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HEALTH CONSULTATION
S.S. FISHER STEEL
(a/k/a FISHER SS STEEL CORPORATION)

LANCASTER, LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNYSYLVANIA
EPA FACILITY ID: PAD003404209

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

At the request of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, working under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, prepared this Health Consultation for the S.S. Fisher Steel Corporation (S.S. Fisher Landfill) Site. DEP requested that ATSDR and PADOH review the most recent and past DEP sampling at the site and determine whether the site currently poses a public health hazard. Groundwater sampling of on-site monitoring wells was conducted from 2001 to May 2003. Off-site residential well sampling was completed in May and October 2003. Past sampling records were reviewed for on-site monitoring wells and off-site residential wells. In June 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency sampled 14 off-site residential wells. Also, because of concern about possible human exposures via a downstream fishery, November 1993 stream sampling and May 2003 stream sampling of the unnamed tributary to Goods Run (a stream which receives the landfill outfall and storm water) were evaluated.

The chemicals of health concern selected for evaluation in on-site sample results include arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead, manganese, nickel, and nitrate. The chemicals of health concern selected for evaluation in off-site sample results include lead and nitrate for residential wells. These chemicals were detected off-site at maximum concentrations of 12.3 parts per billion (PPB, also referred to as micrograms of lead per liter of water) and 13,160 PPB (or micrograms of nitrate per liter of water), respectively. Lancaster County, which contains many farming communities, is known to have high nitrates in surface and groundwater. Acidic water may facilitate release of lead from old plumbing. There is also some natural lead in this area.

The site is currently a landfill in the process of closure, with an active fabrication business on the southern edge. On the basis of recent groundwater and surface water data and current on-site activities, however, PADOH concludes that the landfill site currently poses no apparent public health hazard.


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

Introduction

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), through a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), requested the Division of Environmental Health Epidemiology, Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), to prepare a health consultation (HC) concerning the S.S. Fisher Steel Corporation (S.S. Fisher Landfill) site. The purpose of this Health Consultation was to identify current, past, and future human exposures to contaminants near the S.S. Fisher Steel site. Data from DEP, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Pequea Township - beginning in 1985 and through 2003 - and other information about the S.S. Fisher Steel Landfill was evaluated. As part of a closure plan, S.S. Fisher Landfill was required to monitor groundwater via on-site monitoring wells.

Health-related questions were raised by the community and are addressed in the Community Health section of this document or were addressed during public meetings. In 2003, the Pequea Township Board of Supervisors, on behalf of concerned citizens, employed Arro Consulting to obtain samples from nine on-site monitoring wells, one off-site residential well, and one stream; the stream receives outfall water from the landfill via a tributary. The DEP took additional water samples and included three residences with a split sample on one of the residential wells and a split sample on one of the monitoring wells sampled by the township. Six other residential wells were sampled later in 2003. Conclusions and recommendations in this health consultation are specific to the landfill site and are based on the data and information referenced. Additional data could alter the recommendations.

Site Description and History

The S.S. Fisher Steel Corporation (SS Fisher Landfill) site is located at 625 Baumgardner Road, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. On a topographic map the landfill is at the intersection of coordinates 39º 57' 43" north and 76º 17' 30" west. The Geographical Information System (GIS) map and location are contained in Figures 1 and 2.

Between the early 1970s and the early 1980s, construction and demolition waste was disposed of in this unlined and unpermitted landfill in Pequea Township, Lancaster County. In 1982, the site was permitted and authorized for Class III demolition waste. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources or DER (now the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or DEP) authorized operation as a Class III Demolition Waste Landfill; in that same year, however, S.S. Fisher also received a Notice of Violation from DER. Monitoring wells were drilled at the landfill under the first DER permit. In 1983 the site was permitted under a Residual Waste Landfill Permit for furnace wastes, foundry sands, and slags. A total of 10.5 out of 18.3 acres were filled in, starting at the eastern edge of the landfill. Groundwater monitoring continued until Fisher terminated the program in 1994 and when DER no longer allowed this type of waste disposal at the site. In 1987, acceptance of foundry phenolic and furan resin cores was approved by DEP. In about 1988, the main disposal area was covered over and a building to house steel for Powell Steel Corporation was constructed. Violations over time included the acceptance of oil-contaminated soil, asbestos and silica materials. The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office fined S.S. Fisher for illegally disposing of waste paint and thinner in conjunction with its fabrication process. EPA collected on-site monitoring well samples of groundwater at various times. Groundwater sampling was also done in 1985 and in 1989 for some residential wells [1].

Later sampling events and related events included:

  • In 1992 the on-site monitoring system was supplemented with additional wells as requested under DER permit #300971. S.S. Fisher retained EPSYS Corporation Environmental/Hydrogeological Services of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to evaluate the sample results [2]. In addition, DER (now DEP) sampled 14 off-site residential wells [3].

  • In 1993, because of concerns by Pequea Township for the fishery in Good's Run, stream sampling and an evaluation was performed [4].

