Article I. Name
The name of the Organization shall be the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee, hereinafter known as the subcommittee and by the acronym, ORRHES.
Article II. Enabling Laws and Regulations
- This subcommittee has been formed by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Public Law 92-463 of 1972) as a subcommittee of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Public Health Service Activities and Research at DOE Sites. The subcommittee is first and foremost bound by the rules that govern federal advisory committees under this act and the subsequent regulations on administrative guidelines and management controls developed and implemented by the General Services Administration (GSA) Committee Management Secretariat on December 2, 1987 (41 CFR Part 101-6). The subcommittee is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It is therefore subject to all the rules and regulations expressed in the above documents and other regulations established by ATSDR and CDC, which are the responsible agencies. Copies and summaries of pertinent documents as distributed by ATSDR and CDC are included in these by-laws by reference. All by-laws that derive from either FACA requirements, GSA rules, DHHS guidelines, or the subcommittee's charter are flagged by an asterisk and may not be amended. Appendix A of this document includes background information on the history, purposes, structure and processes of the ORRHES on which these by-laws are based and should be used for interpretation.
- Subject to the legal constraints, ORRHES issues recommendations that are independent of ATSDR and CDC.*
- The FACA regulations require a Designated Federal Official (DFO) charged with oversight and administrative duties.*
Article III. Objectives
1. Providing Advice and Recommendations to ATSDR and CDC
The purpose of the Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee is to provide advice and recommendations concerning public health activities and research conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the Oak Ridge Reservation Department of Energy site.* The advice and recommendations shall be submitted to the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), who is also the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.* The subcommittee's recommendations relate specifically to activities of ATSDR and CDC. Recommendations on activities of any other federal, state, or local agency are not within the scope of the subcommittee's charter.*
The subcommittee shall review all relevant previous studies and investigations in a step-by-step process in order to provide advice on the selection, design, scope, prioritization, and adequacy of ATSDR's public health activities for the Oak Ridge Reservation. Specifically, the subcommittee shall:
- Help prioritize public health issues and community concerns to be evaluated.
- Provide input in developing ATSDR's public health assessment and community needs assessment for the Oak Ridge Reservation site.
- Provide input into follow-up public health activities.
- Provide an opportunity for citizens to collaborate with agency staff members and learn more about the public health assessment process and other public health activities.
ATSDR is committed to engaging the Oak Ridge community as partners in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing public health activities at the site, and in communicating and discussing results and determining appropriate follow-up actions. The Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee shall provide a forum for coordination of these activities.
2. ATSDR Public Health Assessment
The subcommittee shall provide advice to ATSDR in its public health assessment for the Oak Ridge Reservation starting in the year 2000. The assessment, for which the subcommittee will provide recommendations, has two main purposes:
- To determine how releases of hazardous substances from the reservation may have affected public health in communities around the sites.
- To decide what further public health activities or actions should be conducted.
ATSDR shall conduct the following activities as a part of the public health assessment:
- Identify and characterize both current and past exposures of off-site populations to radiologic and chemical contaminants.
- Identify populations exposed at levels of health concern.
- Address community health concerns.
- Recommend follow-up public health actions or studies.
3. Community Needs Assessment
The subcommittee shall provide advice to ATSDR in its community needs assessment starting in the year 2000. This assessment, for which the subcommittee will provide recommendations, will identify the health concerns of residents near the Oak Ridge Reservation. The needs assessment involves collecting data on community demographics, health concerns, health education needs, and available health resources. ATSDR will collect this information by reviewing existing documents, reports, and surveys; interviewing community members, health officials, and health care providers; and conducting community focus groups. The community needs assessment will provide the basis for developing and implementing a community health education program to assist community members and health care providers in understanding, preventing, and mitigating the potential health effects of exposure to hazardous substances from the Oak Ridge Reservation site.
4. Processing of On-Site Health Concerns
Any on-site health concerns which are received by the subcommittee shall be documented and forwarded to ATSDR to be sent to the appropriate federal agency at ATSDR's discretion.
Article IV. Membership
- As required under FACA, membership was appointed by ATSDR and CDC based on the requirements that members must be balanced in terms of their affiliations and the functions to be performed by the subcommittee, and that the subcommittee should have equitable geographic, ethnic, and gender representation.* The ORRHES may nominate members for consideration by ATSDR and CDC. The members serve four-year terms at the pleasure of the ATSDR and CDC.*
- Membership in the ORRHES work groups is open to the public.
