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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

FULTZ LANDFILL
BYESVILLE, GUERNSEY COUNTY, OHIO

SUMMARY

Fultz Landfill, placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1982, is in Guernsey County, Ohio, 0.5 miles north of Byesville, Ohio. The landfill is a privately owned, former sanitary landfill which reportedly accepted hazardous waste. State and local involvement at the site started in 1968. The landfill ceased operations in 1985. Disposal of hazardous waste at the Fultz Landfill site contaminated the soil, leachate, surface water, sediments, and groundwater. On-site groundwater contains very high concentrations of arsenic, barium, chromium, and lead. Groundwater on-site also contains vinyl chloride, and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. The Fultz Landfill site is considered a public health hazard because of the potential impact on drinking water sources in the surrounding area. Risk of exposure to these chemicals is greatest for users of public and private well water supplies downgradient from the landfill. The Byesville municipal water well is southeast and downgradient from the site. The public should be restricted from entering the landfill. Public and private water supplies downgradient from the site should be monitored to ensure the safety of the water supply. There are no indications humans have been or are being exposed to on-site and/or off-site contaminants. Therefore, the site is not being considered for follow-up activities at this time. However, if data become available suggesting that human exposure to hazardous substances at levels of public health concern is occurring or has occurred in the past, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for health follow-up activities.

BACKGROUND

A. Site Description and History

Fultz Landfill, a National Priorities List (NPL) site, is in Guernsey County, east-central Ohio. The site lies 0.5 miles north of Byesville, Ohio (Figure 1, Appendix A). Cambridge is about 3 miles northwest of the site. The landfill occupies about 30 acres of a 58-acre tract of land. Figure 2, Appendix A shows the property and approximate landfill boundaries. Sections of Stream A and six ponds are within the property boundaries.

The Fultz Landfill site is on the north slope of an east-west ridge that overlooks a strip-mined valley to the north. The general topography of the landfill slopes towards the north. Stream A flows from the northeast, west across the north end of the landfill, and into Wills Creek, west of the site (Figure 2, Appendix A). Elevations at the Fultz site range from a maximum of 900 feet above mean sea level (MSL) at the south end of the site, to a low of 800 feet MSL on the valley floor to the north. The landfill consists of a partially covered mound of garbage on the north slope of the ridge, extending into the valley floor to the north (Figure 3, Appendix A). There is no sign of celling or soil layering in the landfill. The bottom of the waste ends at surface mine spoil, bedrock, or natural soils.

The north half of the site lies in an unreclaimed strip mine overlying the Upper Freeport Coal seam. The Freeport Coal seam lies just below the surface. A second strip mine occurs east of the site along the valley of Stream A. The south half of the site lies 25-80 feet above the abandoned, flooded, underground Ideal coal mine.

The landfill site is an area of steep-sloping hills underlain by sedimentary rock. This sedimentary rock consists of layers of shale, siltstone, sandstone, and coal gently tilted to the southeast. Soils in the landfill area consist of unconsolidated residual soils, which are primarily clays, silts, sand, and surface mine spoil. Mine spoil is waste rock, silt, clay, and coal fragments removed during coal mining operations. These unconsolidated materials are up to 55 feet thick at the landfill site (Figure 3, Appendix A). West of the site, in the Wills Creek Valley, unconsolidated silts, sand, and clays nearly 100 feet thick underlie the creek.

Fultz Landfill is a privately owned, former sanitary landfill which reportedly accepted hazardous waste. Before 1950, the landfill was part of a large, 200-acre farm. The landfill operated from 1958 until 1985, when waste disposal operations ceased. Open dumping occurred from 1958 through 1968. The Guernsey County District Board of Health first licensed the landfill in 1969 to accept household, commercial, and industrial solid waste. Industrial waste disposed of at the site included chlorinated and nonchlorinated solvents, and metal plating wastes. Guernsey County District Board of Health and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) records indicate that the landfill accepted about four drums per week of spent lacquer and thinner. Disposal records fail to accurately characterize landfill waste.

There has been a relatively long history of state and local involvement at the Fultz Landfill site. As early as 1968, the Ohio Department of Health indicated that the site may be unsuitable for a landfill because of the closeness to the deep mine aquifer which is used by the City of Byesville. Between 1969 and 1979, the landfill owners were repeatedly cited for inadequate covering of waste, open dumping, leachate run-off, and receiving unauthorized industrial waste. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) denied permits to accept industrial solvents and expand landfill boundaries at the Fultz Landfill. In 1980, the OEPA investigated leachate problems. The site was placed on the National Priorities List for hazardous waste sites in 1982. Phase I of the Remedial Investigation was completed in March of 1988 and Phase II started in October of 1988. The Record of Decision was signed in September of 1991.

