2011 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2011 10:58:55 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] VOCs: Bannister Federal Complex vapor intrusion
Unfortunately, this report includes almost no sampling data.

On page 10 (p. 16 of the PDF) it calculates the acceptable TCE exposure level in indoor air for young children to be 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3). Presumably, the number is so high (compared to residential indoor air action levels elsewhere of 1 ug/m3) because children are present less than 40 hours per week. But if EPA's draft toxicity assessment for TCE is finalized without substantial changes, both numbers could drop substantially.

Fortunately, the maximum indoor air concentration found in the building with the day care center was .42 ug/m3.


Lenny Siegel wrote:
Vapor Intrusion Health Risks at Bannister Federal Complex Not a Concern for Buildings 50 and 52, Unknown for Other Buildings

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General
January 5, 2011

Testing at Bannister Federal Complex in February 2010 revealed elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the soil vapor beneath the foundations of buildings 50 and 52. EPA Region 7 assisted GSA in evaluating the vapor intrusion risk for these buildings. Only trichloroethylene vapors were observed to be intruding into building 50 from the contaminated ground water. Building 50 contains office space and building 52 has a child care facility.

Region 7 assessed the health risk from inhaling indoor air in the two buildings in accordance with EPA risk assessment procedures. The indoor air chemical concentrations were below acceptable risk levels for both short- and long-term exposure for the 14 VOCs measured and, therefore, are not a health concern. As a precaution, Region 7 recommended and reviewed the installation of soil vapor removal systems in both buildings in February 2010. Subsequent testing in March 2010 showed that contaminant levels in the soil vapors beneath both buildings were reduced. Trichloroethylene levels in the indoor air of building 50 were also reduced.

Although Region 7 conducted its assessment in accordance with EPA-approved procedures, additional actions would provide a more comprehensive picture of the chemical hazards in the indoor air and ground. These actions include testing for additional VOCs and assessing total VOC exposure levels in the buildings. Not all of the other Bannister Federal Complex buildings with underlying or nearby contaminant plumes have been assessed for soil vapor intrusion. As a result, the public health risks in those buildings have not been determined.

For the entire report, go to http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2011/20110105-11-P-0048.pdf


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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