Lawrence Aviation Industries: Letter to Community Members and Interested Parties

Dear Community Member or Other Interested Party:

Enclosed is the document Draft Health Consultation: Lawrence Aviation Industries - Soil Vapor Intrusion Evaluation, which was prepared jointly by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). This Health Consultation is a follow-up to the 2005 Public Health Assessment in which soil vapor intrusion (movement of chemical gases through soil) from the Lawrence Aviation Industries site was identified as a possible health concern for people living, working, or attending school near the site.

As a result of this evaluation, NYSDOH and ATSDR conclude that the chemicals and levels of chemicals that were measured in the homes, school, daycare, and commercial buildings that were tested for soil vapor intrusion are not expected to harm people's health.

The document is a public comment draft and is divided into two parts - brief summary and conclusions section (pages 1-2) and detailed report section (pages 3-38). A summary can also be found on the back page of this letter. After reviewing the document, you are welcome to send, fax, or e-mail any written comments or questions to me at:

Don Miles
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
547 River Street, Room 300
Troy, New York 12180
Fax: (518)402-7859

Comments should be received by NYSDOH no later than November 20, 2009.


Don Miles
ATSDR Grant Principal Investigator
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation


NYSDOH and ATSDR place a high priority on helping the community to have the best information possible about how contaminants in soil vapor from the Lawrence Aviation Industries site might affect their health.

In February 2005, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) began a soil vapor intrusion investigation at the Lawrence Aviation Industries site in Port Jefferson Station. During the course of this investigation, the USEPA collected sub-slab (below building) samples from over 50 nearby buildings and indoor air (inside building) samples from the Port Jefferson high school, a daycare, and several residences. The result of these samples forms the basis for the conclusions and recommendations made by ATSDR and NYSDOH.


NYSDOH and ATSDR conclude that breathing volatile organic chemicals at levels measured inside buildings that were identified as potentially affected by soil vapor intrusion are not expected to harm people's health. This includes residents and occupants of the school, daycare and commercial buildings tested.

Basis for Decision

  • Overall, the results of the USEPA soil vapor intrusion investigation indicate that contaminants associated with the Lawrence Aviation site are not significantly affecting the indoor air quality of buildings near the site.
  • The USEPA installed sub-slab depressurization systems beneath four residential buildings and the wrestling room of Port Jefferson High School where sub-slab soil vapor contained trichloroethene (TCE) or tetrachloroethene (PCE) at levels of concern for future impacts to indoor air.
  • The levels of TCE and PCE in the indoor of these five buildings were, on average, within the range typically found in residential buildings and below public health comparison values for health effects.
  • The elevated levels of PCE and dichlorobenzene in single samples of indoor air from two buildings are likely from indoor sources rather than soil vapor intrusion.
  • NYSDOH and ATSDR also evaluated the increased risk of health effects associated with breathing the measured indoor level of chemicals over a person's lifetime and found that it would result in a minimal increase of risk for non-cancer health effects and a very low or low increase of risk for cancer.

For More Information

If you have questions about the investigation at the Lawrence Aviation Industries site, please contact the USEPA at (212) 637-3967. If you have questions about this Health Consultation or other health concerns about this site, please contact the NYSDOH at 518-402-7880 or 1-800-458-1158.