B. Site Visit

Robert Frey and Irena Scott, Ohio Department of Health staff, visited the site on January 10, 1990. Conditions at the site included a fenced drum storage area with metal 55 gallon drums, exposed garbage and waste, and a small, unsecured storage building. Site access is not restricted. There is a steel cable strung across the entrance to the access road, however, tire tracks to the left of the cable indicate that vehicular traffic is not restricted. There are no markers, fences, signs, or any other indicators of site boundaries.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and Natural Resource Use

Demographics

The City of Byesville, population 2,435, lies about 0.5 miles south of the site. The demographic information for the City of Byesville is in Table 1. The majority of the population in Byesville is between the ages of 18 and 64. Cambridge, population 13,573, is 3 miles northwest of the site. There are about 25-30 residences from just 400 feet to 1 mile from the site. These 25-30 residents lie north, northwest and south of the site, with most north and northwest.

Table 1
Byesville Demographic Information
AGE GROUPS TOTALS
< 5 172
5-17 509
18-20 120
21-24 134
25-44 679
45-54 242
55-59 134
60-64 113
65-74 177
75-84 124
85+ 31
Total 2,435

Byesville age distribution:


Under 18 681 (28.0%)

18-64 1422 (58.4%)

65+ 332 (13.6%)

Land Use

This part of Ohio has been extensively strip and deep mined for coal. Most of the strip mined areas have not been reclaimed. Interstate 77 and Wills Creek are west of the site. Areas to the north, east and south of the site are residential areas, and also include pastures and woodlands. The area west of the site is developed for light industrial use. There are no residents immediately west of the site.

Land use in the future is not expected to change from current land use. If the mined areas were reclaimed, the Fultz Landfill site could be developed for housing, industry, and farming. This type of development would be unlikely because of site terrain.

Natural Resource Use

There are several surface water bodies in the area surrounding the Fultz Landfill site. Strip mining operations changed the flow of Stream A, forming six ponds on the northern and eastern borders of the landfill (Figure 2, Appendix A). Pond 1A was used for surface mining sedimentation. Stream A flows into Pond 1 which overflows into Ponds 2 and 2A. Pond 2 does not flow into Pond 3. Pond 3 overflows into what may be the original section of Stream A and may also be hydraulically connected to Ponds 4 and 5. Ponds 4 and 5 are north and upgradient from the landfill. Pond 6 has silted in and become heavily vegetated since first identified (Figure 2, Appendix A). There is evidence that at least one of these ponds is used for recreational fishing.

Stream A flows from the northeast, west across the north end of the landfill, and into Wills Creek (Figure 2, Appendix A). It reportedly runs dry during low precipitation periods. The flow of Stream A is interrupted by Pond 2. Wills Creek flows north along the western border of Fultz Landfill towards Cambridge. It receives drainage from both Stream A and the surrounding landscape (Figure 2, Appendix A). It is classified by the Ohio Revised Code 3745-1- 24 as a warmwater habitat, suitable for agricultural and industrial use, and for primary contact. Warmwater habitats are capable of supporting balanced reproducing populations of warmwater fish, associated vertebrate and invertebrate organisms, and plants. Agricultural waters are suitable for irrigation and livestock without treatment. Industrial waters are suitable for commercial and industrial uses (with or without treatment). The criteria vary with the type of industry. Primary contact waters are suitable for swimming and wading. The City of Cambridge uses Wills Creek as a source of municipal water.

The City of Byesville gets its water from the deep mine aquifer. Deep mining in the area created this aquifer. The municipal water pumping station is about 1 mile southeast of the site. Residents in the area who do not get their water from Byesville or Cambridge, depend on groundwater for drinking water. The closest residential well is approximately 400 feet from the site.

D. Health Outcome Data

The only health outcome data available are county cancer mortality data and county birth defects data. Please see the Public Health Implications section for a discussion of the health outcome data evaluation.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CONCERNS

Initial efforts to obtain community concerns were not successful. The Ohio Department of Health held a public availability session on February 20, 1991 to talk with individual community members about their community health concerns. The Guernsey County Health Commissioner attended the meeting and indicated that there is a lack of community concern. The County Health Department has not received any community concern information. Public notice of the meeting was in local newspapers and on local radio. Examples of materials available at the meeting are contained in Appendix B. No members of the community attended the meeting. There does not appear to be community health concerns which relate to the Fultz Landfill.


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