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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

TUTU WELLFIELD
ST. THOMAS, ST. THOMAS COUNTY, VIRGIN ISLANDS



CONCLUSIONS

  1. The Tutu Wellfield National Priorities List (NPL) site, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, poses a public health hazard for past, present and possible future ingestion of contaminated groundwater. Based upon the site history, ATSDR has estimated that people may have ingested contaminated groundwater for up to 20 years (a worse case assumption). An increased risk of cancer might exist for those people, as well as for people who are currently using contaminated groundwater, or who may use it in the future. There is a strong likelihood that commercial and private wells may currently be open or may be opened in the future by individuals to supplement water supplies during water shortages. If those events occur, an increased risk of cancer might exist. In addition, wells that are not currently contaminated and wells that may be constructed in the future have the potential to become contaminated from the groundwater plume. An increased risk of cancer may also exist in that case.

  2. A public health hazard exists for possible inhalation and dermal exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when contaminated groundwater is used for secondary purposes inside private homes (i.e., washing, showering, flushing. and bathing). The possibility exists for adverse health effects to develop after exposure to VOCs through secondary exposures. In addition, the possibility exists that these wells could be used for potable sources. There is also a chance that the concentrations in these wells could increase if a dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) enters the wells. If that occurs, it could increase the chance that adverse health effects could develop.

  3. If people did not receive contaminated potable water for more than 10 years, their chance of developing cancer would be reduced significantly.

  4. The remedial alternative selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require all private and commercial wells within the area of contaminated groundwater to be closed. The remedial alternative would also require the treatment of the contaminated soil and groundwater. If implemented, the proposed remedial plan should stop any on-going exposures and prevent any future exposures to site-related contaminants and would protect the health of the public.

  5. A physical hazard exists on the property of the Virgin Island Housing Authority (VIHA). Children and small animals could conceivably fall into the opening of the cistern and experience some injury.

  6. The presence of the farm animals near the cistern is a biological hazard to public health as their presence may lead to unsanitary conditions around the cistern.


RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Restrict access to the cistern on the VIHA property. Implement institutional controls to prevent improper use of the cistern when used to supplement the water supply.

  2. Based on volatile organic contamination, the wells with concentrations above 100 ppb total volatile organic compounds should not be used, even for secondary purposes inside the homes (i.e., washing, showering, flushing, and bathing). These include the LaPlace, Matthias, Smith, and Steele private wells.

  3. Ensure that the closed commercial wells are not used to supplement water supplies.

  4. Continue to monitor down gradient wells for site-related contaminants. Any well found to be contaminated with site-related contaminants at levels of public health concern should not be used for potable water or secondary uses.

  5. The remedial alternative selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should be implemented as soon as possible.

B. Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Determinations

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Tutu Wellfield National Priorities List site in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, have been evaluated by the Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. Available information indicates that exposure of individuals to contaminants at levels of public health concern has occurred in the past and may be presently occurring. For these reasons, HARP has determined that the following actions are indicated at this time:

(1)



Community health education, to assist the community in understanding their potential for exposure, in mitigating effects of exposure, and in assessing adverse health effects that may be related to those exposures.

(2)


Health professions education, to improve knowledge, skill and behavior of health professionals in their interaction with community members potentially exposed to site-related contaminants, particularly VOCs.

If information becomes available in the future which indicates that human exposure to hazardous substances is occurring or has occurred in the past at levels of public health concern, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for any additional indicated follow-up.

C. Public Health Action Plan

The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (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.

ATSDR in cooperation with appropriate public health agencies will evaluate the feasibility and resources to pursue implementing the health actions determined to be needed by the HARP. In addition, ATSDR will collaborate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursue the implementation of the recommendations outlined in this public health assessment.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

    Adrienne L. Hollis, Ph.D.
    Toxicologist
    Superfund Site Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment & Consultation

    Laura Barr
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Superfund Site Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment & Consultation

    Sven E. Rodenbeck, P.E.
    Environmental Engineer Consultant
    Superfund Site Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment & Consultation


    Regional Representative

    Steve Jones
    Regional Representative
    Region II
    Office of Regional Operations




REFERENCES

  1. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott B. Graber, Work Assignment Manager, CDM Federal Programs Corporation, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. September 19, 1988.

  2. Geraght and Miller, Inc. Technical Memorandum II, Results of the Field Program, Tutu Service Station Investigation, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Santurce, Puerto Rico; February 1993.

  3. NUS Corp. Preliminary Assessment Report for Tutu Texaco, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. New York, March 24, 1989, revised May 26, 1989, TDD No. 02-8902-40.

  4. CDM Federal Programs. Field Notes, Tutu Wellfield. New York; April 8 and 9, 1988.

  5. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott B. Graber, TES V Regional Manager, CDM Federal Programs Corporation, to Cathy Moyik, regional Project Officer. May 30, 1990 and Letter from Scott B. Graber, Work Assignment Manager, CDM Federal Programs Corporation, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. May 2, 1990.

  6. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott B. Graber, TES V Regional Manager, CDM Federal Programs, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. February 2, 1990.

  7. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Sally Odland for Scott B. Graber, Work Assignment Manager, CDM Federal Programs, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. May 2, 1990.

  8. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott B. Graber, TES III Regional Manager, CDM Federal Programs, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. June 27, 1989.

