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Corpus Christi Landfills, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Health Consultation"—"Corpus Christi Landfills, Corpus Christi, Texas

The Texas Department of Health, under Cooperative Agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Table of Contents


CONCLUSIONS

  1. Available evidence indicates that the schools were not built on the landfills. This is based on a review of historical aerial photographs and available soil boring data.

  2. There is no evidence that either of the landfills has affected the indoor air quality at the schools or other nearby buildings. There is no evidence of a methane hazard at the schools or other buildings. The drinking water at the schools is similar in quality to that used in other parts of Corpus Christi; there is no indication that the drinking water has been affected by the landfills.

  3. A review of surface soil and soil gas data indicates that there is no evidence that either of the landfills currently poses any hazards to children who play on or practice band on the landfills.

  4. While an actual inventory of the types of waste put into the landfills is not available, it is certainly possible that chemicals such as household cleaning fluids, pesticides, oil waste, fuel, lead, and paint were deposited there. The lack of historical environmental and exposure information prevents a quantitative evaluation of possible health risks from past exposures. Based on plausible exposure scenarios, we estimate that the potential for current health risks from possible past exposures is low.

  5. Although the groundwater beneath the landfills has not been sampled, it is not used for drinking or other potable purposes (cooking, bathing, or washing). Since people are not using the groundwater, it poses no public health hazard.

PUBLIC HEALTH ACTION PLAN

Actions Completed

  1. In late February 2000, staff from the regional office of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) notified the Texas Department of Health (TDH) of the cancer concern. A TDH epidemiologist contacted the petitioners and worked with the TDH Cancer Registry Division (CRD) to obtain information on the number of cancer cases (incidence) and cancer deaths (mortality) for the area.

  2. On March 30, 2000, TDH sent the petitioners an evaluation of the cancer incidence and mortality experience for the area adjusted for race, gender, and age for the following types of cancer: breast, esophagus, kidney, leukemia, and liver.

  3. TDH had planned to meet with the petitioners on April 17, 2000 to obtain more detailed information about the cancers of concern and discuss the survey information collected by the petitioners; however, the petitioners canceled the meeting after petitioning ATSDR [5].

  4. In response to the petition, ATSDR and TDH met with the petitioners on May 16, 2000. At that time the petitioners asked TDH to update the cancer report to include colon and ovarian cancer.

  5. On May 31, 2000, ATSDR and TDH completed the petition scoping report.

  6. TDH visited the site in May and July 2000.

  7. To determine the nature and extent of the landfill areas and address the concern that various structures were built on the landfills, TDH examined aerial photographs provided by the petitioners and the city.

  8. In September 1990, in response to a concern about the Chula Vista Landfill, TDH inspectors tested the air at seven (7) locations inside the Cunningham Middle School, and seven (7) locations inside the Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts. The indoor air samples were tested for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde, pesticides, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Additionally, the inspectors also tested for methane (a common landfill gas) at four (4) locations inside the Cunningham Middle School and three (3) locations inside the Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts.

  9. In June and July 2000, TNRCC personnel took approximately 40 methane samples from three permanent buildings and two portable buildings near the Greenwood Landfill and three permanent buildings and two portable buildings near the Chula Vista pit (Tables 2 and 3). Methane was not detected in any of the schools or other buildings tested [14, 15, 16, 17].

  10. In 1990, drinking water samples were collected from the Cunningham Middle School cafeteria and tested for minerals, metals, and pesticides to ensure that the water was safe to drink [13]. In 2000, water samples were collected from Chula Vista Academy, Mary Grett, Cunningham Middle School and Garcia Elementary School. The water sampled from these schools was similar in quality to water from other parts of Corpus Christi which is not unusual since the water is supplied by the City of Corpus Christi and comes from a surface water source outside of the subdivision.

