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Public Health Assessment
Baytown Township Groundwater Contamination Site, Washington County, Minnesota

Child Health Considerations

MDH recognizes that the unique vulnerabilities of infants and children make them of special concern to communities faced with contamination of their water, soil, air, or food. Children are at greater risk than adults from certain kinds of exposures to hazardous substances at waste disposal sites. They are more likely to be exposed because they play outdoors, and they often bring food into contaminated areas. They are smaller than adults, which means they breathe dust, soil, and heavy vapors close to the ground, and receive higher doses of chemical exposure per body weight. The developing body systems of children can sustain permanent damage if toxic exposures occur during critical growth stages. Most importantly, children depend completely on adults for risk identification and management decisions, housing decisions, and access to medical care. At the present time, child exposure to levels of TCE in excess of health-based criteria is being prevented by the use of GAC filtration units on private wells. Exposure of children to TCE and possibly CCl4 in drinking water at levels below the interim recommended exposure limit/HRL is occurring at some residences in the SWCA served by private wells. Children may also be exposed to low levels of TCE through the Bayport municipal water supply. However, as stated above, MDH believes that the health-based and regulatory criteria are sufficiently conservative and protective of human health.

Conclusions

  1. Due to the fact that exposure to TCE above health-based criteria is currently being prevented by use of whole-house GAC filtration units on private wells, and by the fact that levels of TCE in the Bayport municipal system are below regulatory and health-based standards, the site represents no apparent public health hazard at this time.
  2. There are uncertainties over the long-term maintenance of the many individual GAC filter systems in use at the site, tracking and monitoring of the plume, and potential development in the area. Local ordinances (enacted with the assistance of MDH) governing the use of GAC filters on new wells, and a state statute passed in 2003 designed to notify new homeowners of the presence of groundwater contamination at the site should help reduce these uncertainties.
  3. Past exposures to TCE and CCl4 in groundwater in private wells represent an indeterminate public health hazard because concentrations exceeded the current interim recommended exposure limit for TCE, and/or the hazard index of one.
  4. There is no direct evidence of an increased incidence of adverse health effects (i.e., cancer or birth defects) at the Baytown site.
  5. Further investigation and response actions at the site are under consideration by the MPCA.

Recommendations

  1. Additional permanent monitoring wells should be installed by the MPCA at or upgradient of the north hangar and the MW-10B areas to clarify whether TCE sources are located in these areas.
  2. The lateral extent and overall competence of the St. Lawrence formation should be evaluated to determine where the Franconia aquifer is adequately protected. Such an assessment should include, but not be limited to, identifying faulting and fracture patterns, erosional and structural features, and other aspects of the local geology (both in the St. Lawrence and the formations above and below it) that may create pathways for contaminant migration to the Franconia.
  3. The magnitude and extent of contamination in the Franconia should be defined by installation of permanent monitoring wells, or by other means.
  4. The city of Bayport should consider ways to minimize the amount of TCE in the water distribution system and a contingency plan should also be developed in the event that TCE concentrations in Bayport well #2 or the water supply system exceed regulatory or health-based standards.
  5. The vulnerability of the currently unaffected Bayport city water supply wells should be evaluated and a plan developed to prevent further contamination of the water supply system.
  6. The feasibility of connecting homes within the city of Bayport that are currently served by private wells to the city's municipal water supply should be explored. If a connection is made, the existing well should be properly sealed.
  7. The assessment and feasibility of long-term water supply options for the entire site should be completed. Alternate water supply options such as new private wells or community wells, or connection to a municipal or other community water supply system should be considered as long-term solutions.
  8. The construction of all existing private wells constructed before 1990 should be carefully reviewed to determine from which aquifer(s) they obtain water. To better protect the Jordan aquifer over the long term, consideration should be given to sealing those wells completed in both the Prairie du Chien and Jordan aquifers. These wells may allow unrestricted vertical migration of contaminated groundwater downward into the Jordan aquifer.
  9. Methods to prevent further migration of the contaminant plume should be considered.
  10. The current well sampling plan should be re-evaluated by all parties when a final HRL for TCE is adopted to ensure that it is still protective of public health.
  11. The number of new private wells constructed in the SWCA should be limited to minimize the oversight burden on state and local governments, and to minimize the potential for the spread of contaminants vertically or laterally. Where feasible, community public water supply wells should be constructed to serve 15 or more homes.
  12. The MAC (or their consultants) should update the Prairie du Chien and Jordan plume maps on an annual basis to provide current information regarding the plume configurations.
  13. The MAC (or their consultants) should generate a plume map for the Franconia formation, and update it annually as new information becomes available.

