The Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel convened at 6:00 P.M. on October 22, 2002 to tour the facility’s Waste Water Treatment Plant. The business meeting began at 7:15 p.m., immediately following the tour. CAP members in attendance included: Chairperson Jane Bullis, Kathy Belby, Judy Chamberlain, Peter Grogan, Gary Meddaugh, Betty Merring, Claude Mitchell, Totsy Phillips, Gary Wassel, Stan Wilkins, and Dr. Beecher Zollinger. Jim Brandl and Jeffrey Wanko attended on behalf of RVI. Ron Gurczinski and Dr. Cliff Weisel were invited guests. Kelly Henry of Holt & Ross facilitated the meeting.


The CAP unanimously approved the September 2002 meeting summary.


Kelly Henry reported that Steve Ross had contacted Cindy Snyder and Lisa Jacobs of PURE to determine their interest in continuing as CAP members; they had both missed three or more consecutive meetings. They decided to discontinue their involvement as CAP members, due to scheduling conflicts.

The Panel decided to have Steve Ross reach out to Cindy and Lisa to ask them to identify a potential replacement, but do not want Steve to pursue any new members at this time given the number of CAP members already in place. The CAP agreed to review membership on a regular basis, at least twice a year.

Following up on Betty Merring’s suggestion to get a High School student involved in the CAP, Jane Bullis reported that she spoke with a science teacher from Belvidere High School about student involvement. The teacher supported the idea and suggested that Jane make a presentation to several science classes to explain the purpose of the CAP and the SEP programs and then make a pitch to students to join the CAP. Jane plans to make a presentation in November and will report back to the CAP.


Claude Mitchell reported that he no longer has an intern assisting him at the County Health Department. As a result, the Department’s review of the White Township Health Survey results has ceased.


A. DSM Sale: Jim Brandl reported that there was no news on the sale of Roche Vitamins to DSM , other than it is going forward. More information should be available in December. Jim introduced Jeff Wanko of RVI and announced that Duane Campbell is no longer with Roche. Jeff will be participating in the CAP meetings on behalf of Roche’s Safety and Environmental Department from now on.

B. Facility Shutdown: Jim reported that the date for the temporary shutdown of the Vitamin C operations has changed to December 15, due to a delay in the delivery of the thermal oxidizer that will be added to the facility’s pollution abatement system. Lasalocid did shut down permanently as planned. Vitamin C operations will be shut down from app Dec 15 through January 15. Between January 15 and Feb 28, RVI plans to bring Vitamin C production back up and then back down again for the month of March. The two shutdown periods are for the installation of the thermal oxidizer in Vitamin C. . The change in the actual shutdown dates and shortened overall duration will work better with the SEP 1 air monitoring program, allowing a clearer demonstration of how Roche’s Vitamin C operations affect air monitoring results.

C. Environmental Scorecard: RVI made five calls to the NJDEP hotline this month regarding emissions; all were “affirmative defenses” (i.e. to report excedences resulting from maintenance-related issues rather than operator-related issues). Two of the five calls involved the methanol scrubber on the Lasalocid process. Now that Lasalocid operations are shut down permanently, RVI expects a 40% overall reduction in calls to the state.


Jim Brandl reported that construction of Station 1, located at Belvidere High School, was completed two weeks ago but startup was delayed because JCP&L had not provided the necessary electrical hookup. Jane Bullis made a call to JCP&L and the electric is now hooked up.. Sampling will begin on October 23.

Construction of Stations 2 and 3 is also underway. Station 2, located at Demeter Farm on Scotts Mountain, is 50% complete. It is expected to be on-line within 1-2 weeks. Station 3, located at the Warren County Complex in White Twp., is expected to be on-line by November 15.

Jim reported that the first round of data from RVI’s sampling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was back from the lab. He provided four handouts on the sampling results (see attachments to this meeting summary) and provided a brief overview. Jim noted that the monitoring station was located on Roche property on an interim basis, in an open field near the warehouse, so that air monitoring could begin in August. Samples have been collected over a 24-hour period, once every six days, since August 16. Dr. Weisel indicated that if the sampling location is too close to the facility, stack emissions could pass over the station and not be recorded. Dr. Zollinger indicated a concern that the interim monitoring location might be upwind of the facility.

