PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT

NAVAL AIR FACILITY, ADAK
(a/k/a ADAK NAVAL AIR STATION)
ADAK, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS CENSUS, ALASKA


SUMMARY

Adak Island is located in the Andreanof Island group of the Aleutian Islands, the string of rugged, volcanic islands (archipelago) curving 1,200 mi (1,900 km) west from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula. These islands separate the Bering Sea from the Pacific Ocean. While the entire island of Adak is currently owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of Interior, the former Naval Air Facility, (NAF) Adak, occupies land on the northern portion of Adak Island. The southern portion of Adak Island is uninhabited.

The base operationally closed in March 1997 and most Navy personnel left Adak by April 1997 (URS 1997a). The last Navy personnel left Adak in March 2002. The Adak Reuse Corporation is performing the infrastructure operation under lease from the Navy until the property is transferred. During its recent operating status, the Naval Air Facility was responsible for air operations, base management, utility and infrastructure operations. Other Navy operations on the island included conducting oceanographic research and communications functions.

Naval Air Facility, Adak was listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Exiting ATSDR Website National Priorities List (Superfund List) in May 1994, based on indications that there was contamination in multiple areas on-base which could affect people, wildlife, and the environment. Since 1942, military operations at Adak have resulted in municipal and industrial waste generation and disposal. Wartime and post wartime preparedness training exercises, invasion deterrent tactics, hazardous materials handling and storage, and ordnance demilitarization have lead to additional environmental contamination and physical hazards that were present on Adak Island.

Since ATSDR's initial involvement in 1994, The Navy has done a remarkable job removing or reducing the numerous hazards on the former military reservation at Adak Island. With the institutional controls in place, people can now safely inhabit and work on the island.

From the data and information ATSDR has gathered from site visits, document reviews, and discussions with stakeholders, we identified 12 situations where people could be exposed to chemical contamination or physical hazards; three of those present a public health hazard, one lacks enough data or information to assess the hazard, and eight present no public health hazard.

Public Health Hazards: Three exposure situations pose a public health hazard and require intervention in order to reduce the hazard. They are (1) exposure to lead in the tap water in Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay homes containing lead plumbing, and (2) physical hazards posed by debris, Rommel stakes, and possible unexploded ordnance throughout the downtown area and (3) the remote areas.

Lead released from plumbing or solder into tap water at Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay could pose a hazard to children and the fetuses of pregnant women. Education that recommends flushing the tap water lines and using cold water for cooking and infant formula could considerably reduce the hazard. Educational material is given to all adults coming on base when they receive the key to their quarters. ATSDR would like the currently distributed educational material to include recommendations to only use cold water for making formula and reconstituting juices and cooking. This is most applicable for families with potentially pregnant women and children.

Although the likelihood is extremely low that people could be injured or killed by physical hazards posed by debris, Rommel stakes, and possible unexploded ordnance during routine daily activities potential current and future hazards still exist and cannot be entirely eliminated for people recreating in the downtown and remote areas. The Navy has thoroughly investigated and removed all known Rommel stakes and unexploded ordnance from the downtown areas, and many in the remote areas and greatly reduced the hazards to people walking, hiking, fishing, playing, and digging. To reduce the likelihood even more of people handing explosive and physical hazards, the Navy initiated and continues to educate people on the possible appearance of hazardous and explosive item and the procedure for notifying the correct officials.

Indeterminate Public Health Hazards: One human exposure situation poses an indeterminate public health hazard due to suspected contamination and lack of data and information presented for ATSDR to assess whether or not there is a hazard.

Indoor air sampling for JP-5 related contaminants has not been conducted in certain Sandy Cove Housing Area homes located above JP-5 fuel leaks that have saturated the soils and seeped into underground water. The groundwater table is very shallow in this area and homes are located just a few feet above these soils and water. JP-5 vapors may have migrated into the homes and could potentially pose a public health hazard to people living in the homes. Indoor air sampling for components known to be present in JP-5 such as total petroleum hydrocarbons, and n-alkanes used to "fingerprint" the JP-5, is needed to determine if the air inside homes is safe. Children, especially those exposed in utero, could develop neurological impairment if exposed to JP-5 in indoor air over long periods of time.

No Public Health Hazard: From the data ATSDR has reviewed, six human exposure situations pose no public health hazard because, although people are or can be exposed to contaminants, the levels are too low to result in adverse health effects. They are as follows: (1) children exposed to soil in yards and neighborhood playgrounds in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View, (2) workers and residents exposed to asbestos in building materials in schools, homes, and workplaces, (3) residents, workers, and visitors participating in recreational activities at or near Metals Landfill, (4) people eating resident fish and shellfish from Kuluk Bay, (5) people eating resident fish and shellfish fillets from Sweeper Cove and Sweeper Creek, (6) children exposed to sediments in Helmet Creek, 7) workers and residents exposed to lead-based paint and asbestos from recycling scavenged materials found in unused structures and 8) people eating fish and shellfish from Clam Lagoon, Andre Lake and Finger Bay.


INTRODUCTION

Former Naval Air Facility, Adak is a base closure site with some information available as to proposed reuse. ATSDR reviewed the proposed reuse scenarios. We have organized this report to provide safety information to current and future residents specific for common activities. Section I discusses hazards related to activities associated with the "downtown" area. The hazards associated with everyday unavoidable activities are presented in Subsection A. Section B presents our evaluation of exposures in the downtown area that could occur frequently through recreational activities. In Section II, we discuss exposures outside "downtown" in remote area that are likely to occur infrequently and which require active interaction with the environment such as fishing and hiking. We have evaluated the potential areas of contamination identified to date by the Navy, EPA, and ADEC. Additionally, we discuss public health concerns expressed to ATSDR by concerned citizens.

ATSDR relied on available documentation and relevant discussions for our human health evaluation. The recommendations presented are specific for each reuse scenario and the population which may be impacted. We present our concerns for the protection of human health in all reuse scenarios due to the possibility that conditions such as roles and responsibilities for institutional controls, land transfer, land or building reuse, and contaminant discovery may change (URS 1997c). A list of the documents ATSDR has reviewed for the preparation of this public health assessment is included in the Literature Reviewed section of this report. Although ATSDR reviewed the sampling from various media and areas of contamination, this report focuses on the media with which people will come in contact and the media which present significant health implications. ATSDR does not evaluate occupational exposures such as those occurring in industrial buildings, power plants, or utility trenches which come under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In this document, Naval Air Facility, Adak represents the northern portion of Adak Island used as the military reservation formerly called Naval Air Station (NAS). For the purposes of this document, Naval Air Facility, Adak will represent the Adak Naval Complex, which contains the Naval Air Facility, Naval Facility (NAVFAC), and Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA).

The downtown area refers to the Navy's designation of the downtown area - Parcel 1 and 2, the developed area that is currently being used and which is being considered for reuse. Downtown includes the airfield, port facilities, light industrial, administrative, schools, clinic, commercial, and residential areas. Remote areas include any area outside the downtown area (URS 1997c).

Table 1 - Summary of Public Health Issues, Conclusions and Recommendations Identified at NAF, Adak
   I. Exposure in the Downtown Area:
      A. Unavoidable Daily Activities - Living - Passive Exposures

Public Health Issue

Time frame

Exposure Activity

ATSDR Conclusion Category

Conclusions

Recommendations/Planned Actions

A1. Residents (children and pregnant women) exposed to lead in tap water in Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay homes. Current and Future Exposure Drinking tap water or ingesting any food item cooked or made with tap water Public Health Hazard Sampling data show that water allowed to reside in drinking water taps for 6 hours contained elevated levels of lead above the EPA action level in some drinking water taps. Flushing taps prior to use greatly reduces the hazard. Currently distributed educational material should be changed to include recommendations to only use cold water for making formula and reconstituting juices and cooking.

If the former day care center is opened as a day care center in the future, the party responsible for the Lead and Copper Rule compliance should test the tap water in that facility at least biannually for lead and copper levels.