- Representatives of Federal or State Agencies designated by ATSDR and CDC may be Liaison Members with full rights of discussion but without voting rights.
- Federal or State Agencies, designated as Observers by ATSDR and CDC, may participate in subcommittee discussions as needed.
- Nonmembers may be granted the privilege of full participation (except voting) in the discussion germane to the topic by a simple majority vote of the subcommittee.
- Subcommittee members are encouraged to interact with interested individuals and groups in the Oak Ridge area to understand their interests and viewpoints.
- When speaking to the media and other individuals outside the subcommittee, members should speak only for themselves and shall refrain from attributing statements or positions to other participants or speculating about the opinions or recommendations of the subcommittee that are not fully formulated or still in process. Members may discuss decisions or recommendations the subcommittee has formally adopted. If a member notices an article or report appears that misquotes or inaccurately represents an individual, the members shall inform the subcommittee chair as soon as possible.
- As required under FACA, members shall notify the DFO immediately of any actual or potential personal conflict of interest that may arise regarding any portion of the subcommittee's agenda or business.*
Article V. Officers and Administrator
- The chair is the sole officer of the subcommittee.*
- As required under FACA, the chair shall be appointed by ATSDR and CDC.*
- As required under FACA, an employee of ATSDR shall serve as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) and shall be the official ATSDR contact for the subcommittee.* (The DFO is not a member of the subcommittee.)
Article VI. The Chair
- As required under FACA, the chair shall work with the DFO and subcommittee input to help determine dates and locations for meetings.
- The chair shall facilitate all subcommittee meetings* and shall follow these guidelines:
- Keep meetings focused on the agenda and within the allocated time frame for each agenda item.
- Ensure that procedural guidelines are followed and that an atmosphere of mutual respect is maintained.
- Provide opportunities for open exchange of information, concerns, and viewpoints.
- Encourage members to communicate their knowledge, ideas, and views.
- The chair shall encourage members to understand the various interests and positions expressed, so that they can forge common ground and achieve consensus.
- The chair shall ensure that all decisions, recommendations, and points of agreement and consensus are clearly articulated so that they can be understood by all members.
- As required under FACA, the chair shall forward the subcommittee's recommendations and action items to the DFO.*
- The chair shall select the chair for each work group.
- The chair shall generally serve as a liaison between any work groups and DFO, including notifying the DFO of the dates, times, and locations of work group meetings and keeping the DFO informed about work group progress.
- As required under FACA, the chair shall certify the minutes of each subcommittee meeting.*
Article VII. The Designated Federal Official
- The DFO shall supervise the day-to-day operations of the subcommittee.*
- The DFO shall provide direction, control, and assistance to ensure that the subcommittee operates as required under federal law and in accordance with good management practices.*
- The DFO shall ensure that the subcommittee fulfills its mission as described in its charter.*
- The DFO shall call or approve the calling of subcommittee meetings, as required under FACA.*
- The DFO shall publicly announce the meetings in the Federal Register and other appropriate venues.*
- The DFO shall approve the agenda for each meeting, as required by FACA.*
- The DFO shall attend each subcommittee meeting.* The DFO shall ensure that a full-time employee of the Department of Health and Human Services attends each work group meeting.
- The DFO shall make all subcommittee meetings open to the public and provide opportunities for public participation.*
- The DFO shall ensure preparation of materials by ATSDR and CDC for consideration by the subcommittee.
- The DFO shall provide each subcommittee member with copies of all written statements submitted by interested individuals.*
- The DFO shall maintain all committee records required by statute and dispose of committee records according to statutes.*
- The DFO shall ensure orientation of new members and provide annual ethics training.*
- The DFO shall take appropriate action to resolve any conflict-of-interest issues for subcommittee members.*
- The DFO shall prepare reports on special government employees, including the annual ethics report.*
- The DFO shall adjourn any meeting when adjournment is in the public interest.*
Article VIII. Administration
The administrative functions of the subcommittee are provided by the DFO and ATSDR and CDC staff.* This includes approval of agendas, creation and retention of minutes, and other functions normally required by a FACA subcommittee including those of secretary.*
Article IX. Work Groups
- The subcommittee may establish work groups for a specific purpose (such as the in-depth exploration of issues or the development of strawman recommendations or other products for deliberation by the subcommittee). Work groups shall not be used to avoid compliance with the procedural requirements of FACA; therefore, work groups shall be utilized to research and provide input on specific issues on a short-term basis.*
- The subcommittee shall develop a statement of work or purpose and goals statement for each work group. Once the work group has fulfilled its purpose, the subcommittee shall determine whether to continue or disband the group.
