Public Health Assessments

On December 18, 2015, ATSDR accepted a petition to conduct public health assessment activities for the CSX Rail Yard and the former Atlanta Gas Light Manufactured Gas Plant in the community of Waycross, Georgia. The public health assessment activities for these two sites will be conducted by the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) under ATSDR guidance and oversight. The public health consultation reports for these sites will undergo the full ATSDR clearance process and be certified by ATSDR before they are released for public comment and finalized.

train

On March 15, 2016, as part of the public health assessment process, ATSDR and DPH held a public availability session in Waycross, GA. As part of that process the agency listened to and made a list of  the community’s health concerns for both sites.

CSX Rail Yard

In December 2015, as an ATSDR state partner, DPH began collection and review of environmental data for CSX Rail Yard.

On March 15, 2016, as part of the health consultation process, ATSDR and DPH held a public availability session in Waycross, GA, to listen to, and make a list of, the community’s health concerns for both sites. In addition, ATSDR and DPH have collected health concerns expressed via telephone or e-mail.

Monitoring wells on CSX Rail Yard

Monitoring wells on CSX Rail Yard

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), under ATSDR oversight, has completed its initial public health assessment report on the CSX Rail Yard site in Waycross, Georgia. DPH and ATSDR released the report for public for comment on June 7, 2018. The public comment period ends on July 23, 2018.

DPH evaluated past, current, and potential future exposure to contaminants of concern from surface water and sediment at the CSX site in Waycross, Georgia. All conclusions were based on site visits, interviews, and review of available data and reports.  DPH, under ATSDR guidance and oversight, reached the following conclusions after evaluating the data for the CSX Rail Transportation – Rail Yard Site:

  • Past and current exposures to chemicals in the surface water and sediment in the Waycross Canal are not likely to harm the health of children and adults who made wade or play in the area.
  • DPH cannot conclude whether breathing contaminants in air near the CSX Rail Yard site in the past, currently, or in the future could harm people’s health.
  • DPH cannot conclude whether people were exposed to chemicals in the indoor air of homes in the past as a result of soil vapor intrusion because these data are not available. However, based on extensive groundwater sampling results and continuous remediation activities at the rail yard, DPH does not expect vapor intrusion to be a source of volatile organic compound (VOC) exposure at concentrations that would lead to adverse health effects in the neighborhood south of the CSX Rail Yard.
  • People in the Waycross community are not being exposed to CSX Rail Yard site-related contaminants in their drinking water, which is derived from municipal water obtained from the Floridan aquifer. Waycross requires a municipal well connection for all residential properties within the city limits.

DPH recommends that:

  • CSX, under EPD oversight, maintain the groundwater treatment system operating at the site and monitor the groundwater contamination plume to ensure that chemicals do not migrate off the site into the neighboring community. Maintenance of vertical and horizontal groundwater recovery wells should include preventive measures to preclude calcification and iron-fouling (such as well flushing and periodic redevelopment) of recovery well screens.
  • CSX, under EPD oversight, sample downgradient soil gas and shallow groundwater if site-related contaminants are once again detected in sentinel groundwater monitoring wells to determine the extent of downgradient contaminant migration and take measures to prevent contaminant migration into nearby residential area. Sentinel monitoring well-88 is of particular concern because of the close proximity to residences located downgradient in the direction of groundwater flow.
  • CSX establish a deed restriction to limit site use to commercial/industrial purposes and to restrict site groundwater use for purposes other than monitoring because groundwater and soil contamination underlying the CSX Rail Yard is extensive and because remediation efforts are likely to continue many years from now.
  • CSX conduct periodic monitoring of indoor air and soil gas and take any necessary measures to protect the health of their workers, particularly as they relate to indoor air in buildings overlying the groundwater contamination plume and areas with extensive soil contamination. Although the results of indoor air sampling from CSX’s vapor intrusion investigation reported that concentrations of trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene and associated hydrocarbons indicated no significant carcinogenic risk or non-cancer hazard to personnel that work within and around onsite building structures, significantly high concentrations of trichloroethene remain in sub-slab soil gas underneath the locomotive shop, which is a vapor intrusion and worker health concern.
  • EPD consider air modeling in the area surrounding the CSX Rail Yard to better characterize current diesel emissions and air quality.

To read the report visit:
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/waycross/CSX_Rail_Yard_Site_PHA-508.pdfCdc-pdf
Copies of the public health assessment can also be reviewed during regular hours at the
Waycross-Ware County Public Library, 401 Lee Street, Waycross, GA  31501.

ATSDR and DPH will hold a public availability session in Waycross, GA on June 21, 2018 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at Waycross City Auditorium, Waycross, GA.  ATSDR and DPH subject matter experts will be available to address questions on the report.

DPH will address all comments received during the comment period.  The comments, and answers, will be included in an appendix of the final report.  DPH will complete the final report and submit to ATSDR for clearance and certification.  The final report will then be released to the public.

Atlanta Gas Light Manufactured Gas Plant

On March 15, 2016, as part of the health consultation process, ATSDR and DPH held a public availability session in Waycross, GA, to listen to, and make a list of, the community’s health concerns for both sites. . In addition, ATSDR and DPH have collected health concerns expressed via telephone or e-mail.

The collection and review of environmental data for Atlanta Gas Light Manufactured Gas Plant is the next step of the health consultation activities.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has completed its initial public health assessment report on the Atlanta Gas Light Manufactured Gas Plant site in Waycross, Georgia. ATSDR is reviewing the report and is providing recommendations to DPH for consideration. DPH will complete the draft report, and ATSDR will release the reports for public for comment. The public comment period is typically 30 days.

After the report is released, ATSDR and DPH will hold a public availability session in Waycross, GA.  ATSDR and DPH subject matter experts will be available to address questions on the report.  Public Availability Session time and location will be announced after the report is released.

DPH will address all comments received during the comment period.  The comments, and answers, will be included in an appendix of the final report.  DPH will complete the final report and submit to ATSDR for clearance and certification.  The final report will then be released to the public.

Page last reviewed: June 8, 2018