A2. Residents (adults and children) possibly exposed to JP-5 in indoor air in Sandy Cove homes. Potential Current and Future Exposure Living in home located above shallow groundwater plume Indeterminate Public Health Hazard Sampling data is inadequate to determine if people are being exposed to JP-5 fuel related contaminants and their breakdown products in indoor air. The Navy should sample indoor air in Sandy Cove to determine if JP-5 components, such as total petroleum hydrocarbons, and n-alkanes used to "fingerprint" the JP-5, have migrated into the living space.
A3. Children exposed to soil in yards and neighborhood playgrounds in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View. Current Future Exposure Playing in the dirt in yards and playgrounds in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View. No Public Health Hazard Aerial photographs taken over the years since after WWII show no indication that the land was used for hazardous material operations. None
A4. Workers and residents exposed to asbestos in building materials in schools, homes, and workplaces. Current and Future Exposure Working and living in buildings and homes in the downtown area No Apparent Health Hazard Asbestos present in homes and workplaces not a hazard unless deteriorated or disturbed. None


Table 1 - Summary of Public Health Issues, Conclusions and Recommendations Identified at NAF, Adak (Cont.)
   I. Exposure in the Downtown Area
      B. Recreational and Construction Activities - Active Exposures - Walking, Hiking, Fishing, Eating Fish, Playing, Digging, and Excavating

Public Health Issue

Time frame

Exposure Activity

ATSDR Conclusion Category

Conclusions

Recommendations/ Planned Actions

B1. Residents, workers, and visitors (adults and children) contacting physical hazards (explosives, and Rommel stakes) throughout the downtown area. Current and Future Encounters Walking, Hiking, Fishing, Playing, Digging, and Excavating in the downtown area Public Health Hazard Although the likelihood of people being injured or killed by unexploded ordnance materials, or Rommel stakes during routine daily activities is extremely low, potential current and future hazards still exist and cannot be entirely eliminated for people recreating in the downtown area. Because of the exposed surface debris on NORPAC Hill, the Navy should conduct surface removal action of the debris in the area within 40 feet of each side of the road ascending NORPAC Hill for workers who need access.
B2. Residents, workers, and visitors (adults and children) participating in recreational activities at or near Metals Landfill (Site SWMU 13). Current and Future Exposure Walking, Hiking, Fishing, Playing, Digging and Excavating on or near Metals Landfill No Apparent Public Health Hazard Metals Landfill (Site SWMU 13) currently poses no apparent public health hazard to residents, workers, and visitors participating in recreational activities at or near the landfill. Future monitoring at Metals Landfill until 2003 includes evaluation of depth of soil cap, analysis of groundwater, surface water seeps/leachate where noted, and marine tissue. To increase the probability of finding surface water seeps/leachate, ATSDR recommends seep samples be collected in the early summer or late spring when the soil is more saturated.
B3. People (subsistence consumers) eating contaminated resident fish and shellfish from Kuluk Bay. Current and Future Exposure Subsistence consumers of shellfish No Apparent Public Health Hazard Contaminant levels including aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, dieldrin, PCBs, and lead, present in rock sole, rock greenling, Pacific halibut, Pacific cod, and blue mussels from the intertidal areas of Kuluk Bay currently present no apparent public health hazard to recreational or subsistence consumers. Provisions for landfill erosion and tidal surges during storms to degrade landfill releasing contaminants into Kuluk Bay have not been addressed. To ensure that contaminant levels do not increase, future seafood monitoring in Kuluk Bay (scheduled until 2003) should not be limited solely to PCBs, but include analysis for methylmercury. and inorganic constituents especially aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and lead.

Seafood sampling should be included in the Superfund Comprehensive Five-Year Review every five years for 20 years. Analytes should include semivolatile compounds, methylmercury, ordnance compounds, specific PCB congeners, pesticides, and inorganics.

B4. People (subsistence consumers) eating contaminated seafood from Sweeper Cove and Sweeper Creek. Current and Future Exposure Subsistence consumers of resident fish and shellfish No Apparent Public Health Hazard ATSDR determined that contaminant levels in fish were too low to cause harmful health effects for people who eat fish fillets recreationally or for subsistence from Sweeper Cove and Creek. Whole fish samples showed slightly elevated contaminant levels. None
B5. Children potentially exposed to contaminated sediments in Helmet Creek. Potential - Future Exposure Children playing in sediments. Incidental ingestion. No Apparent Public Health Hazard According to the Navy, sediments in Helmet Creek downgradient of Roberts Landfill were collected in 1993 and 1996 and "indicate that sediments in Helmet Creek are not contaminated". None.


Table 1 - Summary of Public Health Issues, Conclusions and Recommendations Identified at NAF, Adak (Continued)
II. Exposure Outside the Downtown Area

Public Health Issue

Time frame

Exposure Activity

ATSDR Conclusion Category

Conclusions

Recommendations/ Planned Actions

1. Residents, workers, and visitors (adults and children) contacting physical hazard (explosives, and Rommel stakes) throughout the remote areas. Current and Future Encounters Walking, hiking, fishing, playing, digging, 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, and excavating in the remote areas Public Health Hazard Although the likelihood of people being injured or killed by unexploded ordnance materials, or Rommel stakes during routine daily activities is extremely low, potential current and future hazards still exist and cannot be entirely eliminated for people recreating in remote areas. Navy plans to continue education.
2. Workers and residents (adults and children) potentially exposed to lead-based paint and asbestos from recycling scavenged materials found in unused structures. Future Exposure Using materials found in unused structures for repairs or construction of homes or other buildings No Apparent Public Health Hazard Taking material from unused buildings throughout the remote areas could result in exposure to lead-based paint and asbestos. However, those exposures are not likely to result in adverse health effects. Navy plans to continue education about areas which are off-limits.

Demolition of cabins in remote areas was scheduled for summer of 2002.

3. People (subsistence consumers) eating potentially contaminated seafood at various locations outside the downtown area (Clam Lagoon, Finger Bay, and Andrew Lake). Current and Future Exposure Subsistence consumers of seafood No Apparent Public Health Hazard Levels of contaminants were detected in resident fish and shellfish collected from Clam Lagoon, Andrew Lake, and Finger Bay. Based on information in the scientific literature, ATSDR determined that levels of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, vanadium, PCBs, and bis(2-ehtylhexyl)phthalate in seafood collected from the remote areas on the former base have not been shown to result in adverse health effects and therefore, present no apparent public health hazard. None.


BACKGROUND

SITE DESCRIPTION

Adak Island is located southeast of Anchorage, Alaska in the Aleutian Island chain of islands (archipelago). The Aleutian Islands are volcanically formed islands with treeless terrains that stretch 1,100 miles between the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean. The entire island is currently owned by the Department of Interior. The northern portion of Adak Island was occupied by the Department of the Navy, however, the military facility closed in 1995 under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. The southern portion of Adak Island, as well as most of the other islands in the Aleutian Island chain, is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. The southern portion is uninhabited.

The Adak Naval Complex is comprised of the Naval Air Facility (NAF), Naval Facility (NAVFAC) and Naval Security Group Activity (NSGA). The Department of Navy owns the buildings and improvements at the former NAF/Naval Complex.

During its recent operating status, the Naval Air Facility was responsible for air operations, base management, utility and infrastructure operations. NAVFAC, formerly conducted oceanographic research. NSGA was responsible for communications functions. The base operationally closed and all active military missions ceased in March 1997 (URS 1997a).

HISTORY

At the time Captain Alexi Chirof's Russian vessel St. Paul landed on Adak on September 9, 1741, there was a group of island inhabitants known as Aleuts. The Aleut population at that time was nearly 20,000 across the entire Aleutian Islands. To date, sixteen archeological sites have been identified within the naval complex (URS 1997a). Recently, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has performed additional surveys on Adak Island which may have delineated more sites (U.S. Fish and Wildlife, 2000).

In 1867, the United States purchased the Alaskan Territory (including the Aleutian Islands) for $7,200,000 from the Russians. Known as Sewards Folley, the Alaska Territory presented opportunity for wealth from fur and gold. By 1910, over-hunting had significantly reduced the population of fur-bearing animals, mainly seals and sea otters (USFWS 1991).

Aleutian Islands

The Aleutian Islands were established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1913, by executive order of President Taft (USFWS 1991).

On December 7, 1941 the United States declared war on Japan after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The Japanese attacked the U.S. a second time on June 3, 1942 at Dutch Harbor on the small island of Amaknak across the Illiuliuk Bay from the village of Unalaska, Alaska. On June 7, 1942, the Japanese settled on the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu although the U.S. turned back the attack by land-based air units operating from secret bases at Umnak Island and Cold Bay (URS 1997a).

In 1980, President Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act which made the Aleutian Islands a subunit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (USFWS 1991).

Adak Island

Adak was chosen as an airfield farther west from the battles. At Adak Island, on August 30, 1942, the U.S. Army landed at Kuluk Bay. The tidal lagoon Exiting ATSDR Website was filled in to construct runway "A" for the fighter, light bomber and light transport aircraft. Runway "B" became operational November 21, 1942 north of "A" to accommodate the B-26, B-24, B-25, and B-17 bombers. Work on the runways was constant with improvements and additions. The runways now identified as 18-36 ("A") is 5,800 feet and 5-23 ("B") is 7,800 feet long (URS 1997a).

The Navy forces established 12 amphibious plane facilities at Andrew Lake, then called Andrew Lagoon. In 1944, the Navy constructed Mitchell Air Field and used Clam Lagoon and Andrew Lake for support. Operations at Mitchell Field ceased in 1950 when the Navy moved to the downtown area of Sweeper Cove in the summer of 1943, before the U.S. re-occupied the islands of Kiska and Attu. After World War II, the Army base became Davis Air Force Base. In 1950, the Air Force left the Island and the Navy took over all facilities. The base then became known as Naval Air Station, Adak (URS 1997a).

