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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ISLAND CHEMICAL CORPORATION/VIRGIN ISLAND CHEMICAL CORPORATION
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS


SUMMARY

The Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site is an inactive facility in the south central portion ofSt. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The site, which covers about 3 acres, is located about 1,500 feetnorth of the Alexander Hamilton Airport. The site was used from the early 1970s to the mid 1980sby several chemical companies for the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, primarily phenacetin,ethoxyquin, and quinidine, and other chemicals, such as benzyl acetate and benzyl salicylate. In thelate 1980s, a portion of the site was used for an alcohol (ethanol) dehydration project. Currently, thesite is unoccupied and in a state of disrepair.

The site is bordered on the north and east by an intermittent stream known as River Gut; on the westby an undeveloped lot; and on the south and southwest by Route 66. A concrete batch plant, anasphalt paving company, and two automobile repair shops are located east of the site, across RiverGut.

Historical operations at the site resulted in contamination by various organic compounds, includingchloroform, pyridine, quinidine gluconate, quinine sulfate, and toluene in the following areas of thesite: 1) soil between above-ground storage tanks (ASTs) #8 and #9; 2) water and sludge in theprocess pit and associated sludge in the drainage line from the process pit; 3) soil under the concreteloading dock and in a trench next to the loading dock which had been contaminated byleakage/drainage from the former lab pit; and 4) soil under concrete slab #3 near the ASTs. Most ofthe contaminated materials in these areas have since been either removed or remediated. However,organic contaminants, primarily chloroform, from past site operations are present in groundwater atthe site and in nearby public supply wells, including the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority(VIWAPA) Fairplains wells and the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) airport wells. Inaddition, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including ethylbenzene and xylenes, are present atsignificant levels in subsurface soil and groundwater in the AST area.

ATSDR has classified the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site a no apparent publichealth hazard because available environmental sampling data do not indicate that people have beenexposed to site contamination at levels that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. Nevertheless, ATSDR believes the site's numerous physical hazards, including miscellaneous debris(e.g., old pipes, pieces of metal, old plant equipment, junk cars, old tires, nails, old lockers, old labequipment); dilapidated and deteriorating buildings and storage tanks; and unsecured outsidestairways could pose a minor safety threat to site trespassers.

ATSDR has identified two completed human exposure pathways associated with contaminationfrom the site: 1) users of the municipal water supply who were likely exposed to low levels ofcontaminants, such as chloroform, lead, and mercury, in their residential drinking water, and 2)workers and visitors at the Alexander Hamilton Airport who were likely exposed to low levels ofcontaminants, including bromoform, bromodichloromethane, chloroform, chlorodibromomethane,aluminum, iron, lead, mercury, and vanadium, in the airport's drinking water. These past exposuresare no longer occurring because the municipal and airport wells that were impacted bycontamination are no longer in use. In addition, some of the contaminants detected in the municipaland airport water supplies may not be directly related to contamination at the site. ATSDR'stoxicological evaluation indicates that no adverse health effects, either carcinogenic ornoncarcinogenic, will result from past exposures to contaminants in the municipal and airportdrinking water supplies.

ATSDR has also identified the following potential human exposure pathways: 1) residents in the sitearea who use private well water for their household water needs (e.g., drinking, bathing, showering);2) former plant employees, site investigators, and trespassers who may have come into contact withchemicals in raw materials, finished products, and wastes associated with former site operations, orcontaminated soils and sediments resulting from former site operations; and 3) persons who mayhave come into contact with surface water (while the plant was in operation) or sediments in theRiver Gut stream channel downstream of the site. ATSDR believes that the public healthsignificance of these potential exposures is likely to be minimal; however, additional informationregarding the use and quality of private well water in the site area is necessary to fully evaluate this potential exposure pathway.

No community health concerns about the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site have beenexpressed by the citizens of St. Croix.

Health outcome data for the population surrounding the site was not identified during the gatheringof information and data for this public health.

Data inadequacies include 1) limited sampling data for the VIWAPA Fairplains wells and the VIPAairport supply wells; 2) no sampling data for other VIWAPA wells near the site, such as theBethlehem, Negro Bay, Golden Grove wells; and 3) no sampling data or water use information forprivate wells in the site area.

ATSDR has determined that no follow-up health activities are indicated for the site at this time. However, ATSDR will reevaluate the site for appropriate follow-up health activities if future data orinformation indicates that human exposure to site contaminants is occurring at levels of public health concern.


BACKGROUND

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), whose headquarters are inAtlanta, Georgia, is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services andis authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of1980 (CERCLA) to conduct public health assessments of hazardous waste sites. As part of thatmandate, ATSDR has evaluated the public health significance of the Island Chemical/Virgin IslandChemical site (e.g., Are health effects possible?) and has recommended actions to reduce or preventpossible health effects.

A. Site Description and History

The Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site is an inactive facility on Route 66 (Melvin EvansHighway) in the south central portion of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (Figure 1). The site, whichcovers about 3 acres, is located about 1,500 feet north of the Alexander Hamilton Airport. The sitewas used from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s by several chemical companies for the manufactureof pharmaceuticals, primarily phenacetin, ethoxyquin, and quinidine, and other chemicals, such asbenzyl acetate and benzyl salicylate. The site is bordered on the north and east by an intermittentstream knows as River Gut, on the west by an undeveloped lot, and on the south and southwest byRoute 66. A concrete batch plant, an asphalt paving company, and two automobile repair shops arelocated east of the site, across River Gut (1,2,3). The location of these and other facilities within aquarter mile of the site is shown in Figure 2 (3).

The site property is owned by the Charles H. Steffey Holding Corporation (CHS) (4). In May 1969,CHS leased the site to Houston Chemical Industries, Inc. (Houston) on a 30-year lease. In March1972, Houston assigned the lease to Caribe Chemical Company, Inc, which was subsequentlyknown as Pierrel America, Inc. Houston and Caribe reportedly used the facility to producephenacetin and ethoxyquin. In June 1978, Pierrel America assigned the lease to CooperLaboratories, Inc. (Cooper). In July 1978, Cooper incorporated Island Chemical Company as itssubsidiary to assume production activities at the facility. Cooper used the facility to convert quinineto quinidine using toluene and pyridine. In November 1979, Cooper Laboratories sold all of itsstock in Island Chemical Company to Berlex Laboratories, Inc. (Berlex). Berlex, operating underthe name Island Chemical Company, produced quinidine gluconate from quinine sulfate, toluene,and methanol. In October 1982, Berlex shut down the Island Chemical operations, and betweenNovember 1982 and February 1983, removed several thousand gallons of toluene and xylenes fromthe facility's above ground storage tanks (ASTs) for off-site disposal. In September 1984, Berlexsold its Island Chemical Company assets to Virgin Island Chemical Company (VI Chemical). VIChemical operated the plant until late 1985, initially producing benzyl acetate from benzyl chlorideand acetic acid and later producing benzyl salicylate (1,2,3,5,6).

In 1984, U.S. Resources and Chemicals, Inc. began leasing a portion of the property from VIChemical, and shortly thereafter began an alcohol dehydration operation at the site. U.S. Resourcetransferred the lease and ownership of the alcohol dehydration equipment to VIAG Fuels, Inc. Byearly 1991, the alcohol dehydration operation was no longer active although several of the facility'sASTs were still being used to store ethanol. VIAG later removed the ethanol and the alcoholdehydration equipment from the site. Currently, the site is unoccupied and in a state of disrepair(2,4,7).

