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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

HEBELKA AUTO SALVAGE YARD
WEISENBURG TOWNSHIP, LEHIGH COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


CONCLUSIONS

PADOH concludes that this site is a public health hazard because of on-site residents' past and possible present exposure to lead and other metals at levels of health concern. Other people who work or routinely visit the site may also be exposed to metals at levels of health concern. Future exposure to lead, arsenic, cadmium, and nickel in on-site groundwater represents a future exposure pathway if private wells are or become contaminated. Although comprehensive data on the extent of the groundwater plume are not available, the findings of the field investigation suggest site-related groundwater contamination could extend to the on-site residential well; the well did not show contamination in 1991. Additional data which include on-going sampling of the on-site residential well are needed to fully determine public health implications associated with this site.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Re-sample the on-site residential well for unfiltered lead, arsenic, cadmium, and nickel content in order to ensure the well is still free of contaminants.
  2. Restrict public access to the site.
  3. Request the Weisenburg Township Zoning Authority or other appropriate local government agency to require groundwater testing prior to the installation of residential wells immediately east of the site.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Determine the extent of contaminant migration from the site, especially through groundwater.
  2. Conduct regular monitoring of on-site and off-site residential wells for site contaminants to verify that groundwater quality does not deteriorate with time. Conduct non-filtered groundwater sampling of residential wells southeast of the site along Adams Road to its intersection with Bullfrog Road. Also conduct additional groundwater sampling at the first dwelling eastward from Adams Road on Bullfrog Road.

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

The data and information developed in the Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard Public Health Assessment have been evaluated for appropriate follow-up health actions. The ATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) determined that on-site workers and a families who lived on site, especially the children, were exposed to lead. Therefore, community involvement to provide information to the family and workers about lead exposure is indicated. ATSDR will reevaluate this site to determine if additional follow-up public health actions is needed if new data become available that indicate a need to do so.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard site contains a description of actions to be taken (or that have been taken) by ATSDR and/or other governmental agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent or prior 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 stop or reduce and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR and PADOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented.

  1. PADOH agreed to provide information to the family who resided on site and to on-site workers to assist them in understanding possible adverse health outcomes that may result from exposure to lead at the Hebelka site. In August 1993, through a site visit and conversations with a neighbor and with the mother of some of the children believed to have frequented the site, PADOH learned that one child lived briefly on the site, but moved away at an early age. She is about 12 years old now. The other Hebelka children did not live on the site, but visited their grandparents often. They reportedly did not play in the salvage yard where the highest levels of contamination were found. Those children are now at least 13, 15, and 16 years of age. Because of the children's present ages and because exposure to site contaminants has not occurred in a long time, no further health education is planned for the family members.

    PADOH attempted to provide information to the on-site workers; however, those people demonstrated no interest in receiving the information.

  2. Administrations of Weisenburg and Upper Macungie Townships indicated that they will incorporate directions into their development plans that will require lot owners to have water quality tests performed before building homes or businesses east of the site along Tercha Road.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Robert M. Stroman, R.Ph.
Pharmacist
Pennsylvania Department of Health

Kandiah Sivarajah, Ph.D.
Director, Health Assessment Program
and State Toxicologist
Pennsylvania Department of Health


ATSDR Regional Representative:

Charles Walters, Jr.
Public Health Advisor
EPA Region III
Office of the Assistant Administrator


ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Program Officer
Remedial Programs Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation


CERTIFICATION

The Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard Site Public Health Assessment has been prepared by the Pennsylvania 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.

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this public health assessment and concurs with its findings.

Robert C. Williams, P. E., DEE
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. Hebelka Site, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, Draft Remedial Investigation Report, Volume 1, April 1988.

  2. Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard, Weisenburg Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Draft Final Remedial Investigation Report, Volumes I and II, May 1991.

  3. Hebelka Auto Salvage Yard, Weisenburg Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, Final Remedial Investigation Report, Volumes I and II, July 1991.

  4. 1990 Municipal Population, Pennsylvania, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, January 1991.

  5. Summary of General Population Characteristics, 1990, Census of Population and Housing, 1990: Summary Tape File 1A, U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, June 1991.

  6. Public Schools, Elementary Enrollments, 1990-1991; Pennsylvania Department of Education, 1991.

  7. Public Schools, Secondary Enrollments, 1990-1991; High School Graduate, 1989-1990; Pennsylvania.

  8. Directory of Pennsylvania Hospitals, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, December 1990.

  9. Nursing Home Directory, State Health Data Center, Pennsylvania Department of Health, December 1990.

  10. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Public Health Services/Centers for Disease Control. Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children, October 1991.

  11. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Lead. February 18, 1992.

  12. Madhaven S., et al. (1989). Lead in soil: Recommended maximum permissible levels. Environ Res 49:136-42.

  13. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Arsenic Update. October, 1991.

  14. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Cadmium Update. October, 1991.

  15. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Draft Toxicological Profile for Nickel Update. October, 1991.

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