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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
COLESVILLE MUNICIPAL LANDFILL
COLESVILLE, BROOME COUNTY, NEW YORK

CONCLUSIONS

Based on the information reviewed, the Colesville Landfill is a public health hazard because of the risk to human health from past exposures and possible future exposures to hazardous substances at concentrations that may result in adverse health impacts. The Colesville Landfill is contaminating ground water, both on and off site, primarily with VOCs. Homeowner wells south and southwest of the site are contaminated. Broome County purchased several of these homes which are now unoccupied. Other affected homeowners have been supplied with carbon filters for treatment of their water or are using bottled water to reduce the risk of exposure to contaminated ground water while final cleanup remedies are being designed and implemented.

Surface soils have not been characterized, but are not expected to be contaminated because an interim cover was placed on the landfill surface when it was closed in December 1984. Furthermore, US EPA has concluded that the absence of "hot spots" in subsurface soils, which may represent major sources of contamination, does not necessitate excavation and treatment of landfilled materials. The remedial action objective for landfill soils is to eliminate the potential for exposure via direct contact and reduce or eliminate infiltration of precipitation through the site soils.

The ground water from seeps near the landfill are contaminated with VOCs. The surface soil at the seeps may contain residual levels of contaminants. The surface water and sediment in nearby streams may have been impacted by contaminants from the site, but the residual levels are minimal. The indoor air of homes above the contaminated ground water plume may be impacted although the potential impact is expected to be small.

In 1986, the Broome County Health Department conducted a study of cancer incidence in the Colesville Landfill area. Results of this study indicated that overall cancer incidence was below expected for both males and females and no statistically significant excesses of cancer of any site were found for either sex.

The citizens of Doraville are concerned about their drinking water quality being affected in the future by site contaminants and want to receive drinking water from the proposed public water supply system. Their drinking water has been tested; no contaminants were detected. Because the ground water flow is to the west, rather than the south, the contamination is not expected to reach their wells. However, the monitoring wells which are between the contaminated ground water plume and their wells can be used to monitor contaminant movement. If contamination is detected in these monitoring wells in the future, additional remedial actions could be initiated to ensure that the wells of Doraville residents do not become contaminated.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Site access to the landfill property and areas where leachate seeps occur should be restricted to eliminate the potential for direct contact with contaminants.
  2. Control measures to minimize discharge of contaminated ground water to the North Stream and Susquehanna River should be implemented.
  3. Homeowners with contaminated water should be provided with a new water supply. The drinking water before and after the granular activated carbon filters should be analyzed for alcohols and ketones to determine if they are present.
  4. Monitoring wells downgradient of the site and between the Hamlet of Doraville should be routinely monitored to evaluate the potential for impact to water supplies of Doraville residents.
  5. Ambient air in homes near the landfill should be surveyed for methane and VOCs. Measures should be in place to ensure that methane will not impact the homes in the future.
  6. Appropriate measures to protect worker health and safety associated with exposure to site contaminants during site remediation should be implemented.
  7. A review of the carbon filter maintenance and confirmatory sampling schedule should be conducted to verify drinking water quality at affected residences.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL RECOMMENDATION

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Colesville Municipal Landfill site, Colesville, New York, has been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. Because of past exposure to contaminated drinking water, the panel recommends this site for follow-up health activities. Specifically, the panel agrees that those persons exposed in the past should be added to NYSDOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures from drinking contaminated drinking water. In addition, the panel recommends that community health education be performed for the persons who were exposed to contaminants in their drinking water.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Public Health Actions Taken:

  1. Broome County has sampled homeowner wells downgradient of the landfill and has provided bottled water and/or carbon filters to homes with contaminated wells. The County has also purchased several of the affected properties from homeowners living near the landfill.
  2. Prior to the Remedial Investigation, private water supplies of homeowners in Doraville were sampled to determine if site-related contaminants were present.
  3. Community health education of homeowners whose wells were contaminated as a result of waste disposal activities at the Colesville Landfill site has occurred during homeowner well sampling in 1983 and also during a NYS DOH survey of homeowners in November 1990, whose wells had shown site-related contamination. In addition, NYS DOH staff addressed community concerns at the public meeting on January 30, 1991.

