U.S. Senator Jack Reed petitioned ATSDR to conduct a public health assessment for the Pascoag Water Utility
System and Burrillville groundwater contamination. ATSDR conducted a preliminary review of environmental
data and conducted a site visit in March 2002. At that time, ATSDR held a public meeting and public availability
sessions to gather information and answer residents' concerns regarding their exposure to MTBE. ATSDR is
a public health assessment which will review available environmental contamination data and
evaluate the nature and duration of MTBE exposure among residents in Burrillville. The public health assessment
will define the exposure pathway, route of exposure, and potential public health implications from those
Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center The Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) is a
decommissioned military installation located in North Kingston and East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The site
once occupied more than 1,200 acres and activities began in 1942. It was primarily used as a training facility for
construction operations and as an area for construction material storage and freight yards. In 1989, NCBC,
Davisville was added
to the NPL because
at Calf Pasture
Point and Allen Harbor Landfill.
the request of the Navy, ATSDR visited Allen Harbor Landfill in 1994 to determine whether it was safe for
future use by non-defense organizations. In 1995, ATSDR released a health consultation for the site which
recommended consumption restrictions for shellfish in Allen Harbor. ATSDR conducted subsequent visits in
1998 and 1999 when it identified no immediate public health hazards.
ATSDR reviewed and evaluated groundwater, surface soil, and surface water and sediment data for the site.
ATSDR concluded that none of these poses a public health hazard. ATSDR also reviewed data from the 1990s
on chemical contaminants
in shellfish collected from Allen Harbor and Narragansett Bay. The data indicate
in these areas have accumulated elevated levels
of contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls,
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides, and metals. ATSDR concluded that shellfish contamination from
NCBC, Davisville posed a public health hazard prior to 1984, when the Rhode Island Department of Envi-
ronmental Management (RIDEM) instituted a shellfishing ban in Allen Harbor due to bacteriological con-
tamination. ATSDR supports the shellfishing ban for Allen Harbor.
A health consultation is a written or oral response from ATSDR to a specific request for information about health
risks related to a specific site, chemical release, or hazardous material. It is a more limited response than a public
health assessment. To date, 58 documented health consultations have been conducted at 28 sites in Rhode Island.
Some examples of these health consultations follow.
Old Fire Fighter Training Area, Katy Field, Naval Station Newport - In June 1998, the U.S. Environmen-
tal Protection Agency (EPA) requested that ATSDR review soil data at the Katy Field site. The concern arose
because the area was used extensively by adults and children playing there and at the adjoining Youth Center. In
order to determine the overall safety of Katy Field, ATSDR reviewed data collected by U.S. Navy contractors
EPA staff pertaining
to surface soil, subsurface soil, sediments, surface water, groundwater, and shellfish.
After a review of all the data collected, ATSDR confirmed that levels of chemicals in the surface soil and
sediments did not present a health hazard to children or adults. The results of ATSDR's detailed analysis were
reported in a health consultation released in March 1999.
In November 1998 and January 1999, staff from ATSDR, Navy, EPA, the Rhode Island Department of
Environmental Management, and the Rhode Island Department of Health, participated in town meetings
with U.S. Representative Patrick Kennedy to discuss health concerns about exposures at Katy Field.
Central Landfill - Central Landfill is located in a residential-commercial area of Johnston. A portion of the
landfill is a Superfund site with solvents and other industrial wastes contaminating the ground water. Overlying
this waste is a landfill that services at least 85% of Rhode Island's municipal-commercial waste stream. Begin-
ning January 1999, the number of odor complaints to the RIDEM's telephone hotline has increased markedly,
and nearby residents report a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory complaints, among other illnesses.
A substantial number of reported odor events were deemed as meeting the legal criteria as "objectionable."
These odors arose from the municipal waste and not the Superfund site. Samples of air at the landfill were
analyzed and RIDEM asked ATSDR to review their assessment of the public health impact. In a health consulta-
tion, ATSDR concurred with the state assessment that the measured chemicals were unlikely to have an adverse