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HEALTH CONSULTATION

STAN'S TRUCKING INCORPORATED
AVON TOWNSHIP (ROCHESTER HILLS), OAKLAND COUNTY, MICHIGAN


DISCUSSION

The property's history of being mined for sand and gravel followed by waste disposal is similar to other landfill practices in the area. A dozen closed or operating landfills are within two miles of the property. Three closed waste operations within that area are listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Priorities List (NPL, also called Superfund): the G&H Landfill, the J&L Landfill, and the Liquid Disposal Incineration sites.

Oakland and Macomb(2) Counties have undergone rapid population growth and housing development in recent years. Parke Street, at the northeast corner of the property where contamination was found in private residential wells in 1975, is fully developed and supplied with municipal water. The remaining areas northeast (downgradient) of the property, north of School Road, are lightly populated, with large lots and a playground. Possible areas for residential development in the vicinity of the property are limited by the many operating or closed landfills in the area.

During the Screening Site Assessment in October 1990, the MDNR collected 5 surface soil samples from the property, and one sample for background values from across Hamlin Road south of the property (Table 2). The arsenic concentration in several samples from the property exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-Up Criteria for Residential Use (6) but were within the range of values found in background topsoil in Michigan (3, 7).

During field work for the BFRA in April 1997, the MDEQ collected 20 surface soil samples from the property (Table 2). Again, the arsenic concentration in several samples from the property exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-Up Criteria for Residential Use (6) but not the range of values found in background topsoil in Michigan (4, 7).

Also during field work for the BFRA in April 1997, the MDEQ collected 8 subsurface soil samples from the property (Table 3) (4). The lead concentration in one sample exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-Up Criteria for Industrial, Commercial, or Residential Uses(3) (5, 6). The concentrations of arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, chromium, lead, and manganese in some samples exceeded the MDEQ Generic Clean-Up Criteria for Residential Use (6). The arsenic concentrations were within the range of concentrations found in Michigan background samples (7).

In 1975, when contamination was discovered in water from residential wells serving homes along Parke Street, immediately northeast (downgradient) of Stan's Trucking Landfill property, City of Detroit municipal water was extended to the neighborhood. Municipal water sources are intakes on Lake Huron and the Detroit River. Other residences in the area of the property use private wells that have been sampled and have never shown contamination (1, 2).

In October 1990, the MDNR collected water samples from four wells drilled into the shallow aquifer adjacent to the property. One was drilled on the west side for background values, and the other three were on the northeast corner, between the property and the Parke Street neighborhood where residential well contamination had been found. Hydrostatic measurements collected at the same time indicate that groundwater in the shallow aquifer under the property flows to the east. The arsenic and benzene concentrations in samples collected from the northeast corner of the property exceeded drinking water standards (Table 4). The concentration of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in the western, upgradient well exceeded the MDEQ Contact Criteria as well as drinking water standards. The chemical was not found in downgradient wells (3, 6, 8). It is, however, commonly used as a plasticizer and because it is very often found in the environment, it is a frequent sampling and laboratory contaminant (9).

Water in ditches along the northwest (Honeywell Drain) and southeast (Ladd Drain) boundaries of the property flows to the northeast, into the Clinton River.

During the BFRA in April 1997, the MDEQ collected surface water and sediment samples from two locations in each drain. Methylene chloride and thallium concentrations in some water samples from the drain slightly exceeded EPA/MDEQ health-based criteria for drinking water (Table 5). Several sediment samples contained arsenic concentrations above the MDEQ Residential Use Criteria, although not above the background range of concentrations found in the state (Table 6) (4, 6, 7).

During the BFRA field work in April 1997, the MDEQ observed that leachate was coming to the ground surface at two locations in the southeast corner of the property. They collected samples of leachate and sediment from each location (SW/SD05 and SW/SD06). Because they could only collect limited amounts of leachate from the two locations, sample SW05 was analyzed only for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), metals, and cyanide, and sample SW06 was analyzed only for VOCs. Both leachate samples contained benzene concentrations above drinking water standards, SW05 contained manganese and thallium concentrations above drinking water standards, and SW06 contained a vinyl chloride concentration above drinking water standards (Table 7) (4, 6). The arsenic concentration in the leachate breakout sediment sample SD05 exceeded the MDEQ Residential Use Criteria, but was within the range of concentrations found in background soil from Michigan (Table 8) (4, 6, 7).

The property is fenced but has openings where access is possible. The fence on the southwest boundary of the property, along Gravel Ridge Road, was down in places during a MDCH visit to the property. Neighbors have also reported that people climb the fence on the north side of the property to gain access (2).

The MDCH does not know what use is proposed for the property. Any use that would involve excavation into the landfill must be carried out with appropriate precautions to minimize exposure of workers or neighboring residents to the waste. Even if no deliberate action is taken to breach the landfill cap, the cap might erode, the contents of the landfill might surface through it, or leachate might diffuse through it. Then, persons who trespass on the property might encounter landfill contents or leachate carrying contaminants from the contents. Under current conditions, because exposure is likely to be infrequent and short-term, trespassers are not likely to incur any apparent public health hazard.


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