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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

PASLEY SOLVENTS & CHEMICALS INC.
GARDEN CITY, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Pasley Solvents and Chemicals site, which is on the NationalPriorities List, is situated between the borders of the Village ofGarden City and Uniondale in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County,New York. Soils at the site are contaminated with volatile organiccompounds (VOCs), primarily solvent constituents and petroleumhydrocarbon compounds; semi-volatile compounds (primarilypolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds); and several metals. Groundwater in the shallow and deep aquifers under the site iscontaminated with VOCs, primarily solvent constituents andpetroleum hydrocarbons compounds, and two semi-volatile compoundsat concentrations exceeding public health assessment comparisonvalues. Groundwater in the deeper aquifer serves as the solesource of drinking water to area residences who are suppliedentirely via public supply wells. VOC contamination has beendetected in four downgradient public drinking water supply wellslocated about 3,800 feet away from the site. Two of the four wellsare being treated due to VOC contamination at levels above New YorkState Department of Health (NYS DOH) drinking water standards. Point-of-use exposures to low levels of VOCs detected in the othertwo wells have been prevented via well treatment and distributioncontrols. Historical monitoring of public water supply wellslocated near the site indicate that for an undetermined period oftime, residents in the Town of Hempstead may have been exposed tolow levels of VOCs in drinking water that upon long term exposurecould result in a low increased risk of developing cancer. Thesource(s) of contamination for this past completed exposure pathwayis likely attributed to businesses other than the Pasley site.

Limited information is available on soil gas intrusion and indoorair contamination, and this pathway is of concern since occupiedbuildings are nearby and above contaminated groundwater plumes. The Pasley Solvents and Chemicals site poses an indeterminatepublic health hazard as ambient air data and recent soil gas dataare too limited to adequately assess the human exposure pathwaysinvolving these media. However, a public health hazard existed inthe past because persons may have been exposed to levels of VOCcontaminants in their drinking water (probably not site-related).

This public health assessment has been reviewed by the Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) Health ActivitiesRecommendation Panel. Because of presumed past exposure tocontaminated drinking water (probably not site-related) andcommunity health concerns, the panel recommended follow-up healthactions. Specifically, those persons exposed in the past should beconsidered for inclusion in NYS DOH's registry being developed forVOC exposures from drinking contaminated water. The NYS DOHregistry will be matched with the cancer registry to evaluatepossible adverse health outcome.

Public health actions taken and/or planned include the following:(1) Active downgradient public drinking water supply wells havebeen and continue to be tested for site-related contaminants, (2)A subsurface investigation was conducted at three schools in theGarden City School District to determine the possibility thatcontaminants may have an impact on the indoor air quality of theschools, (3) Persons exposed in the past to VOCs through use oftheir domestic water supplies will be considered for inclusion onNYS DOH's registry being developed for VOC exposures fromcontaminated drinking water, (4) the NYS DOH and United StatesEnvironmental Protection Agency (US EPA) will ensure thatappropriate measures are taken during remediation activities tominimize potential exposures to site contaminants for residentsnear the site.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

In response to Pasley Solvents and Chemicals' request for a permitto store and remove chemicals, the Nassau County Department ofHealth (NC DOH) inspected the site in 1980. Subsequent on-sitesampling in 1981 by the NC DOH and a consultant for Pasleyconfirmed soil and groundwater contamination, primarily withorganic solvents and petroleum products. This contamination isthought to be from spillage and mishandling of chemicals stored on-site.

The Pasley Solvents and Chemicals site is a former leased tank farmwhich, from 1969 to 1982, operated a chemical distributionfacility. The tank farm included above-ground tanks, surfacestructures and other storage containers, and one underground tankused to store diesel fuel. In 1980, the site contained a total of16 tanks which held a wide variety of chemicals (See Tables 1 and2 in the appendix for a list of chemicals and tank inventory andFigure 1 for tank locations).

In 1981, the NC DOH referred Pasley to the New York StateDepartment of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), who in turnordered Pasley to investigate further and develop a clean-up plan. In response, Pasley installed five shallow monitoring wells on-siteand conducted limited soil and groundwater sampling. In May 1982,Pasley declared bankruptcy.

A clean-up plan prepared by Pasley's consultant was later submittedto the NYS DEC and NC DOH. This plan was rejected as it did notadequately address contaminated soils on-site or the extent ofgroundwater contamination. Litigation continued between the UnitedStates Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Commander OilCorporation, owner and former occupant of the property, who agreedto conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) forthe site. In 1988, the on-site chemical storage tanks weredismantled and removed, as stipulated in the RI/FS. A RI wasconducted at the site from September 1989 to July 1990 by Metcalf& Eddy of New York, Inc., under contract with Commander OilCorporation. A Final RI report was completed in October 1991. ARecord of Decision (ROD) was signed on April 24, 1992, selectingair stripping treatment for groundwater in conjunction with soilvacuuming/soil flushing to remove contaminants in the soils.

In November 1989, a Preliminary Health Assessment was prepared bythe New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) under acooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances andDisease Registry (ATSDR).

The Pasley Solvents and Chemical site, which covers an area about75 feet by 275 feet, is presently a vacant lot next to 585Commercial Avenue in the Town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York(Figure 2). The site lies between the borders of the Village ofGarden City and Uniondale. The site is fenced on three sides andis currently barren with patchy vegetation and no remainingstructures. Adjacent to the site (the unfenced section) is a one-story building which was formerly occupied by the Barlo EquipmentCorporation. Retail and wholesale business operations involvingfuels and fuel products were conducted at the site. Severalbusiness mergers have occurred over the years to form the survivingcorporation, Commander Oil Corporation, which retains ownership ofthe property.