  • In 1994 EPA finished a report about the on-site groundwater and off-site residential well sample results [3]. DEP also mapped groundwater/aquifer flow directions later, which may be viewed in Figure 3. Under a Consent Order and Agreement, S.S. Fisher submitted a closure plan, but the plan was not acceptable to the DEP. In 1994 DEP suspended S.S. Fisher's permit and required the landfill to cease accepting wastes.

  • In 2001 groundwater monitoring at on-site monitoring wells began again, and continued into 2002 as part of the closure plan negotiations [5]. The Department's 2002 Consent Order/Agreement approved two types of closure capping: first, a soil cover was installed during 2003, and second, a permeability-limiting cap was to be installed only if landfill activities were found to have adversely affected groundwater such that a cap would offer additional protection.

  • In 2003 Pequea Township appealed a landfill closure plan and, because of the concerns of residents living adjacent to the landfill, contracted with Arro Consulting for on-site monitoring wells and off-site residential well sampling. Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc. of Middletown, Pennsylvania, sent several "split" samples to the DEP laboratory [6,7]. DEP also took an additional set of samples from off-site residential wells in October 2003 [7].

Known materials disposed in the landfill include 6 cubic yards of oil-contaminated soil, slag, baghouse dust, furnace residues, foundry sand, and furan resin and phenolic resin cores and molds [2,3]. Although the S.S. Fisher landfill is closed, DEP will in the very near future allow the fabrication process to be restarted in the Steel Fab Enterprises, Inc. building on the south side of Baumgardner Road.

Site Layout

The Pequea Township Building, a small farm, and sloping woodland are north of the landfill. Baumgardner Road borders the landfill to the south, and Millwood Road borders the eastern edge of the landfill. About 10 residences are south of the landfill along Baumgardner Road. Several residences are adjacent to or are in the vicinity of the southwest corner of the landfill. Private residential wells are in use here. The property that was previously used as a landfill area is unfenced. Farmland is along the very western edge. An active facility building (the Steel Fab Enterprises, Inc. building) remains on the south side of Baumgarnder Road. On-site monitoring wells are along the borders of the landfill, and one monitoring well is east of the Steel Fab Enterprises, Inc. building.

A natural fault runs under the landfill from east to west, in proximity of the low point of the valley as shown in the topographic map in Figure 3. Groundwater flows through the landfill predominantly from the south, north and east of this fault, toward the western edge of the landfill and the valley. Groundwater flow is away from most of the residences, though the direction of recharge is questionable for a few of homes at the southeast end of the landfill. An artesian-fed pond is on the north side of the property. Overflow from this pond and other stormwater continues to an outfall that flows into an unnamed tributary, which eventually feeds Good's Run, as shown in Figure 4. A sanitary sewer line runs from the Steel Fab Enterprises, Inc. building to a pump station at the corner of Baumgardner and Millwood Roads. A storm sewer line also runs from the Steel Fab Enterprises, Inc. building, along the S.S. Fisher building on the other side of Baumgardner Road, to the vicinity of where the storm water outfall empties into a sedimentation basin.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this HC, ATSDR and PADOH relied on the information provided in referenced documents. We assumed adequate quality assurance and quality control measures were followed regarding data gathering, chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, and data reporting. We expect that to ensure high quality data, appropriate care was taken during all aspects of sample collection. We expect that the laboratory only used certified, clean-sample collection devices. Once samples were collected, we expect they were stored according to the method protocol and were delivered to the analytical laboratory as soon as possible. Finally, we expect that laboratory Standard Operating Procedures and other procedures and guidance for sample analysis, reporting, and chain of custody were followed. The analyses, conclusions, and recommendations in this health consultation are valid only if the referenced documents are complete and reliable.


DATA EVALUATION

To determine the possible health effects of site-specific chemicals, ATSDR has developed health-based comparison values (CVs) — chemical concentrations and specific environmental media to help identify environmental contaminants of health concern [8]. CVs are used to determine which contaminants require further evaluation. Chemical concentrations below any of ATSDR's comparison values are not discussed further in this HC (with the exception of current nitrate levels and on-site and off-site phenol results, later in this document).

These CVs include Environmental Media Evaluation Guides (EMEGs) and Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guides (RMEGs) for noncancerous health effects as well as Cancer Risk Evaluation Guides (CREGs) for cancerous health effects. If environmental media guides cannot be established because of a lack of available health data, other health-based values may be used to select a contaminant for further evaluation. For example, for residential wells, this value might be the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for public drinking water systems. While media concentrations less than a CV are unlikely to pose a health threat, media concentrations above a CV do not always represent a health threat. Therefore, CVs are not used as predictors of adverse health effects or for setting clean-up levels.

