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The American Shizuki Corp/Ogallala Electronics and Manufacturing Inc. site is in Ogallala,Keith County, Nebraska. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)considers the site to be the area(s) within the central part of the city that are underlain bycontaminated groundwater or soil gas. In 1989, the Nebraska Department of EnvironmentalQuality (NDEQ) found groundwater from several public water supply wells in the central cityarea to be contaminated. NDEQ initiated evaluations to identify potential sources in the area,the extent of groundwater contamination, and potential public health impacts.

Based on the information reviewed, ATSDR considers the American Shizuki/OgallalaElectronics site to be an indeterminate public health hazard. This conclusion is based on datashowing that residents and workers were and are being exposed to VOCs in drinking water frompublic and private wells, but the data are too limited to confirm whether those exposures arelikely to cause adverse health effects. Some local production and maintenance workers arelikely to have been exposed, are now being exposed, and will be exposed in the future tosolvents through inhalation. However dataare unavailable to identify specific compounds andexposure levels in the workplace.

Interior building air in areas underlain by soil gas and contaminated groundwater is a potentialexposure source. Contaminated soils likely to be present wherever chemicals have been releasedinto the ground also are a potential exposure source.

ATSDR conducted two informal, one-on-one public availability meetings during the site visit. The two attenders expressed no health concerns. Health concerns expressed by one resident whocontacted ATSDR after the visit have been addressed in the Public Health Implications section.

At this time no public health actions have been identified for implementation. If additional dataand information become available, ATSDR will reevaluate this site for any indicated follow-up. In addition, ATSDR will collaborate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies to pursuethe implementation of the recommendations outlined in this public health assessment to (1)reduce and prevent exposure to contaminants, (2) bettercharacterize the site, and (3) implementinstitutional controls and other activities.

The assessment was made available for public comment inJune 1994. No comments were received.


A. Site Description and History


Ogallala is a small city in Keith County in the southwestern part of Nebraska--about 300 mileswest of Omaha, Nebraska, and 200 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado.

In April 1989, the Nebraska Department of Health (NDOH) first found chlorinatedhydrocarbonsin some of the city's public water supply wells that are located within a large portion of the city. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) definesthat portion the"central city area" to facilitate discussion and to separate that portion from city areas to the northand south where public wells have not been affected. (Figures 1 and 2) (1). In a preliminaryassessment completed in March 1990, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality(NDEQ) showed hydrocarbons were present 1) in five of the six public wells within that area, 2)at both of the water taps supplied with municipal water that were tested, and 3) in somemonitoring wells that had been installed for evaluating an underground gasoline storage tank. Achlorinated organic chemical was present in one of six private wells sampled for that assessment(2). NDEQ then initiated evaluations to identify potential contaminant sources, the extent ofgroundwater contamination, and potential public health impacts (1). Through its evaluations andreview of file information, NDEQ identified 11 potential sources of contamination. Whenmaking those identifications NDEQ considered past or current use of degreasing solvents,proximity to contaminated municipal wells, and prior documentation of contaminant release. The potential sources, listed alphabetically, include (1):

oAmerican ShiZuki Corporation
oBosselman's Pump and Pantry
oGoodall Electric, Inc.
oHelmuth Cleaners
oJ&K Service Station
oKeith County Maintenance Yard
oOgallala Electronics
oOgallala Former City Dump
oTip Top Cleaners
oTRW/Goodall Electric
oQuick Electric and Manufacturing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed adding the American ShizukiCorp/Ogallala Electronics and Manufacturing Inc. site to their NationalPriorities List (NPL) inAugust 1992. Regulatory agencies have not proposed specific geographic boundaries for thesite. ATSDR, for its assessment, considers the site to be the area(s) underlain by contaminatedgroundwater or soil gas. Although our review of the public, private, and monitoring well datashowed evidence of groundwater contamination at scattered locations within the central part ofthe city, available information is not sufficient to fully define the location(s) or boundary(s) ofthe area(s). For purposes of this public health assessment, ATSDR considers the central cityarea (Figures 1 and 2) to extend northward from the South Platte River to about West 11th andEast 11th Streets and eastward from about West Q and P Streets to about East O Street. ATSDRuses business names identified by NDEQ to help describe activities and contaminationconditions within the central city area. That use of business names does not imply that ATSDRhas confirmed them as sources of contamination.

Summary of Business Activities

    American ShiZuki Corporation

American ShiZuki (ASC), a manufacturer of capacitors and other electrical components, is at301 West O Street in the western part of Ogallala (Figure 2). The facility consists of threemanufacturing buildings and an office building; none have basements. TRW, Inc. owned andoperated the facility from the early 1960s through 1986. Manufacturing processes use a varietyof solvents (1). ATSDR's representative observed that degreasing vapor equipment is ventedthrough the roof, and solvent containers for manual wiping are under a vented hood. An outdoordrum storage area is fully enclosed by a fence and is partially paved. ASC reports that solventsare stored only on the paved portion, and there has never been another chemical or wastematerials unit on the property. ASC reports the facility always has been connected to the citypublic water supply and sewer system; plant operations do not create process waste waters. Their review of company records did not disclose any solvent spills.

