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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

AMERICAN BEMBERG PLANT
ELIZABETHTON, CARTER COUNTY, TENNESSEE


APPENDIX A
SITE MAPS AND TABLES

List of Figures

    Figure 1 Site Location Map
    Figure 2 Bemberg Site

List of Tables

    Table 1 Summary -- Comparison Value Information
    Table 2. Contaminants, On-Site Surficial Materials -- Contaminants Considered for Detailed Public Health Evaluation
    Table 3. Summary -- Completed Exposure Pathways
    Table 4. Summary -- Potential Exposure Pathways


Figure 1. Site Location Map


Figure 2. Bemberg Site



TABLE 1           Summary -- Comparison Value Information

Public health evaluation comparison values used in this assessment include the following:

Environmental Media Evaluation Guide (EMEG)
EMEGs are estimated comparison concentrations that are based on information determine by ATSDR from its Toxicological Profiles for specific chemicals.

Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide (CREG)
CREGs are estimated comparison concentrations for specific chemicals based on an excess cancer rate of one in a million persons and are calculated by ATSDR using EPA's cancer slope factors.

Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide (RMEGs)
RMEGS are based on EPA's estimate of the daily dose below which exposure to a contaminant is unlikely to cause adverse noncancer health effects.

Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)
MCLs represent contaminant concentrations that EPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of water treatment technology).

Estimated Guide
Estimated evaluation guides are developed by ATSDR staff using best available toxicological information.

TABLE 2: Contamination, On-Site Surficial Materials, Principally Soils -- Contaminants Considered for Detailed Public Health Impact Evaluation

NOTE: Samples were taken within site boundary. Samples were principally soils, but in the BIC building and lagoon and landfill areas, samples possibly include soil-like materials (e.g. sediment, debris, waste).

 
Surface Sample Location (Approximate*)
   
Area D
Area B
Areas
C, D, A**
Closed Lagoon, Closed Landfill, & Vicinity Former Ball field Vicinity BIC Building, Basement Around
Existing
Bemberg Buildings
Toward
Site Periphery
Background (Surface and Subsurface)
Number of Samples 18 6 5 3 9 2
Contaminants
Concentration -- parts per million (ppm)
Note: Samples were not all analyzed for the same constituents
Comparison Value
Value Source
Arsenic 96 80 70 19 6.4 CNPS*** 0.5 CREG
Barium CNPS*** CNPS*** 9,500 CNPS*** CNPS*** CNPS 4,000 RMEG
Cadmium ND ND 167 CNPS ND**** CNPS 40 EMEG
Copper 5485 CNPS 105,000 5100 CNPS CNPS 2,000 Estimated
Lead CNPS CNPS 10,000 800 CNPS CNPS 400 Estimated
Manganese 1186 1400 10,000 730 2,300 CNPS 300 RMEG
Mercury CNPS CNPS 78 CNPS CNPS CNPS 2 Estimated
PCBs (1254) ND ND 31 CNPS ND ND 0.4
1
CREG
EMEG
PAHs (Potent)
Benzo-a-pyrene
Dibenzo-a,h-anthracene
0.37
0.36
ND
ND
9.5
2.7
0.23
CNPS
ND
ND
ND
ND
0.1
0.09 residential
0.78 industrial
CREG
EPA Soil screening values
PAHs (Less Potent)
Benzo(a)anthracene
Benzo(b/k)fluoranthene
Ideno(g,h,i,)pyrene
ND
2.1
CNPS
ND
CNPS
ND
20.6
24
55
CNPS
CNPS
CNPS
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
ND
0.9 residential
7.8 industrial
EPA Soil screening values
* Some sample locations are approximate because some source documents provided indefinite location descriptions.
** Only one sample taken in Area A
*** CNPS = Concentration Not Potentially Significant. The concentration(s) detected is not potentially significant to public health. The maximum concentration is shown in the table if the maximum value found in any sample at a given location is greater than the comparison value for that contaminant.
**** ND = Not detected above laboratory quantitation limits
PAH = polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
CREG = cancer risk evaluation guide
RMEG = reference dose media evaluation guide
Estimated = evaluation guide estimated by ATSDR staff
EPA Soil Screening value = values EPA established for soil to protect against excessive migration from soil to groundwater and air


