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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

TINKER AIR FORCE (SOLDIER CR/BUILDING 3001)
MIDWEST CITY, OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA

CONCLUSIONS

GROUNDWATER

Off-base Private Wells:

1.      Current and Future Exposures: Potential Public Health Hazard

    As of November 1995, 12 private wells were not plugged. Eleven of these twelve residenceshave hook-ups to municipal lines, but the private well may still be in use. It is not known if thesewells are contaminated at levels that pose a public health hazard. Construction of new wells inthe area northeast of Tinker is prohibited. However, since groundwater remediation isincomplete, the potential exist for contamination to migrate to the unplugged wells, possiblyincreasing the contaminant concentrations to levels that could pose a health hazard. Thus,current and future exposures are a potential public health hazard.

2.      Past Exposures: Public Health Hazard

    Past exposure to VOCs in private wells does not pose a health hazard for most of the peoplewhose water was contaminated. However, VOCs were detected at levels high enough to pose ahealth hazard in less than five wells if exposure to these levels occurred for at least six years. Itis not known how long the wells were contaminated. Exposure to drinking water contaminationabove MCLs stopped in 1990 when bottled water was supplied by the Air Force.

Base Supply Wells:

3.      Current Exposures: No Public Health Hazard

    The base wells are currently monitored according to and in compliance with the Safe DrinkingWater Act. No one using base water is being exposed to contaminant levels that pose a healthhazard.

4.      Past Exposures: Public Health Hazard

    Contamination was detected in base supply wells 18 and 19 at levels that would have posed apublic health hazard if people were exposed directly to those concentrations. However, thecontaminant concentrations that people were exposed to are unknown but are expected to be lessthan those in the contaminated base wells. Water from several wells enter the base waterdistribution system and is combined in holding tanks. Therefore, water from contaminated wellswas diluted by uncontaminated water from other base wells. However, because TCEconcentrations reached as high as 1642 ppb in well 18, it is likely that people were exposed toconcentrations of TCE above the MCL of 5 ppb, even with dilution. Exposure risk factorsinclude amount of water consumed from the base well supply (especially in the area of well 18since water usage was somewhat localized) and length of employment. However, when the wellswere first contaminated is unknown. The Air Force removed the contaminated wells fromservice permanently the same year (1983) contamination was detected.

AIR

5.      Current Exposures: No Apparent Public Health Hazard

    ATSDR concluded that current ambient air emissions (based on the 1993 air monitoring study)from the IWTP pose no apparent public health hazard. However, the ambient air concentrationsof hydrogen sulfide were determined to be at levels that may be perceived as a nuisance to thenearby community. Since the study, Tinker has made numerous upgrades to the IWTP to reduceair emissions.

6.      Past Exposures: Indeterminate Public Health Hazard

    ATSDR was unable to evaluate past exposure because appropriate environmental data were notavailable. However, emissions in the past may have been greater than the concentrationsdetected in the 1993 IWTP study since some unit process modifications had been completedbefore the air data were collected.

CREEK SURFACE WATER AND SEDIMENTS

7.      Current and Past Exposures: No Apparent Public Health Hazard

    ATSDR concluded that exposure to surface water and sediments in East Soldier, West Soldier,Elm, Crutcho, and Kuhlman Creeks poses no apparent public health hazard.

    The public health evaluation of NPDES discharge violations (atypical releases) into East SoldierCreek determined that these violations posed no public health hazard.




Table 12.

