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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

STRASBURG LANDFILL
NEWLIN TOWNSHIP, CHESTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


CONCLUSIONS

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have concluded, based upon the information received and reviewed, that the Strasburg Landfill is a public health hazard because people have been exposed to site related contaminants at levels of public health concern in their private well water. Additionally, trespassers on the site were exposed to contaminants at the site, but those exposures cannot be evaluated for possible health effects because of lack of information about the duration of exposures and the frequency of exposure.

People living near the site may be exposed to contaminants migrating from the site through the air.

Groundwater flow direction studies do not adequately define the extent of vertical and horizontal migration of contaminants.

Additional monitoring for VOCs is needed on the wells confirmed to be contaminated and on other wells northwest of the site in order identify wells that may become contaminated and to better assess exposures where wells are known to be contaminated.

Additional surface water monitoring is needed for VOCs in Briar Run, especially in areas east of the landfill to Laurel Road, because of the potential for people to access the creek for recreational purposes.


RECOMMENDATIONS

Cease/Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Restrict all public access to the site.
  2. Protect persons on and off-site from exposure to vapors and dust that may be released during remediation.

Site Characterization Recommendations

  1. Characterize groundwater flow (see Pathways Analysis section for information needed).
  2. Continue monitoring of all nearby residential wells including the residential wells northwest of the site on Strasburg Road.
  3. Continue monitoring Briar Run for VOCs from points immediately east of the landfill to Laurel Road (SB-SP-3 to SB-BR-3, Figure 4).

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendations

The data and information developed in the public health assessment for the Strasburg site, Newlin Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, have been evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) for appropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. The Panel determines that community health education is needed to inform the public of the possible chemical hazards of trespassing on-site. Although completed past exposure to workers and past, as well as possible current, exposure pathways exist for contaminated groundwater users and for trespassers, the site is not being considered for other follow-up health actions (studies) at this time. Information important to health studies, such as population identification and dose of exposure for those who worked and trespassed on-site cannot be determined at this time. Also, the length of time that people have been exposed to contaminated groundwater has not been determined. If additional data or information become available indicating that follow-up health activities are indicated, ATSDR will reevaluate this site.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The Public Health Action Plan for the Strasburg Landfill site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and other appropriate agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR/PADOH to follow-up on this plan to ensure that it is implemented. The public health actions that have been or are to be implemented by ATSDR/PADOH or the appropriate agencies are as follows:

    EPA restricted site access in February 1993.

    EPA furnished information to people attending a public meeting concerning the dangers of trespassing on the site. PADOH and ATSDR will jointly conduct community health education to inform members of the community who are not informed or who have additional questions of the risk of exposure to hazardous substances through trespassing on the site.

    PADOH will request the new data available for private wells to determine if public health conditions have changed.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Joseph E. Godfrey, M.S., M.Ed.
Hydrogeologist
Pennsylvania Department of Health

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

ATSDR Regional Representative:

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

ATSDR Technical Project Officer:

Gail D. Godfrey
Technical Project Officer
Division Health Assessment and Consultation


REFERENCES

  1. Ecology and Environment, Inc., Remedial Investigation, Strasburg Landfill Site, April 1991. EPA Work Assignment No. 85-02-3LP6.

  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, October 1989. Preliminary Health Assessment for Strasburg Landfill, Coatesville, Chester County, Pennsylvania, CERCLIS No. PAD000441337.

  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1989. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1990. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

  5. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1989. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

  6. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1990. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

  7. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 1989. Toxicological Profile for Benzene. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Atlanta, Georgia.

  8. United States Environmental Protection Agency Record of Decision, Strasburg Landfill, 28 June 1991.

  9. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Record of Decision, Strasburg Landfill, 31 March 1992.

  10. Order, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, In The Matter of Strasburg Landfill, 11 May 1983.

  11. Order, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, In The Matter of Strasburg Landfill, 21 September 1983.

  12. Telephone communications between Jim Harper, EPA, and Gail Godfrey, ATSDR. March 17, 1993.

CERTIFICATION

The Strasburg Landfill 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
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


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