PADOH uses ATSDR's Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs), EPA's Reference Doses (RfDs) for chronic or lifetime levels where health effects may occur, and EPA's Cancer Slope Factors (CSFs). PADOH might also research scientific literature. MRLs are estimates of daily exposure to contaminants below which non-cancerous adverse health effects are unlikely to occur. A RfD is the estimate of daily exposure to the human population that is likely to be without appreciable risk of developing deleterious effects over a lifetime. Exposure doses below the MRL or RfD (lifetime) are not likely to cause any noncancerous adverse health effects. Exposure doses above the MRL or RfD require further evaluation to determine if adverse effects are likely to occur. When RfDs and MRLs are not available, a no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) or lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) can be used to estimate levels below which no adverse health effects (noncancerous) are expected.

Health guidelines such as MRLs and noncarcinogenic RfDs, however, do not consider the risk of developing cancer. To evaluate exposure to carcinogens, EPA has established cancer risks and CSFs for inhalation and ingestion. These calculations define the relationship between exposure doses and the likelihood of an increased risk of cancer, compared with controls that have not been exposed to the chemical. Usually derived from animal or occupational studies, an exposure dose is determined that is likely to result in one excess cancer case per one million persons exposed over a lifetime (estimated at 70 years). A CSF is derived from the chemical-specific Cancer Risk (CR). Readers should note scientists often look at CRs in a linear model, which assumes that any amount of the chemical might cause cancer. This may or may not, however, be realistic at very low concentrations of a specific chemical.

Children generally receive higher doses of contaminants per body weight than adults and may be more sensitive to chemical exposures than are adults under similar circumstances. Thus when forming its conclusions about noncarcinogenic health effects of site-related contaminants–when children are known or thought to be involved–the PADOH often uses the exposure doses calculated for children. For noncarcinogens, the worst-case assumption in these scenarios involves the exposure to the highest levels of contaminants detected in a child weighing about 10 kilograms (about 22 pounds) and assumed to ingest 1 liter (about 1.1 quarts) of water per day.

PADOH then evaluated the environmental and human components (or exposure pathways) that could lead to human exposure. Exposure pathways are descriptions of the ways that a chemical moves from its source (where it began) to where and how people can come into contact with (or become exposed to) the chemical.

For a chemical-specific adverse health effect to occur, ATSDR recognizes that five components of a completed exposure pathway must first occur: a source of the contaminant; the fate and transport of the contaminant into a media (water, soil, air, or food); an exposure point (drinking water, soil contact, air, or other); an exposure route (ingestion, dermal contact, inhalation); and an exposed population.


DISCUSSION

Nitrate

Nitrate was found in the off-site residential wells sampled May 2003, as shown in Table 3, and on-site monitoring wells sampled in 2001 and 2003 and in May 2003, as shown in Table 1 and Table 2. A health concern is noted because some concentrations of nitrates measured are above the ATSDR CV and the EPA MCLG of 10,000 parts per billion (PPB, also referred to as micrograms of nitrate per liter of water). The MCLG is based on protection of infants 6 months of age and younger [8].

Nitrate Pollution Problems in Lancaster County and including Pequea Township

In some parts of Pennsylvania, nitrate pollution has contaminated drinking water supplies. According to EPA, exposures where drinking water levels of nitrates are above 10,000 PPB have been associated with "blue-baby" syndrome in infants, which impairs the bloodstream's ability to carry oxygen. Pennsylvania's Lancaster County, known for its dairy, pork and poultry production, has problems with surface and groundwater contamination from nitrates due, in part, to pollution from large and small farms. Lancaster County's Conestoga River has the highest concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus of any Susquehanna tributary monitored by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. Many of Pennsylvania's surface waters, including Chesapeake Bay tributaries, are also contaminated with nitrates and other animal-related pollutants [9].

The Pequea Township Supervisors have prepared information regarding the nitrate concentrations found in the township. Nitrate concentrations are found at levels of health concern throughout the Pequea Township and have been mapped by the township in Figure 5. Numerous areas show concentrations above 10,000 PPB.

Lead

Lead was found above the EPA MCLG of 0 PPB for drinking water in some residential wells sampled in May 2003 and in October 2003, as shown in Table 3 and Table 4; concentrations ranged from 1.3 PPB to 12.3 PPB. Public drinking water has an action level of 15 PPB (90th percentile of sampling sets or only 10% of samples may be above the action level). The maximum result found in residential wells in 2003 was below the Action Level for public water systems and is not considered a health threat.

Lead was also found above the ATSDR CV and EPA MCLG in the on-site monitoring wells sampled in 2001 and 2003, and in May 2003 as shown in Table 1 and Table 2 [8]. At one time a potable well had been used on site for drinking water purposes; how long the well was used by employees is unknown. In 1988, high levels (almost twice the MCL at the time) of lead were found in the water of this well and appeared possibly to have been from the plumbing [1]. It is assumed that no children consistently drank from this on-site well.

