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(a/k/a RANNY WELL)


The Endicott Wellfield site was listed on the NationalPriorities List (NPL) after volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in theVillage of Endicott's public water supply in 1981. In March of 1983, the Village installed atemporary aerator on the main water supply well (Ranney Well) to remove contaminants from thepublic water supply. An investigation of the source and extent of groundwater contamination wasinitiated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in May of 1983.

The Village of Endicott installed a purge well upgradient of the Ranney Well in June of 1984to intercept the contaminant plume and removecontaminated groundwater, thus minimizing its impact on the wellfield. Contaminatedgroundwater is discharged to a series of ponds on the En-Joie Golf Course. A remedialinvestigation and feasibility study was initiated by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in March 1986. The US EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in September of 1987,which selected installation of an air stripper at the Ranney well and continued use of the existingpurge well as an interim remedy. In February 1988, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed a health assessment for the site which concluded that contaminant levels inthe Ranney well are sufficiently high to pose a public health threat, if left untreated. Asupplemental remedial investigation was conducted between October 1989 and November 1991.The Endicott Village Landfill, northwest of the wellfield, was identified as the source of VOCs inthe Endicott water supply. An air stripper was installed on the Ranney well and has beenoperating continuously since February, 1991. In March of 1991, US EPA issued a second RODwhich provided for additional control and treatment of groundwater by requiring installation of asupplemental purge well. On September 30, 1992, a third ROD was issued for the site. This RODaddressed the source of groundwater contamination at the Endicott Landfill, through landfillcapping, gas venting, control and treatment of the leachate seep and long-term management ofthese systems.

The community living near and receiving drinking water from the Endicott wellfield has beeninterested about site conditions and remediation activities. However, no specific concerns,questions or outstanding health-related issues have been raised by members of the communityabout contamination of the public water supply. The cancer incidence for six census tracts nearthe Village of Endicott was studied by the Broome County Health Department (BCHD) for theperiod 1976-1980. Findings of the study showed an elevated rate of leukemia among males and anelevated rate of lung cancer among females. The study did not show an elevated rate of leukemiaamong females and information on smoking, which is known to be associated with lung cancer,was not incorporated into the study.

Potential physical hazards at the EndicottWellfield site include open drums at the surface of Landfill 1 and two unstable sheets of plywoodwhich cover subsurface valve locations for the golf course water system along the southernboundary of the En-Joie Golf Course.

Continued operation of the Ranney well is necessary to meet the community's water supplyneeds. Monitoring of water quality at the Ranney well indicates that past remedial measures areeffectively removing VOCs from the municipal drinking water supply.

The Endicott Wellfield is a public health hazard because of past community exposures to VOCs in thepublic water supply. Currently, the site poses noapparent public health hazard as there are no exposures occurring to site contaminants atlevels that are likely to cause adverse health effects.

The public health assessment addendum for the Endicott Village Wellfield site has beenreviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendations Panel (HARP) to determineappropriate follow-up health actions. Because of past exposure to contaminated drinking water,the Panel determined that follow-up health actions are needed. Specifically, those persons exposedin the past should be considered for inclusion on NYS DOH's Registry being developedfor VOC exposures from drinking contaminated water. This registry will be matched with thecancer registry to evaluate possible adverse health outcomes. The HARP also determined that anupdate to the previous health outcome data review should be performed. NYS DOH is developing a registryof persons exposed to VOCs in drinking water. Residents who were exposed in the past to VOCsin drinking water, will be considered for inclusion to this registry. In addition, the NYS DOH willrequest that the 1986 study of cancer incidence conducted by the Broome County HealthDepartment be updated through 1990 to determine whether the cancer incidence patterns seen for1976-1980 are also found for 1981-1990.