From 1969 through May 1982, Pasley subleased a tank farm located atthe site from Barlo Equipment Corporation and operated a chemicaldistribution center there. Chemicals were delivered to the site,stored in on-site tanks and transferred to 55-gallon drums fordelivery to customers. These chemicals reportedly includedaliphatic napthas, aromatic hydrocarbons, solvents, ketones andalcohols (See Table 1). Pasley also used a paved, bermed sectionat the site as a temporary storage area for waste chemicals. Theground at the site is flat and presently covered with gravel andblue stone. A concrete pad is located on the west section of thePasley yard. Underneath the pad is an abandoned 1,000-gallondiesel fuel storage tank.

B. Actions Implemented During the Public Health Assessment Process

  1. Active downgradient public drinking water supply wells have been and continue to be tested by the NC DOH at the specified intervals as mandated by the NYS DOH. This action should significantly reduce the potential for exposure to site-related groundwater contaminants from the public drinking water supplies.
  2. In August 1993, the NYS DOH and NYS DEC conducted a limitedsubsurface investigation at three schools in the Garden CitySchool District. This action determined that contaminatedsoil gas was not present outside the schools and, therefore,does not serve as a source for impacting indoor air qualityinside the schools.

C. Site Visit

On October 3, 1990, J. Olm of the NYS DOH visited the site. At thetime of the visit, a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire waspresent on the north, east and south sides of the site. Adjacentto the site (on the west side) is a 100 feet by 200 feet one-storybuilding which appeared abandoned. There are no surface watersadjacent to the site. The nearest downslope surface water body isMilburn Creek, a tributary to Freeport Bay, which is located aboutthree miles south of the site. There is no visible migrationpathway from the site to the creek due to the development of theintervening land and the distance. A Nassau County Department ofPublic Works storm water recharge basin is located six city blockssouth of the site.

On February 3, 1993, J. Olm, D. Miles and M. Schuck of the NYS DOHvisited the site. Site conditions remain relatively unchangedsince the previous NYS DOH site visit.

On August 26, 1993, J. Olm revisited the site and found that siteconditions remained unchanged since the previous site visit.

D. Demographics, Land Use and National Resource Use

The Pasley site is located within the Town of Hempstead. Thecurrent population of Hempstead is about 735,000 persons. The areasurrounding the site contains light industrial buildings,warehouses and commercial properties. The nearest off-sitebuilding is about 75 feet away. The nearest dwelling is locatedabout 100 yards from the site. About 75 homes are located within1/4-mile of the site and 1,800 homes within 1 mile.

About 300 yards east of the site is the Purex/Mitchell FieldTransit Facility site which, at one time, also operated as achemical storage and distribution center. Remedial activities areon-going at this site because of soil and groundwatercontamination. Train tracks for the Long Island Railroad are about30 feet north of the site and are used for freight service. TheLong Island Power Corporation substation is on the north side ofthe railroad tracks, opposite the site.

The Nassau County Community College, Hofstra University, the NassauVeterans Memorial Coliseum and Roosevelt Field Shopping Center arewithin 1.5 miles of the site. The shopping center parcel has beenadded to the New York State Registry for inactive hazardous wastedisposal sites. This parcel was previously used as an airfield foraircraft maintenance; these activities reportedly contaminated areagroundwater. Two county-owned park facilities, Meadowbrook Parkand Dwight D. Eisenhower Park are east of the site.

Two public schools in the Garden City School District are locatednear the Pasley site. The Locust Elementary School, built in the1950's, is about 1,500 feet southwest of the site on Locust Street,between Boylston and Poplar Streets. A total of about 140 childrenbetween the ages of 4 1/2 and 6 attend kindergarten and first gradeclasses at this school. The Stewart Avenue Elementary School,built in the 1930's, is at 501 Stewart Avenue about 2,300 feetnorthwest of the site. A total of about 440 children between theages of 4 1/2 and 12 attend kindergarten through grade 5 at thisschool.

There are no critical habitats, historical sites, wetlands or otherenvironmentally sensitive areas within several miles of the site.

The Pasley site lies on the border of the Roosevelt Field WaterSupply and the Uniondale Water Supply. The site is less than twomiles away from the Garden City Water Supply, the Village ofHempstead Water Supply and the Bowling Green Water Supply. Table3 (See Appendix) lists the public water supply wells located lessthan one mile downgradient of the site. According to the NassauCounty Department of Public Works, potable water in the areasurrounding the site is supplied entirely through public watersupplies. However, a number of privately-owned industrial wells(non-potable), primarily used to supply cooling water, are locatednear the site.

E. Health Outcome Data

The NYS DOH has not evaluated health outcome data for the Pasleysite or the Town of Hempstead. However, the NYS DOH maintainsseveral health outcome data bases which could be used to generatesite specific data, if warranted.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

The NYS DOH determined community health concerns during a PublicInformation Meeting held on March 5, 1992. At this meeting, the USEPA met with the public to discuss the possible clean-up remediesfor the site and to present US EPA's preferred clean-up remedy forcontrolling contamination at the site. About 15 people attendedthe meeting and consisted of a representative from the localenvironmental citizens' group, local businessmen, residents andstate and local government officials. Community concern appearshigh in relation to the overall issue of groundwater contaminationon Long Island but minimal in regard to the Pasley site inparticular. A few questions were asked by the audience, however,no health-related concerns were raised. No health-related concernswere received by the US EPA during a public comment period fromFebruary 14, through March 15, 1992.

Commencing April 1, 1993, the NYS DOH sent copies of the publichealth assessment for the Pasley Solvents and Chemicals site to allknown interested parties, requesting concerns and comments on thereport. Response to the public comments received by the NYS DOHare included in Appendix C.



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