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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

MATTIACE PETROCHEMICAL
CITY OF GLEN COVE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Mattiace Petrochemical Site, which is on the National Priorities List, is on the north shore of Nassau County, near Hempstead Harbor, in the City of Glen Cove. The site presents an indeterminate public health hazard. This level of public health hazard is based on the lack of information documenting that exposures have occurred; however, substances are found in the environment that could cause adverse health effects. On-site soils and groundwater are contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. Metals are elevated in groundwater. The site is next to several one-story, industrial- commercial buildings. About thirty residences are within 1,000 feet of the site, although these residences are at higher elevations. Glen Cove Creek, a tributary to the Hempstead Harbor portion of Long Island Sound, is about 500 feet from the site. The contaminated soil and shallow groundwater may result in contamination of the vapor-phase of soil (soil gas) and may affect indoor-air quality in the industrial-commercial buildings. The site is adequately fenced; therefore, trespassing has been infrequent. Runoff from the site may have contaminated the driveway and storm drains. Employees of adjacent businesses may be exposed to contaminated soils from the site.

Recommendations for the Mattiace site include the need to do more sampling of the soil in the driveway, sediments in the storm drains, and the soil gas at the site perimeter. If any of the industrial wells in the area are reactivated, the water from the wells should be sampled for site contaminants. If sediments are dredged from Glen Cove Creek, the sediments should not be placed where they are available for human contact. Site cleanup activities should be closely monitored to protect against potential contaminant releases and fire hazards. Air releases reported on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (US EPA) Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) should be further evaluated to determine potential human exposures in the area. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) Health Activities Recommendation Panel does not recommend any follow-up health activities for this site at this time, however, if more data and information becomes available which suggests that human exposures have occurred, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for follow-up health activities. The US EPA will implement the Remedial Design workplan which calls for the additional sampling which is recommended. The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) will sample industrial wells if they are reactivated. The NYS DOH and US EPA will coordinate governmental review of the disposal of Glen Cove Creek sediment dredging disposals. The US EPA will oversee site cleanup activities and assure that proper monitoring protects against contaminant releases and fire hazards. The NYS DOH and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will further evaluate TRI data for human exposures.


BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

The Mattiace Petrochemical site is a former solvent repackaging and used-drum cleaning operation that ceased operation in 1987. The site contains above-ground and below-ground storage tanks, leaching pits and buried drums; some surface soil is contaminated from spills of volatile organic compounds. The site was placed on the National Priorities List on March 30, 1989.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) dug test-pits at the Mattiace Petrochemical Site in 1980 and confirmed the presence of buried drums and contaminated soil. Solvent-type odors were noted and investigators reported experiencing dizziness, nausea and headaches. The Nassau County Department of Health inspected the site and took samples between 1979 and 1982. A solvent spill from a tanker truck occurred on-site in 1983. The spilled solvent and contaminated soil were subsequently excavated and removed. Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Inc., an environmental consulting firm, conducted an additional investigation under contract with the NYS DEC. The investigation report, completed in December 1986, confirmed earlier reports of volatile organic compound contamination of soil and groundwater.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) removed the liquid contents of the above-ground and under-ground storage tanks in 1988. In 1990, the buried-drum area was investigated by EBASCO Services, Inc., under contract with US EPA. A Record of Decision was signed to excavate and remove buried drums. The Final Remedial Investigation report for the remainder of the site was submitted in April 1991 and the Final Feasibility Study was submitted in May 1991. A public meeting was conducted by US EPA on May 30, 1991 to gather public comment on the Proposed Plan for the remainder of the site. US EPA, New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH), and the Nassau County Department of Health attended the meeting and answered questions from the public who were present at the meeting.

The Mattiace Petrochemical site is in the City of Glen Cove, Nassau County (Appendix A--Figure 1). The site is in an industrial-commercial area adjacent to Glen Cove Creek. Glen Cove Creek is a tidal creek which leads to Hempstead Harbor. The Mattiace site is at the edge of a low-lying, gentle-sloping area on both sides of the creek that contains the industrial- commercial area. To the north of the site the topography slopes uphill with about a 50 foot rise in elevation. The nearest residential area is about 300 feet to the north, at the top of the rise (Appendix A--Figure 2).

B. Site Visit

The NYS DOH inspected the site in February 1985. Nassau County Department of Health staff accompanied NYS DOH staff. The following NYS DOH staff re-visited the site on March 11, 1991: D. Miles, M. Reynolds and J. Olm. The site is located off of Garvies Point Road; an unpaved driveway provides access to the site. The driveway is on a right-of-way between two adjacent commercial/industrial buildings.

The site is completely fenced. There is currently no evidence that trespassing has occurred. Some physical hazards are present on the site, such as deteriorating structures, above-ground storage tanks and equipment.

The site is slightly elevated above the adjacent properties to the south and to the southwest. Retaining walls up to 15 feet high separate the site from these adjacent properties.

At the time of the 1991 site visit, NYS DOH staff observed that a portion of the retaining wall on the west side of the site had collapsed. The collapse occurred in October 1990 and a temporary fence was erected. A more complete permanent fence was installed in December 1991.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

The Mattiace Petrochemical Site is in the City of Glen Cove, about one-half mile west of the downtown section of Glen Cove, New York. The population of the City of Glen Cove was 24,618 in the 1980 census; about 3,200 people live within one-fourth mile of the site.

The site is on Garvies Point Road, an industrial area, with some commercial activity. Garvies Point Preserve, an undeveloped nature-preserve park, lies to the northwest of the site. Recreational use of the preserve is limited to the use of nature-trails. Four other sites in the area are listed on the New York State list of inactive hazardous waste sites. Edmos Corp. is adjacent to the site to the west and southwest, Li Tungsten is 1000 feet to the east, Powers Chemco is 200 feet to the northeast and the Captain's Cove Condominiums are 1000 feet to the southwest.

The Mattiace Petrochemical site is 500 feet north of Glen Cove Creek. The creek is tidal in this area and leads to Hempstead Harbor about 2500 feet west of the site. Hempstead Harbor is a side arm of Long Island Sound. Glen Cove Creek contains a dredged shipping channel.

The tidal portion of the creek is in an industrial area and access to the water by the public is limited. However, a park and marina are at the mouth of the creek where it enters Hempstead Harbor. A public beach is about 1 mile to the southwest of the Mattiace Petrochemical site. Just upstream from the mouth is a partially-constructed condominium project. The construction of the project has been halted temporarily and the site was added to the New York State list of inactive hazardous wastes sites (Captain's Cove Condominiums).

The area around the site is served by public water. Public water supply wells are within 3/4-mile of the site. Groundwater flow from the site is not, however, toward the public supply wells. About 30 private homes are within 1,000 feet of the site to the north. The topography rises abruptly to the north. The private homes are at the top of the about 50-foot elevation rise.

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, congenital malformations registry, heavy metals registry, occupational lung disease registry, vital records (birth and death certificates) and hospital discharge information.


COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

The community has expressed concern over this site and the four other inactive hazardous waste sites in the area. Local officials of the City of Glen Cove have had an active role in initiating and overseeing investigations at these sites through public meetings and direct contact with state and federal officials. The public has raised general concerns over possible exposure to contaminated drinking water, contact with on-site contaminants and potential exposures from structure fires and explosions.

On December 23, 1992, the NYS DOH sent copies of the public health assessment for the Mattiace Petrochemical site to all known interested parties requesting concerns and comments on the report by January 22, 1993. The responses to the comments received by the NYS DOH are included in Appendix B.


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