Some off-site wells have "aggressive" water. Aggressive groundwater (indicated by an acidic pH and low alkalinity) enhances the leaching of metals from plumbing, especially lead from solder-containing lead; generally, the lower the pH, the more lead leaching that may take place [10]. These conditions do not occur throughout this area, however, because limestone occurs in some places. This local area of Lancaster County also has natural lead deposits, which appear to be leaching into the groundwater of certain residential wells and contributing to the lead concentrations found in those wells. Originally, there was a question from the community whether the lead in the residential wells is from the natural geology or from the plumbing–or both–and why the landfill was ruled out as a source. According to DEP, evidence shows some of the lead could be natural and some from the plumbing. Some reasons the former is true are that

  1. Many of the wells showing lead are upgradient from the landfill, so the source must be other than the landfill.

  2. In one specific well, changes in lead concentrations were noted from 1993 to 2003; when DEP inquired about it, it was due to a new well only–no other changes. For the rest of the wells, no significant change has occurred in over 10 years. Because the landfill has not accepted waste since 1994 and has now been graded, covered, and closed, it would be reasonable to expect some change if the landfill were the source of the problem. The previous fact, coupled with the fact that the wells are upgradient of the landfill, indicates that the lead was not coming from the landfill.

  3. In some wells (one in particular of two with the highest lead levels) the lead was leaching from plumbing because of aggressive water. The lead levels changed significantly after copper pipes and lead-containing solder was replaced with plastic pipes.

While the lead levels in this drinking water are not expected to cause health effects, lead is a concern for children, especially those under the age of 6 years [13]. Residents should keep in mind the various ingestion and inhalation sources of environmental lead exposure that could raise a child's blood-lead level. Some of the most common sources of exposure for children include

  • the age of the home and whether it contains lead paint chips,
  • solder-containing lead had been used in the drinking water plumbing,
  • use of pottery containing lead, and
  • hobbies with lead materials used in the home.

Arsenic, Barium, Cadmium, Nickel, and Manganese

Arsenic

Although in the 2001-2003 data as shown in Table 1, arsenic was found above the ATSDR drinking water CV in only one of 24 on-site samples, even that result was not confirmed. No sample results taken at a later date from that monitoring well or from that area of the landfill showed arsenic [5,6,7].

In November 1993 sediment was sampled in an unnamed Good's Run tributary that receives landfill outfall and receives storm water. Sample results of the unnamed tributary showed that although four arsenic levels were slightly above the ATSDR CV for soils as shown in Table 4, they were most likely natural levels [12]. For arsenic, the Chronic EMEG for a child is used for comparison rather than a lifetime cancer risk, but the concentration in the stream was much lower than this EMEG [8]. If a child were to ingest the sediments while playing in the stream, the cancer risks are still based on a lifetime of exposure. Therefore, the arsenic levels in this stream would not pose a human health problem even if a child were to ingest occasionally some of the sediments.

In a stream sample taken in May 2003, no chemicals tested were above ATSDR CVs for soils [6]. No arsenic results were found at levels above the ATSDR CV for drinking water in any of the residential wells tested. Further, in the residential wells tested, elevated levels due to background arsenic or an exposure point by way of residential drinking water use was not established.

Barium, cadmium, and nickel

An on-site potable well had been used in the past, but for how long or how often employees drank water from this well is unknown. Barium, cadmium, and nickel were found in on-site groundwater in 2001-2003 and concentrations were just slightly above the ATSDR CVs for drinking water as shown in Table 1 [8]. The highest barium sample was 960 PPB, and the EPA MCL for public drinking water is 2000 PPB [13]. Nickel was found at the highest concentration of 110 PPB, and EPA's lifetime health advisory is 100 PPB [13]. Even if a person drank water with the highest level of nickel found on site for a few years, the worst-case scenario would not merit a health concern. Barium and nickel were not consistently detected and were detected at much lower levels in the past on site; none of these elements were found in off-site residential wells [2,14].

The highest on-site cadmium groundwater sample was 12 PPB [14]. For public drinking water, the MCL is 5 PPB [8,13]. ATSDR also considers cadmium a "known human carcinogen" [8,15]. Even if a person drank water with the highest level of cadmium found on site for a few years, the worst-case scenario would not merit a health concern. Cadmium was not consistently detected on site, and in the past it was mostly detected at much lower levels [1,14]. No cadmium was found in on-site wells in 2003 [6]. None of these elements were found above ATSDR CVs in the 2003 on-site monitoring results. Because none of these elements were found in off-site residential wells, a completed exposure point was never established.

Manganese

The two highest results from on-site monitoring well data from 2001 to 2003 were above the ATSDR CV. The results were 10,000 PPB and 1,720 PPB, respectively [5,6]. The highest 2003 result for the off-site residential wells was 8 PPB [6]. According to the EPA, in 1973 the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed several investigations of adult diets and reported that the average daily consumption of manganese ranges from 2,000 to 8,800 micrograms per day [16]. Higher manganese intakes are associated with diets high in whole-grain cereals, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and tea. From manganese balance studies, the WHO concluded that 2000 to 3000 micrograms per day is adequate for adults and 8000 to 9000 micrograms per day is "perfectly safe." Additionally, no manganese above the ATSDR CVs was found in the 2003 off-site residential well results [7].

