PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
SAVANNA ARMY DEPOT ACTIVITY
Based on an evaluation of environmental information collected during the site characterization and remedial process, ATSDR has reached the conclusions listed below. It should be emphasized that these conclusions apply only to sites for which sampling data were available or found to be unnecessary, as listed in Tables 1 and 2.
1. No one has drunk or is drinking contaminated groundwater; therefore, ATSDR considers that contaminated groundwater at SVADA is not a past or present public health hazard. Further characterization of possible groundwater contamination is necessary at some sites evaluated in this PHA, specifically Sites 16, 17, 20, 50, and 75. ATSDR assumes that construction of new water-supply wells will not take place until assessment and remediation of groundwater is complete and that, until remediation is complete, adequate monitoring will be conducted to ensure the safety of on-site and off-site drinking water supplies. Given these assumptions, ATSDR considers future consumption of groundwater to pose no apparent public health hazard. If either of these assumptions proves false, ATSDR will reconsider its evaluation. When remediation and future use plans have been finalized, ATSDR will review them, along with any additional sampling data that becomes available.
2. Although limited exposure to surface water and sediment is unlikely to pose a public health hazard, additional sampling is recommended to assess any contaminant migration and confirm that no hazardous levels of contamination are present.
3. Exposure to on-site soil is not likely to pose or have posed a past or present public health hazard. Public access to the installation is restricted by a perimeter fence. Hunters and visitors to the installation are not expected to have had or continue to have long-term or frequent contact with localized areas containing the highest contaminant concentrations. Soil from some of the most contaminated areas has been remediated. However, further sampling is necessary at some sites evaluated in this PHA, specifically Sites 17, 32, 50, 69, 73, 75, and 77. ATSDR assumes that no changes in land use will occur until assessment and remediation of the areas slated for reuse are complete. Based on this assumption, ATSDR considers future exposure to contaminated soil to pose no apparent public health hazard. If this assumption proves false, ATSDR will reconsider its evaluation. When remediation and future use plans have been finalized, ATSDR will review them, along with any additional sampling data that becomes available.
4. Consumption of cattle grazed at SVADA is not likely to pose a public health hazard. Cattle are only grazed on a portion of the site for a fraction of the year and are provided with clean water supplies. Thus, cattle are unlikely to ingest enough site contaminants to pose a public health hazard.
5. Given the available site evidence and the findings of studies conducted elsewhere, ATSDR considers the consumption of game from SVADA to be no apparent public health hazard.
6. The consumption of fish caught in the waters in or near SVADA is unlikely to pose a public health hazard, but because reliable data are not available, ATSDR considers the consumption of those fish an indeterminate public health hazard.
7. UXO at SVADA poses a potentially serious physical hazard. UXO has not been fully characterized over much of the installation.
8. The past storage of radioactive materials poses no public health hazard. No accidents associated with the storage of radioactive materials at SVADA have been reported. Radiological monitoring to date has identified no radiation hazards. Additional radiological monitoring will be conducted as necessary before property transfers.
The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for SVADA contains a description of actions taken and those planned by ATSDR, the Army, EPA, and IEPA at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but also provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions that have been implemented, are being implemented, are planned, or are recommended by ATSDR are as follows:
- Remedial investigations have been conducted at the sites evaluated in this public health assessment.
- Soil remediation has been completed at the TNT Washout Lagoons, the Fire Training Facility, and the Deactivation Furnace. Pilot remedial activities have taken place for soil at the Open Burning Ground and for groundwater at the TNT Washout Lagoons.
- EECAs have been prepared for the Open Burning Ground, the CF and CL Areas, and Sites 15 and 33.
Ongoing or Planned Actions:
- Remedial investigations are underway for additional sites. Reuse planning and decision making is not yet complete. When available, ATSDR will review those land use plans, and in the context of those planning decisions, evaluate the environmental data for the sites or potential exposure pathways not fully evaluated here.
- Further remedial actions are planned.
- Groundwater plumes should be monitored until remediation is complete to ensure that they do not impact on-site or off-site drinking water supplies.
- On-site drinking water wells that are in current use and potentially in the path of groundwater plumes should be sampled for the constituents of the relevant plumes, to ensure that contamination has not migrated vertically and contaminated drinking water supplies.
- Sites evaluated in this PHA that have not been adequately sampled should be sampled further.
- Surface water and sediment should be more fully characterized and monitored on an ongoing basis to assess contaminant migration.
- ATSDR concurs with the suggestion of the 1994 RI that background metals concentrations in the area should be further characterized to help distinguish site-related contamination from naturally occurring background levels.
