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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
WILLOW RUN SLUDGE LAGOON
YPSILANTI, WASHTENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN


CONCLUSIONS

1. Based on the information assembled for this assessment, the Willow Run Sludge Lagoon site poses an indeterminate public health hazard. People trespassing on the site and in the site vicinity might have been in the past and might be currently exposed to soil and sediment contaminated with PCBs and arsenic at concentrations of human health concern, based on the concentrations found in subsurface soil samples. There is not adequate information available on the composition of the surface soil. The soil and sediment also contains other metals, such as beryllium, cadmium, chromium, lead, and nickel, that are considered potential carcinogens, but the risk of incurring cancer upon exposure cannot be evaluated. The most contaminated sediments, in the lagoon itself, have been contained within a fence to reduce the likelihood of future exposure.

2. Sediments in water bodies near the site are also contaminated with PCBs, not necessarily from the WRSL site. Tyler Pond is currently fenced, but there is no effective restriction on access to the sediments in Edison Pond, particularly during the dry seasons. These other water bodies are being investigated separately from the WRSL.

3. PCB-contaminated sediments from the lagoon have been carried by water flow into Willow Run Creek and into Belleville Lake. Fish living in the lake or creek may pick up contaminants from the sediments. Allegations that some people fish in Willow Run Creek were not supported in conversations with local anglers and residents. Belleville Lake supports an active fishery, and there is concern that people consuming the fish may also ingest the contaminants. Fish collected from Belleville Lake contain PCBs and other contaminants, but not at concentrations considered to be of health concern. There is no information available on where these fish were collected and whether they were exposed to sediments from Willow Run Creek.

4. Willow Run Creek passes through a residential and recreational area downstream from the WRSL area. Metals and PCBs have been detected at concentrations potentially of human health concern in the water and sediment in Edison Pond and Belleville Lake. It has been reported that residents along the banks of Edison Pond have used water from the pond for watering lawns. There is a swimming beach near the outlet from Edison Pond to Belleville Lake. There is no record of use of water from the pond or lake for a household water supply. The concentrations of metals and PCBs in the water and sediments are not likely to pose a public health hazard on occasional exposure.

5. Groundwater in the site area contains elevated concentrations of volatile organic chemicals and metals, ascribed to a closed landfill near the WRSL. There is no available evidence that the WRSL has made any impact on the groundwater quality. The groundwater in the site area is not used for any purpose.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1. Surface soil and sediment samples, not more than 3 inches deep, should be collected from the vicinity of Willow Run Creek to provide the information needed for a fuller evaluation of the health hazards posed by the contamination in the area. Access to the Willow Run Sludge Lagoon is restricted, and remediation of the lagoon that will eliminate all exposure to the materials is expected to begin by the end of 1995.

2. The people most likely to have regular access to Edison Pond are aware of the contamination in the sediments, and any health education program should include information to maintain this awareness.

3. Further sampling of fish from Belleville Lake at the mouth of Willow Run Creek should be done to determine whether the sediment from the creek has any effect on the contaminant levels in the fish. A caged fish study should be considered to determine how much contamination is picked up by fish from the sediments at the creek mouth.

HEALTH ACTIVITIES RECOMMENDATION PANEL STATEMENT

A Health Activities Recommendation Panel convened by ATSDR and MDCH has evaluated the data and information developed for the Willow Run Sludge Lagoon Public Health Assessment for appropriate follow-up health actions. The panel determined that there is the potential for human exposure to contaminated materials at the site. The panel recommends that an education program regarding the health risks from the site for residents of the site area be developed.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

Public Health Action Plans (PHAP) are developed to describe actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) at and in the vicinity of sites subsequent to 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. This assessment recommends a program of health education for residents of the site area concerning the health hazards at the site.

Health Actions Undertaken

Many of the remedial actions already undertaken at this site have reduced the likelihood of exposure to the contaminants and thereby reduce the potential for health effects.

Health Actions Planned

ATSDR, MDCH, the Washtenaw County Health Department, and the Wayne County Health Department will work together to develop a program of community health education regarding the Willow Run Creek area, including the WRSL site.

ATSDR and MDCH 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

    John Filpus, Environmental Engineer
    James Bedford, Environmental Toxicologist
    Michael Lee, Environmental Toxicologist
    Robin Freer, GIS Specialist
    Brendan Boyle, Program Manager
    John Hesse, Primary 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 Willow Run Sludge Lagoon Public Health Assessment 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.

Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC

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

Director, DHAC, ATSDR


REFERENCES

1. Jurczak, E.J., Ecology and Environment, Inc. Extent of Contamination Study, Willow Run Site, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, Michigan. February 1984.

2. Conestoga-Rovers & Associates. Remedial Investigations (RI) Report, Task 6, RI/FS Study Program, Willow Run Sludge Lagoon, Ypsilanti Township, Washtenaw County, Michigan. December 1992.

3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Preliminary Health Assessment for Ford Motor Sludge Lagoon, Ypsilanti, Michigan. September 30, 1988.

4. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Expanded Site Inspection Report for Willow Run Creek Area, Ypsilanti, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, Michigan. June 1, 1993.

