells to the site.
Response: MDPH agrees that the lead detected in residential wells is not likely attributed to the presence of lead at the site. Nevertheless, the detection of such elevated lead levels in residential wells should not occur without followup actions. The toxicological evaluation and subsequent recommendations are based merely on the detection of lead in these wells. The health assessment states several times that these elevated lead levels are not attributed to the site.
SPECIFIC COMMENTS

Comment 2

EPA provided information regarding the groundwater monitoring plan and confirmatory soil sampling conducted at the site.
Response Based on this update, MDPH updated the discussion of sampling the summary section.
Comment 3 EPA provided discussion of confirmatory soil sampling and posting of signs regarding fish advisories and a public meeting explaining the fish health advisory
Response MDPH updated the discussion of sampling the summary section
Comment 4 EPA provided information regarding soil remediation activities conducted onsite.
Response MDPH updated the site description and history based on this information and the status report.
Comment 5 EPA suggested moving paragraph 2 on page 5 to the end of the section.
Response This change was made.

Comment 6

EPA suggested revising the first sentence of paragraph 3, page 3, in the site description and history section to include updated information.
Response The information was included.
Comment 7 EPA suggested more detailed information for paragraph 1, page 6.
Response The information was included
Comment 8 EPA provided more detailed discussion on ambient air monitoring conducted onsite.
Response The information was included
Comment 9 EPA suggested an update of the drinking water pathway based on the imminent groundwater remediation.
Response The information was included.
Comment 10 EPA suggested rewording of a sentence regarding groundwater contamination and remediation in the drinking water pathway discussion.
Response MDPH updated this section as recommended.

Comment 11

EPA indicated that the water treatment systems were not required by the federal government.
Response MDPH agrees with this statement. However, no changes to the health assessment were needed because it was not suggested that these treatment systems were required by the federal government.
Comment 12 EPA suggested the removal of "It is, however, possible that PCB contaminated soils may have become airborne during the early excavation process," from the first paragraph of page 26 in the soil pathway section. EPA felt that the initial soil removal process was conducted appropriately with no offsite migration of contaminants.
Response MDPH agrees with this supporting information and removed the sentence.
Comment 13 EPA called for an update to paragraph 4 on page 26 which included a discussion of remediation conducted onsite
Response MDPH made the appropriate changes.
Comment 14 EPA suggests that the first sentence of paragraph 1 on page 27 of the air pathway discussion be changed to "the possibility exists that in the past individuals..."
Response MDPH made the appropriate change.
Comment 15 EPA indicated that the site has also been covered with 18 inches of crushed stone and secured with a fence.
Response Paragraph 3 of page 31 was updated with this information.
Comment 16 EPA argues that benzene and n-nitrosodiphenylamine are presented in the health assessment as compounds of concern, while the Consent Decree does not include them as compounds of concern.
Response No changes were made in the health assessment in response to this comment. These compounds were included in the toxicological discussion because they were detected at elevated levels in residential drinking water. As a binding agreement for EPA only, the Consent Decree established compounds of concern for EPA procedures. However, the health assessment process is not bound to this agreement and additional compounds can be considered in toxicological discussions.
Comment 18 EPA provided updated information regarding plans for residential drinking water monitoring.
Response MDPH updated the community health concerns evaluation section with this information.
Comment 19 EPA requested a copy of the FDA tolerance levels for PCBs.
Response See attached.
Comment 20 EPA suggested revising or omitting conclusion #3 which discussed the detection of contaminants in residential drinking water.
Response MDPH revised this conclusion to reemphasize that the contaminants were detected intermittently in past residential well monitoring.
Comment 21 EPA questions the need to monitor groundwater for PCBs.
Response Conclusion 7 was elaborated in order to explain the recommendation for this monitoring. "Further monitoring for PCB contamination in groundwater is recommended to accurately characterize the potential for offsite migration of these compounds. Approximately ten years have elapsed since PCBs were analyzed for in site groundwater. The presence of VOCs in groundwater increases the solubility of PCBs that may be present in groundwater, and hence, may increase the potential for offsite migration."
Comment 22 EPA provided updated information regarding plans for future residential well monitoring.
Response Recommendation 1 was changed accordingly.
Comment 23 EPA provided updated information regarding plans for further fish monitoring.
Response Recommendation 2 was changed accordingly.
Comment 24 EPA suggested removing the third recommendation which advises soil monitoring based on the results of post excavation soil and sediment samples.
Response Based on this updated information, MDPH removed the recommendation for onsite soil sampling.
Comment 25 EPA indicated that, as an agency, it has no plans to collect any lead samples from the 16 residential wells or any other residential well within the area of the site.
Response No changes were made to the health assessment based on this comment.

Response to Public Comments

A public comment draft of this document was available for public comment review during June 1996. A copy of the document was available at the Southworth Public Library beginning during the week of May 21, 1996. In addition, public notices were placed in the following newspapers during that week: Dartmouth Chronicle, Fall River Herald, and New Bedford Standard Times. No public comments were received on this document.


APPENDIX

Tables 1 - 14 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


Site Map
Figure 1. Site Map

Detailed Site Map
Figure 2. Detailed Site Map

Census Tract 6531
Figure 3. Census Tract 6531


CERTIFICATION

The Re-solve Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Health undera 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 initiated.


Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC


The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this Health Consultation and concurs with it's findings.

Lisa C. Hayes
for Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR



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