  11. In 1990, surface soil samples were collected from the courtyard at Cunningham Middle School, the proposed site of the Mary Grett School, a location at John Jones Park, and from the Chula Vista Landfill. The four (4) samples were tested for priority pollutants including pesticides, metals, and semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Pesticides were not detected in any of the samples and the trace levels of metals and SVOCs that were found were not at levels that would be expected to result in adverse health conditions (Table 4).

  12. In 1998, Southern Ecology Management collected six surface soil samples from Hector Garcia Park at locations on the Greenwood Landfill, on the ball fields, and near the swimming pool (Figure 4) [11]. The samples were analyzed for VOCs, total organic halogens including PCBs, and metals.

  13. On September 22, 2000, EPA collected surface soil samples both on and in the vicinity of the Chula Vista and Greenwood Landfills [18]. Background samples were collected for both landfills to determine the concentrations of constituents in the area's soil. All of the samples were analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, metals, pesticides, and PCBs.

  14. In 1990, TDH inspectors tested for methane outdoors at the Cunningham Middle School courtyard and playground, the Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts courtyard and playground, the proposed building site of the Mary Grett School, a location on John Jones Park, and locations at the Chula Vista Landfill. Methane, a non-toxic simple asphyxiant that also could present an explosion hazard, is an indicator of landfill activity. Methane was not detected in any of these samples.

  15. On September 22, 2000, instantaneous grab samples were collected from Chula Vista Landfill (one sample), Greenwood Landfill (two samples) and at an open field (one sample) [19]. On September 29th two five-minute grab samples were collected at the Chula Vista Landfill [20]. Low concentrations of VOCs were detected in all of the samples. The frequency and duration of exposure to these contaminants, under any plausible exposure scenario, would not pose a public health hazard to children playing or practicing band on the landfill.

Actions Planned

1. None at this time.


REFERENCES

  1. Email to ATSDRIC@cdc.gov from Petitioners regarding landfill problems in Corpus Christi, TX. February 24, 2000.

  2. Letter to Captain John A Steward, ATSDR Petition Coordinator, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from Petitioners. Petition for a public health assessment. April 18, 2000.

  3. Field notes of site visit May 16th and 17th, 2000. TDH, Susan Prosperie.

  4. Texas Department of Health, Cancer Registry Division. Analysis of cancer mortality and incidence data for zip code 78416. March 30, 2000.

  5. Letter from Suzie Canales to Texas Department of Health, Judy Henry. April 2, 2000.

  6. Texas Department of Health, Cancer Registry Division. Analysis of cancer mortality and incidence data for zip code 78416. June 5, 2000.

  7. 1990 U.S. Census Bureau. Database C90STF3B. Summary Level: Zip Code 78416.

  8. Email to Petitioner from Joey Crumley, TNRCC regarding database information on the Villareal Pit and Chula Vista Academy. February 24, 2000.

  9. Fax from Dr. Robert Larsen, South West Texas State University Department of Geography and Planning. Maps and documentation of Nueces County Unauthorized Landfills. March 8, 2000.

  10. Email message from Ron Massey, City of Corpus Christi to Angel Escobar et al regarding drainage at Cunningham Dump (a.k.a. Chula Vista dump) meeting with Ms. Canales. August 29, 2000.

  11. ARCADIS Geraghty & Miller, Inc. Closed Landfill Investigation. Hector P. Garcia Park, 4400 Greenwood Drive, Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas. City of Corpus Christi. November 23, 1999.

  12. Letter, map and sampling data to Dr. Charles Benson, Corpus Christi Independent School District from W.H. Clay, Jr, Texas Department of Health, regarding the types and locations of the tests made at the Cunningham/Chula Vista Schools. October 2, 1990.

  13. Letter and Report to Abelardo Saavedra, PhD of the Corpus Christi Independent School District from Quade Stahl, PhD, Texas Department of Health regarding investigation of indoor air quality and other sampling for the Cunningham Middle School, Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts, proposed location of the Mary Grett School and the Chula Vista Landfill. April 2, 1991.

  14. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. MSW Inspection Report. Inspection of Closed Landfill Villarreal Pit. Corpus Christi, Texas. Inspection Date: 6/15/00. Methane monitoring Lulac Village Park Apartments and Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. Report date July 28, 2000.

