Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

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Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
US-ATSDR-Logo.svg
Agency overview
Formed
  • December 31, 1980 (authorized)
  • April 19, 1983 (created)
  • June 11, 1985 (formally organized)
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters4770 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30341 [1]
33°52′44″N84°17′32″W / 33.8788°N 84.2923°W / 33.8788; -84.2923
Employees306 FTE (FY 2010) [2]
Annual budget$76.8 million US$ (FY 2010) [2]
Agency executives
Parent Agency United States Department of Health and Human Services
Key documents
Website atsdr.cdc.gov

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is a federal public health agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The agency focuses on minimizing human health risks associated with exposure to hazardous substances. It works closely with other federal, state, and local agencies; tribal governments; local communities; and healthcare providers. [3] Its mission is to "Serve the public through responsive public health actions to promote healthy and safe environments and prevent harmful exposures." [4] ATSDR was created as an advisory, nonregulatory agency by the Superfund legislation and was formally organized in 1985. [5]

United States Department of Health and Human Services department of the US federal government

The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services. Its motto is "Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America". Before the separate federal Department of Education was created in 1979, it was called the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW).

Public health preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society and individuals

Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Superfund United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances

Superfund is a United States federal government program designed to fund the cleanup of sites contaminated with hazardous substances and pollutants. Sites managed under this program are referred to as "Superfund" sites. It was established as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). It authorizes federal natural resource agencies, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states and Native American tribes to recover natural resource damages caused by hazardous substances, though most states have and most often use their own versions of CERCLA. CERCLA created the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The EPA may identify parties responsible for hazardous substances releases to the environment (polluters) and either compel them to clean up the sites, or it may undertake the cleanup on its own using the Superfund and costs recovered from polluters by referring to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contents

Although ATSDR is an independent operating agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) performs many of its administrative functions. [6] The CDC director also serves as the ATSDR administrator, [7] and ATSDR has a joint Office of the Director with the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH). [8] The ATSDR headquarters are located in Atlanta, Georgia, at the CDC Chamblee campus. [1] In fiscal year 2010, ATSDR had an operating budget of $76.8 million and had roughly 300 full-time employees (not including contractors). [2]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention government agency

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading national public health institute of the United States. The CDC is a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta Capital of Georgia, United States

Atlanta is the capital of, and the most populous city in, the U.S. state of Georgia. With an estimated 2017 population of 486,290, it is also the 38th most-populous city in the United States. The city serves as the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5.8 million people and the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation. Atlanta is the seat of Fulton County, the most populous county in Georgia. A small portion of the city extends eastward into neighboring DeKalb County.

Overview

ATSDR is an agency within the US Department of Health and Human Services concerned with the effects of hazardous substances on human health. ATSDR is charged with assessing the presence and nature of health hazards at specific Superfund sites, as well as helping prevent or reduce further exposure and the illnesses that can result from such exposures. [5] ATSDR is an oversight agency created to ensure that public health protection and environmental regulation work hand in hand.

ATSDR functions include public health assessments of National Priority List (NPL or Superfund) hazardous waste sites; petitioned health consultations or assessments concerning specific waste sites or industrial facilities that US citizens have requested further action upon; the conduct of health studies (including surveillance and registries) to determine the long-term impact of these facilities; response to emergency releases of hazardous substances, applied research in support of public health assessments, information development and dissemination, and education and training concerning hazardous substances. [9] ATSDR also prepares toxicological profiles for hazardous substances found at National Priorities List sites, as well as at federal sites administered by the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. [10]

National Priorities List

The National Priorities List (NPL) is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for long-term remedial action (cleanup) financed under the federal Superfund program. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations outline a formal process for assessing hazardous waste sites and placing them on the NPL. The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation.

United States Department of Defense United States federal executive department

The Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States Armed Forces. The department is the largest employer in the world, with nearly 1.3 million active duty servicemen and women as of 2016. Adding to its employees are over 826,000 National Guardsmen and Reservists from the four services, and over 732,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.8 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".

United States Department of Energy Cabinet-level department of the United States government

The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative. DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories. The agency is administered by the United States Secretary of Energy, and its headquarters are located in Southwest Washington, D.C., on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland.

