PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
HANFORD 1100-Area (USDOE)
RICHLAND, BENTON COUNTY, WASHINGTON
The 1100-Area is one of four National Priorities List (NPL) sites designated at the HanfordNuclear Reservation, a former production facility for weapons-grade plutonium. Because the1100-Area is so close to Richland, Washington, the Department of Energy (DOE) has gatheredmore data about the 1100-Area than about the 100-Area, the 200-Area, and the 300-Area, theother NPL sites at Hanford. This availability of data has permitted the Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to undertake public health assessment of the 1100-Area before assessment of the other NPL sites. This public health assessment document does notaddress exposures to contaminants from NPL sites other than the 1100-Area at the HanfordNuclear Reservation. Exposures from other NPL sites and public health activities appropriate tothem will be addressed as part of public health assessments and health consultations for thosesites.
The 1.2-square-mile 1100-Area serves as a vehicle maintenance and general support area forDOE's 560-square-mile Hanford Reservation. The parts of the 1100-Area of concern in thisdocument are those nearest to Richland in Benton County, Washington.
ATSDR has determined that the 1100-Area of the Hanford Reservation poses no apparent publichealth hazard from site-related contaminants because no one can come in contact withcontaminants identified in surface soil, groundwater, or air. The contaminants identified on sitewere not found off site. There are no known completed past or current exposure pathways fromthe 1100-Area to the 32,000 people in Richland or the 95,000 people in the Tri-Cities, nor arecompleted exposure pathways likely in the near future. After the year 2018, future decisions tochange land use might result in exposure of the public to 1100-Area contaminants. ATSDRwould need additional qualitative and quantitative information about environmentalcontaminants for assessment of their public health implications at that time.
Community health concerns about Hanford relate mainly to radioactive releases from other areasat the Hanford Reservation and not to the 1100-Area, where radioactive contamination has notbeen detected.
ATSDR recommends actions to limit long-term access to or further characterize the 1100-Areabefore release of the 1100-Area for general public use.
This public health assessment was reviewed by the Agency's Health Activities RecommendationPanel (HARP). Follow-up health actions are not indicated at this time; however, if additionalinformation becomes available, ATSDR will evaluate the data and determine whether any actions are needed.
In January 1943, the Hanford area in southeastern Washington state was selected as one of thesites for the Manhattan Project, a secret project conducted by the Army during World War II toproduce plutonium for the atomic bomb, a new weapon that would bring a swift end to the war. The area was an excellent site for that undertaking because it was remote, yet near railroads, andit had abundant water for reactor cooling and plentiful electricity from hydroelectric dams. In thespring of 1943, 1,200 residents of Hanford, White Bluffs, and Richland were evacuated from a640-square-mile area. A 560-square-mile portion of that area was later renamed the HanfordNuclear Reservation (1).
Until recently, the reservation was used as a part of the DOE nuclear weapons complex toprocess spent nuclear fuel and to extract plutonium for national defense. With the nuclear armsreduction, the need for plutonium production activities lessened until the final reactor, N-reactor,went to cold-standby in 1988. The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is no longer used as part of theDOE nuclear weapons complex. The present stated DOE mission at Hanford is engineering andresearch programs, as well as defense waste research and applications (1).
In 1988, the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) bythe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as four separate NPL sites: the 100, 200, 300, and1100 areas. The 1100-Area was placed on the NPL for the following reason:
- On-site wells in the vicinity of the 1100-Area contain volatile organic compounds(VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE). Nitrates, sodium, and sulfate arepresent in Richland's well water. On-site soils are contaminated with heavy metalsand polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Possible exposure routes include directcontact with or accidental ingestion of contaminated groundwater and soil. The Yakima River borders the site and is a main fishing source for the Yakama Indian Reservation (2).
The listing was finalized in 1989.
