PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
SOUTH MACOMB DISPOSAL AUTHORITY #9, 9A
ST. CLAIR SHORES, OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN
Based on available information, ATSDR has concluded that the South Macomb DisposalAuthority Site is a public health hazard because evidence exists that exposures to contaminatedenvironmental media have occurred, may potentially be occurring, and may occur in the future.
Investigations by the MDPH, MDNR, and the MCHD have indicated that past exposures arelikely to have occurred. Several remedial activities have reduced the potential for exposure. However, the potential for current and future exposure to groundwater exists for at least nineresidences. Wells at these residences were monitored regularly by the MCHD for VOCs andnitrates. Monitoring through February 1995 has indicated no detects on all sampling. However,the wells are close to the impacted area, may be at risk for future contamination, and people mayuse them for domestic purposes.
There are potential physical hazards associated with the site. Due to the type of refuse depositedin the landfill, generation of methane gas is possible. Methane has been detected both on- andoff-site, and thus is considered a potential explosive hazard.
A risk of exposure from surface water and surface soil contamination could exist if conditions atthe site change and/or leachate outbreaks occur. Finally, if reports of leachate being released toarea manholes are true there exists a risk of exposure through the inhalation, dermal, andingestion routes.
- Insure that all nearby residents not currently connected to municipal water are not being exposed to contaminated water.
- Obtain and evaluate additional information on methane levels and migration patterns in order to assess the magnitude of the potential explosive hazard to citizens living adjacent to the site.
- Restrict access to the site. There are children in the neighborhood who currently have access to the landfill and may harm themselves.
- Maintain proper erosion control and insure that the leachate collection systems are operating efficiently.
- Determine whether leachate is definitely being transported to a treatment center and if notensure appropriate agencies take appropriate actions to protect public health.
In accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and LiabilityAct (CERCLA) of 1980, as amended, the data and information developed for the South MacombDisposal Authority Public Health Assessment has been evaluated for appropriate public healthactions. Past exposures to contaminated groundwater are likely to have occurred. However, anyexposures are believed to have been of short duration. In addition, all residences known to havecontaminated wells are currently supplied with municipal water.
The MDPH offered to conduct a disease and prevalence survey in the area surrounding SMDAin 1986. However, the MTSCC and many area residents indicated that they did not want thesurvey performed. The survey was not conducted.
Community health education has occurred in the past by the MDPH, the MTSCC, and the EPA. The MDPH mailed out letters to area citizens over the years (starting in 1983) advising them notto use private water sources as their wells were found to be impacted. MTSCC meetings inwhich in-depth discussions of health threats took place were attended by communityrepresentatives during the 1980s. In addition, the EPA has held meetings which were wellattended by area citizens. Extensive local news coverage also occurred. The community is welleducated about SMDA and possible adverse health effects resulting from environmentalcontamination because of their interest in SMDA, the letters they received, and the meetingsthey attended. This site is not being considered for follow-up health activities at this timebecause: 1) any past exposures were likely of short duration, 2) a previously recommendedhealth survey was declined, and 3) community health education has occurred.
The South Macomb Disposal #9, 9A Preliminary Public Health Assessment was evaluated by theATSDR Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP). Based on the data and informationdeveloped in the Public Health Assessment and the HARP evaluation, the following PublicHealth Action Plan has been developed.
The purpose of the Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) is to ensure that this public healthassessment not only identifies public health hazards but also provides a plan of action designedto mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardoussubstances in the environment. This PHAP will be evaluated annually unless additionalinformation warrants more frequent evaluation.
This site is not being considered for additional public health actions at this time because: 1)proposed remedial activities will address the issues of potential current and future exposures, 2)a previously recommended health survey was declined, and 3) community health education has occurred.
Victoria Ann Smith
Environmental Health Scientist
Defense Facilities Assessment Section
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Environmental Health Engineer
Environmental Science Section
Remedial Programs Branch
ATSDR Regional Representative:
Field Operations Branch
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|3.||Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Interoffice Communication on file andstaff activity for South Macomb Disposal Authority Site 9 & 9A from July 1980- July 1983.|
|4.||Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR Record of Communicationfor telephone communication with official from the Michigan Department of NaturalResources. March 25, 1991.|
|5.||State of Michigan in the Circuit Court for the County of Macomb, Edward Bielat et alPlaintiffs vs. South Macomb Disposal Authority and Macomb Township Defendants,File # 84-612-AA, Consolidated with case #85-3476-AA.|
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