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  1. The Kerr-McGee site does not currently present a health hazard to the public. Howeverif Kerr-McGee does not complete planned remedial activities, and the property is laterdeveloped for residential use, residents could be exposed in the future to contaminantsand radioactive materials that might harm their health.

    Property A, which is not associated with the Kerr-McGee site, is an indeterminate publichealth hazard because sufficient chemical and radiological data are not available toadequately evaluate environmental media. Lead contaminated soil and sediment werefound on the property; the extent of such contamination, which is not known at this time,would determine whether or not those media are a public health threat.

  2. Water from some area private wells and some public wells have been found to contain somewhat elevated levels of iron and sodium, which are not associated with the Kerr McGee site.
  3. While investigating the Kerr-McGee site, several questions and concerns were raised by the community. Our responses are provided in the Community Health Concerns Evaluation subsection (starting on Page 20).
  4. Data limitations for the site vicinity, except for Property A:
    1. Private wells off site: A current private well survey and sampling are needed to better identify potable private well users and associated water quality in the sitevicinity.
    2. Ponds off site: Additional water and sediment samples are needed for the twoponds immediately north of the site to confirm whether they can be safely usedfor swimming.
    3. Samples need to be analyzed for a comprehensive set of inorganic, organic, andradiologic parameters.
    4. Area radiation data: The radiation 10-meter-grid survey conducted onsite showedelevated levels of radiation along a portion of the north property line. Additionalradiation data are needed beyond that part of the property line to confirm levelson the immediately adjoining private property.
    5. Public wells-- Information is needed about sodium levels in water beingdistributed by the Cushing public water system to determine whether elevatedsodium found in the well water used to supplement reservoir water is sufficientlydiluted before delivery to end users.
  5. Data limitations for Property A, which is not associated with the Kerr-McGee site:
    1. Investigations needed: More extensive soils, sludge, surface water, sediment, andgroundwater analyses need to be part of the expected site investigations. Agamma survey is needed at sludge deposits and then expanded if initial findingswarrant.
      b. Private well: Annual sampling of the on-site well is needed.
      c. Samples need to be analyzed for a comprehensive set of inorganic, organic, andradiologic parameters.


A. Reduce Exposure Recommendations

  1. Areas of the Kerr-McGee site that have substantive concentrations of chemical and radioactive-contaminated material need to be remediated satisfactorily, as planned, prior to reuse for industrial, commercial, residential purposes. The oversight by both ODEQ and NRC reduce any potential that the site will not be remediated. At Property A, people in the residence should be advised of elevated lead found in surface soil and in pond sediments.
  2. Area private well users whose potable water is shown to contain elevated iron (or other contaminants)--see Characterization Recommendations below-- should be advised about the possible consequences associated with water consumption. This is not considered a problem caused by the Kerr-McGee site. On Property A, the well owners should be advised of elevated sodium in the water.
  3. Optimal dust control measures should be implemented during remedial activities. ATSDR understands that control measures are an integral part of the site remediationplans.

B. Characterization Recommendations

  1. Conduct a survey of private wells in the area, identify those used for potable supplies, and analyze water quality. The survey should extend ¾ miles beyond the combined Kerr-McGee and Property A boundaries. The two known nearest private wells--on Property A and on property at the northeast corner of Linwood Avenue and Deep Rock Road--should be analyzed annually until there is firm evidence that contaminants will not affect those wells. Samples should be analyzed for inorganic, organic, and radioactive contaminants. Any health implications associated with such sampling should be conveyed to the well owners, and alternate supply obtained as appropriate.
  2. Additional sampling is recommended for the two ponds north of the Kerr-McGee property. Both water and sediment should be analyzed for inorganic, organic, and radioactive contaminants. Any health implications associated with swimming use of the ponds should be conveyed to the owners.
  3. The 10-meter grid radioactivity survey conducted on the Kerr-McGee site should be extended northward onto immediate adjacent property and, if findings warrant, remediation should be undertaken.
  4. Although sodium in area groundwater is not associated with the Kerr-McGee site, an evaluation should be initiated to determine whether the sodium level being delivered at the tap by the Cushing water distribution system at certain times is at a level that might adversely affect the health of some users. The study should be conducted at a time when maximum sodium levels might be conveyed to the tap--it seems that may occur during extended drought periods when substantive groundwater is being pumped to supplement the reservoir supply.
  5. The comprehensive investigation of Property A being planned should include moreextensive soils, sludge, surface water, sediment, and groundwater sample analyses. Agamma survey should be conducted at sludge deposits and then expanded if initialfindings warrant. Samples need to be analyzed for a comprehensive set of inorganic,organic, and radiologic parameters.