ATSDR Public Health Hazard Conclusion Categories
CategoryDefinitionCriteria
A. Urgent public health hazard This category is used for sites that pose an urgentpublic health hazard as the result of short-termexposures to hazardous substances.
  • evidence exists that exposures have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur in the future AND
  • estimated exposures are to a substance(s) at concentrations in the environment that, upon short-term exposures, can cause adverse health effects to any segment of the receptor population AND/OR
  • community-specific health outcome data indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health that requires rapid intervention AND/OR
  • physical hazards at the site pose an imminent risk of physical injury
  • B. Public health hazardThis category is used for sites that pose a public healthhazard as the result of long-term exposures tohazardous substances.
  • evidence exists that exposures have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur in the future AND
  • estimated exposures are to a substance(s) at concentrations in the environment that, upon long-term exposures, can cause adverse health effects to any segment of the receptor population AND/OR
  • community-specific health outcome data indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health that requires intervention
  • C. Indeterminate public healthhazardThis category is used for sites with incompleteinformation.
  • limited available data do not indicate that humans are being or have been exposed to levels of contamination that would be expected to cause adverse health effects; data or information are not available for all environmental media to which humans may be exposed AND
  • there are insufficient or no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health
  • D. No apparent public health hazardThis category is used for sites where human exposureto contaminated media is occurring or has occurred inthe past, but the exposure is below a level of healthhazard.
  • exposures do not exceed an ATSDR chronic MRL or other comparable value AND
  • data are available for all environmental media to which humans are being exposed AND
  • there are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health
  • E. No public health hazardThis category is used for sites that do not pose a publichealth hazard.
  • no evidence of current or past human exposure to contaminated media AND
  • future exposures to contaminated media are not likely to occur AND
  • there are no community-specific health outcome data to indicate that the site has had an adverse impact on human health



  • RECOMMENDATIONS

    After a review of new information that has become available since the May 20, 1988 Tinker AirForce Base Public Health Assessment, ATSDR makes the following recommendations to stopand/or reduce exposures to contaminants:

    GROUNDWATER

    Off-Base Private Wells:

    1. Residents moving into homes with unplugged wells should be advised of the potential for private well contamination and advised not to use the well. Municipal water should be provided to the one residence that is not connected to the municipal system.
    2. The twelve private wells that are not closed should be plugged to prevent future exposures to contaminated groundwater.
    3. Chromium is included in the analysis of off-base monitoring well samples. If chromium isdetected above EPA's total chromium standard, the well should be sampled and analyzed forspeciated chromium. In the past, the Oklahoma State Department of Health monitored privatewells for regulated and unregulated VOCs only. Chromium is a primary contaminant of thegroundwater under Building 3001.

    Base Supply Wells:

    1. If chromium is detected in base supply wells above EPA's total chromium standard, the well should be resampled and analyzed for speciated chromium.

    CREEK SURFACE WATER AND SEDIMENTS

    1. ATSDR recommends that children not use East Soldier Creek as a frequent play area. Exposure to surface water and/or sediments currently poses no apparent public health hazard, however, Tinker is permitted to discharge treated wastewater to the creek, and will still be permitted to discharge into the creek (for emergency conditions) after they switch their primary discharge location to the Oklahoma City Regional Water District System. The switch is projected to be implemented by the end of March 1996. Residents should be aware that the creek is a potential point of exposure during an atypical discharge (unexpected release).
    2. Identify the potential source of contamination to surface water and sediments near samplinglocation W03 on West Soldier Creek. Current levels of contaminants are not a public healthhazard. However, to ensure that contaminants are not accumulating at this site, continue periodicmonitoring of surface water and sediment at this location.



    PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

    The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for Tinker contains a description of actions to be taken atand in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. Thepurpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies publichealth hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse humanhealth effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is acommitment on the part of ATSDR to follow up on this plan. The public health actions that havebeen and will be implemented follow.

    BASE SUPPLY WELLS

    Actions Ongoing:

    1. Tinker is currently monitoring base supply wells near the northeast quadrant quarterly. This sampling regiment exceeds the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
    2. Tinker has 66 monitoring wells in the northeast quadrant of the base that are sampled on an annual basis. These wells have been sampled annually since 1992.
    3. Twelve monitoring well clusters (36 wells) have been installed during the existing off-baseinvestigation. These new wells are in the vicinity of off-base private wells. Samples from theseadditional wells will be representative of groundwater contamination in the area. Sampling ofthese wells began in early 1995.

