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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

CROSS COUNTY SANITATION LANDFILL
(a/k/a KESSMAN SITE)
PATTERSON, PUTNAM COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Kessman/Cross County Landfill site is on the east side of Cornwall Hill Road, in the Town of Patterson, Putnam County, New York. The site includes about 7.2 acres of landfill and 2.8 acres of wetlands. The Great Swamp of Patterson abuts the east side of the site. The north-south trending Conrail MetroNorth railway line lies between the wetlands on the east side of the site and the Great Swamp. The four closest residences (served by two wells), the Patterson Town Garage and a heavy equipment repair business use private drinking water wells. All wells are upgradient from the landfill.

Past investigations documented that on-site groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), semivolatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) and inorganics. On-site sediments, leachate and surface water are contaminated with VOCs, SVOCs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides. On-site soils are contaminated with SVOCs and PCBs (ABB Environmental Services, 1993 and 1994).

Based on information reviewed, the Kessman/Cross County Landfill site poses no apparent public health hazard. The site remediation, which was completed in 1996, has reduced the potential for exposures that would pose a public health concern. Site related contaminants were not detected in samples from four nearby wells, sampled before and since site remediation. There are no completed exposure pathways at this site. Potential exposure to contamination in site soil, leachate, sediment, surface water and groundwater would not be expected to cause adverse health effects.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) expressed concerns that site contaminants could migrate to the adjacent Great Swamp which feeds into the Croton Reservoir System, a major drinking water source for New York City. The community also had concerns that site contaminants might reach the Great Swamp and pose a risk to recreational users of the swamp. The data do not support that exposures are currently occurring, and the remedial actions have reduced the potential for the migration of contaminants into the Great Swamp. However, some leachate samples contain high levels of contaminants and the leachate collection system should be activated.

A long-term monitoring program has been developed for the site. The monitoring will be used to determine the effectiveness of remedial measures and to detect any off-site migration of site contaminants. Monitoring of the private wells will continue.


BACKGROUND

Under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) will evaluate the public health significance of the Kessman/Cross County Landfill site. More specifically, ATSDR and NYS DOH will determine whether health effects are possible and will recommend actions to reduce or prevent possible health effects. ATSDR is a federal agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is authorized by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) as amended by the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986, to conduct public health assessments at hazardous waste sites proposed for the National Priorities List (NPL). This document fulfills the congressional mandate for a public health assessment for each site within one year of being proposed to the NPL. The Kessman/Cross County Landfill site was proposed to the NPL on June 17, 1996, but was never added.

A. Site Description and History

The Kessman/Cross County Landfill site is about 10 acres and is in Patterson, Putnam County (Appendix A, figure 1). The site is northwest of the intersection of Cornwall Hill Road and the north-south Conrail MetroNorth railroad tracks. The railroad tracks separate the east and north sides of the site, which are wetlands, from the Great Swamp of Patterson, a wetland measuring 4,830 acres in size.

The site was owned by the Kessman family and about 7.2 acres was used as a municipal landfill by the Town of Patterson from about 1963 to 1972. In 1972, the landfill was sold to Cross County Sanitation, a private carting company which operated the site from 1972 to 1974. Historical information collected by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) alleges that unknown types and quantities of industrial and hazardous wastes were disposed at the landfill at that time. In 1974, the NYS DEC ordered the landfill closed and the property was reclaimed by the original owners.

In 1983, the NYS DEC performed a site assessment and found several leachate seeps and partially exposed 55-gallon drums on the northeast side of the landfill adjacent to the site wetlands. In 1985, the NYS DEC performed additional site investigations and detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in the groundwater. The site was added to the New York State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste sites in 1985. In 1991, the NYS DEC began a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) under the State Superfund Program. Initial RI/FS investigations revealed hundreds of 55-gallon drums buried on the northeast toe of the landfill (E.C. Jordan Company 1991). The NYS DEC began a drum removal interim remedial measure (IRM) in October 1993. The excavation work was suspended for the winter after 115 drums and contaminated soil were excavated from the landfill. In April 1994, additional soil, leachate, and surface water samples were collected for analysis to determine if the remaining drums were deteriorating and further contaminating the site (NYS DEC 1994). In May 1994, the remaining 157 drums and 100 cubic yards of associated contaminated soil were excavated from the landfill. All 272 drums and associated contaminated soil were removed from the site for disposal in February 1995 (NYS DEC 1994). The NYS DEC issued the record of decision (ROD) in November 1994 to present the remaining remedial actions proposed for the site. Those actions have been carried out and were completed in July 1996. The following is a summary of remedial actions completed.