  15. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. MSW Inspection Report. Inspection of Closed Landfill Villarreal Pit. Corpus Christi, Texas. Inspection Date: 6/21/00. Methane monitoring J.A. Garcia Elementary School. Report date July 28, 2000.

  16. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. MSW Inspection Report. Inspection of Closed Landfill Chula Vista Pit. Corpus Christi, Texas. Inspection Date: 6/21/00. Methane monitoring Chula Vista Elementary School. Report date July 28, 2000.

  17. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. MSW Inspection Report. Inspection of Closed Landfill Chula Vista Pit. Corpus Christi, Texas. Inspection Date: 7/27/00. Methane monitoring Cunningham Middle School and Mary Grett School. Report date July 28, 2000.

  18. Environmental Protection Agency. Region VI. Email from Bill Rhotenberry to Cstanley (TNRCC), Sprosperie (TDH), and Kimm (City of Corpus Christi). Surface soil sampling data for Chula Vista and Greenwood Landfills collected September 22, 2000. November 15, 2000.

  19. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Fax from Russell Lewis TNRCC Region 14 to S. Prosperie TDH. Toxicological Evaluation of Results of Soil Gas Sampling for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Historic Landfills, Corpus Christi, Nueces County. Samples collected September 22, 2000. October 3, 2000.

  20. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. Interoffice Memo from Steven Pike Toxicology and Risk Assessment to Buddy Stanley, TNRCC Corpus Christi. Toxicological Evaluation of Results of Soil Gas Sampling for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Historic Landfill, Corpus Christi, Nueces County. Samples collected September 29, 2000. October 12, 2000.

  21. Email message from MFEJ to S. Prosperie TDH with attached aerial photographs of Chula Vista and Greenwood Landfills. 1948, 1951, 1952, 1953, and 1995. June 26. 2000. [Photographs Copyright by Lanmon Aerial Photography Inc., 318 International Drive, Corpus Christi, 78406.]

  22. City of Corpus Christi Planning Department. 1996 aerial photograph. [Photograph Copyright by Lanmon Aerial Photography Inc., 318 International Drive, Corpus Christi, 78406.]

  23. Corpus Christi Independent School District. Letter from Mr. Leroy SanMiguel, Director Facilities & Operations, to Mr. Kim McGuire, Director Environmental Programs, City of Corpus Christi. Regarding Garcia Elementary School Geotechnical Information. September 29, 2000.

  24. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Office of Children's Health. Child Health Initiative. 1995.

  25. Drinking Water Quality Report for 1999. City of Corpus Christi Water Department. June 2000.

  26. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Public Health Assessment Guidance Manual. 1992.

  27. Texas Water Development Board. Ground Water Data System. Records of Wells, Springs, and Test Holes. Nueces County. December 29, 1998.

  28. USGS, TerraServer. Digital OrthoPhoto Quadrangle Image Corpus Christi, Texas, United States, 1995. Coordinates of area within one mile of the Villareal Pit and the Chula Vista Academy landfill.


 

PREPARERS OF THE REPORT

Susan L. Prosperie, M.S., R.S.
Environmental Health Specialist
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

John F. Villanacci, Ph.D.
Co-Director
Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology Division

 

ATSDR REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

Jennifer Lyke
Regional Representative
ATSDR - Region 6

ATSDR TECHNICAL PROJECT OFFICER

Alan W. Yarbrough
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Superfund Site Assessment Branch
State Programs Section


CERTIFICATION

 


This Corpus Christi Landfills Health Consultation was prepared by the Texas Department of Health under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It is in accordance with approved methodology and procedures existing at the time the health consultation was initiated.

Alan W. Yarbrough, Technical Project Officer, SPS, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR

The Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, ATSDR, has reviewed this health consultation and concurs with its findings.

Richard Gillig, Chief, State Programs Section, SSAB, DHAC, ATSDR


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Last updated January 21, 2011