History of Contamination

Because of its unique history, Naval Air Facility, Adak is not like typical NPL sites. Although it has many similar issues with other NPL sites, such as chemical contaminant releases from use, storage, accidents, and disposal activities, NAF has some unique exposure issues as well.

As stated previously, on June 3, 1942, after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, (December 7, 1941) they attacked the U.S. a second time by air bombing of Dutch Harbor on the small island of Amaknak, Alaska. On June 7, 1942, the Japanese landed on the Aleutian Islands of Kiska and Attu. The battles in the Aleutians were the only World War II battles on U.S. soil. In defense, the U.S. quickly mobilized and set up operations in other Aleutian Islands. Adak was developed for use by the military for training and temporary storage and transporting of chemical warfare agent bombs, incendiary bombs, and explosives, and other ordnance materials. At its peak, over 100,000 military personnel were staged on or near Adak preparing to battle the Japanese on neighboring islands and preparing for Japanese invasion on Adak Island. To protect the military outpost on Adak, barbed wire laced through boot-piercing pointed screw stakes designed (but possibly not installed) to have trip wires attached to land mines, and other physical hazards were intentionally laid out to channel invading troops toward strategic firing range areas. Mounted machine gun emplacements covered the shoreline. Target practice, which often consisted of firing at sites away from the populated "downtown" area into the sides of hills and mountains, left metallic debris and unexploded ordnance scattered throughout the island. These activities were conducted in a time of war, at a time when little thought was given to peace time consequences. These activities left a large and unique array of physical hazards. The Navy along with EPA, ADEC, The Aleut Corporation, and others have worked to reduce those hazards given the technology of today and the environmental conditions of Adak.

Current Ownership and Land Use and Proposed Land Use

In April 2001, the city of Adak became incorporated. The majority of people living on Adak are involved in reuse activities. Since it is an island, air transportation is provided by Penn Airlines. The last Navy personnel left Adak in March 2002. The Adak Reuse Corporation and its sub lessees, together with the city of Adak, will continue to operate the infrastructure of the former Naval Air Facility, Adak until the property is transferred.

A land exchange agreement between the Department of the Interior, the Department of the Navy, and the Aleut Corporation under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act has been negotiated. Custody of most of the 77,000 acres comprising the former Naval Air Facility, Adak would be transferred to the Department of the Interior and subsequently, approximately 46,000 acres to the Aleut Corporation in exchange for similar lands within the Aleutian Islands. The proposed land use will be concentrated in the downtown area and would be similar to the recent former uses of the airfield, port, fuel depot, and shipping areas. Support for the residents, workers, and visitors will also be in the downtown area. Areas outside the downtown area have been proposed for recreational use. There are several areas such as landfills and other sites outside the downtown area which have digging or excavation restrictions.

HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS ON ADAK

The Navy has conducted numerous studies to determine locations of environmental contamination. The first study began in 1986 when the Naval Energy and Environmental Support Activity (NEESA) conducted the Initial Assessment Study of the Naval Air Station, Naval Security Group Activity, and Naval Facility, Adak (NAS) under the Navy Assessment and Control of Installation Pollutants Program. The Initial Assessment Study identified 32 areas that potentially received hazardous substances. These areas included landfills, storage areas, drum disposal areas, spill sites, waste oil disposal sites, and firefighter training sites. The Navy determined that twenty-two of the original 32 sites warranted further investigation under the Phase I report. Additional investigations were conducted in 1988 and 1990, interim actions were performed in 1992. In 1991, U.S. EPA conducted a Facility Inspection of NAS Adak, as required under RCRA which resulted in the designation of 81 sites that were potentially contaminated.

Sites were further classified in the Preliminary Source Evaluation (PSE), a two-level risk based screening approach used to determine which potential hazardous source areas pose a risk to human health or the environment. PSE-1 was the first step to identify an area in question without taking environmental samples. PSE -1 sites were grouped into Batch 1 containing 30 source areas and Batch 2 containing 20 source areas. Two source areas, not included in the PSE, were identified as needing interim remedial/removal actions.

PSE-2 was the first step to take environmental samples comparing results with risk-based screening concentrations and to calculate cumulative risk at a particular site. Fifteen sites were investigated under the PSE-2. Batch 1 includes 15 sites and Batch 2 consists of 10 sites.

In October 1992, NAS Adak was proposed for the NPL and officially placed on the list in May 1994 based on indications from the 1991 EPA RCRA inspection that suggested contamination in multiple areas on-base likely affecting the humans, wildlife, and the environment. The federal facilities agreement was signed in November 1993 which specified the scope of work to be completed under the CERCLA process. Preliminary Source Evaluation Studies were conducted on the non-petroleum sites under the Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and petroleum sites were investigated under the State-Adak Environmental Restoration Agreement (SAERA) between the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the Navy. SAERA addresses the assessment, containment, monitoring, and remediation of soil and groundwater affected by contamination from petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POLs) and leaks from underground storage tanks. The original SAERA identified 26 sites. The list has expanded and now totals 128 sites.

For purposes of environmental investigation and remediation, Adak has been divided into three Operable Units. OU A addresses soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater contamination. OU A is composed of 58 CERCLA sites and 128 petroleum sites. Other sites that have been investigated include RCRA sites. Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA) of 1990 states that EPA governs RCRA sites. Under FFCA, three sites have been closed out (cleaned-up). The Hazardous Waste Container Storage Facility (SWMU 24, the Fuel Division Area Drum Storage SA77) and the Metals Landfill Waste Pile (a small area within the Metal Landfill, SWMU 13). Closure at these sites has been completed (URS 1997a). OU B addresses ordnance and explosives/unexploded ordnance (OE/UXO) areas of concern. OU B has been divided geographically into OU B-1 (155 sites) and OU B-2 (37 sites).

The RI and FS have been completed and a ROD executed for OU A (U.S. Navy, EPA, and ADEC 2000). All remedial actions selected for OU A have been completed. The RI/FS (U.S. Navy 2001c) and ROD (U.S. Navy, EPA, and ADEC 2001) have been completed for OU B-1.

BASE REALIGNMENT AND CLOSURE (BRAC) ACT PROCESS

In October 1995, NAF Adak was officially closed under the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). The base operationally closed on March 31, 1997. While the base is being closed under BRAC laws, several laws related to reuse, such as the requirement for an environmental impact statement do not apply because the property is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Department of Interior and use of the property including the buildings, will be relinquished to the Department of Interior by the Navy (URS 1997a).

LAND USE

The Local Reuse Authority was formed to develop and implement a reuse plan. The Adak Reuse Planning Committee was initially established by the state of Alaska to serve as the local reuse authority. In 1997, the State of Alaska Land Reuse Authority determined that Adak was not an economically viable entity. On that basis, the State declined to proceed with further reuse implementation. Subsequently, a number of regional stakeholders sought and received state support to form a new local reuse authority. The Adak Reuse Committee became the Land Reuse Authority. The planning committee consists of stakeholders with current or potential economic interest in Adak following the transfer of the property from the Navy. A reuse plan has been prepared and has been used as the basis for future land use planning (URS 1997d, 1999c).

Institutional controls have been defined as restrictions on the use of land to reduce risks to the public from releases or potential releases of hazardous substances that may be above or below ground. Numerous institutional controls have been selected in the OU A Record of Decision. There is much debate and controversy over the effectiveness of institutional controls. Because it is currently not financially or technologically possible for a military facility like NAF Adak that has operated for more than 50 years to remove all chemical and physical hazards, procedures for estimating the theoretical hazard are being used here and all over the world.

The Navy maintains the responsibility for long-term liability, implementation, and enforcement of institutional controls. They are required to ensure the institutional controls remain effective and reliable for as long as the control remain in effect. The Institutional Control Management Plan describes the approach the Navy will use the ensure controls remain protective (EFA NW, 2001).

The Aleut Corporation has identified some target markets to use facilities provided on Adak such as fish processing and support services. Because of the deep ports and central location between Tokyo, Seattle, and Russia it provides an excellent support of fisheries operating in the Aleutians. Adak could also provide full service to vessels including fuel, water, supplies, cold storage, warehouses, crew exchanges, and ship to ship transfer of frozen seafood products. Additionally, transhipment and staging facilities could operate on Adak including regional transhipment, marine support to shipping and air cargo business from Russian ports, Pacific nations, and the airport could be used for air freight shipping. Other entities may also find possible uses for facilities on Adak (URS 1997a).

DEMOGRAPHICS

The maximum population was nearly 100,000 troops and 100 ships in 1943 just before the U.S. reclaimed Kiska and Attu. In 1953, after the Navy took over all facilities, 15 officers, and 176 enlisted were assigned to the base. By 1966, there were 995 military and civilian personnel on

Adak. In 1973, there were 1,054 people and in 1981 the Naval Complex consisted of 2,000 persons. In 1990, the Naval Complex was occupied by 5,600 people (2,800 military)(URS 1997a).