  • Excavation and restoration of the upper one foot of about 1.6 acres of site wetland sediments with placement of sediments containing low levels of PCBs in the landfill beneath the cap.

  • Construction of a landfill cover (cap) and a passive leachate collection system beneath the cap.

  • Implementation of institutional controls and deed restrictions and fencing of the former landfill area to prevent future use of the site.

  • Possible implementation of the leachate collection system if monitoring indicates that contaminated leachate is migrating from the site.

Beginning in 1994, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and the Putnam County Department of Health (PC DOH) periodically sampled the water of four nearby private wells. The NYS DEC and NYS DOH held public meetings in November 1991, September 1992, August 1994, and May 1995 to discuss site investigations and their outcome.

In June 1996, the Kessman/Cross County Landfill was proposed to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's National Priorities List for inactive hazardous waste sites, but was never added.

B. Site Visit and Physical Hazards

Maureen Schuck and Kim Evans, NYS DOH staff, visited the site on November 19, 1996. The main driveway leading to the landfill is fenced with a lock to prevent vehicle traffic to the property; however, persons may walk around the fence and enter the property. This fence is posted. The landfill itself is also fenced except along the east side adjacent to the on-site wetlands. The landfill is capped and seeded with grass. Passive methane vents were in place in the landfill. A very small amount of leachate was observed on the surface water on the east side of the site. There were no physical hazards. NYS DEC staff visited the site in September 2000 and confirmed that no changes had been made to the property since the November 1996 site visit conducted by the NYS DOH.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

The NYS DOH estimated from the 1990 Census (US Bureau of the Census 1990a, 1990b) that 621 people live within one mile of the site. Over 99 percent of the population living within a mile of the site is white. The percent of persons of Hispanic origin is 1.1 percent. Within one mile of the site 12.7 percent of the population is under 6 years of age, 18.4 percent is 6-19 years of age, 64.7 percent is 20-64 years of age and 4.2 percent is 65 years or older. In 1990 there were 184 females of reproductive age (ages 15-44) within 1 mile of the site. The site is located in the census tract 102.00. The median household income in this tract was $51,522 in 1989 with 9.4 percent of the population living below the poverty level.

D. Health Outcome Data

The NYS DOH has not evaluated health outcome data specifically for the Kessman/Cross County Landfill or the Town of Patterson. However, the NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which could be used to generate site-specific data, if warranted. These data bases include the cancer registry, the congenital malformations registry, the heavy metals registry, the occupational lung disease registry, vital records (birth and death certificates) and hospital discharge information.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERN EVALUATION

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) expressed concerns that site contaminants could migrate to the adjacent Great Swamp which feeds into the Croton Reservoir System, a major drinking water source for New York City.

The community has attended public meetings starting in 1991 and has had concerns that site contaminants will migrate to the adjacent Great Swamp and pose a risk to recreational users of the swamp. In addition, concerns were raised during the August 1994 public meeting held to discuss the proposed site remedies. The main concern was that the removed sediment, containing low levels of PCBs, will remain below the landfill cap.

The off-site sediment and surface water sampling from the remedial investigation did not indicate that contaminants were migrating off-site to the Great Swamp. The remedial measures have reduced the potential for future exposures to site contaminants both on and off-site. When fully implemented the associated monitoring will determine the effectiveness of the remedial measures and will detect any off-site migration of site contaminants.

This document was made available to the public for the period July 15 to August 28, 1999. Comments and NYS DOH response to those comments are in Appendix C of this public health assessment.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND PATHWAYS ANALYSIS

To evaluate if a site poses an existing or potential hazard to the exposed or potentially exposed population(s), the site conditions are characterized. This site characterization involves a review of sampling data for environmental media (i.e., soil, surface water, groundwater, air), both on- and off-site which may pose an additional health risk to the community.

