PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
TOWN OF EATON, MADISON COUNTY, NEW YORK
The C&J Disposal National Priority List (NPL) site is in the Town of Eaton in Madison County,New York. The site consists of a trench that was dug and filled with paint sludges and solid andliquid industrial wastes, including 75-100 barrels, in the mid-1970s. The primary waste-relatedcontaminants are phthalates, which were found in on-site soils and groundwater. A preliminaryhealth assessment for the site was completed in February 1991 and concluded that the site poseda potential human health concern to users of private wells downgradient of the site. Additionally,contamination of Woodman Pond which is about 3,000 feet downgradient of the site, was alsoidentified as a potential concern as it is a supplemental potable water supply source for theVillage of Hamilton. The preliminary health assessment included a recommendation that the sitebe secured and the soil cap maintained.
In the past, the potential exposure pathways at this site included: (1) ingestion of and dermalcontact with contaminants in groundwater; and (2) direct contact, incidental ingestion andinhalation exposure to contaminated surface soils and soil particulates on and near the site. However, the site has been remediated; analyses of water from private wells in the area and thepond south of the site have not detected contamination.
A record of decision (ROD) for this site was signed on March 29, 1991. No human exposures tosite contaminants have been confirmed and no health outcome studies have been completed. Based on the information reviewed, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry(ATSDR) and the New York State Department of Health have concluded that this site poses a noapparent public health hazard because the available data do not indicate that humans are being orhave been exposed to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse healtheffects, nor is it likely that exposure to site contaminants will occur in the future. Based on theinformation reviewed, the ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel has determined thatno follow-up public health actions are needed at this time.
The C&J Disposal site is in the Town of Eaton in Madison County, New York, near theintersection of Routes 12B and 46, north of the Village of Hamilton (refer to Figure 1, Appendix A). The site consists of a narrow trench situated between a cornfield and a former New York,Ontario, and Western Railroad bed (refer to Figure 2, Appendix A). During the mid-1970's, thetrench was dug and reportedly used for the disposal of solid and liquid industrial waste materials. In March 1976, C&J Leasing of Patterson, New Jersey, dumped what appeared to be paintsludges and other liquid industrial waste materials in the trench. The site was never permitted asa landfill for waste disposal purposes. The site was inspected by the New York State Departmentof Health (NYS DOH), the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and the Village of Hamilton engineer. On March 22, 1976 NYS DEC staff and the villageengineer saw about 75 to 100 drums in a pool of liquid wastes in the trench. The trench was latercovered with soil, reportedly by C&J Leasing, burying the drums.
The site is situated at the intersection of three land parcels, one of which is owned by C&JLeasing. The site can be accessed by entering a New York State Department of Transportation(NYS DOT) storage area at the intersection of Routes 12B and 46, and following the formerrailroad bed about 800 feet to the south. A small pond, on the C&J property, lies to the southwithin 100 feet of the disposal trench (Figure 2, Appendix A). The pond borders a wetland to thewest and ultimately drains into Woodman Pond which is about 3,000 feet south of the site andserves as a supplemental drinking water source for the Village of Hamilton.
Soil was sampled by representatives of NYS DEC in 1985 and by representatives of the NUSCorporation, a contractor for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) in1986. Surficial soil samples from the site contained phenolic compounds, phthalates, andpolynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was detected insediments from the adjacent pond.
Thirteen residences are within 1800 feet of the site. Currently, twelve residences are usingprivate wells as their source of drinking water (Figure 3, Appendix A). In 1986, NUS sampleddrinking water from two private wells downgradient of the site and did not detect anycontamination. In September of 1988, NYS DOH sampled four private wells downgradient ofthe site and no contamination was found. Additional sampling of residential wells near the siteduring the Remedial Investigation (RI) confirmed prior findings that no contamination from thesite had migrated to these wells. The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List(NPL) in March of 1989.
In April 1989, the site was excavated, without permission, by C&J Leasing. Nearby residentsreported hearing heavy equipment movement at the site during the night. Dump trucks,presumably loaded with excavated soils and wastes, were observed leaving the site and returningabout one half hour later. Most of the drums believed to have been buried on-site had apparentlybeen excavated and removed from the site. As a result of this removal action, two stockpiles ofsoil and waste material accumulated within the trench and one stockpile of soil and wastematerial accumulated outside the trench.