Public Health Action Plan

MDH's Public Health Action Plan for the site will consist of the distribution of this Public Health Assessment, and an information sheet summarizing the information in this Public Health Assessment to area residents. MDH will also continue to consult with MPCA and other agency staff on investigation, monitoring and response action activities, and participate in any public outreach events.

The MDH will also continue to evaluate mixtures of VOCs at wells impacted by multiple contaminants to ensure that the mixture does not exceed the hazard index and therefore represent an unacceptable health risk. MDH may also finalize a new HRL for TCE through its rule making process. MDH will also continue to work with local units of government at the site to ensure that the ordinances recently enacted are fully implemented, to ensure that new wells are fitted with a GAC (when necessary), and to review monitoring results for GAC filter systems regulated under the township ordinances.

MDH staff will closely monitor TCE concentrations in the area of Osprey and Oriole Avenues and along 21st Street North, between Olene and Osprey Avenue, as this appears to be an area where the plume in the Jordan aquifer may be expanding. MDH staff will work with MPCA staff to ensure that adequate sampling occurs to track changes in the plume in this area, and any other area where the plume appears to be changing.

MDH's Well Management Section will continue to maintain the Baytown Special Well Construction Area, and review the latest monitoring data and adjust its boundaries as needed. MDH's Drinking Water Protection Section will monitor Lake Elmo municipal well #1 for VOCs on an annual basis as a precaution, and continue to monitor the Bayport municipal wells on a regular basis.

MDH staff will review any proposed remediation plans for the site to ensure that a groundwater pump-out system is properly designed. Such a design could be to arrange a series of wells along the eastern edge of the airport property, sufficient in number and capacity to capture the majority of the contaminant plume. This series of wells should be combined with a pump-out well (or wells) in the source area(s) if such an area (or areas) can be located. The goal would be for the downgradient wells to "cut off" the plume, while the near-source well(s) would reduce the mass of contaminants feeding the plume, thus reducing the time frame over which the downgradient wells must operate.

References

ATSDR 1997. Toxicological Profile for Trichloroethylene. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Atlanta GA. September 1997.

ATSDR 2003. Press Release: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Releases Survey of Childhood Cancers and Birth Defects at USMC Camp Lejeune, NC, 1968-85. July 16, 2003. Available online at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/press_release.html

Aggarwal, P.K. 1994. Inhalation exposure to VOCs from household use of contaminated domestic water. National Technical Information Service.

Bove, F., Shim, Y., and Zeitz, P. 2002. Drinking water contaminants and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a review. Environmental Health Perspectives 110: 61-74.

Bruning, T., Pesch, B., Wiesenhutter, B., Rabstein, S., Lammert, M., Baumuller, A., and Bolt, H. 2003. Renal cell cancer risk and occupational exposure to trichloroethylene: results of a consecutive case-control study in Arnsberg, Germany. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 43: 274-285.

Cherrie, J.W., Kromhout, H., and Semple, S. 2001. The importance of reliable exposure estimates in deciding whether trichloroethlyene can cause kidney cancer. Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 127: 400-402.

Costas, K., Knorr, R.S., and Condon, S. K. 2002. A case-control study of childhood leukemia in Woburn, Massachusetts: the relationship between leukemia incidence and exposure to public drinking water. The Science of the Total Environment 300: 23-35.

Delta 1996. Limited Remedial Investigation Report, Lake Elmo Airport. Delta Environmental Consultants. June 4, 1996.

EPA 2001. Trichloroethylene Health Risk Assessment: Synthesis and Characterization. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC. EPA/600/P-01/002A. August 2001.

Garabrant, D.H., Lacey, J.V., Laing, T.J., Gillespie, B.W., Mayes, M.D., Cooper, B.C., and Schottenfeld, D. 2003. Scleroderma and solvent exposure among women. American Journal of Epidemiology 157: 493-500.

Hess, E.V. 2002. Environmental chemicals and autoimmune disease: cause and effect. Toxicology 181-182: 65-70.

Jellali, S., Benremita, H., Muntzer, P., Razakarisoa, O., and Schafer, G. 2003. A large-scale experiment on mass transfer of trichloroethylene from the unsaturated zone of a sandy aquifer to its interfaces. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 60: 31-53.

Johnson, P.D., Dawson, B.V., and Goldberg, S.J. 1998. A review: trichloroethylene metabolites: potential cardiac teratogens. Environmental Health Perspectives 106: 995-999.

Johnson, P.D., Goldberg, S.J., Mays, M.Z., and Dawson, B.V. 2003. Threshold of trichloroethylene contamination in maternal drinking waters affecting fetal heart development in the rat. Environmental Health Perspectives, 111: 289-292.

Kerger, B.D., Schmidt, C.E., and Paustenbach, D.J. 2000. Assessment of airborne exposure to trihalomethanes from tap water in residential showers and baths. Risk Analysis, 20: 637-651.