On May 15, 1989, representatives of the DOE, the Washington State Department of Ecology, andthe EPA signed an agreement to clean up radioactive and chemical wastes at the Hanford NuclearReservation over the next 30 years. This agreement, known as the Hanford Federal FacilityAgreement and Consent Order or the Tri-Party Agreement, organized the reservation into 78operable units containing more than 1,100 areas of contamination. Four of the 78 operable unitsare within the 1100-Area.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is government (DOE)-owned and contractor-operated, withWestinghouse Hanford Company as the prime contract operator (3). Battelle Pacific NorthwestLaboratories is the principal research and development contractor for the reservation. The 1100-Area has provided vehicle service and maintenance, transportation, utilities, shipping, receiving,and warehousing for the reservation since the early 1950s.
ATSDR activity at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation began in 1989 with an initial site visit onApril 17, 1989. Preliminary public health assessments for each of the four NPL sites, includingthe 1100-Area, were released in November 1989. Since then, additional information has beenmade available to this Agency by DOE. The present public health assessment documentaddresses the 1100-Area based on data made available since 1989.
This public health assessment is one of a series of documents, including health consultations andpublic health assessments, planned to address public health issues at the Hanford NuclearReservation. Parts or all of three of the four operable units in the 1100-Area are in closeproximity to Richland. For this reason, DOE has carried the process mandated by theComprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA),including data collection, further for the 1100-Area than for the 100, 200, and 300 areas, theother three NPL sites at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Because the 1100-Area is close toRichland and environmental data was made available sooner than for the other areas, publichealth assessment of the 1100-Area was undertaken sooner than assessments of the other areas.
The ATSDR Division of Health Studies is considering health studies concerning pastradionuclide exposures from areas of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation other than the 1100-Area. However, health studies are not planned for any health effects that could be related to releases ofnonradioactive substances from the 1100-Area. Studies relevant to the other NPL sites ofHanford will be discussed in ATSDR documents about those NPL sites or in ATSDR documentsthat address the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as a whole.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is in southeastern Washington state. The Columbia Riverborders the reservation on the north and east. To the south is the city of Richland, and to thewest are the Rattlesnake Hills. The reservation includes portions of Benton, Grant, Franklin, andAdams counties. The area of the reservation is 560 square miles (Figure 1).
Most of the 768 acres (1.2 square miles) in the 1100-Area is near Richland in Benton County onthe southern boundary of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The area is on a plateau about 400feet above mean sea level and some 60 feet above the Columbia River. The river lies about onemile to the east (see Figure 2). The 1100-Area also includes a former Nike base in theRattlesnake Hills 15 miles west-northwest of Richland (see Figure 1 and Figure 2).
Figure 1. Location of the Hanford Site
The 1100-Area has been in operation for vehicle service and other support functions for about 40years. DOE plans to retain the 1100-Area for the foreseeable future for use as a maintenance andsupport facility for the remediation and restoration effort as well as for research activities at theHanford Nuclear Reservation (4). On September 8, 1992, the Richland City Council resolved toannex 3.8 square miles of Hanford, including the 1100-Area (5). The time frame for release ofDOE's Hanford property extends to the year 2018 (6). The future use of all of the HanfordNuclear Reservation is under community debate, with some hoping for unrestricted use of the1100-Area beyond 2018 (6). A DOE representative has stated that the 1100-Area is to remainzoned industrial in the future but has not formally committed to restrict future land use, e.g., bydeeds restrictions (see Appendix A) (7).
DOE's remediation of the 1100-Area is being treated as four operable units. Three (EM-1, EM-2, and EM-3) are in or near the city of Richland, and an outlying, isolated operable unit, 1100-IU-1, is in the Arid Lands Ecology Reserve approximately 15 miles away. These designations indicate the equipment maintenance (EM) units and an isolated unit (IU) to be remediated. Remediation plans, rather than geography, define the operable units of this NPL site. The EM-1 Operable Unit is further subdivided into suboperable units. The operable and suboperable units of the 1100-Area are summarized in Table 1.
