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HEALTH CONSULTATION

RAY HOLTMAN FARM
QUINCY, ADAMS COUNTY, ILLINOIS


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

On January 27, 1998, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) received a request from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to perform a health consultation for the Ray Holtman Farm site near Quincy, Illinois. The purpose of this initial health consultation is to evaluate any known or potential adverse human health effects from site information currently available for the Ray Holtman Farm. This evaluation was prepared by IDPH using site-specific information provided by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), USEPA, and B&V Waste Science and Technology Corporation (B&V Corp.).

The Ray Holtman Farm site (the site) is a former municipal landfill approximately two miles south of Quincy in the northeast quarter of Section 25, Township 2 South, Range 9 West of the Third Principal Meridian, in Adams County, Illinois (Attachment 1). The 160-acre farm is in an upland rural agricultural area approximately 0.3 miles east of the bluffs that demarcate the eastern border of the Mississippi River flood plain (Attachment 2). From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, the city of Quincy used the site for the disposal of municipal solid waste. USEPA estimates there are six disposal areas, covering a total of approximately 45 acres, at the site [1] (Attachment 3).

The Holtman home and farm buildings are in the northeast corner of the property. The remainder of the site, including the landfilled areas, is cultivated farm and pasture land with some wooded areas [1]. The landfilled areas are divided by power lines and a private access road that runs from 24th Street on the east side of the property, roughly west across the property. Ghost Hollow Creek, an intermittent stream, runs through the east-central part of the property to the northwest part of the property and discharges to the Mississippi River approximately two miles downstream of the site. The site is mostly gently rolling terrain; however, the creek has steep banks [2]. A second, unnamed, intermittent stream south of the access road and the landfilled areas discharges to the wetlands of the Mississippi flood plain approximately one mile downstream of the site [1].

IDPH does not know who owned the property before the current owners. Both owners of the property died, and their heirs are now the property owners [3].

Exact dates for the beginning and end of landfill operations are unavailable. Waste disposal practices during active operation are unknown. Before her death, the owner stated that her husband and son operated the site. She said four areas of the site were landfilled south of Ghost Hollow Creek. She stated up to three loads of refuse were dumped each weekday and covered with clayey fill and topsoil obtained from two on-site borrow pits. The owner did not know how often refuse was covered or how much cover was used. She stated that tires were dumped near 24th Street after operations ceased. Illegal refuse dumping is believed to have occurred along the creek banks in recent years. Since landfilling ceased, the tillable acreage at the site has been farmed [3]. More recent information from USEPA suggests there are six areas, all south of Ghost Hollow Creek, where landfilling is known or suspected to have occurred [1] (Attachment 4). The site was not regulated during or after landfilling operations [3].

In April 1986, USEPA received a request from a landfill neighbor to initiate an investigation of the site. On August 14, 1986, a water sample was collected from a residential well near the site and analyzed for nitrate, nitrite, metals, and cyanide. In 1988, IEPA conducted a preliminary assessment (PA) of the site, and in August 1990, the site was added to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act Information System (CERCLIS). In 1991, USEPA contracted B&V Corp. to conduct a screening site inspection (SSI). According to a report by B&V Corp., wastes deposited at the site appear to include miscellaneous garbage, household appliances, tires, drums, and paint cans derived, in part, from the city of Quincy.

As a part of the SSI, B&V Corp. collected three sediment samples and three soil samples on February 11, 1992. The samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), inorganics, pesticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The landfill area adjacent to the south bank of Ghost Hollow Creek near the eastern site border was the only source area identified in this SSI (Attachment 5).

As a result of limited sampling, USEPA collected surface water, groundwater, residential well water, surface soil, and sediment samples in 1995. Surface water, groundwater, and residential well water samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, and inorganics. Besides those constituents, surface soil and sediment samples were analyzed for pesticides and PCBs.

The uppermost bedrock geologic deposit beneath the site comprises a residential supply aquifer in the area east of the Mississippi River flood plain. Groundwater flow within this aquifer is presumed to be from east to west. Groundwater flow in unconsolidated deposits on the site is presumed to be downward, toward the north near Ghost Hollow Creek, and toward the west in the southern part of the property away from Ghost Hollow Creek [2].

A review of records for water wells (Illinois State Water Survey, ISWS, 1992) within one mile of the site show three types of aquifers tapped for drinking water. Wells drawing water from buried sand and gravel outwash are approximately 200 feet east and 600 feet southeast of the site. The main sources of water for private use near the site come from bedrock wells that penetrate limestone aquifers ranging in depth from 200-350 feet. Two other nearby wells, approximately 800 feet northeast of the site, draw water from a shallow limestone aquifer encountered 50 feet below the ground surface. About 3/4 of a mile west and southwest of the site, three wells penetrate an alluvial aquifer in the Mississippi River flood plain [3].

Quincy supplies its residents with Mississippi River water from an intake upstream from the site. This water supply extends to Mellview Road, two miles north of the site [3]. The Mill Creek Water District (MCWD) has three wells about ½ mile west of the site [4]. The wells are 79 feet, 80 feet, and 90 feet in depth [4]. MCWD serves about 3,000 people in an extensive area south of Quincy and in a thin band along the southern edge of the region served by Quincy's water system. An estimated population of 331 people use private wells within four miles of the site [3].

IDPH personnel visited the site on February 9, 1998. Public access to the site was unrestricted. An unimproved road provided direct access to suspected landfill areas at the site [3]. A "No Trespassing" sign was posted on the fence near the entrance to the site. Evidence of trespassing and deer hunting on the site was found. Rusted metal waste and broken glass were along a ravine on the south bank of Ghost Hollow Creek. Approximately 100 tires were dumped near the borrow pit south of the power lines. No evidence of recent dumping was noted in any other location during the site visit.


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