View Full Version : MCRD environmental concerns?

11-03-02, 02:21 PM
I just had to put this in here! LOL




ATSDR conducted a site visit of the depot on June 19-21, 1995. The purpose of the visit was to collect information necessary for developing a public health assessment. Our focus is to determine if people could come in contact with site contaminants at levels posing health hazards and, if needed, to recommend actions to stop or prevent such exposures from occurring. People can be exposed to contaminants if they breathe, eat, drink or have skin (dermal) contact with substances containing chemical contaminants. ATSDR does not evaluate biological contamination.

ATSDR staff inspected site conditions at the MCRD, considering the nature and extent of environmental contamination at each site. We looked at the site's proximity to populated areas and the types of human activities that could lead to exposures (exposure pathways). We concluded that there is little opportunity for human contact with site contaminants. However, we were concerned that chemicals could enter the wetland areas and bioaccumulate in edible fish and shellfish species. Two areas that posed the greatest likelihood for concern are the Causeway Landfill (Site 3) and the Rifle Range berm and impact areas because people harvest and consume seafood from these chemically contaminated areas (Figure 2).

Additionally, we looked at groundwater for possible exposures. However, groundwater contamination is not a health concern because the water is not used for domestic purposes. Drinking water is supplied to MCRD by the Beaufort/Jasper Sewer and Water Authority (4). Therefore, no one is exposed to contaminants found in groundwater.


ATSDR concluded that two exposure situations present no apparent public health hazard: 1) fish and shellfish contamination near the Causeway Landfill (Site 3) and 2) shellfish contamination near the Rifle Range. We discussed our concern of contaminated shellfish with Marine Corps personnel and representatives from federal and state agencies. Several studies addressing the concern had already been undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sufficient data were collected to determine what, if any, health threat exists for people who eat fish and shellfish harvested from the estuaries bordering the MCRD.
All contaminants detected were initially screened using ATSDR Health Comparison Values. Media concentrations less than ATSDR's comparison values are unlikely to pose a health threat. Those chemicals with concentrations greater than the comparison values were evaluated further. Only PCBs in fish/shellfish at the Causeway Landfill and lead in oysters at the Rifle Range areas were above comparison values thus, requiring further evaluation to determine the likelihood of public health hazard. However, none of the contaminants detected in fish or shellfish from these areas were at levels of health concern. Therefore, based on chemical contaminant levels, consumption of fish or shellfish from the areas near the Causeway Landfill and the Rifle Range are safe for recreational consumers. We present details of our finding below.

A. Fish and Shellfish Contamination at Causeway Landfill (Site 3)

Based on the 1993 chemical analysis of fin fish and shellfish collected from both the impoundment and the tidal marsh at the Causeway Landfill, ATSDR determined that consumption of seafood by recreational harvesters is safe.
The 0.8 mile long Causeway Landfill (Site 3) contains a two-lane gravel road that connects Parris Island and Horse Island. It was constructed in 1960 of solid waste and fill dirt deposited across the tidal march of the Broad River and Ribbon Creek (Figure 2). It was the primary MCRD solid waste disposal area from 1960 to 1972 (except for an inactive period from 1966 to 1968). Domestic trash was the bulk of the waste disposed in the 10 acre site. Lesser amounts of construction debris, solid paint waste, empty pesticide containers, and mercury amalgam were also discarded along with some solvent and beryllium wastes, and PCB-contaminated oil (8). During the construction of the Causeway, uncovered waste were burned nightly. In the mid-1970s the Causeway was renovated to improve the culverts connecting the partial impounded saltwater pond with the tidal marsh thus ensuring some tidal flow and water interaction (8).

ATSDR reviewed results from MCRD's analysis of crabs, clams, oysters, mullet, and flounder as presented in the Extended Site Inspection Report Causeway Landfill, August 1993. This thorough report details the Causeway Landfill site history, sampling activities and analytical results. Samples were collected from both sides of the Causeway Landfill, the impoundment and the tidal marsh (Figure 3). Sufficient data are included to assess possible health threats to people who eat seafood harvested from these areas bordering the landfill. ATSDR concludes these species are safe to eat by recreational harvesters. It is estimated that 25 people would be fishing at this location. (See Appendix for Assumptions and Methodology).