A. Site Description and History

The Endicott Wellfield site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) after volatileorganic compounds (VOCs) were detected in the Village of Endicott's public water supply in1981. The Endicott Wellfield site consists of approximately 100 acres near the southeasternboundary of the Village of Endicott in Broome County, New York (refer to Figure 1, Appendix 1). The site is bounded by the Susquehanna River to the south, Grippen Park to the east, theTri-Cities airport to the west and Route 17C (West Main Street) to the north. The site includesthe En-Joie Golf Course, the mouth of Nanticoke Creek, the Village of Endicott's sewagetreatment plant, the former Endicott Village Landfill (referred to as Landfill 1), and two publicwater supply wells (the Kelley Well and the Ranney Well) of the Village of Endicott's municipalwellfield.

The Village of Endicott owns and operates its own municipal water supply system; the fourwells are situated along the north shore of the Susquehanna River, near the En-Joie Golf Course,between Nanticoke Creek in Endicott and Davis Street in Endwell (refer to Figure 2, Appendix1). The four wells are identified as number (No.) 32 (the Ranney Well), No. 28 (the Park Well),No. 5 (the South Street Well), and No. 30 (the Endwell Well) and provide drinking water forapproximately 45,000 people. A fifth well (No. 36) is not used because of high iron content in thewater. The municipal water supply serves both the Village of Endicott and part of the Town ofUnion. The general boundaries of the Endicott Water Works distribution of public water, are theBroome County - Tioga County line to the west, Robinson Hill Road to the east, the Union-MainTown line to the north and the Susquehanna River to the south (refer to Figure 3, Appendix 1).Approximately 90% of the area population uses public water and the remaining 10% rely onprivate water supplies.

The main water supply well (Ranney Well) supplies 47% of the total water used in Endicott.The Ranney Well was installed by the Ranney Water Collector Corporation of New York in 1948and is on the north shore of the Susquehanna River between the En-Joie Golf Course and GrippenPark at the end of Grippen Street. The well was first placed into service in 1950 and has beenoperating continuously. The well is 108.5 feet deep, with a diameter of 13 feet. The well wasconstructed with twenty-four eight-inch diameter horizontal screenings which radiate from thecentral casing in four separate tiers near the bottom of the well shaft (refer to Figure 4, Appendix1). The well pumps an average of 3,700 gallons per minute (gpm).

In May of 1981, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) collectedwater surveillance samples from the Endicott public water supply and results indicated thepresence of vinyl chloride in the Ranney Well. In February 1982, US EPA resampled the Villageof Endicott's public water supply; vinyl chloride was found in the Ranney Well and at other pointswithin the distribution system. Samples taken by the NYS DOH in 1982 and 1983 also containedother VOCs, including 1,1-dichloroethane, trans-1,2-dichloroethene, chloroform,1,1,1-trichloroethane, and trichloroethene in the Ranney Well and at other points within the watersupply distribution system.

In January and February of 1983, the Village of Endicott sampled each of the 23 functioninglaterals within the Ranney Well to help in locating the source of contaminants. Vinyl chloride wasfound in lateral collector lines C1, D2, D3 andD4 on the west side of the well. The village later shut down these four watercollector lines.

In March 1983, the Village installed a temporary aeration device to remove vinyl chloride andother VOCs from groundwater. The Village also began monitoring water from the Ranney Welland various points within the distribution system on a weekly basis. At this time, NYS DOHrequested that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC)investigate possible sources of VOC contamination in the Endicott water supply.

In May 1983, the NYS DEC began an intensive investigation to determine the extent ofgroundwater contamination and identify sources of contaminants present at the Ranney Well. TheNYS DEC installed and sampled 10 observation wells on the grounds of the En-Joie Golf Courseand also sampled several existing wells upgradient of the golf course.