In 1984, in conjunction with the sale of assets of Island Chemical Company to Virgin IslandChemical Company, Enviro-Sciences, Inc. (ESI) was hired to conduct an environmentalinvestigation of the site. As a result of the ESI investigation, which was conducted from October1984 to March 1986, four areas of contamination were identified and characterized throughenvironmental sampling. The four areas (Figures 3 and 4) consisted of 1) soil between above-ground storage tanks (ASTs) #8 and #9 (Area B); 2) water and sludge in the process pit (Area C)and associated sludge in the drainage line from the process pit; 3) soil under the concrete loadingdock (Area D) and in a trench next to the loading dock which had been contaminated byleakage/drainage from the former lab pit; and 4) soil under concrete slab #3 near the ASTs (Area E)(2,6).

Soil samples collected by ESI between October 1984 and March 1986 indicated the presence ofvarious organic compounds, including toluene and pyridine, in the areas of concern described above. Toluene-contaminated soil in Areas B and E was excavated, heat treated in the plant's drying oven,and later shipped off the island for final disposal. Soil contaminated by pyridine in the loading dockarea (Area D) was treated in-place (after removal of the overlying concrete surface) by aeration andbiodegradation through periodic tilling of the soil. Sludge and wastewater in the process pit, anunderground 8,000-gallon concrete tank, were removed and placed in drums for later disposal. At alater date, the process pit was sealed with concrete (2,4,6).

During the ESI investigation, the central storm drain, which conveyed stormwater and wastewaterfrom the process pit to River Gut, was found to consist of 55-gallon drums, with their ends removed,welded end-to-end. The drain line drums were badly corroded and contained an oily sludge. ESIexcavated the drain line and contaminated soil beneath the drain line and placed the drums, oilysludge, and contaminated soil in containers for later disposal. The excavated drain line was thenreplaced with a 10-inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe. Waste materials from the various ESI siteactivities, including treated soil from the dying oven, water and sludge from the process pit, anddrums and sludge from the excavated central drainage line, were removed from the site and shippedoff the island in late 1985 (2,4,6).

In September 1985 and March 1986, EPA conducted two enforcement inspections under authorityof the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to verify the effectiveness of ESI's soilremediation activities and to determine compliance with applicable RCRA regulations. Samplescollected during the RCRA inspections indicated the presence of toluene, phthalates, benzene,chloroform, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chromium, and zinc in site soils andsediments, including sediments in the River Gut steam channel (2,4,5,6,8).

In January and February 1989, EPA's Response and Prevention Branch conducted a PreliminaryAssessment and Removal Evaluation at the site. At that time, EPA found approximately 400 drums,in various conditions, inside the warehouse building (Area A, Figure 4). The drums contained avariety of substances including ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl acetate, benzyl chloride, toluene,methyl isobutyl carbinol, sodium hydroxide, paints, and unidentified substances. EPA alsodiscovered leaking cylinders of chlorine and hydrogen chloride, and over 800 containers oflaboratory reagents including sodium, potassium cyanide, phosphorus pentoxide, and ethyl ether inthe lab building. Between February 1989 and October 1991, EPA removed more than 250 drumsof the various chemicals, and more than 8,000 pounds of lab pack chemicals from thelaboratory/warehouse building for off site disposal. In January 1990, during the site removalactivities, EPA collected groundwater samples which showed chloroform to be present in an on-siteproduction well and nearby municipal wells (2,4,7).

In February 1991, EPA's Field Investigation Team (FIT) conducted a sampling site inspection atthe site during which groundwater, sediment, and soil samples were collected. Chloroform wasfound in on-site and off-site wells, and various organic and inorganic contaminants were present inthe sediment samples from the facility's storm drains. Low level of several pesticides were alsodetected in the site soil and sediment samples (2,4).

In January 1994, the site was proposed to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is thenational list of hazardous waste sites that qualify for cleanup under the federal Superfund program. The site was listed as final on the NPL in June 1996 (2).

In January and February 1995, EPA conducted an initial (Phase I) remedial investigation (RI) of theIsland Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site. The purpose of the RI was to characterize the natureand extent of contamination at the site and to evaluate whether such contamination posed a risk tohuman health and the environment. The initial RI field activities included site clearing, installationof four monitoring wells, completion of 11 soil borings, rehabilitation of two on-site productionswells, and collection of numerous soil and groundwater samples. In May 1995, EPA revisited thesite and collected an additional round of groundwater samples. The results of the initial RI activitiesindicated significant soil and groundwater contamination in the tank farm area due to leaks and/orspills from one or more of the ASTs. The RI data also showed some residual soil and groundwatercontamination in other areas of the site from past site operations (3).

In May and June 1996, EPA conducted supplemental (Phase II) RI field activities to furthercharacterize the extent of groundwater and soil contamination in the AST area and to evaluategroundwater quality near the former process pit (near the center of the site). The supplemental fieldactivities included installation of two monitoring wells, completion of seven soil borings, andcollection of groundwater and soil samples. The results of the supplemental investigation helpeddefine the extent of VOC soil and groundwater contamination near AST tank #8 and indicated someresidual groundwater contamination (primarily chloroform) near the former process pit (9).

Phase III of the RI is currently in the planning stages. The Phase III field activities will includeadditional soil and groundwater sampling to further characterize the extent of VOC contamination inthe AST area, to evaluate the presence of VOC contamination in shallow and deep groundwater, andto determine the levels of contaminants in the River Gut stream channel. In addition, the fieldactivities will include measurement of groundwater levels in order to evaluate the flowcharacteristics of the deep aquifer in the immediate site area (10).

B. Site Visit

In December 1994, Steve Richardson and Deborah Boling, ATSDR headquarters staff, and StevenJones, ATSDR Region II representative, visited the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site. The following site conditions were observed during the site visit:

  • Although the site was fenced, access to the site was not restricted due to a broken gate.Evidence of recent trespassing, such as discarded car batteries, beer and wine bottles, and old tires, was observed during the site visit.

  • The site was littered with debris (e.g., old pipes, pieces of metal, wooden pallets, emptydrums, old plant equipment, junk cars, semi-truck trailer, old tires, nails) which could pose athreat to site trespassers. Other potential physical hazards included the site's dilapidated and deteriorating buildings and unsecured catwalks and distillation tower stairway.

  • The site was heavily overgrown by vegetation. No visual evidence of contamination was observed except for small piles of unknown, granular, black and orange substances and grey pellet-like materials on the floor of the warehouse/lab building.

In April 1997, Steve Richardson, Deborah Boling, and Brian von Gunten, ATSDR Region IIrepresentative, conducted a follow-up site visit. Most of the site conditions were similar to thoseobserved during the December 1994 site visit. Access to the site was still unrestricted becausesections of the perimeter fence were missing and the site entrance gate was broken. The site was stillovergrown by vegetation although some areas had obviously been cleared during the previous RIfield activities. The site was still littered with debris, and the site's buildings and other structures(e.g., pipes, tanks, catwalks, stairways) had become more dilapidated and deteriorated since theprevious site visit. The granular orange and black substances and grey pellet-like materialsobserved on the floor of the lab/warehouse building during the previous site visit were still present.

Other observations made during the April 1997 site visit included the following:

  • An unknown man was wandering around the site when ATSDR staff initially entered thesite.

