Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content

PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

VICKER'S WAREHOUSE SITE
ANDERSON, MADISON COUNTY, INDIANA


SUMMARY

The Vicker's Warehouse site is located in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. The site is madeup of two locations: the warehouse and the dump area. Battery breaking operations wereconducted at the warehouse site from 1966 until 1984. Approximately 2,500 batteries wereprocessed each day at the site. During site operations, crushed battery casings from thewarehouse were removed and placed in the dump area as fill. The fill area is approximately 100feet by 200 feet and may be as much as 60 feet deep or more.

Lead was found at the warehouse and dump area during sampling beginning in December 1994through June 1996 at levels ranging from 56,500 - 136,000 parts per million (ppm) and 870 -4,100 ppm respectively. In June of 1997, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) projected activities were completed. Activities included: excavation and stabilization oflead-contaminated soils and materials at the warehouse; excavation, backfilling, and revegetationof lead-contaminated areas at the dump area; and disposal of the stabilized soil in an approveddisposal facility. Groundwater was not impacted.

EPA and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) worked together to provide healtheducation and local contacts for the community near the warehouse and the dump area. Healthactivities included development of a site-specific fact sheet on lead and its adverse effects onhealth and providing a list of local contacts to schedule free lead screening. To date, no one fromthe targeted community has taken advantage of the free lead testing offered by the county healthdepartment.

ISDH concludes that this site currently poses no public health hazard. No evidence was foundindicating that current exposure to contaminated media is occurring, although past exposure tocontaminated soil was possible; future exposures to contaminated media are not likely to occurbecause soils have been remediated. Community concerns were addressed through healtheducation efforts conducted at the site. No community-specific health outcome data are availablethat indicate the site has had an adverse impact on human health. ISDH will review additionaldata as they become available and will work closely with the county health department to includethis community as a future target area for lead screening.


PURPOSE AND HEALTH ISSUES

Site Issues

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) received a request from the Indiana Departmentof Environmental Management (IDEM) in July 1996 to evaluate the health implications of soillead levels found at the Vicker's Warehouse site. This public health assessment focuses on themost recent data collected and subsequent health activities conducted in the community associatedwith the site.

Previous ISDH health activities conducted for this site include a health evaluation of preliminarysoil samples taken in November of 1994 (1, 2). A summary of the concerns andrecommendations, provided to IDEM in November of 1994, are listed below:

  • restrict access to the site
  • characterize the extent of lead migration onto residential properties
  • sample private wells within a 1-mile radius
  • determine the need for lead screening of children in the area

BACKGROUND

Site Visit
In August 1996, representatives from ISDH and IDEM conducted a site visit (3). The site isdivided into two areas of concern: 1) the warehouse at 1625 Ohio Avenue and 2) the dump areaalong the south bank of the White River north of the residences in the 1200 block of MapleStreet. The following observations were made during the site visit:

Warehouse

  1. The site was fenced with warning signs posted on the fence. Evidence was found that the site was being accessed at several points. The fence was broken in places, and a homemade ladder, which could allow direct entry into the warehouse building, was noted.
  2. An old truck, a pile of timbers, and some other miscellaneous debris were noted west of the south Quonset hut.
  3. A storm drain was at the far west end of the facility. The outlet point for the drain was unknown.
  4. Evidence was found that surface water run-off went from the site to the vacant property west of the warehouse site.

Dump Area

  1. Evidence of wildlife was seen on and near the site. A groundhog den was along the south fence line. Mallard ducks and a blue herron were sighted in the White River near the dump site.
  2. Battery casing materials were noted at the surface of the ground in the back yards of the residences in the dump area.
  3. A swing set was on residential property in the filled dump area.
  4. Residents were doing extensive landscaping and construction projects, which includedbuilding wooden deck-type stairways down through the dump area to the White River. These projects involved excavation of and construction in the fill material.

Since that visit, remediation of the site has occurred, and ISDH did not feel another visit was necessary.