Figure 2. The 1100 Area: Operable Units and Vicinity
Representatives of the Washington State Department of Ecology, DOE, and EPA agreed todocument and authorize the remediation of operable units EM-1, EM-2, EM-3, and IU-1 in arecord of decision signed in September 1993 (9). Operable Unit EM-1 consists of sixsuboperable units, a rainwater pool that collects runoff from a parking lot, and one plume ofcontaminated groundwater that DOE investigators believe originates at Siemens PowerCorporation (also known as Advanced Nuclear Fuels), an off-site facility (Figure 3) (3). Siemensis southwest of the Horn Rapids Landfill (Figure 3). Five of the suboperable units are defined bysoil contamination from spills. The sixth suboperable unit is a landfill/disposal site, the HornRapids Landfill, that is used for commercial and industrial wastes but not for household wastes (4).
|Operable Unit||Sub-operable Unit||Waste Type||Remarks|
|EM-1||1100-1||Battery acid pit||Used 1954 until backfilled in 1977; lead now in backfill|
|1100-2||Paint & solvent pit||Used 1954-85; near rail line|
|1100-3||Antifreeze & degreaser pit||Used 1979-85; 250 ft. wide|
|1100-4||Antifreeze storage tank||Tank removed 1978; covered by Bldg. 1171. No leaks|
|1962 spill of short-lived radionuclides||No radioactivity detected with repeated testing|
|1100-6||Discolored soil (organic chemical spill)||Near rail line; 0.4 acre|
|Rainwater Pool||Parking lot runoff, unknown spill||Near rail line|
|Horn Rapids |
|Wastes from offices, construction, septic tanks, fly ash, asbestos, solvents, PCBs||Used 1940s to 1970; 50 acres|
|HRL groundwater||Nitrates, trichloroethylene||DOE states plume came from Siemens (Advanced Nuclear Fuel)|
|EM-2||Used oil storage tanks|
|Steam pad and hoist ram storage tanks||hoist ram storage tanks removed prior to 1991|
|Underground antifreeze tank||Tank removed 1986|
|EM-3||Buried gasoline tanks||Tanks removed; soil remediated|
|Waste staging & storage areas|
|Underground oil storage tank|
|Stored contaminated soil|
|Underground fuel storage tanks||Removed in 1991|
Suboperable Unit 1100-1 is a 6-foot-wide pit used for battery acid disposal. This pit was usedfrom 1954 to 1977 and lies near a maintenance facility within the 1100-Area (4).
Suboperable Unit 1100-2 is a 350-foot-wide pit used from 1954 to 1985 for disposal of paint andsolvents. This pit lies near a rail line passing through the 1100-Area (4).
Suboperable Unit 1100-3 is a pit used from 1979 to 1985 for disposal of antifreeze anddegreasing agents. The pit is approximately 250 feet in diameter (4).
Suboperable Unit 1100-4 was a 5,000 gallon underground tank used to store antifreeze until1978. The tank was removed in 1986, and the location is now covered by the concrete floor ofBuilding 1171. DOE reported that no evidence of leakage was found (4).
Suboperable Unit 1100-5 was a 1962 spill of water from a barrel of radioactive metals onto thebed of a truck parked on a lot near Building 1171. The trailer bed was contaminated with severalradioisotopes with half-lives of less than 12 days. Repeated testing of the parking lot surfacefailed to reveal radioactive contamination. The DOE eliminated this suboperable unit fromfurther study (3,4).
The rainwater pool is a depression 20 feet wide and 650 feet long near the rail line in the vehiclemaintenance area used to collect runoff from the parking area (3). It was contaminated byunknown spills of organic substances (4). This suboperable unit was also selected forremediation in the record of decision (9).
The largest suboperable unit, Horn Rapids Landfill, was used for industrial wastes from the1940s until about 1970. The landfill covers about 50 acres. Horn Rapids Landfill wastes includeoffice and construction waste, septic tank waste, fly ash, asbestos, and various solvents. Nohousehold or food wastes or other methanogenic substances are present. The Horn RapidsLandfill is about 550 feet northeast of the Siemens facility (Advanced Nuclear Fuels), the nearestbuilding, and about 2 miles from the nearest residence. A chain link fence and locked gatesrestrict access to the landfill (4). The landfill was selected for partial remediation in the record ofdecision (9).