The three observation wells nearest to the Ranney Well were the most heavily contaminatedwith VOCs. Wells north of the golf course were not contaminated. While the investigationidentified a groundwater contaminant plume northwest of the Ranney Well, it did not identify theextent and source of VOCs in groundwater. However, the distribution of VOCs in groundwaterand the geologic setting of the Endicott Wellfield site suggest that several sources may becontributing to contamination of the wellfield. These potential sources were identified asfollows:

1. Endicott Village Landfill (Landfill 1)

The Endicott Village Landfill, also referred to as Landfill 1 (LF-1 on Figure 1) at the EndicottWellfield site, is an inactive landfill which was jointly operated by the Town of Union and theVillage of Endicott from the late 1950's to 1975. Reports about the landfill's size vary; the mostrecent information suggests that the landfill is about 50 acres. Mostly municipal refuse wasdisposed at the landfill. Reportedly, several tons of wastewater treatment plant sludge from theIBM facility in Endicott were also disposed at the landfill. Other industrial wastes, includingsolvents from unknown sources were also reportedly disposed at the landfill. Some wastes weredisposed in direct contact with groundwater and in low areas which are flooded by theSusquehanna River. Tank trucks reportedly disposed liquid chemical wastes in open pits; drumswere also disposed in the pits. In 1982, the landfill was reopened for disposal of compostedsewage sludge from the Endicott Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The sewage sludge wasanaerobically digested and vacuum filtered and disposed in random piles at the landfill surface,primarily in the eastern portion of the landfill. Sewage sludge composting activities occurred forabout 1 year. Currently, the Village operates a yard waste composting facility on the northernportion of the landfill. The Endicott Village Landfill lies within the ten year floodplain of theSusquehanna River and is flooded each year. The landfill has not been closed or capped inaccordance with state regulatory requirements and access is currently unrestricted.

2. Village of Endicott Sewage Treatment Plant (STP)

Endicott's STP is situated on the west bank of Nanticoke Creek and east of the EndicottLandfill. The STP may be situated over some municipal wastes. There is a catch basin south of theSTP to collect surface drainage and this low lying area may also serve as a collection point forcontaminants from the Endicott Landfill.

3. Inactive Tannery Sewer

This inactive 48-inch sewer line runs from north to south along the western boundary of theEn-Joie Golf Course. This former sewer line is constructed of reinforced steel and was installedbetween 1910 and 1925 by the Endicott Johnson Company. The outfall for this sewer line is tothe Susquehanna River near the confluence of Nanticoke Creek. The purpose of the sewer andwhat it conveyed during its early years is not known (Lozier, 1990). In the mid-to-late 1930's, thegolf course was constructed on land previously owned by Endicott Johnson.

4. Town of Union Abandoned Landfill (Landfill 2)

This landfill (LF-2 on Figure 1) is situated along the west bank of the Nanticoke Creek andwas operated by the Town of Union between the 1950's and 1975. Sometime between 1977 and1989, landfilling operations began again, building the landfill to its present elevation. There is noinformation about the types of wastes which were disposed. However, along the edges of thelandfill, residential and commercial waste can be seen. The top of the fill area rises approximately25 feet above Nanticoke Creek. The landfill surface has been covered with sand, gravel, refuseand miscellaneous debris and construction spoils.

5. Unnamed Landfill (Landfill 3)

This disposal area (LF-3 on Figure 1) was formerly operated by the Town of Union and is onthe east bank of Nanticoke Creek. Disposal activities at this landfill occurred between the 1930'sand 1955. In 1965, landfilling started again. Current disposal activities include dumping ofconstruction spoils. This landfill is hydraulically upgradient of the Endicott Wellfield and couldcontribute contaminants to the Ranney well. Other than disposal of construction debris, little isknown about the types of wastes disposed at this location.

In September of 1983, the Village of Endicott contracted with the Hydro Group(Environmental Products Division) to evaluate air stripping of groundwater from the RanneyWell. A pilot study evaluated two types of air stripping units and both types succeeded inremoving vinyl chloride from the Ranney Well at very low air-to-water ratios.

