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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

WELDON SPRING ORDNANCE WORKS
WELDON SPRING, ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MISSOURI



CONCLUSIONS

Weldon Spring Training Area (WSTA)

  • Areas onsite have soil contaminants, predominantly nitroaromatics and lead, at levels of concern. Asbestos is also associated with derelict structures and at the site of razed buildings. Derelict structures still represent potential physical hazards. Access to these areas is controlled by fencing and institutional controls.
  • Buried wastewater pipelines are physical hazards to remedial workers because there is the potential for explosion during excavation or handling operations.
  • The OU-1 Record of Decision (not finalized at the time of publication of this document) describes incineration of contaminated soils as the preferred alternative described in the proposed plan for soil remediation. Incineration is probably the most effective way to destroy the TNT and DNT present. At present, insufficient information on the design, operation and location of the proposed incinerator is available to ATSDR to estimate whether impacts may occur in the local community. However, a properly designed and operated incinerator can be run in a manner that is protective of public health.
  • Groundwater is contaminated under the WSTA. Institutional controls have eliminated the use of contaminated groundwater as a drinking water source.

Conservation Areas

  • Derelict structures and disposal areas (including former burning grounds) exist in the conservation areas; however adequate institutional controls are in place to restrict public access.
  • Little data is available concerning contamination of game and fish in the wildlife areas. However, there appears to be little likelihood that game animals are exposed to or ingest appreciable amounts of soil contaminants. Also, surface water and sediment contamination in the wildlife areas is at such low levels, in the few cases where contaminants have been detected, that significant exposure and uptake in fish is unlikely. For these reasons, consumption of game and fish collected from the wildlife areas is not a public health problem.
  • Isolated springs within the conservation areas are contaminated with low levels of nitroaromatic contamination. The potential for frequent and regular consumption is low, therefore it is unlikely that the public could be exposed to contaminants at levels of concern. Localized areas have soil contamination, predominantly nitroaromatics and lead. Access by the public to these areas is restricted by fencing.

Offsite

  • Persons were exposed to small amounts of nitroaromatics in drinking water at the Twin Island Lakes Campground in the past. For the time period prior to 1988, levels of contamination and length of time of exposure were not documented, and it is not possible to estimate whether adverse health effects due to exposure were possible. However, in analyses from 1988 to the present, levels of contaminants found in this water were not high enough to be of health concern. The contaminated wells were taken out of service when the contaminants were detected. An alternate source of drinking water has been supplied.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; also known as Superfund) as amended, requires ATSDR to conduct needed follow-up health actions in communities living near hazardous waste sites. To identify appropriate actions, ATSDR created the Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP). HARP has evaluated the data and information contained in the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works - Weldon Spring Training Area Public Health Assessment for appropriate public health actions. HARP determined that health education and health studies follow-up actions are not warranted. As discussed above, there do not appear to have been exposures in the past which resulted in public health problems, and there are no current exposures.

Weldon Spring Training Area (WSTA)

  • Nitroaromatic contamination is widespread throughout soil within WSTA. Access should be restricted to all areas with known contamination until remediation is completed.
  • WSTA areas with physical hazards should continue to be evaluated for safety considerations prior to use in troop training activities. In cases where such hazards exist, commanders should be apprised of the locations of these hazards.
  • The buried pipelines and other physical hazards should be removed using appropriate safety precautions.
  • Asbestos contamination is widespread in and around derelict or razed structures. The hazard presented by this asbestos to people onsite should be thoroughly evaluated and mitigated. Proper abatement procedures should be used in soil remediation activities in the areas considered contaminated by asbestos.
  • ATSDR will work with EPA to review and comment on design and operating conditions of the incinerator, during the remedial design process, to assure that the final conditions are protective of public health.

Conservation Areas

  • Public awareness should be maintained regarding the very low levels of contamination present in fishing lakes in the vicinity of the sites. The state should continue to educate the public, through its state-wide advisories, concerning any information available on contamination in fish. In light of the variation in results of the fish data existing for lakes 34, 35 and 36, ATSDR recommends that additional fish samples be collected to confirm that there is no current metals contamination. Metals analyses should be performed in fish collected from other heavily fished lakes.
  • Since nitroaromatics are not a problem in Busch Conservation Area lakes, they are likely not a problem in surface water to the south. However, ATSDR recommends that DOE samples collected during ongoing remedial investigations at Little Femme Osage be analyzed for metals and nitroaromatics contamination to confirm that there is no problem in waters to the south.
  • Consumption of potentially contaminated spring water within the conservation areas should be restricted through the implementation of institutional controls, such as educational materials provided to visitors, and warning signs at affected springs.
  • Nitroaromatic and lead contamination are present in localized portions of the conservation areas. Access to all areas with known chemical contamination should continue to be restricted until soil remediation is completed.
  • Measures should be continued to protect the public from the physical hazards presented by derelict structures and debris remaining in place throughout the former WSOW areas outside Army and DOE control.