  • A mongoose, several goats, and numerous animal droppings were observed on the site. Itappeared that the goats were domestic and were being allowed to graze freely on and aroundthe site property. In addition, two horses were observed tied up in the dry River Gut stream channel downstream of the site near the Highway 66 bridge.

  • A "for sale" sign was observed in front of the site property next to Highway 66. A localbusinessman, who was interested in purchasing the site property, confirmed that the property was up for sale.

  • A small lot next to the southwest corner of the site along Highway 66 had been cleared andfilled, and was apparently being developed for commercial use. At the time of the site visit,the lot was surrounded by a chain-link fence and contained some construction equipment and a small building foundation.

  • Further evidence of the previous RI site activities were observed including the new on-sitemonitoring wells and sealed drums, apparently containing residuals from the drilling of soil borings and installation of monitoring wells, stored in the lab/warehouse building.

  • In addition to the granular and pellet-like materials observed on the floor of thelab/warehouse building, the following visual evidence of contamination was noted at thesite: (1) black stains on and around several metal poles supporting overhead pipes leadingfrom the AST area to the old reactor area, and (2) residues inside the glass tubing in the glass reactor area.

  • Just east of the site, an area of black-stained soil with a strong petroleum odor was observedin the River Gut stream channel and on the northern slope of the gut behind the concretemanufacturing plant. A small area of standing water with a noticeable oily sheen was alsopresent in the gut at that location. The black petroleum material appeared to originate froma heavy equipment maintenance area at the concrete manufacturing plant. ATSDR reportedthe observed release to the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources(VIDPNR).

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

The population of St. Croix is approximately 50,000, based on 1990 census data. The racialdistribution of the U.S. Virgin Islands' population, which includes St. Croix, St. John, and St.Thomas, is about 80% black, 15% white, and 5% other. The Virgin Island population can befurther classified according to the following ethnic groups: 74% West Indian (45% born in theVirgin Islands and 29% born elsewhere in the West Indies); 13% U.S. mainland; 5% Puerto Rican;and 8% other. In addition, 14% of the population is reported to be of Hispanic origin (0, 11). Thespecific demographic makeup of the population living near the Island Chemical/Virgin IslandChemical site cannot be determined based on currently available information.

Land Use

The area surrounding the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site is predominately agriculturaland commercial. Several businesses are adjacent to the site (as shown in Figure 2) including (1) anunknown business inside a small, fenced area next to the southwest corner of the site (near the ASTarea); (2) a redi-mix concrete plant about 100 feet east of the site; (3) an asphalt paving companyabout 300 feet north of the site; (4) two auto repair shops about 400 feet north-northeast of the site;(5) an engineering company about 600 feet northwest of the site; and (6) an asphalt manufacturingplant about 700 feet northwest of the site. Other facilities in the site area include the Golden GroveCorrectional Institute, located about 1,100 feet northwest of the site; a construction materials andequipment company, located approximately 1,300 feet southeast of the site; and an old quarry nextto the construction company. In addition, the Alexander Hamilton Airport is less than half a milesouth of the site (3).

A number of agricultural areas surround the site. These areas are used primarily to raise cattle andgoats.

The nearest residences to the site are reportedly located about one-tenth of a mile south or east of thesite. However, the existence of these residences cannot be confirmed. The nearest known residencesare located about one-third of a mile north-northeast of the site in the Upper Bethlehem area. Otherresidences, including the mobile homes of the Golden Grove Trailer Park, are located about three-quarters of a mile northwest of the site in the Golden Grove area (2,4,7)

Natural Resource Use

Fresh water is a scarce commodity in the U.S. Virgin Islands. To meet the demand for fresh wateron St. Croix, all available sources of fresh water are used, including desalinated seawater,groundwater, and rooftop rainfall catchment systems (cisterns).

Groundwater is used as a source of potable water supply for both private and public water systemson the island of St. Croix. The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA) has at least60 public supply wells in about nine well fields across the island. However, less than half of theseare believed to be currently active. Water from the active VIWAPA supply wells is used tosupplement desalinated seawater from VIWAPA's four large desalination units near Christiansted. Water from the desalination units is mixed with water from the municipal supply wells anddistributed in the same water lines. In the past, approximately 70% of the water distributed byVIWAPA was obtained from the desalination units while the remaining 30% was supplied by themunicipal supply wells. Recently, the capacity of the desalination units was increased such thatdesalinated seawater now makes up nearly all of VIWAPA's water supply under normal conditions. During extremely heavy periods of demand, such as those that occur in the summer when rainfall isscarce, a greater portion of the municipal water is provided by the VIWAPA water supply wells(4,12).

The municipal well fields closest to the site are the VIWAPA Fairplains well field, located about900 to 1,800 feet southeast of the site, and the Bethlehem well field, located about 1,000 to 1,200feet northeast of the site. Other VIWAPA well fields near the site are the Golden Grove well field,which is about 3,000 to 4,500 feet west-northwest of the site, and the Negro Bay well field, locatedabout 3,500 to 4,000 feet west and southwest of the site. The locations of the VIWAPA well fieldsin the site area are shown in Figure 5. Until recently, water from the individual wells in these wellfields was pumped into a 100,000-gallon storage tank at the Fairplains well field where it mixedwith desalinated seawater from the Christiansted treatment units. The combined water in theFairplains storage tank was withdrawn, chlorinated, and distributed through the municipaldistribution system to VIWAPA's water users. Over the past several years, some of the Fairplainswells were taken out of service, and, recently, the remaining Fairplains wells were shut down. According to VIWAPA authorities, there are no plans to use the Fairplains wells in the future. Currently, water from the other well fields--Bethlehem, Golden Grove, and Negro Bay--is pumpedthrough a filtration system to remove particulates, and a reverse osmosis unit to reduce salinity, priorto entering the Fairplains storage tank. As before, the combined well water and desalinated seawaterin the Fairplains tank is withdrawn, chlorinated, and distributed. As discussed above, the VIWAPAsupply wells are used primarily when the availability of desalinated seawater from the Christianstedplant is insufficient to meet user demand (3,4).

The principle aquifer for the Fairplains and Golden Grove well fields is the alluvium which iscomposed mostly of low permeability clay. The thickness of this deposit in the site vicinity isreported to range from about 55 to 100 feet. Imbedded in the clay are isolated, high permeabilitylenses of sand and gravel, ranging from 1 to 8 feet in thickness. Reported depth from ground surfaceto the water table in the site vicinity vary from 9 feet to 107 feet. For example, water levels in theFairplains wells near the site reportedly range from 16 to 20 feet below ground surface. In the sitearea, the direction of shallow groundwater flow has not been adequately defined (2,3,4).

The soil structure beneath the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site is generally consistentwith the alluvial deposits found in the site area. Boring logs indicate that the site is underlain by atleast 25 feet of sandy clay and silty clay with discontinuous lenses of gravelly sand and silty sand. The lowermost lens, which is encountered at a depth of 24 to 33 feet below ground surface, is a siltysand that appears to be continuous across the site. At the site, depth from the ground surface to thewater table varies from about 21 feet to 28 feet. In addition, two different shallow groundwater flowpatterns have been reported at the site. Under typical (dry) conditions, a shallow groundwater divideexists, such that west of a line between MW-3 and MW-4, groundwater flows to the west andnorthwest, while east of a line between MW-3 and MW-4, groundwater flows to the east andnortheast. In contrast, during and immediately after significant rainfalls, a reversal of flow directionoccurs so that shallow groundwater flows to the west and northwest across the entire site. Theseperiods of flow reversal are reported to last for a period of 1 to 2 weeks (2,3,4,9).

