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The following statements supplement the indicated sections of theCoakley Landfill Site Public Health Assessment of October 13, 1988:



The Coakley Landfill Site was placed on the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National PrioritiesList (NPL) in 1986. An EPA Record of Decision (ROD) for thesite was signed on June 29, 1990. A Remedial Investigation(RI) (1) field exploration and testing program was conductedat the site from April 1986 to May 1987 and serves as thebasis for development of the Feasibility Study (FS) for thesite. The field activities conducted during the RI includedthe collection and analysis of groundwater, soil, surfacewater, sediment, and air samples to determine the presenceand extent of contamination in these media. A FS (3) forthe Coakley Landfill Site was conducted in 1989 to identifyand analyze the alternatives considered for addressingcontamination at the site. The FS report describes thealternatives considered, as well as the process and criteriaEPA used to narrow the list to eight potential remedialalternatives, from which one proposed plan was selected.

On March 15, 1990, the EPA and the New Hampshire Departmentof Environmental Services (NHDES) held a publicinformational meeting at the North Hampton Elementary Schoolon the proposed cleanup plan for the Coakley Landfill Site. The EPA conducted a 60-day comment period between March 16and May 14, 1990, to accept written public comments on theproposed plan and the FS (3). EPA is proposing a 2-partcleanup plan to address soil and groundwater contaminationat the Coakley Landfill Site. The EPA's proposed planincludes: a) placing a cap over the landfill to minimize themigration of contaminants from the landfill; and b) on-sitecollection and treatment of groundwater and landfill gasesto remove and prevent further migration of contaminants fromthe site.

On April 3, 1990, the EPA held a public hearing at the NorthHampton Elementary School to receive public comments on theproposed plan for remedial activities at the CoakleyLandfill Site. A petition signed by area residents wasdelivered to EPA representatives at the hearing. Copies ofthis petition were also given to representatives from theNew Hampshire Attorney General's Office (NHAGO) and the NHDES (4).

At the time the Public Health Assessment was issued inOctober 1988, portions of the Coakley Landfill containedareas of incinerator ash residue which were exposed due tosurface water and wind erosion of on-site cover soils. These areas of exposed ash at the landfill had been coveredwith new cover material as of August 3, 1989, in accordance withthe NH DES Administrative Order # WMD 89-26 of May 5,1989 (5). As of October 18, 1990, the surface soilcover over the ash residue in the landfill was intactand did not pose a health threat to the public, viadirect contact, according to observations made during aNHDES site visit earlier in the month (6).


Since the Public Health Assessment for the Coakley LandfillSite was completed, three studies have been conducted whichaddress specific health concerns at the landfill and in theimmediate vicinity of the site. These studies include: 1.Evaluation of Cancer Incidence and Mortality in NorthHampton, NH, 1980-1986 (New Hampshire Division of PublicHealth Services, July 1988) (7); 2. Site Assessment-CoakleyLandfill, North Hampton, NH (U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency, February 1989) (8); and 3. Residential Indoor AirStudy Sampling Results-Coakley Landfill, North Hampton, NH(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, May 1989) (9).

The EPA and the NHDES held a public informational meeting onthe proposed cleanup plan for the Coakley Landfill Site onMarch 15, 1990, at the North Hampton Elementary School. Thepurpose of the meeting was for the EPA and the NHDES todiscuss the proposed plan, outline the results of the FS (3)that evaluated several other cleanup alternatives, and toanswer questions from the public. Several issues wereraised at the public meeting concerning costs, PotentiallyResponsible Parties, and engineering specifics of theproposed plan. Other issues included the discharge oftreated groundwater and protection of the adjacent wetlandand associated surface waters. Concerns more directlyrelated to health included the potential for airborne dustgeneration during the cleanup and the notification ofresidents when groundwater is considered potable. Inaddition, one resident, displeased with the July 1988 NHDPHShealth study (7), requested that another health study beperformed.

The EPA held a public hearing to receive public comments onthe proposed plan for remedial activities at the CoakleyLandfill Site on April 3, 1990, at the North HamptonElementary School. A group of concerned area residentsdelivered a petition to representatives from the EPA, NHAGO,and NHDES who were present at the hearing. Issues addressedin the citizens' petition and brought up at the hearingincluded: more extensive cleanup than what the EPA haschosen, returning the property to a useful purpose,evacuation of residents during cleanup activities, relieffor affected residents around the site, a new governmentfunded comparative health study, bringing in a public watersupply line for the residents of Breakfast Hill Road,criminal prosecutions for those involved with operating andlicensing the landfill, and having the State of NewHampshire assume the entire cost of the cleanup since thelandfill was permitted and regulated by the state (4). Theissue of fencing around the Coakley Landfill Site was alsoraised at the hearing. An EPA representative responded thatfencing the site was part of the remedy selected, but afence would not be erected until construction of thelandfill cap began (4).

This addendum to the original Public Health Assessment ofOctober 13, 1988, was available for public review andcomment during the public comment period from June 24through July 23, 1991. Public comments and responses areincluded in Appendix V of this addendum.


To identify possible facilities that could contribute to theair, surface water, and soil contamination near the CoakleyLandfill site, ATSDR searched the 1987, 1988, and 1989 ToxicRelease Inventory (TRI). TRI is developed by the U.S. EPAfrom the chemical release (air, water, and soil) informationprovided by certain industries. TRI did not containinformation on toxic release in North Hampton and in the zipcode in which the site is located.


