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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

AMERICAN CROSSARM AND CONDUIT COMPANY
CHEHALIS, LEWIS COUNTY, WASHINGTON


CONCLUSIONS

  1. This site is a public health hazard because people have access to the site which contains physical hazards. Large dilapidated industrial buildings, demolition debris, tarp covered piles, barrels, and other debris cover the site. Along Chehalis Avenue the facility is enclosed with a seven-foot cyclone fence topped with three strands of barbed wire. The fence line on the south side of the facility is adjacent to the play field. The seven-foot fence is made of wood slats. This fence is intact, but could be easily opened. The ACC site is accessible from the west side. The plant is built of massive timbers on pilings. Repeated structural fires on-site have weakened the wood structures making for extremely hazardous conditions. People who go onto the site, which is not secure to entry, are exposed to severe physical hazards.

    Also, evidence exists that people have been exposed to hazardous substances from this site in the past and present. The exposure to hazardous substances has been to a degree abated, but will continue until remediation is done. The proposed remediation will significantly reduce, but not eliminate the possibility of future exposure. People who live near the site believe they have experienced adverse health effects because of releases from the site. However, there are no readily available community specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health.

  2. The 1986 flood waters and subsequent floods have moved contaminated soils off-site onto adjacent residential and industrial lands. EPA's remedial investigation concludes that by volume a majority of the hazardous substances associated with ACC remain on- site. Some hazardous substances which may have long-term chronic health effects are off-site in the adjacent residential and industrial areas.
  3. An off-site stormwater discharge lagoon which discharges to Dillenbaugh Creek and subsequently the Chehalis River is contaminated with hazardous substances. This area is accessible to the public and posses a threat to public health by exposure to hazardous substances.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. On-site physical hazards and contaminants should be restricted from public access until the site is remediated.
  2. When off-site remediation is undertaken in the residential area safeguards should be put in place to avoid human exposure to contaminants on dust.
  3. The off-site stormwater discharge lagoon has been posted in the past, but was not at the time of the site visit. The area should be posted again and access controlled until remediation is completed.

Site Characterization Recommendations

After remediation is complete groundwater monitoring should continue to insure that contaminants are not migrating off-site.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

  1. A community education effort should be undertaken in Chehalis to inform area residents about the health implications of this site.
  2. A health professions education effort to improve the knowledge, skill, and behavior of health professionals in screening, surveillance, diagnosing, treating, and preventing injury or disease due to exposure to hazardous substances.
  3. Until EPA removes the physical hazards from this site, access to the site should be restricted.
  4. The secondary water line for Chehalis, which crosses the site, should be checked for contamination.
  5. People should be advised not to grow gardens in the off-site contaminated area.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Based upon conclusions and recommendations from the Public Health Assessment for American Crossarm and Conduit and HARP, ATSDR has developed the following public health actions which ATSDR, in cooperation with WDOH, will conduct:

  1. As site conditions change or new information becomes available, ATSDR and DOH will continue to inform area residents about the health implications of this site.
  2. As additional data becomes available, ATSDR and DOH will re-evaluate the American Crossarm and Conduit site for necessary follow-up activities.
  3. As remedial measures are implemented, DOH staff will be available for health consultation where needed.

Activities from other agencies or companies include:

  1. EPA has completed removal actions, which consisted of removing heavily contaminated on-site and off-site soils and debris, incineration of contaminated materials, containerizing materials, and fencing part of the site.
  2. A Record of Decision has been completed by EPA which describes remedial actions which will take place in the near future.
  3. The Lewis County Health District has posted signs at the drainage lagoon area to warn people to stay away.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Preparer of Report:

ROBERT A. POSS
Public Health Advisor
Washington State Department of Health

JOHN S. MORRIS, R.S.
Public Health Advisor
Washington State Department of Health

JOHN GRENDON, D.V.M.
Epidemiologist
Washington State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative:

Gregory D. Thomas
Senior Regional Representative
Office of Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Environmental Health Scientist
Remedial Programs Branch, State Program Section
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


CERTIFICATION

This American Crossarm and Conduit Public Health Assessment was prepared by the Washington Department of Health under a 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 begun.

Richard R. Kauffman, M.S.
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment, and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
for Robert C. Williams, P.E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. EPA Region X American Crossarm & Conduit Remedial Investigation Report September 1992.

  2. EPA Region X American Crossarm & Conduit Feasibility Study September 1992.

  3. ATSDR's Site Review and Update for American Crossarm and Conduit February 24, 1993.

  4. ATSDR's Preliminary Health Assessment for American Crossarm and Conduit April 4, 1990.

  5. American Crossarm & Conduit Record of Decision May 1993.

  6. ATSDR Case Studies in Environmental Medicine, Dioxin Toxicity, June 1991.

  7. American Cancer Society Textbook of Clinical Oncology, 1991, Arthur I. Holleb, Diane J. Fink, Gerald P. Murphy


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