Because the landfill has no impermeable cap nor leachate collection system, it is not known whether contaminant levels in fish and shellfish will increase over time. Therefore, ATSDR recommends MCRD monitor contaminant levels in fish and shellfish to ensure that edible fish and shellfish species remain safe to eat by recreational harvesters. We suggest that monitoring occur at least every five years based on the estimated longest tour of duty. Because retirees and military personnel are known to fish and crab in the impoundment area recreational fishing assumptions were used. It is unlikely that anyone subsistence fishes on the depot.

11-03-02, 02:22 PM

B. Shellfish Contamination near Rifle Range

Based on the 1995 chemical analysis of oysters collected from Ribbon, Edding, and Archers Creeks, and the berm impact areas of the Rifle Range, ATSDR determined that consumption of oysters by all harvesters is safe.
The Rifle Ranges are located in the eastern portion of MCRD. Trainees use rifles and small arms to shoot at targets into the berm impact area which abuts marshes along Archer, Edding, and Ribbon Creeks. Fishing and shellfish harvesting are allowed during times when the Rifle Ranges are not in use. The creeks are accessible to fisherman every afternoon, portions of Saturday and all day Sunday. Not much oyster harvesting occurs in the marsh behind the range because the area is too muddy (9). Recreational harvesting is the most likely form of harvesting, however, lead levels are low enough to be safe for subsistence consumption as well. It is estimated that 20 people would be fishing at this location. Most of the shellfishing (oysters and clams) in the vicinity of the depot is done off the southeastern end of Parris Island which is not likely affected by depot contaminants (10).

To address possible leaching of contaminants into the marsh from the Rifle Range, the Department of Defense (DoD) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) sampled sediment and surface water. Further, shellfish were collected from estuarine creeks (Figure 4) and analyzed for chemical contamination. Oysters, being relatively non-mobile, are a good indicator of shellfish contamination in this area. There was concern that heavy metal contamination from projectiles may have impacted the tidal areas. Because projectiles are currently copper jacketed to prevent them from leaching lead, contaminants from the Rifle Range are not expected to dramatically increase over time based on the current land use and past history of use.

MCRD, in conjunction with SCDHEC, collected and split samples for analysis. The laboratory detection limits of the SCDHEC analysis were not low enough (based on public health standards), for us to ensure safety. However, MCRD's detection limits of the same samples were sufficient for us to make a public health determination. ATSDR concludes that based on chemical contaminant levels, oysters from Ribbon, Edding, and Archers Creek are safe to eat by all consumers. (See Appendix for Assumptions and Methodology).


ATSDR concluded that the following identified potentially contaminated sites do not present a public hazard under current conditions because no one is coming in contact with contaminants. However, if land use changes, the likelihood of human exposures will need to be re-evaluated.
ATSDR evaluated the following sites based on visual inspection, review of site history, and sampling data. Currently, there is little opportunity for people to be exposed to site contaminants at MCRD. Most sites are not in areas where people commonly go. Many sites are fenced, or are otherwise inaccessible because they are in remote parts of the island that are thickly vegetated, making contact with residual contamination in soils unlikely. Other sites have been cleaned by removal of contaminated media (soil) and therefore, would not pose a current or future health hazard.

There are a few sites with localized contamination that are in light industrial or shop areas. Although workers could enter these areas, their normal activities would not result in frequent contact with significant quantities of residual contamination to pose a health hazard. These sites do not present a current public health hazard. However, if human activities increase or the use of the land changes (i.e., from industrial to residential) the risk to human health changes. Proposals for such changes need to include evaluation of human exposure by MCRD, SCDHEC, EPA, or ATSDR to ensure human safety. At the present time, institutional controls are in place to ensure that safety measures are implemented when contaminated areas are disturbed either for clean up or for alternative use. If however, the MCRD or parcels on MCRD are turned over to private control, then the chance for human exposure must be re-evaluated for each specific land use scenario.