Underlying the alluvium in some areas of St. Croix, and exposed at the surface in other areas, is theKingshill Limestone aquifer, which, in the site vicinity, is composed primarily of chalks and marls. The Kingshill aquifer has a maximum saturated thickness of approximately 200 feet, and is reportedto be the most productive aquifer on the island. However, because of salt water intrusion, much ofthe groundwater in this aquifer has a high chloride content and, therefore, is not generally suitablefor human consumption. The Kingshill aquifer is the principal aquifer for both the Bethlehem andNegro Bay well fields. The direction of groundwater flow in the deep Kingshill aquifer at the sitehas not been determined. In addition, the shallow alluvial and the deep Kingshill aquifers in the sitearea are believed to be interconnected, because of the presence of numerous old abandoned wellsthat are screened, perforated, or open across both aquifers (2,4).

The Kingshill aquifer is also tapped by two public wells near the site that are not part of theVIWAPA municipal water system. These two wells are located about 900 to 1,200 feet west of thesite (Figure 2), and are about 110 feet deep. Until recently, the two wells, which are owned by theVirgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA), were used to supply water to the nearby Alexander HamiltonAirport. Water from the wells was pumped to a large storage tank on top of a hill near the airport. Water in the storage tank was distributed to the airport terminal and a number of businessesassociated with the airport for various uses, including drinking water. VIPA officials indicate thatpowdered chlorine was periodically added to water in the storage tank for disinfection. Recently, theairport was connected to the VIWAPA's water distribution system, thereby eliminating the need touse the two airport supply wells except in cases of emergency (2,3,4).

A large number of private water supply wells are located throughout the island of St. Croix,especially in areas that are not served by the VIWAPA municipal water system. Records containingspecific information about private wells on the island are scarce and generally incomplete. Mostprivate wells on the island are reported to be screened in the shallow alluvial aquifer or in the upperportion of the deeper Kingshill aquifer. These wells are believed to be used primarily for drinkingwater supply, irrigation, and commercial/industrial operations. The closest private wells to the siteare two wells at the concrete plant about 150 feet east of the site, and two wells at the asphalt plantabout 700 feet northwest of the site (Figure 2). These four wells are located across River Gut fromthe site, and are used for industrial/commercial purposes only--not for potable water supply. Theclosest private wells used for drinking water are not known for certain, but may be the wells at theGolden Grove Trailer Park located approximately three-quarters of a mile northwest of the site(2,3,4).

Most private dwellings on St. Croix have cisterns which are used to store rainwater from rooftopcatchment systems. Cisterns provide almost 10% of the freshwater supplies on the island. Someresidences depend on cisterns as their principle source of potable water, while others use cisterns tosupplement their private well water. In addition, when rainfall is adequate, many residences usewater from their cisterns instead of the municipal water supply to reduce their water costs (2,12).

The nearest surface water to the site is River Gut, an intermittent stream that borders the site on thenorth and east. The gut originates northwest of the site, flows past the site and then, about 800 feetto the southeast, flows under Highway 66 where it is joined by another intermittent stream,Bethlehem Gut. About 4,500 feet southeast of the site the combined streams discharge to theCaribbean Sea. River Gut is an intermittent stream that generally flows only during the island'srainy season (September to December). Although the gut is not likely to be heavily used forrecreational activities such as boating or fishing, in the past children were reported to have used thegut for swimming downstream of the site (13). On the north and northeastern sides of the site, thegut is about 12 to 15 feet deep with steeply sloped, heavily vegetated sides. Rainfall runoff from thesite reportedly drains to the gut either by sheet flow, generally from southwest to northeast, or by oneof two storm drains which discharge to the gut on the southeast side of the site (2,3).


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

During the December 1994 site visit, ATSDR staff contacted officials of the Virgin IslandsDepartment of Health, the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the VirginIslands Water and Power Authority, and the Virgin Islands Port Authority to gather informationregarding health concerns about the site. These officials were not aware of any complaints from thepublic related to contamination at the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site. However, arepresentative of the Virgin Island Port Authority expressed concern about the possibility of sitegroundwater contamination affecting the two airport water supply wells located just west of the site.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND OTHER HAZARDS

This section of the public health assessment identifies contaminants of concern found in specificenvironmental media at the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site. The contaminants ofconcern will be evaluated later in the health assessment to determine if exposure to them will affectthe public's health.

ATSDR selects and discusses contaminants of concern using the following information:

  • concentrations of contaminants on and off site;

  • the quality of field and laboratory data and sample design;

  • comparison of on- and off-site contaminant concentrations with comparison valuesfor cancer and noncancer endpoints; and

  • community health concerns.

It is emphasized that the listing of a contaminant in the following tables does not mean it will causeadverse health effects if people are exposed at the reported concentrations. Rather, the listing of acontaminant indicates that the contaminant will be evaluated further in this public health assessment. When a contaminant is selected as a contaminant of concern in one medium, its presence or absencein all media sampled will be discussed.

The data tables presented in this section include the following abbreviations and/or acronyms:

Comparison Values (CVs)
• CREG = Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
• EMEG = Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
• RMEG = Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
• LTHA = Lifetime Health Advisory
• MCLG = Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
• MCL = Maximum Contaminant Level
• PMCLG = Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
Data Clarifiers
• ppb = parts per billion
• ppm = parts per million
• ND = not detected
• N/A = not analyzed or not available
• N/R = not reported
• J = associated numerical value is an estimated quantity

EMEGs are media-specific values developed by ATSDR for use in selecting environmental contaminants of potential health concern. EMEGs are calculated using noncancer health endpoints and do not consider potential carcinogenic effects. RMEGs are media-specific values developed by ATSDR from EPA Reference Doses (RfDs). RfDs are EPA's estimates of the daily exposure to a contaminant that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. CREGs are estimated contaminant concentrations expected to cause no more than one excess cancer in a million persons exposed over a lifetime (70 years). Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) are EPA-developed drinking water health goals. EPA believes that MCLGs represent levels at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons should occur (allowing for an adequate margin of safety.) Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (PMCLGs) are MCLGs that are being proposed. Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) represent contaminant concentrations that EPA deems protective of public health (considering the availability and economics of water treatment technology) over a lifetime (70 years) at an exposure rate of 2 liters of water per day. EPA's Lifetime Health Advisories (LTHAs) represent the level of a contaminant in drinking water (with a margin of safety) at which adverse noncancer health effects would not be anticipated during a lifetime (70 years) exposure. While MCLs are regulatory concentrations, PMCLGs, MCLGs, and LTHAs are not.

A. On-Site Contamination

As previously discussed, sampling data have been collected since 1984 from various environmentalmedia at the Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site. Most data were collected during the ESIsite investigations and the EPA Remedial Investigation. Relevant contaminant data from these andother sampling events, which were described previously in the Background section, are discussedand evaluated below.

For the purpose of this public health assessment, "on-site" refers to those areas within the generalsite boundary shown in Figure 6. All areas outside of the site boundary, including the River Gutstream channel, are considered to be "off-site".

Bulk Chemicals

Twenty, 8,500-gallon above-ground storage tanks (ASTs) were originally located in a tank farm(Area B, Figure 4) along the western site boundary. In the 1980s, six of the tanks were sold andremoved from the site. The ASTs were used by the various site operators to store bulk chemicals foruse in the plant's manufacturing operations.

