SUMMARY OF 11/20/01 ROCHE VITAMINS CAP MEETING
The Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel convened at 7:00 P.M. on November 20, 2001. CAP members present at the meeting were Jane Bullis, Peter Grogan, Lisa Jacob, Andy Mark, Gary Meddaugh, Betty Merring, Totsy Phillips, Dave Pritchard, Doug Smyth, and Eric Van Horn. Present from RVI were Mike Adams, Jim Brandl and Duane Campbell. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross of Holt & Ross. Two guests from PPL were also present, Tom Eppehimer, Site Manager of PPLís Martins Creek Plant, and his associate Al Ferullo from PPLís environmental affairs department.
Approval of October Meeting Summary
The meeting began with approval of the Summary of the October 16 meeting, with one change to credit Andy Mark with securing access to the Belvidere High School for the CAP-sponsored community forum on November 7.
Steve Ross reported that the CAPís bylaws required that the position of chairman be reassigned annually. Steve said he had talked with Chairman Doug Smyth about this, and Doug had indicated he thought it was healthy for the position to rotate each year. Therefore, Steve recommended that the CAP be prepared to select a new chairman for 2002 at its December meeting.
Community Forum Debrief
The CAP expressed some disappointment in the relatively small size of the turnout at the community forum and the skeptical reaction of some attendees about the results of the CAPís activities related to independent peer review of Rocheís health risk assessment and development of Supplemental Environmental Projects. One issue raised at the event had to do with the extent to which there may be chemical contamination of soil at the Belvidere High School and a request from a citizen that the soil be monitored to study this. While the CAP expressed misgivings about the likelihood that a soil-monitoring program would yield useful results, the panel agreed that it would be worthwhile to attempt to address this concern by making a scientifically valid effort and then reporting and explaining the results to the community. Mike Adams agreed to underwrite the cost of such a monitoring effort.
On balance, the CAP agreed that the forum was a useful way to report to the community on its activities and receive input. Many issues were raised that had yet to receive much attention by the CAP, and in planning for next year these issues can now be addressed. They include noise, odors, impacts on the Delaware River, and Rocheís system for responding to complaints. The CAP agreed to discuss at its December meeting a range of methods for keeping the community better informed about its activities, such as more frequent public meetings and presentations of status reports by CAP members at community and municipal meetings.
Supplemental Environmental Project on Air Monitoring
Jim Brandl said that RVI needed input from the CAP on where the air monitoring stations should be located and how the data they collect should be made available and reported to the community. He noted that it was likely that the $450,000 budget for this SEP would support the implementation of at least two monitoring stations. Tom Eppehimer said that PPL was committed to funding the implementation of an SO2 monitoring station as well with a grant of $100,000, working in concert with RVI and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP. This combined funding would provide a total of three monitoring stations with a total budget of $550,000. Rocheís stations would monitor for SO2 continuously, as well as air toxics (perhaps as frequently as monthly) and perhaps fine particulates.
Jim Brandl reported that Roche and PPL would be discussing a protocol for this air monitoring program with the NJDEP shortly. The program will not address ozone concentrations, because the NJDEPís position is that ozone is already being monitored adequately on a regional basis through a station located in Flemington. The agency wants one SO2 monitoring station located in a populated area and one on Scotts Mountain, where the highest concentration of SO2 would be expected to occur.
Tom Eppehimer reported that PPL had operated several SO2 monitoring stations on Scotts Mountain as part of a joint program with the New Jersey and Pennsylvania DEPs during the 1990s. The extensive data they collected over more than six years showed that 96% of the time SO2 concentrations were at 20% or lower of the health-based national air quality standard. Tom said that PPLís view was that Scotts Mt. has already been adequately studied, that PPLís SO2 emissions had declined since that study was done, and that the biggest need now was to monitor the most sensitive populated locations, so that public concerns about health impacts could be directly addressed. He added that monitoring anywhere would not be able to identify the source of any SO2 detected, noting that power stations operated by PPL, Reliant Energy and many other companies could all be sources. If high SO2 is discovered, then additional monitoring and computer modeling would be needed, along with meteorological data, to investigate the source.
The CAP recommended that the highest priority be placed on monitoring stations at the Belvidere High School and Country View retirement center in White Twp. A third station should be located on Scotts Mt., where several homes are also located.
Mike Adams agreed that the first priority was to get the data and share it with the community as soon as possible to help address the concerns that exist about health impacts. He estimated that the air monitoring system could be designed, installed and operating by June 2002. The CAP agreed that this monitoring system would need to be tied in with the NJDEP ozone monitoring station in Flemington in order for the community alerting system SEP to be implemented effectively, as well as to allow for an integrated reporting program to the community on air quality.
The CAP further recommended that Rocheís monitoring stations do full scans quarterly of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and more frequent limited scans. The CAP agreed that they would rather see the funding of an extra monitoring station than excessive spending on a needlessly costly telemetry and scanning system for data reporting. They recommended that SO2 data should be reported to the public on a monthly basis while HAP results should be reported quarterly, with the savings dedicated to additional monitoring capability.
Roche will report back to the CAP at the December meeting on the results of its discussions with NJDEP on the air monitoring protocols and seek further input from the panel at that time.
The CAP recommended that Mike Adams send letters to BASF, Mallinckrodt-Baker, PPL, Reliant Energy, and the Oxford waste-to-energy plant inviting them to participate in the new regional CAP. As other industrial sources of air emissions are identified, they should be invited as well.
The CAP recommended that the mission of the regional CAP be to study, discuss and make recommendations regarding the impact of industrial operations on regional air quality. The air monitoring program conducted under the terms of the Roche SEP would then become a focal point for the airshed CAP. To recruit members, the panel recommended that Roche ask mayors in Northampton (PA) and Warren (NJ) counties to nominate representatives. Since several of the potential industrial participants already have facility-related CAPs of their own, it will be important to assure that the airshed CAP operates interdependently with, rather than independently of, those panels.
When the new airshed CAP is established, RVIís CAP will focus on non-air quality issues going forward. Implementation of the regional CAP will be discussed further at the Roche CAPís December meeting, at which time members will indicate their interest in participating in the new group, the existing group, neither or both. The CAP also recommended that Don Patterson of NJDEP and Dr. Clifford Weisel be invited to attend the December meeting so they can participate in the discussions of SEP implementation at that time.
The meeting concluded at 9:50 p.m. The next CAP meeting will be on December 18, 2001.