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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SOUTH WEYMOUTH NAVAL AIR STATIONSOUTH WEYMOUTH,
NORFOLK COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


CONCLUSIONS

Based on an evaluation of available environmental information, ATSDR concluded that potential exposures at SWNAS pose no apparent public health hazards. Conclusions regarding media-specific exposures are as follows:

  1. The 30 MCP sites pose no public health hazard or no apparent public health hazard because security measures limited past exposures and continue to limit current exposures; contaminant concentrations detected at the sites are too low to pose a public health hazard; and/or because affected areas have been or will be remediated--with the oversight of MADEP--to prevent future exposures.
  2. The eight potential areas of concern at the USCG Buoy Depot pose no apparent public health hazard because security measures at this active facility limit access to areas of potential contamination, which all appear to be contained within the depot's fenceline. Sampling detected PAHs and metals in groundwater and lead in soil above comparison values. Lead was detected above comparison values in only two samples located within fenced areas of the depot. Access to the public is restricted, therefore, exposure to lead in soil is not occurring.
  3. On-site groundwater does not present a past or current public health hazard because no one was or is drinking it. Since its inception, the site has used municipal drinking water. On-site groundwater is unlikely to pose a public health hazard if it is used to supply drinking water in the future. The Navy and site developers, with oversight by regulatory agencies, will carry out further investigations of water quality and potential yield to determine the safety and adequacy of on-site groundwater as a future drinking water source prior to any use.
  4. Off-site groundwater does not pose an apparent public health hazard. Nearby residents may be using private drinking water wells even though they have access to municipal water. Although groundwater contamination has been detected in perimeter wells at the site, there is no evidence of contaminated groundwater migrating off site. Groundwater sampling at the IRP sites found no contaminant plumes migrating from areas of contamination toward off-site locations. Ongoing investigations under the Phase II EBS and Phase II RI will further assess groundwater conditions. In addition, along portions of SWNAS's perimeter, groundwater is flowing on site from surrounding areas. No off-site groundwater monitoring data are available to confirm this, however, and the quality of water from private wells near SWNAS has not been assessed. If future data indicate that contaminants are migrating into off-site groundwater at concentrations above ATSDR health-based comparison values, then any potentially affected private wells should be sampled.
  5. Exposure to on-site and off-site surface water and sediment through recreational use does not present an apparent past or current public health hazard. Contaminants are located in areas with restricted access, therefore, any exposures would be infrequent and of short duration. Moreover, contaminant concentrations are low. Future reuse of specific sites at the site will be considered in remediation decisions, thus, ATSDR believes exposure to sediment and surface water will not pose a public health hazard for future site users.
  6. Based on the overall lack of contamination detected in surface water from Old Swamp River and given that the river supplies a relatively small percentage of Weymouth's total drinking water, ATSDR believes that ingestion of drinking water from Old Swamp River does not present an apparent public health hazard. Because one upstream surface water sample contained antimony, downstream samples contained manganese at concentrations above comparison values, and municipal drinking water is not tested for these metals, an additional round of samples should be taken from Old Swamp River. This is proposed under the Phase II RI.
  7. Surface soil and subsurface soil at the site do not present a past or current public health hazard because access is limited and the concentrations of contaminants are low. The types of future land use and/or remediation activities at the site are expected to reduce the potential for future exposures to surface soil and subsurface soil.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for SWNAS contains a description of actions taken and those to be taken by ATSDR, the Navy, EPA, MADEP, and MADPH at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this PHA. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this PHA not only identifies potential and ongoing public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions that are completed, being implemented, or planned are as follows:

Completed Actions

  1. MADPH evaluated cancer incidence data for 10 cancer types from 1982 to 1992 for the communities of Abington, Rockland, Hingham, and Weymouth. There are no data from this evaluation that suggest an association between cancer incidence trends and SWNAS contamination.
  2. ATSDR and the Navy conducted a preliminary survey of private drinking water wells adjacent to SWNAS. This survey included reviewing the private well lists maintained by the Abington, Hingham, and Weymouth Boards of Health. ATSDR also assisted the Rockland Board of Health in their efforts to identify private wells located proximate to SWNAS. A total 53 active and 4 inactive private wells were identified proximate to SWNAS. Of the active wells, 35 are non-potable (irrigation or monitoring wells), 8 are potable, and 10 have unidentified uses.