Site Description
The Vicker's Warehouse site is located in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana. Two locationsconstitute the site: the warehouse and the dump area. (4,5)

Warehouse
The Vicker's Warehouse is located at 1625 Ohio Avenue. It is bordered on the west byresidential properties and an unoccupied commercial structure; on the north (across Ohio Avenue)by residential properties; on the east by an active retail business; and on the south by the railroadand residential properties. The closest residence to the site is located approximately 25 feet westof the site boundary.

The warehouse is located on an irregularly shaped property approximately 1.5 acres in size. Thetopography of the site is relatively flat with a slight slope toward the west and north. A largewarehouse/office building and two Quonset huts are on the property. The battery breakingoperations appear to have been conducted in the southern Quonset hut on the site.

Initially the site was operated by the Southern Lead Company of Indiana and owned by theSouthern Lead Company of Dallas, Texas. In 1968, Southern Lead became Murph Metals, Inc.,and was purchased by RSR Corporation. In 1984, Murph Metals, Inc., became Quemetco MetalsLtd., which remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of RSR Corporation. Battery breaking operationswere conducted at the warehouse site from 1966 until 1984. Approximately 2,500 batteries wereprocessed each day at the site. The warehouse site is currently owned by a couple fromAnderson, Indiana.

Dump Area
Also considered part of the site is a disposal/dump location approximately mile northeast of thewarehouse on the south bank of the White River (behind the residences in the 1200 block ofMaple Street). The dump is a large fill area between the residential structures and the WhiteRiver. The residences are located on a bluff above the river. The back yards of the residenceshave been extended toward the river by placing fill over the bluff. The bluff slopes steeply north,toward White River.

During operation of the site, crushed battery casings from the warehouse were removed andplaced in the dump area. Additionally, waste material from other sources may have been disposedin this area. The fill area is approximately 100 feet by 200 feet and may be as much as 60 feetdeep or more. The total volume of battery casings and other materials of concern is not known. The fill extends within approximately 20-30 feet of the White River.

The fill material consists of soil and battery casings and other miscellaneous mixed material. This fill material has been used to extend the elevated portions of the back yards of someresidences on Maple Street. The back yards of these properties extend to the White River. Structures have been erected in the actual fill material. The structures include decks and stepsdescending to the river. Additionally, considerable landscaping/soil movement has occurred insome of the fill material.

Battery casing material was located at the base of the bluff within a few feet of the White River. This material appeared to have been washed down the slope by surface run-off. Immediately westof the dump area is an unnamed creek flowing into the river (6, 7).

Site Hydrogeology
The hydrogeology of the two parts of the site is somewhat different. The warehouse site islocated in an up-slope area. The aquifers which underlay this area are covered by significantamounts of soil, including compact glacial till. The aquifers in this area are a buried sand andgravel aquifer and a carbonate bedrock aquifer located in the Silurian limestone/dolomiteformation. The dump site location on the banks of the river is very close to, if not above, thesurficial sand and gravel aquifer located along the river course (8).

Other areas of Interest
Directly across White River, north of the dump area, is Edgewood Park. This is a city parkmaintained by the Anderson Parks and Recreation Department. The park includes recreationalplay equipment.

White River is a recreational and scenic asset in Anderson. Recreational activities on the riverinclude sport fishing. No heavy metal-related consumption advisories for fish have been placed onthe main stem of White River in Madison County (9). Although some potential exists for leadfrom the site to have washed into the White River, no sediment or biota data are available for thissection of the river. The closest downstream fish tissue samples did not have appreciable levels oflead in them (10).

Vicker's Warehouse is a CERCLIS listed facility. During September 1994, IDEM conducted asite inspection of the Vicker's Warehouse site. IDEM representatives collected 15 soil samplesfrom the warehouse and dump locations. Chemical analyses of the samples indicated that leadwas present at the site at levels ranging from 200 to 82,000 parts per million (ppm) total lead(table 1). Metals other than lead were not detected at levels exceeding comparison values duringthis sampling event.

