Summary of March 2003 Meeting of Roche Vitamins Community Advisory Panel

The Community Advisory Panel working with Roche Vitamins met on March 18, 2003. The meeting convened at 7:00 p.m. and was attended by Advisory Panel members and alternates Bud Allen, Kathy Belby, Jane Bullis, Bryan Burke, Peter Grogan, Andy Mark, Gary Meddaugh, Betty Merring, Claude Mitchell, Totsy Phillips, Dave Pritchard, Joe Venesky, and Dr. Beecher Zollinger. Jim Brandl and Joe Gentile attended for Roche Vitamins. Present as guests were Dr. Stanley Weiss of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Buff Andresen, the CAP's Webmaster. The meeting was facilitated by Steve Ross.

Approval of February 2003 Meeting Summary

The Panel approved the February meeting summary.

Status of Warren County Air Monitoring Program

Chairman Meddaugh reported that he was receiving hard copies of 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 and Bud Allen summarized the status of 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, tracks these results against the Air Quality Index used by NJDEP and USEPA, 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.

Bud noted that the Pennsylvania DEP has installed a VOC monitor at a school in Upper Mount Bethel Twp. and the data gathered by this monitor will be linked with the data collected at Belvidere High School by the WCAMP monitoring station and presented as part of the summary reports.

Joe Venesky suggested that the data plots for the three SO2 monitors be color coded so the results can all fit on one chart. Bud explained that the Air Quality Advisory Panelís Benchmarks Committee had considered that but felt it would make the chart too ďbusy.Ē Jane Bullis suggested that the WCAMP results for SO2 and fine particles be compared with those for other parts of New Jersey, as is the case with VOCs. Buff Andresen said he could design the CAPís air monitoring webpage so that all of this information could be included on one chart in a way that allows the viewer to scroll through the chart to see all of the information.

The CAP recommended that the page reporting VOC results divide the VOCs into two categories, those for which health-based benchmarks have been developed and those that donít have benchmarks, and in both categories that the VOCs be listed in alphabetical order.

Jim Brandl pointed out that Roche was reluctant to take responsibility for converting the raw air monitoring data into the summary reporting formats lest this foster public concerns about the credibility of the data. The CAP agreed, and recommended that he ask EnviroPlan to take responsibility for this; if they decline, then it may be possible for the CAPís webmaster, Buff Andresen, to play that role. Buff has technical knowledge and has retired from Roche Vitamins. In any case, there would need to be quality assurance and quality control to make sure that the data summaries accurately depict the raw results.

Bud noted that NJDEP would have to play an ongoing role by supplying VOC data from other parts of New Jersey as a comparison with the WCAMP results, in which case it would make sense to have the DEP take responsibility for converting the raw data into the summary formats. The CAP agreed.

Jane Bullis questioned the role of the AirQAP vis-ŗ-vis the Roche CAP with respect to the WCAMP. Bud suggested the Roche CAP present raw data to the AirQAP for conversion into the summary formats, since the state and federal environmental regulators are all represented there. Gary Meddaugh said in his view the AirQAP has a broader role with respect to air quality issues than the Roche CAP does. Jane disagreed, noting that the AirQAP and the WCAMP were both outgrowths of the Roche CAPís recommendations regarding SEPs. She suggested that the AirQAP should report to the Roche CAP.

Chairman Meddaugh requested that Janeís concern be presented to the AirQAP and that their reaction be reported back to the Roche CAP so this matter can be discussed further.

Status of SEP 2 Asthma Study

Dr. Weiss reported that that the asthma study now has 55 enrollees, with five more scheduled to be included as well, for a total of 60. It may be possible to add another 21, including some fourth-graders.

Monitoring Results for Chloroform

Jim Brandl explained that the health benchmark for chloroform and other VOCs assumed 70 years of continuous exposure, resulting in a cancer risk of one in a million. In 1996, the Roche Belvidere facility emitted 25 tons of chloroform per year from all sources, compared with the county-wide total of 229 tons per year from all sources, based on information provided by the EPAís National Air Toxics Assessment. Jim didnít know what the other chloroform sources in Warren County are and has asked EPA to clarify this.

During the period August through October 2002, EnviroPlan operated a VOC monitor on Rocheís property while the WCAMP monitoring stations were being developed. Jim noted that the detection limit for chloroform is actually higher than the health benchmark. The average measured chloroform concentration on site during that three-month period represented a health risk factor 30 times higher than the one in a million benchmark level, which still represents a relatively low health risk Ė far lower in fact than the chloroform concentration that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established as safe for workers over their working lifetime.

Jim noted that the chloroform levels measured on Rocheís property couldnít be compared or equated directly with the levels measured at Belvidere High School, since the Roche site is not a population center while the high school is. He also noted that the chloroform readings at the high school have been non-detects so far. This confirmed the levels predicted by the computer modeling done as part of the health risk assessment conducted by Environmental Resources Management in the aftermath of Rocheís air permit violations. The actual levels agreed with the predicted levels, which entail a cancer risk of two in a million (compared with the national cancer risk of one in four). Rocheís chloroform emissions will soon be reduced even further when the thermal oxidizer goes on line at the end of March.

Plans for Next CAP Meeting

The next CAP meeting will be on April 15, at which there will be further discussion of the WCAMP and the formats for reporting summary results. In addition, Roche will provide an overview of its Title V permit, from the standpoint of environmental and health impacts, and will update the CAP on the status of its purchase by DSM. The CAP will also discuss new issues that should be the focus of its attention in the coming months

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 P.M.