Ongoing and Planned Actions

  1. MADPH is continuing to evaluate cancer incidence data for the four towns surrounding SWNAS.
  2. The Navy completed sampling under the Phase II EBS in winter 1999 and is commencing sampling under the Phase II RI in spring 1999. Data from these investigations should be available for review in summer 2000. The USCG completed a Phase II EBS for the buoy depot, but is planning to conduct additional investigations.
  3. If future redevelopment proposes using the aquifer beneath SWNAS as a drinking water source, the Navy will conduct further investigations of groundwater quality and developers will investigate potential yield.
  4. On-site downstream surface water samples from Old Swamp River contained manganese above comparison values and on-site upstream surface water samples contained antimony and manganese at concentrations above health-based comparison values. The Navy is collecting additional surface water and sediment samples from Old Swamp River under the Phase II EBS and Phase II RI. If sampling data indicate contaminants are migrating off site in surface water bodies, ATSDR will evaluate the data to assess potential public health hazards and consideration should be given to sampling the Weymouth water supply.

Recommended Actions

  1. If data gathered during ongoing investigations and sampling indicate that additional contamination is present at SWNAS and exposures may be occurring, ATSDR will review these data to determine if potential public health hazards exist. ATSDR will also re-evaluate the potential for public health hazards if changes in land use, remedial activities, or risk management actions may lead to future exposures.
  2. Should future reuse include developing groundwater as a drinking water supply, ATSDR will review available data to assess the potential for public health hazards.
  3. If new information from ongoing investigations indicate that groundwater contaminants are migrating off site at concentrations above ATSDR health-based comparison values, ATSDR will further assess potential exposures to contaminants in private wells. ATSDR also recommends that local, state, and federal regulators and organizations coordinate to confirm well locations and uses.
  4. The Navy should address physical hazards, such as debris piles, prior to reuse and redevelopment.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

This report was prepared under the direction and supervision of the following individuals:

Charles Grosse, M.S., REM
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Victoria Smith
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Assistance in the preparation of this report was provided by:

Susanne Simon, M.S.
Regional Representative
ATSDR Regional Office (Region I)

Sarah N. Dun, M.S.
Public Health Scientist
Eastern Research Group, Inc.

Kevin Liske, M.A.
ATSDR, DHAC, PERIS, Spatial Analysis Activities Group

Andrew Dent, M.S.
ATSDR, DHAC, PERIS, Spatial Analysis Activities Group

Juliana Villaroel-Pierre
ATSDR, DHAC, PERIS, Program Enhancement Section

ATSDR, Federal Facility Information Management Group


REFERENCES

Argonne. 1988. Argonne National Laboratory. Preliminary Assessment at Naval Air Station South Weymouth. 1988.

ATSDR. 1994. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. South Weymouth Naval Air Station Site Summary. September 1994.

ATSDR. 1997a. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. September 1997.

ATSDR. 1997b. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Site visit notes regarding fish sampling plans. December 1997.

ATSDR. 1999. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Correspondence to Mark Krivansky, Northern Division, Naval Facility Engineering Command. Comments on Draft Phase II Remediation Investigation, and March 2, 1999 Phase II Comment Resolutions. March 25, 1999.

Baker. 1991. Site Investigation at Naval Air Station South Weymouth. Baker Environmental Project Number 16746-19. December 1991.

Barny. 1997. David Barny, Naval Environmental Officer. Telephone conversation. May 23, 1997.

Brian. 1997. Bob Brian, Massachusetts Development Finance Agency. Telephone conversation. December 8, 1997.

Brown and Root. 1997. Brown and Root Environmental, Division of Halliburton NUS Corporation. Draft Remedial Investigation. South Weymouth Naval Air Station. January 1997.

Condon. 1998. Correspondence from Suzanne K. Condon, Director, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment to David Barney, Restoration Advisory Board. December 24, 1998.

EPA. 1997. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Correspondence to Mark Krivansky. April 7, 1997.

Foster Wheeler. 1998. Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation. Phase I Limited Site Investigation Report, Nomans Land Island. October 1, 1998.

