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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

SIDNEY LANDFILL
SIDNEY, DELAWARE COUNTY, NEW YORK


SUMMARY

The Sidney Landfill is in the Town of Sidney, Delaware County, New York. The purpose of this Public Health Assessment is to inform the public of the status of the site, evaluate past, current and potential future exposures, and to determine whether follow-up public health actions are needed.

Based on ATSDR's current Public Health Hazard Category classification, the Sidney Landfill site was a public health hazard in the past. In the past, nearby residents drank water containing vinyl chloride, trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene at levels that could pose a low to moderate increased cancer risk. Currently, however, these exposures have been reduced or eliminated by treatment systems on the residents' water supplies which remove VOCs or, for one resident, by replacement of the contaminated well with an uncontaminated well. On-site workers and trespassers were likely exposed to PCBs, arsenic and lead in surficial soil and vinyl chloride and PCBs in on-site leachate seeps at levels that could increase the risk of adverse health effects upon chronic exposure. The site is currently posted and there is little evidence of use; however, it is not fenced. Remedial measures under way, which include consolidating and covering wastes, will eliminate this potential exposure pathway in the future. Therefore, the Sidney Landfill site is no apparent public health concern as long as the planned remedial measures are completed.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Record of Decision (ROD) for the Sidney Landfill proposes to consolidate all of the contaminated soils and wastes and cap them. Implementation of the ROD was begun in 1998. This should eliminate the potential for direct contact with lead, arsenic, and PCBs on site or in the roadside ditches, and should reduce contaminant levels in the groundwater. In the past, people were exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their drinking water. Community members were concerned that exposure to VOCs could result in adverse health effects. The exposure to contaminated groundwater has been eliminated or reduced to below drinking water standards by the installation of filters or the decline in contaminant levels. There are no known new community health concerns.

As indicatd above, on-site workers and trespassers were likely exposed to contaminants in surface soil. Neither the NYS DOH nor ATSDR have received any reports of adverse health effects related to the site. There is inadequate information about levels of exposure and the number and identity of workers and trespassers; therefore, neither the NYS DOH nor ATSDR plans any health studies related to these potential exposures. The NYS DOH will consider evaluating health outcome data for these groups if new information becomes available. Three households were identified with levels of VOCs in drinking water that were at some time above the NYS drinking water guidelines or standards. The NYS DOH is currently developing a registry of individuals in New York State who have been exposed to VOCs in drinking water. These residents who have been exposed to VOCs in their drinking water above NYS drinking water standards will be considered for inclusion in the VOC registry.


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUE

A. Site Description and History

The Sidney Landfill is in the Town of Sidney, Delaware County, New York. The purpose of this Public Health Assessment is to inform the public of the status of the site, evaluate past, current and potential future exposures, and to determine whether follow-up public health actions are needed.

The Sidney Landfill is situated in hilly terrain within the Susquehanna River basin, about 2.5 miles southeast of Sidney Center and 3.5 miles northeast of Trout Creek. The landfill is on a western slope, which is on the east side of Richardson Hill Road (Figure 1, Appendix A). West of the landfill, adjacent to Richardson Hill Road, is North Pond; to the southwest is South Pond. The site is situated on a drainage divide. To the north, wetlands which receive runoff from the vicinity of the site drain into an unnamed tributary to Carrs Creek, which flows through Sidney Center on its way to the Susquehanna River. To the south, wetlands which receive runoff from the vicinity of the site, drain into Herrick Hollow Creek, a tributary to Trout Creek, which flows into the Cannonsville Reservoir on the east branch of the Delaware River. The Cannonsville Reservoir is part of the Delaware watershed system, supplying drinking water to the New York City metropolitan area. There are numerous springs around the site, some of which eventually discharge into the wetlands. The landfill sits on a groundwater divide, but surface water runoff is thought to flow primarily north, eventually to the Susquehanna River. Little, if any, surface water runoff is thought to enter the New York City watershed. The elevation in the area ranges from 1,800 feet above mean sea level (MSL) at the base of the landfill to 2,120 feet above MSL at the top of the hill; the distance between the two is about 1,700 feet.