The EPA conducted soil sampling at the Coakley Landfill Sitein November 1988 to assess the levels of contaminantspresent in the surface soil of the Coakley Landfill cap andto determine whether public access to the site should berestricted. A report entitled, Site Assessment-CoakleyLandfill, North Hampton, NH, by the EPA addressed theseissues (8). The sampling activities performed at theCoakley Landfill identified some metal concentrations aboveranges of natural levels for New England soils and possiblevolatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in the topsoilof the landfill (8). The semi-volatile organics identifiedin the samples obtained from the landfill were at levelsbelow the instrument quantitation limits of the instrumentsused for the analysis. Samples were taken from 12 on-sitesampling stations at the landfill and screened forconcentrations of metals. The samples from all stationswere found to contain natural background levels of metalsexcept for samples taken at stations 9 and 10 (see AppendixII). These two samples, both ash samples obtained from thetop of the landfill, contained concentrations of severalmetals above levels naturally occurring in soils (seeAppendix III). All of the concentrations of the metalsdetected at sampling stations 9 and 10 were above thenatural range, except nickel, which was within the rangeconsidered to be naturally occurring (8).

The concentrations of lead and antimony present in surfaceash residue samples from the landfill were at levels ofpotential health concern. These sampling results arereported in the table in Appendix III. Headspace analysisof soil samples for VOCs detected three VOC contaminants,which are listed in Appendix III. ATSDR reviewers commentedthat these headspace VOC data were collected underartificial lab conditions and probably are not indicative ofthe ambient air concentrations present on-site (10).

EPA has not sampled for dioxin at the Coakley Landfill Sitedue to the Region I policy of sampling for dioxin only whereevidence exists which would support a likelihood of findinglevels of public health concern. In January 1986, the NHDESperformed analysis for dioxin on ash similar to thatdeposited at the landfill and from other facilities and ashdisposal sites in the State of New Hampshire. This analysisdid not detect dioxin in any of the samples (11). Based on the results of this analysis, EPA does not believe thatany sampling for dioxin at the Coakley Landfill Sitewould demonstrate the presence of elevated levels.


On March 7, 1989, the EPA conducted an 8-hour indoor airsampling study and soil gas screening study at a residenceon Lafayette Terrace, adjacent to the Coakley Landfill Site. The purpose of the study was to collect air sampling data todetermine if selected VOCs associated with the site wereinfiltrating the home's indoor air and adversely impactingair quality. This study by EPA is entitled, ResidentialIndoor Air Study Sampling Results - Coakley Landfill, NorthHampton, NH (9). The air samples were collected in thebasement, on the first floor, and outside of the home. There were 19 VOCs detected in these air samples atconcentrations ranging from not detected (ND) to 12.0 ppb. The air sampling results for each VOC detected at eachsampling location are reported in the table in Appendix IV. The soil gas data collected from soil underneath the dirtfloor basement of the residence showed that no VOCs werepresent above their lower detectable limits.


The data from the Residential Indoor Air Study show thatthere is essentially no difference between the basement andfirst floor air quality or between the indoor and outdoorenvironments at this residence (9). By comparing the indoorair sampling results with the soil gas sampling results, EPAconcluded that it is highly unlikely that VOCs werevolatilizing from contaminated groundwater or migrating byair transport from the landfill and infiltrating the home'sair space. The results of the study suggest that there areno sources associated with the Coakley Landfill which areadversely affecting indoor air quality in this residence(9).


The Bureau of Disease Control, NHDPHS, conducted a health studythat was initiated in January 1988 in response to a citizen'sconcern with respect to cancer rates on Lafayette Terrace, astreet adjacent to the Coakley Landfill (7). After a meetingbetween the NHDPHS and several of the residents in early 1988, itbecame evident that health concerns were not limited to cancer,but included a wide variety of medical symptoms. The residentshad expressed concern that contamination of the neighborhoodwater supply by the Coakley Landfill was the cause of some oftheir health problems.

The NHDPHS agreed to study the cancer incidence and mortalityrates in North Hampton and conduct a door-to-door health surveyof Lafayette Terrace residents regarding other health concerns. The purpose of the NHDPHS study was to: a) determine whether ornot cancer incidence and cancer mortality is higher over time inthe residents of North Hampton than would be expected bycomparison to a similar population, b) determine whether or notthe relative proportions of cancer at various anatomical sites issignificantly different over time than would be expected bycomparison to a similar population, and c) survey symptoms beingexperienced by the residents of Lafayette Terrace.

The three methods used in the study to assess the health statusof North Hampton residents were: 1) statistical analysis ofcancer mortality rates for the years 1980 through 1986 for allNorth Hampton residents, 2) statistical analysis of cancerincidence rates for the year October 1, 1986, through September30, 1987, for all North Hampton residents, and 3) a door-to-doorhealth survey of current and previous residents of LafayetteTerrace.