    Bosselman's Pump and Pantry

Bosselman's Pump and Pantry is a gas station and motel at 730 East 1st Street in easternOgallala. The eastern part of the property formerly may have been a scrap materials salvageyard. An earlier release of petroleum contaminants to groundwater is being remediated. Contaminated groundwater is pumped from a well and piped to an air stripper where volatileorganic compounds (VOCs) are removed. VOCs are released to ambient air at a pointATSDRobserved to be several feet above ground; the treated water is returned to the ground through aninjection well (1). The station manager reported the facility is connected to the city's water and sewer system and has no basement.

    Goodall Electric Company

The former Goodall Electric company was at 201 South Spruce Street, in the south-centralpartof the city (Figure 2). Transformers were manufactured. Several solvents were used, andwastewater from a detergent degreasing process was discharged to the city sewer (1). NDEQreported to ATSDR the building recently was completely renovated and converted tononmanufacturing uses. ATSDR observed the building has no basement.

    Helmuth Cleaners

Helmuth Cleaners is a dry cleaning business on West 1st Street, near West I Street (Figure 2). Solvent is reused. Solvent filters are disposed of via the city's refuse collection (1).

The owner reported to ATSDR that building air is evacuated, and air from the machines isvented through the roof after passing through a contact condenser. Clothing is cleaned and driedin the same machine. The owner reports being connected to the city sewer and water supply; nochemicals are discharged to the city sewer. The business is in a strip shopping center. None ofthe businesses have basements.

    J&K Service Station

J&K Service Station is a closed gas station at 417 East 1st Street in eastern Ogallala(Figure 2). A release of petroleum compounds to groundwater has been documented, and NDEQ hasinitiated investigations (1).

    Keith County Maintenance Yard

The county maintenance facility is on West 5th Street, near West O Street, in westernOgallala(Figure 2). The facility had two underground fuel tanks and an above ground used-oil tank (1).

A county representative reported to ATSDR that underground tanks have been removed. The county does only light repair work. No solvents are used. Years ago, some oil possibly wasdumped on the ground. The facility is on city sewer and has been on city water for 20 years buthad a private well earlier. ATSDR observed the maintenance buildings have no basement.

    Ogallala Electronics

Ogallala Electronics, at 601 West 1st Street in western Ogallala (Figure 2), manufacturessolenoids and magnets. Electroplating wastewater is discharged to the city sewer under terms ofa state permit; sludges are shipped to a permitted hazardous waste landfill. Avapor degreasingunit employing two solvents had been used in the past, and a solvent had once been found in thewastewater discharge (1).

The current manager reported to ATSDR that a portion of their facilities once had been anautomobile dealership. The business is connected to the city water system. One building has apartial basement. Only one solvent--for cleaning solder joints at one work station--has beenused during this manager's tenure; no solvents are discharged with wastewater. ATSDRobserved that a worker dips the part to be cleaned into an unvented, covered 1-gallon can ofsolvent. The piece then dries in ambient air. ATSDR observed no waste chemicals on theproperty, except for the liquid wastes that are discharged to the sewer and the sludges that areshipped to a permitted hazardous waste landfill.

    Ogallala Former City Dump

The former city dump, south of the railroad tracks and north of the South Platte River ineasternOgallala (Figure 2), operated between 1957 and 1971. A small amount of industrial waste wasdisposed with the predominantly residential and commercial wastes. The dump had been anabandoned sand quarry pit, which was estimated to have been 25 feet deep. Unfilled portionscontained water most of the time. When the dump was closed, the pit was filled in and the areawas covered with 2 to 2 ½ feet of fill dirt obtained off the property. Several years ago, theproperty was converted into a trap shooting range. The target range field overlaps the formerdump area (3).

    Tip Top Cleaners

Tip Top, a cleaning business, is at 116 West 5th Street in central Ogallala. Solvent is reused. Contaminated filters are disposed of through the city refuse collection system (1).

ATSDR's discussions with the owner indicate that clothing is cleaned and dried in the samemachine. Machine air passes through a condensation unit and is vented through the roof. Interiorbuilding air also is vented.


Goodall Electric also was reported to have formerly operated a manufacturing facility at 112West First Street (about 500 feet northwest of their South Spruce Street location) from about1920 to 1965 where degreasing processes occurred (Figure 2). TRW, Inc. purchased the businessin 1965 (1). ATSDR observed that parts of the building are being used for nonindustrialactivities; other parts appeared vacant.

    Quick Electric and Manufacturing

Quick Electric and Manufacturing, north of ASC at the corner of West O Street and West 4thStreet (Figure 2), repairs and rebuilds electric motors, automotive starters and alternators. Asmall parts washer and a steam cleaner are used to prepare items being refurbished (1).

