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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ORGANIC CHEMICALS, INC.
GRANDVILLE, KENT COUNTY, MICHIGAN


CONCLUSIONS

  1. The Organic Chemicals, Inc. site currently poses a public health hazard. As mentioned in the Pathways Analysis section above, surface soil, subsurface soils, and groundwater at the site are contaminated with volatile organic chemicals, semi-volatile organic chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and inorganic compounds. In the past, workers could have been exposed to various chemicals (such as petroleum-related compounds) during operations at OCI. Trespassers may have also been exposed to these chemicals when the site was in operation.

    Surface soil on the site is contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons, SVOCs and various inorganic contaminants such as arsenic, chromium, and lead. Remedial workers could be exposed to contamination as a result of cleanup activities that will be undertaken in the future. In addition, exposure could occur in areas of contamination where access is not restricted (such as the former oil refinery operations area and former petroleum lagoons area). Surface soil sampling of the former oil refinery operations area conducted during the RI may not be adequate to establish the potential health risks involved with exposure to surface soils. Only 12 surface soil samples were taken during the RI in the 5.5-acre former oil refinery operations area, which may not be a sufficient number to adequately characterize this area.

  2. The groundwater beneath and immediately downgradient to the north and west of the site is contaminated with chlorinated hydrocarbons, SVOCs and inorganic contaminants, as a result of previous operations undertaken by Organic Chemicals, Inc. However, there has been no indication that residents have been exposed to contaminated groundwater. There are no residential wells to the north of the site where contaminated groundwater has been found. There are private wells to the west and northwest of the OCI site that have been found to be contaminated with low levels of VOCs, not known to be related to the OCI site, however, the residences served by these wells use water from a municipal supply. It is not known whether water from any residential wells in the site area is still used for any purpose.
  3. The contaminated groundwater plume has migrated to the north and west of the OCI facility. Roy's Creek and the Grand River are downgradient from the OCI site in the direction of groundwater flow, and groundwater may discharge to these streams. These surface water bodies may serve as exposure pathways for those who may use the creek or river for recreation, however, testing of these streams has not been done to date.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Remedial actions should be taken to address surface and subsurface soil contamination in high contamination areas such as the OCI property and the former petroleum lagoons area. Further surface soil sampling of in the former oil refinery operations area may be needed to determine the extent of contamination. Until such remedial actions are taken addressing soil contamination, access to the areas mentioned above should be restricted to ensure that unauthorized entry does not occur. Adequate safety precautions should be taken by remedial workers that will be working on-site to ensure that exposures at levels of concern do not occur. In addition, the entire contaminated area(s) should be fenced off to restrict access onto contaminated areas.
  2. Remedial actions should also be taken to prevent further spreading of contaminated groundwater beneath the OCI site. Although residences immediately downgradient of the site are connected to a municipal supply system, past potable water sources came from private wells. It should therefore be firmly established that these wells are no longer in use.
  3. Further environmental characterization of Roy's Creek and the Grand River should be done to assess the potential impact that the OCI site may have or have had on the surface waters, sediment and biota.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL STATEMENT

A Health Activities Recommendation Panel convened by ATSDR and MDPH has evaluated the data and information developed for the Organic Chemicals, Inc. Public Health Assessment for appropriate follow-up health actions. The panel determined that workers and trespassers on the site may have been exposed to hazardous chemicals in the past, but these populations could not be adequately identified for appropriate follow-up health activities. The information does not indicate that a specific health education program is required at the site, though the MDPH and ATSDR, in cooperation with the local health department, will provide health information to the community as appropriate within the continuing health assessment process.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Public Health Action Plans (PHAP) are developed to describe actions to be taken by ATSDR or the Michigan Department of Public Health (MDPH) at and near sites after the completion of Public Health Assessments. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that Public Health Assessments not only identify public health hazards, but also provide a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health action carried out by ATSDR or MDPH for the OCI site involved posting caution signs in areas accessible to the former petroleum lagoons and in front of the larger lagoon. No further public health actions have been identified as necessary at this site at this time.

Health Actions Undertaken

On November 1, 1994, MDPH in cooperation with the MDNR posted warning signs at access points of the former petroleum lagoons area and posting a sign in front of the larger of the two lagoons. The signs read as follows:

CAUTION KEEP OUT
AREA CONTAMINATED WITH INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS
Michigan Department of Public Health

Health Actions Planned

MDPH, the Kent County Health Department, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will cooperate to conduct a well-use survey of the area near the site and to encourage any residents who are still using private wells to abandon them.

