PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT
COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
Abbreviations and Acronyms
|Area of Concern|
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis
Environmental Media Evaluation Guide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Facilities Agreement
Health Activities Recommendation Panel
Initial Installation Assessment
U. S. Army Industrial Operation Command
Maximum Contaminant Level for drinking water (EPA)
National Priorities List
OHM Remediation Services Corp.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Public Health Assessment
Public Health Action Plan
parts per billion
parts per million
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Record of Decision
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act
Semivolatile Organic Compounds
Tobyhanna Army Depot
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency
volatile organic compound
World War One
The TYAD Public Health Assessment was released for public comment on February 3, 1997. The comment period ended on April 3, 1997.
Comments were received from the Tobyhanna Army Depot, Environmental Resources Management Program, and the EPA. The Pennsylvania Department of Health and U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine had no written comments on the assessment.
The comments received were reviewed and grouped into either a "specific comment" category or into a category of "general issues" or related questions raised by more that one respondent. For those "general issues" the respondent's comments were summarized and paraphrased by ATSDR for brevity and clarity. A single ATSDR reply was then written for those "general issue" comments.
The specific comments that were received either identified new information; questioned specific sentences or paragraphs in the text or tables; or suggested additions or corrections to improve the clarity, completeness, or accuracy of a specific sentence or paragraph. Those specific comments were not repeated by other respondents and are listed separately. This list of specific comments does not include editorial comments concerning word spelling, sentence syntax, format, etc. If the accuracy of a statement was questioned, the statement was verified and corrected. Comments which requested that information be added to the document without providing documented sources of that information were not addressed here.
1. Differentiate between the Areas A and B associated to the Former Artillery Ranges and Operable Unit 1.
Areas A and B for Operable Unit 1 have been renamed to Areas of Concern (AOC) #4 and #7, respectively. Areas A and B for the Former Artillery Ranges have remained as is.
2. Additional information on the inactive landfill has been published in the draft RI for AOC #1, dated February 5, 1997.
The new information provided in the draft RI for AOC #1 has been incorporated into the text.
3. The draft Ecological Risk Assessment was released on January 30, 1997, which discusses the contaminants in Barney's Lake/ Hummler Run.
No new fish data were provided in the Ecological Risk Assessment, therefore no changes were made in the document.
1. Page 12, Discussion, Paragraph 4 - The last sentence states that levels of TCE in well ON-3 have been below 3 ppb since 1993. This is incorrect. Sample results from 1993 to the present show the levels in ON-3 to be from 4.8 (9/96) to 6.6 (2/94).
These samples were taken before the water went through the air-stripping device, therefore the text is correct for TCE levels in ON-3 after the water has gone through the air-stripper.
2. There were only the remains of two drums found in the swamp. The PHA may give the impression that many more were present and that they were the sole source of the contaminants found in the swamp. It would be more accurate to state that the two rusted drums and other debris found in the swamp and along the banks are assumed to be the source of contamination.
The text was changed accordingly.
3. According to site-specific ground water contours developed for the bedrock aquifer, onpost water supply well ON-3 (located to the northeast of Area B) is not downgradient of Area B. The RI report suggests that ground water extracted by ON-3 could be drawn from Area B via the reversal of the natural ground water gradient, in a fracture or fractures of relatively high secondary permeability, resulting from the pumping of ON-3. This suggestion has not been definitely proven, given the difficulty of characterizing a fractured bedrock system. However, the types and quantities of contaminants detected at ON-3 are more similar to those detected at Area B than they are to those detected at Area A. Additionally, uncontaminated ground water in the bedrock has been identified in areas between ON-3 and Area A. Thus, although the inference, in the subject PHA, that the contamination detected at ON-3 is sourced at Area B is arguably correct, it is misleading to state that ON-3 and the offpost residential wells all are located in a plume of ground water contamination extending to the southeast from Area B.
The text has been changed to indicate that the contaminants detected may be due to pumping, instead of the natural groundwater flow.
4. Onpost well ON-7 has never been used as a source of drinking water at TYAD. It was used to provide water to a concrete lined fish rearing tank formerly in place adjacent to the well. In addition, PCE has periodically been detected at ON-7, suggesting that the contaminant plume associated with Area B extends to the area of ON-7 (via fracture flow), and that various combinations of pumping at ON-7 and ground water levels can result in detectable quantities of contamination. The conclusion that no public health risk exists at this well is sound because, as noted above, no consumptive use of the water has occurred, and levels of PCE have been below the MCL.
The text has been changed to state that well ON-7 was not used as a source of drinking water, but rather to provide water to a fish rearing tank.