The NHDPHS, Bureau of Disease Control, concluded that the studyentitled, Evaluation of Cancer Incidence and Mortality in NorthHampton, New Hampshire, 1980-1986 (7), showed no evidence thatNorth Hampton residents were experiencing higher rates of cancerincidence or cancer mortality than would be expected based on theexperience of the entire States of Maine or New Hampshire,respectively. The results of the door-to-door health survey wereconsidered inconclusive. While some of the residents reportedsymptoms that could possibly be related to exposure to chemicalspresent in the Coakley Landfill, these same symptoms were alsoamong the most common complaints of "well" persons (7).

The study did not suggest the need for further studies of cancerincidence or cancer mortality in North Hampton at that time. However, because of the limitations of this study, a repeat studyof this kind should be considered in the future if additionalhealth-related or environmental information become available.

Based on the results of the soil sampling data from November1988, in the report entitled, Site Assessment - Coakley Landfill,North Hampton, NH (8), the presence of elevated levels of leadand antimony in landfill ash residue poses a potential healthrisk to the public via direct contact, inhalation of fugitivedusts, and incidental ingestion, if this ash becomes exposed onthe surface of the landfill or is disturbed during remedialactivities on-site.

Lead in soil or dust at concentrations greater than 500 to 1,000ppm has shown to result in blood levels in children that exceedbackground levels (12). The major biological systems affected bylead exposure are the blood, the nervous system, and the kidneys. Symptoms of chronic lead poisoning from exposure to levelsdetected on-site may include malaise, loss of appetite, anemia,and reproductive and kidney dysfunction. Lead is classified as aprobable human carcinogen by the EPA (12).

The metal antimony exists in two different chemical forms, atrivalent one, Sb (III), and the pentavalent, Sb (V) form. Antimony affects the cardiovascular system, the liver andkidneys, and the respiratory system. Chronic toxicity includesobstructive lung disease, liver and kidney damage,gastrointestinal ulcers, and skin irritation (13). EPA'sreference dose (RfD) for both subchronic and chronic ingestion ofantimony is 0.0004 milligrams of contaminant per kilogram bodyweight per day (mg/kg/day) (14). A RfD is an estimate of a dailyexposure to the general human population that is likely to bewithout an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during alifetime of exposure. The potential exists for adverse healtheffects as a result of exposure to elevated levels of antimony inon-site ash materials, particularly if the surface soil coverover the landfill erodes and the ash becomes exposed.


Since the ATSDR Public Health Assessment for the Coakley Landfillwas completed, three studies have been conducted which addressspecific health concerns at the landfill and in the immediatevicinity of the site. Based on the results of these studies, thesite is currently judged to pose no apparent public healthconcern.

The Division of Health Studies, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), reviewed the NHDPHS health study entitled Evaluation of Cancer Incidence and Mortality in North Hampton (7), and generally concurred with the study design and conclusions of the report. Their review indicated that this study had adequately addressed its stated purposes. The ATSDR evaluation concluded that there was no evidence of increased cancer deaths in the years 1980-1986 in North Hampton, NH, that the symptoms survey was inconclusive, and that no additional study of this type is warranted at this time, but should be considered if additional information is available in the future (15).

A copy of the report entitled Site Assessment-Coakley Landfill(8), was forwarded to ATSDR for their review and comment. TheATSDR evaluation concluded that none of the soil samples thatwere analyzed contained concentrations of contaminants whichwould be expected to pose a concern to public health, as theon-site ash piles have been covered to prevent direct contact bythe public. ATSDR did not feel that there was a need to fencethe site to restrict public access, assuming that the ash pilesare appropriately remediated (10). However, the soil cover overthe ash pile should be inspected and maintained periodically inorder to prevent exposure to contaminants present in the ashpile.

An ATSDR review of the data from the report entitled ResidentialIndoor Air Sampling Results-Coakley Landfill (9) determined thatthe levels of VOCs present in the residence sampled were eitherat or below typical median values for households which have beenmonitored for VOC levels in several other indoor air qualitystudies. ATSDR concluded that the air monitoring data do notsuggest that any public health threat was present from the levelsof VOCs detected at this residence (16).

Health Activities Recommendation Panel (HARP) Recommendation

The Coakley Landfill site, North Hampton, New Hampshire, has beenevaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel forappropriate follow-up with respect to health activities. ThePanel recommended that the site be included in the benzenesubregistry. At this time, there are no plans to add additionalregistrants to the benzene subregistry. If analysis of the dataon current registrants should indicate a need for additionalmembers, this site will be considered for inclusion in thebenzene subregistry.


Based on the recommendations of the HARP and the NHDPHS, ATSDRhas developed the following public health actions:

ATSDR will consider this site for inclusion on the benzenesubregistry if the analysis of the data on current registrantsshould indicate a need for additional members.

NHDPHS, through a cooperative agreement with ATSDR'S Division ofHealth Education, will train physicians and other health careproviders in the diagnosis and treatment of disease caused byexposure to chemicals in the environment. In this projectsegment attention is being focused on medical practitioners whomight see patients from the Coakley Landfill area. Thesepractitioners will receive expert medical advice and training onhow to recognize environmentally related illnesses. Citizens whomay be concerned about the medical consequences of living nearthe Coakley Landfill will have access to an appropriately trainedmedical community. If any adverse medical conditions related tothe landfill are present in the community NHDPHS expects thatthis will be recognized by these local physicians and otherhealth care providers.