In the July 1992 report by EPSYS Corporation (an environmental contractor retained by S.S. Fisher Steel), it was noted that manganese was found in six on-site wells [2]. In 1992, 12 sample results for manganese were "high." The highest sample result was 220,000 PPB and was found at these levels in two other samples [2]. Manganese can occur naturally, but not at these levels [12]. The other sample results were at least 100-fold lower–more in line with "normal" human dietary ranges [16]. The highest result found was 78 times higher than the ATSDR RfD (based on dietary intake) for a very young child (a child weighing 10 kilograms or about 22 pounds and drinking 1/2 liter or about 1 pint of water per day from this well). Also, the sample results were 22 times the ATSDR RfD (based on dietary intake) for an adult (assumptions are an adult weighs 70 kilograms or about 150 pounds and drinks 1 liters or about 1.1 quarts of water per day) [8]. Past on-site ingestion of this groundwater could have been a problem, but 2003 data showed that currently chronic ingestion on-site would only be a problem for a child, and chronic ingestion of this groundwater by children on site was unlikely. No manganese was ever found at levels above the ATSDR CV in off-site residential wells; manganese appears currently not to be or not to have been a chemical of concern [8].

Downstream Fishery and Stream Biota

In November 1993, due to concern about possible human exposures via a downstream fishery, the DEP sampled the sediments for metals in the unnamed Good's Run tributary that receives the landfill outfall and stormwater. DEP also conducted an examination of the stream's macroinvertebrate community. In 1993, as shown in Table 5, arsenic was the only sediment-borne chemical found above the ATSDR CVs for soil; still, these arsenic levels are at natural levels found in soil, and not a human health threat. This same DEP stream study report concluded, "although there were increased levels of certain metals present downstream for the Fisher facility there appeared to be no effect on the biota" [3].

In May 2003, per the Pequea Township Board of Supervisors' request, the Arro Group, Inc. (Environmental Consulting) took a single sample from the stream. The 2003 sediment sample results for all chemicals analyzed are below ATSDR CVs for soil.


DEMOGRAPHICS OF PEQUEA TOWNSHIP, COMMUNITY CONCERNS, AND HEALTH OUTCOME DATA

Demographics

The S.S. Fisher Steel Landfill site is in Pequea Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. According to year 2000 census records, Pequea Township has a total population of 4,358 persons [20]. About 50 percent of the population is male and 50 percent female. Twenty-nine percent of the population is the age of 19 years and under and about 6 percent is under the age of 5. About 13 percent of the population is 60 years or over; the median age is 39 years. The percentage of owner-occupied housing is about 85, and the percent of renter-occupied housing is about 15. Median income is $59,010 [20].

Community Concerns

  • Is the landfill site affecting private well water?
  • Is the private well water safe to drink?
  • Were some serious diseases–especially multiple sclerosis (MS) and some cancers–related to the landfill?

From 1985 and through the 1990s some off-site residents along the S.S. Fisher Landfill and some Pequea Township supervisors raised concerns that activities at the S.S. Fisher Landfill site might have contaminated the local groundwater [1]. In particular, there were concerns that multiple sclerosis (MS) and some cancers in the local area could have been related to the activities of the landfill site. The community compiled a list of those persons beginning in 1968 and ending in 1985 who lived within a 1-mile radius of the landfill and who had serious diseases and various cancers [14]. This list was later extended to include persons up to 2002 [18].

Both PADER (now PADOH) and EPA were involved in investigations and sampling result evaluations throughout this period of time. During that time the landfill owner submitted various closure plans to DEP, and monitoring wells were installed on site. The Pequea Township Board of Supervisors and some residents living along the landfill expressed concerns about the landfill's closure plans and the public input into the plans, as well as concerns about the facility's past violations [18].

In 2003 the Pequea Township Board of Supervisors decided to retain the ARRO Group, Inc. to conduct additional sampling of groundwater. Groundwater results showed that only nitrate was at levels of health concern. No chemicals known or suspected of causing cancers or autoimmune related diseases such as MS were ever found above health levels in on-site or off-site groundwater [8].

  • Were phenols ever a health threat on or off site?

In the July 1992 report by EPSYS Corporation, it was noted that phenol was found in two on-site wells [2]. In addition, data from a 1989 EPA report stated that phenol was found on several occasions in on-site wells and in one off-site monitoring well tested in 1992 [11]. Phenol was not found in groundwater samples at levels of concern [1,2,17]. Thus, phenol most likely does not nor did not pose any on-site or off-site health-related concerns [8].

  • Could some of the low levels of lead found in some of the private wells come from appliances or other debris thought by some to be buried at the eastern edge of the landfill?

Community members had raised some concern that the lead found in some residential wells had a source in the landfill. It had been thought that possibly old, used appliances had been placed in the landfill years before, particularly at the southeastern edge, near the corners of Baumgardner and Millwood Roads:

  1. On page 6 of this report, there is a discussion why DEP and PADOH believe the lead in residential wells does not have a source in the landfill.