Table 3: Summary -- Completed Exposure Pathways

PATHWAY NAME: Process chemicals, wastes, soils (on site) Bemberg Operations Soils (on site) after Bemberg operations Air (on site)
during Bemberg operations
Air (off site)
during Bemberg operations
Source: Bemberg Bemberg Bemberg Bemberg
Medium: Chemicals, wastes,
soils
Surface soils Air Air
Exposure Point: On site On site On site Off site
Exposure Route: Skin contact, incidental ingestion, inhalation Skin contact, incidental ingestion, inhalation Inhalation Inhalation
Likely Exposed Population: Plant and other workers, trespassers Plant and other workers, trespassers, former recreational users Plant and other workers, visitors,
trespassers
Nearby residents, nearby workers
Exposure Period: Past Past, present, future Past Past
Contaminants potentially of public health interest Table 2 Table 2 No relevant data No relevant data
Evaluation Comments: See Toxicologic Discussion section See Toxicologic Discussion section No sampling data, cannot be evaluated No sampling data, cannot be evaluated
NOTE: THE PRESENCE OF AN EXPOSURE PATHWAY IN THIS LIST DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE EXPOSURE IS (OR WAS) SUBSTANTIVE OR THAT AN ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECT IS LIKELY TO OCCUR OR HAS OCCURRED.


Table 3: (Continued) Summary -- Completed Exposure Pathways

PATHWAY NAME: River sediment (off site) Fish (off site) Surface water (off site)
Source: Bemberg, possibly others upstream and downstream Bemberg, possibly others upstream and downstream Bemberg, possibly others upstream and downstream
Medium: Sediment Aquatic biota Surface water
Exposure Point: On and off site Off site Off site
Exposure Route: Skin contact, incidental ingestion Ingestion Skin contact

Incidental ingestion

Receptor Population: Shoreline users, fishermen, swimmers Area fishermen Shoreline users, fishermen, swimmers
Exposure Period: Past, present, future Past, present, future Past, present, future
Contaminants potentially of public health interest Table 2 copper, arsenic, cadmium, PCBs Table 2
Evaluation Comments: Exposure and concentrations are below levels of health concern. Concentrations in fish reported in 1983 15 miles downstream and associated exposure are below levels of health concern. No sampling data are available for nearby fish. Termination of plant discharges and also 1990's river water and sediment data indicate there is very little likelihood that fish being caught now containe any significant site contaminants. Past ammonia exposure and concentrations cannot be evaluated. For other chemicals, exposure and concentrations are below levels of health concern.
NOTE: THE PRESENCE OF AN EXPOSURE PATHWAY IN THIS LIST DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE EXPOSURE IS (OR WAS) SUBSTANTIVE OR THAT AN ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECT IS LIKELY TO OCCUR OR HAS OCCURRED.


Table 4: Summary -- Potential Exposure Pathway

NAME OF PATHWAY Reuse of Area B Buildings River water (off site) Groundwater - Potential Future Source of Public Water within 1 Mile of Site
Source: Bemberg Bemberg 's releases to river during operations, and possibly other sources State employee is concerned that Bemberg might be a contaminant source
Medium/Media: Potentially contaminated residual process materials, dust, debris, soil-like materials, and building components The Johnson City municipal drinking water. Groundwater
Potential Exposure Point: In buildings being reused Homes, businesses Wherever public water is used
Potential Exposure Route: Principally incidental ingestion, inhalation Principally incidental ingestion Principally ingestion, inhalation
Potentially Exposed Population: Workers Municipal water users City residents, workers
Exposure Period: Past (since Bemberg shutdown)
Current
Future
Past (Principally during Bemberg operations) Potential Future
Contaminants potentially of public health interest Table 2 Possibly ammonia, copper Table 2
Evaluation Comments: Potentially contaminated materials could be present if remediation is not initiated before or during building reuse. See Toxicologic Evaluation section. Can not determine whether drinking water supplies were affected in the past if the treatment facility was then unable to cope with episodic contaminant releases to river water. Site-related public exposure should not occur. Could occur only if contaminants migrate to source, and if source is developed for supply, and if regulatory agencies do not test water and, if contaminated, do not either terminate use or require treatment or remediation.
NOTE: THE PRESENCE OF A POTENTIAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY IN THIS LIST DOES NOT IMPLY THAT A POTENTIAL EXPOSURE IS SUBSTANTIVE OR THAT AN ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECT HAS OCCURRED OR WILL OCCUR.



