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PETITIONED PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

HANSEN CONTAINERS
GRAND JUNCTION, MESA COUNTY, COLORADO

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION ANDOTHER HAZARDS

As part of the health assessment process, the Agency for Toxic Substances and DiseaseRegistry (ATSDR) released the petitioned public health assessment document for publiccomment in September 1996. At that time, ATSDR learned that the removal actions werecompleted at the site earlier in 1996 and documented that information in the publiccomment release. ATSDR requested the new data that was collected during the removalprocess with the intent of analyzing the data to make an updated assessment of theconditions at the site. The public comment release version of the document contained thedata available to us when the document was prepared and included all the data collectedbefore the implementation and completion of the removal activities at the site.

ATSDR reviewed and evaluated all the latest data for this site and prepared the finalrelease version of the document to discuss the current conditions at the site. In order tosimplify the presentation of the past and current data, we moved the following discussionsfrom the public comment release version of the document to Appendix B: the Summary, Environmental Contamination andOther Hazards, Pathway Analysis, Toxicological Implications, and Conclusions andRecommendations sections. The new data are presented in the document under the samesubheadings.

ATSDR evaluated the data collected during and after the removal process to determinewhether the contaminants of concern and the potential for exposures were eliminated. Wereviewed all the documents prepared under the direction of the Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) as part of the removal actions at the site. As part of each task order,samples were collected and analyzed for metals, volatile organic compounds, semi-volatileorganic compounds, and pesticides/polychlorinated biphenyls.

In 1992, Ecology and Environment's Technical Assistance Team (TAT) prepared a summaryreport for the site to provide an overview of the data collected during the three samplingrounds conducted in 1991. These data served as a basis for EPA to focus the removalactions at the site. The document concluded the following: there was significant surfacelead contamination in the vicinity of the incinerator and the operations building; therewas contamination around the incinerator, incinerator pit, and ash; and none of thecontamination detected on site can be shown to have impacted areas in the adjacentcommunity. Grab samples collected from the south end of the site indicated possibleorganic contamination that appeared to be confined to surface soil. TAT concluded thatsoil fixation for the surface lead contamination should be successful.

TAT collected confirmation samples throughout the removal processes, and ATSDR reviewedthe sampling data. Based on the evaluation of all the available data for this site, ATSDRdetermined that the contaminants that previously existed at the Hansen site were removedas part of the removal actions completed by the EPA and the the Department of Energy;therefore, no exposures are occurring or are expected to occur in the future, and nohealth effects can result.

Quality Assurance and Quality Control

In preparing this public health assessment, ATSDR relied on the information provided inthe referenced documents. The agency assumes that adequate quality assurance and qualitycontrol measures were followed with regard to chain-of-custody, laboratory procedures, anddata reporting. The validity of the analysis and conclusions drawn for this document isdetermined by the reliability of the referenced information.

Physical and Other Hazards

Before the closure of the site, access to the facility was essentially unrestricted (ATSDR, 1991h). At closure, the facility was littered by drums,drum parts, piles of ash, and crushed automobile parts; all of these posed physicalhazards to people who wandered onto the site. However, activities to fence the site beganon September 23, 1991, and the site was completely restricted by a fence by January 16,1992 (ATSDR, 1993a). The fence limited exposures to thephysical hazards at the site for the general public. Currently, there are no physicalhazards on the site; these were eliminated as part of the remediation process. Remediealactivities included the removal of drums, debris, and soil. The remedial process alsoincluded the removal of the main building on the site.

PATHWAYS ANALYSES

To determine whether nearby residents were exposed to contaminants migrating from thesite, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) evaluated theenvironmental and human components that lead to human exposure. The pathways analysisconsists of five elements: a source of contamination, transport through an environmentalmedium, a medium of exposure, a route of human exposure, and an exposed population.

ATSDR categorizes an exposure pathway as eliminated if at least one of the fiveelements is missing and will never be present. The removal actions eliminated thecontaminants of concern at the site (source of contamination); this in turn, eliminatedthe other five elements. Therefore, the exposure pathways were eliminated as a result ofthe removal actions.

PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) classifies the HansenContainers Site as a no public health hazard because the contaminants of concern and theexposures to the contaminants previously detected at the site were eliminated through theremoval actions completed at the site in 1996. Therefore, there are no public healthimplications related to this site.



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