PRELIMINARY PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
TRI-CITIES BARREL COMPANY, INC.
FENTON, BROOME COUNTY, NEW YORK
The Tri-Cities Barrel Company, Inc., facility was included on the original New York State Registry of hazardous Waste Sites in June 1980 when it was discovered that hazardous waste had been discharged to ground surface and to unlined lagoons. This site was later placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Four monitoring wells were drilled and sampled during a preliminary site investigation. The on-site contamination of groundwater was documented by sampling of monitoring wells in 1986. One private well near the site showed low levels of ethylbenzene, meta-xylene and ortho-xylene; it is not clear, however, if this was related to the site. A second sample was taken from this well in 1990 and did not detect any contaminants. Since the preliminary report, additional waste lagoons have been identified and the site was expanded to include the entire 13 acres owned by the Tri-Cities Barrel Company. A remedial investigation is currently ongoing.
Based on information reviewed, this site is an indeterminate public health
hazard because the extent
of contamination in groundwater has not been defined and contamination in areas north of I-88
not been confirmed or defined. There is a potential for nearby residents to be exposed to
contaminants in groundwater through ingestion. However, no exposures related to
at the site have been documented. The primary health concern associated with exposure to
chemicals at the site comes is from their potential to cause cancer in humans or animals. The
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's
Health Activities Recommendation Panel has
evaluated this public health assessment to determine the need for follow up health actions. Follow
up health actions are not being considered at this time because available data do not show that
have been or are exposure to site contaminants. ATSDR and the New York State Department of
Health will coordinate with appropriate environmental agencies to develop plans to implement the
recommendations contained in this public health assessment.
The Tri-Cities Barrel site, which is on the National Priorities List (NPL), is on Route 7 in the Town of Fenton, Broome County, five miles northeast of Binghamton (see Figures 1 and 2, in Appendix A). This company has been actively engaging in barrel recycling since 1955. Formerly, employees cleaned and reconditioned old drums, which were used in the transportation of industrial chemicals. Currently, Tri-Cities Barrel personnel assemble and reform only clean drums that are reconditioned before they arrive at the site.
Between 1955 and 1981, contaminated drums were washed with sodium hydroxide solution and the resulting waste water was discharged into an unlined lagoon on the site property. Contaminants in the waste water eventually volatilized into the air or percolated into underlying soils. The lagoon was taken out of service in 1981 and backfilled, under a consent order with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). Currently, waste water is collected in a holding tank and hauled away for off-site disposal. The site is an active industrial facility and security is adequate to prevent trespass during working hours. One main building houses the cooperage. The 13-acre site is bisected by Interstate 88, and only the southern half is currently in use.
An incinerator was also used at this site for burning of flammable solids. A preliminary investigation report by NYS DEC's consultants states that ash was shipped off-site for disposal. Ash spillage was observed during the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) inspection in 1991. The incinerator is no longer in use at this facility.
In 1985, an inspection of the Tri-Cities Barrel site was made by Mr. Heerkens and Mr. Forti of the NYS DOH and a representative of the Broome County Department of Health (BC DOH). During this site visit, data were collected to score the site using the hazard ranking system. The next site visit by NYS DOH personnel was in May of 1990, when the residential wells surrounding the site were resampled by John Sheehan. Personnel did not enter the site property at that time. A site visit was made on August 20, 1991 to evaluate new information which was uncovered during the Remedial Investigation (RI) planning process. During that inspection John Sheehan (NYS DOH) and representatives of the NYS DEC, United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), and BC DOH were present.
Tri-Cities Barrel is in a rural area of Broome County, five miles northeast of the City of Binghamton (see Figure 1 in Appendix A). The facility is situated along a section of Old Route 7 in the Town of Fenton and is bounded on the north by Osborne Creek and bisected by Interstate 88 (I-88). The entire 13 acres was once the boundary of site operations. Since I-88 was built, however, only the southern half of the site property is used. There are about 25 homes or 75 persons within one-half mile of the site. The nearest homes are to the east and west along Old Route 7 and Osborne Hollow Road, immediately adjacent to the site. All of these homes are dependent on groundwater for potable water. Because of the accessibility to I-88 and the proximity to an urban area, this area has the potential for further development with corresponding reliance on groundwater resources.
The area immediately surrounding the site is characterized by single family homes and middle income families. The age of the persons interviewed during the 1990 sampling event ranged from infants to retired persons. The 1980 census tract includes the more densely populated hamlet of Port Crane which is about 1.5 miles from Tri-Cities Barrel. The census tract data is not representative of the population immediately adjacent to the site.
The NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which could be used to generate
specific data if warranted. These data bases include the cancer registry, the congenital
registry, the heavy metals registry, the occupational lung disease registry, the pesticide poisoning
registry, vital records (birth and death certificates) and hospital discharge information. No site
specific health outcome data base has been evaluated for the population around this site.
The primary concerns within the community is the potential for contamination of private drinking water wells. The most recent private well data have not shown contamination at any of the homes near the site; however, the contaminant plume has not fully been defined. In May of 1990, residents reported to John Sheehan of the NYS DOH, that they had smelled odors from the facility. Based on experience with similar facilities, the odors may be associated with the operation of cleaning and painting barrels. A second likely source of air emissions was the incinerator which was used to burn residue out of the barrels.