APPENDIX B
PUBLIC COMMENTS

ATSDR made the public health assessment available for public review and comment in the local library for a 30-day period ending January 10, 1999. The public comment period was announced in newspapers and through radio. In addition, the public health assessment was sent to several individuals and government groups. Page numbers mentioned in this appendix refer to pagination in the public comment version of the document.

  1. COMMENT:

    A state employee comments that the public health assessment does not mention that a potential public water source (groundwater) exists within 1 mile of the site and is expected to produce about 1.5 million gallons of potable water per day, with a maximum of 6 to 8 million gallons of water per day.

    Response: The document has been changed to address that potential source. ATSDR does not believe that exposure or health effects will occur. Any potential new water source should be chemically analyzed before it is developed for use, and all public water supplies have to be analyzed periodically while being used. If the water is shown to be contaminated by site-related or other chemicals, regulatory agencies should require appropriate treatment and/or remediation.
  2. COMMENT:

    A state employee comments that fish evaluated 15 miles downstream do not constitute a representative sample of fish in proximity of the site, and recommends that fish should be evaluated for subsistence and recreational consumption for a sample that is more representative of the site.

    Response:

    ATSDR agrees that fish evaluated 15 miles downstream are not necessarily representative of fish in proximity of the site. However, ATSDR believes that sampling of the fish near the site is not warranted.

    During early Bemberg operations, some industrial wastes and wastewater were discharged into the water without treatment, and fish kills occurred. It is possible that fish then being consumed contained some site-related chemicals, which were then conveyed to people that ate them. Sampling data are not available for fish near the site for that time period, hence the potential for that exposure cannot be evaluated.

    For the latter part of the plant's operations, wastes were handled on site in a lagoon and landfill, and a wastewater plant treated effluent discharged to the river. Bemberg stopped production and discharges more than 20 years ago. An adjacent rayon plant, which treated its effluent in that plant, also has terminated operations. Thus, there are no ongoing rayon processing discharges. Several river water and sediment samples taken in 1991 do not show elevated contamination. These factors lead us to conclude that there is very little likelihood that fish being caught now contain any significant site contaminants. Thus, fish sampling is not warranted.

  3. COMMENT:

    A state employee commented that there is approximately 140,000 cubic yards of copper sulfate in the former landfill which has not been addressed in the public health assessment.

    Response:

    The document will be modified to clarify this issue. The second paragraph of Page 2 says that the landfill was closed and capped with soil in 1984 in accordance with regulatory requirements. That same paragraph says that the lagoon was closed and filled with soil in 1984 in accordance with requirements. The first full paragraph of Page 3 states that the city will allow only surface-type uses within the closed landfill and pond areas (e.g., no basements or excavation) because of underlying contaminated material.

    ATSDR does not believe that exposure to copper sulfate (or any other materials) in the landfill or health effects are likely to occur. Because of the closure methods and the city's commitments to allow only surface-type future development within the landfill and lagoon areas, ATSDR believes that humans are not likely to come in direct contact with the buried waste material. Current public water supplies are not likely to be affected by any waste releases to underlying site groundwater. Should site releases migrate to any current source of drinking water, or to the potential water source addressed in Comment 1, ATSDR believes that regulatory-mandated testing of water supplies, and treatment (or remediation, if required) should protect the public from exposure and health consequences.



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