Offsite

  • The state should continue to monitor private wells for site-related chemicals. The present sampling and analysis methods are appropriate.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS

The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Weldon Spring Former Army Ordnance Works NPL site contains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or other governmental agencies at and in the vicinity of the site subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment. The purpose of PHAP is to ensure that this public health assessment not only identifies public health hazards, but provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. Included is a commitment on the part of ATSDR to followup on this plan. The public health actions to be implemented are as follows:

Actions Planned

  1. ATSDR will continue to coordinate with Army, EPA and state agencies to assure that recommendations are implemented.
  2. The state of Missouri will continue to monitor private groundwater wells in the vicinity of WSTA.
  3. ATSDR will review the remedial activities at WSTA, to evaluate the proposed remediations in relation to protection of public health. ATSDR comments, and recommendations, as appropriate, will be provided to EPA, the Army and State of Missouri.
  4. ATSDR will continue the development of a public health assessment for public health issues regarding the DOE NPL site facilities at Weldon Spring.

ATSDR will reevaluate and modify the Public Health Action Plan as needed. New relevant data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Jeff Kellam, M.S.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

Lorna L. Bozeman, M.S.
Environmental Health Scientist
Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation

ATSDR Regional Representative:

David Parker
ATSDR, EPA Region VII
Kansas City, KS

REFERENCES
  1. International Technology Corporation, 1992, Final Remedial Investigation Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District.
  2. U.S. Department of the Army, U.S. Army Engineer Center and Fort Leonard Wood, 1991, Briefing Outline for ATSDR Visit Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, February 6-8, 1991.
  3. U.S. Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, 1993, Proposed Plan - Former Weldon Spring Ordnance Works - Weldon Spring Missouri - Operable Unit 1: Soils and Pipeline, December 1, 1993.
  4. U.S. Department of the Army, 1992, Estimated Health Risk from Drinking Water at Twin Island Lake Resort, Weldon Spring, MO, Unpublished letter, July, 6, 1992.
  5. Kleeschulte, M.J. and L.F. Emmett, 1986, Compilation and Preliminary Interpretation of Hydrologic Data for Weldon Spring Radioactive Waste Disposal Sites, St. Charles County Missouri, A Progress Report, U.S. Geological Survey.
  6. International Technology Corporation, 1993, Final Feasibility Study Former Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, Department of the Army, Corps Engineer Kansas City District, July 1993.
  7. U.S. Department of the Army, Daubel, K., 1994, Former Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, Personal Communication, April 7, 1994.
  8. Weldon Spring Training Area Correspondence to ATSDR, Daubel, K., 1994, Review Comments on Initial Release Public Health Assessment for Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, November, 15, 1994.
  9. MK-Ferguson Company and Jacobs Engineering Group, 1988, Radiological and Chemical Uptake by Selected Biota at the Weldon Spring Site. November 1988.
  10. a name="_1_61">International Technology Corporation, 1994, 1993: Fourth Quarterly Groundwater Monitoring Report, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, January 1994.
  11. Missouri Department of Health 1992, Letter to ATSDR and Attachment, August 6, 1992.
  12. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Karl Daubel, Department of the Army, WSOW site Office, February 28, 1994.
  13. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Gale Carlson, Missouri Department of Health, July 11, 1994.
  14. Missouri Department of Health, 1986, Report on Childhood Leukemia in St. Charles County (1970-1983), July 17, 1986.
  15. Missouri Department of Health, 1994, Letter to Ms. Meredith Hunter, July 28, 1994.
  16. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, ATSDR/Boston University Meeting, August 18, 1994.
  17. U.S. Army Engineer Center, 1993, Environmental Program and Briefing Package, April 1993.
  18. International Technology Corporation, 1993, Final Remedial Investigation Weldon Spring Training Area, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, Volume I.