New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services

John L. Guty
Environmental Health Specialist

Ellen G. Cavalier, MPH
Supervisor, Risk Assessment Program

Bridget A. Whalen
Word Processor Operator


Louise A. House
Senior Regional Representative
Regional Operations, Region I
Office of the Assistant Administrator


Gregory V. Ulirsch
Environmental Engineer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch, State Programs Section


This Addendum to the Public Health Assessment was prepared by theNew Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Divisionof Public Health Services, under a cooperative agreement with theAgency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It isin accordance with approved methodology and procedures existingat the time the Addendum was initiated.

Gregory V. Ulirsch
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, hasreviewed this Addendum and concurs with its findings.

Director, DHAC, ATSDR


  1. Draft Remedial Investigation for the Coakley Landfill, NorthHampton, New Hampshire, Volumes 1-5, Prepared by Roy Weston,Inc. for Goldberg-Zoino and Associates, Inc., Concord, NH,November 1987.

  2. Draft Feasibility Study-Coakley Landfill, North Hampton, New Hampshire, Contract Number 22109, Prepared by Roy F.Weston, Inc., Concord, NH for New Hampshire Department ofEnvironmental Services, Concord, NH, May 1989.

  3. Memo (April 16, 1990). Michael J. Robinette, New HampshireDepartment of Environmental Services. To: Carl W. Baxter,New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

  4. Robinette, M.J., New Hampshire Department of EnvironmentalServices. Letter to Board of Selectmen, Town of NorthHampton. August 7, 1989.

  5. Personal Communication from Michael Robinette, Site Manager, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. October18, 1990.

  6. Evaluation of Cancer Incidence and Mortality in NorthHampton, New Hampshire, 1980-1986, DPHS Report #88-007,Prepared by New Hampshire Division of Public HealthServices, Bureau of Disease Control, Concord, NH, July 1988.

  7. Site Assessment-Coakley Landfill, North Hampton, NH, TDD No.01-8810-30B, Prepared by WESTON-SPER Technical AssistanceTeam-Region I for U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency-Region I, Lexington, MA, February 1989.

  8. Residential Indoor Air Study Sampling Results-CoakleyLandfill, North Hampton, New Hampshire, Prepared by U.S.Environmental Protection Agency- Region I, EnvironmentalServices Division, Boston, MA, May 1989.

  9. Memo (January 23, 1989). Louise A. House, ATSDR-Region I. To: Alex Sherrin, Environmental Protection Agency-Region I.

  10. Deland, M.R., Environmental Protection Agency-Region I. Letter to G.J. Humphrey, U.S. Senate. March 20, 1989.

  11. Toxicological Profile for Lead; ATSDR, U.S. Public HealthService, June 1990.

  12. Toxicology and Biological Monitoring of Metals in Humans,Including Feasibility and Need; Carson, B.L., Ellis, H.V.,and McCann, J.L., eds., Lewis Publishers, Inc., Chelsea, MI,1986.

  13. EPA's IRIS Data Base, October 16, 1990.

  14. Memo (February 1, 1989). Wendy E. Kaye, ATSDR. To: LesterSmith, ATSDR.

  15. Memo (June 8, 1989). Louise House, ATSDR-Region I. To:Paul Marchessault, Environmental Protection Agency-Region I.


Site Map
Appendix I. Site Map.

Site Diagram Map with Soil Sampling Station Locations
Appendix II. Site Diagram Map with Soil Sampling Station Locations.

Appendix III.

Table of On-Site Soil Sampling Results (a)
Contaminants Conc. (ppm)

di-n-butyl phthalate ND-<0.008
fluoranthene ND-<0.006
phenanthrene ND-<0.006
antimony ND-500
copper 400-1800
lead 100-900
nickel 100-150
tin 100-250
zinc 2000-2500
benzene * ND-11
chlorobenzene * ND-26
meta-xylene * ND-14

(a) - Data includes sampling results from on-site surface ash residue samples

ppm - parts per million

ND - Not detected; concentration below method detection limit

* - Headspace analysis of soil samples for VOCs

Source: WESTON-SPER, Site Assessment-Coakley Landfill, February 1989

Appendix IV.

Table of Residential Air Sampling Results
Contaminants Conc. in basement * Conc. on first floor * Conc. outside of home *

acetone 7.3 12.0 7.2
benzene 1.0 <1.0 <1.3
carbon tetrachloride 0.3 0.2 0.2
chloroform 0.1 <0.2 ND
ethylbenzene 0.2 0.2 0.2
isopropylbenzene <0.1 ND <0.2
isopropyltoluene ND 0.4 <0.2
methylene chloride ND ND <0.2
methyl ethyl ketone 0.7 2.6 1.2
methyl isobutyl ketone 0.1 <0.2 ND
naphthalene 5.0 1.8 <0.2
styrene ND 0.4 <0.2
tetrachloroethylene 0.1 <0.2 <0.2
1,1,1-trichloroethane 0.6 0.5 0.3
toluene 2.0 1.5 <1.2
trichloroethylene <0.1 <0.2 ND
trichlorofluoromethane 0.8 0.8 0.3
1,2,4-trimethylbenzene 0.3 0.2 0.2
xylenes (total) 1.0 0.2 0.2

* - parts per billion

ND - Not detected; concentration below method detection limit

Source: U.S. EPA, Residential Indoor Air Study, May 1989

Appendix V.