    AIR

    The Air Force conducted the 1993 IWTP air sampling study at the request of ATSDR. Since thestudy many modifications and upgrades have been made at the plant to reduce air emissions. Several of these actions are listed below.

    Actions Completed:

    1. Tinker has installed on-line ambient air monitoring equipment at the IWTP. Samplinganalysis includes phenols, methylene chloride, PCE, and TCE. The system monitors emissionsfrom units of the plant and the north boundary area.(112)
    2. Tinker has installed permanent covers on tanks D1 and D2 at the IWTP. A permanent cover has been added to the wetwell.
    3. The IWTP has been upgraded to add redundant treatment processes, improve effectiveness, and reduce odors. The sludge thickener has been upgraded for more efficient operation.
    4. Sodium hydroxide has replaced sodium sulfide at the IWTP. This change should eliminate the sulfur odor from the plant.

    Actions Planned:

    1. Polypropylene balls will be placed in the equalization basins to reduce volatilization of chemicals at the IWTP.
    2. * Based on community health concerns and the types of chemicals released to the air from theIWTP since the start of paint stripping operations at Tinker, ATSDR's Division of Health Studies(DHS) is obtaining birth certificate and death certificate data for the Kimsey Addition from theOklahoma State Department of Health. DHS will compare the prevalences of low birth weightamong term births and preterm births in the Kimsey Addition with the prevalences in acomparison group randomly selected from births in Oklahoma City that did not occur in theKimsey Addition. In addition, mean birth weight among term births will be evaluated. The birthcertificate data will be evaluated for the years 1956-1993. Cancer mortality rates in the KimseyAddition from 1965-1994 will be compared to the Oklahoma state rates.

    CREEK SURFACE WATER AND SEDIMENTS

    Actions Ongoing:

    1. Tinker is conducting quarterly sampling of sediments and surface water in West and East Soldier Creek.
    2. An ecological assessment and continued quarterly sediment and surface water sampling of West Soldier Creek is underway as part of the response to the Soldier Creek Record of Decision.

    Actions Planned:

    1. Tinker plans to connect the installation's industrial discharge to the Oklahoma City Regional Water District System in early 1996. The IWTP will remain on-line as a pretreatment system prior to discharge to the City system.
    2. * ATSDR's Division of Health Education will provide fact sheets regarding IWTP discharges into East Soldier Creek. Fact sheets should be available by Spring 1996.

    ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the PHAP when needed. New environmental, toxicological,or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determinethe need for additional actions at Tinker.


    *      These actions were recommended by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel.


    PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

    Susan McAfee Moore
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    Victoria Ann Smith
    Environmental Health Scientist
    Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    Gail D. Godfrey
    Technical Project Officer
    Superfund Site Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    Reviewers of Report:

    Maurice West, P.E., DEE
    Environmental Engineer
    Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
    Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

    Regional Representatives:

    George Pettigrew
    Senior Regional Representative
    Region VI
    ATSDR Office of Regional Operations

    Roberta Erlwein
    Regional Representative
    Region VI
    ATSDR Office of Regional Operations


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    LIST OF APPENDICES

    The following appendices were not available in electronic format for conversion to HTML at the time of preparation of this document. To obtain a hard copy of the document, please contact:

      Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
      Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
      Attn: Chief, Program Evaluation, Records, and Information Services Branch,
      MS E-56
      1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

    APPENDIX A - Tinker Air Force Base NPL Site Health Assessment

    APPENDIX B - Citizens' Environmental Concerns

    APPENDIX C - Summary of Site Contamination

    APPENDIX D - Description of the Safe Drinking Water Act

    APPENDIX E - State of Oklahoma Regulated and Unregulated VOCs

    APPENDIX F - Parameters for Creek Samples

    APPENDIX G - Ambient Air Health Consultation

    APPENDIX H - Additional Toxicological Information

    APPENDIX I - IWTP NPDES Discharge - Graphs of Data from 1988 to 1994

    APPENDIX J - Comments received on the public comment document


    Table of Contents

      
     
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