DOE representatives believe most of the groundwater contamination within the 1100-Area is in aplume originating at the nearby Siemens facility (Advanced Nuclear Fuels) (3). This facilitymanufactures fuel for commercial nuclear power plants. The major contaminants in the plumeare trichloroethylene and nitrate. Siemens (shown in Figure 3) is southwest of the landfill (4). According to the record of decision, contamination will be monitored to follow the progress of its natural attenuation as the plume extends toward the Columbia River (9).
The EM-2 Operable Unit surrounds a vehicle maintenance and repair facility (Building 1171)constructed in the early 1950s and regulated by the EPA, under the Underground Storage Tankand Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs. Waste areas within thisoperable unit consist of several used oil storage tanks, a hazardous waste storage area, a steampad, and several hoist ram storage tanks. The storage tanks collect effluent from steam cleaningoperations that are part of equipment and vehicle maintenance. An underground antifreezestorage tank was removed in 1986. As shown in Figure 2, all of EM-2 is contained within EM-1,within 400 feet of Suboperable Unit 1100-4 (8). According to the record of decision, thisoperable unit will be remediated by a limited field investigation/focused feasibility study(LFI/FFS), an expedited version of the CERCLA process (9).
EM-3 was the site of buried gasoline tanks. The tanks were removed in 1991, and thesurrounding soils, primarily sand and gravel, were remediated under the EPA UndergroundStorage Tank Regulatory Program. As shown in Figure 2, EM-3 is between EM-1 on the westand the North Richland Wellfield on the east. This operable unit, once called the 3000-Area, hasabout 20 permanent structures, some built as early as 1950, for general maintenance and servicesupport for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The foci of contamination are several hazardouswaste staging and storage areas and a used underground oil storage tank. The contamination isregulated by the EPA under the Underground Storage Tank and RCRA programs (8). As withEM-2, EM-3 will be remediated by the LFI/FFS process (9).
Operable units EM-1, EM-2, and EM-3 are on-site units in this public health assessment. Theyare the portions of the 1100-Area that are closest to residential areas of the city of Richland inBenton County, Washington. Public access to these areas is restricted, as it is to all of theHanford Nuclear Reservation. The public cannot come into direct contact with on-sitecontamination in the equipment maintenance units. DOE investigators have monitored thepotential for indirect contact with water under the ground (groundwater) from on-sitecontamination, and this public health assessment contains a review of the monitoring results.
The remaining operable unit, IU-1, situated in the Rattlesnake Hills about 15 miles west of the1100-Area, consists of abandoned antiaircraft emplacement and support facilities. This operableunit contained several military installations involved in air defense of the Hanford NuclearReservation. The installations have been inactive since the early 1960s. IU-1 consisted ofantiaircraft artillery and Nike missile emplacements, missile storage and maintenance facilities,and motor pools (4). The primary concern at IU-1 is chemicals discharged into the soil through aseptic system (4,8). Contamination was probably within 25 feet of the surface, above bedrock(8). Public access is restricted. Preliminary indications are that groundwater in the unconfinedaquifer of Rattlesnake Hills is entirely within bedrock, sometimes 990 feet below the surface (8). The direction of underground groundwater movement generally follows the downward slope ofground surface. The surface of the downward slope of the Rattlesnake Hills at the Nike sites istoward the east-northeast past the 400-Area toward the Columbia River 18 miles away (seeFigure 1). Contamination in IU-1 is also being addressed through the LFI/FFS process.
The record of decision directs that, if the LFI/FFS process reveals that soil and debris from operable units EM-2, EM-3, and IU-1 are contaminated, the contaminated soil and debris will be disposed off site (9).