IDEM conducted an immediate removal action to secure the site by constructing a fence. IDEMsubsequently requested assistance from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), RegionV, to evaluate site conditions for removal action under the Comprehensive EnvironmentalResponse, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

In December 1994, EPA and IDEM conducted a site assessment at the Vicker's Warehouse site. During the site assessment, EPA collected six soil samples: three from the warehouse site andthree from the dump site. All six samples were analyzed for total metals. Analytic results of thesamples from the warehouse location indicated lead levels present from 56,500 to 92,000 ppmtotal lead. Samples from the dump area contained lead levels from 275 to 4,100 ppm (table 1).

Subsequent to the EPA Site Assessment, an Action Memorandum was issued by EPA Region Vin April of 1996. The Action Memorandum noted that the threats to public health presented bythe site necessitated a time-critical action to remove the contaminants at the site. The ActionMemorandum noted that contaminants at both locations were considered part of the site andcould lead to human exposure. The memorandum also noted the possibility for off-site migrationof contaminants through wind blown dust or surface run-off during a rainstorm (5).

In June 1996, site characterization sampling was done at both the warehouse site and the dumpsite. Analytic results from the sampling indicated the presence of soil lead levels in the warehousearea as high as 136,000 ppm. Analytic results from the dump site indicated the presence of soillead levels as high as 870 ppm. (6).

Table 1.

Analytic Results for Vicker's Warehouse
Total Lead Range
(ppm)
Sample DateSample Description
200- 82,0009/1/94Warehouse & Dump AreaInitial IDEM Invest.
56,500 - 92,00012/7/94WarehouseSite Assessment
275 - 4,10012/7/94Dump areaSite Assessment
11 - 136,0006/27 &
6/28/96
WarehouseSite Characterization
12- 8706/27 &
6/28/96
Dump areaSite Characterization
100-1605/28/97Two residential properties near warehouse site

The data presented in the tables have been reviewed and found to meet QA/QC applicablestandards.

In August 1996 and January 1997, EPA produced a Phase I and Phase II report (respectively)which explained the results of sampling and recommended the following actions:

Phase I

  • lead contaminated soils and materials surrounding the Quonset huts be excavated and stabilizedon-site
  • walls of the south Quonset Hut be decontaminated
  • lead affected debris inside the south Quonset Hut be removed
  • three areas with lead contamination at the dump area be excavated, backfilled, and revegetated

Phase II

  • develop a specific plan to excavate the lead contaminated soil
  • stabilize the lead present in contaminated soil on the warehouse property
  • dispose of the stabilized soil in an approved disposal facility

Actual work was completed June 1997.

In April 1997, the EPA project manager contacted ISDH for assistance in providing healtheducation and local contacts for the community near the warehouse and the dump area. ISDHcreated a site-specific fact sheet with information on the possible health effects resulting from leadexposure and with local contacts to contact for free lead screening and about additional healthconcerns. The fact sheet was distributed door-to-door by EPA and the local health department.

Demographics

The warehouse is in a mixed residential/commercial area 6 blocks east of downtown Anderson. The dump site is in a residential neighborhood directly behind homes on Maple Street.

Anderson is in Madison County, Indiana. Madison County has a total population ofapproximately 130,000 people. Of the 130,000 people, about 10,000 people are black, and 1,100are non-white/ non-black members of a minority group. Approximately 28,000 women of child-bearing age live in Madison County, and about 10,000 children are under the age of 6 (11).

Within the immediate vicinity of the warehouse site (500 meters), the total population iscomprised of approximately 9,700 people. Of those 9,700 people, approximately 600 are childrenless than 6 years old, and about 2,700 are women of childbearing age. Many of the women ofchild-bearing age residing near the site are students at Anderson University. Other populationgroups represented in the area near the site include approximately 425 black individuals; 80 non-white/non-black; and approximately 300 households headed by women with children under theage of 18.

Within 1,500 meters of the warehouse site, the total population is about 21,500 people. Of those21,500 people, approximately 1,700 are children under 6 years old, and approximately 5,200 arewomen of childbearing age.


Next Section          Table of Contents

  
 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

A-Z Index

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #