The Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel convened at 7:00 P.M. on January 15, 2002. CAP members present at the meeting were Bud Allen, Kathy Belby, Jane Bullis, Bryan Burke, Judy Chamberlain, Peter Grogan, Lisa Jacob, Andy Mark, Gary Meddaugh, Betty Merring, Claude Mitchell, Totsy Phillips, Eric Van Horn, Gary Wassel and Stan Wilkins. Present from RVI were Jim Brandl, Duane Campbell, Mike Adams and Andy Tynan. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross of Holt & Ross. Two guests were also present, Walter Menegus, White Township Committeeman and Toby Hanna of Environmental Resources Management (ERM).

Approval of December Meeting Summary

Jane Bullis pointed out that Tom Eppehimer is Site Superintendent, rather than Site Manager, of PPLís Martins Creek Plant. The CAP approved the Summary with this revision.

CAP Membership

Steve Ross reported that no CAP members had informed him of their intent to resign as the CAP prepares to tackle issues and topics in 2002. Therefore, the CAPís membership will continue unchanged this year, with Jane Bullis as the new chair.

Supplemental Environmental Project on Air Monitoring

Steve Ross introduced Toby Hanna of ERM, who is developing the implementation plan for the air monitoring SEP for Roche Vitamins. Toby reported that two meetings had been held so far with the NJDEP on this topic. The agency has developed a draft Memorandum of Understanding with RVI, which needs to be finalized by the end of January with input from the CAP. In addition, ERM has worked with Roche to develop a prioritized outline of the implementation planís components, which will facilitate decision-making if the available budget for this SEP ($450,000 from Roche and $100,000 from PPL, with the PPL portion dedicated to a monitoring station at a sensitive community location) is unable to support implementation of one or more of the discretionary components.

Toby then reviewed the prioritized outline (which is attached to this Meeting Summary). As discussed at previous CAP meetings, monitoring stations will be installed at Belvidere High School (continuously for sulfur dioxide and fine particulates of 2.5 microns, and monthly for air toxics), which is in a high density area with a sensitive population of schoolchildren; Country View retirement community (sulfur dioxide), which has a sensitive population of elderly people; and Scotts Mountain (sulfur dioxide, and possibly particulates as well), where the highest concentrations of SO2 and particulates are expected. In addition, a meteorological tower will be installed at Scotts Mountain to record wind direction for use in identifying the source of air pollutants. If the budget will support it, a second meteorological tower would be installed near the high school and Country View monitoring locations and a fourth monitoring station would be established. Andy reported that negotiations were now beginning with property owners for access to these monitoring locations.

The CAP recommended that wherever possible the available funds in this SEP budget be conserved by utilizing existing property under lease by PPL and existing equipment already available at Scotts Mountain locations from PPLís previous monitoring activities there. Bud Allen said that, unlike Country View, the Brookfield adult community would provide free access for a monitoring station, although he acknowledged that the Country View location was preferable for the purposes of the monitoring program. He suggested that the Warren County offices adjacent to Country View might be preferable, less expensive locations if Country View persists in asking for a high lease price.

Mike Adams asked if monthly monitoring of air toxics would be sufficient in the CAPís view, recognizing that more frequent monitoring would be more costly, requiring a tradeoff with other aspects of the program, such as monitoring for additional pollutants or additional monitoring locations. The CAP requested more information on the costs associated with these different options, so they could make a better-informed judgment about such tradeoffs.

Mr. Menegus noted that the Natureís Choice composting operation was a significant source of odors and air pollution in the area, which are sometimes mistaken by residents as originating from Roche Vitamins. Betty Merring suggested this be included in the purview of the new airshed CAP.

Jim Brandl asked for the CAPís recommendation regarding the best way to achieve public comments on the draft Memorandum of Understanding and the draft priority list. The CAP agreed that its environmental commission members (Bud Allen and Lisa Jacob, for the White Twp. EC; Jane Bullis for the Belvidere EC, and Pete Grogan for the Warren County EC), and any other CAP members who would like to join them, should report back to their respective environmental commissions at the municipal and county level on the draft MOU and seek comments that could be discussed at the CAPís February 19 meeting. Members of these environmental commissions would be encouraged to attend that meeting as well, as would the NJDEP.

Jim Brandl said that Roche would be willing to accompany CAP members to these meetings and serve as an information resource on the air monitoring MOU and implementation plan.

Concerns about Health Impacts of Toluene Exposure

Bud Allen reported that two attempts had been made to meet with Mrs. Marie Volk, Cindy Snyder, Lisa Jacob, other concerned parents, the Warren County Health Department and Roche Vitamins to discuss concerns about possible exposure of children to toluene. Both meetings failed to occur due to difficulties created, and unreasonable behavior, by Mrs. Volk. As a result, a third meeting of all parties is being scheduled, without Mrs. Volk. Bud said Roche Vitamins had emphasized its commitment to developing an action plan for assessing the nature and extent of this potential problem.

Claude Mitchell said the County Health Department was committed to investigating these concerns thoroughly, but was hampered by the unwillingness of the concerned parents to step forward and provide the medical records needed to understand the extent to which toluene is a factor in their childrenís medical conditions. The only information available to date was provided by a laboratory without expertise in such matters, which used a scientifically inappropriate test (urine tests, rather than blood tests) as part of its effort to market a treatment for high yeast levels. An independent medical expert in environmentally-related pediatric illnesses at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York has concluded that urine tests provided by one concerned parent were normal and not a cause for concern about toluene exposure. The same conclusion was reached by that parentís family doctor. Nevertheless, the Belvidere potable water system and the water supply in the public school are being tested by the NJDEP.

Jane Bullis said she thought that this matter was now being addressed appropriately through the involvement of the NJDEP, the health department, Roche and the concerned families, and did not seem to be a community-wide issue that the CAP needed to pursue. Bud Allen disagreed, noting that this issue has already received news coverage, which has apparently given rise to concern among many parents and residents. He said one of the CAPís most important missions was to identify community concerns, whether or not those concerns were well founded, and help with the process of addressing those concerns. If a concern is unwarranted, the CAP could provide an important community service by helping to address it and then alleviate it. In this case, he suggested that environmental testing could easily determine whether toluene is present and thereby resolve this concern one way or another. Doug Smyth disagreed, saying that he thought these health concerns were ill-founded scientifically in light of the many health risk assessments that have been conducted by Roche, the NJDEP and the CAP, that there are many more likely causes of toluene exposure than Rocheís operations (e.g., pesticides, gasoline) and that environmental testing could not easily resolve these concerns because of the difficulty of testing every conceivable location where exposure could occur.

Jane noted that the concern was first presented publicly by two CAP members, at a meeting of the White Township Environmental Commission. She said that CAP members should have an obligation to bring such concerns to the CAP first, where they can be discussed and evaluated objectively, before promoting such concerns widely through the press. Chief Burke urged that people with health concerns should work through the Health Department or have their family doctors contact the Health Department on their behalf, so such concerns could be investigated effectively.

After further discussion, the CAP agreed that Bud Allen, and any other interested members, should attend the meeting now being organized for concerned parents, RVI, and the Health Department to observe the discussion and report back to the CAP in February, at which time the matter will be considered further.

RVI Process for Compliance Reporting

Andy Tynan described the procedure RVI uses to report on its environmental performance as required by its permits. (See report attached to this Meeting Summary.) He explained that Roche is required to report any exceedances of its operating requirements or emissions concentrations, no matter how minor, to the NJDEP through a hotline, which automatically provides a report to White Township, RVIís host community. However, the town is not informed of the outcome of the reported infraction. In many cases these minor violations do not exceed the annual emissions limits allowed by Rocheís permits. In some cases, they could lead to a fine, but none of the infractions reported in 2001 have been in that category.

Without an understanding of this process, it would be easy to misinterpret these reports of minor violations as indicative of a pattern of serious violations. Jim Brandl noted that he understood that the White Township Committee and Environmental Commission were receiving these reports and may be misunderstanding their implications. He indicated that Roche wanted to meet with the WTEC and discuss these reports with them.

The CAP recommended that Roche provide it with periodic reports on the hotline log of reported infractions and the regulatory outcome of those infractions.

Supplemental Environmental Project on Airshed CAP

Noting that the hour was growing quite late, Steve Ross reported that he had developed and distributed to Roche and all CAP members a draft implementation plan for the new Airshed CAP, which included a draft mission statement, bylaws, recruitment plan, and operating plan. The compliance schedule for the Administrative Consent Order requires that this and other SEP implementation plans must be submitted to NJDEP by January 31. Jim Brandl said if the CAP agreed that Roche could submit the draft plan to the NJDEP, it would still be possible to revise the plan later, after the CAP discusses it at its February 19 meeting, while meeting the requirements of the ACO.

The CAP agreed that the draft implementation plan should be submitted to NJDEP and that recruitment of Airshed CAP participants should begin immediately, based on the core group of key stakeholders outlined in the plan.

RVICAP Website

The CAP agreed to set a goal of a February launch for a CAP website and authorized Steve Ross to work with Betty Merring and Andy Mark to achieve this.

The meeting concluded at 10:15 p.m. The next CAP meeting will be on February 19, 2002.