  2. In 2003, S.S. Fisher volunteered to conduct four probes at the area in question. On October 15, 2003, under the observation of Sanchez Engineering and several DEP representatives, S.S. Fisher requested American Testing to drill five probe holes. The probes were drilled on the eastern side of the landfill and covered an area of about 200 feet from Millwood Road (the area of the landfill in question). Only fill materials were found–no waste material of any consequence was detected [19].

Health Outcome Data

No known or probable human carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) or chemicals known to cause autoimmune diseases such as MS were ever consistently found in residential wells. Based on the analysis of available data, adverse health effects are not expected [1-7,17]. Therefore, health tracking with Lancaster County health outcome data related to this particular landfill would not be justified.


CHILD HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS

ATSDR and PADOH recognize that children are especially sensitive when exposed to many contaminants. ATSDR and PADOH evaluated the likelihood that children living near the site might have been or might be exposed to contaminants at levels of health concern in the groundwater. Nitrate at concentrations above 10,000 PPB is of particular concern for children. Nitrate concentrations in this area have been found above 10,000 PPB and could put infants 6 months and less in age at risk.


CONCLUSIONS

PADOH and ATSDR conclude the following:

  1. Currently, nitrate is the only chemical of health concern in the residential wells. The levels of nitrates above 10,000 PPB are mainly a concern in households in which an infant 6 months or younger in age is living or visiting. Lancaster County, which contains many farming communities, is known to have high nitrates in the surface and in groundwater. The lead levels are below the EPA's Action Level for public drinking water. Lead may be released from old plumbing solder if groundwater is acidic. There is also some natural lead in the geology of this area. The presence of these contaminants is not related to past or present landfill activities.

  2. On the basis of recent data and current on-site activities, PADOH concludes that the landfill site currently poses no apparent public health hazard to community members living near the landfill. Groundwater and stream sediments pose no apparent public health hazard except for sediments containing nitrate (landfill-unrelated) found at concentrations above 10,000 PPB in some residential wells.

  3. Past exposures are indeterminate for off-site-related exposures to groundwater, though historical residential well sampling indicates that no adverse health effects would be expected from exposures to off-site groundwater. Groundwater flow is away from most of the residences, though the direction of recharge is questionable for a few of homes at the Southeast end of the landfill. Over the years some samples were taken from a residence receiving the aquifer flow from the direction of the landfill and those samples did not disclose any contaminants linked to the landfill.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. In households with residential well water testing above 10,000 PPB nitrates, water should not be used for infants 6 months of age and under (for drinking water or for mixing formula).

  2. At a minimum, one additional set of residential well samples in the receiving direction of the underground aquifer should be taken by DEP. Samples should include tests for manganese and other metals and nitrates.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

  • PADOH will prepare and distribute a nitrate fact sheet for Pequea Township and for Lancaster County.

REFERENCES

  1. US Environmental Protection Agency. Final inspection report containing 1985 and 1989 off-site residential well sample results; 1989.

  2. EPSYS Corporation Environmental/Hydrogeological Services. Report on S.S Fisher Steel. Harrisburg, PA; 1992.

  3. US Environmental Protection Agency. 1994 EPA site investigation report containing off-site residential well samples; June 1993.

  4. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. February 4, 1994 correspondence re: November 1993 DEP collection and analysis of stream samples from the unnamed tributary to Good's Run.

  5. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 2001, 2002, and 2003 samples from on-site monitoring wells per DEP permit requirements of the S.S. Fisher Landfill.

  6. Arro Consulting, Inc. On-site monitoring well and off-site residential well and stream samples and analysis. Middletown, PA; May 2003.

  7. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "Split" samples with Arro Consulting, Inc for three residential wells and additional samples from other residential wells. DEP Laboratory and Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc., Middletown, PA (May) and Lionville Labs, Inc, PA (October); May 2003 and October 2003.

  8. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. Soil/Water/Air Comparison Values and Health Guideline Comparison Values, 10/01/03 to 12/31/03. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services.

  9. The Natural Resources Defense Council Nitrate Web site. Available at: http://www.nrdc.org/water/pollution/factor/stpen.asp; last accessed 2004 April 8.

  10. US Environmental Protection Agency. Consumer Fact Sheet on Lead. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwh/c-ioc/lead.html, last accessed 2004 April 8.

  11. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for lead. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999. Available at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp13.html. Last accessed 2004 April 8.

  12. United States Geological Service Web site. Available at: http://www.usgs.gov/. Last accessed 2004 April 8.

  13. US Environmental Protection Agency. 2004 edition of drinking water standards and health advisories. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/drinking/standards/dwstandards.pdf. Last accessed 2004 April 8.