The RI was initiated in May 1989 and field investigations began in October 1989. BetweenOctober 1988 and February 1990, a survey of private wells near the site was conducted as part ofthe RI.
A preliminary health assessment was completed for the C&J Disposal site in February 1991, bythe NYS DOH through a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR). The preliminary health assessment stated that the site posed apotential human health concern to users of private wells downgradient of the site. The potentialfor contaminants to migrate to Woodman Pond was evaluated; because Woodman Pond serves asa supplemental drinking water supply for the Village of Hamilton, human exposure tocontaminants in surface water at Woodman Pond was also considered a possible human exposurepathway. The potential for workers involved with site remediation activities to be exposed tocontaminants was also identified as a potential human exposure pathway. Recommendations inthe preliminary health assessment were to secure the site and maintain the soil cover.
The site was secured in February of 1990 upon completion of the RI field activities; in December1990, a chain-link fence was installed around the site to limit access to the disposal trench. Inaddition, the external soil pile was moved back into the trench. All piles of soil and wastematerial were covered with protective covers to prevent contaminated soil transport to off-siteareas. A US EPA Record of Decision (ROD) was signed for this site on March 29, 1991 with thefollowing remedial requirements:
- Excavation of about 1,250 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris from the disposal trench with transport to a permitted waste management facility for treatment and/or disposal;
- Excavation and removal of drums containing wastes with transport to a permitted waste management facility for treatment and/or disposal;
- Temporary dewatering of the disposal trench prior to excavation and treatment of water, if necessary, prior to recharge;
- Backfilling of the trench with clean fill and revegetation of the site; and
- Quarterly monitoring of groundwater underlying the site and downgradient residential wellsfor one year.
In January 1992, US EPA sampled eight residential wells near the site to establish baseline datafor post-remediation groundwater monitoring. Toluene was found in six of the samples atconcentrations ranging from 1.0 micrograms per liter (mcg/L) to 15.0 mcg/L. The current NYSDOH maximum contaminant level (MCL) for toluene in public water supplies is 5.0 mcg/L andtwo residential wells showed toluene above this level at 10.0 mcg/L (RW07) and 15.0 mcg/L(RW01).
On April 24, 1992, the two residential wells with toluene above 5 mcg/L were resampled by theOccidental Chemical Corporation, the potentially responsible party (PRP) for the site. Toluenewas not detected in either of the two private water supply samples.
Site remediation activities began in August 1992 and included assembly of the dewateringtreatment system and excavation of soils from the trench. Site remediation activities continuedthrough the fall and also included sampling of on-site monitoring wells. During trenchexcavation activities, soil and groundwater samples were also collected.
Due to concerns with the data for residential drinking water samples collected by US EPA inJanuary 1992 and the follow-up sampling conducted by the PRP in April 1992, NYS DOHcollected additional samples of drinking water from seven residences downgradient (south) of thesite for analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in January 1993. None of the wellsamples contained VOCs, including toluene.
On June 9, 1993, a representative of the Madison County Health Department (MCHD) resampledthe seven residential wells which were sampled by NYS DOH in January. These samples wereanalyzed for trace metals. Iron was reported at 435 mcg/L in one water sample; this is above thestandard of 300 mcg/L for taste and odor concerns, but is not a public health concern. The otherresults for all well water were within drinking water standards.
Remediation was completed in January 1993; US EPA inspected the excavated waste disposaltrench at the site and confirmed that waste material and soil was removed from the disposaltrench. Backfilling of the trench with clean fill was completed in February 1993. Groundwatersamples were collected from two on-site monitoring wells (MW-025 and MW-35) to evaluate ifthe excavation activities at the site affected groundwater quality. About 2,400 cubic yards ofcontaminated soil from the site were sent to an off-site disposal facility. Quarterly groundwatermonitoring and residential well sampling were initiated in June 1993 and analytical results arepending. The final site inspection was performed by US EPA on June 29, 1993.
- Residential wells near the site have been sampled on six separate occasions between 1986 and 1993 and contamination of private drinking water supplies has not been found.
- In April 1989, C&J Leasing excavated and removed soils and wastes from the site.
- The US EPA developed a Community Regulations Plan in October 1989 to address site-related community concerns.
- The site was fenced in December of 1990 to limit unauthorized access to the disposal trench and all stockpiled soils were covered to prevent transport of soil particulates in runoff to off-site areas.