In January 1997, the military mission of NAF Adak was terminated. By March 31, 1997, most military personnel had left. April 1, 1997, Adak entered into caretaker status with a staff of 10 Navy personnel and approximately 200 civilians as contractor employees. In March 2002, the last Navy personnel left Adak Island. Approximately 50 personnel from the Adak Reuse Corporation, its subleases, and the city of Adak operate the infrastructure. Adak Fisheries has 40 - 120 seasonal employees, and the Aleutian Regional School District has 7 personnel and 25 students.

Future residents are expected to include men, women, and children involved in the fishing, shipping, or air cargo industries with potential use by tourists such as recreational hunters, fishermen, and bird-watchers. Estimated populations have been classified as low, middle, and high reuse scenarios and are 123, 189, and 932 for permanent residents respectively (URS 1997d). Currently, the Navy believes that there are no people on Adak that engage in a subsistence lifestyle, but this is likely to change in the future.

NATURAL RESOURCES

Groundwater on Adak is not suitable for drinking water use due to contamination from sites on island, salt water intrusion, and low yield. Instead, drinking water is supplied by surface water lakes. Surface water resources are abundant with more than 500 freshwater lakes and streams including Andrew Lake. Saltwater inlets include Sweeper Cove, Clam Lagoon, Finger Bay, Shagak Bay, Kuluk Bay that provide access to fishing. Fish species include sand lance, Pacific herring, Pacific Ocean perch, sculpin, rockfish, sole, Pacific halibut, starry flounder, barnacles, limpet, snails, littleneck clams, cockles, soft-shelled clams, butter clams, and blue mussels. Dolly Varden, sockeye, pink salmon, coho, and chum have also been identified (URS 1997a).

Wildlife is abundant on Adak. Mammals include caribou herds in the south end of the island which are hunted year round with no bag limit on the number of animals which may be taken. Otter, seal, and other marine mammals are present, as are many variety of birds (USFWS 1991). The Norway rat and Arctic Fox, both of which have been introduced, are the only other terrestrial mammals on the island.

The natural environment of Adak is treeless although a countable number of evergreens have been cultivated on a patch of land unofficially named Adak National Forest. Tundra grasses fill the landscape with numerous varieties of flora.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND HUMAN EXPOSURE PATHWAYS

I. EXPOSURE SITUATIONS IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA

ATSDR has identified nine exposure situations in the downtown area. Four exposure situations presented in Subsection A are ongoing or are likely to occur in the future by way of daily or everyday living activities. In Subsection B, we discuss five additional exposure situations in the downtown area that occur by way of recreational or construction activities such as walking, hiking, fishing, playing, digging, snowmobiling, 4-wheel driving, or excavating. We have included in our conclusions and in Table 1 the ATSDR hazard conclusion category for each exposure situation. Figures 1 through 3 illustrate the downtown area of Adak with the Navy's designation for each parcel.

A. Exposures from Unavoidable Daily Activities

A1. Residents Exposed to Lead in Tap Water in Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay Homes -
Current and Future Exposure - Public Health Hazard

What is lead?: Lead is a naturally occurring, bluish-gray metal found in small amounts of the earth=s surface. It is often used in batteries, pipes, brass, solder, and paints. The amount and wide-range use of lead has decreased over the last several years because of the harmful neurotoxic effects of lead in people. Lead can get into drinking water several different ways, including corrosion of lead piping, lead-based solder, and brass water faucets.A health hazard exists for children and fetuses of pregnant women who may be exposed to lead from drinking water taps if their drinking water piping is not flushed correctly. People can reduce or eliminate the health hazard by flushing the drinking water taps for 2 to 3 minutes every morning and when the water has sat in the plumbing for more than 6 hours. Additionally, monitoring for increasing levels and regular distribution of educational material is critical to preventing health hazards. Sampling data from 1993, 1997, and 1998 show elevated lead levels in drinking water taps at Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay homes. The source of the lead is the plumbing containing lead solder or brass fixtures. Lead levels present a health concern for infants, children, and fetuses of pregnant women because they are the most susceptible to the health effects of lead. Nonpregnant adults including the current contractor residents or future residents are not at risk.

Background

Drinking water on Adak Island is supplied by Lake Bonnie Rose, a fresh water lake that is located at 1,262 feet elevation in a remote location away from any roads or hiking trails. Lake Bonnie Rose holds 500 million gallons of water (URS 1997d). Lake De Marie, approximately 1.2 miles from Lake Bonnie Rose was equipped to provide backup water if needed, but was taken out of service in 1999. Water treated by injection of chlorine gas at the PRV-1 location. Although Lake Bonnie Rose water is free from contaminants, the water is somewhat corrosive. When allowed to sit in pipes containing lead solder or brass components, the water causes the lead (and copper) to leach from the plumbing material into the water. The longer the water is allowed to remain in the pipes, the greater the likelihood lead levels will increase. Therefore, it is recommended that any time taps have not been used within six hours, the pipes should be flushed (allowed to run for 2-3 full minutes) until the water temperature is noticeably colder.

Many homes are currently left unoccupied for weeks or longer due to the smaller number of people on island as compared to before 1997 (4 percent of the 1996 population) when the facilities were part of the active military base. Sandy Cove neighborhood contains 334, 3-bedroom, single-family homes (167 sets of duplex homes) built in 1984. Eagle Bay contains 100, 3-bedroom, single-family homes (combination of single, duplex, triplex, and quadplex homes). The current procedure is to house people in Sandy Cove. Eagle Bay homes are unoccupied. Moffett View neighborhood consists of 70 single-family homes (combination of single, duplex, and triplex structures) (ATSDR 1994). Homes in Moffett View are not currently being used although the homes have not been disconnected from the utilities.

The Adak Reuse Corporation (ARC) is currently leasing the entire facility from the Navy. Housing maintenance is the responsibility of ARC and its subleasees. The ARC and its subleasees provides educational material to all newcomers when they get the key to their residence. In addition, similar information is provided on the televised "community channel" which announces island events, activities and other instructional information. Written material tells individuals to flush their tap water faucets before use in the morning and after the faucet has not been used in the past 6 hours. ATSDR reviewed the informational flyer. The current material does an excellent job identifying and explaining the problem and provides useful information on actions needed to reduce exposure such as flushing the water lines.

The Lead and Copper Rule is a federal law implemented by each state. While the Navy is currently responsible for compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule, it will become the responsibility of the party who takes over the management of the water system to conduct required sampling at a state approved laboratory, submit data to the state, and provide any additional follow-up actions that may be needed such as corrosion control, education, or filtration. Failure to continue the program could result in sanctioning penalty, or punitive action from the state (ATSDR 1998b).

Sampling

In 1993, in accordance with EPA's Lead and Copper Rule, NAS Adak began testing the tap water on base for lead and copper (ATSDR 1998b). Homes in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View were sampled in 1993. The sampling priority scheme established by EPA concentrates on buildings that had copper pipes and lead-containing solder installed between 1983 and 1987 because the solder used during that time was more apt to leach lead into the tap water (EPA 1991). The base's sampling plan, in accordance with EPA regulations, concentrated on those buildings and focused on single-family homes, where the population at greatest health risk live. These homes were selected because they meet the criteria for Tier 1 sampling priority. As specified in the Rule, Tier 1 homes are single-family homes containing copper pipes with lead solder installed after 1982 or lead pipes and/or lead service lines.

EPA Lead and Copper Rule categorizes the number of Tier 1 homes required to be sampled based on the population served by the water system. The specific population breakdowns are as follows: less than or equal to 100 people, 101 to 500, 501 to 3,300, 3,301-10,000, 10,001-50,000, and greater than 100,000. In 1993, between 3,301 and 10,000 people were served by the water system, (actual population figures were 5,653 people). Therefore, 40 Tier 1 homes were required to be sampled.

ATSDR reviewed the tap water sampling data for potential health hazards. Even though copper levels in some homes were also elevated above the drinking water standard, the maximum copper levels detected for all sampling rounds were below levels likely to cause health problems. For that reason, ATSDR focuses the discussion on lead levels because of the potential for adverse health effects. Additionally, actions taken to reduce lead such as flushing the lines, water filters, and corrosion control additives would also reduce copper levels.

The 1993 sampling results showed 20 out of 40 homes sampled with lead levels above the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum detected level was 55 ppb. Lead and copper were not detected in any of the water distribution plants, which indicated that the source of the contamination was the plumbing. Because the base has been in the process of closing since 1994 and residency was considered short-term, the Alaska Department of the Environmental Conservation waved the requirements of the Lead and Copper Rule. Requirements such as regular tap water sampling (every 6 months until 90% of samples are below EPA's established action levels of 15 ppb for lead and 1300 ppb for copper), developing a water treatment plan to reduce lead and copper, and bring the base systems into compliance were waved. However, the base did provide educational material to the residents which recommended flushing the lines for several minutes. Because delays have occurred in the turnover process, ADEC began requiring the lead and copper sampling program to begin again (ATSDR 1998b).

