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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

GENZALE PLATING COMPANY
FRANKLIN SQUARE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Genzale Plating Company, Inc. is located at 288 New Hyde Park Road in the Hamlet of Franklin Square, Nassau County, New York. The area surrounding the site is predominantly residential. Subsurface soils and, to a lesser extent, near surface soils (0-2 feet) at the Genzale site have elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds and metals. The groundwater beneath the site is contaminated with VOCs and metals. Elevated levels of metals were found in the water of an off-site, downgradient, groundwater monitoring well and both metals and VOCs were detected in a downgradient inactive irrigation well. Data are not available for all environmental media to which humans may be exposed, however, the sampling and analysis of adjacent surface soils is proposed.

At this time, ingestion of contaminated drinking water is not occurring. Two downgradient public supply wells providing water to residents near the Genzale Plating site had been contaminated with low levels of VOCs. A third public water supply well also contained low levels of VOCs, however, the well is hydraulically upgradient from the site and the source of contamination is considered from a source other than the Genzale site. The low levels of VOCs in the downgradient wells may have originated from the Genzale Plating site and other sources. Water from one well is being treated and meets New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) standards and the second well has been voluntarily removed from service.

This site poses an indeterminate public health hazard. The available data do not indicate that humans are being or have been exposed to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. However, data or information are not available for all environmental media to which humans may be exposed. There are insufficient or no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health.

Recommendations for further action at this site include continued monitoring of public water supply wells near the site, additional investigations of the off-site groundwater contamination plume, sampling and analysis of surface soils of adjoining residential yards, perimeter air monitoring during any site remedial activities, and a residential notification of site clean-up schedule and activities.

This public health assessment has been reviewed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's Health Activities Recommendation Panel. Although exposure to contaminated drinking water may have occurred in the past, this site is not being considered for follow-up health activities at this time.

Public health actions taken and/or planned include the following: (1) continued groundwater investigation to include additional sampling of all on-site and off-site monitoring wells and installation of additional downgradient monitoring wells, (2) additional sampling of surface soils in residential yards adjacent to the Genzale site, and (3) perimeter air monitoring during site clean-up activities, and (4) persons exposed to VOC contaminated drinking water will be considered for inclusion onto the NYS DOH's proposed VOC Registry.

BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

The Genzale Plating Company site is in the northwestern portion of Nassau County, New York, in the Hamlet of Franklin Square (see Figure 1). The site is next to New Hyde Park Road, Kalb Avenue and Cathedral Road on the west, east and north, respectively, and about 365 feet north of Maple Drive. The properties next to and surrounding the Genzale site are primarily residential. Small, privately-owned businesses are on New Hyde Park Road both north and south of the site.

The Genzale site occupies an area of about 24,000 square feet. A two-story building which houses the company office, production facility and chemical storage area is on the western portion of the site. The eastern portion of the site is undeveloped and serves as an outdoor storage yard and parking lot.

The Genzale Plating Company site is an electroplating facility that has been operating since 1915. Over time, the production activities and the chemicals used in the electroplating process have changed. The electroplating process performed at the site since 1959 involves dipping and advancing materials to be plated through a series of processing tanks or vats. Degreasing and cleaning agents used in the processing vats included various caustics, organic solvents (including 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethene) and hydrogen peroxide. Nickel, chrome, brass and zinc have been or are presently used for plating. Rinsing the metal parts between each processing tank generates waste water which is discharged to the municipal sewer system for disposal. Prior to 1955, waste water was discharged to the subsurface leaching pits located in the rear yard area of the site. The Genzale facility also distills spent solvent (1,1,1-trichloroethane) for re-use. The sludge remaining from the distillation process is stored in two on-site storage tanks.

In 1981, the Nassau County Department of Health (NC DOH) inspected the Genzale site and noted that industrial waste water from the plating facility was being discharged to on-site leaching pits. Laboratory results or waste water samples showed heavy metals in excess of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) discharge standards.

As a result of the NC DOH action, Genzale site owners partially excavated 3 of 4 leaching pits in March 1983. An estimated 36 cubic yards of material was removed from three on-site leaching pits; however, the excavation of the three leaching pits was not completed. Therefore, contaminated soils are still present in the leaching pits. In 1989, three of four leaching pits were no longer visible. Geophysical surveys were conducted at the site to locate these three pits. The location of several leaching pits were suggested, but not confirmed. The locations of six subsurface metallic objects were also identified. The metallic objects are suspected to be underground storage tanks, a waste water treatment system, and debris.