Public Comments and Responses on the Addendum
1. Comment: Why was the health survey deemed inconclusive?
  Response: The health survey was deemed inconclusive as the July 1988 NHDPHS health study was not able to confirm an increased incidence of disease in the study population and medical symptoms reported by residents appeared to be typical of symptoms in the general population. See text - paragraph 1 on page 6.
2. Comment: Give examples or define what types of information would be appropriate to trigger a re-evaluation of the July 1988 NHDPHS health study.
  Response: A significant increase in the cancer incidence rate, cancer mortality rate, and/or an increase in the rate of any other disease in North Hampton would be appropriate types of information to trigger a re-evaluation of the health study. Since, there may be a latency period of several years between exposure to a carcinogen and diagnosis of cancer, continued surveillance of cancer incidence rates and cancer mortality rates could address this latency issue in the future. This information is compiled and reviewed by the NH DPHS on an annual basis. See text - paragraph 3 on page 6.
3. Comment: Give reasons why the symptoms survey in the July 1988 NHDPHS health study was deemed inconclusive.
  Response: Based on information about the health effects of site-related contaminants, it was not possible to determine whether any of the symptoms reported in the health survey were related or unrelated to chemical exposures from the Coakley Landfill, as many of these symptoms are also common in the general population. See text - paragraph 2 on page 7.
4. Comment: Explain the benzene subregistry and its purpose.
  Response: The benzene subregistry is part of the National Exposure Registry that was created by ATSDR to aid in assessing the long-term health consequences of exposure to Superfund - related (CERCLA) hazardous chemicals. ATSDR researchers will use the information gathered through the National Exposure Registry in epidemiologic or health studies and for state and federal health surveillance programs.
5. Comment: Question on appropriate sampling conditions for Residential Indoor Air Sampling Study that was conducted in 1989 and subsequent concern over the validity of the sampling results that were reported.
  Response: EPA has indicated that since the ground over the landfill is frozen during the colder months of the year that this would produce a barrier to vapors migrating upwards through the surface of the landfill. Therefore, landfill gases would tend to migrate out radially towards the perimeter of the landfill (towards off-site residences), as opposed to migrating upwards through the surface of the landfill and into ambient air, as would tend to occur during the warmer months of the year. EPA considers this to be a worst case or reasonable case scenario for residential indoor air exposure to site-related contaminants. Additional residential indoor air sampling at residences near the landfill, could be considered during warmer months of the year for comparative purposes.
6. Comment: Clarification of request by the public at the March 15, 1990, public informational meeting for another health study to be conducted.
  Response: Clarification made in paragraph 3 on page 2. See text.
7. Comment: Question as to why ash samples taken at on-site sampling stations 9 and 10 were not tested for chromium, cadmium, mercury, or dioxin.
  Response: The ash samples that were taken at sampling stations 9 and 10 were analyzed for metals, but only those metals that were detected above naturally occurring levels in soils were reported. See text - paragraph 1 on page three and paragraph 2 on page 4. Ash samples were not analyzed for dioxin as explained in paragraph 3 on page 4. See text.
8. Comment: Concern that area residents should be checked for exposure to site-related contaminants. Reference made to symptoms similar to chronic exposure to both antimony and lead, made in the State's July 1988 health study. Comment that testing all residents for their symptoms would be the only way to confirm that there are no adverse health effects for residents living near the site.
  Response: General symptoms of chronic exposure to both lead and antimony were described in this addendum in paragraphs 4 and 5 on page 6. While these symptoms could possibly be related to exposure to chemicals present in the Coakley Landfill, the July 1988 NHDPHS health study concluded that these same symptoms are also among the most common ones seen in the general population. See text - paragraph 1 on page 6.
9. Comment: An area resident reports that they have health-related information on residents living near the site which disputes the findings of the July 1988 NHDPHS health study. The resident also requests that area residents be able to conduct their own health study to be funded by the State of New Hampshire.
  Response: ATSDR and NHDPHS continue to offer, as they have in the past, to review and evaluate any additional health-related information regarding the Coakley Landfill site which would warrant appropriate follow-up health activities for affected residents in the community. The potential need for a repeat health study or additional health studies are addressed in paragraph 2 on page 6 and in paragraph 2 on page 7, based on information available at the present time. See text.




October 13, 1988












The Coakley Landfill, which is located near North Hampton, New Hampshire, was in operation from early 1972until 1985. Waste materials disposed at the landfill included municipal wastes, industrial wastes, sewage sludge,and incinerator residue from the Incinerator Recovery Plant at the Pease Air Force Base. Several small businesses,cluster homes, and single family residences are located near the site. In 1983, several private, potable water wellsnear the site were found to be contaminated with volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). The concentrations of VOCsdetected in private wells have generally been below a level that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. However, in some wells, benzene concentrations in excess of acceptable drinking water concentrations weredetected. Public water lines have been extended into the impacted areas, and the state has indicated that there iscurrently no known use of a contaminated well for potable purposes; however, the water may be used fornon-potable purposes such as garden and lawn watering. VOC contamination has been detected in ground water,leachate, and ambient air from the landfill. Low concentrations of VOCs have also been detected in water andsediment samples from some nearby streams. The concentrations of VOCs detected in these media would not beexpected to have a significant impact on public health. The absence of adequate data on contamination in surfacesoils from the landfill precludes an assessment of health risks stemming from resultant exposure pathways.