The land on which the Sidney Landfill is located was purchased by Devere Rosa in 1967 for the purpose of operating a refuse disposal area. Landfilling started sometime after April 1968. While operating the Sidney Landfill, Mr. Rosa also operated a disposal area on the west side of the Richardson Hill Road referred to as the Richardson Hill Road Landfill. The Sidney and Richardson Hill Road Landfills were allegedly used for the disposal of municipal waste from the Town of Sidney and commercial wastes from Bendix Corporation. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) and New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) have documented that the Sidney Landfill was poorly operated, with improper compaction of waste, poor daily covering, no supervision, and uncontrolled access to the site. The Sidney Landfill was leased and operated by Mr. James Bartlett from 1971 until October 1972, when it ceased operations and the Town of Sidney began sending its waste to a landfill in Chenango County. In 1978, ownership of the site changed to Mr. Bartlett. The current owner is the Estate of Mr. Lou Mangone Jr.

Although the area in which waste was deposited is not well documented, it appears that about 12 acres received fill in several discrete areas. The disposal areas with hazardous constituents include the North Disposal Area, the Southeast Disposal Area, the Southwest Disposal Area, the Alleged Liquid Waste Disposal Area, the White Goods Disposal Area, and the Can and Bottle Dump Area (Figure 2, Appendix A).

In 1986, the NYS DEC investigated the site. Based upon the investigation, the site was proposed for listing on the National Priorities List (NPL) on June 24, 1988. The site was listed on the NPL on March 30, 1989. A preliminary health assessment was released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in 1990. It stated that the site was of potential public health concern because human exposure to solvents occurred in the past via ingestion of and dermal contact with contaminated drinking water. Also, potential human exposure by direct contact to contaminated soil, leachate, and surface water was a concern. Recommendations were made to sample surface water, install alternative water supplies to affected homes, and define the extent of the contamination.

B. Site Visit And Physical Hazards

Mr. Robert Montione from the NYS DOH visited the site in August 1995, Mr. Richard Fedigan from the NYS DOH visited the site in November 1997, and Mr. Daniel Geraghty visited the site in June 1999. Major changes have occurred since the preliminary health assessment was released in 1990. A remedial investigation (RI) has been completed which has defined the nature and extent of contamination. Whole house filter systems have been provided to two of the homeowners with contaminated private water supplies, one well was replaced with a deeper, uncontaminated well, while the contamination in another water supply dropped to below drinking water standards. Since 1990, the feasibility study (FS) has been completed and the record of decision (ROD) has been signed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The site is now posted but not fenced. There is little evidence that the site is used by the public.

C. Demographics

The NYS DOH estimated from the 1990 Census that 81 people (all white) live within one mile of the Sidney Landfill. Some of the homes near the landfill are used as vacation homes on a seasonal basis. The site is in the Town of Sidney of which 9.1 percent of the population is under 6 years of age, 20.3 percent is 6-19 years of age, 53.4 percent is 20-64 years of age and 17.2 percent is 65 years or older. In 1990, about 1,405 females were of reproductive age (ages 15-44) in the Town of Sidney. The median household income in the Town of Sidney was $23,347 in 1989 with 15.1 percent of the population living below the poverty level.

D. Environmental Contamination And Exposure Pathways

The RI was conducted by the US EPA from 1991 to 1995, to further evaluate the nature and extent of contamination. Organic contaminants detected in the surface soils were predominantly pesticides and the polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) mixture Aroclor 1248, with the highest concentration of PCBs found at the east side of the Southeast Disposal Area. The maximum PCB concentration detected in the surface soil in this area was 158 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg); the maximum PCB concentration detected in the subsurface soil was 180 mg/kg. These PCB levels exceed expected background levels and public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 1). Other areas where PCBs were detected include the Southwest Disposal Area, the North Disposal Area, and east of and along Richardson Hill Road immediately downhill from the North Disposal Area. Two soil samples collected from the roadside ditch along the Richardson Hill Road contained PCBs, but at levels that do not exceed comparison values. Pesticides were distributed over the site in about the same areas as PCBs; however, none were detected at levels exceeding comparison values.