- Areas with high levels of soil contamination, or significant potential UXO, should be fenced or posted to minimize exposure by installation personnel, hunters, and others accessing the installation. Hunters and others accessing the installation should be apprised of the potential presence of UXO.
- The pesticide-contaminated soil in the northern portion of the site should be removed. The Savanna Army Depot Activity has prepared plans that call for the removal of the pesticides, but actions are on hold until funding issues are resolved. Until removal of the contaminated soil is complete, warning signs should be installed to notify users of the contamination.
- If realty transfers are completed or the installation is closed before the completion of all planned remediation or UXO-clearance measures, access restrictions should be considered for those sites or locations where human exposure to contaminants or hazards may result in adverse health effects.
- All available UXO-related information should be provided to recipients of transferred property as well as state and federal regulators.
This report was prepared under the direction and supervision of the following individuals:
W. Mark Weber, Ph.D.
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Assistance in the preparation of this report was provided by:
Rebekah Lacey, M.S.
Eastern Research Group, Inc.
Senior Public Health Scientist
Eastern Research Group, Inc.
ATSDR. 1991. Trip Report for Site Visit to Savanna Army Depot Activity. August 1991.
ATSDR. 1996. Health Consultation, Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant, DeSoto, Kansas. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. February 27, 1996.
Clarke. 1998a. Personal communication with John Clarke of SVADA, May 19, 1998.
Clarke. 1998b. Personal communication with John Clarke of SVADA, December 10, 1998.
Clarke. 1999a. Personal communication with John Clarke of SVADA, March 18, 1999.
Clarke. 1999b. Personal communication with John Clarke of SVADA, June 16, 1999.
Clarke. 1999c. Personal communication with John Clarke of SVADA, July 15, 1999.
Dames and Moore. 1990. Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study of the Savanna Army Depot Activity, Part E: Site Characterization Summary, Preliminary Activity-Wide Baseline Risk Assessment, and Initial Data Quality Objectives, Draft. August 1990.
Dames and Moore. 1991. Remedial Investigation for the TNT Washout Facility Lagoons, Site Nos. 21 and 22, Savanna Army Depot Activity, Draft Final. April 1991.
Dames and Moore. 1993. Removal Site Evaluation and Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis (EECA) for the Fire Training Facility, Savanna Army Depot Activity, Final. October 1993.
Dames and Moore. 1994a. Removal Site Evaluation and Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis (EECA) for the Open Burning Ground, Savanna Army Depot Activity, Preliminary Draft. February 1994.
Dames and Moore. 1994b. Removal Site Evaluation and Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis (EECA) for the CF and CL Areas, Savanna Army Depot Activity, Preliminary Draft. March 1994.
Dames and Moore. 1994c. Remedial Investigation Report, Savanna Army Depot Activity: Preliminary Draft, Volume 1. June 1994.
Dames and Moore. 1995. Removal Site Evaluation and Engineering Evaluation & Cost Analysis (EECA) for Sites 15 and 33, Savanna Army Depot Activity, Draft. July 1995.
Economics Research Associates. 1997. Savanna Army Depot Reuse Plan and Implementation Strategy. January 1997.
Ordnance/Explosives Environmental Services, Inc (OEES). 1996. Public Involvement and Response Plan for Savanna Army Depot Activity. June 1996.
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). 1996a. Environmental Baseline Survey, Savanna Army Depot Activity: Technical Report. October 1996.
SAIC. 1996b. CERFA [Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act] Report, Savanna Army Depot Activity. November 1996.
SAIC. 1997a. BRAC Cleanup Plan, Savanna Army Depot Activity: Version 1, Draft. February 1997.
SAIC. 1997b. Field Sampling Plan, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study, Savanna Army Depot Activity. September 1997.
Speaker. 1999. Personal communication with Robert Speaker of SVADA, April 5, 1999.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Defense Ammunition Center. 1997. Defense Environmental Restoration Program for Base Realignment and Closure, Conclusions and Recommendations, Ordnance and Explosives Archives Search Report for Savanna Army Depot Activity. September 1997.
U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency (USATHAMA). 1979. Installation Assessment of Savanna Army Depot Activity, Record Evaluation Report No. 134. January 1979.
Westinghouse Remediation Services, Inc. 1995. Closure Report for RCRA Closure of Deactivation Furnace APE 1236, Savanna Army Depot Activity. March 29, 1995.
Wilcox, R.G. 1997. Institutional Controls for Ordnance Response. Presented to the UXO Forum, Nashville, TN, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville District. May 30, 1997.