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(Figures 1 - 4)

Figure 1. Site Vicinity

Figure 2. MSGS Site

Figure 3. Location of On-site Monitoring Wells and Residential Wells Sampled Near the Site

Figure 4. Location of Offsite Wells Sampled


Response to Comments Received During

the Public Comment Period

The following are health-related comments that were received by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) during the period for public comment (January 25, 1993 - February 26, 1993) on the draft public health assessment for the Maryland Sand, Gravel, and Stone site. Comments are not reproduced exactly as they were received, but have been paraphrased in a manner that preserves their original meaning.

1) Because Maryland is one of the highest ranked states in the U.S. with respect to cancer mortality, it is not useful to compare Cecil County rates to those of the state as a whole.

As noted in the Health Outcome Data Evaluation section of this document, no conclusions regarding the possible health effects of the MSGS site can be made based on a comparison of cancer mortality rates for Cecil County with those for the State of Maryland as a whole. This comparison was included in the document because we thought that it was useful information for the reader. Also, if exposure to site contaminants caused an increase in the death rate from uncommon cancers in exposed individuals (in the years examined), this might be apparent in the comparison.

2) The site is dangerous and contributes to the overall high cancer rate in Maryland.

It is very difficult to determine whether or not exposure to site contaminants has caused cancer (or any other serious illnesses) in exposed individuals. Although cancer death rates are high in Maryland compared to some other states, these elevated rates are not restricted to Maryland, but are observed over the mid-Atlantic region. The high overall cancer death rate in Maryland is largely due to increased death rates from commonly occurring cancers (e.g., lung, breast, colorectal). It has been shown that lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet can increase the risk of developing these cancers, and there is evidence that some of these factors are more common in the Maryland population.

3) Would a residential housing development that is being proposed for an area to the east of the site accelerate the movement of groundwater contaminants off of the site and thus increase the likelihood for contamination of nearby residential wells?

In order to develop the property, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) must issue the developer a well use permit. In determining whether or not to issue the permit, DNR has to consider any possible effects of additional groundwater withdrawal on the movement of nearby groundwater contaminants. DNR, with help from MDE, is currently reviewing the available information in order to make this determination.

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