  14. US Environmental Protection Agency. Region III CERCLIS file for S.S. Fisher containing 1) EPA February 1989 Site Inspection Report on one (1) on-site monitoring well, 2) data for four off-site residential wells, 3) the 1990 Limited RCRA Facility Assessment Report, 4) the 1993 Site Inspection Report, and 5) the 1994 Site Inspection Final Report.

  15. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. Toxicological profile for cadmium. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, 1999.Available at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp5.html. Last accessed 8 April 2004.

  16. US Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) for Manganese. Available at: http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/0373.htm. Last accessed 2004 April 8.

  17. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Archived residential well sample results for 1991. Lancaster, PA: DEP District Office.

  18. Pequea Township. October 3, 2002 township meeting minutes.

  19. Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Records re: 2003 S.S. Fisher probe at the Southeast end of the landfill.

  20. Bureau of the Census. 2000 census population. Table DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: Pequea Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Available at: http://www.pasdc.hbg.psu.edu/pasdc/census_2000/Data/SF3/DP1-DP4/0604207159360.pdf. Last accessed 2004 April 8.

AUTHORS, TECHNICAL ADVISORS

Pennsylvania Department of Health
Health Assessment Program
Division o f Environmental Health Epidemiology

Authors:

Pauline Risser-Clemens, MS
Environmental Health Specialist
Ronald Tringali, PhD, R.N, Program Director

ATSDR Reviewers:

Alan Parham, MPH
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

and

Lora Werner, MPH
Environmental Health Scientist
ATSDR Region 3


CERTIFICATION

This Health Consultation for the S.S. Fisher Chemical Site was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was initiated.

LCDR Alan G. Parham, REHS, MPH
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC


The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC), ATSDR, has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.


Roberta Erlwein
Lead, Cooperative Agreement Team, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


TABLES

Table 1. S.S. Fisher Steel, Lancaster County, PA: Summary of Chemicals of Health Concern From On-Site Monitoring Wells, 2001 - 2003.

Analyte Frequency Concentrations ATSDR Comparison Values for Drinking Water (CVs) Other Health Based Value IRIS CR GROUP Notes
      CV Source      
ARSENIC 1/24 30* 0.02 CREG   A Detected in one sample, only.
BARIUM 24/24 10 - 960 700 RMEG Child MCLG = 2000 D  
CADMIUM 6/24 0.4 - 9 2 EMEG Child MCLG = 5 B1 NTP = 1; NOAEL (child) = 50 ug/L
LEAD 12/24 3.2 - 57 0 MCLG PWS Action Level =15 (90th percentile) None Only ten percent of the samples may exceed the Action Level in a PWS.
MANGANESE 48/52 7 - 10000 500 RMEG Child 1400 ug/L (child-based on NOAEL) D Low oral toxicity (IRIS 5000 PPB)
NICKEL 5/52 20 - 110 100 LTHA   None  
NITRATE 48/52 90 - 12600 20000 RMEG Child (note - see MCLG) MCLG = 10000 None The MCLG protects babies of age 6 months or less.
* - result not confirmed
Source: Data was received by way of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Samples were from monitoring wells 2001, 2002, and 2003 as per DEP permit requirements of the SS Fisher Landfill. "Split" samples were taken and analyzed by DEP for some on-site Monitoring Wells.
ATSDR Comparison Values (CVs) used were from the version beginning January 01, 2004 and expiring March 31, 2003.

All concentrations are in parts per billion (PPB, also micrograms of chemical per liter of water)

Table Key:

CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide for 1 x 10E-6 excess cancer risk
EMEG = ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
RMEG = ATSDR Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
LTHA = EPA's Lifetime Health Advisory for Public Drinking Water Systems
MCLG = EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Public Drinking Water Systems
IRIS = EPA's Integrated Risk Information System
IRIS CR Group = EPA's Lifetime Cancer Risk Classification; A = "known human carcinogen"; B1= "probable human carcinogen"; D = " not classifiable as to a human carcinogenicity"
NTP = National Toxic Program's Cancer Class: 1 = "known human carcinogen"
NOAEL = No Observable Adverse Effect Level


Table 2. S.S. Fisher Steel, Lancaster County, PA: Summary of Selected Chemicals of Health Concern From On-Site Monitoring Wells - May 2003.

Analyte Frequency* Concentrations ATSDR Comparison Values for Drinking Water (CVs) Other Health Value IRIS CR GROUP Notes
      CV Source      
LEAD 1(2)/9(10) 1.3 - 11 0 MCLG PWS Action Level =15 (90th percentile) None Only ten percent of the samples may exceed the Action Level in a PWS.
MANGANESE 9(10)/9(10) 17 - 1720 500 RMEG Child 1400 ug/L (child-based on NOAEL) D Low oral toxicity, high inhalation toxicity
NITRATE 9(10)/9(10) 220 - 11400 20000 RMEG Child (Also see MCLG) MCLG = 10000 None The MCLG protects babies 6 months or less in age.
Source: Data was from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Arro Consulting, Inc collected the samples and analysis was completed at Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc., Middletown, PA with the exception of one sample (MW#7) that DEP collected and analyzed as a "split" sample.
ATSDR Comparison Values (CVs) used were from the version beginning January 01, 2004 and expiring March 31, 2003.

