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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION ROSS COMPLEX
VANCOUVER, CLARK COUNTY, WASHINGTON

CONCLUSIONS

The Bonneville Power Administration Ross Complex under current conditions poses no apparent public health hazard. Although no off-site groundwater monitoring has been performed on private wells, the well locations have been identified and it appears that none of the wells are in the pathway of groundwater flow from the site.

In the past, the site might have posed a health hazard to workers exposed to surface soils and equipment contaminated with PCBs, lead, pentachlorophenol, and PAHs. However, there are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health.

Remediation of surface soils is complete except for the Ross Substation & Capacitor Yard, the Capacitor Testing Laboratory, and the Wood Pole Storage East areas. The present and future exposure potential to contaminated surface soils is limited to these three areas. However, a Record of Decision (ROD) has been signed to address the contamination in these three areas, thereby eliminating the exposure potential.

Although the Fog Chamber Dump Trenches 1 and 2 and the Cold Creek Fill Area subsurface soils are contaminated with lead and PCBs at levels of public health concern, the potential for exposure would occur only if the soils were excavated. Workers are expected to adhere to applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. In September 1994, a cap was installed over the Fog Chamber Dump Trench Area 1, and deed and land-use restrictions were implemented for Fog Chamber Dump Trench Area 2.

The 1992 data indicate that exposures to the levels of trihalomethanes in the city of Vancouver's drinking water supply are not a risk to the public's health.

If data become available suggesting that human exposure to hazardous substances at levels of public health concern is occurring or has occurred in the past, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for further public health actions.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Site Characterization Recommendations:

    1. Any private wells that might be installed in the future within a half mile downgradient (southwest) of the Ross Complex should be tested before being used as a potable water supply.

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations:

    1. Conduct all on-site remedial activities with strict adherence to applicable National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommendations and U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations cited in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations:

The data and information developed in the Bonneville Power Administration public health assessment have been evaluated by the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel for follow-up health activities. Although past exposure to contaminated soils most likely occurred for some on-site workers, information is not available to allow for a determination of the magnitude and public health significance of the exposure. Therefore, follow-up health activities are not indicated at this time.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) NPL site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or other government agencies at and in the vicinity of the site after the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the 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. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

A. Actions Undertaken

    Based on the recommendation of the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel, this site is not being considered for follow-up public health actions at this time.

B. Actions Planned

    1) The Record of Decision (ROD) for Operable Unit A (OUA) of the Bonneville Power Administration Ross Complex was completed and signed May 6, 1993. The ROD presents the selected remedies for the Ross Substation & Capacitor Yard, the Wood Pole Storage Area East, and the Capacitor Testing Laboratory. The clean-up actions chosen by BPA, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington Department of Ecology include excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils from the Ross Substation & Capacitor Yard and the Capacitor Testing Laboratory. Following excavation, BPA will conduct soil sampling to ensure that contaminant concentrations are below levels of public health concern. The Wood Pole Storage Area East soil will be bioremediated, and if necessary, capping and institutional controls will be initiated. Remediation of the RS&CY and the Capacitor Testing Laboratory is scheduled for fiscal year 1995.

    2) The ROD for Operable Unit B (OUB) of the Bonneville Power Administration Ross Complex was signed September 29, 1993. The selected remedies for OUB are as follows: (1) capping and fencing of the Fog Chamber Dump Trench Area 1 to restrict access; also, implementing deed and land-use restrictions to minimize the potential for future disturbance of contaminated material and (2) implementing deed and land-use restrictions for the Fog Chamber Dump Trench Area 2. No action is required for the subsurface soils in the Cold Creek Fill Area or surface water and sediments in Cold Creek and Burnt Bridge Creek. Implementation of remedial actions for both Fog Chamber Dump trenches will begin during the summer of 1994.

    3) BPA will continue to monitor groundwater on site for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the shallow perched water and deep aquifer.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

    Andrew Dudley
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Federal Programs Branch
    Energy Facilities Assessment Section
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    William H. Taylor, Ph.D.
    Chemist
    Federal Programs Branch
    Energy Facilities Assessment Section
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    Jack E. Hanley
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Federal Programs Branch
    Energy Facilities Assessment Section
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR Regional Representative:

    Greg Thomas
    Public Health Advisor
    EPA Region X

REFERENCES

  1. Dames & Moore. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, Operable Unit A, January 1992.
  2. USDA. Soil Survey of Clark County, Washington, November 1972.
  3. Dames & Moore. Draft Remedial Investigation Report, Operable Unit B, December 1992.
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1991.
  5. Letter from comment period for CERCLA scoping period, May 1990.
  6. Dames & Moore. Draft Feasibility Study, Operable Unit B, February 1993.
  7. Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1A (Washington) [machine-readable data files]. Prepared by the Bureau of the Census. Washington, DC: The Bureau [producer and distributor], 1991.
  8. Riggan's Mortality Tapes. National Cancer Institute and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  9. Public Meeting on Remedial Action Alternatives and Public Comment Period at the Ross Complex. September 2, 1992.
  10. Handbook of Environmental Data on Organic Chemicals, Second Edition. Karel Verschueren. 1983.
  11. Dames & Moore. Third Quarterly Ground-Water Monitoring Report, August 1992.
  12. Personal communication (March 16, 1992) with Rod Swanson of Clark County Department of Community Development, Water Quality Division.
  13. Personal communication (November 25, 1992), Chris Poindexter of Washington State Department of Ecology.
  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. Atlanta: ATSDR, March 1992.
  15. Personal communication (September 3, 1992), Pat Easley of the City of Vancouver Public Works Department.
  16. Ernest Hodgson and Patricia Levi, Modern Toxicology. New York: Elsevier Science Publishing Co., Inc., 1987.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1992.
  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Chloroform. Atlanta: ATSDR, February 1992.
  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Pentachlorophenol. Atlanta: ATSDR, December 1989.
  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1991.
  21. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Analysis Paper: Impact of Lead-Contaminated Soil on Public Health. Atlanta: ATSDR, May 1992.
  22. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Case Studies in Environmental Medicine: Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Toxicity. Atlanta: ATSDR, June 1990.
  23. Ross Complex Preliminary Assessment. April 1986.
  24. Clark County Childhood Cancer Incidence Study. June 1989.
  25. Personal communication (August 24, 1992), Anthony Morrell of BPA Ross Complex.
  26. Personal communication (September 2, 1992), David Dunahay of BPA Ross Complex.
  27. Dames & Moore. Removal Action Closure Report, August 1992.
  28. Letter from Anthony Morrell of BPA, January 20, 1994.
  29. Clark County Well Survey Database. January 1989.


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