In October and November 1982, four of the ASTs were sampled and found to contain toluene,xylene, para-phenetidine and 9-fluorenone. These chemicals were later removed from the site foroff-site disposal. In March 1986, nine of the ASTs were sampled and the following liquids werefound: 1) a solution of benzoquinone and fluorenone; 2) solutions of benzophenone and fluorenonewith traces of VOCs; 3) p-phenetidine; 4) p-phenetidine with aromatics; 5) hydroxyfuranocoumarin;and 6) a mixture of hydroxyfuranocoumarin and p-phenetidine. In January 1989, four of the ASTswere found to be filled with ethanol, which was used by one of the site's operators in an alcoholdehydration project, while the other 10 were empty. In May 1989, ethanol was again found in thefirst four tanks while diesel fuel was discovered in the fifth tank. In April 1995, field investigatorsdetected a black, petroleum-like liquid leaking from the drain valve on Tank #5 and a small area ofstained soil beneath the leaking valve. In addition, at that time only 10 of the ASTs tanks werepresent; apparently, four of the tanks were removed from the site sometime between 1990 and 1994.

Sludge

In June 1985, ESI sampled sludge inside the process pit (Area C, Figure 4) for organics andinorganics. The sampling data showed high levels of several organic contaminants, such as benzylacetate, benzene methanol, diphenyl methanone; low levels of other organics, such as chloroform;and elevated levels of several inorganic contaminants, including chromium, lead, and zinc. Sampling data for contaminants of concern, (i.e., contaminants whose concentration exceeded anapplicable ATSDR comparison value and those for which there is no applicable comparison value) in the process pit sludge samples are shown in Table 1.

Wastewater

In July 1985, ESI sampled wastewater inside the process pit and found detectable levels of severalorganic and inorganic contaminants. However, most of the inorganic contaminant concentrationsdid not exceed applicable ATSDR comparison values. The contaminants detected in the July 1995process pit wastewater samples were generally consistent with the contaminants found in the June1995 process pit sludge samples. Sampling data for contaminants found at levels exceeding anapplicable ATSDR comparison value and for contaminants which have no comparison value arepresented in Table 2. After the July 1985 sampling event, the process pit tank was cleaned out and filled with concrete.

Table 1.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in Sludge Samples from the Process Pit1
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppm) BACKGROUND CONCENTRATION (ppm) COMPARISON VALUE
ppm SOURCE
BENZENE METHANOL(t) 15,000J N/A NONE  
BENZYL ACETATE(t) 170,000 N/A NONE  
CHLOROFORM(x) 220 N/A 500 cEMEG
CHLOROMETHYLBENZENE(t) 4,400J N/A NONE  
1-CHLORO-2-METHYLBENZENE(t) 40J N/A NONE  
DIPHENYL METHANONE(t) 30,000J N/A NONE  
9H-FLUORENE-9-ONE(t) 3,000J N/A NONE  
METHYLENE CHLORIDE 125 N/A 90 CREG
1,1'-(OXYBIS(METHYLENE))BIS-BENZENE(t) 4,000J N/A NONE  
TOLUENE 1,560 N/A 1,000 ciEMEG
ARSENIC 40 <0.1 - 7382 0.5 CREG
CHROMIUM 592 10 - 3003 60 CREG (Cr+6)
COPPER 327 30 - 1003 NONE  
LEAD 688 10 - 3003 NONE  
ZINC(x) 3,594 ND - 2003 20,000 cEMEG
1Source: Reference (2)
2Source: Reference (14)
3Source: Reference (15)
(t)tentatively identified compound
(x)contaminant of concern in other media at the site


Table 2.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in Wastewater Samples from the Process Pit1
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppb) COMPARISON VALUE
ppb SOURCE
BENZALDEHYDE(t) 3,000J 1,000 cRMEG
BENZENE 40 1 CREG
BENZENE METHANOL(t) 24,000J NONE  
CHLOROMETHYL BENZENE(t) 300J NONE  
DIPHENYL METHANE(t) 400J NONE  
1,1'-(OXYBIS(METHYLENE))BIS-BENZENE(t) 400J NONE  
PHENYL ACETATE(t) 26,000J NONE  
TOLUENE 380 200 ciEMEG
ZINC 4,850 3,000 cEMEG
1Source: Reference (2)
(t)tentatively identified compound

Soil/Sediment

Between September 1984 and February 1991, numerous soil and sediment samples were collected at the site from several areas of concern, including the AST area (Area B), the central and southern storm drain, the concrete slabs near the AST area (Area E), and the loading dock/lab pit area (Area D) (Figure 4). These data showed high levels of several organic compounds (such as benzophenone, phenol, pyridine, quinidine gluconate, quinine sulfate, and toluene), and slightly elevated levels of some inorganics (including antimony, iron, lead, and zinc) in site soils from the areas of concern. Sampling data for contaminants found at levels exceeding an applicable ATSDR comparison value, and for contaminants which have no comparison value are presented in Table 3. The highest contaminant concentrations were generally found in the AST area soils, which were reportedly contaminated due to a toluene spill from Tank #8, and in the loading dock/lab pit area soils, which were believed to have been contaminated due to leaks and/or drainage of liquids from the lab pit. The contaminants found in site soils were generally consistent with chemicals known to have been used as raw materials or manufactured as products during the plant's operating history. All contaminated soil in the AST area, the loading dock/pit area, and the area near the concrete slabs was reportedly remediated through excavation, heat treatment, and off-site disposal or through in-situ aeration and biodegradation.

Table 3.

Historical (Pre-RI) Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in On-Site Soil/Sediment Samples (various depths)1
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppm) BACKGROUND CONCENTRATION (ppm) COMPARISON VALUE (ppm)
ALDRIN 0.012J - 30J N/A 0.04 CREG
BENZOPHENONE 2,600 - 15,000 N/A NONE  
d-BHC 0.0077J N/A NONE  
BIS(2-ETHYLHEXYL)-
PHTHALATE
1.9J - 51 N/A 50 CREG
CARBON TETRACHLORIDE 10 N/A 5 CREG
a-CHLORDANE 0.0035J - 4J N/A 0.5 CREG
g-CHLORDANE 0.0061 - 7.5J N/A 0.5 CREG
CHLOROFORM(x) 0.0014J - 340 N/A 500 cEMEG
1,1-DCA 0.02 N/A NONE  
4,4'-DDE (1,1-DICHLORO-2,2-BIS(p-CHLOROPHENYL)ETHYLENE) 0.024J - 5.8J N/A 2 CREG
DI-N-OCTYLPHTHALATE 0.5J - 9 N/A NONE  
HEPTACHLOR EPOXIDE 0.0048J - 10J N/A 0.08 CREG
METHYLENE CHLORIDE 0.0015J - 1,240 N/A 90 CREG
2- METHYLNAPHTHALENE 0.63J N/A NONE  
PYRIDINE 0.02 - 3,014 N/A 50 cRMEG
QUINIDINE GLUCONATE 47 - 8,227 N/A NONE  
QUININE SULFATE 82 - 2,594 N/A NONE  
TOLUENE 0.007 - 13,880 N/A 1,000 ciEMEG
1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE 0.0008J - 0.011 N/A NONE  
ALUMINUM 9,400 - 27,000 7,000 - 100,0002 NONE  
ANTIMONY 8.4 - 26.6 <1 - 8.82 20 cRMEG
ARSENIC 1J - 9.1J <0.1 - 7382 0.5 CREG
BERYLLIUM 7J ND - 1.53 0.2 CREG
CALCIUM 23,300 - 69,300 1,500 - 70,0003 NONE  
CHROMIUM 19.8J - 110J 10 - 3003 60 CREG (Cr+6)
COBALT 13.4 - 22.3 ND - 1003 NONE  
COPPER 45 - 367 30 - 1003 NONE  
IRON 21,500 - 183,000 30,000 - 50,0003 NONE  
LEAD 9 - 466 10 - 3003 NONE  
MAGNESIUM 3,630 - 7,800 7,000 - 15,0003 NONE  
MANGANESE 735 - 1,420 700 - 10,0003 NONE  
POTASSIUM 2,170 - 2,990 50 - 37,0002 NONE  
SODIUM N/R 3,000 - 10,0003 NONE  
ZINC(x) 63 - 1,710J ND - 2003 20,000 cEMEG
1Source: Reference (2);
2Source: Reference (14);
3 Source: Reference (15)
(x)contaminant of concern in other site media