In June 1984, the Village of Endicott installed a purge well upgradient (northwest) of theRanney well on the En-Joie Golf Course, to intercept the contaminant plume and directcontaminated groundwater away from the Ranney Well. Effluent from the purge well isdischarged from a 4-inch diameter pipe into a small pond on the golf course. The pipe dischargesabout 4 feet above the ground surface. Water in the pond flows through the golf course,discharging to Nanticoke Creek. The NYS DEC issued a State Pollution and DischargeElimination System (SPDES) permit for this discharge in February 1985.

The US EPA initiated a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) at the EndicottWellfield site in March 1986. The RI found that contaminants in groundwater at the Ranney Wellhad been released as a "slug" rather than from a continuous source, and that VOCs weremigrating around the purge well. In September of 1987, US EPA issued a Record of Decision(ROD) which specified the installation of an air stripper at the Ranney Well, continued operationof the existing purge well to control migration of the groundwater contaminant plume, and asupplemental RI/FS to investigate potential contaminant sources and evaluate possible sourcecontrol measures.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) completed a healthassessment of the Endicott Wellfield site in February, 1988 (Appendix 3). The health assessmentidentified ingestion ofgroundwater from the Ranney well as the most significant human exposure pathway. This publichealth assessment has been prepared as an addendum to the initial health assessment.

In June 1988, the Endicott Ranney Well and the Endicott Village Landfill, both listed asseparate sites on the NYS DEC Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, were merged to forma single registry listing and site. In September 1988, US EPA issued an Administrative Order onConsent (AO) in which IBM agreed to conduct a supplemental remedial investigation (SRI) andfeasibility study (FS) of the Endicott Wellfield site. The AO also identified the Town of Union andthe Village of Endicott as potentially responsible parties for remediation of the site.

The supplemental remedial investigation (SRI) of the Endicott Wellfield site was started inOctober of 1989 and completed in November of 1991. The SRI concluded that the EndicottVillage Landfill (Landfill 1) was the source of VOCs in the Endicott Wellfield water supply. Thestudy also concluded that groundwater was the only significantly VOC-contaminated media and that the effects ofpumping both the purge well and Ranney well extend beyond the physical boundaries of Landfill1.

An air stripper was put on the Ranney Well in February, 1991. An interim ROD was issued byUS EPA in March, 1991. This ROD specified upgrading the existing purge well system byinstalling an additional purge well. On January 7, 1992, a consent decree identified the Village ofEndicott, the Town of Union, Endicott-Johnson, Inc. and George Industries as responsible partiesfor these measures. Installation of the supplemental purge well was completed in November of1992, and operation of this supplemental purge well began in September 1993.

Monitoring of water quality at the Ranney well and within the distribution system indicatesthat past remedial measures at the site are effectively removing VOCs from the municipal drinkingwater supply. Continued operation of the Ranney well is necessary to meet the community's watersupply needs. The quantity of water produced by the Ranney well cannot be replaced by the otherexisting and operating wells in Endicott's water supply system.

A public meeting was held by US EPA on September 15, 1992, at the Village of EndicottMunicipal Building, to discuss findings of the supplemental remedial investigation, discuss thepreferred remedy for remediation of Landfill 1 and address community comments and concerns.Representatives of NYS DEC and NYS DOH also attended the meeting. Several meetingattendees, including county and state government officials, presented statements for the record infavor of an alternate remedy (Alternate 3) which was not the preferred remedy for remediation ofLandfill 1. These statements were accepted and reviewed by US EPA prior to determining theselected remedy for remediation of Landfill 1.