Goals

ATSDR has seven goals:

  1. Protect the public from environmental hazards and toxic exposures.
  2. Promote healthy environments.
  3. Advance the science of environmental public health.
  4. Support environmental public health practice.
  5. Educate communities, partners, and policy makers about environmental health risks and protective measures.
  6. Promote environmental justice and reduce health disparities associated with environmental exposures.
  7. Provide unique scientific and technical expertise to advance public health science and practice. [4]

Authority

Unlike the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ATSDR is an advisory, nonregulatory agency. ATSDR conducts research on the health impacts of hazardous waste sites and provides information and recommendations to federal and state agencies, community members, and other interested parties. However, ATSDR is not involved in cleanup of those sites, nor can ATSDR provide or fund medical treatment for people who have been exposed to hazardous substances. [11] [12]

United States Environmental Protection Agency Agency of the U.S. Federal Government

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order. The order establishing the EPA was ratified by committee hearings in the House and Senate. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the President and approved by Congress. The current Administrator is former Deputy Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler, who had been acting administrator since July 2018. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the Administrator is normally given cabinet rank.

History

In response to the environmental disasters at Love Canal and Times Beach, Missouri, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), commonly known as the Superfund legislation. [3] CERCLA gave EPA primary responsibility for identifying, investigating, and cleaning up hazardous waste sites. CERCLA also authorized the establishment of ATSDR to assess the presence and nature of health hazards to communities living near Superfund sites, to help prevent or reduce harmful exposures, and to expand the knowledge base about the health effects that result from exposure to hazardous substances. [5] ATSDR was created as an agency under the Department of Health and Human Services on April 19, 1983, and James O. Mason served as the agency's first administrator. [13] The Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) gave ATSDR additional authority related to hazardous waste storage facilities. ATSDR was charged with conducting public health assessments at these sites when requested by EPA, states, or individuals, as well as assisting EPA to determine which substances should be regulated and the levels at which chemicals may pose a threat to human health. ATSDR was formally organized as an agency on June 11, 1985. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA) broadened ATSDR's responsibilities in the areas of public health assessments, establishment and maintenance of toxicological databases, information dissemination, and medical education. [5] In 2003, the position of assistant administrator was replaced with a director who is shared with NCEH. [14]

Love Canal environmental disaster

Love Canal is a neighborhood within Niagara Falls, New York. The neighborhood is infamously known as the location of a 70-acre landfill which became the epicenter of a massive environmental pollution disaster harming the health of hundreds of residents, culminating in an extensive Superfund cleanup operation.

Times Beach, Missouri Ghost town in Missouri, United States

Times Beach is a ghost town in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States, 17 miles (27 km) southwest of St. Louis and 2 miles (3 km) east of Eureka. Once home to more than two thousand people, the town was completely evacuated early in 1983 due to TCDD contamination. It was the largest civilian exposure to dioxin in the history of the US.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Organization

Administration

Robert R. Redfield has served as ATSDR administrator and CDC director since March 26, 2018. [15] Patrick N. Breysse, PhD. has been director of NCEH/ATSDR since December 2014. [16] The ATSDR administrator, who provides overall leadership of the agency, is appointed by the president of the United States, and the appointment does not require Senate approval. The ATSDR administrator appoints the NCEH/ATSDR director, who is responsible for managing the agency's programs and activities. [17]

Organizational structure

*Joint with NCEH [8] [17] [20] [18]

Regional offices

The Division of Community Health Investigations manages an office in Washington, D.C., as well as offices in each of the 10 EPA regions: [21]

Map of the 10 ATSDR regions. ATSDR regionmap.png
Map of the 10 ATSDR regions.

The regional offices work cooperatively with EPA, state and local health departments, health professionals, community groups, and other partners to implement programs and initiatives. [21]

Programs

Public health assessments and health consultations

One of ATSDR’s primary responsibilities is conducting public health assessments and health consultations. The agency conducts public health assessments for all current or proposed sites on the National Priorities List (commonly known as Superfund sites). The purpose of public health assessments is to examine whether hazardous substances at a site pose a human health hazard and to issue recommendations about limiting or stopping exposure to those substances. [23] ATSDR also conducts health consultations, often in response to requests from EPA and state and local agencies. Health consultations examine specific health questions, such as the health effects of exposure to a specific chemical at a site. Health consultations are more limited in scope than public health assessments. [24] ATSDR also conducts public health assessments and health consultations in response to petitions from members of the public. To conduct public health assessments and health consultations, ATSDR relies on its own scientists or establishes cooperative agreements with states, providing technical assistance to state health departments. ATSDR issued more than 200 public health assessments in 2009 and provides about 1,000 health consultations each year. [24] [25]

