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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NIAGARA COUNTY REFUSE
TOWN OF WHEATFIELD, NIAGARA COUNTY, NEW YORK

CONCLUSIONS

  1. Based on the information reviewed, the Niagara County Refuse site, in the Town of Wheatfield, Niagara County, poses an indeterminate public health hazard. The limited available data and information 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.
  2. Potential exposure pathways are:
      a) Persons visiting the site may be exposed to surface soil and sediment at the site. There are no data on general surface soil conditions at the site, but contaminant concentration in soil around leachate seeps would be expected to have the highest levels of contamination. None of the contaminants found in soil around leachate seeps exceeded comparison values, so the risks associated with exposure to these soils are expected to be minimal.

      b) Site visitors could be exposed to contaminated surface water in ditches, and leachate by dermal contact and incidental ingestion. The increased cancer risk for long-term exposure to the highest concentration on-site would be low.

      c) In the past, persons visiting the site may have been exposed to waste or contaminated soil, surface water, sediments, and air. However, it is unknown if contamination which might have been a public health concern was present at the surface or if people may have been exposed to it.

      d) The area is served by public water and groundwater near the site is not known to be used for drinking. A well survey will be completed to determine if there are any private wells in the area. Although unlikely, nearby residents who may use groundwater for household use could be exposed to site-related contamination by dermal contact, ingestion, and inhalation of volatile organic compounds.

      e) Persons engaged in on-site remedial activities may be exposed to site contaminants through inhalation, ingestion, or dermal contact. However, proper procedures will minimize the risks to on-site workers and nearby residents.

  3. The Niagara River water or sediments are probably not being significantly affected by contaminants at the Niagara County Refuse site.
  4. The marshy area north of the site and Black Creek may be affected by contamination at the NCR site as drainage swales at the landfill discharge to these wetlands.
  5. Landfill gases may be present, but they are unlikely to migrate to nearby structures due to the type of soils in the area.

RECOMMENDATIONS
  1. The leachate generation and discharge from the landfill needs to be controlled to prevent exposures through direct contact with leachate and inhalation of volatiles released from the seeps.
  2. The landfill needs to be properly covered to prevent exposures to contaminated surface soil near leachate seeps. Any soil "hot-spots" around leachate seeps that will not be covered should be removed.
  3. A residential well survey should be performed to determine whether any wells do exist in the area. Public drinking water should continue to be provided and available to area residents.
  4. The remedial actions, as outlined in the ROD for the site, should be completed.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL (HARP) RECOMMENDATION

The data and information developed in the Public Health Assessment for the Niagara County Refuse Site, Wheatfield, New York, has been reviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) to determine appropriate follow-up actions. The Panel determined that no follow-up actions are indicated at this time as there are no completed exposure pathways and any exposure would have been infrequent to casual visitors.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for the Niagara County Refuse Disposal site contains a description of actions to be taken by the 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 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 the 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 ATSDR and NYS DOH will coordinate with the appropriate agencies regarding actions to be taken in response to those recommendations provided in this public health assessment for which no plan of action has yet been developed.
  2. The ATSDR will provide a follow-up to this PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this Public Health Assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
  3. The US EPA record of decision for the Niagara County Refuse site includes construction of a permanent landfill cap, a perimeter clay barrier wall, a gas venting system, a leachate collection system and implementation of deed and site access restrictions. These actions will effectively eliminate current and potential exposure pathways associated with the site.
  4. The NYS DOH will conduct a well survey of homes near the site to determine if there are any private wells in the area which may be used for drinking or other household purposes.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the PHAP 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 Niagara County Refuse 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.


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 Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR

PREPARERS OF REPORT
    Dawn Hettrick
    Assistant Sanitary Engineer
    Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
    Division of Environmental Health Assessment

    ATSDR Regional Representative:

    Arthur Block
    Regional Operations
    Office of the Assistant Director

    ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

    Greg Ulirsch
    Technical Project Officer
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
    Remedial Programs Branch

REFERENCES
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  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990b. Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene/2-Methylnaphthalene. ATSDR/TP-90/18. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

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

  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1990d. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. ATSDR/TP-90/20. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991a. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic. ATSDR/TP-90/06. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 1991i. Toxicological Profile for Nickel. 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). 1991j. Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. ATSDR/TP-91/29. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Public Health Service.

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

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  38. 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.

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  44. 1990 Census Standard Tape File 3A. Census of Housing and Population. U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC. 1992.

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