The Community Advisory Panel working with Roche Vitamins met on September 17, 2002. Present at the meeting were Bud Allen, Judy Chamberlain, Peter Grogan, Andy Mark, Gary Meddaugh, Betty Merring, Stan Wilkins and Dr. Zollinger. Jim Brandl was present from RVI. Dr. Stanley Weiss of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) was present as a guest. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross.

1. Approval of August Meeting Summary

The meeting began at 7:05 p.m. Steve Ross suggested that in view of the lateness of the distribution of the draft Summary of the August meeting, its review and approval should be deferred until the October meeting. The CAP agreed.

2. Status of Roche Vitamins

Jim Brandl reported on the status of the reported sale of the Roche Group’s global Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division (VFC) to DSM, a Dutch-based global chemical company. Roche Vitamins is part of VFC, which is headquartered in Switzerland. Under the proposed sale, VFC would become an independent unit of DSM and would retain its Swiss headquarters. However, sale negotiations have not yet been completed, and any sale would have to be approved by regulators in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

DSM is one of the world’s top 20 chemical companies, with a strong focus on pharmaceuticals, health care and the food industry. The company has several pharmaceutical plants in the U.S. VFC is a strategically significant acquisition for DSM, as ownership of the world’s largest vitamin C manufacturer will greatly strengthen the company’s position with the health and food markets. Those markets are important to VFC as well, although VFC and DSM have no significant product overlaps. In addition to producing vitamin C, VFC also produces the mixtures of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, called “finished forms,” used by food and beverage manufacturers. The Belvidere plant is the world’s largest producer of vitamin C and a major producer of finished forms.

Jim said the sale would have no immediate impact on the Belvidere site, which will continue with its current plans to shut down the Vitamin C production facility for several months, beginning in October ad starting back up in February or March. During that time, extensive maintenance will be conducted and a new pollution control system, a thermal oxidizer, will be installed to reduce air emissions to the lowest possible level (with 98% control, as opposed to the 96% control capability of the plant’s existing carbon adsorption systems). The lasalocid facility will close on September 20, 2002.

The deal with DSM will have no impact on the Community Advisory Panel, Roche’s environmental, regulatory and legal commitments or any of the Supplemental Environmental Projects now underway. DSM supports the Responsible Care commitment required of members of the American Chemistry Council and its European counterpart. A sale would trigger New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), which requires that a detailed remediation agreement spelling out responsibilities for all aspects of site and environmental remediation be developed by the parties and approved and enforced by NJDEP.

Jim reported that DSM appears to be a very good fit with Roche’s Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division. Both companies provide products that have very little overlap to the health and food industries and combining them will yield a very strong global player in those markets.

The deal should be a win for all parties, including Warren County, which will continue to host the world’s largest Vitamin C plant and a major producer of finished forms. The Belvidere plant has been considering a major change in its production process that would dramatically reduce the use of organic chemical solvents, and related environmental emissions, while at the same time greatly improve process efficiency. DSM will make the final decision on whether to make that investment. The Belvidere plant is an ideal location for the new process, as it already has the qualified people and facilities capable of utilizing the new technology.

3. Status of Supplemental Environmental Projects

A. SEP 1: Jim reported that the air monitoring program, Roche has been monitoring volatile organic compounds since August 16, and air monitoring stations are under construction on Scotts Mountain and at the Belvidere High School. As soon as White Twp. approves a zoning variance, a third monitoring station will be installed at the County complex adjacent to Country View Village.

Dr. Stan Weiss of UMDNJ reported to the CAP that survey forms have been distributed to all students at the high school and in lower grades in Belvidere, White Twp. and Harmony, seeking the participation of doctor-diagnosed asthmatic children in the asthma study the first of its kind ever conducted. Beginning this fall, and again in the spring of 2003, these participants will report daily on their conditions and need for medication, and a related study will compare the incidence of asthma attacks with air quality data recorded by the air monitoring program. In addition, a separate UMDNJ study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control, will compare school absenteeism rates in the three towns with air quality data.

The meeting concluded at 9:30 p.m.