- Recommendations from work groups shall be made to the subcommittee (not to ATSDR or CDC).* All recommendations by a work group shall be fully deliberated by the subcommittee in open session.* Final recommendations and advice to ATSDR and CDC shall come from the subcommittee and not from the work groups.*
- The work groups shall include the Guidelines and Procedures Work Group, the Agenda Work Group, and the Communications and Outreach Work Group.
- The chair shall appoint all work group chairs, and the chair shall be an ex officio member of all work groups.
- The Agenda Work Group, in cooperation with the chair and the DFO, shall establish and update the Program of Work (i.e., the long-term plan of the subcommittee), and shall assist the chair in establishing meeting agendas. The final agenda shall be subject to the approval of the DFO.
- Work Group meetings shall be held, at the discretion of the work group chair and membership, or at the instruction of the subcommittee or subcommittee chair. The work group chair shall notify the subcommittee chair in advance about the date, time, and location for work group meetings.
- Work groups should strive to provide advance notice of work group meetings to the public whenever possible.
- All work group meetings shall be open to the public, and the public shall be permitted free participation as members of the work group.
- Work group meetings may be held by teleconference.
- A quorum at work group meetings shall consist of two subcommittee members present in person.
- The DFO or a full-time employee of the Department of Health and Human Services must be present at all work group meetings either in person or by conference call.
- During work group meetings, all participants shall adhere to all rules of conduct and decorum that govern participants in subcommittee meetings as laid out in these by-laws.
- Subcommittee members who are absent in person or by conference phone from three consecutive Work Group meetings and do not provide advance notification of their absence to the Work Group Chair, shall have their names removed from the roster of the Work Group. The member may be reinstated after providing notification to the Work Group Chair, prior to the next Work Group meeting, of their intention to rejoin the Work Group.
Article X. Subcommittee Meetings
- All subcommittee business shall take place at meetings or conference calls (i.e., not by e-mail).* All subcommittee meetings and conference calls shall be open to the public as observers.* They shall be invited and shall have opportunity to participate at appropriate public comment periods.*
- All meetings shall be held under Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised unless otherwise provided for in these by-laws.
- Members who wish to speak during discussions shall signal the chair by tipping their placard up, and shall only speak when recognized by the chair. The chair will call on members in the order in which the placards were raised, with preference for members who have not yet spoken on the topic. When called on by the chair, subcommittee members may not yield their time to an observer.
- Subcommittee members shall maintain an atmosphere of civility and respect at all times and shall refrain from personal attack.
- The organization shall seek positions that are acceptable to as large a majority of the members as possible, and the expression of minority opinion shall be permitted in all work group and subcommittee reports.
- All major recommendations to ATSDR require a 2/3 vote of the members voting at the meeting.
- Process for Adopting Formal Health-related Recommendations
This section specifies the method for reaching a consensus on a major formal health-related recommendation to be forwarded to ATSDR and CDC. Consensus is defined as the maximum possible support for a position but not less than 2/3 of the members voting.
- Step 1: Initiate Recommendation. A formal recommendation may be proposed by an individual member or a work group. The recommendations with supporting documents shall be distributed to the subcommittee in writing at least 14 days before the scheduled meeting. The agenda work group should be requested to assign an agenda position for discussion.
- Step 2: Ensure Clarification. The chair ensures that the subcommittee members are informed as to the history and intent of the recommendation and have opportunity to ask clarifying questions of the proposer. In preparation for discussion and amendment, the motion may be displayed via computer on a screen visible to the subcommittee.
- Step 3: Discuss Recommendation. The chair opens the floor for discussion, restating the recommendation by reference to the hard copy, or screen copy or a reading by the secretary, as appropriate. After informal general discussion of the recommendation, the screen copy may be amended by specific word changes approved by general consent or straw votes at the chair's discretion. This amending shall be done sequentially in so far as possible. If at any time it is deemed necessary, the recommendation and its amendments may be referred to a work group for further development including instructions by the subcommittee.
- Step 4: Consideration of Amended Recommendation. At the discretion of the chair or approved motion of the committee, a straw vote may be taken to determine the support for the recommendation. If appropriate the recommendation may be divided into parts in order to reach a consensus on major portions. Minor portions may be subject to further development.