When investigating sites, ATSDR examines environmental data, health data, and information from community members about how the site affects their quality of life. ATSDR normally does not collect its own environmental data; rather, it usually relies on partner organizations, such as EPA, to conduct testing and gather data. This environmental data provides information on the amount of contamination and possible ways humans could be exposed to the hazardous substances at the site. The health data provides information on rates of illness, disease, and death in the local community. [23] Since ATSDR is an advisory agency, the conclusions in its public health assessments and health consultations are often in the form of recommendations to state and national environmental and health agencies, such as EPA, that have regulatory authority. Other agencies and the general public rely on ATSDR to provide trusted information on the health effects of hazardous substances at contaminated sites. [26]

Toxicology research

Another major responsibility of ATSDR is producing toxicological profiles for the most common substances that are found at Superfund sites. The toxicological profiles summarize important studies on the substances’ health effects. ATSDR also publishes ToxFAQs, ToxGuides, and public health statements, which summarize the health information in toxicological profiles for use by the general public and health professionals. The agency maintains a Toxic Substances Portal that compiles all of the agency’s toxicology information and allows users to search by chemical. ATSDR has published toxicological profiles for more than 250 hazardous substances. [27]

ATSDR has a computational toxicology laboratory that conducts research and modeling on the effects of toxic substances on human health. The agency's toxicology work involves pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling, quantitative structure–activity relationship methods, and benchmark dose modeling, as well as establishing minimal risk levels for human exposure to hazardous substances. [28] [29] One model developed by the toxicology laboratory showed that children were much more susceptible than adults to chemical exposure from inhalation and oral exposure. In the aftermath of chemical spills and emergencies, the laboratory also conducts research for state and local health departments on the health effects of the chemicals involved. [28]

Health registries

ATSDR maintains registries of people who were exposed to certain toxic substances or have certain diseases. Participation in these registries is voluntary, and individual data and personal information is kept private. The information collected is used by epidemiologists and other researchers to examine long-term health outcomes or risk factors for illness. It can also help doctors diagnose those health conditions in other individuals and treat them earlier. The agency also uses registries to contact registered individuals with important health information. [30]

Tremolite Asbestos Registry

The Tremolite Asbestos Registry contains people who lived in or worked in Libby, Montana, while vermiculite was mined there; these people were at risk for exposure to the tremolite asbestos that was naturally occurring in the vermiculite. ATSDR began addressing public health concerns in Libby in 1999 and created the registry in 2004. [31] The purpose of the registry was to monitor the long-term health effects of people in Libby exposed to tremolite asbestos and to assist with communicating important health information to registrants. Researchers have used the registry to study how asbestos exposure affects human health. [32] This research has yielded several important findings. Registry data was used to conduct the first study of the relationship between asbestos exposure and respiratory problems in children. [33] Another study using registry data found a significant relationship between asbestos exposure and death from cardiovascular disease. [34]

World Trade Center Health Registry

The World Trade Center Health Registry was established in 2002 by ATSDR and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to track the long-term physical and mental health effects of the September 11 attacks. The registry contains more than 71,000 people who lived, worked, or went to school near the World Trade Center site, as well as emergency response personnel who were involved in rescue and recovery efforts. It is the largest post-disaster health registry in the United States. Researchers use the registry to study the health effects of the disaster and to develop public health recommendations for future disasters. [30] [35] A 2009 study based on registry data found that posttraumatic stress disorder and asthma were the two most commonly reported conditions among registry participants 5 to 6 years after the disaster. The study found that 19% of adult participants reported new posttraumatic stress symptoms, and 10% of adult participants reported developing new asthma. [36]

ALS Registry

ATSDR is starting a new registry for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease). President George W. Bush signed the ALS Registry Act, which provided for establishment of the registry, on October 8, 2008. [37] It is hoped that the registry will provide information on the prevalence of ALS and lead to a better understanding of factors that may be associated with the disease. [38] The agency began registering people for the registry on October 20, 2010. [39]