During the RI field activities in January 1995, soil samples were collected from soil borings in thefollowing areas of the site: the AST area (Area B), the process pit area (Area C), the loadingdock/lab pit/lab drain area (Area D), the area in front of the concrete slabs (Area E), and the fencedstorage area (Area F). Soil samples were also collected from borings used in the installation of theRI monitoring wells (Figure 7). Depth-discrete soil samples for the shallow monitoring well boringswere collected from depths of 0-1 foot and 4-5 feet, while samples for the deep monitoring wellborings were collected at various depth intervals ranging from 0-1.5 feet to 25.0-26.5 feet. All RIsoil samples were analyzed for organic and inorganic contaminants.

Analysis of the RI soil samples indicated very low levels of VOCs, semi-volatile organics, and/orpesticides at all locations except the AST area, which contained significantly higher levels of threeVOCs--acetone, ethylbenzene and xylene. The VOC soil contamination found in the AST area isbelieved to have been associated with leaks and/or spills of volatile chemicals and possibly dieselfuel from one or more of the ASTs. Soil levels of inorganic compounds across the site were similarto normal background levels except for zinc, which was significantly elevated. Sampling data forcontaminants with concentrations that exceeded an applicable ATSDR comparison value arepresented in Table 4 along with those contaminants which have no comparison value.

In May 1996, EPA collected additional soil samples in the AST area to better define the extent ofthe VOC contamination near Tanks #8 and #9. The soil sampling locations are shown in Figure 8. The sampling data showed higher levels of acetone, ethylbenzene and xylene than in the June 1985samples. The soil samples also contained methylene chloride and toluene, which were not detectedin the earlier samples. Contaminants of concern from the June 1985 soil samples are included in Table 4.

Table 4.

RI Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in On-Site Soils1
Contaminant Concentration Range (ppm) # Detects / # Samples # Detects Above Comparison Values Comparison Values (ppm)

Comparison Value Reference Background Concentration Range (ppm)

Maximum Detection
Sample ID #2 Sample Date Data Qualifier
Volatile Organic Compounds
4-Methyl-2-pentanone 0.008 1/49 NA NA NA NA SBB11B/14-16 5/30/96 J
Semivolatile Organic Compounds
Di-n-octylphthalate 0.120 1/27 NA NA NA NA SBD3/0-2/012095 1/20/95 J
Pesticides
Endrin aldehyde 0.004 2/27 NA NA NA NA SBC2/0-1/013095 1/30/95 J
Metals
Aluminum 9,350 - 28,200 31/31 NA NA NA 7,000 -100,0003 SBB1/ 0-1/013195D 1/31/95 *J
Arsenic 0.950 - 1.5 4/31 4 0.5 CREG ND - ND4 SBF1A/13-15/020395 2/3/95 BJ
20 EMEG (C) Child
200 EMEG (C) Adult
Beryllium 0.15 - 0.58 27/31 26 0.2 CREG ND - 1.54 SBB1/ 0-1/013195D 1/31/95
300 RMEG Child
4,000 RMEG Adult
Calcium 4,640 - 133,000 31/31 NA NA NA 1,00 - 70,0004 SBC1/20-22/012795 1/27/95  
Cobalt 8.1 - 31.7 31/31 NA NA NA ND - 1004 SBB1/ 0-1/013195D 1/31/95  
Copper 27.9 - 141 31/31 NA NA NA 30 - 1004 SBF3/0-1/012495 1/24/95 N*J
Iron 18,100 - 63,400 31/31 NA NA NA 30,000 - 50,0004 SBF3/0-1/012495 1/24/95 *J
Lead 1.9 - 89.9 24/31 NA NA NA 10 -3004 SBE1/0-2/011895 1/18/95  
Magnesium 4,340 - 13,900 31/31 NA NA NA 7,000 - 15,0004 SBD4/0-1/012795 1/27/95  
Manganese 216 - 2,100 31/31 NA NA NA 700 - 10,0004 SBB1/ 0-1/013195D 1/31/95  
Potassium 597 - 4,330 31/31 NA NA NA 50 - 37,0003 SBB1/ 0-1/013195D 1/31/95  
Sodium 358 - 2,430 31/31 NA NA NA 3,000 - 10,0004 SBC1/0-1/012795 1/27/95  
1Source: Reference (16)
2Depth of sample is indicated after first slash (i.e., SBE1/0-2/011895 was collected at 0-2 ft below ground surface).
3Source: Reference (14)
4Source: Reference (15)
NA - Not available
B - For inorganics, the reported value is less than the Contract Required Limit but greater than the Instrument Detection Limit
N - Spike recovery not within control limits
* - Duplicate analysis not within control limits

Groundwater--Monitoring Wells

In January and February 1995 four shallow monitoring wells (MW-1, MW-3, MW-4, and MW-5)were installed at the site, during the RI field activities. The monitoring well locations are shown inFigure 9. The well depths ranged from 27 feet to 33 feet below ground surface. A fifth monitoringwell (MW-2) was planned near the process pit, but was not installed because installation of a well inthat area could have allowed soil contaminants, if present, to migrate into site groundwater.

In mid February 1995, the four monitoring wells were sampled for VOCs, semi-volatile organiccompounds (SVOCs), pyridine, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and inorganics. In May1995, a second round of groundwater samples was collected from the wells. Analysis of thegroundwater samples revealed the presence of several VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, and inorganics inthe groundwater samples. The highest contaminant concentrations, especially for VOCs and SVOCs,were generally found in samples from MW-1 in the AST area. Groundwater contamination in theAST area is believed to have resulted from leaks and/or spills of volatile chemicals and possibly dieselfuel from one or more of the ASTs.

Analytical data for contaminants found in the February 1995 or May 1995 samples at levelsexceeding an applicable ATSDR comparison value, and for contaminants which have no comparisonvalue are presented in Table 5.

