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Oak Ridge Reservation

ORRHES Meeting Minutes
December 3, 2002


Table of Contents

Orientation for New ORRHES Subcommittee Members 10:00 to 11:30
Call to Order/ Opening Remarks
Introduction of Subcommittee Members
Agenda Review, Correspondence, and Announcements
Approval of October 22, 2002 ORRHES Meeting Minutes
Status of Action items – list provided
ORR Project Update
Presentation on the Status of the EPA Soil Sampling Effort in the Scarboro Community
Work Group Sessions
Presentation and Discussion:
   Thyroid Disorders – Nodular Diseases and Cancer

Work Group Recommendations
Unfinished Business/New Business/Issues/Concerns
Identification of Action Items
Housekeeping Issues and Closing Comments

Orientation for New ORRHES Subcommittee Members 10:00 to 11:30

ATSDR conducted a special session for the benefit of new members of the ORRHES, prior to the start of the December 3, 2002 ORRHES meeting. This special session is intended to help new Subcommittee members learn what has been accomplished by the ORRHES and the status of the ATSDR PHA process.

The attendees present at this time were:

La Freta Dalton, DFO, ATSDR
Bob Craig, ORRHES member
James Lewis, ORRHES member
Donna Mosby, ORRHES member
Peggy Adkins, ORRHES member
Anthony Malinauskas, ORRHES member
George Gartseff, ORRHES member
Don Box, ORRHES member
Jerry Pereira, ATSDR
Sandy Isaacs, ATSDR
Burt Cooper, ATSDR
Paul Charp, ATSDR
Jack Hanley, ATSDR
Tim Joseph, Oak Ridge Office, Department of Energy (DOE)
Theresa NeSmith, ATSDR
Lorine Spencer, ATSDR
Yahya Muhammad, ERG
The recorders are Ken Ladrach and Amylane Duncan, Auxier & Associates, Inc.
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:20 am.

Welcome and Introductions

La Freta Dalton welcomed everyone on behalf of Kowetha Davidson, Chair of ORRHES, and ATSDR. Representatives from ATSDR and some of the ORRHES Work Group chairpersons were present to discuss and answer questions on ongoing public health activities concerning the Oak Ridge Reservation site. Jerry Pereira is the site project manager. Sandy Isaacs is the chief of federal facilities branch. Burt Cooper is the chief of energy section B of the federal facilities branch. Jack Hanley is the site team leader. Lorine Spencer is the community involvement representative. Yahya Muhammad is a member of the support team. Paul Charp is the health physicist on staff.

Bob Craig is representing the PHA Workgroup. James Lewis and Donna Mosby are co-chairs of the Health Needs Assessment Work Group. James Lewis is chair of the Communications and Outreach Work Group. Barbara Sonnenburg is the chair of the Agenda Work Group. Karen Galloway is chair of Guidelines and Procedures Work Group who were unable to attend, however information was provided by La Freta Dalton.

Overview of ATSDR Public Health Activities and the Establishment of ORRHES

ORRHES is chartered under the Citizens Advisory Committee and Public Health Service Activities and Research at the Department of Energy (DOE) sites. Note that ORRHES is one of several Subcommittees that are under CDC and ATSDR. Of the initial Subcommittees that were chartered there are: ORRHES, Fernald (completed), INEL, Savannah River Plant, Hanford, and NTS.

ORRHES was established to improve coordination of public health activities associated with the Oak Ridge site and improve communications with the communities.

The role of the Subcommittee in the charter is to provide advice and recommendations to the director of CDC, and the administrator of ATSDR on public health activities and research at the DOE site.

James Lewis asked the difference between ORRHES and the SSAB (Site Specific Advisory Board). Jerry Pereira explained that these groups have different focus.

Jack Hanley added that the primary focus of the SSAB is waste management and other Superfund activities.

La Freta Dalton highlighted a flowchart showing the sharing of information in the ATSDR process. (E.g. ORRHES provides recommendation to ATSDR and ATSDR provides ORRHES information about the site.) La Freta Dalton highlighted a timeline, beginning in 1990, of all of the activities that CDC and ATSDR have been involved in. ORRHES was established in the year 2000. The terms of the current Subcommittee members end in December 2004.

James Lewis asked for an explanation about the selection of ORRHES members and the diversity of the Subcommittee. La Freta Dalton referred to the bylaws of the Subcommittee, which discuss membership. The objective is to have a balanced representation of the community in terms of gender, expertise and ethnicity. Jack Hanley also referred to Appendix A of the bylaws, which explains the process of obtaining members. Initial member solicitation activities took place in 3 individual Public Health Work Group meetings in Oak Ridge. The attendees at the first meeting determined that a public forum was needed. The second meeting considered options of setting up a form (e.g.. FACA, etc.). The third meeting involved small group discussions about member criteria. The outcome of these 3 meetings was used to develop the Subcommittee.

