SUMMARY OF MARCH 19, 2002 ROCHE CAP MEETING
The Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel convened at 7:00 P.M. on March 19, 2002. CAP members present at the meeting were Kathy Belby, Jane Bullis, Judy Chamberlain, Andy Mark, Claude Mitchell, Gary Wassel and Stan Wilkins. Present from RVI were Jim Brandl, Duane Campbell and Paul Minehart. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross of Holt & Ross. Three guests were also present: Michael Grossman, Chairman of the White Township Environmental Commission; Dr. Stan Weiss of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; and Dr. Beecher Zollinger of White Twp.
APPROVAL OF FEBRUARY 2002 MEETING SUMMARY
The CAP unanimously approved the draft summary of the February 19, 2002 meeting.
ROCHE VITAMINS STATUS REPORT
Jim Brandl reported that after the February CAP meeting, Roche had a phone meeting with NJDEP to discuss plans for the air monitoring program in light of the comments received from CAP members and the public. It was agreed that mercury deposition sampling should be added to the monitoring station to be located at the Belvidere High School, using the stateís protocol. In addition, for the first three months of the monitoring program, all air toxics Ė not just those emitted by RVI - will be sampled every sixth day. After the initial three months, all air toxics will be sampled monthly and on a random basis under NJDEPís control, working directly with the contractor selected to do the monitoring program. The bid package for selection of that contractor would be going out shortly to six candidate vendors, with responses expected in April prior to the April 16 CAP meeting. Monitoring is expected to begin sometime this summer.
The CAP agreed that Chairperson Jane Bullis should review that bid package.
Jane said that she would be meeting on March 20 with the Belvidere High School science teachers, who are very interested in providing hands-on support for the monitoring station on the schoolís property and in having access to the data it generates. They are also interested in the establishment of a meteorological station as well. Jim Brandl explained that Scotts Mountain was the highest priority location for a meteorological tower, but if funds are available after the air monitoring program is established then a tower could also be set up at the high school.
Jane said she would like to share with the teachers the complete list of air toxics that will be monitored.
STATUS OF SEP 2: PEDIATRIC ASTHMA EPIDEMIOLOGY STUDY
Dr. Paul Weiss, MD and Associate Professor at the UMDNJ School of Public Health, is an epidemiologist working with Dr. Clifford Weisel on the pediatric asthma study. Dr. Weiss reported that all of the necessary contractual arrangements were now in place to allow UMDNJ and Rutgers to move forward with this study, which would need community participation to be successful. The final step is approval by Rutgers Universityís Institutional Review Board. The study will have three stages:
For the recruitment phase of this research project, UMDNJ will be targeting middle school and high school students. The first step will be to contact school boards, administrators and/or nurses to inform them about the study and seek their cooperation. Dr. Zollinger, who is a physician on call with the White Township school, suggested that school nurses could supervise the childrenís web reporting.
Once the schools have agreed to participate in the study, the research team will promote and hold a public meeting to explain the study to interested parents and residents and to seek support. Several CAP members suggested this meeting be held in May at the Belvidere High School, since all three towns send their children there. Then information material and a questionnaire will be distributed to schoolchildren in Belvidere, White Twp. and Harmony Twp. that could be brought home to their parents for signature if they agreed to enroll their child in the study. This survey would need to be conducted well before school ends, preferably no later than the beginning of June, so that children can be enrolled when school resumes in September.
Dr. Zollinger suggested that the schools supervise distribution and collection of parental responses to this material. Jane Bullis said she would send Dr. Weiss contact information for the school superintendents of Belvidere, Harmony and White Twp. Dr. Zollinger said that UMDNJ could expect 100% cooperation from White Twp.
The study would utilize a questionnaire that will ask how long the child has had asthma, when it was first diagnosed by a physician, whether the child was ever hospitalized due to an attack, and other questions. After the questionnaires are evaluated, the UMDNJ research team will go back to the parents of physician-diagnosed kids and ask them to enroll in the study. For children with asthmatic symptoms that havenít been diagnosed by a doctor, the UMDNJ team will recommend to the parents that they take their child to a physician for evaluation.
STATUS OF WHITE TWP. COMMUNITY HEALTH SURVEY
Steve Ross reported that Lisa Jacob and Cindy Snyder were unable to attend tonightís meeting and had requested that their report on the findings of their community health survey be deferred until April. Mike Grossman said that the White Twp. Environmental Commission was not sponsoring this health survey and had no involvement in its design or implementation, but rather that it was solely the result of a private initiative by Cindy and Lisa.
Dr. Weiss cautioned that asking people if they have cancer or tumors, as this health survey did, would almost certainly produce unreliable results. As in the case of the pediatric asthma epidemiology study, questionnaire results would be undocumented and misleading unless the medical conditions had been diagnosed and documented by physicians. Dr. Zollinger agreed.
CAP MEETING DATES, LOCATIONS AND FUTURE TOPICS
Steve Ross reported that some CAP members and a member of the public had requested that CAP meetings be held on a day of the month other than Tuesday and that meetings be held elsewhere than RVIís site. After some discussion, the CAP members present agreed unanimously not to change the meeting day or location, in view of the very high attendance rate at all meetings to date prior to this one. However, the CAP agreed that the group should sponsor periodic community meetings to report on its activities and receive community input.
Steve reported that Region 2 of the US Environmental Protection Agency had agreed to participate in the new Regional Airshed CAP. He suggested that the CAP consider topics that should be the focus for future CAP meetings once the implementation plans for the four Supplemental Environmental Projects are completed. After some discussion the CAP agreed that the following topics should be pursued with RVI at future meetings:
The meeting concluded at 9:30 p.m.