Data and information developed in early phases of the Public Health Assessment process for theKerr-McGee Cushing Site were evaluated by ATSDR's Health Activities Recommendation Panel(HARP), and several health-related recommendations were proposed for follow-up. Informationdeveloped in later phases of the assessment process appropriately addressed the issues in whichHARP had expressed an interest. Thus, there are no HARP recommendations at this time.


The Public Health Action Plan for the Kerr-McGee Cushing site describes actions taken andpending to mitigate and prevent adverse human health effects resulting from exposure tohazardous substances in the environment.

Actions Taken

Substantive public health actions already taken by Kerr-McGee include:

  1. Repaired fencing around pits and installed higher fencing. Entire perimeter of site is now fenced. Ceased granting permission for recreational activities on site.
  2. Extensive remedial activities to reduce or eliminate contaminant and radiation sources and migration pathways. Dust control has been implemented in all remedial activities, and monitoring equipment is documenting that dust control measures are effective.
  3. Acquired essentially all privately held land within the original Kerr-McGee site boundary in order to control development and use. Removed residences on property.
  4. Structured plans in place for future reuse of property.

Actions Pending

  1. Further remedial activities will be conducted on the Kerr-McGee property to reduce or eliminate contaminant and radiation sources and migration pathways.
  2. Investigations are to be conducted on Property A.


David Mellard, Ph.D.; Paul Charp, Ph.D.; and Don Gibeaut
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

With participation by

    Amy Delf King and Robin Ruark Brothers, Ph.D.
    Risk Analysis Section
    Health and Safety Research Division
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Assisted by:

      Elaine Zeighami, Ph.D. and Joni Skiles, M.S.
      Statistics and Health Outcome Data Evaluation
      Health and Safety Research Division
      Oak Ridge National Laboratory

      Linda Bond
      Technical Editing and Format
      Health and Safety Research Division
      Oak Ridge National Laboratory