Surveillance

ATSDR conducts surveillance by maintaining projects to collect and analyze information on diseases and chemical exposures. Research using that information and data can then be used to prevent future and control injury, disease, and death. [30]

Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance Program

One of the most notable surveillance projects was the Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) program, which lasted from 1990 to 2009. ATSDR partnered with 15 states to collect information for HSEES in order to track, report, and study chemical spills. [40] The information in the HSEES system was used to plan for emergency events involving hazardous substances (including terrorist attacks). States also used the information to develop policies and programs to strengthen public health and reduce illnesses and deaths that can result from exposure to hazardous substances. [30] For example, states used HSEES data to support legislation addressing the problem of hazardous chemicals at illegal methamphetamine labs. Other states used HSEES data to implement programs designed to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals and mercury at schools. [41] More than 50 published studies were conducted using HSEES data. [42]

National Toxic Substance Incidents Program

As a successor to the HSEES program, ATSDR launched the National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) in 2009. One aspect of NTSIP is a national database of information related to chemical spills. NTSIP also has Assessment of Chemical Exposure teams to assist state and local health departments in the aftermath of toxic spills. These teams interview people who were exposed to the hazardous substances and collect samples to test the level of contamination in the environment and in people. [43]

Emergency response

ATSDR represents the Department of Health and Human Services on the National Response Team and works with other agencies to provide technical assistance during emergencies involving hazardous substances, such as chemical spills. In July 2007, for example, ATSDR responded to the Verdigris River flood in Coffeyville, Kansas, after an oil refinery spilled crude oil into the floodwaters, contaminating many homes in the city. ATSDR worked with EPA and state and local authorities to provide health information to local residents and advised those agencies during the clean-up process. [44] [45] ATSDR also assists with responding to terrorism incidents, which have included the September 11 attacks and the 2001 anthrax attacks. [46] ATSDR responded to 132 chemical emergency events in 2008. [47]

In addition to working with communities and other agencies in the aftermath of chemical emergencies, ATSDR has developed the Managing Hazardous Materials Incidents series, which includes several tools to assist emergency medical services personnel and hospital emergency departments during chemical emergencies. This includes important information on emergency planning, emergency response, and rescuer protection. Another tool is the Medical Management Guidelines, which summarize important information on exposure to common chemicals and provide suggestions for safely treating and decontaminating patients. [48]

Brownfield/land reuse initiative

ATSDR works closely with communities to evaluate the public health effects related to redevelopment of brownfields properties. These are sites that were formerly used for industrial purposes and may still be contaminated with hazardous substances. ATSDR has worked at more than 400 brownfield or land reuse sites to assess health effects of potential exposure to hazardous substances. [49] The agency has created resources to provide guidance to communities when planning redevelopment projects, including tools to evaluate the potential threat of chemicals at development sites. [50] In addition to evaluating the health effects of contamination at specific brownfield sites, ATSDR encourages communities to monitor community health. [51] One of the agency's brownfields projects was the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the agency evaluated potential health effects of contamination at the site and worked closely with developers and the city.

Community partnerships

A major focus of the work ATSDR does involves interacting with communities. ATSDR often establishes partnerships with state and local health departments to assist them with their public health duties. In 2008, ATSDR had cooperative agreements with 29 states and one tribal government, providing technical assistance to help those partners address local environmental health concerns. [52] ATSDR also creates community assistance panels to solicit feedback and community health concerns from local residents when the agency works at sites to evaluate health effects resulting from exposure to toxic substances. [53]

National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures

Nationalconversation.png

In June 2009, ATSDR and NCEH launched a joint project, the National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposures. [54] The goal of the National Conversation is to develop recommendations for ways ATSDR and other government agencies can improve their efforts to protect the public from harmful chemical exposures. To foster a productive dialogue, ATSDR encouraged broad public participation in the National Conversation and welcomed involvement from all interested stakeholders, including government agencies, public health professionals, environmental organizations, community leaders, business and industry representatives, tribal groups, and other interested citizens. [55] The National Conversation is led by a 40-person Leadership Council that includes experts in various areas related to environmental public health. [56] In addition, there are six work groups, which also have a diverse membership, to research and propose recommendations on certain key areas. [57] To encourage involvement from community groups, interested citizens, and the general public, ATSDR developed a community toolkit to assist community leaders in holding discussions to solicit feedback and ideas for the National Conversation. [58] ATSDR plans to release its final action agenda in early 2011. [59]