ATSDR's discussions with the owner indicate that the building is connected to the city waterandsewer systems. Quick purchases a proprietary compound (chemical composition uncertain) fortheir parts washer. None of that cleaner is discharged to the sewer. Sludge from the partscleaner is disposed of through the city refuse collection system. Residues from steam cleaningenter the sewer. The building does not have a basement.

Public Health Assessment Public Comments

In June 1994, ATSDR advertised that the assessment was available at the public library forpublic comment and also mailed copies to several parties. No comments were received.

B. Site Visit

Mr. Don Gibeaut of ATSDR visited Ogallala between March 29 and April 1, 1993. Ms.BettyBerry of EPA, Mr. David Parker of ATSDR, and Messrs. Steve Kemp and Jeff Kelley of NDEQalso were there March 31 for ATSDR's public availability sessions. Pertinent informationATSDR obtained during its visit is described in appropriate sections of this document.

C. Demographics, Land Use, and NaturalResources Use


The 1990 population of Ogallala is 5095, of which 98% are white (4). Almost everyone livesnorth of the South Platte River; ATSDR estimates that 90% of the population is within thecentral part of the city that is the subject of this assessment. All of the businesses NDEQidentified as potential sources are near residences or other businesses; some as close as 20 feet.

Land Use

ATSDR observed that the central part of the city is largely residential but contains most of thecommercial and industrial activity as well. Many homes and other buildings have basements. Several schools, several public parks, and a public pool complex are within the central city area(Figure 2). A hospital is on the north fringe of that area; no nursing homes are within the area. The county fairground is in the western part of the area, near West O Street.

Natural Resources Use


Ogallala obtains its public water supply from several wells. Several (Wells 39-1, 60-1, 63-1,64-1, 64-2, and 74-1) (Figure 2) are within the central part of the city; two (Wells 64-4, 64-5) arefarther north; one (Well 68-1) is south of the River. ATSDR learned from city officials thatwells with the highest levels of TCE usually are not pumped during the winter months. Water iswithdrawn and pumped directly into the distribution system without treatment, except to raisefluoride levels to 1 part per million (ppm).

City officials identified about 120 private wells within, or close to, the city limits. About 60ofthe wells are within the central city area evaluated in this assessment. Approximately 25 ofthose 60 are reported to be used for potable purposes (drinking water, bathing, and cooking)--halfof those 25 are in the most western part of the area, between West Q and West O Streets(5). For about 20 wells, water is used for irrigation or other nonpotable purposes. The type of wateruse is not known for about 10 wells.

Wells draw water from shallow alluvial soils and from permeable zones within underlyingsedimentary rock. The Ash Hollow Group of the Ogallala Group is the principal water bearingunit in the region. The city's wells draw from the Ash Hollow Group; private wells may drawfrom either the alluvial or rock zones. The degree of hydraulic communication between thealluvium and underlying rock varies locally (1).

Groundwater flows from west to east, but direction may vary substantially in the vicinity of high capacity wells when they are pumping (1)(6). Available sampling information showscontaminant movement tends to be in the direction of groundwater flow. Concentrations ofgroundwater contaminants tend to diminish with increasing distance from the source. Also,concentrations should diminish with time if the source(s) is depleted or interrupted. However,the actual configuration of a contaminated water zone and the contaminant concentrations areinfluenced over time by many factors and cannot be easily predicted.

    Surface Water

Rainfall runoff from the central area of the city discharges into the South Platte River at manypoints. The city's sewage treatment plant is at the east edge of town. Treated wastewater isreleased to the river, which flows eastward and joins the Missouri River near Omaha. Cityofficials advised ATSDR that the central area has been serviced by sanitary sewers for manyyears, but a few septic systems might still be in use within the area.

ATSDR learned from NDOH that no one uses the South Platte River for municipal watersupplies. Some communities obtain their public water needs from wells located along the river.

D. Health Outcome Data

Health Outcome Data bases evaluated for this report include the vital statistics report and thecancer incidence and mortality report. The Nebraska Department of Health, Division of HealthData Systems published the 1989 Vital Statistics Report in 1991. The report contains records ofbirths and deaths in the state of Nebraska according to county. In addition, the Nebraska CancerRegistry published a record of cancer incidence and mortality in Nebraska for 1989 according toHealth Planning Areas (HPA). Discussion of these data are presented in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation section of this document.


On March 31, 1993, ATSDR staff held two availability meetings to gather communityconcerns. The availability meetings were announced through an ATSDR press release on March 15, 1993. Neither of the two persons who came to the meetings had health concerns. However, one personcontacted ATSDR and asked: Are my health problems including asthma, lung and lymph nodediseases, and pericarditis caused by drinking water contaminated by site-related chemicals and/oras a result of exposure at the workplace?

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