Contaminants selected for further evaluation are identified based on consideration of the following factors:

  1. Concentrations of contaminant(s) in environmental media both on- and off-site;

  2. Field data quality, laboratory data quality, and sample design;

  3. Comparison of on-site and off-site contaminant concentrations in environmental media with typical background levels;

  4. Comparison of contaminant concentrations in environmental media both on- and off-site with public health assessment comparison values for (1) non-carcinogenic endpoints, and (2) carcinogenic endpoints. These comparison values include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs), Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs), drinking water standards and other relevant guidelines; and

  5. Community health concerns.

The selected contaminant(s) are evaluated in the Public Health Implications section (Toxicological Evaluation) of this PHA to determine whether exposure to these chemicals is of public health significance.

A. Soil

In 1985, the NYS DEC collected two test pit samples at the site. During the remedial investigation (RI) in 1992, two surface soil (0-6 inches) samples were collected from the landfill and one background surface soil was collected from a nearby off-site location. The 1985 and 1992 soil sampling did not detect contaminants at levels exceeding the public health assessment comparison values for exposures to contaminated surface soils.

Eight subsurface (6-47 feet below ground surface) soil samples were collected from piezometer borings to characterize refuse, marsh and sand deposits below the landfill. Total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were detected at levels up to about 80 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) with benzo(a)pyrene as high as 40 mg/kg. Total PCBs were detected at a level of 4.0 mg/kg. The PAH and PCB contamination was limited to soil borings in refuse closest to the former drum disposal areas. Since samples were collected from 7-15 feet below the surface of the landfill, the potential for exposures to trespassers is minimal. Remedial activities including the placement of a cover (cap) in 1995 on the landfill along with fencing, posting and monitoring requirements should eliminate the potential for human exposures to contaminants in sub-surface soil from occurring in the future.

B. Leachate and Sediments/Surface Water

A 1983 site assessment by the NYS DEC identified several leachate seeps on the north and east sides of the landfill, discoloring vegetation in the wetlands, between the landfill and the MetroNorth Railroad embankment.

Five leachate samples were collected during the 1992 RI. The VOCs detected at levels exceeding New York State Drinking Water Standards include benzene (up to 15 micrograms per liter (mcg/L)), methylene chloride (up to 17 mcg/L), ethylbenzene (up to 10 mcg/L), tetrachloroethene (14 mcg/L), toluene (53 mcg/L), total xylenes (up to 140 mcg/L) and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (8 mcg/L). Total PCBs were detected at levels as high as 4.3 mcg/L which also exceed drinking water standards. There were three inorganics above drinking water standards: cadmium (up to 7.5 mcg/L), lead (up to 150 mcg/L), and manganese (up to 4,000 mcg/L). The leachate seep area was located between the east side of the landfill and the railroad tracks on a steep grade. The potential for incidental exposures to trespassers in the past is believed to be minimal since the leachate seeps are in a remote location. To reduce future leachate production and the potential for incidental human exposures, a cover (cap) was installed in 1995. In addition, a leachate collection system is in place and would be activated if quarterly monitoring results indicate that leachate is migrating from the site with contaminant levels that may significantly impact the environment or public health.

Some, but not all, of the long-term monitoring specified in the 1994 Record of Decision (ROD) has been done. Samples of landfill leachate were collected in September 1996, July and August 1997 and October and December 1998. The landfill leachate collected in 1996 contained low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The 1997 leachate seep sample collected adjacent to the leachate collection sump manhole contained elevated levels of vinyl chloride (8200 mcg/L), cis/trans-1,2-dichloroethene (6000 mcg/L), toluene (520 mcg/L) and xylene (66 mcg/L). Inorganics such as iron (188,000 mcg/L), manganese (4,090 mcg/L) and aluminum (82,000 mcg/L) were detected at elevated levels. In 1998, a leachate sample was collected at the northeast side of the landfill. Inorganics such as iron (17,400 mcg/L), manganese (5,390 mcg/L) and aluminum (9,280 mcg/L) were detected at elevated levels. Another leachate sample was collected by the chain link fence near the wetlands which contained elevated levels of vinyl chloride (3900 mcg/L), trans-1,2-dichloroethene (40 mcg/L), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (8600 mcg/L), benzene (20 mcg/L), 1,2-dichloroethane (2.2 mcg/L), toluene (190 mcg/L) and m-and p- xylenes (26 mcg/L), as well as elevated levels of iron (334,000 mcg/L), magnesium (66,600 mcg/L) and manganese (4320 mcg/L).