5. Bedford, J., MDPH. Memorandum to Mike McAteer, U.S. EPA, and Manna Muroya, ATSDR, Subject: Health Consultation: Willow Run Creek SACM Site. October 22, 1993.

6. Ecology and Environment, Inc. for U.S. EPA. Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis for the Willow Run Creek Site. September 30, 1994.

7. Conestoga-Rovers & Associates. Remedial Action Plan (RAP), Willow Run Creek Site, Wayne/Washtenaw Counties, Michigan. December 1994.

8. Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Project Information Update, Willow Run Creek Site, Wayne/Washtenaw Counties, Michigan. March 15, 1996.

9. U.S. Bureau of the Census. 1990 Census Data.

10. Washtenaw and Wayne County Health Department Staff. Personal Communication during MDPH site visit. April 6, 1994.

11. London, R., MDPH Water Supply Division. Personal Communications. March 17, 1994, September 12, 1994.

12. London, R., MDPH Water Supply Division. Memorandum to Filpus, J. Subject: Bridge Road Treatment Plant, Ypsilanti Township. September 29, 1994.

13. Scarcella, F., MDPH Water Supply Division. Personal Communication. March 17, 1994.

14. Marchiewski, H., Wayne County Health Department. Personal Communication. February 3, 1995.

15. Thomas, L., Ypsilanti Community Utility Authority. Personal Communication. April 11, 1996.

16. Parsons, R.D., MDNR. Letter to Boyle, B., MDPH. January 30, 1995.

17. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Technical Report for Ethylene Glycol/Propylene Glycol, Draft for Public Comment. May 1993.

18. Boersen, G., MDNR. Memo to Woods, R., and Marks, W., Subject: Sludge Lagoon near Willow Run Airport. November 21, 1979.

19. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selected PCBs (Aroclor -1260, -1254, -1248, -1242, -1232, -1221, and -1016), Update. ATSDR/TP-92/16. April 1993.

20. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Willow Run Creek Study, Staff Report, May-September 1978. September 25, 1978.

21. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Willow Run Creek Study, Staff Report, December 1978-April 1979 Sampling. July 11, 1979.

22. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1993.

23. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan Background Soil Survey. April 1991.

24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. March 1992.

25. Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Surface Water Quality Division. Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program, 1989 Annual Report. MI/DNR/SWQ-89/168. December 1989.

26. Nauen, C.C. Compilation of Legal Limits for Hazardous Substances in Fish and Fishery Products. FAO Fisheries Circular No. 764. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome, Italy. 1983.

27. McAteer, M., U.S. EPA. Letter to Louise Fabinski, ATSDR, re: U.S. EPA Comments on Public Health Assessment for Willow Run Sludge Lagoon Site, Ypsilanti, Michigan. January 10, 1996.

28. Michigan Department of Public Health. Public Health Fish Consumption Advisory. In Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 1994 Michigan Fishing Guide, pp. 25-29. March 1994.

29. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chloroform, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/07. April 1993.

30. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 1,2-Dichloroethane, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1992.

31. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for 1,1,1-Trichloroethane. ATSDR/TP-90/27. December 1990.

32. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/19. April 1993.

33. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/05. April 1993.

34. Hazardous Substances Data Bank. National Library of Medicine, National Toxicology Information Program, Bethesda, MD. February 1, 1994. 35. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Naphthalene, 1-Methylnaphthalene, and 2-Methylnaphthalene, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1993. 36. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Arsenic, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/02. April 1993. 37. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Beryllium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/04. April 1993. 38. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cadmium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/06. April 1993. 39. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chromium, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/08. April 1993. 40. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Copper. ATSDR/TP-90/08. December 1990. 41. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Lead, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/12. April 1993. 42. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Manganese. ATSDR/TP-91/19. July 1992. 43. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Mercury, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1992. 44. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Nickel, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/14. April 1993. 45. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Thallium. ATSDR/TP-91/26. June 1992. 46. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Antimony. ATSDR/TP-91/02. September 1992. 47. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Barium. ATSDR/TP-91/03. July 1992. 48. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Boron. ATSDR/TP-91/05. July 1992. 49. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cobalt. ATSDR/TP-91/10. July 1992. 50. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Cyanide, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/09. April 1993. 51. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Selenium. ATSDR/TP-89/21. December 1989. 52. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Silver. ATSDR/TP-90/24. December 1990. 53. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Vanadium. ATSDR/TP-91/29. July 1992. 54. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Zinc, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1992. 55. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Chlordane, Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1992. 56. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for 4,4'-DDT, 4,4'-DDE, 4,4'-DDD), Update, Draft for Public Comment. October 1992. 57. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Aldrin/Dieldrin, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/01. April 1993. 58. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Heptachlor/Heptachlor Epoxide, Update. ATSDR/TP-92/11. April 1993. 59. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile for Hexachlorobenzene. ATSDR/TP-90/17. December 1990. 60. Hesse, J.L., MDPH. Memo to files, subject: Follow-up on citizen report of fishing activity. March 3, 1995.


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