- Step 5: Formal Approval of Recommendation: The formal approval of a major health-related recommendation shall require a 2/3 affirmative vote of the members voting at a scheduled meeting whose agenda includes the recommendation as a business item. The approved recommendation with the voting tally and any supporting documents shall be sent by the subcommittee chair to the DFO to be forwarded to ATSDR and CDC.
- Step 6: Minority Opinion: One or more formal minority opinions shall be permitted on all recommendations and shall attached to the majority opinion. They shall be prepared by their supporters on a reasonable time schedule and the authorship of each separate opinion shall be indicated.
The above is intended to meet the majority of the requirements processing major recommendations but should not be construed to prevent other useful motions needed to advance the recommendations. Examples are: "To extend limits of debate" or "Postpone to a definite time".
- The DFO must be present at all subcommittee meetings.*
- A quorum at subcommittee meetings shall consist of one half of the total voting members of the subcommittee plus one (i.e., twelve voting members when the total membership is 21).*
- If a subcommittee member cannot attend a meeting or can only participate for a portion of a meeting, he or she shall notify the chair in advance about the absence and shall review the minutes of the missed meeting prior to the next meeting.
- The subcommittee shall meet at a time and place determined by the DFO in consultation with the chair and the subcommittee.* A 15-day notice of meetings (including conference calls) shall be given in the Federal Register and in other venues such as local newspapers.* If the Federal Register notice is not published 15 days before the meeting, the subcommittee meeting shall be postponed until adequate notice can be given, as required under FACA.* Subcommittee members shall be notified of work group meetings. Public notice in local newspapers shall be given where practicable.
- The order of business for each subcommittee meeting shall be determined by the Agenda Work Group. The order of business must be approved by the Designated Federal Official.* The following order of business is suggested; however, it may be modified, as appropriate, for any particular meeting if an alternative order would help the subcommittee work more efficiently and better meet the goals of the meeting. In addition, the order of business must include specific times set aside for presentations and public comment (two per day):
Call to Order
Agenda Review, Correspondence and Announcements
Approval of Minutes of Prior Meetings
Status of Action Items
Report of the Chair
Presentations (Interspersed as needed)
Public Comments (Two per day, interspersed)
Reports of Work Groups
Identification of Action Item Assignments
- Observers may comment during the public comment portions of subcommittee meetings. Observers shall present their comments with civility and respect and shall refrain from personal attacks, profane or abusive language, or disruptive or violent behavior. If this by-law is violated, the chair shall ask the observer to cease the disruption. If the observer is unable to do so, the chair may ask the observer to leave the room or may call a recess. The DFO may adjourn the meeting if adjournment is deemed to be in the public interest.*
- ATSDR shall keep detailed minutes of all subcommittee meetings.* A draft of the minutes shall be circulated to all members to review for accuracy and completeness. Subcommittee members shall provide any comments to ATSDR and these comments shall be incorporated, as appropriate, to develop the final minutes. Subcommittee members shall approve the final minutes at the next subcommittee meeting. The chair shall then certify the minutes.*
Article XI. Compensation and Employee Status
- Subcommittee members (but not the public) will be compensated for attendance at subcommittee meetings.* Subcommittee members shall also be compensated for their attendance at work group meetings if they are a member of that work group.* Subcommittee members shall not be compensated for time required to prepare for meetings.* Travel expenses are reimbursable in accordance with Standard Government Travel Regulations.*
- As special government employees, all subcommittee members shall comply with the requirements of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 C.F.R. Part 2635), Conflict of Interest Statutes (18 U.S.C. 201-208), the DHHS Standards of Conduct, and regulations governing confidentiality and procurement integrity.*
Article XII. Amendments
- Any by-laws that derive from FACA requirements, GSA rules, DHHS guidelines, or the subcommittee's charter may not be amended. All these by-laws are flagged with an asterisk. All other by-laws may be amended by the subcommittee, provided that the text of the proposed amendments and of any existing articles thereby affected, has been mailed to the members at least fifteen (15) days before the subcommittee meeting.
- Amendments may be proposed either by the Guidelines and Procedures Work Group or by petition of at least 20 percent of the members. Amendments must be presented to the chair at least one week before the mailing of meeting notices.
- Adoption of a proposed amendment to these by-laws shall require the affirmative votes of two-thirds of the members voting.
Adopted March 20, 2001; Revised December 4, 2001
Kowetha Davidson, Chair
La Freta Dalton, DFO