Both the Navy and ADEC agreed to begin sampling because the future of Adak was less uncertain. In May 1997, The Aleut Corporation expressed a strong desire to obtain the facility and transfer it into a private sector community, which would support the fishing and tourism industry.

With the closure of Adak as a military facility, NAVFAC (or EFA NW) became the custodian of the facility, with the responsibility for environmental restoration and transfer of the facility to a viable entity. As the caretaker, EFA NW contacted the State regulators and agreed to begin another round of sampling to determine if lead and copper were still a concern after the downsizing of Adak's drinking water system.

In September 1997, the second round of samples were collected from drinking water taps in nine single-family (Tier 1) homes. Sample numbers decrease from 40 to 9 due to fewer people served during base closure. In six homes, lead levels were below the action level. Two homes had lead levels of 15 ppb and 74 ppb. In March 1998, the same nine homes were retested. Two samples were collected from each home. The first sample was a "first draw," water coming out of the tap after being allowed to sit in the pipes for at least six hours. The second sample taken was after the water was allowed to "flush" for 30 seconds. Results showed eight out of nine sampled homes above the EPA action level of 15 ppb (concentration range 18-111 ppb). Results of the 30 second "flush" showed only one out of nine homes above the action level (actual concentration 16 ppb). This indicates that flushing the water lines has a remarkable impact on reducing lead levels in the drinking water taps. However, to help ensure lead levels from tap water plumbing are safe, water should be allowed to run for 2-3 minutes prior to drinking or being used for cooking. In a letter on July 8, 1998, ADEC requested that a second set of samples be collected because the majority of samples collected were taken in vacant units.

On August 29, 1998, a second set of samples was collected from 10 housing units and 3 other locations (the medical facility, galley, and pier). After first-draw samples were collected, a second set of samples were collected after the faucets were allowed to run for 3 minutes. The results of analyses showed that lead was elevated above the action levels in 5 units. The data revealed that the metals levels did drop off dramatically after the 3-minute flushing further illustrating the need for a 3-minute flushing time to protect public health.

By mid-1999, the Navy received a firm commitment from TAC regarding their intentions to retain Adak as a community. The Navy issued a contract to obtain services for a corrosion-control study. The contractor conducted a bench-scale treatability test to evaluate corrosion-control treatment options in addressing the problem of copper and lead in Adak's drinking water (Hart Crowser, 2000). The objective of the test was to identify the optimal treatment option for reducing the concentration of lead and copper in Adak's drinking water. Three specific treatment methods were used: (1) pH/alkalinity adjustment, (2) calcium hardness adjustment, and (3) corrosion inhibitor addition. The bench-scale study was completed by August 31, 2000. The results showed that the introduction of calcium phosphate was effective in lowering the elevated levels of lead and copper; however, it failed to lower the metals to state regulatory levels. The report indicated that the faucets within the housing units could be contributing elevated metals. A study in 2001 was performed to determine the effectiveness of replacing the existing fixtures with faucets that were lead and copper free. The results showed that replacing faucets lowered both copper and lead levels by 67 and 86 percent, respectively. The reduction of metal concentrations was encouraging; however, this method failed to achieve a reduction to regulatory limits for lead and copper.

The data from the studies show that replacing faucets will be slightly more effective in reducing lead and copper concentrations than source treatment. The data for the faucet study is considered more realistic, because the study was conducted on Adak. The corrosion-control study was performed within a laboratory under controlled conditions; therefore, the true effectiveness of using calcium phosphate in the field is not known. Although the corrosion control study attempted to simulate the conditions on Adak, actual conditions may vary producing different results.

From the available sampling results, it is difficult to establish if an increasing lead level trend is occurring or if elevated lead levels can be related to homes left unoccupied. Therefore, ATSDR is concerned that the party who becomes responsible for the drinking water system be made aware of the past problems with compliance. According to the Navy, the Aleut Corporation will be appraised of past sampling results as part of the agreement to lease the water system from the Navy. Additionally, in order to protect public health, the state should closely monitor the sampling and educational compliance requirements under the new ownership. ATSDR is also concerned that drinking water taps should be sampled in the former day care center should it be used as such in the future.

Human Exposure Routes and Public Health Implications

ATSDR is concerned about exposed individuals which may include the most sensitive population, fetuses of pregnant women and children who may be exposed to lead contaminated drinking water in the homes, at schools, day care, and at work. Children and pregnant women can absorb enough lead to raise their body burden of lead to levels that could pose a health problem from intermittent exposure to even moderate levels of lead over an extended period of time, e.g., more than a year (Maes et al.)

In order to evaluate the likelihood of adverse health effects in people on Adak who drink lead contaminated water, we reviewed the available scientific information. Studies of lead's health effects on people are based on blood lead levels, a measure of the amount of lead absorbed by the body, not the amount of lead detected in water or some other medium. Blood lead is measured in micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL). Several studies have analyzed the correlation between lead levels in drinking water and resulting blood lead levels in infants, older children, and adults (Marcus 1989a,1989b,1990,1991).

ATSDR used an algorithm and EPA's IEUBK computer model for estimating the likelihood of adverse health effects in people on Adak who drink lead-contaminated water. Based on these scientific tools, people drinking water containing lead at levels above 50 ppb could absorb enough lead to experience long-term health consequences. Moreover, people highly sensitive to the effects of lead, particularly children, infants, and fetuses, could experience irreversible adverse health effects such as decreased IQ and compromised mental development (CDC 1991)

The health effects of lead are not immediately apparent. Once in the blood, lead is distributed to soft tissue (kidneys, bone marrow, liver, and brain) and mineralizing tissue (bones and teeth). Bones and teeth contain about 95% of the total body burden of lead in adults (ATSDR 1992).

It is the total body burden of lead that is related to the risk of adverse health effects. Because the body accumulates lead over a lifetime and releases it slowly, even small doses of lead over time can cause lead poisoning. Further, relatively low blood lead levels can cause adverse health effects, some of which, like decreased IQ or mild behavioral disorders, may not produce noticeable signs or symptoms.

Exposure to high levels of lead can damage the brain, red blood cells, and kidneys of adults at blood lead levels ranging from 40 to 100 µg/dL and children at blood lead levels of 35 to 50 µg/dL. Acute effects of exposure to high lead levels are nausea, vomiting, and headache. Lead exposure in adults may increase blood pressure. High levels of blood lead (40 µg/dL) may affect sperm or damage other parts of the male reproductive system, making it difficult for a couple to have children (ATSDR 1992).

Fetuses and children are especially sensitive to the effects of lead. Additionally, when women are pregnant, lead stored in their bone can enter their bloodstream, increasing the amount of lead reaching the fetus and resulting in premature birth, low birth weight, and decreased mental ability. In infants and young children, lead exposure has been shown to decrease intelligence, slow growth, and cause hearing problems at blood lead levels at or below 10 µg/dL, a level previously thought to be safe. These effects can persist as children get older and interfere with successful performance in school (CDC 1991).

Summary

The likelihood that children would consistently drink water with high lead levels is low because once the taps have been turned on, lead levels drop rapidly. However, lead levels in drinking water can potentially cause serious health consequences. For that reason it is important that education be conducted frequently to remind people to flush their lines. The steps to reduce exposure are simple and have a demonstrated dramatic effect. Flushing the water lines for 30 seconds each time the tap is turned on and flushing for 2-3 minutes whenever the taps have not been used for more than 6 hours can reduce exposures to levels below health concern.

Conclusions and Public Health Action Plan for Lead Exposure (Tap Water)

Conclusions:
  1. Lead contaminated tap water poses a potential health hazard for children and fetuses of pregnant women who may be living on Adak now and in the future.


  2. Sampling data shows elevated levels of lead in drinking water taps in homes in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View neighborhoods.


  3. Flushing water lines is a simple way people can reduce their exposure to lead in drinking water. From sampling results, flushing for 2-3 minutes drastically reduces the lead levels in tap water.


  4. Currently distributed educational flyers are informative, and give recommendations for flushing those taps not used in 6 hours to reduce the potential hazard.

Completed and On-going Actions:
  1. Educational material is given to all adult employees coming on base when they receive the key to their quarters.


  2. The Navy has completed a source-treatment study evaluating corrosion control and will be conducting a faucet replacement study evaluating the effectiveness of replacing fixtures.


  3. Based on the results of the faucet replacement study, the Navy plans to replace existing fixtures in every Sandy Cove housing unit with faucets that contain zero percent lead and copper.

Planned Action:
  1. ADEC will continue to work with the Adak Reused Corporation on Adak Island to continue sampling tap water for lead and copper contamination in accordance with EPA regulations as overseen by ADEC.