The 27-acre Coakley Landfill is located 2.5 miles northeast of the center of the Town of North Hampton, NewHampshire. It is situated approximately 400 to 800 feet west of Lafayette Road (Route 1) and directly south ofBreakfast Hill Road. The facility accepted municipal and industrial wastes from the Portsmouth area during theperiod between early 1972 and July 1982, and incinerator residue from the Incineration Recovery Plant located atPease Air Force Base from July 1982 until July 1985. In July 1985, the landfill stopped accepting waste materials.

Potable water for residences and commercial buildings in the vicinity of the Coakley Landfill is available fromprivate groundwater wells or from one of three water utility companies. Municipal water lines were extended intothe area in 1983, so that public water supply is currently available to most consumers.

In February 1983, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Water Supply and Pollution ControlCommission (WSPCC) received a complaint concerning drinking water quality from a resident of LafayetteTerrace. This residential development is located adjacent to the southeastern corner of the Coakley Landfill. Subsequent investigation revealed contamination by VOCs in that residential well. Additional studies by theWSPCC documented VOC contamination in other residential wells adjacent to the eastern and southeastern portionsof the site. Contamination was also detected in groundwater monitoring wells installed in overburden and bedrockon Coakley Landfill property and at on-site and off-site surface water sampling stations.


ATSDR personnel conducted a Site Visit of the Coakley Landfill on July 1, 1988.


The Coakley Landfill is the subject of a Citizen's Petitioned Health Assessment. The petitioner expressed concernover contamination of ground water and the possible migration of VOCs from the landfill to indoor air in residencessurrounding the landfill. The petitioner also expressed concern over the incidence of cancer and other illnesses in residential areas near the landfill.



The following table lists contaminants of concern that were detected on-site, the media that were contaminated, and the range of concentrations found in the media (ppb -parts per billion).
Groundwater Arsenic ND - 89
  Benzene ND - 60.6
  Phenol ND - 120
  Chloroethane ND - 12.2
  Methyl ethyl ketone ND - 2700
Subsurface Soil Benzo(a)pyrene ND - 480
  Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) ND - 420
Leachate Acetone ND - 185
  Diethyl ether ND - 19
  Methyl ethyl ketone ND - 176
  Toluene ND - 29
  Tetrahydrofuran ND - 50.5
  Methyl isobutyl ketone ND - 19
Sediments Arsenic ND - 46000
  Lead ND - 114000


The following table lists contaminants of concern that were detected off-site, the range of concentrations found (ppb-parts per billion), and the media that were contaminated.
Groundwater Arsenic ND - 24
  Benzene ND -19.9
  Chromium ND - 330
  Chloroethane ND - 470
  Tetrahydrofuran ND - 890
  Lead ND - 43
  Methyl ethyl ketone ND - 282
Domestic Wells 1,1-Dichloroethane ND - 22
  1,1,1-Trichloroethane ND - 5.9
  Toluene ND - 160
  Benzene ND - 18
  Ethyl benzene ND - 10.1
  Xylenes ND - 4
  Methyl ethyl ketone ND - 904
  Methyl isobutyl ketone ND - 63
  Diethyl ether ND - 48
Surface Water Methyl ethyl ketone ND - 130
  Acetone ND - 89
  Methyl isobutyl ketone ND - 10
  Toluene ND - 10
  Tetrahydrofuran ND - 12
Stream Sediments Arsenic ND - 14000
  Phenanthrene ND - 2300
  Benzo(a)pyrene ND - 900
  Acetone ND - 100
Indoor Air 1,1,1-trichloroethane ND - 0.2
  Tetrachloroethene ND - 0.01
  Benzene ND - 0.75
  Ethyl benzene ND - 0.66
  Toluene ND - 3.95
  Acetone ND - 22.45
  Tetrahydrofuran ND - 2.12
  TCE ND - 0.09
  Trichloromethane ND - 3.75
  Xylenes ND - 0.6


Sampling was conducted between December 1986 and December 1987 except for the domestic wells which were sampled between February 1983 and March 1987.

ND - Not detected; concentration below method detection limit.


Metal debris protruding from the surface and broken glass pose physical hazards to motorcyclists and other trespassers on the site.


Land use to the east and south of the site is either residential or commercial. Relatively large tracts of undevelopedwoodlands and wetlands, which are generally privately owned, lie to the west and north of the site. The RyeLandfill, which was closed in 1987, borders the site to the northeast.

In the vicinity of the landfill, populations are concentrated along main roads such as Lafayette Road. Clusterdevelopments, such as the Granite Post Green Mobile Home Park and Lafayette Terrace, are located in the area. Along Route 1, there are several small commercial facilities, motels, and restaurants.

Access to the site is relatively unrestricted. There is a locked entrance gate on the main access road which may limitaccess; however, there are several other points where one could enter the site. The frequency of unauthorized entryhas not been monitored. Staff involved in the RI work reported seeing all-terrain vehicles on-site.


A. SITE CHARACTERIZATION (Data Needs and Evaluation)

1. Environmental Media

The surface water, stream sediment, soil, groundwater, and air were analyzed for VOCs, acid and base/neutralorganic compounds, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and pesticides. No surface soil sampling was conductedduring the Remedial Investigation (RI) study.

