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ATSDR Press Room

Alliance Landfill Health Consultation in Pennsylvania

Lackawanna County, Taylor, Pennsylvania

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today issued for public review and comment a public health consultation (PHC) on the Alliance Landfill site near Scranton in Taylor Borough, Pa.

The public comment period is from Sept. 5 through Oct. 13. The PHC is available for review at local repositories.

ATSDR was petitioned to evaluate whether volatile organic compounds and particulate matter were being emitted by Alliance Landfill (a/k/a Empire Landfill) at levels which would pose a public health threat to the community.

The agency concludes that there are no sampling data to identify and quantify air contaminants. On the basis of a lack of data, the agency has categorized the Alliance Landfill as an indeterminate public health hazard. The designation is used because on- and off-site ambient air data are not available to evaluate exposures.

ATSDR recommends that ambient air monitoring for volatile organic compounds and particulate matter be conducted to evaluate the potential health impact on nearby populations.

A public health action plan for the Alliance Landfill developed by ATSDR contains a description of actions recommended by governmental agencies following the completion of the health consultation. The purpose of the public health action plan is twofold: first, to ensure that the health consultation provides a plan to eliminate environmental sampling data gaps; and, second, to evaluate additional data to determine if residents are being exposed to air contaminant levels that might affect their health. ATSDR is committed to following up on the plan and to ensuring that it is implemented.

The public health consultation may be reviewed from Sept. 5 through Oct. 13 at the following repositories:

Taylor Public Library
200 Union St.
Taylor, PA

Taylor Borough Council
122 Union St.
Taylor, PA

Ransom Township Board of Supervisors
2435 Hickory Lane
Clarks Summit, PA

Old Forge Borough Council
314 Main St.
Old Forge, PA

ATSDR encourages comments on the public health consultation. Comments on the PHC must be made in writing and mailed to:

Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch
1600 Clifton Road, NE (MS E-60)
Atlanta, GA 30333

Comments received during the public comment period will be logged in to ATSDR's administrative record for this public health consultation. Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR's responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final PHC. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Community members seeking information on the procedures or the content of the public health consultation may contact Environmental Health Scientist Alaric Denton or Health Communications Specialist Youlanda Outin, toll free at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Thomas Stukas also may be contacted at 215-814-3142. When calling, please refer to the Alliance Landfill site in Taylor Borough, Pa.

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