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HEALTH CONSULTATION

LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD
LEROY, GENESEE COUNTY, NEW YORK


CONCLUSIONS

Based on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's present public health hazard category classification (see Appendix C), the Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment site is a public health hazard because of past, potential current and potential future exposures to trichloroethene in some private drinking water supply wells at levels that could pose an increased risk of cancer and noncancer effects. Exposure to trichloroethene has occurred via ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact for possibly as long as about 20 years. Future exposure could occur if trichloroethene migrates into additional private water supply wells or if new wells are installed within the contaminant plume.


RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. The remedial action plan presented in the NYS DEC Record of Decision (ROD should be carried out to provide an alternate water supply and permanently dissociate people from the contaminated water.
  2. The affected private drinking water supply wells and treatment systems should be tested periodically and maintained to ensure that a continuous supply of potable water is provided. The treatment systems should remain in use until the raw groundwater in the affected wells consistently meets NYS DOH drinking water standards, or until such time that an acceptable permanent alternate drinking water supply is provided.
  3. Changes in groundwater flow or groundwater table level, due to man-made or natural activities (i.e., flood or drought), could cause the contaminant plume to migrate and impact additional wells. Therefore, other potentially contaminated water supplies should continue to be monitored.
  4. The NYS DEC should continue to monitor the nature and extent of the contamination, including the site's impact on nearby streams and creeks (i.e., Spring Creek).
  5. A formal mechanism should be developed to insure that potential groundwater users are informed of the contaminated groundwater.
  6. The NYS DOH is developing a registry of persons exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in drinking water. People who were exposed to VOCs through ingestion of contaminated drinking water will be considered for inclusion in the registry.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Lehigh Valley site describes the actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the New York State DOH following completion of this health consultation. Those actions already taken at the site are included in the Background and Statement of Issue sections of this health consultation. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this health consultation not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from present and/or future exposures to hazardous substances at or near the site. ATSDR and/or the New York State DOH will ensure that this plan is implemented. The public health actions for the Lehigh Valley Railroad derailment site are as follows:

  1. ATSDR and the New York State DOH will coordinate with the appropriate environmental agencies to implement the recommendations in this health consultation.
  2. ATSDR will provide follow-up to this PHAP as necessary, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. The follow-up report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this health consultation, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. The New York State DOH will continue to conduct community health education as appropriate.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the PHAP as 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 the site.


DOCUMENTS REVIEWED

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.

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

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1992. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia.

Dunn Geoscience and Engineering Co., P.C. Domestic Well and Initial Environmental Sampling Report, Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment Site RI/FS. May 1993.

Dunn Geoscience and Engineering Co., P.C. Site Soil Investigation Report, Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment Site RI/FS. April 1993.

New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation. Project Files: Lehigh Valley Train Derailment Site, LeRoy, Genesee County (Site ID#819014).

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment Site. February 1997.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Record of Decision, Lehigh Valley Railroad Derailment Site. March, 1997.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Feasibility Study, Lehigh Valley Derailment, Operable Unit #2, Surface Soil Remediation. December 1995.

United States Bureau of the Census. 1990 Census of Population and Housing Summary Tape File 1B. United States Department of Commerce. 1991.

United States Bureau of the Census. 1990 Census of Population and Housing Summary Tape File 3A, CD-ROM. United States Department of Commerce. September 1992.


PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

David Napier
Public Health Specialist III (Environment)
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health

and

Joel H. Kaplan
Research Scientist I
Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment
New York State Department of Health


CERTIFICATION

This Health Consultation was prepared by the 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 health consultation was begun.

David Hutchins
Technical Project Officer
Superfund Site Assessment Branch (SSAB)
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC)
ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig
Chief, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR



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