2. Land Use and Demographics

The information provided in the RI report on land use and demographics was adequate in extent and nature tocomplete this assessment.

3. Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC)

The QA/QC data provided in the materials reviewed by ATSDR were adequate to complete this assessment. Theconclusions contained in this report are based on the data package supplied to ATSDR. The validity of these conclusions is therefore dependent on the accuracy and reliability of the data provided.


The major pathway for the movement of contaminants from the site is by groundwater migration. Transport ofcontaminants may also occur overland in the form of seeps and surface water flow. Groundwater flow is generallytoward the Little River and Bailey's Brook. Groundwater flow may be influenced by nearby supply wells locatedsoutheast of the site which may reverse the gradient under pumping conditions.

The State of New Hampshire conducted air monitoring at the landfill between March 1983 and April 1986. The airmonitoring indicated the presence of low concentrations of VOCs in ambient air at the perimeter of the site. Lowconcentrations of VOCs were also detected in indoor air samples from three residences in the Lafayette Terracedevelopment; however, it is not possible to conclude whether these compounds originate from the landfill or fromuse of household products in the home.

The Coakley Landfill is relatively free of vegetative cover. Along the northern and western slopes, incineratorresidue is visible in areas where wind action appears to have removed the sand cover. Soil quality data indicate thatcontaminants were present in test pit soil samples. These samples were obtained at depths of five feet or more, andthe results may not be indicative of contamination present in surface soils.

According to the EPA, the landfill area was covered with approximately two feet of soil. In 1986, the EPALexington Laboratory analyzed surface soil samples from four unidentified locations. The results of the analyseswere not provided, but it was stated that the results "show no difference from the typical pattern of metals forcommon soil" (2).


The major human exposure pathway is through the use of contaminated ground water for potable purposes. Otherpossible exposure pathways include ingestion and dermal exposure to on-site surface soils and surface waters, andthe inhalation of VOCs in outdoor and indoor air.

In the 1987 RI, it was reported that approximately 89 buildings within one mile of the site were not being serviced by municipal water systems. These locations presumably rely on private wells for their water supply. Residents of these dwellings may be exposed to contaminants from the direct ingestion of ground water, as well as by the inhalation of VOCs in air that are released from water during showering, washing, or cooking.

Except for a locked gate at the main entrance, access to the landfill is unrestricted. The landfill is used bymotorcyclists, all terrain vehicle riders, and snowmobile riders in winter. Although part of the site is vegetated, thereare many bare areas of loose sand and gravel. There are also leachate seeps along the steep slopes of the landfilledarea. Because there is relatively free access to the site, there is a potential for dermal contact with surface soils andleachate from the landfill. Small amounts of soil or dust could also be ingested by trespassers on the site.

There are four small streams near the Coakley Landfill. The closest stream, and the one most likely to be impactedby the landfill, is Berry's Brook. The streams are shallow and slow moving, and it is not likely that they are capableof supporting a game fish population.

During the ATSDR site visit, Berry's Brook and the surrounding wetlands were observed to be densely vegetatedand mosquito-ridden. Although the area is not an attractive recreational site, human contact with the area may occur since access is not restricted.


The Coakley Landfill began operations in 1972. In 1983, tests conducted by the New Hampshire WSPCC detectedcontamination of private wells located east and southeast of the landfill. At that time, the affected residences wereadvised to seek an alternate source of potable water.

Currently, the residential areas near the landfill are serviced by municipal water supply lines from Hampton WaterWorks, the Portsmouth Water District, and the Rye Water District. However, there are still businesses andresidences near the site that are not connected to a municipal water line. The State of New Hampshire conductsquarterly monitoring of private wells surrounding the site. As of July 1988, the State was not aware of anycontaminated private wells in use.

The use of ground water containing VOCs for potable purposes could result in exposures from the direct ingestion ofVOCs in water as well as the inhalation of VOCs released from water to indoor air. The VOCs most frequentlydetected in water from residential wells were 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA). Chronicexposure to high doses of these chemicals has resulted in injury to the liver (TCA) or kidney (DCA) in animalexperiments. However, the reported concentrations of TCA and DCA in water from residential wells were below thedrinking water standards of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs). Therefore, the use ofthis water for potable purposes would not be expected to result in an adverse impact on human health from thesecontaminants.

Ground water from several of the private wells was contaminated with aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons such asbenzene, ethyl benzene, toluene, and xylenes. Of these compounds, benzene poses the greatest concern because of itsdemonstrated toxicity to the bone marrow. Occupational exposure to benzene has been correlated with an increasedincidence of blood dyscrasias, aplastic anemia, and leukemia. Water from several of the private wells containedbenzene in excess of PDWRs drinking water standard. Therefore, the use of this water, particularly for extendedperiods of time, poses a potential health risk. Although ethyl benzene, toluene, and xylenes were found in severalwells, the concentrations were below levels that would be expected to result in adverse health effects.

Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), methyl isobutyl ketone (MIBK), diethyl ether, and other organic compounds were alsooccasionally detected in water from private wells. However, the concentrations of these chemicals were below levelswhich would be expected to result in adverse health effects.