In May 1996, two additional shallow monitoring wells were installed to further characterizegroundwater quality at the site--MW-2 near the old process pit, and MW-6 between tanks #8 and #9in the AST area (Figure 9). MW-2 and MW-6 were 29 feet and 27 feet in depth, respectively. InJune 1996, groundwater samples were collected from the two new monitoring wells. Samples fromMW-2 were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, pesticides, PCBs, cyanide, pyridine, and inorganics, whilethe MW-6 samples were analyzed for VOCs only. At MW-2, several organic compounds weredetected, most notably: carbon disulfide, chloroform, and methylene chloride, and a number ofinorganics (similar to those found in the 1995 samples from the other monitoring wells). At MW-6,high levels of ethylbenzene and xylenes were found, indicating significant VOC contaminationbeneath the AST area. Contaminants of concern from the May 1996 monitoring well samples are included in Table 5.

Table 5.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in On-Site Groundwater Monitoring Wells1
Contaminant Concentration Range (ppb) # Detects / # Samples # Detects Above Comparison Values Comparison Value (ppb) Comparison Value Reference Maximum Detection
Sample ID # Sample Date Data Qualifier
Volatile Organic Compounds
Chloroform 590 1/10 1 6 CREG MW-2/6/17/96D 6/17/96  
1 100 EMEG (C) Child
1 400 EMEG (C) Adult
Ethyl benzene 2 - 23,000 4/10 2 700 MCL MW-6/06/17/96 6/17/96  
1 1000 RMEG Child
1 4000 RMEG Adult
Methylene chloride 0.4 - 6,400 4/10 2 5 CREG MW-6/06/17/96 6/17/96 BJ
1 600 EMEG (C) Child
1 2,000 EMEG (C) Adult
Xylene (total) 0.9 - 27,000 5/10 2 2000 EMEG (I) Child MW-6/06/17/96 6/17/96  
1 7000 EMEG (I) Adult
Semivolatile Organic Compounds
4-Methylphenol 48 1/8 NA NA NA MW-1/021695D 2/16/95  
Pesticides
Aldrin 0.013 1/8 1 0.002 CREG MW-3/021595RE 2/15/95 J
0.3 EMEG (C) Child
1 EMEG (C) Adult
alpha-BHC 0.039 - 0.083 2/8 2 0.006 CREG MW-3/051195RE 5/11/95  
beta-BHC 0.017 - 0.18 2/8 1 0.02 CREG MW-1/021695DRE 2/16/95 PJ
delta-BHC 0.057 1/8 1 0.02 CREG MW-1/050995D 5/9/95 P
Endosulfan sulfate 0.035 1/8 NA NA NA MW-1/021695DRE 2/16/95 PJ
Endrin aldehyde 0.025 - 0.041 3/8 NA NA NA MW-1/021695DRE 2/16/95 PJ
Endrin ketone 0.025 1/8 NA NA NA MW-1/021695DRE 2/16/95 J
Heptachlor 0.025 1/8 1 0.008 CREG MW-1/050995D 5/9/95 P
5 RMEG Child
20 RMEG Adult
Heptachlor epoxide 0.014 1/8 1 0.004 CREG MW-1/050995D 5/9/95 P
0.1 RMEG Child
0.5 RMEG Adult
Metals (total)
Aluminum 306 - 18,500 9/9 NA NA NA MW-5/021595 2/15/95 EN*J
Arsenic 1.8 - 5.4 6/9 6 0.02 CREG MW-3/021595 2/15/95 B
4 3 EMEG (C) Child
  10 EMEG (C) Adult
50 MCL
Beryllium 0.12 - 1.6 5/9 5 0.008 CREG MW-1/050995D 5/9/95 N
50 RMEG Child
2,000 RMEG Adult
4 MCL
Calcium 44,900 - 211,000 9/9 NA NA NA MW-3/051195 5/11/95  
Cobalt 6.7 - 82.5 3/9 NA NA NA MW-5/021595 2/15/95  
Iron 339 - 28,400 9/9 NA NA NA MW-5/021595 2/15/95 N*J
Lead 1.6 - 20.3 6/9 2 15 EPA Action Level MW-5/051095 5/10/95 S
Magnesium 31,200 - 90,500 9/9 NA NA NA MW-3/051195 5/11/95  
Manganese 108 - 14,100 9/9 NA NA NA MW-5/021595 2/15/95 ENJ
Potassium 1,260 - 26,400 9/9 NA NA NA MW-3/051195 5/11/95  
Selenium 2.2 - 24.2 3/9 2 20 EMEG (C) Child MW-1/021695D 2/16/95 BJNW
Sodium 314,000 - 928,000 9/9 NA NA NA MW-2/6/17/96D 6/17/96 E
Vanadium 15.3 - 456 9/9 8 30 RMEG Child MW-5/021595 2/15/95  
1 100 RMEG Adult
1Source: Reference (16)
B - For inorganics, the reported value is less than the Contract Required Limit but greater than the Instrument Detection Limit
E - Exceeded the calibration range of the instrument
W - Furnace AA post-digestion spike out of control limits
* - Duplicate analysis not within control limits
P - Greater than 25 percent difference between 26C columns
ppb - parts per billion
S - Determined by the Method of Standard Additions
NA - Not available
N - Spike recovery not within control limits

Groundwater--Private Wells

Two water supply wells are located at the site. These wells were used while the plant was active tosupply process water for the plant's operations and for fire protection. The north supply well (P-2)was sampled in March 1986 and the southwest supply well (P-1), in February 1991. The locations ofthe two process wells are shown in Figure 9. The 250,000-gallon on-site water tank, formerly used tostore water from the two supply wells, was sampled in January 1990. Sampling data forcontaminants found at levels exceeding an applicable ATSDR comparison value, and forcontaminants having no comparison value, are presented in Table 6. These data showed thatchloroform was present in samples from both wells and the water tank, while two otherorganics--bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and di-n-octyl phthalate--were found only in supply well P-2. In addition, a number of inorganic compounds were detected in samples from both P-1 and P-2.

Table 6.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in On-Site Production Wells1
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppb) SAMPLING DATE COMPARISON VALUE
ppb Source
BIS(2-ETHYLHEXYL)- PHTHALATE 280 3/86 3 CREG
CHLOROFORM 23.9 - 130 3/86, 1/90, 2/91 6 CREG
DI-N-OCTYLPHTHALATE 2.4J - 3.9 3/86 NONE  
ARSENIC 2J - 7 3/86, 2/91 0.02 CREG
BERYLLIUM 5J 3/86, 2/91 0.008 CREG
CALCIUM 68,800 3/86, 2/91 NONE  
IRON 121 3/86, 2/91 NONE  
LEAD 3.1 - 5 3/86, 2/91 NONE  
MAGNESIUM 43,500 3/86, 2/91 NONE  
SODIUM 548,000 3/86, 2/91 NONE  
1Source: Reference (2)

Ambient Air

No sampling data for VOCs in ambient air at the site were available during the development of thispublic health assessment. In addition, data from air sampling conducted inside the lab and warehousebuilding during previous site investigations and removal activities could not be found.

B. Off-Site Contamination

Groundwater--Public Water Supply Wells

VIWAPA Municipal Wells

Samples from three Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (VIWAPA) supply wells near the sitewere collected several times between March 1988 and February 1991. The three wells, FairplainsWells #6, #8, #9, are located about 900 to 1300 feet southeast of the site. Until recently, water fromthe VIWAPA Fairplains wells was pumped into the Fairplains water tank where it mixed withdesalinated seawater from VIWAPA's Christiansted treatment units, and water from other VIWAPAmunicipal well fields, prior to being chlorinated and pumped into the municipal water distributionsystem. The VIWAPA Fairplains wells are no longer active.