Quality of work

ATSDR prides itself on using "the best science." [60] And in 2003, BBC News described ATSDR as "widely regarded as the world's leading agency on public health and the environment." [61]

However, ATSDR has also been the focus of scrutiny from Congress and other groups. Much of the criticism is due to the fact that the agency has been overtasked yet understaffed and underfunded for much of its history. [62]

In the March 12, 2009, congressional hearing, the subcommittee chairman, Congressman Brad Miller, characterized ATSDR as keen to "please industries and government agencies" [68] and referred to ATSDR's reports as "jackleg assessments saying 'not to worry.'" [69] In defense of ATSDR's work, director Howard Frumkin noted that ATSDR's staff has declined from 500 to about 300, and that often communities expect "definitive answers about the links between exposures and illnesses," but expectations can be unmet due to scientific uncertainty. [68] [ dead link ] However, Dr. Frumkin also acknowledged the possibility that some assessments did not use the best data or monitoring techniques. [68] [ dead link ]

Vieques, Puerto Rico

In 2003, ATSDR released public health assessments that evaluated the potential health effects of pollution left behind by the United States Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The public health assessments noted that residents of the island were exposed to environmental contamination at such low levels that no harmful health effects were expected, and the agency concluded that there was "no apparent public health hazard." [70] In 2009, however, ATSDR announced that it had identified gaps in environmental data and planned to take a "fresh look" at Vieques by reviewing studies on the island. [71]

See also

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Tissue residue is the concentration of a chemical or compound in an organism’s tissue, or a portion of an organism’s tissue. Tissue residue is used in aquatic toxicology to help determine the fate of chemicals in aquatic systems, bioaccumulation of a substance, bioavailability of a substance, account for multiple routes of exposure, and address an organism’s exposure to chemical mixtures. A Tissue residue approach to toxicity testing is considered a more direct and less variable measure of chemical exposure and is less dependent on external environmental factors than measuring the concentration of a chemical in the exposure media.

Emmell's Septic Landfill (ESL) is located at 128 Zurich Ave, Galloway Township, New Jersey and takes up about 38 acres of space. The landfill was in operation from 1967 until 1979. ESL disposed of liquid and solid waste including many chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Trichloroethene and Vinyl chloride which all had their own effect on the environment and community. These chemicals affected the groundwater required millions of dollars to reconstruct the groundwater pathways and provide clean water to residents. The landfill holds a Hazardous Ranking Score of a 50/100, qualifying for the Superfund National Priority List. In August 1999, the state acknowledged the site's contamination and held town meetings and provided research upon the site such as groundwater samples. In July 1997, a sitewide investigation was called upon by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. In total the clean up was estimated to cost $5 million to fund this superfund site, and a grant of $3.9 million was given by the Federal Government under the Recovery Act Funding (Previti). Today, the project is still ongoing however, greatly improved since the landfill was discovered.

The Horseshoe Road Complex Superfund Site in Sayreville, New Jersey is a 12-acre property located near the Raritan River. The industrial site has been out of operation since the early 1980s after a fire revealed 70 drums containing silver cyanide, ethyl acetate, and acetonitrile. The drums caught the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by 1995 the Horseshoe Road Complex was on the National Priorities List. The site had three areas consisting of the Atlantic Development Corporation (ADC), Horseshoe Road Drum Dump, and Sayreville Pesticide Dump. The neighboring Atlantic Resources Corporation, the location for precious metal recovery, is addressed with the Horseshoe Road Complex (HRC) site due to the intermixing of chemical contamination. The on-site contamination is not an immediate threat to the surrounding community, although prolonged or repeated exposure to the site itself, will result in health effects. The HRC Superfund site is now in its final steps of cleanup in accordance to the EPA's plan.

The Orange Valley Regional Groundwater Superfund site is a group of wells in Orange and West Orange, two municipalities in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. The groundwater in the public wells are contaminated with the hazardous chemicals of Trichloroethylene (TCE), Dichloroethene (DCE), Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethene), 1,1-Dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), and 1,2-Dichloroethene (1,2-DCE). These chemicals pose a huge risk to the towns nearby population, as the wells are a source of public drinking water. In March 2012, the site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site list.

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