Environmental monitoring information for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is collected annually(10). The current environmental monitoring network includes soil, surface water, groundwater,and biota. No permanent surface water or ephemeral (seasonal) streams are present within EM-1through EM-3, although there may be ephemeral streams in IU-1 (8). Until recently, monitoringactivities focused entirely on radiological monitoring. No radiological contamination has beenfound within the 1100-Area. Remedial investigation sampling and analysis activities haveexpanded this monitoring network. Testing now also includes the target chemicals EPA monitors at NPL sites.
Formal site visits were made to the 1100-Area during the weeks of April 17, 1989; January 27,1992; and April 18, 1994. The most recent of these visits was conducted by Dr. Jo A. Freedman,a toxicologist, and Dr. Paul Charp, a health physicist, from the Energy Facilities AssessmentSection, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR.
Security measures at the 1100-Area consist of foot and ground vehicle patrols. All workers andvisitors are required to display identification badges. Any person on the premises withoutsecurity clearance is required to be escorted by cleared personnel; therefore, the likelihood ofcurrent or past public access is not great.
The reservations of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Colville Confederated Tribes, Confederated Tribesof the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation ofOregon, Kalispel Tribe, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Nez Perce Tribe, Spokane Tribe, and YakamaIndian Nation are dispersed in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon around Hanford. Thereservations and the largest population centers for most of the tribes are more than 100 milesfrom the 1100-Area. Umatilla and Yakama are two exceptions. The 1100-Area is 50 milesnorthwest of Umatilla's reservation and 20 miles east of Yakama's reservation. The YakimaRiver, on which Yakama Nation has fishing rights, is upstream from the 1100-Area except forparts of the river 5 miles west and 8 miles south of the 1100-Area that will be discussed later inthis document. Hanford (including the 1100 Area) contains lands some of the tribes ceded to theU.S. government in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Because the tribes traditionally hunt,fish, and gather food and medicines on and near the Columbia River or its tributaries, triballeaders are concerned that their people's health may have been harmed by releases from otherNPL sites of Hanford. No tribal representatives expressed concern to ATSDR that their people'shealth was harmed by 1100-Area releases.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is on the banks of the Columbia River in southeasternWashington; it covers parts of Benton, Grant, Franklin, and Adams counties. Grant and Adamscounties are more than 25 miles north of the 1100-Area. Benton County contains the 1100-Areaand the cities of Richland and Kennewick. Across the Columbia River from the 1100-Area andthe city of Richland is Franklin County, containing the city of Pasco. Richland, Kennewick, andPasco are collectively called the Tri-Cities. The following discussion about the people in thecounties containing or bordering on the 1100-Area and cities near the 1100-Area is based on thetables listed in Appendix B. The tables are extracted from the 1990 Census of Population andHousing Data for Benton County, Franklin County, and the Tri-Cities. Of the two counties,Benton has more people and a greater population density. Franklin has a total area of 1,242square miles. Nearly one-third of the population in Franklin County is of Hispanic origin (Table B-1).
Relative to Benton County, Franklin County also shows a high percentage of children under age10, nearly 20%, and a large number of persons per household, 3.0 (Table B-2).
One-half to two-thirds of the housing units in Benton and Franklin counties were owner-occupied. The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Benton County is nearly$10,000 greater than that of owner-occupied homes in Franklin County.
The 1100-Area is the southernmost part of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, partly within thecity of Richland. For this reason, the people within the Tri-Cities having the greatest proximityto the 1100-Area are those in Richland. In Richland, off-site land use south and southeast of the1100-Area is mostly residential. The closest residence is 100 feet from the boundary of OperableUnit EM-1 but more than 15 miles from Operable Unit IU-1 of the 1100-Area. The 1990population of Richland was 32,315 (Table B-3). Richland's population was 93% white; 1.4%black; 0.7% American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut; and 4.9% other races.
In Richland, there were 13,162 households and an average of 2.44 persons per household (TableB-4). Sixty-two percent of all households are owner-occupied. The median value for owner-occupied homes was $69,200.
