PUBLIC HEALTH ASSESSMENT
HOOKER CHEMICAL/RUCO POLYMER
HICKSVILLE, NASSAU COUNTY, NEW YORK
- Because of past exposure to PCB contaminated soils on-site by Hooker/Ruco workers, the site is considered a public health hazard because of these past exposures. These soils have been remediated to a PCB level of 10 ppm. As long as the site is not developed for residential use, the residual contamination does not present a health risk to the general public.
The data are insufficient to determine if the site has or will contaminate public water supplies downgradient of the site. Data are needed to describe the relative contribution of many sources of contamination, including Grumman Aerospace and Hooker/Ruco Polymer, and the depth of contamination. Groundwater on-site and near the Hooker/Ruco site has been only sampled to a depth of about 150 feet below ground surface. The same aquifer reaches a depth of about 700 feet below surface and most of the public water supply wells are at a depth of greater than 500 feet. Because additional data are needed, this site currently presents an indeterminate health hazard.
- As noted in the Pathways Analysis section, human exposure to contaminated groundwater may occur in the future via ingestion, direct contact and inhalation of contaminants. This may occur if public water supplies become contaminated and are distributed to the public.
- At the present time, residents in the area of the Hooker/Ruco Plant site are not exposed to chemicals associated with the groundwater and/or on-site soil contamination.
- Air quality in the area of Hooker/Ruco site has not been sufficiently evaluated. No contamination was found during the air sampling conducted in the 1990 RI. Complaints of chemical odors and the TRI data suggest that contamination of ambient air near the Hooker/Ruco has occurred. The TRI data show that the Grumman Aerospace Corporation has the greatest quantity of air emissions.
- Monitoring of the public water supplies should continue and needed remedies implemented. Remedies needed may include water treatment systems.
- Further study should be done of the hydrogeology and contamination of groundwater. In particular, study of the contamination of the deeper region of the Magothy Aquifer should be conducted.
- Based on the results of the TRI screening evaluation and citizen complaints of odors, further evaluation should be completed to assess the potential effects of volatile organic chemical releases from TRI reporting facilities including Ruco Polymer Corporation on local ambient air quality. NC DOH and NYS DOH are coordinating efforts to resolve odor complaints specific to Hooker/Ruco air emissions.
- Institutional controls should be implemented to ensure that this facility is not developed for residential use. This recommendation is warranted since the 1992 soil removal action left soils containing up to 10 mg/kg of PCBs on-site which is not suitable for residential use.
The data and information evaluated in the public health assessment for the Hooker Chemical/Ruco Polymer, Hicksville, New York, have been reviewed by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel for appropriate follow-up with respect to health actions. Because of concerns of the occurrence of adverse health effects in the community, the panel determined that follow-up health actions are indicated. Specifically, the panel determined that community health education is necessary to address these concerns.
PUBLIC HEALTH ACTIONS PLAN
The public health action plan (PHAP) for the Hooker/Ruco sitecontains a description of actions to be taken by ATSDR and/or NYSDOH at and near the site subsequent to the completion of thispublic health assessment. For those actions already taken at thesite, please see the Background Section of this public healthassessment. The purpose of the PHAP is to ensure that this publichealth assessment not only identifies public health hazards, butprovides a plan of action designed to mitigate and prevent adversehuman health effects resulting from exposure to hazardoussubstances in the environment. Included, is a commitment on thepart of ATSDR/NYS DOH to follow up on this plan to ensure that itis implemented. The public health actions to be implemented are asfollows:
- Grumman Aerospace Corporation as part of its response to contamination at its facility is installing groundwater monitoring wells between Bethpage Water District supply wells and the Grumman Aerospace and Hooker/Ruco sites. These wells will help to warn of contamination which could reach the Bethpage Water Supply wells.
- Further evaluation of the hydrogeology and contamination will be performed as additional information becomes available. Additionally, the US EPA and NYS DEC have requested Occidental Chemical Corporation, the responsible party for this site, to conduct off-site groundwater monitoring. This work would be carried out under Federal and/or State Superfund Programs.
- US EPA will include institutional controls as part of the Record of Decision to ensure that this facility is not developed into residential use. This is needed since the PCB soil removal action cleaned to a level of 10 mg/kg which is not suitable for residential use.
- NYS DOH, in conjunction with the NYS DEC and NC DOH, will further evaluate the affect of chemical emissions from the TRI reporting facilities on local ambient air. Sampling of ambient air will be conducted if refined modelling indicates a potentially significant impact.
- The NYS DEC is continuing investigation of groundwater contamination resulting from operations at the Hooker/Ruco Facility.
- Residents near the Hooker Chemical/Ruco Polymer site will be informed of the regulation and status of public water supplies in the Hicksville area. Efforts to educate the public on this matter will continue by the NYS DOH and the NYS DEC through public meetings and mailings. This includes work done as part of the environmental investigations at the Grumman and Navy Facilities located adjacent to Hooker Chemical/Ruco Polymer.
- The US EPA has indicated all on-site activity will be conducted under a prepared health and safety plan. These plans will include provisions for air monitoring to assure that nearby residents are not exposed to significant concentrations from the site.
- The ATSDR and the NYS DOH will work with the appropriate agencies to ensure that those recommendations for which no plan of action has been prepared are conducted. This includes work needed to protect the Bethpage Water District, Hicksville Water District, and Levittown Water District supply wells.
- ATSDR will provide an annual follow-up to the PHAP, outlining the actions completed and those in progress. This report will be placed in repositories that contain copies of this Public Health Assessment, and will be provided to persons who request it.
- ATSDR will reevaluate and expand the Public Health Action Plan when needed. New environmental, toxicological, or health outcome data, or the results of implementing the above proposed actions may determine the need for additional actions at this site.
The Public Health Assessment for the Hooker Chemical/RucoPolymer site was prepared by the New York State Department ofHealth under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for ToxicSubstances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordancewith approved methodology and procedures existing at the timethe public health assessment was initiated.
Technical Project Officer, SPS, RPB, DHAC
The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation (DHAC),ATSDR, has reviewed this Public Health Assessment and concurswith its findings.
Robert C. Williams
Division Director, DHAC, ATSDR
Program Research Specialist III
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
New York State Department of Health
ATSDR Regional Representative
Office of the Assistant Administrator
ATSDR Technical Project Officer
Technical Project Officer
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Remedial Programs Branch
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