As shown in Table 7, chloroform had been found in the past in the Fairplains municipal wells at levelsexceeding ATSDR's comparison value, but not EPA's MCL. Several inorganic compoundscommonly found in groundwater aquifers (such as calcium, magnesium, and manganese) were alsodetected in the well samples, along with low levels of lead and mercury. In addition, the well samplescontained high levels of sodium, indicating that groundwater near the site is very saline.

Table 7.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in Municipal Supply Wells1,2
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppb) SAMPLING DATE COMPARISON VALUE
ppb SOURCE
CHLOROFORM 5 - 75 (3) 6
100
CREG
MCL
CALCIUM 69,900 - 127,000 2/91 NONE  
LEAD 3.9 - 4.2 2/91 NONE  
MAGNESIUM 48,600 - 71,600 2/91 NONE  
MANGANESE 17.7 - 400 2/91 NONE  
MERCURY 3.3 2/91 2 MCL/
MCLG
SODIUM 363,000 - 590,000 2/91 NONE  
1VIWAPA Fairplains wells #6, #8, & #9
2Source: Reference (2)
3Samples taken 3/88, 10-11/88, 1/90, 6/90, & 2/91

VIPA Airport Wells

Two airport supply wells, operated by the Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA), are located about900 to 1200 feet west of the site (Figure 2). Until recently, these two wells were used as theAlexander Hamilton Airport's primary water supply source. Between March 1988 and October1995, the airport wells and the airport water supply were sampled on numerous occasions by siteinvestigators and the VIPA. The only organic compounds detected in the airport well water sampleswere trihalomethanes (bromoform, bromodichloromethane, chloroform, and chlorodibromomethane). Several commonly occurring inorganics were also detected in the airport water samples, along withhigh levels of sodium. Sampling data for contaminants found in the airport wells at levels exceedingan applicable ATSDR comparison value, and for contaminants having no comparison value, are presented in Table 8.

Table 8.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in Airport Supply Wells1,2
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppb) SAMPLING DATE COMPARISON VALUE
ppb SOURCE
BROMOFORM 68 - 121 (3) 4 CREG
BROMODICHLORO-METHANE 2 (3) 0.6 CREG
CHLOROFORM 2J - 11.5 (4) 6 CREG
CHLORODIBROMO-METHANE 6 - 8 (3) 0.4 CREG
ALUMINUM 60 - 70 (5) NONE  
CALCIUM 61,300 - 75,800 2/91 NONE  
IRON 36 (5) NONE  
LEAD 2 - 18 (6) NONE  
MAGNESIUM 40,100 - 58,000 (5) NONE  
POTASSIUM 2,100 - 2,200 (5) NONE  
SODIUM 237,000 - 572,000 (5) NONE  
VANADIUM 50.3J 2/91 30 ciEMEG
1VIPA wells #1 & #2
2Source: References (2) and (17)
3Samples taken 5/92, 9/92, 12/92, & 10/95
4Samples taken 3/88, 10-11/88, 6/90, 2/91, 5/92, 9/92, 12/92, & 10/95
5Samples taken 2/91, 5/95, & 7/95
6Samples taken 10/88, 2/91, 5/95, & 7/95

Groundwater--Private Water Supply Wells

Sampling data for off-site private wells were not available to ATSDR during the development of thispublic health assessment. ATSDR considers this a significant data gap because area private wellsnear the site could be affected by site-related groundwater contaminants now, or sometime in thefuture.

Surface Water

The only surface-water body at the site is River Gut, an intermittent stream along the north and eastboundary of the site. The gut is normally dry, except after heavy rains. When the IslandChemical/Virgin Island Chemical facility was active, the gut received wastewater from the plant's labpit, process water from the plant's process pit, and stormwater runoff from the plant property. Nosampling data for surface water in the gut were available to ATSDR during the development of thispublic health assessment.

Sediment

Sediments in the River Gut stream channel were sampled in February 1986, March 1986, andFebruary 1991. Samples were collected at various locations, including the point where the lab pitdischarges to the gut and the point where the central storm drain discharges to the gut.

The sampling data showed low to moderate concentrations of several VOCs and SVOCs in the gutsediments; however, none of the contaminant levels exceeded ATSDR's comparison values. Thegreatest number of contaminants and the highest contaminant concentrations were generally found atthe point where drainage from the process pit entered the gut via the central storm drain. A number ofinorganics were also detected in the sediment samples. Again, the highest levels of contaminants,including chromium, lead, and zinc, were found at the central storm drain discharge point. Most ofthe inorganic concentrations (as shown in Table 9) were similar to normal background soil levels, andonly a few--arsenic, beryllium, and chromium--exceeded an applicable ATSDR comparison value. Zinc levels in the gut sample, although elevated, did not exceed ATSDR comparison values.

Table 9.

Sampling Data for Contaminants of Concern in River Gut Sediments1
CONTAMINANT CONCENTRATION RANGE (ppm) BACKGROUND CONCENTRATION (ppm) COMPARISON VALUE
ppm SOURCE
DI-N-OCTYLPHTHALATE 7.7 - 17 N/A NONE  
ALUMINUM 15,700 - 32,400 7,000 - 100,0002 NONE  
ARSENIC 0.8J - 4.1J <0.1 - 7382 0.5 CREG
BERYLLIUM 7 - 8 ND - 1.53 0.2 CREG
CALCIUM 45,600 - 82,100 1,500 - 70,0003 NONE  
CHROMIUM 10 - 71.1 10 - 3003 60 CREG (Cr+6)
COBALT 14.7 - 25.4 ND - 1003 NONE  
COPPER 25.3 - 69.7 30 - 1003 NONE  
IRON 25,700 - 39,200 30,000 - 50,0003 NONE  
LEAD 7.5 - 46.4 10 - 3003 NONE  
MAGNESIUM 7,600 - 11,800 7,000 - 15,0003 NONE  
MANGANESE 954 - 1,430 700 - 10,0003 NONE  
POTASSIUM 1,490 - 1,600 50 - 37,0002 NONE  
SODIUM 1,640J - 1,750 3,000 - 10,0003 NONE  
1Source: Reference (2)
2Source: Reference (14)
3Source: Reference (15)

C. Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) Review

ATSDR conducted a search of the EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) database forfacilities in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The search showed that some facilities in the area havereleased various organic and inorganic compounds to the air, water, and land. However, it should benoted that information in the TRI database is reported only by large companies that handle certainquantities of hazardous chemicals. Therefore, it is not possible to determine from the TRI recordswhether any small businesses have released contaminants in the site area.

D. Quality Assurance and Quality Control

The reports and laboratory data sheets ATSDR reviewed indicate laboratory procedures used toanalyze samples from the site included quality control measures. ATSDR presumes that appropriateprotocols were followed, and that analytical data are accurate. The validity of ATSDR's evaluations,conclusions, and recommendations is contingent upon the completeness and reliability of the availablesite data and information.

E. Physical and Other Hazards

The Island Chemical/Virgin Island Chemical site is littered with debris (e.g., old pipes, pieces ofmetal, wooden pallets, empty drums, old plant equipment, junk cars, semi-truck trailer, old tires,nails) which could pose a threat to site trespassers. Other potential physical hazards include the site'sdilapidated and deteriorating buildings and tanks and the unsecured outside stairway from whichpersons could accidentally fall and be injured. Access to these hazards by trespassers, such as the oneobserved during the April 1997 site visit, is possible because the site entrance gate is broken and some sections of the site fence are missing.



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