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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

HERTEL LANDFILL
PLATTEKILL, ULSTER COUNTY, NEW YORK


CONCLUSIONS

Based on the information reviewed, 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.

Human exposures to low levels of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (below NYS DOH drinking water standards) have occurred in the past and are currently occurring at one nearby residence. These exposures are occurring via ingestion of drinking water and via dermal absorption and inhalation of contaminants from vapors and aerosols from contaminated groundwater. However, a potential source of this contamination, other than Hertel Landfill, may be present near the affected residence. Furthermore, this specific VOC was not detected in any on-site monitoring wells.

Exposure to elevated levels of lead in drinking water may have occurred in one household which contains lead in excess of drinking water standards. These exposures may have occurred via ingestion of drinking water. The source of the lead is suspected to be from household plumbing.

Elevated levels of inorganic compounds have been detected in on-site surface soil. Trespassers on-site may be exposed to surface soil contaminants via ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact.

Further remedial activities may include removal and/or disturbance of contaminated soil. These activities will increase the risk of exposure to the on-site remedial workers and the surrounding community. Exposure through inhalation of soil vapors or particulates, ingestion and dermal contact could be expected from excavation measures. These exposures may be minimized by using proper work techniques and personal protective equipment.

Air and soil gas (intrusion) exposure pathways cannot be adequately characterized because quantitative measurements have not been taken for these media at nearby residences.

Exposure to low levels of contamination may have occurred and may still be occurring through ingestion and dermal contact with surface water and surface water sediments.


RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Private groundwater wells downgradient of the site should be routinely monitored, whether they have exhibited contamination in the past or not. Groundwater quality needs to be monitored downgradient from the site and in the general path of groundwater flow. Previously installed monitoring wells positioned at a downgradient location from the disposal areas could be selected for this measure to identify any encroaching contamination that may effect downgradient private wells.
  2. Measures should be taken to restrict public access onto the landfilled sections and to discourage recreational use of the adjoining wetlands.
  3. The safety of on-site remedial workers and the surrounding community should be addressed during activities which may disturb the existing contaminated soils. Optimal dust control measures should be used and perimeter monitoring (for presence and transport of soil vapor) should be implemented during remedial activities to ensure the safety of nearby residents. Appropriate protective clothing and respiratory protection should be worn by workers during activities involving removal or disturbance of soils. On-site remedial workers should follow relevant Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health guidelines.
  4. The potential for contaminants to affect indoor air quality at nearby residences warrants the need to conduct ambient air monitoring and additional soil gas testing. Measurement locations should be focused particularly at locations at the edge of the landfill to evaluate potential human exposures to volatile organic compounds or explosive hazards from methane. Measures should be taken to control and monitor gas emissions from the landfill.
  5. Remediation should address the landfill's role as an on-going source of contamination to surface water and surface water sediments. Measures should be included to eliminate leachate and contaminated groundwater movement to the surrounding wetland area.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP)
RECOMMENDATIONS

The information and data developed in the public health assessment for the Hertel Landfill site, Plattekill, New York, have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. The Panel determined that community health education is needed for this site. The Panel also determined that other follow-up health actions (i.e., health studies) were not indicated at this time because there is no evidence that human exposure is occurring or has occurred at levels which could cause illness or injury.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan for the Hertel Landfill site contains a description of actions to be taken by US EPA, ATSDR and/or the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) at and near the site subsequent to the completion of this health assessment. For those actions already at the site, please see the Background section of this Public Health Assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this 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/NYS DOH to follow-up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

  1. The US EPA Record of Decision includes the construction of a permanent landfill cap on the site. Capping will prevent direct contact exposure to contaminated soils. In addition, this measure will reduce the potential for contaminants leaching from the landfill into the adjacent wetlands and underlying groundwater. This action will reduce potential human exposures to contaminants found in on-site soils and surface water/sediments. This action will also reduce human exposure due to migration of contaminants from the site into soil gas and groundwater where these media may be contacted by nearby residents. Exposures to groundwater contamination would be further reduced through groundwater pumping and on-site treatment.
  2. The selected remedy calls for the construction of fencing around the perimeter of the capped area, effectively preventing significant trespass. This action will reduce potential human exposures to contaminants in ambient air due to emissions from landfill gas vents installed on-site. Landfill gas emissions from the vents will be monitored to ensure the safety of nearby residents.
  3. NYS DOH will consider requests from residents living near the site for additional well sampling if contamination is suspected. This action will ensure that local private drinking water supplies meet relevant drinking water standards/guidelines.
  4. NYS DOH will coordinate with ATSDR and US EPA to provide information to residents pertaining to conditions existing at the site and planned clean-up measures. This action will enhance public awareness about fulfilling education needs of local residents.
  5. All site activity will be conducted under a prepared health and safety plan. These plans will include provisions for air monitoring to assure that nearby residents are not exposed to significant concentrations of site-related contaminants.
  6. ATSDR will provide an annual followup to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this health assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.