On September 30, 1992, US EPA issued a third ROD for the Endicott Village Wellfield site,which addresses the source of groundwater contamination, identified as Landfill 1 (the EndicottVillage Landfill). The major components of the remedy include capping of the majority of Landfill1 with a low-permeability soil barrier cap; capping, with asphalt, those portions of Landfill 1which encompass the 8-acre controlled activity area (CAA) near the Tri-Cities Airport and thesix-acre parcel near the Sewage Treatment Plant which is being used by the Village of Endicott asa permitted yard waste composting facility; conducting an explosive gas investigation andinstalling a gas venting system; collecting, treating and disposing the leachate seep into theSusquehanna River or to a publicly owned treatment works (still to be determined); fencing orother acceptable access restrictions; institutional controls; long-term air and water qualitymonitoring and long term operation and maintenance of these systems.

B. Site Visits

On June 8, 1992, Claudine Jones Rafferty and Gary Robinson of the NYS DOH and RonBrink of the Broome County Health Department (BCHD), visited the Endicott Wellfield site.During this visit, current site conditions and activities, area demographics and land use, as well assite access controls and potential human exposures to site contaminants were evaluated.

The Ranney Well pumphouse building is locked and no one can interfere with the air strippingunits. There are two openings in the fence around the well head area which people can enter.Public access to the purge well discharge point is not restricted. Monitoring wells are locatedthroughout the golf course and all have steel casings and caps which were securely locked. Onlyone monitoring well was noted to be of questionable integrity. This monitor well was about 250feet northeast of the purge well and appeared to have been hit by a lawn mower or golf cart. Thecasing was not vertical and there was a 1 to 2 inch gap around the outer casing.

A large volume of water was being discharged from the purge well into an adjacent pond.Water spray from the purge well was being carried by wind for about 100 feet, to golf greenswhere golfers were standing. The purge well has to be "flushed" every 1 to 2 years to remove ironbuild-up around the well screen. The red staining of rocks beneath the discharge pipe ischaracteristic of high iron content. A second purge well discharge pipe is about 50-100 feet southof the operating purge well discharge pipe and is also used as an occasional discharge point forpurge well water. When this discharge pipe is used, effluent is directed to the nearby pond whichis interconnected with the other water ways on the golf course.

Access to the Endicott Village Landfill is not restricted. A locked gate limits roadway accessvia the main entrance; however, the remainder of the site is not fenced and is easily accessiblefrom Industrial Park Drive. A "No Trespassing" sign is posted at the main entrance. The visibleportion of the landfill surface appears well maintained, although not well-vegetated.

C. Demographics, Land Use and Natural ResourceUse


The Village of Endicott is near the City of Binghamton, the Town of Vestal and Johnson Cityin the southwest corner of Broome County, New York. These municipalities, all located withinthe Susquehanna River Basin, are a regionally important industrial center. The Endicott Wellfieldsite lies within census tract 137.00 (1990 Census Tract Data). The total population for censustract 137.00 was reported as 3,131, of which 7% of the population is under 5 years of age, 16.4%is between the ages of 5 and 19 years, 60.5 percent is 20 and 64 years of age and 16.2 percent is65 years or older. About 97.3% of the population in census tract 137.00 are white, 1.4% areblack and 1.3% of the population are of other ethnic and racial origins.

The service area of the Endicott Municipal Drinking Water Supply (refer to Figure 3,Appendix 1) includes twelve census tract boundaries from the 1990 census. NYS DOH estimatedthe total population living within these 12 census tracts as 42,203. Of this total population, 95.6%are white, 1.3% are black, and 2.0% are of other ethnic and racial origins. About 7% of the totalpopulation living within the boundaries of the Endicott Municipal Drinking Water Supply servicearea are under 5 years of age; 18.1% are 5-19 years old, 60.1% are between the ages of 20-64years and 14.8% are 65 years or older. The median household income for the exposed populationin these census tracts is $34,185, with 4.9% of the families with incomes below the poverty level.About 400 persons live within one mile of the Endicott Wellfield site, 900 persons live within twomiles, and 2,300 persons within three miles of the site (NUS, 5/13/83).

