PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT
On the basis of ATSDR's evaluation of environmental information collected during site characterization and remedial processes, ATSDR concludes that the ANAD site poses no apparent public health hazard. However, efforts are needed to define the possible extent of off-site groundwater contamination.
- Contaminated Groundwater: Consumption of contaminated groundwater associated
with ANAD is a potential public health hazard that is difficult to assess definitively at
this time. It is clear that ANAD is a source of TCE contamination in the area,
however, there may be other sources as well.
Municipal Water: The public drinking water in Calhoun County poses no public health hazards related to TCE. There are no known drinking water sources that contain TCE at concentrations greater than the MCL. Public water supplies, such as the Anniston Water Works, are tested regularly, so residents served by public supplies will not be exposed to dangerous TCE concentrations in their drinking water.
On-Site Water Supply: On-site water poses no public health hazards. ANAD obtains water from the Anniston Water Works where TCE has been consistently detected at levels below the MCL.
Private Well Water: Water from private wells near ANAD poses no apparent public health hazards. An estimated 5,000 Calhoun County residents use drinking water from private wells. ANAD has identified and tested private wells in the areas near the depot that are most likely to be affected by TCE contamination from ANAD. None of the private wells contained TCE at concentrations greater than the MCL. One well has shown elevated concentrations; however, recent samples show concentrations below the MCL. Because the karstic geology of the area is so complicated, groundwater flow (and therefore TCE migration) is almost impossible to predict. Private wells may, therefore, exist in areas with elevated TCE concentrations, even if adjacent areas do not. ANAD continues to characterize groundwater/contaminant flow from the site and to monitor site boundary, off-site, and private well water quality to prevent a public health hazard from occurring.
- On-site soil poses no apparent public health hazards. Elevated levels of contaminants were detected in on-site soil of the SIA and ASA. Most of the contaminated soil of the SIA has already been removed or is being removed and a fence limits public access to the entire site. Workers and personnel are not expected to contact the contaminated soil with great frequency or for any significant length of time. After completion of its RI, ANAD will determine appropriate clean-up measures for the ASA soil.
- Recreational use of Dry Creek and Choccolocco Creek poses no apparent public health hazards. Recreational use of Dry Creek near ANAD is limited. Potential exposure, if any, to the relatively low levels of contaminants in Dry Creek is not expected to pose public health hazards. Furthermore, sediment contaminant concentrations, in general, would not be expected to migrate to public recreational areas along Dry Creek (or possibly along Choccolocco Creek, downstream of the site) at levels associated with public health hazards.
The Public Health Action Plan (PHAP) for ANAD contains a description of actions taken, and those to be taken, by ATSDR, the Army, and ANAD at, and in, the vicinity of the site after completion of this public health assessment. The PHAP is designed to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from potential exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The public health actions that are completed, being implemented, or planned are as follow:
- ANAD identified TCE in one private well located southeast of the site at a level above the MCL. ANAD continued to monitor this well on a regular basis and found that subsequent TCE levels were below the MCL. ANAD provided health information and supplied bottled water to the owner of the well until confirmatory tests indicated that the levels were below the MCLs.
- ANAD installed groundwater extraction (pump-and-treat) systems in the 1990s to capture contaminated groundwater containing TCE and 1,2-DCE near the sources and to provide additional down gradient groundwater capture. ANAD is currently evaluating system improvements that would more effectively capture the DNAPL contamination.
- ANAD has closed areas (SWMUs 1, 12, 22, and 25) that may have contributed to underlying groundwater contamination and has removed contaminated soil or waste from these areas.
- ANAD has recently completed an RI/FS at the ASA in June 1998.
- ANAD will continue monitoring groundwater, conducting fault and geophysical studies and conducting an RI for off-site groundwater. These activities will provide information to determine if TCE groundwater concentrations exceed the MCL in off-site areas. Future monitoring may provide more complete information on the potential for contaminated groundwater in areas where private wells exist.
- ANAD will continue to identify new wells or previously untested private wells in the area. Once identified, ANAD will offer sampling and analysis to the private well owners. If VOCs are detected in well water, ANAD will provide bottled drinking water to the well owners. The water will then be treated (with a home water treatment unit provided by ANAD) until the water is safe to drink (SAIC, 1996).
- ANAD almost completed the removal of DNAPLs via an in-situ chemical oxidation process from SWMU 12, where some of the greatest subsurface contamination existed. ANAD will follow up with long-term groundwater monitoring.
- The Army as mandated by Congress has created a Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program to dispose of chemical munitions. An incinerator is currently being constructed in the ASA to destroy chemical munitions stored at the depot. ANAD is directing comments and questions related to this issue to Michael B. Abrams, Anniston Chemical Demilitarization Facility Office, 205-238-1652, ext. 235.
- ATSDR will review data generated by the groundwater studies and recently completed RI/FS for the ASA and modify or recommend public health actions, as needed.
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Gary Campbell, PhD
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
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