The MDPH and ATSDR, in cooperation with the local health department, will provide health information to the community as appropriate within the continuing public health assessment process.

ATSDR and MDPH will coordinate with federal and state environmental agencies to carry out the recommendations made in this assessment.

ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions and recommendations may determine the need for additional actions at this site.


PREPARERS OF REPORT

Michigan Department of Community Health

    Michael Lee, Environmental Toxicologist

    John Filpus, Environmental Engineer

    Brendan Boyle, Health Assessment Coordinator

    Robin Freer, Resource Specialist

    James Bedford, Environmental Toxicologist

    John Hesse, Principal Investigator

ATSDR Regional Representative

Louise Fabinski
Regional Services, Region V
Office of the Assistant Administrator

ATSDR Technical Project Officer

William Greim
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch


CERTIFICATION

The Public Health Assessment for the Organic Chemicals, Inc.site was prepared by the Michigan Department of Community 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.

William Greim
Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

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

Adrienne S. Hollis for
Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

  1. U.S. EPA National Priorities List Sites: Michigan. EPA/504/4-90/023. September 1990.
  2. Black and Veatch Waste Science and Technology Corp. Phase I Remedial Investigation and Focus Feasibility Study for the Organic Chemicals, Inc. site, Grandville, MI. For U.S. EPA Region V. Contract No. 68-W8-0064. July 17, 1991.
  3. Williams, T. (U.S. EPA). Personal Communication. July 1994.
  4. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5. Fact Sheet, "EPA Proposes an Interim Response Action, Organic Chemicals Inc. Superfund Site." July 1991.
  5. Black and Veatch Waste Science and Technology Corp. Phase II Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study Work Plan Revision, Organic Chemicals, Inc. July 2, 1992.
  6. Black and Veatch Waste Science and Technology Corp. Phase II Remedial Investigation Report (volumes 1-3) for the Organic Chemicals, Inc. site, Grandville, MI. Work Assignment No. 03-5L9P. October 1995.
  7. Michigan Department of Public Health, for ATSDR. Preliminary Health Assessment for Organic Chemicals, Inc., Grandville, MI. March 1989.
  8. U.S. EPA Record of Decision. Selected Remedial Alternative for the Organic Chemicals, Inc. site, Grandville, MI, Interim Action. September 30, 1991.
  9. Harmon, B., MDNR/MDEQ(3) site manager. Personal communication. December 12, 1995.
  10. Lee, M. (MDPH). Site Visit to the Organic Chemicals, Inc. Superfund Site. July 8, 1994.
  11. Lee, M. (MDPH). Site Visit to the Organic Chemicals, Inc. Superfund Site. November 1, 1994.
  12. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990 Census Data.
  13. Barthels, S. Kent County Health Department. Personal Communication. July 7, 1994.
  14. Barthels, S., Kent County Health Department. Personal communication, December 12, 1995.
  15. Waste Management Division (MDNR). Michigan Background Soil Survey. Revised April 1991.
  16. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Benzene, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Ethylbenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/15. December 1990.
  18. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Toluene, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/14. May 1994.
  19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Xylenes, Update. August 1995.
  20. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Tetrachloroethylene, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  21. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Vinyl Chloride, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  22. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/12. December 1990.
  23. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,1-Dichloroethene, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/07. May 1994.
  24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethene, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1994.
  25. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Methylene Chloride, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/13. April 1993.
  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  27. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/06. May 1994.
  28. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Update. August 1995.
  29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor -1260, -1254, -1248, -1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016), Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/02. April 1993.
  31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Beryllium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/04. April 1993.
  32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chromium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/08. April 1993.
  33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/06. April 1993.
  34. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/12. April 1993.
  35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Nickel, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/14. April 1993.
  36. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. ATSDR/TP-91/19. July 1992.
  37. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Mercury, Update. ATSDR/TP-93/10. May 1994.
  38. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Barium. ATSDR/TP-91/03. July 1992.
  39. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Copper. ATSDR/TP-90/08. December 1990.
  40. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cyanide, Update, Draft for Public Comment. August 1995.
  41. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chloroethane. ATSDR/TP-89/07. December 1989.
  42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chloromethane. ATSDR/TP-90/07. December 1990.
  43. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/05. April 1993.
  44. Harmon, B. (MDNR). Personal Communication. October 1994.


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