Land Use

Land use near the Endicott wellfield site is varied and has changed over the last century frompredominantly agricultural, to recreational, industrial, commercial and residential. The generalboundary of the Endicott Wellfield site includes the En-Joie Golf Course, the Village of Endicottsewage treatment plant, the Endicott Village Landfill, the mouth of Nanticoke Creek, a section ofthe Erie-Lackawanna railroad tracks, the northern portion of the Tri-Cities Airport property, twoinactive landfills on the north side of Industrial Park Drive, an active sewer line (which extendseast from the sewage disposal plant to the central portion of the En-Joie Golf Course), a stormwater sewer (the "Tannery Sewer") which transects the western portion of the En-Joie GolfCourse from north to south, a public park southeast of the En-Joie Golf course, a portion of theSusquehanna River, a residential area east of the En-Joie Golf Course, and two of Endicott'spublic water supply wells (Ranney and Kelley wells).

The majority of the site lies within the Susquehanna River's 100 year flood plain boundary.The regional topography is typically flat to gently rolling, with ground surface grading southtoward the Susquehanna River. The major topographic features near the site are Round Top Hill(elevation - 1,072 feet) to the east and Bornt Hill (elevation - 1,548 feet) to the northwest.Surface elevation at the site is approximately 810 - 820 feet and the Susquehanna River surface isat 800 feet.

Natural Resources

The predominant natural resource near the site is the Susquehanna River; the river flows in awesterly direction. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the drainage area ofthe river as 3,941 square miles.

The Susquehanna River and the underlying geology of the area form a large groundwateraquifer which serves as the water supply for the Endicott Wellfield. Regionally, the subsurface issand and gravel overburden, overlying a till layer and in some areas, bedrock. This sand andgravel deposit is over 60 feet thick in the site area and is a resource for the constructionindustry.

Depth to bedrock in the site area is greater than 100 feet. The soils in the area consist ofglacial and flood deposits. In the Endicott area, regional groundwater flow is from thenorth-northeast to south-southwest; however, the effect of pumping wells in the Endicottwellfield, locally redirects groundwater flow, such that groundwater moves from west toeast.

D. Health Outcome Data

The NYS DOH maintains several health outcome data bases which could be used to generatesite-specific data, if warranted. These data bases include the cancer registry, the congenitalmalformations registry, the heavy metals registry, the occupational lung disease registry, vitalrecords (birth and death certificates), and hospital discharge information.

The Broome County Health Department (BCHD) used data from the New York State Cancer Registry to evaluate cancer incidence for the period 1976 through 1980, in areas of the county where organic chemical contamination of the water supply had occurred or where there was a public perception that contamination had occurred. At the time of the study, the best available method for estimating the number of people served by a water supply source was to match census tract boundaries with boundaries of an area served by a particular water source. Six 1980 census tracts in Endicott (134, 135, 136, 137, 133.01 and 133.02) were included in the study because they corresponded to the area served by three public water supply wells that were found to be contaminated with VOC's during this time period (refer to Figure 5, Appendix 2). The findings and limitations of this study are presented in a BCHD report entitled, "Cancer Occurrence by Common Drinking Water Source - Broome County, NY: 1976-1980" and are discussed under the Health Outcome Data Evaluation subsection.


Upon initial discovery of vinyl chloride and other volatile organic contaminants in Endicott'sprimary drinking water supply well (Ranney Well), local municipal officials as well as BroomeCounty and State Health Department officials expressed concern for the community's health andwelfare and identified an immediate need for an interim remedial measure to eliminate ongoingcommunity exposures to a known human carcinogen (i.e., vinylchloride), via ingestion of drinking water.

The community living near and receiving drinking water from the Endicott Wellfield is interested in the site, as evidenced by attendance at public meetings and requests to be included on US EPA mailing lists for site-related information. However, a review of available documentation has not identified any specific concerns, questions or outstanding health-related issues raised by specific citizens or members of the community about contamination of Endicott's public water supply. The community near the Endicott Wellfield site has been provided with an opportunity to raise questions about health concerns at public meetings.

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