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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

ALABAMA ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT
TALLADEGA COUNTY, ALABAMA

COMMUNITY/PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS

No community health concerns have been brought to ATSDR's attention by either community members or representatives of local health agencies. U.S. AEC surveyed residents near ALAAP to determine the extent of community concern and information needs regarding environmental studies and remedial actions at the site (US AEC, 1991). ATSDR reviewed the survey results and learned that area residents appeared concerned about potential contamination of groundwater, soil, and Coosa River surface water and fish by ALAAP and potential affects on their community. ATSDR has tried to respond to community health concerns identified in the PIRP in this PHA.

CONCLUSIONS

On the basis of its evaluation of environmental information collected during the site characterization and remedial process, ATSDR reached the following conclusions.

  1. ATSDR's public health hazard conclusion category of No Apparent Public Health Hazard has been assigned to the ALAAP site. ATSDR assigns this category to the site provided that remedial measures for Areas A and B continue as proposed and use restrictions for unremediated land or groundwater accompany the transfer or sale of Area B.

  2. Exposure to contaminated on-site soil is not occurring at levels that pose a health hazard. Although localized areas of lead contamination exist in Area A surface soil and high levels of nitroaromatic compounds and lead contamination are present in Area B surface soil, public access to the site is restricted by a perimeter fence. Hunters and loggers are not expected to have had or continue to have long-term or frequent contact with localized areas containing the highest concentrations of contamination. Contaminated soils from some parts of Area A have been removed, and planned efforts will remove the remaining contaminated soils to residential use soil standards. Remediation efforts in Area B continue to reduce soil contamination concentrations to industrial use levels.

  3. Exposure to contaminated groundwater has not occurred and is not presently occurring. No one drinks water supplied by the contaminated groundwater beneath Area B. Furthermore, no drinking water supplies, including Area B water supply, the municipal water supply, and area local public supplies and private wells, are known to be affected by site-related contamination. Continued remediation of contaminant sources and groundwater use restrictions proposed for Area B land transfers should reduce or eliminate future potential exposures.

  4. Exposure to site-related contaminants in on-site surface water bodies is not expected to occur because the perimeter fence restricts access to the site. Furthermore, the concentrations of nitroaromatic compounds, VOCs, PAHs, and metals are not associated with health hazards.

    Low levels of contamination were detected in the Talladega Creek and Coosa River sediment. The levels detected pose no public health hazard to potential boaters or anglers using the Coosa River.

  5. Area deer do not appear to be accumulating site-related contaminants at levels associated with human health hazards. Although rabbits may be accumulating arsenic, hunters are unlikely to consume the quantity of rabbit necessary to experience arsenic-related adverse health effects. Site data suggest that fish in the Crossover Ditch accumulate mercury; however, the levels are below FDA action levels, and the public is restricted from accessing this on-site area. Although fish monitoring data are not available for the Coosa River in the vicinity of ALAAP, expected fish consumption patterns are not likely to pose health hazards. The unfavorable fishing conditions in the area of the site are likely to reduce the fishing activity and, therefore, potential health hazards associated with consumption of large quantities of potentially contaminated fish.

  6. The ALAAP site does not contain any physical hazards that pose a threat to public health.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Below are ATSDR's recommendations for further actions at ALAAP to characterize any future potential public health concerns.

  1. ATSDR recommends that information on the locations of hot spots within Area B study areas be made available to loggers. ATSDR advises that loggers who must be in these areas wear protective gear to minimize contact with contaminated soil.

  2. ATSDR supports the groundwater use restrictions that are proposed to accompany the sale of Area B and all other land transactions associated with it. Permissible use of this land should continue to be nonresidential (industrial). If remediation is not complete before the sale of the property, ATSDR recommends that information be provided to the intended landowner on the locations of contaminated areas.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Gary Campbell, Ph.D.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Emilio Gonzalez
Environmental Health Engineer
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

REFERENCES

Alabama Army Ammunition Plant (ALAAP). 1997a. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Ron Wynne, ALAAP caretaker. June 1997.

ALAAP. 1997b. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Jim Fry, Commander Representative for ALAAP. June 1997.

Alabama Department of Health (ADPH). 1996. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Neil Daniell, Alabama Department of Health. August 1996.

ATSDR. 1987. Final public health assessment. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Talladega County, Alabama. CERCLIS No. AL6210020008. February 5, 1987. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

ATSDR. 1991. Site trip report for August 7-8, 1991, site visit. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Talladega County, Alabama. August 16.

ATSDR. 1993a. Toxicological profile for arsenic. April 1993. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

ATSDR. 1993b. Toxicological profile for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (draft). May 1993. US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service.

ATSDR. 1994. Site summary. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Talladega County,  Alabama. November 1994.

ATSDR. 1995. Site summary. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Talladega County,  Alabama. January 1995.

ATSDR. 1996a. Population demographics in a one-mile buffer around the ALAAP site. US Alabama Army Ammunition Plant. Childersburg, Alabama.

ATSDR. 1996b. Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant health consultation. DeSoto, Kansas. February 27, 1996.

EPA. 1995. Proceedings of the National Forum on Mercury in Fish. September 27-29, 1994, New Orleans, LA. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water.

Environmental Science & Engineering, Inc. (ESE). 1986. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Endangerment Assessment Draft Final Report. August 1986.

ESE. 1991. Supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study for Area B, Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, draft final remedial investigation. Vol. I. March 1991.

ESE. 1995a. Supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study for Area A, Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, final draft remedial investigation. Vol. I and II. December 1995.

ESE. 1995b. Final baseline risk assessment. Area A, Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, Final draft remedial investigation. Vol. I and II. December 1995.

ESE. 1996. Supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study for Area A, Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, final draft remedial investigation. February 1996.

Heath, D. 1997. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc., and Dwayne Heath, McDonald Investments. June 1997.

Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). 1996a. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant Area B, supplemental remedial investigation. February 1996.

SAIC. 1996b. Alabama Army Ammunition Plant Area B, supplemental remedial investigation/feasibility study. March 1996.

Shugart, L., W.H. Griest, E. Tan, et al. 1990. U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. December 1991. The metabolites in animal tissue. Final report

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (US ACE). 1991. Public involvement and response plan (the community relations plans) for Alabama Army Ammunition Plant. March 1991.

U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (US ACHPPM). 1994. Draft field study no. 75-23-YS50-94, health risk assessment of consuming deer from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. October 1994.

U.S. Army Environmental Center (US AEC). 1997. Personal communication between Eastern Research Group, Inc. and Richard Isaac, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. February 1997.

U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency (US AEHA). 1994. Draft final risk assessment from consumption of deer muscle and liver from Joliet Army Ammunition Plant. January 14.


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