  19. Integrated Risk Information System Database, 1993, 2,4,6 Trinitrotoluene, CASRN 118-96-7, July 19, 1993.
  20. ATSDR, 1991, Impact on Public Health of Lead-Contaminated Soil at Superfund Sites, Atlanta, October, 1991.
  21. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Karl Daubel, WSTA, November, 9, 1994.
  22. ATSDR, 1993, Public Health Assessment, Naval Education and Training Center, Newport County, Rhode Island, July 1993.
  23. U.S. Army Corps of Enginners, Kansas City District, 1993, Weldon Springs Ordnance Works - Project News, vol. 2, number 2, November, 1993.
  24. ATSDR, 1994, Internal Record of Communication, Betty Willis, February 4, 1994.
  25. Missouri Department of Conservation, 1994, August A. Busch Wildlife Areas, unpublished report, April 6, 1994.
  26. Missouri Department of Conservation, 1991, Recreational Use of Weldon Spring Wildlife Area, 1989-1990, June 1991.
  27. ATSDR Record of Communication, Gale Carlson, Missouri Department of Health, September 7, 1994.
  28. Fishel, V.C. and C.C. Williams, 1944, The Contamination of Ground and Surface Waters by Liquid Waste from the Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, U.S. Geological Survey, Lawrence, Kansas.
  29. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Karl Daubel, Department of the Army, WSOW Site Office, February 22, 1994.
  30. International Technology Corporation, 1992, Final Baseline Risk Assessment Weldon Spring Ordnance Works, Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, November, 1992.
  31. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1994, Tapia, C., Correspondence to ATSDR, November 22, 1994.
  32. U.S. Department of Energy, 1994, Environmental Monitoring Plan, Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Report, January 1994.
  33. U.S. Department of the Army, USATHAMA, 1977, Installation Assessment of Weldon Spring Training Area, St. Charles, Missouri, Report 109, April 1977.
  34. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Gale Carlson, Missouri Department of Health, March 7, 1994.
  35. U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, 1989, Report of Analysis, Analysis of Waters in Proximity to Weldon Spring Missouri for Nitroaromatic Compounds, July 1989.
  36. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Karl Daubel, Department of the Army, WSOW Site Office, January 24, 1994.
  37. Missouri Department of Health, 1991, Unpublished Letter.
  38. U.S Army Environmental Hygiene Agency, 1994, Draft Health Risk Assessment from Consumption of Deer Muscle and Liver from Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, February 1994.
  39. Missouri Department of Health, 1994, Unpublished letter.
  40. Shugart, L.R., W.H. Griest, E. Tan, C. Guzman, J.E. Caton, C.H. Ho, and B.A., Tompkins, 1990, TNT Metabolites in Animal Tissues, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Final Report, ORNL/M-1336, December, 1990.
  41. Liu, D. H., Spanggord, R. J., Bailey, H. C., Javiz, H. S., Jones, D. C. L.. Toxicity of TNT Wastewaters to Aquatic Organisms, Final Report, vol. 1, March, 1983.
  42. Hazardous Substances Data Bank, 1994, Online National Library of Medicine, Trinitrobenzene (TNB), March 2, 1994.
  43. ATSDR, 1994, Internal Record of Communication, Steve Haness, March 2, 1994.
  44. Shugart, L.R. 1991, Dinitrotoluene in Deer Tissues, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Final Report, ORNL/M-1765, September, 1991.
  45. ATSDR, 1989, Health Consultation: Fish Data, Weldon Spring Site, St. Charles County, Missouri, April 24, 1989.
  46. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Cecilia Tapia, EPA Region 7, February, 14, 1994.
  47. ATSDR, 1993, Draft Toxicological Profile for 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene.
  48. ATSDR, 1993, Draft Toxicological Profile for 1,3-Dinitrobenzene and 1,3,5-Trinitrobenzene.
  49. ATSDR, 1993, Health Consultation Record of Communication, Weldon Spring Fish Samples, February 10, 1993.
  50. ATSDR, 1994, Record of Communication, Gale Carlson, Missouri Department of Health, December, 12, 1994.
  51. ATSDR, 1992, Public Health Assessment for Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant, Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska, September 1992.
  52. ATSDR, 1990, ATSDR Public Health Statement: Lead, June, 1990.
  53. ATSDR, 1989, ATSDR Public Health Statement: PCBs, June 1989.
  54. ASTDR, 1990, ATSDR Public Health Statement: Asbestos, December, 1990.
  55. ATSDR, 1995, Record of Communication, Karl Daubel, Department of the Army, WSOW Site Office, February 21, 1995.

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