In 1983 and 1984, the New Hampshire Water Supply and Pollution Control Commission (WSPCC) conductedoutdoor air monitoring for VOCs at several locations at the edge of the landfill and at the Lafayette Terracedevelopment. The analytical data from this monitoring were not included in the RI report. However, it was statedthat air samples contained no contaminants in excess of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration'sPermissible Exposure Levels with a safety factor of 420 incorporated. As judged by these criteria, no adverseimpact on public health would be expected to result from exposure to airborne VOCs at the landfill.

In 1986, the WSPCC also conducted indoor air monitoring of three homes in Lafayette Terrace. Several VOCswere detected, but the concentrations were typical of those found in residential dwellings. The chemicals detectedare often constituents of household cleaners, paints, petroleum products, and other materials found in the home. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude whether these VOCs originated from products used in the home or from thelandfill. Nevertheless, the concentrations of VOCs that were detected in indoor air were less than outdoor air VOCconcentrations at the landfill perimeter and would not be expected to have an adverse impact on human health.

When the landfill was in operation, disposed wastes were covered with clean sand. Since the landfill closed, therehas been ome wind and water erosion of the surface sand cover. This erosion may result in previously buried wastesbeing exposed at the surface. Characterization of potential surface soil contamination was limited to analyses offour samples for inorganic chemicals. From this limited data, it is not possible to determine whether human contactwith surface soils and dusts from the landfill poses a potential health risk.

Leachate samples from the landfill contained the same VOCs that were detected in groundwater samples - i.e.,acetone, MEK, tetrahydrofuran, diethyl ether, and MIBK. Occasional human contact with these leachates would notbe expected pose a public health threat.

There are several streams and a wetland near the landfill that could be impacted by groundwater discharge andsurface water runoff from the landfill. Analyses of surface water and sediments from Berry's Brook demonstratedsome low level contamination with VOCs. However, the concentrations of the contaminants detected would not belikely to have an adverse impact on the health of individuals who come into contact with water or sediments fromthe streams. It is not known whether there is any human consumption of biota from the wetlands or stream area. Inthe absence of this information, no assessment of the potential health impact of this exposure pathway can be offered.


Previous landfilling operations at the Coakley Landfill have resulted in contamination of ground water on-site, aswell as off-site. Although municipal water is available to residents and businesses surrounding the site, there arenumerous private wells still in use. The State of New Hampshire regularly monitors these wells for site-relatedcontaminants. None of the private wells in use during the last sampling event contained detectable concentrations ofcontaminants.

Residents of Lafayette Terrace have expressed concern over exposure to chemicals from the landfill. The residentsof this neighborhood have been serviced by municipal water lines since 1983. Indoor air monitoring conducted in1986 did not detect concentrations of VOCs that would be expected to cause adverse health effects. Therefore, thereis no evidence that residents of Lafayette Terrace are currently being exposed to significant levels of contaminantsoriginating from the landfill. Although exposures to groundwater contaminants may have occurred prior to 1983, itis not possible to assess the potential health impact of these exposures because of the absence of data on theconcentrations of contaminants and the length of exposure.

Based upon information reviewed, ATSDR has concluded that this site is of potential health concern because of thepotential risk to human health resulting from possible exposure to hazardous substances at concentrations that mayresult in adverse health effects. As noted in the Environmental and Human Exposure Pathways Sections above,human exposure to site contaminants may be occurring and may have occurred in the past via ingestion ofcontaminated groundwater, ingestion and dermal absorption of contaminants present in soils or surface waters, andinhalation of VOCs present in outdoor and indoor air.

In order to protect public health, the following are recommended.

1. The on-site surface soils have not been adequately characterized for health assessment purposes. An analysis ofon-site surfce soils from the landfill would be needed in order to assess the potential health impact on workers andtrespassers who come into direct contact with surface soils.

2. Because it cannot be determined from the available data whether human contact with surface soils at the siteposes a health risk, the landfill should be posted with warning signs, and public access to the site should beprevented.

3. Residents in the vicinity of the landfill should be connected to the public water supply system, if available. Private wells that are at risk for groundwater contamination should be regularly monitored.

4. If possible, institutional controls should be implemented to prevent the installation and use of drinking water wellsin the contaminated portion of the drinking water aquifer.

5. In accordance with CERCLA as amended, the Coakley Landfill Site, North Hampton, NH, has been evaluatedfor appropriate follow-up with respect to health effects studies. Although there are indications that human exposureto contaminated drinking water may possibly have occurred, this site is not being considered for follow-up healthstudies at this time because no current pathway of exposure can be defined, and no test is available to evaluate past exposures.


Environmental Reviewer:

Chebryll J. Carter
Environmental Health Engineer
Environmental Engineering Branch

Health Reviewer:

Kenneth G. Orloff
Senior Toxicologist
Health Sciences Branch


Charlotta V. Gavin
Clerk Typist
Environmental Engineering Branch

Regional Representative:

Marilyn DiSirio
Public Health Advisor
Field Operations Branch
Region 1


1. Draft Remedial Investigation for the Coakley Landfill, North Hampton, New Hampshire, Volumes 1 - 5, Prepared by Roy Weston, Inc. for Goldberg-Zoino and Associates, Inc., Concord, NH, November 1987.

2. EPA Region 1 Memorandum from Dr T. M. Spittler to Dr. W. Andrade; April 28, 1986.

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