All concentrations are in parts per billion (PPB, also micrograms of chemical per liter of water)

Table Key:

* = This contains a sample split for analysis at two different laboratories.
RMEG = ATSDR Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
MCLG = EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Public Water Systems
PWS = Public Drinking Water System
IRIS = EPA's Integrated Risk Information System Classification
IRIS CR Group = EPA's Lifetime Cancer Risk Classification; D = " not classifiable as to a human carcinogenicity"
NOAEL = No Observable Adverse Effect Level


Table 3. S.S. Fisher Steel, Lancaster County, PA: Summary of Chemicals of Health Concern From Off-Site Monitoring Wells; Samples Are From Three Residential Wells With "Split" Sample Results for One Residential Well, May 2003.

Analyte Frequency* Concentrations ATSDR Comparison Values for drinking water (CVs) Other Health Value IRIS CR GROUP Notes
      CV Source      
LEAD 2/3(4) 1.3 - 12.3 0 MCLG PWS Action Level =15 (90th percentile) None Only 10 percent of the samples may exceed the Action Level in a PWS.
NITRATE 3(4)/3(4) 5990 - 13160 20000 RMEG Child (Also see MCLG) MCLG = 10000 None The MCLG protects infants 6 months or less in age
Source: Data supplied by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP collected the samples as "split" samples with Arro Consulting, Inc and analysis was completed for three residential well samples at the DEP Laboratory with one "split" residential well sample being completed at Analytical Laboratory Services, Inc., Middletown, PA.
ATSDR Comparison Values (CVs) taken were from the version beginning January 01, 2004 and expiring March 31, 2003.

All concentrations are in parts per billion (PPB, also micrograms of chemical per liter of water)

Table Key:

* = This contains a sample split for analysis at two different laboratories.
MCLG = EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Public Water Systems
PWS = Public Drinking Water System
RMEG = ATSDR Reference Dose Media Evaluation Guide
IRIS = EPA's Integrated Risk Information System
IRIS CR GROUP = EPA's Lifetime Cancer Classification.


Table 4. S.S. Fisher Steel, Lancaster County, PA: Summary of Chemicals of Health Concern From Off-Site Monitoring Wells; Samples Are From Six Residential Wells, October 2003.

Analyte Frequency Concentrations ATSDR Comparison Values for drinking water (CVs) Other Health Value IRIS CR GROUP Notes
      CV Source      
LEAD 6/6 1.5 - 7.1 0 MCLG PWS Action Level =15 (90th percentile) None Only 10 percent of the samples may exceed the Action Level in a PWS.
Source: Data was from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Lionville Labs, Inc, PA, completed the sample analysis.
ATSDR Comparison Values (CVs) used taken from the version beginning January 1, 2004 and expiring March 31, 2004.

All concentrations are in parts per billion (PPB, also micrograms of chemical per liter of water)

Table Key:

MCLG = EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for Public Water Systems
PWS = Public Drinking Water System
IRIS = EPA's Integrated Risk Information System
IRIS CR GROUP = EPA's Lifetime Cancer Classification.


Table 5. S.S. Fisher Steel, Lancaster County, PA: Summary of Chemicals of Health Concern From Analysis of One Sample From Unnamed Tributary to Good's Run (Stream Which Receives the Landfill Outfall and Storm Water), November 1993.

Analyte Concentration Ranges ATSDR Comparison Values for Soil (CVs) Other Health Value IRIS CR GROUP Notes
  From Four Stream Stations CV Source      
ARSENIC 2.1 to 2.6 0.5 CREG Chronic EMEG (I) child = 20 A According to the USGS, it is not uncommon to have this amount of arsenic in natural soil background levels.
Source: Data was from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and as per correspondence within DEP, November 4, 1994. DEP collected and analyzed the stream samples in November 1993.
ATSDR Comparison Values (CVs) used were from the version beginning January 01, 2004 to March 31, 2004.

All concentrations are in parts per million (PPM, also milligrams chemical per kilogram soil)

Table Key:

CREG = ATSDR Cancer Risk Evaluation Guide
EMEG = ATSDR Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
IRIS = EPA's Integrated Risk Information System
IRIS CR Group = EPA's Lifetime Cancer Risk Classification. A = "known human carcinogen"
USGS = United States Geological Service

FIGURES

Location of S.S. Fisher Steel
Figure 1. Location of S.S. Fisher Steel

SS Fisher Site Topographic Map
Figure 2. SS Fisher Site Topographic Map

Direction of Aquifer Flow, as per the PADEP GW Studies
Figure 3. Direction of Aquifer Flow, as per the PADEP GW Studies

SS Fisher Site Map
Figure 4. SS Fisher Site Map

Nitrate Map of Pequea Township
Figure 5. Nitrate Map of Pequea Township


Table of Contents

  
 
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