  9. Pedro Panzardi & Associates. Remedial Investigation Workplan for O'Henry Laundry, St. Thomas, USVI. Puerto Rico; March 1990.

  10. Weston/SPER Division. Summary of Laboratory Results for Oil and Water Samples Collected from Tanks, Storm Drains, and Sumps at Gasoline Stations and Auto Body Shops in Tutu, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on August 17, 1987. New York, February 23, 1988.

  11. Geoscience Consultants, Ltd. Final Report on Results of Soil Gas Survey, Tutu, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. December 18, 1987.

  12. CDM Federal Programs. Field Notes, Tutu Wellfield. New York, September 6-15, 1988.

  13. NUS Corp. Preliminary Assessment Report for LAGA Building/Virgin Islands Department of Education, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Edison, New Jersey; March 24, 1989, TDD No. 02-89-2-44.

  14. NUS Corp. Field Notebook No. 0398, Virgin Islands Drum Reconnaissance, TDD No. 02-8901-29. Edison, New Jersey; February 2-15, 1989.

  15. Pedro Panzardi & Associates. Preliminary Site Assessment Report for O'Henry, Inc., St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Puerto Rico; October 1989.

  16. Geraghty and Miller, Inc. Eighth Sampling Report March/April 1993, Tutu wells Site, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Rochelle Park, New Jersey; July 1993.

  17. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott Graber, TES III Regional Manager, CDM Federal Programs, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. March 31,1989.

  18. Geraghty & Miller, Inc. Phase II Remedial Investigation, Tutu Wells Site, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Rochelloe Park, New Jersey; April 1995.

  19. CH2M Hill Southeast, Inc. Final Report, Water Management Plan for the Public Water System - U.S. Virgin Islands. Gainesville, Florida; July 1983.

  20. Weston/SPER Division. Tutu Well Site Potable Water Alternatives Report, Anna's Retreat, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Edison, New Jersey; December 1988.

  21. Donnelly, T.W. Geology of St. Thomas and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, In Caribbean Geological Investigations, Geological Society of America, Memoir 98 ed. H.H. Hess, 1966.

  22. Jordan, D.G. and O.J. Cosner,. A Survey of the Water Resources of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report, 1973.

  23. NUS Corp. Preliminary Assessment Report for Gasset Motors, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Edison, New Jersey; March 24, 1989, TDD No. 02-8902-42, Rev. No. 1.

  24. CDM Federal Programs. US EPA Region 2 Administrative Order, In the Matter of the Esso Standard Oil S.A., Limited Texaco Caribbean Inc., L'Henri, Inc., d/b/a O'Henry Cleaners, Tutu Well Site, Anna's Retreat, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Island. New York, October 14, 1989.

  25. CDM Federal Programs. Letter from Scott B. Graber, CDM Federal Programs, to Carolyn Kwan, U.S. EPA. October 31, 1988.

  26. Geraghty & Miller, Inc. Letter from Thomas V. Danahy and Daniel A. Nachman, Geraghty & Miller, Inc., to Caroline Kwan, U.S. EPA, July 21, 1994.

  27. Shacklette HT, Boerngen JG. Element concentrations in soils and other surfical materials of the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984.

  28. NUS Corp. Preliminary Assessment Report for Ramsey Motors, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Edison, New Jersey; March 24, 1989, TDD No. 02-8902-42, Rev. No. 1.

  29. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. U.S. EPA Draft Action Memorandum from Suis Santos, U.S. EPA On Scene Coordinator (OSC) to William J. Muszynski, P.E., Acting Regional Administrator, thru Stephen D. Luftig, Director of Emergency and Remedial Response Division. February 1989.

  30. Virgin Island Department of Natural Resources. Facsimile from Ben Nazario, Virgin Island Department of Natural Resources, and Richard L. Feinberg, NUS Corp., April 30, 1991.

  31. NUS Corp. Telecon Note: Conversation between Ben Nazario/Ms. Monsanto, Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resources, and Richard L. Feinberg, NUS Corp., May 1, 1991.

  32. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region II. St. Thomas, USVI, Hazard Ranking System Documentation, Tutu Wellfield Site. New York; 1991.

  33. NUS Corp. Project Note From Richard L. Feinberg, NUS Corp., to File, subject: Calculation of Ground Water Population Apportionment, May 30, 1991.

  34. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Benzene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 1995; Contract No. 205-93-0606.

  35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 1995; Contract No. 205-93-0606.

  36. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 1995; Contract No. 205-93-0606.

  37. Burg JR, Gist GL, Allred SL, Radtke TM, Pallos LL, Cusack CD. National Exposure Registry Trichloroethylene (TCE) Subregistry. Baseline Technical Report. Atlanta: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry; 1993 May.

  38. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, August 1995; Contract No. 205-93-0606.

  39. McKone, T.E., and J.P. Knezovich. The Transfer of Trichloroethylene (TCE) from a shower to Indoor Air: Experimental Measurements and Their Implications. J. Air Waste Manage. Assoc., 1991, pp. 282-286.

  40. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Antimony, Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, September 1992; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  41. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April 1993; Contract No. 205-88-0608.

  42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. Atlanta, Georgia: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, July 1992; Contract No. 205-88-0608.


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