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PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

WILLIAMS AIR FORCE BASE
MESA, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA


CONCLUSIONS

Based on a thorough evaluation of available environmental information, ATSDR has reached the following conclusions.

  1. Soil at the Former Skeet Range does not pose a current public health hazard because people are unable to access areas that contain high lead concentrations (greater than 400 milligrams per kilogram [mg/kg]).
  2. Future exposures to soil at the Former Skeet Range will not pose a public health hazard because corrective activities will (1) reduce contaminant concentrations and (2) ensure that exposures to areas contaminated with lead at levels greater than 400 mg/kg are prevented. An Operation and Maintenance plan will outline provisions to ensure that the cap remains intact. To provide further insurance of the safety of future residents, ATSDR prepared an educational fact sheet that will inform residents of the area's former use and actions being taken to clean up the area.
  3. Soil at the Former Skeet Range did not pose a health hazard in the past. Past exposures to lead-containing soil at the Former Skeet Range are unlikely because the area was covered by lawns, foundations, roadways, and sidewalks. Because there was no continued and repeated contact with lead shot in subsurface soil, past exposures did not pose a public health hazard. ATSDR can not conclusively state that no exposures occurred in the past. If exposures did occur when residents were digging or gardening in their yards, exposures would have been infrequent and of short duration. Such intermittent exposures are unlikely to be associated with a health hazard.
  4. The other 31 IRP sites pose no public health hazard or no apparent public health Hazard.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

The public health action plan (PHAP) for Williams Air Force Base (Williams AFB) contains a description of actions taken and those to be taken at and in the vicinity of the base subsequent to the completion of this public health assessment (PHA). The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this PHA not only identifies potential and ongoing public health hazards but also provides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure to hazardous substances in the environment. The following public health actions at Williams AFB are completed, ongoing, or planned:

Completed Actions

    Former Skeet Range

  1. Samples have been collected to determine the extent of lead contamination at the Former Skeet Range.
  2. Upon first becoming aware of the lead problem, the base personnel erected a fence around the entire South Desert Village. After contamination at the site was better delineated, fencing was limited to those areas with lead contamination greater than 400 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg).
  3. ATSDR prepared an educational fact sheet that will inform future residents about the area's former use and actions being taken to clean up the area.

    The Other 31 IRP Sites

  1. Base personnel used one or more of the following approaches to remediate areas with soil contamination: soil vapor extraction (SVE) treatment, excavation, and/or capping.
  2. Base personnel have used a pump and treat system, soil vapor extraction, and natural attenuation to reduce concentrations of groundwater contaminants at the Liquid Fuels Storage Area (ST-12).
  3. The findings of this PHA were reviewed by the other Divisions of ATSDR and no follow-up health activities are recommended for Williams AFB at this time. If additional information becomes available that may indicate a public health risk, this information will be evaluated by ATSDR.

Ongoing and Planned Actions

    Former Skeet Range

  1. As agreed in the April 22, 1997, consensus statement, the following activities will be conducted for those portions of the Former Skeet Range with lead contamination greater than 400 mg/kg:
    • The top 6 inches of accessible soil (soil that is not covered by foundations, roadways, or sidewalks) will be removed and replaced with clean fill.
    • Future use of the entire capped area will be restricted to non-residential use.
    • Provisions will be made to ensure that the cap remains intact. An operation and maintenance plan will be drafted to address cap monitoring and cap repair. Additionally, future residents will be notified that they are not allowed to disturb the cap.
    • A plan will be drafted to identify clean-up measures that will be necessary if the cap is disturbed in the future.

    The Other 31 IRP Sites

  1. Remedial activities, further characterization, and/or maintenance activities will continue at a number of Williams AFB's Installation Restoration Program sites: the Landfill (LF-04), the Liquid Fuels Storage Area (ST-12), the Fire Protection Training Area (FT-02), the Firing Range/Skeet Range (Site SS-20), and the Old Pesticide/Paint Shop (Site SS-17).

PREPARERS OF REPORT

Amanda D. Stoddard, MPH
Environmental Health Scientist
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


REFERENCES

AFBCA. 1994. Air Force Base Conversion Agency. Final record of decision, Operable Unit 1, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. April 1994.

AFBCA. 1997a. Air Force Base Conversion Agency. Communication with Chuck Helms (AFBCA). July 23, 1997.

AFBCA. 1997b. Air Force Base Conversion Agency. Communication with Chuck Helms (AFBCA). July 24, 1997.

AFBCA. 1997c. Air Force Base Conversion Agency. Consensus statement No.97-02 agreement on skeet range/South Desert Village (SS-19). April 22, 1997.

AFBCA. 1997d. Air Force Base Conversion Agency. Communications with Chuck Helms (AFBCA). August 13, 1997.

ATSDR. 1996. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR record of activity. Communications with Chuck Helms (AFBCA) and Mike Breazeale (AFCEE/ERB). July 11, 1996.

ATSDR. 1997a. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ATSDR's trip report for the February 1997 site visit to Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. February 26, 1997.

ATSDR. 1997b. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Soil comparison values. 1997.

ATSDR. 1997c. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Drinking water comparison values. 1997.

ATSDR. 1997d. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Health guidelines comparison values. 1997.

EPA. 1992. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response. Superfund record of decision, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. December 1992.

IT. 1989. International Technology Corporation. Remedial investigation/feasibility study, final implementation plan, Volume 1. July 1989.

IT. 1990. International Technology Corporation. Community relations plan for the remedial investigation/feasibility study at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. July 1990.

IT. 1993. International Technology Corporation. Final facilities assessment report, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. March 1993.

IT. 1996a. International Technology Corporation. Final record of decision, Operable Unit 3, Williams Air Force Base. May 1996.

IT. 1996b. International Technology Corporation. Draft remedial investigation report, Operable Unit 4, volume 1, investigational results, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. April 1996.

IT. 1996c. International Technology Corporation. Preliminary draft record of decision, Operable Unit 5, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. August 1996.

IT. 1996d. IT Corporation. Final draft remedial investigation report, Operable Unit 4, Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, appendices E-1 and E-2. August 1996.

USAF. 1996a. United States Air Force. Environmental update, Williams Air Force Base, volume II, issue 1, November 1996.

USAF. 1996b. United States Air Force. Williams Air Force Base installation restoration program fact sheet number 14. November 1996.


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