Thirteen sediment/surface water sample pairs were collected during the 1992 RI field program and six additional sediment/surface water sample pairs were collected during the 1993 RI supplemental sampling. The sediment/surface water samples were taken at various up-stream and downstream locations. On-site samples were from the wetland area between the landfill and the MetroNorth railroad embankment. Off-site samples were taken downstream of the Kessman site in the Great Swamp at a culvert near the site and from Muddy Brook, respectively. Samples were also collected in the wetland upstream of the site to the north and south.

The only contaminants detected at levels above comparison values were PCBs (up to 8.2 mg/kg) in on-site sediment samples. The levels of PCBs detected in sediments would not be considered a significant health concern for the infrequent trespassing which may have occurred in the past. If no remedial actions were taken, contaminants in on-site sediments could increase and migrate to the Great Swamp at levels that could present a public health concern to recreational users. However, the highest levels of PCBs were adjacent to drums and those sediments were excavated and removed from the site with the drums. Based on the analyses of on-site sediment samples taken from a culvert under the MetroNorth railroad embankment and from Muddy Brook, there is no evidence that additional contaminants are migrating to off-site downstream locations. In addition, on-site sediments closest to the east side of the landfill were excavated and placed beneath the landfill cap. These remedial actions should reduce the potential that exposures to contaminated sediments at levels of health concern will occur in the future.

The analysis of surface water samples collected in 1992 and 1993 detected a number of VOCs at levels exceeding New York State Drinking Water Standards including 1,1-dichloroethane (up to 24 micrograms per liter (mcg/L)), 1,2-dichloroethene (total) (76 mcg/L), benzene (up to 11.0 mcg/L), chlorobenzene (6 mcg/L), toluene (up to 14.0 mcg/L), vinyl chloride (6 mcg/L), chloroethane (up to 17 mcg/L), total xylenes (up to 9 mcg/L), and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (up to 10 mcg/L). Total PCBs were detected up to 1.6 mcg/L. Inorganics detected above drinking water standards were cadmium (up to 6.8 mcg/L), iron (up to 305 milligram per liter (mg/L), lead (up to 125 mcg/L) and manganese (up to 3.3 mg/L). In addition, sodium was detected at levels as high as 1,910 mg/L but its presence is not believed to be site related. These contaminants were primarily found in surface water adjacent to the site, between the site and railroad embankment. Although contaminants were detected in the surface water sample from the culvert adjacent to the site, the samples of the surface water further downstream in Muddy Brook did not contain detectable levels of contamination. Based on the levels of contaminants detected in surface water closest to the landfill and the inaccessibility of the surface water to trespassers and recreational users, significant exposures to contaminants were unlikely in the past. Contaminants in surface water could migrate at levels of public health concern for recreational users in the future; however, remedial actions completed have reduced the potential for any future exposure of concern to contaminated surface water.

The NYS DEC collected surface water samples in July/August 1997 and December 1998. The surface water samples collected in July/August 1997 were not analyzed for VOCs. Iron and manganese were found at elevated levels during both sampling rounds, iron at levels up to 65,500 mcg/L and manganese at levels up to 27,000 mcg/L. VOCs were not detected in the December 1999 samples.

C. Groundwater

Four monitoring wells were installed during the 1983 site investigation. Water table elevation measurements indicate that groundwater flow beneath the landfill is east toward the MetroNorth railroad embankment and Muddy Brook.

During the 1985 investigation, samples were collected from four monitoring wells and were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and inorganics. VOCs were detected in only one monitoring well: benzene (10 mcg/L), toluene (120 mcg/L), chlorobenzene (29 mcg/L) and ethylbenzene (50 mcg/L). These levels exceed New York State Drinking Water Standards. This monitoring well is in the fill on the northeast side of the landfill.

Six piezometers and nine monitoring wells were sampled during the remedial investigation in 1992 to investigate the groundwater entering the site (upgradient groundwater) and groundwater at the site. No downgradient wells were installed because of the difficulty of drilling wells in the Great Swamp. Samples collected from monitoring wells within the landfill area showed the following contaminants at levels exceeding NYS drinking water standards: methyl ethyl ketone at 61 mcg/L in one well, 1,1-dichloroethane up to 14 mcg/L, bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate up to 24 mcg/L, and toluene at 6 mcg/L in one well. Inorganics detected in groundwater at levels exceeding drinking water standards or guidelines are aluminum (up to 1,033,000 mcg/L), antimony (62.5 mcg/L), barium (2,800 mcg/L), beryllium (5,100 mcg/L), cadmium (up to 15.7 mcg/L), chromium (up to 8.4 mcg/L), iron (up to 1,677,000 mcg/L, lead (up to 129 mcg/L), manganese (up to 41,200 mcg/L) nickel (up to 859 mcg/L) and thallium (up to 2.9 mcg/L).

The NYS DEC also collected groundwater samples in July and August 1997 and December 1998. The analysis of groundwater samples MW-3A, MW-3B, MW-20A and MW-20B collected in July and August 1997 did not detect VOC contamination. However, inorganics such as iron, manganese and aluminum, which may be attributed to the landfill, were detected at elevated levels. Groundwater samples MW-3B, MW-20A and MW-20B collected in December 1998 were not analyzed for VOCs. Sample MW-3A was analyzed for VOCs and did not indicate contamination. Inorganics such as iron, manganese and magnesium were detected at elevated levels in the 1998 groundwater samples.

D. Private Wells

Private wells near the site have been sampled on numerous occasions starting in 1984. The wells that serve the Town of Patterson Highway garage, an excavating company, a farm labor camp, and several homes are to the sourth, west and northwest of the site. Testing of the wells has never found contamination associated with the landfill. On separate occasions bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate was found in a well at 9 mcg/L and methylene chloride in a different well at 13 mcg/L. Both results were attributed to laboratory contamination. A 1998 sample from a residential well upgradient of the landfill contained magnesium at 44,000 mcg/L. Magnesium has not been detected at levels in excess of NYS DEC or NYS DOH standards in on-site groundwater or leachate.

E. Air

The Kessman landfill is small in size and located in a relatively rural area. It received typical municipal waste such as household garbage from 1963 to 1972. During investigations at the site, no air emission issues were investigated based on the size of the landfill and the lack of odors associated with the site. Landfill gases are vented through a passive system. The amount of methane produced by the landfill is insufficient for flaring. During both the 1991 and the 1994 public meetings, no residents made odor complaints.

Based on the lack of odor complaints by residents and the lack of evidence that significant amounts of landfill gas are generated by the site, significant exposures to air emissions from this landfill are unlikely to occur.


PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

Toxicological Evaluation - Adult and Children's Health Issues

Several site-related organic and inorganic contaminants were detected in leachate, surface water and/or groundwater at levels exceeding NYS drinking water standards. Total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also detected in sediment samples at levels exceeding the public health assessment comparison value for exposure to PCB-contaminated soil in a residential setting. In the past, trespassers and recreational users could have been exposed to contaminated leachate, sediments and surface water. Sampling results from private drinking water wells indicate that people were not exposed to site-related contaminants in drinking water. Although no completed exposure pathways were identified, the following summarizes toxicological information on site-related contaminants and the public health implications of potential exposures to these contaminants in the past and future.

Organic Chemicals

Organic contaminants detected in leachate, surface water and/or groundwater at levels exceeding NYS Drinking Water Standards are benzene, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, chlorobenzene, chloroethane, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, 1,1-dichloroethane, total 1,2-dichloroethene, ethylbenzene, methyl ethyl ketone (2-butanone), PCBs, tetrachloroethene, toluene, vinyl chloride, and/or total xylenes. Benzene and vinyl chloride are known human carcinogens (ATSDR, 1995a,e) and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, chloroethane, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, 1,1-dichloroethane, PCBs and tetrachloroethene are known to cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes (ATSDR, 1989, 1990b, 1993d,e, 1995c,d). Several of the organic contaminants, such as chlorobenzene, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, total 1,2-dichloroethene, ethylbenzene, 2-butanone, tetrachloroethene, toluene, vinyl chloride and xylenes, can also produce non-carcinogenic toxic effects, primarily to the liver, kidneys and central nervous system (ATSDR, 1990a,c, 1992c, 1993d, 1994, 1995d,e,f, 1996). Benzene is known to cause damage to blood-cell forming tissues and to the immune system (ATSDR, 1995a). In laboratory animals exposed to high levels over long periods of time, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate caused liver and kidney damage, affected their ability to reproduce and caused birth defects (ATSDR, 1993e). Some people exposed to large amounts of chloroethane in air had heart, lung, stomach and central nervous system damage. Exposure to large amounts of chloroethane damaged the heart, central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys and spleen of laboratory animals (ATSDR, 1989). Exposure to high levels of 1,1-dichloroethane damaged the kidneys of laboratory animals and caused delayed growth in the offspring of animals exposed during pregnancy (ATSDR, 1990b). Effects reported in humans after occupational exposures to PCBs include skin, eye and respiratory tract irritation, and less frequently, effects on the liver and the nervous and digestive systems (ATSDR, 1995c). There may be a link between a mother's increased exposure to PCBs and effects on her child's birth weight and behavior (ATSDR, 1995c; Rogan and Gladen, 1991, 1992). PCBs have also caused skin, liver, nervous system, immune system and reproductive effects in animals (ATSDR, 1995c).

Contaminants in leachate and surface water were found primarily in areas with limited accessibility, on or adjacent to the landfill. Some leachate samples contain fairly high levels of contaminants. Incidental exposures that may have occurred to trespassers or recreational users in the past would not be expected to cause adverse health effects based on the infrequency of exposure and the levels of contaminants detected in leachate and surface water. Past chronic exposures of trespassers and recreational users would not be expected due to the remote location of the leachate seeps and limited accessibility of contaminated surface water. To reduce future leachate production and the potential for incidental human exposures, a cover (cap) was installed in 1995.

Organic contaminants were present in groundwater samples collected from monitoring wells within the landfill area. However, based on the sampling results of private drinking water wells, and their upgradient location, exposures to site-related contaminants are not occurring. If these contaminants were to be found in drinking water at the levels detected in monitoring wells, exposure to the contaminants could pose a public health concern. However, the remedial actions should minimize the potential for contaminants to migrate from the site in groundwater in the future. Monitoring will determine the effectiveness of these remedial actions.

PCBs were detected in sediments adjacent to drums at levels exceeding the public health assessment comparison value for exposure to PCB-contaminated soil in a residential setting. The toxicological information for PCBs has already been discussed. Although exposure to the highest levels of PCBs detected in sediments would be a public health concern if the contamination were in soil in a residential setting, past exposure to PCB-contaminated sediments by trespassers/recreational users would be expected to be incidental in nature and not cause adverse health effects. If no remedial actions were taken, contaminants in on-site sediments could increase and migrate to the Great Swamp to levels that could present a public health concern to recreational users. However, the highest levels of PCBs were adjacent to drums and those sediments were excavated and removed from the site with the drums. Other site sediments were excavated and placed beneath the landfill cap. In addition, there is no evidence that contaminants are migrating to off-site, downstream locations. These remedial actions should reduce the potential for future exposure to contaminated sediments at levels of public health concern.

Inorganic Chemicals

Inorganic contaminants detected in leachate, surface water and/or groundwater at levels exceeding NYS drinking water standards are aluminum, antimony, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel and/or thallium. Although little is known about the chronic toxicity of aluminum in humans, some animal toxicity studies indicate that aluminum may cause nerve and skeletal damage and may also adversely affect the reproductive system (NYS DOH, 1990). Antimony can cause alterations in blood chemistry (ATSDR, 1992a). There is some evidence that exposure to high levels of barium damages the heart and causes high-blood pressure in humans and laboratory animals (ATSDR, 1992b). There is also some evidence that exposure to high levels of beryllium damages the bones of laboratory animals (ATSDR, 1993a). Some people exposed to large amounts of cadmium suffered kidney, bone and blood damage. Exposure to high levels of cadmium damages the kidneys, blood, liver, heart and the immune and nervous systems of laboratory animals. High exposure also damages the unborn offspring of laboratory animals exposed during pregnancy (ATSDR, 1993b). The primary toxic effects associated with ingestion of large amounts of chromium have been kidney damage, birth defects and adverse effects on the reproductive system (ATSDR, 1993c). Although iron is an essential nutrient, ingestion of extremely large amounts can lead to accumulation in the body and to tissue damage (WHO, 1984; Henretig and Temple, 1984). Chronic exposure to lead is predominantly associated with neurological and hematological effects and the developing fetus and young children are particularly sensitive to lead-induced neurological effects (ATSDR, 1993f). Exposure to high manganese concentrations primarily causes nervous system effects (ATSDR, 1992d). Exposure to high levels of nickel can cause reproductive effects and allergic reactions (ATSDR, 1995b). Chronic exposure to elevated levels of thallium can adversely affect the respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, liver, kidneys and the male reproductive system (ATSDR, 1992e).

As stated above in the section on organic contaminants, inorganic contaminants in leachate and surface water were found primarily in areas with limited accessibility and past incidental exposures to trespassers or recreational users would not be expected to cause adverse health effects. In addition, past chronic exposures would not be expected due to the remote location of the leachate seeps and limited accessibility of contaminated surface water. Remedial activities at the site should minimize the potential for future exposures of health concern. Inorganic contaminants were also present in groundwater samples collected from monitoring wells within the landfill area, but sampling of upgradient private drinking water wells indicates that exposures to site-related contaminants are not occurring. If site-related inorganic contaminants were found in monitoring wells, exposure to the contaminants could pose a public health concern. However, the remedial actions and the wells' upgradient location should minimize the potential for contaminants to migrate from the site to private wells in the future.

Magnesium was detected at 44,000 mcg/L in one residential sample collected in December 1998. Magnesium has not been historically detected in excess of NYS DEC or NYS DOH standards in on-site groundwater or leachate. Although the origin is unknown, the magnesium detected at the Kessman residences is not considered to be site-related. Magnesium is a naturally occurring essential element in human nutrition. However, at very high levels in drinking water (greater than about 250,000 mcg/L) magnesium salts may have a laxative effect to which the body can adapt over time (NAS, 1977). Chronic exposure to magnesium in drinking water at the level (44,000 mcg/L) found in the Kessman residence would not be a public health concern.


CONCLUSIONS

The Kessman/Cross County Landfill site poses no apparent public health hazard. The site remediation, which was completed in 1996, has reduced the potential for exposures of public health concern. There are no completed exposure pathways at this site. Potential exposure to levels of contamination in soil, leachate, sediment or surface water would not be expected to cause adverse health effects. However, some leachate samples contain fairly high levels of contaminants and could be entering the Great Swamp. Four nearby private wells are located upgradient from the site and have not contained site related contaminants either before or since remediation. In addition, required monitoring of the leachate, surface water and groundwater will determine the effectiveness of remedial measures and will detect any off-site migration of site contaminants. This should minimize the potential for any future exposures at levels of public health concern.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) expressed concerns that site contaminants could migrate to the adjacent Great Swamp which feeds into the Croton Reservoir System, a major drinking water source for New York City. The community also had concerns that site contaminants might reach the Great Swamp and pose a risk to recreational users of the swamp. The data do not support that exposures are currently occurring, and the remedial actions have reduced the potential for the migration of contaminants into the Great Swamp.