Kilburn, K.H. 2002. Is neurotoxicity associated with environmental trichloroethylene (TCE)? Archives of Environmental Health, 57: 113-120.

Lee, L.J.H., Chan, C.C., Chung, C.W., Ma, Y.C., Wang, G.S., and Wang, J.D. 2002. Health risk assessment on residents exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbons contaminated in groundwater of a hazardous waste site. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, 65: 219-235.

Lindholm, G.F., Helgesen, J.O., Broussard, W.L., and Farrell, D.F. 1974. Water Resources of the Lower St. Croix River Watershed, East-Central Minnesota. Hydrologic Investigations Atlas HA-490; U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

Lindstrom, A.B. and Pleil, J.D. 1996. A methodological approach for exposure assessment studies in residences using volatile organic compound contaminated water. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 46: 1058-1066.

McKone, T.E. 1989. Household Exposure Models. Toxicology Letters, 49: 321-339.

McKone, T.E. and Knezovich, J.P. 1991. The transfer of trichloroethylene (TCE) from a shower to indoor air: experimental measurements and their implications. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 41: 832-837.

Minnesota Department of Administration 2003. Population and Household Estimates, 2001. Available on-line at: http://www.demography.state.mn.us/demogpop.html

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 1996. Exposure Assessment, Baytown Well Drilling Advisory Area. March 1996.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 1999. Health Consultation, Baytown Township Ground Water Plume. November 12, 1999.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) 2002. Recommended Exposure Limit for Trichloroethylene. Memorandum from Rebecca Kenow, Manager, Environmental Surveillance and Assessment Section. January 7, 2002.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) 2002. Interim and Future Policy Regarding Baytown Development. Memorandum from Gary Pulford, Manager, Superfund Section. July 3, 2002.

Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) 2004. Unpublished study of bedrock geology and structure in southern Washington County. May 2004.

Morgan, J.W. and Cassady, R.E. 2002. Community cancer assessment in response to long-time exposure to perchlorate and trichloroethylene in drinking water. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 44: 616-621.

Mossler, J.H., and Bloomgren, B.A. 1990. Bedrock Geology. Plate 2 of the Geologic Atlas of Washington County, by Swanson, L. and Meyer, G (1990). County Atlas C-5. Minnesota Geological Survey, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Perkins, C., Trute, E., Soler, J., DeWaard, E., and Bushhouse, S. 2003. Cancer in Minnesota, 1988-1999. Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System, Minnesota Department of Health, Minneapolis, Minnesota. March 2003.

Rodenbeck, S.E., Sanderson, L.M., and Rene, A. 2000. Maternal exposure to trichloroethylene in drinking water and birth-weight outcomes. Archives of Environmental Health 55: 188-194.

Terracon 2003a. Additional Source Investigation Report, Baytown Superfund TCE Investigation. June 25, 2003.

Terracon 2003b. Additional Source Investigation Follow-Up Report, Baytown Superfund TCE Investigation. July 3, 2003.

Waseem, M., Ali, M., Dogra, S., Dutta, K.K., and Kaw, J.L. 2001. Toxicity of trichloroethylene following inhalation and drinking contaminated water. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 21: 441-444.

Weisel, C.P. and Jo, W.K. 1996. Ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposures to chloroform and trichloroethene from tap water. Environmental Health Perspectives, 104: 48-51.

Wenck 1999a. Feasibility Study, Baytown Township Groundwater Contamination Site. Wenck Associates, Inc. April 1999.

Wenck 1999b. Water Quality Update Report, Baytown Township Groundwater Contamination Site. Wenck Associates, Inc. June 1999.

Wenck 2001a. Draft Regional Groundwater Model Report. Wenck Associates, Inc. December 2001.

Wenck 2001b. Response Action Plan. Wenck Associates, Inc. January, 2001.

Wenck 2003. Modification to Response Action Plan. Wenck Associates, Inc. April, 2003.

Westwood 2002. Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the Bayport West Development. Westwood Professional Services, Inc., Eden Prairie, Minnesota. August 2002.

Wu, C. and Schaum, J. 2000. Exposure assessment of trichloroethylene. Environmental Health Perspectives, 108: 359-363.

Preparers of Report

James Kelly
Health Assessor
Site Assessment and Consultation Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
tel: (651) 215-0913

Virginia Yingling
Hydrogeologist
Site Assessment and Consultation Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
tel: (651) 215-0917

Tannie Eshenaur
Community Health Educator
Site Assessment and Consultation Unit
Minnesota Department of Health
tel: (651) 215-0916

Patrick Sarafolean
Hydrologist
Well Management Section
Minnesota Department of Health
tel: (651) 643-2110

 

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