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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

BATAVIA LANDFILL
BATAVIA, GENESEE COUNTY, NEW YORK

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the information reviewed, the Batavia Landfill site is a public health hazard because past exposures to methylene chloride and trichloroethene in drinking water at private wells near the site occurred at elevated levels, above drinking water standards. Private residential wells near the site are still contaminated with VOCs, but at levels which are at and below NYS DOH maximum contaminant levels. While these wells are currently being used for drinking water and household purposes, current exposures to contaminants in groundwater are not occurring at levels of public health concern. However, even though current exposures are not at levels of public health concern, this site is a public health hazard because future exposures to site contaminants could occur at levels that are of health concern. If the site is not remediated to address groundwater contamination, nearby residents using private wells could be exposed to elevated concentrations of contaminants in groundwater. In addition, possible future exposures to contaminants associated with recreational use of the nearby wetlands and possible residential development of the site could also occur at levels of public health concern.
  2. Subsequent sampling of the Village of Oakfield public water supply and the well serving the trailer park near the site have not detected site-related contaminants.
  3. Three water-producing aquifers at the site are contaminated with volatile organic compounds and metals at concentrations that exceed drinking water standards or guidelines. A change in site use or the continued migration of contaminants in groundwater could increase community exposures to site contaminants.
  4. There are no barriers to restrict public access to the site. Unauthorized users of the site may be exposed to contaminants found in soil, waste materials, surface water and sediments. There are no data available to characterize on-site surface soils.
  5. There are not sufficient data to determine if air is contaminated with methane and other site-related chemicals at levels which could present a public health hazard. Of particular concern is the potential for methane to migrate to and collect inside nearby residences and hence present an explosive hazard.
  6. The Remedial Investigation Report has been finalized by EPA and a Feasibility Study (FS) will be performed to evaluate the best alternatives for remediating the site.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The public water supply should be extended to all homes near the site. Because groundwater at the site is contaminated with VOCs and metals at levels above NYS DOH maximum contaminant levels and could migrate off-site to nearby private wells, residents with contaminated wells should be provided with bottled water and/or treatment systems as an interim measure, until a permanent alternate water supply can be provided.
  2. Public access onto the landfill should be restricted.
  3. On-site monitoring wells should be sampled annually. If monitoring wells BL-16R or BL-25R become contaminated, action should be taken to ensure the public water supply wells do not become contaminated. The drinking water data for the trailer park should be reviewed and, if necessary, monitored for phenols. The village of Oakfield municipal water supply wells should be monitored as required by regulation.
  4. The need to perform off-site soil gas/ambient air monitoring for methane and other VOCs should be evaluated.
  5. On-site surface soil conditions should be characterized.
  6. Public access to the areas of sediment contamination in the adjacent wetlands should be restricted.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATION

The data and information evaluated in the public health assessment for the Batavia Landfill site, Batavia, New York, have been reviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendations Panel (HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. Because of past exposure to contaminated drinking water, the panel determined that follow-up health actions are needed at this site. Specifically, the panel determined that those persons exposed in the past should be considered for inclusion in NYS DOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures from drinking contaminated drinking water. In addition, the panel determined that community health education was needed for the persons who were exposed to contaminants in their drinking water. This action has already been performed by the NYS DOH.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Batavia Landfill site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH at and near the site, following completion of this public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please refer to the Background section of this Public Health Assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from past, present and/or future exposures to hazardous substances at or near the site. Included, is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH are as follows:

  1. ATSDR and NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the recommendations contained in this Public Health Assessment.
  2. ATSDR will provide an annual follow up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this Public Health Assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. Persons exposed to VOC contaminants in drinking water will be considered for inclusion in NYS DOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures from drinking contaminated drinking water.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.

CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the Batavia Landfill was prepared by the New York State 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 initiated.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams, PE, DEE
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Charles Amento
Program Research Specialist II
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health

and

Joel Kaplan
Research Scientist
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
New York State Department of Health

ATSDR Regional Representative
Arthur Block
Regional Services
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR

ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Greg Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch
ATSDR

REFERENCES

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