Public Health Actions Planned:

  1. The selected remedy includes provisions for a new public water supply, to be located north (upgradient) of the landfill, with distribution to affected homes.
  2. The selected remedy provides for routine sampling of monitoring wells between the ground water contaminant plume at the landfill and private residences in Doraville to evaluate the potential for future contamination of private water supplies in Doraville.
  3. Control measures will be put in place to ensure that methane gas will not migrate to nearby homes.
  4. The selected remedy requires extraction (by pumping) and treatment (via air stripping) of contaminated ground water to control migration of the ground water contaminant plume and to restore ground water quality to levels consistent with State and Federal requirements.
  5. The selected remedy calls for imposition of property deed restrictions to prevent the future installation of drinking water wells at the site.
  6. A multimedia cap will be installed over the landfill material to prevent infiltration of precipitation through landfill soils to the water table.
  7. A fence will be installed to further protect the integrity of the landfill cap by restricting access to the site.
  8. NYS DOH is developing a registry of persons exposed to VOCs in drinking water. Residents who were exposed in the past to VOCs through the use of domestic water supplies will be considered for inclusion to this registry.

CERTIFICATION

This Public Health Assessment was prepared by the New York State Department of Public 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
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR

PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Claudine F. Jones

Program Research Specialist

Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation

New York State Department of Health

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Arthur Block

Regional Operations

Office of the Assistant Administrator
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Gregory Ulirsch

Technical Project Officer

Division of Health Assessment and Consultation,
Remedial Programs Branch
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

REFERENCES

  1. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). Preliminary Health Assessment: Colesville Landfill - Town of Colesville, Broome County, New York (Prepared by New York State Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR); June 1989.
  2. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. ATSDR/TP-88/02. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  3. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. ATSDR/TP-88/03. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. ATSDR/TP-88/08. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  5. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Chloroform. ATSDR/TP-88/09. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  6. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for Chloromethane. Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  7. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  8. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-89/10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  9. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene. ATSDR/TP-89/11. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  10. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethene and 1,2-Dichloroethene. Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  11. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for Lead. ATSDR/TP-88/17. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  12. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride. ATSDR/TP-88/18. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  13. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for Silver. ATSDR/TP-90/24. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  14. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Toluene. ATSDR/TP-89/23. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  15. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990. Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/27. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  16. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. ATSDR/TP-89/24. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. ATSDR/TP-88/25. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.
  18. Broome County Health Department. Cancer Occurrence by Common Drinking Water Source - Broome County, NY: 1976-1980; April 25, 1986.
  19. Ecological Analysts, Inc. Preliminary Investigation of the Colesville Landfill Site, Phase I Summary Report (Prepared for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Albany, New York); September 1984.
  20. Geraghty & Miller, Inc. Existing and Proposed USEPA Maximum Contaminant Levels in Drinking Water-May 1989 and July 1990; August 1990.
  21. National Planning Data Corporation. 1990 Population Estimates by Census Tracts.
  22. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste. Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Report; October 1983.
  23. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Division of Water. Technical and Operational Guidance Series (1.1.1): Ambient Water Quality Standards and Guidance Values; April 1, 1987.
  24. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water - SARA Title III Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Data; Calendar Year 1989 forms.
  25. New York State Department of Health. Interoffice Memorandum: Drinking Water Quality Investigation - Colesville Landfill and Nanicoke Landfill, Broome County; August 4, 1983.
  26. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation. Site Status Summary; March 16, 1990.
  27. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation. Colesville Landfill Project Files (Site No. 704010), 1983-1991.
  28. New York State Department of Transportation. New York 7.5 Minute Series Planimetric Map: Afton Quadrangle; Second Edition, 1973.
  29. 6NYCRR. Chapter I State Sanitary Code, Part 5: Drinking Water Supplies; January 19, 1990.
  30. Timofeeff, Nicolay, P., Ph.D. Report on Groundwater Contamination at the Colesville, NY Landfill; July 1986.
  31. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. 1980 Census of Population and Housing: Binghamton, NY-PA, Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area; August 1983.
  32. U.S. EPA, Region II. Superfund Proposed Plan: Colesville Landfill Site - Town of Colesville, Broome County, New York; January 1991.
  33. U.S. EPA, Region II. Record of Decision-Colesville Landfill Site, Town of Colesville, Broome County, New York; March 1991.
  34. U.S. EPA, Office of Toxic Substances. 1976. Environmental Hazard Assessment Report, Major One and Two-Carbon Saturized Fluorocarbons - Review of Data. Washington, D.C.
  35. Wehran Engineering, P.C. Hydrogeologic Investigation, Colesville Landfill (Prepared for Broome County Department of Public Works, Broome County, New York); September 1983.
  36. Wehran Engineering, P.C. Colesville Landfill Remedial Investigation Report, Volume I (WE Project No. 07522ER); September 1988.


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