Foster Wheeler. 1999a. Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation. Release Abatement Measure Plan for Building 14 (STN 3-17547), Naval Air Station South Weymouth. January 1999.

Foster Wheeler. 1999b. Foster Wheeler Environmental Corporation. Removal Action Report for Building 82 (Hangar 2), Naval Air Station South Weymouth. March 1999.

Holtham 1999. Bill Holtham, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District. Telephone conversation. October 12, 1999.

HRP. 1998a. HRP Associates. Environmental Baseline Survey (final), United States Coast Guard Buoy Depot, South Weymouth, Massachusetts. March 23, 1998.

HRP. 1998b. HRP Associates. Phase II Environmental Site Assessment for Transfer of Property, United States Coast Guard Buoy Depot, South Weymouth, Massachusetts. September 1998.

Leary. 1997. Weymouth Water Division. Jim Leary, Facilities Manager. Telephone conversation. December 12, 1997.

MADPH. 1996. Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Correspondence to Theresa A. Buffum. November 21, 1996.

MAF&W. 1999. Massachusetts Division of Fish & Wildlife. Massachusetts Trout Stocked Waters. http://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/dfw/dfwsttrt.htm. Downloaded March 9, 1999.

Malewicz. 1999. Anne Malewicz, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Telephone on June 7, 1999.

MAPC. 1984. Metropolitan Area Planning Council. Protecting Weymouth's Water: Weymouth Watershed Protection Study. July 1984.

Nike Sites. 1999. Nike Sites of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Nike Sites of Boston: Quincy (Squantum) B-37 C. http://www.homestead.com/nenike/files/Nenike.htm Downloaded September 22, 1999.

Nolan. 1998. Karen Nolan, Chemicals Management and Surveillance Officer, Weymouth Board of Health. Correspondence with Tom Papoulias, Department of the Navy, Caretaker Site Office. January 15, 1998.

Ostertag. 1999. Sue Ostertag, Massachusetts Division of Fish & Wildlife, Northeast Regional Office. Telephone conversation on June 10, 1999.

Parsons. 1998. Mary Parsons, Rockland Resident. Correspondence with Susanne Simon, ATSDR Region I. September 2, 1998.

Papoulias. 1998. Tom Papoulias, Navy Environmental Officer. Telephone conversation. January 9, 1998.

Papoulias. 1999. Tom Papoulias, Navy Environmental Officer. Telephone conversation. May 24, 1999.

Simenas, A. 1999. Albe Simenas, Environmental Engineer, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Telephone conversation May 24, 1999.

SSTTDC. 1999. South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation. Final Reuse Plan. http://www.weymouth.ma.us/reuseplan.htm. Downloaded March 1999.

Stone and Webster. 1996. Stone and Webster Environmental Technology and Services. Final Phase I Environmental Baseline Survey. South Weymouth Naval Air Station. November 18, 1996.

Stone and Webster. 1998. Final Report, Phase II Environmental Baseline Survey, Sampling Work Plan, Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Massachusetts. October 13, 1998.

Tetra Tech NUS, Inc. 1998. Phase II Remedial Investigation Workplan, South Weymouth Naval Air Station. November 1998.

Tetra Tech, Inc. 1999a. Phase I Initial Site Investigation Report, Jet Fuel Pipeline Site (RTN 3-16598), Naval Air Station South Weymouth. March 1999.

Tetra Tech, Inc. 1999b. Release Abatement Measure Completion and Additional PCE Assessment Report, Building 81 Site, RTNs 3-10628, 3-11622. May 1999.

Town of Rockland. 1997. Town of Rockland Sewer Division. Analytical results from samples collected at Spruce Street on September 2, 1997. September 10, 1997.

USACE. 1999. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Rockland Island District. Project Information Retrieval System. Defense Environmental Restoration Program Formerly Used Defense Sites Finding and Determination of Eligibility DERP-FUDs Site No. DO1MA0460 and Site Survey Summary Sheet for DERP-FUDs Site No. DO1MA0460. http://pirs.mvr.usace.army.mil/fuds/a-d/bostonh/preasses/inpr/inpr.htm Downloaded September 22, 1999

U.S. Navy Patrol Squadrons. 1999. NAS Squantum, Massachusetts. http://www.vpnavy.com/nassquantum.html. Last Update January 6, 1999.



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