The other Tri-Cities are Kennewick and Pasco (see Table B-3 and Table B-4). Kennewick andPasco are on the banks of the Columbia River approximately 12 miles downstream and southeastof the 1100-Area. The 1990 population of Kennewick was 42,155, of whom 89.9% were white. Slightly more than 50% of the 16,074 households were owner-occupied. The median value was$64,800, which was near the median for Benton County.
Pasco's population was 20,337. Nearly 60% of the people were white; 5.6% were black; 0.9%were American Indian, Eskimo, or Aleut; and 33.6% were of other races. Relative to Richlandand Kennewick, Pasco showed a high percentage of people of Hispanic origin, 40.8%. Some47.4% of the 6,842 housing units were owner-occupied. The median value of owner-occupiedhomes was $44,100, and the median monthly apartment rent was $228. These figures are lowerthan the medians for Franklin County and the other Tri-Cities.
Information concerning the proportion of Tri-Cities residents specifically employed in the 1100-Area (as opposed to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in general) was not available.
Across Stevens Drive, east of the 1100-Area, are several research, manufacturing, and utilityfirms, including contractors for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, the Port of Benton, and theWashington Public Power Supply System. West of the 1100-Area, land use is industrial andcommercial, including light industry, the Richland Airport, the Siemens (Advanced NuclearFuels) facility, and the Richland sanitary landfill. The Siemens Facility is 550 feet from theboundary of the EM-1 Operable Unit of the 1100-Area (compare Figure 2 to Figure 3). Largeundeveloped tracts are east and west of the 1100-Area. Within one-half mile to the east of the1100-Area are residential neighborhoods, consisting of single-family dwellings and mobile homeparks. The nearest residences include mobile homes in one of the parks and are across StevensDrive (about 100 feet) from the 1100-Area's eastern boundary (see Figure 2). Hanford HighSchool (see Figure 2) is about 1,800 feet from the EM-2 Operable Unit. The school andresidences are south and southeast of the 1100-Area (4).
Natural Resource Use
About 70% of the water used by the city of Richland for domestic purposes comes directly fromthe Columbia River. Several pumps on an intake structure (due east of the southern boundary ofthe trailer park -- see Figure 2) draw drinking water from the Columbia River, which is about 1mile east of the equipment maintenance units and about 18 miles east of the isolated unit of the1100-Area (11). In addition, water from the Columbia River is pumped into the unconfinedaquifer reservoir at the North Richland Wellfield. The municipal aquifer recharge wells are onthe eastern border of the EM-3 operable unit of the 1100-Area (see Figure 2). About 15% ofRichland's water is supplied from the North Richland Wellfield. Other water sources that addinto the city's general water supply include Columbia Well 1100B (5-10% of Richland's water),Duke Fields (3-5% of Richland's water), and, until it was taken out for maintenance at the start of1993, Wellsian Field. As can be seen from comparison of Figure 2 to Figure 3, the municipalwells are not in the path of migration of the plume under the Horn Rapids Landfill. The potentialfor municipal water drawn from the Columbia River to be contaminated by this plume or for themunicipal wells to be contaminated by the rainwater pool and suboperable units 1100-1 through1100-6 will be discussed in the sections on Environmental Contamination and Pathways later inthis document. Water used by the Hanford 1100-Area is supplied by the city of Richland (5,12).
In 1985, the city of Richland enacted an ordinance requiring all city residents to use city waterfor human consumption. According to a 1990 inventory by Washington Department of Ecology(3), 10 residential wells predate the 1985 ordinance and may be used for domestic water supply. Additional wells are to the south of the southern boundary of 1100-Area, across the YakimaRiver (13,14). A further search of Washington State Department of Ecology's Richland wellpermitting records revealed 12 wells drilled for domestic use between 1974 and 1985 (15). Onthe basis of their street addresses, ATSDR located these wells within a triangular region boundedon the north by Snyder Street (shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3) and extending 6,500 feet south(15). In addition, within the city of Richland are about 100 households considered part ofBenton County and not incorporated into the city (16). These households do not use city waterbut draw water from the subdivision's private well (12,16). This subdivision is due south of the1100-Area, across the Yakima River (16).