Recommended Actions:

  1. ATSDR recommends that the Aleut Corporation change the currently distributed educational material to include recommendations to only use cold water for making formula and reconstituting juices and cooking. This is most applicable for families with potentially pregnant women and children.


  2. If the former day care center is opened as a day care center in the future, the party responsible for the Lead and Copper Rule compliance should test the tap water in that facility at least biannually for lead and copper levels.


A2. Residents Possibly Exposed to Jet Propellant - 5 (JP-5) in Indoor Air in Sandy Cove Homes -
Current and Future Potential Exposure - Indeterminate Public Health Hazard

What is JP-5?: JP-5 stands for Jet Propellant- 5. JP-5 is the primary jet fuels used by the U.S. Navy. It is a colorless liquid and has the smell of kerosene because kerosene is the major substance of JP-5. Jet fuels are refined under more stringent conditions than kerosene and contain various additives for use in military aircraft (anti-oxidants), dispersants and/or corrosion inhibitors) not found in kerosene. -- What are the possible health effects from JP-5?: Health effects of concern from inhalation exposure to jet fuels include eye irritation and central nervous system effects similar to intoxication. The major health concerns of these low-level exposures are adverse birth outcomes in children.People, particularly children, may be exposed to harmful levels of JP-5 vapors, breakdown products and biogenic gases (methane, ethane, etc.) in the indoor air of their homes in Sandy Cove Housing area now and in the future. Spills and releases from JP-5 tanks and associated lines and piping (SWMU 62, New Housing Fuel Leak) have saturated the soils and seeped into underground water. The groundwater table is very shallow in this area. Homes are located just a few feet above these soils and water. JP-5 and related vapors and coming from the soils and from free-floating product may have migrated into the homes and could potentially pose a public health hazard to people living in the homes. Indoor air sampling is needed to determine if the air inside homes is safe. Children and especially those exposed in utero, could develop neurological impairment if exposed to high levels of JP-5 in indoor air.

Contamination History

In 1988, new piping was installed underground connecting JP-5 containing tanks to the airport facility. Materials used to backfill the piping included heavy rocks and boulders may have punctured the newly installed piping. One year after the pipe installation, a large slick of JP-5 free-floating product was noted in Kuluk Bay. Investigations in 1989 discovered the breaks and leaks in the piping. Pipes were removed and an investigation of the groundwater under the Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Turnkey Housing areas began (ATSDR 1999f). The release was named Solid Waste Management Unit 62 or (SWMU 62), New Housing Fuel Leak. It has been identified as having free-floating product on the groundwater table and may release gases into the air due to the shallow groundwater table in the area. Homes located over the contaminated groundwater may trap gases creating a hazard to people living in the airtight homes of Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Turnkey Housing areas.

According to the BRAC Cleanup Plan document, this contaminant plume is the largest free-floating product plume on the island to date. JP-5 petroleum hydrocarbon releases in 1988 and 1989 occurred at three housing areas: Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Turnkey. It was estimated to contain four large and four smaller plumes and be about 2.6 feet thick.

Extent of Contamination, Sampling, and Cleanup

JP-5 released to the soil has migrated into the groundwater (URS 1999a). Sandy Cove and most of the downtown Adak area, was man-made in 1940s by filling in a natural tidal lagoon (URS 1997a). Groundwater is at shallow depths in this area and varies from 1 foot to 28 feet below ground surface (URS 1999d). Tidal influences of groundwater may exacerbate the problem by pushing vapors from JP-5 floating on the surface of the groundwater table up through the thin soil cover and cause an accumulation of JP-5 vapors in homes.

Since 1989, four large and four small groundwater contamination areas called plumes have been delineated (URS 1997d). Recovery wells and a subsurface product recovery system were installed in 1989. The Navy began pumping the contamination out through recovery wells in 1989. Later in 1989, 109 monitoring wells and 6 product recovery systems were installed (URS 1997d). However, investigations in 1993 discovered that the recovery system was failing and that some of the plumes have migrated further beyond the capture zone. In 1996, a new system was installed that included sensors that shut down the system when operating conditions deviated from design parameters (URS 1997d).

According to the Navy, since the onset of free product recovery in the downtown housing area, approximately 154,000 gallons have been recovered. Free product monitoring information collected during July 1999 indicates that approximately 3.1 acres of the original 100 acres downtown housing area contain free product. By agreement between the Navy and Alaska DEC, free product recovery was to be terminated in the downtown housing area when less than 0.5 gallons of free product per 1,000 gallons of treated groundwater is recovered by the system for a period of one year. The system has met this criteria and on May 1, 2000, the Navy shut down the pump and treat system.

The Navy has reported that they removed soil under the housing units where releases were identified (ATSDR 1999c). These releases were not associated with the housing area fuel leak, but were localized fuel spills from tanks providing heating fuel to individual housing units (Bristol, 2000). These activities typically removed between the top one to two feet of soil. Clean sand was used to backfill the removal locations and vapor barriers were installed in the crawl spaces (URS 1999a). According to the Navy, vapor barriers are currently in place beneath all housing units at Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay housing areas (ATSDR 2000a).

According to the Navy project manager, Sandy Cove Housing Units 134 and 167 were formerly impacted by a petroleum release from the distribution line which services these units, but these units are no longer in use. All housing units on Adak are currently heated by heating oil that is stored in individual aboveground storage tanks (ASTs). The previous distribution piping system has been abandoned and the lines cleaned.

Sandy Cove houses are constructed on concrete foundations with vented crawl spaces. Additionally, the Navy states they all have vapor barriers. Although this construction might reduce levels of soil gas, foundations crack and electrical lines can act as conduits for gas migration into homes.

Under circumstances of shallow groundwater contamination, volatile chemicals may migrate through soils and into homes through the backfill material along utility service lines entering the home and through cracks in building foundations. Indoor air sampling was not performed in the Sandy Cove housing area to determine if gas migration from the shallow groundwater contamination was entering the home; therefore, no conclusions can be drawn regarding whether the indoor air quality was impacted.

Studies and publications by the US Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence indicate that anaerobic biodegradation processes dominate the natural "intrinsic" remediation of contaminated aquifers (Wiedemeier et al.,1995; Newell et al., 1995). Bacteria that attack hydrocarbons generate carbon dioxide under aerobic conditions and methane under anaerobic conditions. Not only do bacterial activities occur, but percent levels of carbon dioxide and methane are often generated. Methanogenesis (39%) and sulfate reduction (29%) are estimated to account for approximately 68% of anaerobic degradation. Biogenic methane and carbon dioxide data, generally can be used for mapping the distribution of contaminated soils; even when the contamination is very old and the lighter hydrocarbon volatiles are nearly absent (ETI 1998).

Additionally, JP-5 contains additives to improve performance. Typical additives to jet fuels include antioxidants, metal deactivators, static dissipator, corrosion inhibitors, fuel system icing inhibitors, octane enhancers, ignition controllers, and detergents/dispersants. These additives are used only in specified amounts, as governed by the military and which may include 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol and tert-butyl-2,4-dimethylphenol among other chemical additives. These additives typically would move through and disperse in groundwater very rapidly and would not likely be detectable 10 years after release.

Data Gaps for Evaluating Human Exposure to JP-5 in Indoor Air of Sandy Cove Homes

The Navy has conducted numerous sampling events of groundwater, soil, and soil gas. However, the sampling cannot address all the possible health hazards posed by SWMU 62 for two main reasons:

  1. Incomplete list of analytes - The samples were not analyzed for chemicals likely to be detected in JP-5. JP-5 contains 98% kerosene which is made up of about 20 different chemicals in varying percentages. Table 2 lists most of the chemical components. According to the American Petroleum Institute, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, the focus of the Navy's sampling, would not be detectable in weathered JP-5, but other components would be present including methane and carbon dioxide (ATSDR 1999d). The benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) content of JP-5 is typically below 0.02% and polyaromatic hydrocarbons are virtually excluded (ATSDR 1999a). Light, middle, or heavy products of the distillation process are based on the boiling points of each chemical. Jet fuels are middle distillates of petroleum crude oils that are composed of hydrocarbons generally coming off distillation columns at temperatures between 150 and 300 degrees Centigrade (IARC 1989). BTEX and PAHs, because they have lower boiling points, are removed from the distillation process sooner than the middle distillates. Furthermore, once released into the environment JP-5 changes and degrades, BTEX are the first constituents to disburse and degrade.


  2. Indoor air was not sampled.

Other Information Needed for a More In-Depth Evaluation of Indoor Air Safety

  1. Locations of the monitoring wells in relation to the plumes, depths, and monitoring parameters.
  2. Location and volume of soil removed including contaminant concentrations.
  3. Depth to contamination.
  4. Geological and hydrogeological descriptions.
  5. Detailed description of remediation efforts to date including future plans for the remediation, sampling, monitoring, and characterization including roles and responsibilities.