- US EPA conducted a public meeting on February 13, 1991 to discuss findings of the RI and feasibility study (FS) and present the preferred alternative for remediation of the site.
- Site remediation activities began in August 1992 and included removal of drums, soils and contaminated wastes to a permitted waste management facility for treatment and/or disposal. Site remediation activities were completed in January 1993.
- The first and second round of quarterly sampling of groundwater at the site and residential wells have been completed and results are pending.
- NYS DOH has conducted community health education during past sampling of residentialwells; additionally, all residents whose wells were sampled by NYS DOH in January 1993 wereprovided with copies of the analytical results.
NYS DOH personnel visited the site during the October 1988 residential well sampling. The siteis well vegetated including the trench area. Immediately west of the site is an active farm. Mature trees and heavy undergrowth are to the north. A dirt trail (the former railroad bed)borders the site to the east. A small pond south of the site drains all local surface water. Subsequently, water in this pond flows to a wetland area which drains to Woodman Pond, about3,000 feet south of the site.
On January 12, 1993, Claudine Jones Rafferty and Susan Van Patten of the NYS DOH met witha representative of the NYS DEC at the site to evaluate current site conditions and collectsamples of drinking water from nearby residences. At the time of the site visit, the weather wascold and a light rain was falling. Conditions of the site and surrounding area were difficult toconfirm as there was about 1 foot of snow cover on the ground. A chain link fence, about 10 feetin height, completely enclosed the site and access onto the site was being monitored by on-siteworkers. The disposal trench had been excavated to a depth of about eight feet and about twofeet of standing water was in the pit. Excavated soils were being stockpiled on the north side ofthe pit, inside the fence line. Two on-site trailers were being used by workers.
NYS DOH and NYS DEC personnel collected samples of drinking water from three residencesalong Woodman Pond Road and from four homes along Route 12B to confirm the resultsobtained by US EPA in January 1992. A detailed discussion of the sampling activities, analysisand results are presented in the Environmental Contamination and Other Hazards section of thispublic health assessment.
The C&J Disposal site is in the Town of Eaton, Madison County, New York. The Town ofEaton is a rural, central New York community. The 1980 population of the Town of Eaton was5,182, with an average rural density of 55 persons per square mile, outside of incorporatedvillages. The neighboring Town of Hamilton is the closest population center to the site, about1.5 miles to the southeast. The Town of Hamilton has a total population (1980) of 6,027, and anaverage rural density of 39 persons per square mile, outside of incorporated villages.
A small pond which lies about 100 feet south of the disposal trench, ultimately drains toWoodman Pond. The small pond is part of a NYS DEC-designated wetland. A second state-designated wetland is 1,800 feet west of the site. These two wetland areas are known as"Fiddler's Green." The area forms the drainage basin of the Chenango River, which is a majortributary to the larger Susquehanna River Basin. Surface drainage at the site is toward the smallpond and wetland.
The homes near the site are single-family homes. The census tract data for this area include theTown of Hamilton which may not be representative of this much smaller residential area. Thereare thirteen residences on Route 12B and Woodman Pond Road between the site and WoodmanPond, to the south. The residential dwelling nearest to the site is currently unoccupied. Theother twelve residences are served by private wells. Woodman Pond, about 3,000 feet south ofthe site, is a supplemental water supply for the Village of Hamilton.
The NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which could be used to generate sitespecific data, if warranted. These data bases include the cancer registry, the congenitalmalformations registry, the heavy metals registry, the occupational lung disease registry, vitalrecords (birth and death certificates) and hospital discharge information.
The primary community health concern expressed to state personnel has been the potential forsite contaminants to affect local water supplies. Residents near the site fear their water suppliesmay become contaminated if the site is not remediated. The water supplies include the nearbyresidential wells and the Town of Hamilton's supplemental surface water supply, WoodmanPond.
Another concern raised by residents of Woodman Pond Road is the unauthorized excavation in1989. Because the trucks in this operation returned to the site within about one-half hour,residents and town officials assume that the excavated waste was illegally dumped within 15minutes of the site.
At the February 13, 1991, public meeting held by US EPA, several community concerns wereraised relating to financial responsibilities for remediation of the site, selection of remedialalternatives, quarterly monitoring of groundwater at the site and of nearby residential wells andthe schedule for site remediation. No specific or community health concerns were raised.