Elevated inorganic contaminants were detected, primarily in surface soil samples in the eastern portion of the Southeast Disposal Area and northwest of the North Disposal Area (Figure 2, Appendix A). However, only lead and arsenic were found at levels above health comparison values. Lead was detected up to 53,800 mg/kg. The highest concentration of arsenic was 376 mg/kg.

Bedrock aquifer samples were collected from site monitoring wells in 1991 (Round 1) and in 1994 (Round 2). Groundwater samples contained tetrachloroethene up to 4 micrograms per liter (mcg/L), trichloroethene up to 690 mcg/L, 1,1,1-trichloroethane up to 12 mcg/L, total 1,2-dichloroethene up to 170 mcg/L, PCBs (Aroclor 1248) at 9.3 mcg/L, vinyl chloride up to 60 mcg/L and 1,1-dichloroethane up to 12 mcg/L. Other contaminants detected were: chlorobenzene up to 10 mcg/L, ethylbenzene up to 37 mcg/L, toluene up to 61 mcg/L, xylenes up to 17 mcg/L, carbon disulfide at 11 mcg/L and bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate at 60 mcg/L. All these contaminants, except carbon disulfide, exceeded New York State drinking water standards and/or public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 2). The pesticides aldrin, 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT), 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE) and heptachlor epoxide were also detected, but at levels which did not exceed New York State water quality standards and/or public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 2). A summary of the metals found above applicable water quality standards and/or public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 2) is presented in Table 3.

During Round 1(1991), light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) was detected in a monitoring well just east of the North Disposal Area (monitoring well MW-2S). The LNAPL contained the PCB Aroclor 1242 (61,000,000 mcg/L), ethylbenzene (12,312 mcg/L), 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (16,871 mcg/L), tetrachloroethene (23,874 mcg/L), trichloroethene (101,557 mcg/L), xylenes (44,264 mcg/L), and 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene (197,830 mcg/L). LNAPL was not detected in subsequent(1994) sampling of monitoring well MW-2S. The groundwater contamination extends from slightly east of the landfill area to directly west of the fill area and down to the areas of North and South Ponds. Contamination was documented in the bedrock down to 130 feet below grade.

In 1985/1986, three seasonally used private water supplies (springs) adjacent to the Sidney Landfill site and one seasonally used spring (also adjacent to the site) from which water was carried to a resident's home were found to be contaminated with chlorinated solvents at levels that exceed New York State drinking water standards (Appendix B, Table 2). Trichloroethene was detected at levels as high as 1025 mcg/L; 1,1,1-trichloroethane as high as 66 mcg/L; total 1,2-dichloroethene up to 29 mcg/L; and tetrachloroethene up to 14 mcg/L. When these water supplies (springs) were resampled in 1994, trichloroethene (32 mcg/L) was detected in one spring, and trichloroethene (565 mcg/L), total 1,2-dichloroethene (30 mcg/L), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (26 mcg/L) were detected in a second spring. Both springs have whole-house treatment systems (installed in 1994) to remove chemical contaminants; contaminants are not detected at the point of use. The treatment systems are currently being maintained by the Amphenol Corporation. The third private water supply contains contaminants at levels below New York State drinking water standards. The fourth spring, from which water was carried to a resident's home, was contaminated with trichloroethene (up to 33 mcg/L) and total 1,2-dichloroethene (up to 15 mcg/L). The resident was advised of its contamination and no longer uses the spring for potable purposes. This spring is on the resident's property and is not accessed by the general public.

In 1997, another private water supply well was found to be contaminated with chlorinated solvents at levels exceeding drinking water standards (vinyl chloride at 11 mcg/L, 1,2-dichloroethene at 21 mcg/L, and trichloroethene at 9.4 mcg/L). Previous sampling in 1986 did not show contamination and the current resident does not consume water from this well. A new, deeper well was drilled for this resident. The new well taps an uncontaminated aquifer.