Human Exposure Routes and Public Health Implications

People living in the Sandy Cove housing units may currently be exposed to components released from the JP-5 fuel leak by breathing fumes indoors. Because of the tremendous amount of fuel spilled, the closeness from surface soil to groundwater, the airtightness of the homes, and previous complaints noted during ATSDR's 1993 site visit, ATSDR believes that fumes from JP-5 could be present in homes. Pregnant women and children would be more susceptible to the health effects associated with exposure to JP-5. Since there is no medical test that can determine if someone has been exposed to JP-5, ATSDR recommends that indoor air of homes in the Sandy Cove housing area be sampled for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons, N-alkanes and C9-C12 fractions of hydrocarbons. ATSDR requests to review the sampling work plans with details from the groundwater and source area maps and hopes to work with the Navy to ensure that measures are taken to protect public health.

ATSDR reviewed the scientific literature for information on the health effects from breathing low levels of JP-5 and determined that most of the effects are neurological. Once inhaled, many of the JP-5 components cross the blood-brain barrier. In one study, a leak of JP-5 aboard a Navy jet left individuals with coordination and concentration difficulties, and fatigue (ATSDR 1999a). Other effects seen in humans include visual acuity impairment, postural sway, headache, nausea, apparent intoxication and anorexia. Studies on animals report hematological effects such as decreased hemoglobin, red blood cell count, and serum albumin levels for intermediate exposures lasting 13 weeks. Without indoor air analytical information, ATSDR cannot predict the types and severity of health effects, if any, that may be experienced by Sandy Cove residents. Moreover, without indoor air analytical information, ATSDR cannot determine the safety for Sandy Cove residents breathing air in their homes.

Table 2 shows the chemicals in JP-5 compared to some of the 525 different chemicals analyzed by the Navy at SWMU 62 (JP-5 fuel leak). As the table illustrates, the primary JP-5 components were not analyzed.

Table 2 - Comparison of JP-5 Components and Breakdown Products versus Navy Sampling Parameters

Chemical

JP-5 Components *

Sampling Analytes

Chemical

JP-5 Components

Sampling Analytes

n-Undecane

----

Chloromethane

----

n-Dodecane

 

----

Vinyl Chloride

----

 

n-Tridecane

----

Bromomethane

----

n-Tetradecane

----

Methylene Chloride

----

n-Pentadecane

----

Chloroform

----

n-Hexadecane

----

Acetone

----

1,2,3,4-Tetramethylbenzene

----

Acenaphthene

----

1-Ethylpropylbenzene

----

Acenapthylene

----

2-Methylundecane

----

Fluorene

----

2,6-Dimethylundecane

----

Fluoranthene

----

1-Methylnapthalene

----

Benzo(a)fluorene

----

2,6-Dimethylnaphthalene

----

Benzo(a)anthacene

----

Heptylcylohexane

----

Benzo(g,h,i)fluorranthene

----

Methane

----

Benz(k)fluoranthene

----

Benzene

----

Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene

----

Toluene

----

Anthracene

----

Ethylbenzene

----

Phenanthrene

----

Freon 12

----

Pyrene

----

Carbon Tetrachloride

----

Chrysene

----

Trichloroethane

----

Benzo(a)pyrene

----

Styrene

----

Perylene

----

Chlorotoluene

----

     
Propylene

----

     

* JP-5 product (undiluted) in amounts equal to or greater than 1 percent by weight (BP 1999, ATSDR 1999a).

Conclusions and Public Health Action Plan for JP-5 Exposure (Indoor Air)

Conclusions:
  1. Navy sampling to date is inadequate to determine the health hazard posed by JP-5 and related breakdown products which may have released vapors that could migrate into homes in Sandy Cove housing area for two reasons. 1) Sampling to date, did not include analysis of many chemicals expected to be present in a JP-5 release. 2) Sampling of groundwater, soil, and soil gas do not provide sufficient information about indoor air, the medium to which people are exposed.


  2. A potential public health hazard exists for the residents of Sandy Cove housing area due to JP-5 vapors collecting in their home from migration of contaminants from the JP-5 fuel spill (SWMU 62).

Completed Action:
  1. The Navy has initiated two groundwater cleanup efforts for SWMU 62.Groundwater treatment stopped operation in May 2000 based on the achievement of cleanup goals implemented in coordination between the Alaska State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Navy.

Planned Action:
  1. SWMU 62 will be part of a focused feasibility study (FFS) in the future.

Recommended Actions:

  1. ATSDR recommends that the Navy conduct indoor air sampling (prior to turning over the island) of selected Sandy Cove homes for components known to be present in JP-5 such as total petroleum hydrocarbons, methane, and n-alkanes used to "fingerprint" the JP-5. SUMMA canisters would provide a quick and relatively inexpensive sampling procedure. ATSDR will assist the Navy in the selecting of homes once we receive specific information detailing the contamination source, plume (extent of contamination), location of monitoring wells, etc. (see below for needed information).


  2. In addition to the air samples, the Navy should provide ATSDR the following information in order for ATSDR to evaluate exposure pathways:
    • extent of the groundwater plume (map and well locations and screening depths)
    • extent of the soil contamination (detailing any removals)
    • chemical analytes sampled including analysis methodology used, blanks, quality assurance/ quality control measures
    • depth to contamination
    • geological and hydrogeological descriptions
    • location of homes and buildings in relation to contaminant plume
    • description of remediation efforts to date
    • future plans for the remediation, sampling, monitoring, and characterization including roles and responsibilities.


A3. Children Exposed to Soil in Yards and Neighborhood Playgrounds in Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay in the Downtown Area -
Current and Future Exposure - No Public Health Hazard

Aerial photographs and an interview with the former base environmental manager indicate that prior to the development of the housing areas, use of the property was minimal and does not indicate use or disposal of hazardous substances.

The Navy has provided ATSDR a series of aerial photographs taken in 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1955, 1973, 1977, 1982, 1987, and 1991 which indicate that the land prior to the development of the Sandy Cove Housing Area was at various times used for outside staging, parking for the playground, or appeared not to be in use. Because there is no indication that hazardous materials were used, stored, or disposed on the property now included in the Sandy Cove Housing area, the Navy has no plans to sample the surface soil in this area.

ATSDR contacted the former NAS Adak Base Environmental Manager to gather additional information. The former environmental manager lived on Adak Island for 16 years and is credited with directing most of the environmental investigations on base prior to base closure in 1994. During past fuel spill investigations, his group collected soil samples and analyzed them for lead and volatile organic compounds and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs). To the best of the manager's recollection, lead levels were not detected above the health standards at the time. TPH and VOC levels were elevated in areas where fuel had been spilled onto the ground, but there was no indication that surface soil was widely contaminated with fuel related components.

Based on the information ATSDR was able to obtain, it is unlikely that residential and playground soil in the Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay housing areas contain contaminants and therefore, do not pose a health hazard to adults or children who play there.

Conclusion and Public Health Action Plan for Children Exposed to Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay Neighborhood Soil

Conclusion:
  1. Based on the information ATSDR was able to obtain, it is unlikely that residential and playground soil in the Sandy Cove and Eagle Bay housing areas would pose a health hazard to adults or children who may play there.

Completed Action:
  1. Prior to base closure in 1994, the Navy conducted soil samples to determine extent of fuel contamination from fuel spills of residential heating oil and from flightline fuel piping.

Planned Action & Recommended Actions:

None



A4. Workers and Residents Exposed to Asbestos in Building Materials in Schools, Homes, and Workplaces -
Current and Future - No Apparent Public Health Hazard

What is asbestos?: Asbestos is the name applied to six different naturally occurring mineral fibers that have been used since the times of ancient Greece. Asbestos provides heat, cold, and sound insulation, friction and fire protection, and strength to many materials. Some of the products that may contain asbestos are roof shingles, ceiling, roof or wall tile, backing on vinyl floor tile, or in automotive brakes. Asbestos is still currently used as thermal insulation and heat shields in many household appliances such as toasters, irons, slow-cookers, dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, range hoods and clothes dryers. Asbestos is very stable in the environment; it does not dissolve in water and is not broken down over time. Health problems related to asbestos exposure have been documented in workers who were exposed to extremely high amounts of asbestos dust for more than 20 years. on a daily basis.People have expressed concerns about asbestos exposure from homes, school, or workplaces in the downtown area. Asbestos exposure is unlikely to be a health hazard to most people because most asbestos is not friable and exposures would be to low levels. Friable is a term which refers to asbestos materials which are easily crumbled by hand. While asbestos is in many products people come in contact with daily, levels of exposure to most people do not present a health hazard. Occupational exposures of plumbing insulators, asbestos removal personnel, or asbestos workers would be of health concern; however, following OSHA regulations including wearing personal protective equipment would prevent exposure to asbestos. Information about asbestos containing structures and materials should be made available to the new residents and facilities workers.