Sites with No Public Health Hazard

Potentially Contaminated Areas Potentially Contaminated Areas
1 Incinerator Landfill (Site 1)
2 Borrow Pit Landfill (Site 2)
4 Dredge Soils Area Fire Training Pit (Site 4)
5 Former Paint Shop Disposal Area (Site 5)
6 Former Automotive Hobby Shop Spill Area
(Site 6)
7 Page Field Fire Training Pit (Site 7)
8 Paint Waste Storage Area (Site 9)
9 MCX Service Station Spill Area (Site 11)
10 Jericho Island Disposal Area (Site 10)
11 Inert Disposal Area A (Site 13)
12 Inert Disposal Area B (Site 13)
13 Inert Disposal Area C (Site 13)
14 Storm Sewer Outfalls (Site 14)
15 Dirt Roads (Site 15)
16 Pesticide Rinsate Disposal Area (Site 16)
17 Page Field Tanks (AS-16) (Site 17)
18 Page Field Tanks (AS-18) (Site 18)
19 Diesel Shop Vehicle Washing Pad
20 Power Station Oil/Water Separator
21 Weapons Plant Oil/Water Separator
22 Motor Transport Car Wash
23 Indoor Dental Lab Satellite Accumulation
Area (SAA)
24 Dental Lab SAA
25 Paint Shop SAA
26 Pesticide SAA
27 Equipment Parage Deck SAA
28 Power Station SAA
29 Indoor Motor Pool SAA
30 Empty Drum Storage Area
31 Weapons Power Plant SAA
32 Laundry SAA 33 Outdoor Motor Pool SAA
34 Motor Pool Waste Oil Tank
35 Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office
(DRMO) Salvage Yard
36 Hazardous Waste Storage Building
37 Overflow Storage Yard
38 Underground Waste Oil Tank
39 Electrolyte Basin
40 Sanitary Wastewater Treatment Plant
41 Former Incinerator
42 Sanitary Sewer System
43 Motor Pool Underground Waste Oil Tank
44 Dumpsters
45 Dry Cleaning Facility Spill Area
A PCB Spill Area A (Site 8)
B PCB Spill Area B (Site 80)
C Gasoline Spill Area (Site 10)
D MCX Service Station (Site 19)

Sites Being Considered for Preliminary

Septic Tanks
Old Dry Cleaning Facility
Transformer Staging Area
Hobby Shop
Old Photo Shop
Existing Photo Shop
Daylight Infiltration Course
Old Weapons Cleaning Area


No community health concerns regarding environmental contamination at the MCRD were identified. We met with base public affairs staffers who reported no community inquiries about inclusion of the MCRD on the NPL or other concerns about possible chemical contaminants at the installation. However, if people have health concerns related to possible exposure at MCRD, they can direct them to PERIS Branch RE: MCRD Parris Island, ATSDR, Division of Health Assessment and Consultation, 1600 Clifton Road, NE (E56), Atlanta, Georgia 30333.

During the public comment period, draft versions of this document were provided to the Parris Island, EPA, state regulatory agencies and also public repositories. No comments or suggested revisions were received.

We did not evaluate health outcome databases because people are not coming in contact with site contaminants at levels that might cause illnesses.

Table 1 - No Apparent Public Health Hazard Situations

Fish and Shellfish
Contamination at
Landfill PCBs
(Aroclor 1254) Causeway
leachate into
pond and marsh Fish and Shellfish Eating Fish and
Shellfish Ingestion Recreational
harvesters who
seafood Past
Future No apparent public
health hazard for
harvesters who
consume fish and
shellfish2. Contaminant
levels were low.
near Rifle Range Lead Rifle Range Shellfish Eating Shellfish Ingestion People who eat

1 - Those chemicals with concentrations greater than the comparison values. Only PCBs (Causeway Landfill) and lead (Rifle Range) had concentrations above comparison values thus, requiring further evaluation for public health hazard.

2 - See Appendix for Assumptions and Methodology.

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11-09-02, 12:28 AM
LOL. I remember i had gotten the talk from my D.I. about not killing wild life on Pendleton. HEHE my D.I. hated the stupid laws they enacted and all i really remember is how he wished he could get those enviornmentalists one day and bomb them in one big group. Can't say i blame him though cause what right do they have to tell Marines what they can and cannot do on their OWN base but that is just me though.