RECOMMENDATIONS

The long-term monitoring program should be conducted consistant with the 1994 ROD and the data evaluated to determine the effectiveness of the remediation. Nearby private wells should continue to be monitored periodically, but the frequency of monitoring should be re-evaluated if contaminants are not detected. The leachate collection system should be activated to reduce contamination entering the Great Swamp.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the NYS DOH and the NYS DEC at and near the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. For those actions already taken at the site, please see the Background and Site Conditions 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 exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included, is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and NYS DOH to follow-up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented.

The public health actions to be implemented are as follows: The NYS DEC will carry out the long-term monitoring program as indicated in the November 1994 Record of Decision and the NYS DOH will evaluate all private well data from samples collected as part of the NYS DEC's monitoring program. The NYS DEC will determine the feasibility of activating the leachate collection system.

The NYS DOH and the NYS DEC will evaluate the environmental sampling data from the long-term monitoring program to determine if increasing contaminant levels or amounts of leachate are being produced within the landfill. In addition, the NYS DOH and the NYS DEC will review data on the contaminant levels within the leachate and the amount of leachate after two more years of monitoring data.


REFERENCES

ABB Environmental Services, 1993. Phase II RI Sediment/Surface Water Sampling Data Summary Report (Kessman/Cross County Sanitation Landfill site, Patterson, New York, Prepared for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation).

ABB Environmental Services, 1994. Remedial Investigation Report, Volume I (Kessman/Cross County Sanitation Landfill site, Patterson, New York, Prepared for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation).

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989. Toxicological Profile for Chloroethane. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990a. Toxicological Profile for Chlorobenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/06. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990b. 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.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990c. Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/15. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992a. Toxicological Profile for Antimony. ATSDR/TP-91/02. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992b. Toxicological Profile for Barium. ATSDR/TP-91/03. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992c. Toxicological Profile for 2-Butanone. ATSDR/TP-91/08. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992d. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. ATSDR/TP-91/19. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992e. Toxicological Profile for Thallium. ATSDR/TP-91/26. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993a. Toxicological Profile for Beryllium. ATSDR/TP-92/04. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993b. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. ATSDR/TP-92/06. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993c. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. ATSDR/TP-92/08. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993d. Toxicological Profile for 1,4-Dichlorobenzene. ATSDR/TP-92/10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993e. Toxicological Profile for Di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. ATSDR/TP-92/05. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1993f. Toxicological Profile for Lead. ATSDR/TP-92/12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1994. Toxicological Profile for Toluene. Update. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995a. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995b. Toxicological Profile for Nickel. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995c. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995d. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995e. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1995f. Toxicological Profile for Total Xylenes. Update. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1996. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethene. Update. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

E.C. Jordan Company, 1991. Draft Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Work Plan - Kessman Landfill site, Patterson, New York, Prepared for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Henretig, F. and A. Temple. 1984. Acute iron poisoning in children. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. Vol. 4: 575-586.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), 1994, Record of Decision - Kessman/Cross County Sanitation Landfill Inactive Hazardous Waste Site, Town of Patterson, Putnam County, New York.

New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH). 1990. An Evaluation of the Levels and Toxicity of Aluminum in Drinking Water. January 1990. Albany, N.Y.

Rogan, W.J. and B.C. Gladen. 1991. PCBs, DDE and child development at 18 and 24 months. Ann. Epidemiol. 1: 407-413.

Rogan, W.J. and B.C. Gladen. 1992. Neurotoxicity of PCBs and related compounds. Neurotoxicology. 13: 27-36.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990a Census of population and housing summary tape file 1B. U.S. Department of Commerce. 1991.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990b Census of population and housing summary tape file 3A CD-ROM. U.S. Department of Commerce. September 1992.

World Health Organization (WHO). 1984. Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. Volume 2. Health Criteria and Other Supporting Information. Geneva.


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

New York State Department of Health

Maureen Schuck
Public Health Specialist
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation

Anthony Grey
Research Scientist
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment

Karin Marcotullio
Research Scientist
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Regional Representative
Arthur Block
Regional Operations
Office of the Assistant Administrator

Technical Project Officer
Greg Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the Cross County Sanitation Landfill (a/k/a Kessman site) site 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.


Greg V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC


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


Lisa C. Hayes
Chief, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR



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