Background

During ATSDR's site visit and discussions with Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) members and other concerned people, the following concerns about asbestos exposure were expressed: incidental asbestos exposure from the high school floor tile, from homes that are likely to be reused, in workplaces, from asbestos in landfills, and from decaying buildings which do not get used. In addition, concern was expressed regarding the responsibility of the new occupants for removal of asbestos in decaying structures once the Navy leaves the island. The Navy is scheduled to complete the demolition of all structurally unsound facilities during the summer of 2002.

The community expressed concern about asbestos possibly being in the mastic (adhesive) of the floor tile of the hallway leading from the cafeteria to the gymnasium in the high school which is used as the cafeteria, recreational area, and offices for the contractors and Navy personnel. Navy contractors put down duct tape along each joint and over cracked areas to secure the tile. However, due to the high foot traffic of the hallway and the daily maintenance of sweeping and mopping the floor, the duct tape has come almost completely off. Although asbestos particles would not likely be released during normal daily activities such as walking on, sweeping or mopping the tile floor, anyone involved in repairing the floor tile could be exposed to asbestos if the floor tile is disturbed by sanding, sawing, or cutting. It is currently not known if the mastic actually contains asbestos. For that reason ATSDR recommended that educational material be provided to the current and future occupants to alleviate fear of daily nonoccupational asbestos exposures. Past newsletters produced by the Navy have highlighted the inaccessible, nonfriable nature of the asbestos that may be related to floor tile or its associated mastic. Under routine use and non-abrasive surface cleaning, it is unlikely that this source would produce airborne fibers.

Currently, asbestos-containing building material (ACBM) remains in place in less than 35 buildings presently in use. These areas are used primarily as unoccupied storage space. ACBM also remains in some laid-away facilities. The majority of ACBM present is nonfriable. Intact, undisturbed, and appropriately maintained ACBM does not pose a significant health risk. The recommended in-place management program for the remaining ACBM is discussed in Hart Crowser's Asbestos Management Plan for Former NAF Adak, dated November 2000.

People living or working on Adak (now and in the future) are concerned about their asbestos exposures from their homes, workplaces, and from decaying buildings not planned for re-use.

Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion & Repair - Portsmouth, VA - Environmental Detachment, Vallejo, CA (SSPORTS) conducted an asbestos survey of 222 buildings and structures at Adak NAF from July 1996 to August 1996. The purpose of the survey was to identify asbestos-containing materials. SSPORTS workers remediated friable, accessible asbestos-containing material in 149 buildings, with total abatement completed at 3 LORAN Station buildings. To document specific remediation actions conducted in the 152 buildings, SSPORTS issued the Adak NAF Asbestos Remediation Completion Report, January 1998.

In 1998, SSPORTS continued its abatement activities. In accordance with the Phase II Project Management Plan (PMP) for Asbestos Remediation at NAF Adak, SSPORTS repaired, removed, and evaluated all friable, accessible, and damaged ACM in buildings that posed a threat to human health and safety. SSPORTS conducted an overview of the entire island to locate, pick up, bag, tag and dispose of any visible, loose asbestos in safe, accessible areas. From mid-March to October 1998, remediation and building inspections occurred. A total of 398 buildings were certified as safe for occupancy and use. These efforts are documented in the 1998 Asbestos Remediation Completion Report for Adak NAF (released May 1999).

During January through December 1999, using special authority and funding provided by Congress, the Navy contracted with SSPORTS, Space Mark, and Ultramax, Inc. to remove asbestos-containing building materials in 93 buildings. The 1999 asbestos remediation efforts are summarized in the Asbestos Remediation Completion Report, released March 2000 by Roy F. Weston, Inc.

Human Exposure Routes and Public Health Implications

Most people living or working on Adak would not be exposed to levels of asbestos that would present a health hazard. Routine daily activities may involve accidentally (incidentally) inhaling tiny amounts of asbestos fibers suspended in the air from the high school floor tile, from appliances in homes, and from materials in the workplaces. Additionally, any asbestos or asbestos containing material disposed in a landfill or otherwise buried does not present a health hazard to current or future residents because contact with buried material is not likely to occur.

Likewise current and future residents of Adak would also not likely be exposed to levels of asbestos that would pose a health hazard since asbestos containing materials are not likely present in Sandy Cove, Eagle Bay, and Moffett View housing areas.

Asbestos from decaying buildings which do not get re-used are not likely to present a health hazard. Disturbances involving bulldozing, destruction, or moving decaying structures could pose a hazard to the worker performing the activity. Workers involved in such activity should be educated about the potential contents of these structures. Current contractors and future workers not involved in asbestos-related activities are not expected to be exposed.

Those individuals who might be occupationally exposed to asbestos containing material such as plumbers or workers handling pipe insulation, or workers involved in asbestos clean-up activities should be made aware of the potential of material they may be handling to contain asbestos and wear the appropriate personal protective gear as required by OSHA.

Information presented in the scientific literature states that, inhaling large amounts of asbestos dust daily for over 20 years has shown to present a health hazard. Routinely, those types of exposures have been associated with lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. While not all occupationally exposed individuals experience adverse health effects from their asbestos exposure, a scientific statistically significant number of people studied did show these diseases. It is not known why some people are affected by their exposure and others not, it may be due to their genetic predisposition or resilience, or their individual lifestyle habits (ATSDR 2001).

While there is great concern about the health implications of even small amounts of asbestos exposure, much research has been done over the last 30 years to support the fact that asbestos exposure presents a health hazard only to those people who have worked with large amounts of friable asbestos for more than 20 years. Occupations with documented asbestos exposure-induced health effects include asbestos miners and asbestos insulation installers in the shipbuilding or plumbing industries (ATSDR 2001).

These people experienced daily exposure to high levels of asbestos dust for more than 20 years. Adverse health effects include mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the chest cavity, and asbestosis, a condition of the lungs which results in the lungs containing fibrosis tissue. The symptoms of these diseases do not usually appear until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos (ATSDR 2001).

Asbestos has been used in homes, schools, and workplaces since the early 1800s. Therefore, there is much evidence that daily exposure to asbestos containing materials in homes, schools, and workplaces does not present a health hazard because more people would be experiencing asbestos-related illness. Even though there is concern about asbestos exposures from non-occupational conditions, recommendations by the American Lung Association, the Asbestos Institute and others is to leave existing asbestos in place. Damaged asbestos-containing material should be repaired by "encapsulation", a procedure that uses a heavy fiber-glass wallpaper-type paste similar to a patch to seal the damaged areas. An area as large as 10 feet in length can be easily repaired by encapsulation instead of being removed. Removal creates more hazardous asbestos dust and with it the greater potential for exposure.

In the 1970s, there was tremendous media attention to asbestos and asbestos related illness. This sparked a frenzy of lawsuits and legislation proposals to ban the use of asbestos in the United States. Some countries have banned asbestos use and have found even greater health hazards associated with its alternative replacements such as fiberglass. Scientific evidence does not support the conclusion of a widespread health hazard associated with everyday non-occupational asbestos exposure. Many more hazards have been associated with asbestos-alternatives. For those reasons, while the use of asbestos had declined, asbestos was not banned in the U.S.

According to BRAC protocol, the Department of Defense policy for all BRAC sites is to leave as is in place all asbestos and lead based paint containing structures and to disclose their contents, condition for each building in the Finding of Suitability to Transfer documents (DoD 1998).

Conclusions and Public Health Action Plan for Asbestos Exposure (Downtown Area)

Conclusions:
  1. Floor tile in the high school may contain asbestos-laden adhesive. Asbestos particles would not likely be released during normal daily activities such as walking on, sweeping or mopping the tile floor. However, anyone involved in repairing the floor tile could be exposed to asbestos if the floor tile is disturbed by sanding, sawing, or cutting.


  2. Since asbestos was not used in building materials for those homes that are being or will be used in the future, current and future residents of Adak are not likely to be exposed to friable asbestos in their homes.


  3. Only daily occupational exposure to high levels of asbestos dust for longer than 20 to 30 years has been shown to result in asbestos-related lung disease.


  4. Asbestos disposed in landfills or otherwise left covered does not present a health hazard to current or future Adak residents.

Completed Actions:
  1. Navy contractors conducted "shore-to-shore" asbestos survey of all standing, partially standing, or dilapidated structures on the Navy controlled portion of Adak Island.


  2. All asbestos found to be damaged, friable, and accessible at the time of the survey has been encapsulated or properly removed.


  3. The Navy has documented asbestos inspection and remediation reports (Weston March 2000) in a consolidated asbestos survey report for NAF Adak.


  4. The Navy completed an in-place management plan for asbestos as contained within the Hart Crowser document, "asbestos Management Plan for Former NAF Adak, November 2000.

Recommended Actions:
  1. Due to the reduced level of concern about asbestos exposure to current and future visitors to the high school from floor tile adhesive, and the efforts made by the Navy, ATSDR has no follow-up recommends.

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