Summary of February 2003 Meeting of Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel

The Community Advisory Panel working with Roche Vitamins met on February 19, 2003. The meeting convened at 7:00 and was attended by Advisory Panel members and alternates Bud Allen, Kathy Belby, Jane Bullis, Judy Chamberlain, Peter Grogan, Andy Mark, Gary Meddaugh, Totsy Phillips, Dave Pritchard, Doug Smyth, Gary Wassel, Stan Wilkins and Joe Venesky. Jim Brandl and Jeff Wanko attended for Roche Vitamins, accompanied by Joe Gentile. Present as guests were Dr. Stanley Weiss of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and John and Vicky Scott. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross.

Introductions

Steve Ross welcomed Joe Venesky as Dave Pritchard's new alternate, representing the White Twp. Environmental Commission and replacing Mike Grossmann, who has resigned from the WTEC. Steve also introduced Mr. and Mrs. John Scott, prospective residents of White Twp. who were attending as guests of Jane Bullis.

Chairman's Update

Chairman Gary Meddaugh reported that he had learned that an air monitoring station was being installed at the White Twp. Consolidated School. Bud Allen explained that a hydrogen sulfide monitor was being installed temporarily at the request of the Pollution Control Financing Authority's community advisory panel in response to odor issues related to the county landfill.

Chairman Meddaugh thanked Roche Vitamins for sponsoring his attendance and that of Dr. and Mrs. Zollinger, Jane Bullis and Betty Merring at the Chemistry Council of New Jersey's CAPFEST event.

Approval of January 2003 Meeting Summary

The Panel approved the January meeting summary.

Air Monitoring Reporting Format

Chairman Meddaugh reported that he was receiving EnviroPlan's raw data reports on the Warren County Air Monitoring Program.

The CAP agreed that Steve Ross should forward the reports electronically to the Warren-Northampton Regional Air Quality Advisory Panel.

Steve summarized the conceptual reporting format developed by the AirQAP for the WCAMP's summary results. The format compares monitoring data for sulfur dioxide, fine particles and volatile organics with health-based benchmark standards that have been adopted by the US EPA and the NJDEP, and notes the number of times a benchmark has been exceeded in a given month and over the course of the three-year monitoring program. It also compares Warren County air quality results with those for other parts of New Jersey that are part of NJDEP's statewide air monitoring activities and provides links to more detailed information and explanations about the monitoring results, including EnviroPlan's raw data reports.

The CAP approved the conceptual format.

Status of SEP 2 Asthma Study

Dr. Weiss showed the CAP the website reporting forms that will be used by students participating in the study. Students will report daily on their use of medications, asthma symptoms and peak flow rates as measured by their peak flow meters. The website can be accessed at www.njasthma.org. CAP member Kathy Belby, a Registered Nurse, is one of three interviewers that UMDNJ is using in the study.

Study participants are receiving $1 a day for submitting their forms, which take about five minutes to fill out. There will be periodic pizza parties for participants, as well as lottery prizes and other incentives designed to maximize daily submittal of the forms.

So far, 25 students have enrolled in the study, with 10 more pending. Response rate from Belvidere High School has been disappointingly low and a surprising number of parents have declined to allow their children to be interviewed for the study. Dr. Weiss said that kids diagnosed with reactive airway disease were also eligible for the study, since this condition is the same as asthma. In addition, he is considering extending the study to children enrolled in grades K-4, subject to approval by the University's Institutional Review Board. Based on his survey, Dr. Weiss said about one in eight children have asthma and report symptoms in the past year.

Dr. Weiss reported that Roche has provided additional funding so the study can be extended through the end of the school year. Based on a survey of eligible children, it would not be practical to extend the study through the summer months. Bud Allen asked about adding a school in Upper Mt. Bethel Twp. to the study, since a resident there is a member of the AirQAP and has requested such a study, after succeeding in getting PADEP to install an SO2 monitor at the school. Dr. Weiss replied this would not be practical, since that monitoring station would not be measuring VOCs, as does the Belvidere High School monitoring station, and therefore asthma results in UMBT could not be correlated with those in Warren County.

The CAP recommended that the asthma study be extended to grades K-4 in order to boost the number of study participants.

Kathy Belby noted that she expected kids enrolled in the study to have fewer symptoms due to better use of medications and better education about exposure to sources of allergens, regardless of what pollution levels may exist.

New Issues for CAP Review

The CAP agreed to add land use issues as a new focus for the future. The Panel will also focus on ways to better inform the public about the air monitoring results and their significance, in coordination with the AirQAP.

At its March meeting, the CAP will discuss the monitoring results for chloroform that Roche obtained on site during its interim monitoring efforts and that the WCAMP have obtained since VOC monitoring began at Belvidere High School. Steve Ross and Gary Meddaugh will discuss other issues to propose to the CAP as potential focal points.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 P.M.