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 Hertel 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
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

John M. Olm
Senior Public Health Sanitarian
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
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


REFERENCES

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

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

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989c. Toxicological Profile for Phenol. ATSDR/TP-89/20. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1989d. Toxicological Profile for Toluene. ATSDR/TP-89/23. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990a. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990b. Toxicological Profile for Benzo(a)anthracene. ATSDR/TP-88/04. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990c. Toxicological Profile for Cobalt. Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  9. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990d. Toxicological Profile for Silver. ATSDR/TP-90/24. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  10. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990e. Toxicological Profile for Total Xylenes. ATSDR/TP-90/30. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991a. Toxicological Profile for Barium. Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  12. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991b. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991c. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991d. Toxicological Profile for Chromium. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991e. Toxicological Profile for Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991f. Toxicological Profile for Lead. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991g. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991h. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. Update Draft. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  19. Clarke, L., C. Hudson, G. Laccetti, W. Stone and B. Ungerman. 1985a. Study of metal concentrations in soil and surface sand of seven New York counties. Albany, NY: New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment. September, 1985.

  20. Clarke, L., C. Hudson, G. Laccetti, W. Stone and B. Ungerman. 1985b. Study of organic compound concentrations in surface soil in eight New York State counties. Albany, NY: New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment. October, 1985.

  21. Connor, J., N.F. Shimp and J.F. Tedrow. 1957. A spectrographic study of the distribution of trace elements in some podzolic soils. Soil Science. 83: 65-73.

  22. Davis, D.J.A. and B.G. Bennett. 1983. Exposure Commitment Assessments of Environmental Pollutants, Vol. 30. Summary exposure assessments for copper, vanadium, antimony. London: Monitoring and Assessment Research Centre, Chelsea College, University of London.

  23. Dragun, J. 1988. The Soil Chemistry of Hazardous Material. Hazardous Materials Control Research Institute. Silver Springs, Maryland.

  24. Edwards, N.T. 1983. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) in the terrestrial environment - a review. J.J. Environ. Qual. 12: 427-441.

  25. Frank, R., K. Ishida and P. Suda. 1976. Metals in agricultural soils in Ontario. Can. J. Soil Science. 56: 181-196.

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  27. McGovern, E.C. 1988. Background concentrations of 20 elements in soils with special regard for New York State. Albany, NY: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

  28. NYS DOH Human Exposure Ranking Model Inspection Form, November 1985.

  29. NYS DOH, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Results of Examination for Private Well Samples Collected Near Hertel Landfill by NYS DOH.

  30. NYS DOH, Preliminary Health Assessment for Hertel Landfill Site, June 1989. Prepared under a Cooperative Agreement with the ATSDR.

  31. NYS DOH, State Sanitary Code, Title 10, Part 5 NYCRR, Drinking Water Supplies, January 1990.

  32. Shacklette, H.T. and J.G. Boerngen. 1984. Element concentrations in soil and other surficial materials of the conterminous United States. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1270. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

  33. TAMS Consultants, Inc., Final Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Field Operations Plan for Hertel Landfill Site, October 1989. Prepared for US EPA.

  34. TAMS Consultants, Inc., Final Community Relations Plan for Hertel Landfill Site, November 1989. Prepared for US EPA.

  35. TAMS Consultants, Inc., and TRC Environmental Consultants, Inc., Draft Remedial Investigation Report for Hertel Landfill Site, February 1991. Prepared for the US EPA.

  36. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). 1990. Health Effects Assessment Summary Tables. Fourth Quarter. FY 1990. Cincinnati, OH: Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office.

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

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