Figure 4 shows major surface water features near the 1100-Area. The Yakima River passes 5miles to the west and 8 miles to the south of the equipment maintenance units of the 1100-Area. From where the Yakima River is 5 miles to the west of the equipment maintenance units, theflow of groundwater under these operable units of the 1100-Area is eastward from the Yakima tothe Columbia River. As the Yakima River flows farther to the south, it is out of the path ofgroundwater passing eastward under these operable units. The Yakima river also flows south ofthe Rattlesnake Hills, not in the east-northeast path of groundwater flowing under Operable UnitIU-1 of the 1100-Area. The Yakima River's proximity to the 1100-Area and its use forsubsistence fishing by the Yakama Indian Nation were a cause for placement of the 1100-Areaon the NPL (2), but no part of the Yakima River is downgradient from any part of the 1100-Area. The Columbia River is downgradient from the 1100-Area, within a mile of the equipmentmaintenance operable units, and about 18 miles from IU-1. The Columbia River was discussedabove as a drinking water source for the city of Richland. The city of Pasco also draws waterfrom the Columbia River. The Pasco facility is about 9 miles downriver from the 1100-Area. The city of Kennewick uses water from infiltration wells farther downstream and adjacent to theColumbia River. Both the Pasco and Kennewick systems are downstream from the ColumbiaRiver's confluence with the Yakima River (Figure 4). The rate of flow of the Columbia Riveraverages 120,000 cubic feet per second (ft3/sec) (17).
The state of Washington has designated the Columbia River (from Grand Coulee Dam to theOregon border) as a Class A (excellent) water system. This area includes the Hanford Reach,which is the free-flowing stretch of river between the Priest Rapids Dam and the McNary Dam. The Columbia River is used for drinking, industrial process, irrigation, recreation, fishingindustries, and hunting by people living in or visiting Washington and Oregon.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is located in the south central region of the state ofWashington. Predominant westerly winds blowing from the Pacific Ocean deposit most of theirmoisture in western Washington, windward of the Cascade Mountains. When these air massesreach central Washington, they are quite dry. Hanford is in a semidesert region. The averageannual rainfall for the period 1912-1980 was 6.3 inches (4). The surrounding area supportsagricultural activities by the use of a state-run underground water distribution system drawingfrom the Columbia River at the Grand Coulee Dam. The soil at the Hanford Nuclear Reservationitself is not irrigated. This soil is composed primarily of layers of sand and gravel with littleorganic matter or clay to retard movement of soil gases or undissolved matter suspended ingroundwater. These layers can be seen in the drilling logs for monitoring wells and soil borings drilled for environmental sampling (3,4).
Health data were not reviewed because the surrounding public was not found to be exposed tocontaminants originating in the 1100-Area, and people living nearby did not express concernabout being made ill by the nonradioactive contaminants specific to the 1100-Area. Health datafor adverse effects that could result from exposures to contaminants originating in the other NPLsites of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation will be addressed in public health assessments and health consultations for those sites.
Discussions with local government and health officials and representatives of citizen groups andAmerican Indian tribes during 1992-1994 indicated in general that health concerns arereservation-wide. This is because the public and local governments view Hanford as anaggregate of all reservation facilities rather than as four NPL sites, of which the 1100-Area is onesite. As is the case with other DOE facilities, public concern tends to focus on radiologicalhazards. The absence of radiological contamination in the 1100-Area may explain the lack ofpublic focus on this NPL site. ATSDR representatives were unable to identify any communityhealth concerns specifically associated with the nonradiological contaminants of the 1100-Area. Community health concerns associated with contaminants originating in the other NPL sites ofthe Hanford Nuclear Reservation will be addressed in public health assessments and healthconsultations for those sites.