ATSDR Regional Representative

    George Pettigrew, Dallas
  1. Burns and McDonnell: Interim Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study, Cushing Kerr-McGee Refinery Site, Cushing, Oklahoma. August 1990. [ATSDR code A1]
  2. Morton Associates. Cushing Refinery Site, Site Decommissioning Plan. April 25, 1994.[ATSDR code A57]
  3. Peterson, J. C. Site Assessment Report for Rafferty Property site assessment/ sampling,Cushing, Payne County, Oklahoma. Ecology and Environment, Inc.; May 19, 1988.[ATSDR code A28]
  4. Hoffman, B. Letter to Douglas Fasset [ATSDR code Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)] including three attachments of information regarding the Cushing Kerr-McGeeRefinery. June 21, 1988. [ATSDR code A4]
  5. Burns and McDonnell: Phase I Remedial Investigation Report (Draft), Kerr-McGeeCushing Refinery, Cushing, Oklahoma. May 1992. [ATSDR code A2]
  6. Kerr-McGee Corporation. Descriptions of Small Waste Pit Locations, Cushing SmallWaste Pit Delineation Investigation. July 1994. [ATSDR code A65]
  7. McHard, D. Briefing paper for use by the Governor of Oklahoma in preparing for pressconference on October 10, 1989. Oklahoma State Department of Health. October 1989.[ATSDR code A5]
  8. Personal communications with the Radionuclide Safety Division of the Oklahoma StateDepartment of Health regarding recent remedial actions on the Kerr-McGee site. October 26, 1992. [ATSDR code A9]
  9. Burns and McDonnell: Phase I Remedial Investigation Report (Final), Kerr-McGeeCushing Refinery, Cushing, Oklahoma. April 1993. [ATSDR code A53]
  10. Kerr-McGee. Cushing Site Radiological Survey: Harris, Martin, and Vincent Properties. November 2, 1989. [ATSDR code A7]
  11. Kerr-McGee Corporation. Radiological Characterization Survey, Cushing Refinery Site. Kerr-McGee Corporation. May 4, 1991. [ATSDR code A27]
  12. Kerr-McGee Corporation. Final Radiation Survey of Four Unaffected Areas of theCushing Refinery Site. April, 1995. [ATSDR code A60]
  13. Fluor, Daniels, Williams Brothers. Phase I Remedial Design. March 1995. [ATSDRcode A59]
  14. Personal communication with Oklahoma State Employment Security Commission -Research Division. August 26, 1991. [ATSDR code A12]
  15. Personal communication with superintendent of Cushing schools. August 27, 1991.[ATSDR code A13]
  16. Dricoll, F. Groundwater and Wells. 2nd edition. St. Paul, Minnesota: Johnson FiltrationSystems, Inc.; 1989. [ATSDR code A15]
  17. Bates, R. and J. Jackson. Glossary of Geology. 2nd edition. Falls Church, VA: AmericanGeology Institute; 1980. [ATSDR code A16]
  18. Freeze, R and J. Cherry. Groundwater. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; 1979.[ATSDR code A17]
  19. Record of Communication between FIT biologist and Cushing city engineer. August 14,1989. [ATSDR code A18]
  20. Kauffman, R. Kerr-McGee site visit notes. 1990. [ATSDR code A10]
  21. Personal communication with Cushing city engineer. September 12, 1991. [ATSDRcode A11]
  22. Personal communications with Standards and Research Division of Oklahoma StateDepartment of Health regarding water use classification for Skull Creek. January 17,1992. [ATSDR code A21]
  23. Personal communication with the Oklahoma State Department of Health - DataManagement Division. August 26, 1991. [ATSDR code A22]
  24. Citizen. Record of communication to Region VI National Priorities List (NPL)Coordinator. December 8, 1989. [ATSDR code A23]
  25. Citizen's Kerr-McGee Oversight Committee. Letter to C. Hickam, ATSDR RegionalRepresentative, Region VI. May 10, 1990. [ATSDR code A24]
  26. Seiler, H.G., H. Sigel, and A. Sigel, eds. Handbook on Toxicity of InorganicCompounds. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1988. [ATSDR code A38]
  27. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxicological Profile forNaphthalene and 2-Methylnaphthalene, Draft. Atlanta: ATSDR, October 1989. [ATSDRcode A45]
  28. ATSDR Draft Toxicological profile for Uranium, U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices, ATSDR, Atlanta, GA, 1989. [ATSDR code A49]
  29. National Library of Medicine. Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET). Toxic ChemicalRelease Inventory. Bethesda, MD. Telephone: (301) 496-6193. [ATSDR code A26]
  30. Kerr-McGee Corporation. Internal Correspondence describing thermal luminecentdosimeter and air sample gamma data from activities conducted during 1994. September6, 1995. [ATSDR code A64]
  31. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations; Radionuclides. Federal Register. July 18,1991; 56:33050-33129. [ATSDR code A71]
  32. Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Memorandum and Data Sheets. Soiland Radioactivity Data for Deep Rock School. July 14, 1995. [ATSDR code A61]
  33. Thompson, S. Final Report of Private Well and Pond Sampling near the Kerr-McGeeCushing Refinery Site. Oklahoma State Department of Health. July 16, 1990. [ATSDRcode A20]
  34. Kerr-McGee Corporation. Comments of the Kerr-McGee Corporation in Response toEPA's Proposed Listing of the Cushing, Oklahoma Site. Washington, D.C.: Covingtonand Burling, 1989. [ATSDR code A29]
  35. Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Transmittal and Data Sheets. PublicWater Supply Wells, Selected Samples Taken in 1994 and 1995. August 29, 1995.[ATSDR code A62]
  36. Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Letter and data sheets providing waterquality data for a private well. August 16, 1995. [ATSDR code A63]
  37. Southwest Laboratory of Oklahoma. Laboratory data set. January 5, 1996 [ATSDRcode A66]
  38. Core Laboratories. Laboratory data set. January 18, 1996 (ATSDR code A67]
  39. Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. Letter and laboratory data set. February 8, 1996. [ATSDR code A68]
  40. Kerr-McGee. Internal correspondence concerning radioactivity measurements. January29, 1996. [ATSDR code A69]

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