A preliminary site investigation was conducted in 1983 by Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Inc., a private consulting firm for the NYS DEC. The Genzale site was listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) National Priority List in 1986. A final preliminary health assessment was prepared in June 1989 by the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) under a cooperative agreement with the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

A remedial investigation feasibility study (RI/FS) was conducted from 1988 through 1991 by Ebasco, a private consulting firm for the US EPA. On-site soils and groundwater were investigated and samples were taken for chemical analysis. The results of the RI/FS indicate the need for an interim groundwater remedial action, however, the US EPA was unable to delineate the extent of the groundwater contamination plume beyond the Genzale Plating site. The US EPA has organized the remedial work into two phases, or operable units. The first operable unit Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in March 1991 and addresses the proposed treatment of groundwater and soils at the site. The design phase of the first operable unit RI/FS will include the sampling and analysis of surface soils in adjacent residential yards.

The US EPA has developed a workplan for the second operable unit RI/FS which will further characterize the off-site groundwater contamination plume and evaluate alternatives for the possible remediation of the groundwater plume.

B. Site Visit

A site visit was conducted by T. Mottolese and D. Weiss of the NYS DOH and L. Sama and H. Welch of the NC DOH during January, 1985. M. Reynolds, also of the NYS DOH visited the site in March, 1991. The yard is used for stock delivery, materials storage, an employee parking lot and a small picnic area for employees. Access to the site is controlled by a wooden board fence and a gate; however, the gate is left open during the daytime. M. Reynolds revisited the site perimeter in November, 1993. The wooden fence that surrounds the rear yard is in disrepair.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

There are about 34,723 people living within one mile of the Genzale Plating site. The area surrounding the site is primarily residential and residential yards border the Genzale property on the north and south sides (Figure 2). The Garden City Country Club is 0.5 mile to the northeast. About 6,300 students are enrolled in ten schools within one mile of the site (Figure 3). St. Anne's School is within 0.25 mile of the site to the north. St. Catherine of Siena School is one-half mile south of the site. Carey High School and Washington Street School are 0.5 mile east and southeast of the site, respectively. Covett Avenue School is within one mile southwest of the site. There are about 10 to 12 employees at the Genzale Plating Company that work 8-hours per day.

Available 1980 Census Tract Data indicate that the Genzale Plating Company site lies within census tract 4053.02, an area covering 0.4 square miles within the Hamlet of Franklin Square. The Hamlet of Franklin Square is comprised of five census tracts. The total population for census tract 4053.02 was reported as 3,286 of which 4.4% is under 5 years of age, 20.2% is 5-19 years old, 56.9% of the population is 20-64 years old and 18.5% of persons in this census tract are 65 years or older. Specific information relating to ethnic populations and income was not available for each census tract in the Hamlet of Franklin Square. The ethnic population and income data was only available for all the census tracts in Franklin Square. The Hamlet of Franklin Square has 99.2% of population as white, 0.1% are black and about 0.7% is comprised of other races. The median household income in 1979 was $24,688 with 3.9% of the families with income below the poverty level.

The major aquifers of concern associated with this site are the interconnected Upper Glacial (shallow) aquifer and the Magothy (deep) aquifer. The groundwater of the Upper Glacial aquifer occurs at this site between 32 and 36 feet below grade and flow direction is in a south-southwesterly direction. Public supply wells near the site are generally placed in the Magothy aquifer at depths of 300-500 feet. Four public water supply wells were tested during two rounds of sampling.

The Upper Glacial well JWSC-5155 owned by the Jamaica Water Supply Company is on Chelsea Street, about 1.3 miles southwest of the site and is used as a summer well during peak demand. The Jamaica Water Supply Well JWSC-4298 is in the Magothy aquifer and is near Cisney Avenue and Covert Street, about one mile northwest (upgradient) of the site. The Franklin Square Water District Well FSWD-7177 is in the Magothy aquifer and is near Katherine Street and Theodore Avenue, about 0.8 mile southwest of the site. The Franklin Square Water District Well FSWD-3604 is in the Magothy aquifer and is near Schroeder Avenue and Courthouse Road, about 0.3 mile southeast of the site.

D. Health Outcome Data

The New York State Department of Health 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. The NYS DOH has not evaluated health outcome data for the site or Franklin Square.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

The Nassau County Department of Health was contacted to determine if any site-related inquiries have been made. A concern regarding the Genzale site was voiced during public meetings. The public is concerned that remediation of the off-site groundwater contamination associated with the site is not addressed in the remedial investigation report.

On January 11, 1993, the NYS DOH sent copies of the public health assessment for the Genzale Plating Company site to all known interested parties, requesting concerns and comments on the report by February 3, 1993. The responses to the public comments received by the NYS DOH are included as Appendix C.



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