The Community Advisory Panel working with Roche Vitamins met on November 19, 2002. Present at the meeting were Bud Allen, Jane Bullis, Judy Chamberlain, Peter Grogan, Mike Grossmann, Andy Mark, Betty Merring, Totsy Phillips, Dave Pritchard, Doug Smyth, and Gary Wassel. Mike Adams and Jeff Wanko were present from RVI. Dr. Clifford Weisel of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), Dave Cummings of EnviroPlan and Gary Raymond of Reaction Media were present as guests. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross. The meeting began at 7:03 p.m.

Approval of October Meeting Summary

The CAP approved the October meeting summary.

Status of SEP 1: Warren County Air Monitoring Program

Bud Allen, Mike Grossmann and Steve Ross reported on the activities of the Warren-Northampton Regional Air Quality Advisory Panel (AirQAP) regarding establishing benchmarks for evaluating the environmental and health implications of air quality as determined by the air monitoring program. They also reviewed the Panel’s concerns about the format and manner in which the air monitoring data are reported. Steve advised the CAP that the AirQAP was planning to conduct a public meeting and open house in February 2003, preceded by a press briefing, and suggested that the CAP might want to be a co-sponsor.

Doug Smyth questioned whether the list of 60 or so VOCs that are being monitored was appropriate, or whether a potentially significant VOC could be missing from the list and thereby overlooked if it was actually present at harmful levels. He suggested that a “global scan” be conducted to identify every contaminant present in the first rounds of air samples. Dr. Weisel and Dave Cummings noted this would require a specially qualified laboratory and would be quite expensive. Mike Adams suggested that the regulatory community be asked to advise on the feasibility and value of doing this. Steve said he would raise the question with the AirQAP.

Dave Cummings reported that the Belvidere High School air monitoring station began collecting data in late October and by mid-November was collecting data on all monitoring parameters (sulfur dioxide, air toxics, fine particulates, mercury and meteorological conditions). He shared a preliminary report on volatile organics that had just been received that day from the laboratory. It showed some technical data quality problems with some of the monitoring parameters, which EnviroPlan will track down and resolve.

CAP members made several suggestions regarding the reporting format, including the addition of page numbers, the use of graphs to track data trends over time, and the incorporation of National Ambient Air Quality Standards so that those benchmarks could be used to evaluate the monitoring results for SO2 and fine particulates.

Steve Ross noted that Roche Vitamins did not want to be put in the position of analyzing or interpreting the monitoring results. The CAP agreed that the results should be delivered to NJDEP and the Roche CAP simultaneously, and the CAP would then forward the data reports to the AirQAP for analysis and interpretation. Results will be posted periodically for public review on the Roche CAP’s website.

Status of SEP 2: Asthma Epidemiology Study

Dr. Weisel reported that survey forms had been redistributed to Belvidere High School students in an attempt to increase the relatively poor response rate. Based on responses to the survey to date, asthma prevalence in the schools is relatively high and roughly comparable to the prevalence found by the community surveys conducted in Belvidere and White Twp. (about 15%). UMDNJ hopes to recruit more than 100 student participants with doctor-diagnosed asthma.

Dr. Weisel told the CAP that he would be leaving shortly on a sabbatical, and that Dr. Stan Weiss would take the lead on completing the epidemiology study.

CAP Chair for 2003

Steve Ross reminded the CAP that the December meeting would be the last to be chaired by Jane Bullis, and that the Panel should be prepared to select a new chairperson for 2003 at that meeting.

The meeting concluded at 9:40 p.m.