The objectives of the surface water, leachate, and sediment investigations were to determine if site-generated contaminants have migrated to adjacent wetlands or open areas downslope of the site, and to determine site-specific background contaminant concentrations. A total of 23 sediment, 19 surface water, and 5 leachate samples were collected and analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, PCBs, and inorganic compounds.

Surface water samples collected from South Pond, North Pond, the tributary to Trout Creek, and Carrs Creek contained bis(2-ethyl-hexyl)phthalate (not detected-29 mcg/L) and the PCB mixture Aroclor 1248 (not detected-1.19 mcg/L). Arsenic was detected at up to 18.3 mcg/L. Only Aroclor 1248 was found at a level exceeding the public health assessment comparison value (Appendix B, Table 4). Cadmium, iron, manganese and low levels of VOCs were also detected, but at levels that do not exceed comparison values.

Sediment samples from South Pond contained a number of pesticides, including aldrin, heptachlor epoxide, DDT, DDE, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDD), endosulfan, endrin, and chlordane, but at levels that do not exceed comparison values. The PCB mixture Aroclor 1248 was detected up to 44 mg/kg, a level which exceeds the public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 1). Based upon the documented release of PCBs and solvent-containing waste oils from a waste oil pit located on the Richardson Hill Road Landfill site to South Pond, the contamination in South Pond may be attributable to the Richardson Hill Road Landfill site, rather than the Sidney Landfill site. No contaminants were detected in sediments from North Pond, Carrs Creek, or the tributary to Trout Creek at levels which exceed public health assessment comparison values.

A leachate seep near the road southwest of the North Disposal Area contained VOCs (total concentration of 91 mcg/L). A leachate seep on the west edge of the North Disposal Area contained VOCs, SVOCs, and PCBs. The VOCs benzene, chlorobenzene, chloroethane, chloromethane, 1,1-dichloroethane, total 1,2-dichloroethene, ethylbenzene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and total xylenes were detected, but at levels that do not exceed comparison values. Vinyl chloride was also detected at 16 mcg/L, and PCBs (Aroclor 1248) were detected at 3.6 mcg/L. The semi-volatile organic compounds, 1,4-dichloro-benzene and 4-methylphenol were present at low levels. Only PCBs and vinyl chloride exceeded their public health assessment comparison values (Appendix B, Table 5).

Very limited sampling of fish from North Pond (only one fish was sampled) showed trace levels of several contaminants that were below public health assessment comparison values and similar to those detected in a fish taken from a control pond.

E. Health Outcome Data

The NYS DOH has not evaluated health outcome data specifically for Sidney Landfill. However, the NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which could be used to generate site-specific data, if warranted. These data bases include the cancer registry, the congenital malformations registry, the heavy metals registry, the occupational lung disease registry, vital records (birth and death certificates), and hospital discharge data information.

On-site workers and trespassers were likely exposed to contaminants in surface soil. The NYS DOH has not received any reports of adverse health effects related to the site. There is inadequate information about levels of exposure and the number and identity of workers and trespassers, therefore, the NYS DOH plans no health studies related to these potential exposures. The NYS DOH will consider evaluating health outcome data for these groups if new information becomes available. Three households were identified with levels of VOCs in drinking water that were at some time above the NYS drinking water guidelines or standards. The NYS DOH is currently developing a registry of individuals in New York State who have been exposed to VOCs in drinking water. These residents who have been exposed to VOCs in their drinking water above NYS drinking water standards will be considered for inclusion in the VOC registry.

F. Community Health Concerns And Current Issues

The ROD for the Sidney Landfill proposes to consolidate all of the contaminated soils and wastes and cap them. Implementation of the ROD was begun in 1998. This should eliminate the potential for direct contact with lead, arsenic, and PCBs on site or in the road side ditches, and should reduce contaminant levels in the groundwater. In the past, people were exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their drinking water. Community members were concerned that exposure to VOCs could result in adverse health effects. The exposure to contaminated groundwater has been eliminated or reduced to below drinking water standards by the installation of filters or the decline in contaminant levels. On August 2, 1995, the US EPA held a public meeting to inform the public about the status of the site. There are no known new community health concerns.


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