The first handout listed all 58 compounds tested and the results. Jim reminded the group that there is no single federal health-based risk standard for any of the VOCs. EPA Region III, the states of Maryland and New York, and OSHA all have their own standards. Environmental Resources Management (ERM), the environmental consulting firm analyzing the data, used the most stringent standards as their guide for analysis.

Using the second handout, Jim explained the stringent process in place for assuring quality control (QC) of the results. Each sample has not only a duplicate analyzed by the lab, but also a replicate and a field blank to ensure that the laboratory equipment and/or analytical processes aren’t impacting the results.

Jim referred to Handout #3 to review some of the terms and acronyms.

Handout #4 reviewed the results for toluene. There was general discussion about the meaning of “minimum short-term” versus “minimum long-term” standards and Jim was asked what an exceedence of the standards for short and/or long-term minimums indicated. Did it indicate that health-related effects would begin or could begin? Jim responded it was when the effects of exposure, whatever they may be, could begin.

Dr. Weisel said that a quick review of the data seemed to indicate that most of the results were at “background” levels, which meant they were not above levels typically found in the environment. He pointed the group to the

NJDEP’s website and its posting of Camden’s benchmark data on VOCs in the environment, which is the longest ongoing benchmarking effort in the state.

The Panel discussed the difficulty of interpreting the meaning, significance and implications of the data. Dr. Weisel recommended identifying 5-10 compounds of interest and tracking the results, both the daily average and maximum results, on a plot-graph. This way, trends and exceptions would be easier to discern through use of a visual. Although there was some group discussion about the benefits of tracking all 58 VOCs as opposed to just 5-10 compounds of interest, the Panel agreed to wait to make any decisions on how to analyze the data until the outcome of the Regional Air Quality Advisory Panel’s meeting and discussion is reported. (Jim noted that BASF recently joined the regional AIRCAP.) Overall, however, the group agreed that graphing future results would make them easier to review. The CAP asked Jim to provide graphs for several compounds of interest as a start. Dr. Weisel identified ethanol, MEK, and ethyl acrylate as potential compounds of interest because they could have an effect on asthmatics. This would be in addition to the three compounds that are of concern for Roche: methanol, toluene, and chloroform.

Betty Merring asked if the process for identifying random sampling dates has been finalized. Steve Ross needs to assign each CAP member a month to call Dave Cummings of EnviroPlan directly with a random sampling date.


Dr. Weisel reported that response to the survey has been solid (60-80%) at the elementary school and junior high school level, but less so for the high school (about 30%) due to a problem in distribution. As a result, the survey is going to be redistributed to the high school students.

Kathy Belby is helping Dr. Weisel to take the necessary histories of participants in the pilot survey. The orientation takes about an hour to complete. It includes a demonstration of how to use the peak/flow meter as well as an oral review of the participant’s medical history and daily life exposure to asthma triggers (e.g., allergies to dogs compared with the participant’s typical exposure to dogs). Dr. Weisel hopes to get 5-10 participants in the pilot study. One child’s history was complete and a second participant was scheduled for a meeting on October 23. They may fold the pilot study into the full study. Part of the study will be done in November and then resumed again in January after winter vacation.

The website is still being fine-tuned. They hope to have 4-5 people test it this week and another 4-5 to test it the following week. At the next CAP meeting, in November, Dr. Weisel promised to bring overheads of the website survey questions. It should only take 5 to10 minutes a day to complete the daily web-based survey. It was decided to use a mall gift certificate as an incentive for successful participation by survey participants.

7. SEP 3

Jim Brandl asked Environmental Resources Management (ERM) to develop a white paper on SEP 3. The two primary questions to answer are: “What do we alert on?” and “Who pulls the trigger?”

ERM identified what is already in use by the NJDEP. NJDEP has an Air Quality Index (AQI) based on national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for SO2, PM, CO, and NOx. Data is collected from an air monitoring station in Flemington. The issue has been forecasting – predicting what the impact will be, to whom and when?

ERM suggested a two-tiered effort. First, they recommended that Roche send the real-time monitoring data for SO2 and PM to the NJDEP. Jim said he would contact NJDEP to determine how to accomplish this. After one year of data collection and monitoring, if local conditions could affect statewide forecasts Roche and the CAP could review whether local data could /should influence the notification system.


Kelly Henry reported that Steve Ross and Bud Allen were both attending the AIRQAP meeting, also being held tonight. Jim noted that the AIRQAP was reviewing the same slides on the VOC data that he reviewed with the RVI CAP. A report of their discussions will be provided at the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 P.M.