James Lewis added that the Subcommittee subsequently decided to involve a member that was an ill worker. La Freta Dalton commented that there is not a physician representative, and that it is difficult to retain persons of that expertise. At the beginning of the year when the budget has been solidly determined they will look further into filling that position. Jerry Pereira emphasized that a physician or any representative on the Subcommittee must contribute to the group. There is a level of expectation to participate and involve themselves in the actions of the Subcommittee. The criteria for involvement must not be overlooked. James Lewis commented that many valuable members have been lost, which has hurt the group. Jerry Pereira stated that goals and milestones must be met. If there are diversions the added time to meet goals must be justified.

James Lewis commented that, to the credit of CDC, a lot of efforts in the local community has been expended, by CDC (and EPA) to examine health concerns (e.g. in children in the Scarboro community) of members of the local community. However, sadly, at the end of these efforts few members of the public appeared at public meetings to show an interest in the results of those efforts. CDC has responded well in the past to the health needs of the community.

Discussion with ORRHES Work Groups – Activities and Accomplishments

There are 5 Work Groups.

Agenda Work Group
Chaired by Barbara Sonnenburg. The Agenda Work Group is tasked with developing ORRHES meeting agenda. Many of the agenda items are pulled from work group discussions.

Guidelines and Procedures Work Group
Chaired by Karen Galloway. Guidelines and Procedures Work Group is tasked with reviewing by-laws and making adjustments that facilitate the business process of ORRHES. They also developed the mission statement, goal, and objectives of ORRHES.

Communications and Outreach Work Group
Chaired by James Lewis. The Communications and Outreach Work Group handles issues of community involvement and outreach to the local communities as they relate to the ATSDR PHA process.

James Lewis highlighted the establishment of the ATSDR field office, which is a considerable accomplishment for the community. In addition, the work groups are a form of outreach to the community as are the Subcommittee members as individual members of the community.

However, the Subcommittee needs to do a better job of communicating with the community. James Lewis also highlighted the need to continue to pursue capturing community concerns raised by the public, continuing to improve the ORRHES web site and getting meeting/event schedules on the web site in a more timely manner. James Lewis encouraged Subcommittee members to act individually to get into the community and give presentations about the PHA, and to try to view and present the PHA process from a layperson’s point of view. There is a need for more effective communications about the PHA so that in the future there is less need to explain past efforts.

Bob Craig commented that the communication and outreach efforts have been good, and asked how it could be improved. James Lewis responded that measuring effectiveness is necessary. Output of information alone is not adequate, steps must be taken to ensure that the public becomes actively involved. Information must be taken out into the community. Conversely, Bob Craig noted that there is a lack of interest in the community rather than poor communication. Jerry Pereira added that Lorine Spencer of ATSDR will become heavily involved in community involvement issues in Oak Ridge. Methods are available that can be used to increase community involvement. ex. Explaining one topic in order to enable people to focus on one set of information. La Freta Dalton added that work groups have had some discussions about how to develop more proactive community involvement and that Subcommittee members will have to become more involved, with ATSDR, in those ongoing efforts.

Peggy Adkins commented that communication is a two-way process, the receiver must be listening. There is perhaps too much mistrust of the agency process in the minds of the public. A first step to better communication would be to re-build trust.

Health Education Needs Assessment Work Group
Chaired by Donna Mosby and James Lewis. Oversees the Needs Assessment portion of the PHA process and brings related reports and recommendations to the Subcommittee.

Theresa NeSmith presented a fact sheet on the AOEC clinics, other handouts summarizing the Needs Assessment, and a table about qualitative versus quantitative needs assessment research. Theresa NeSmith highlighted the Needs Assessment process, what it is, why it is performed, what kind of information needs to be circulated, and how is it best circulated. George Washington University was chosen to implement the Needs Assessment. The lead on the Needs Assessment is Rebecca Parkin of George Washington University. Theresa NeSmith detailed the steps of the Needs Assessment process, the status of each step in the process, and activities underway/planned to finish the process. The Needs Assessment is currently in step 6, focus group implementation. These focus groups should occur in January 2003. The Needs Assessment report is scheduled to be in draft in the spring of 2003 and will be a qualitative research work product.

Public Health Assessment Work Group
Chaired by Bob Craig. The Public Health Assessment Work Group provides in-depth analysis of information and data related to the PHA and provides advice and recommendations to the Subcommittee about what ought to be recommended to ATSDR.

James Lewis distributed a list of key individual Subcommittee members that have been involved in various work tasks.

New ORRHES Member Comment/Issues

Jack Hanley presented a handout “Topics and Issues for the ORRHES Orientation Meeting”, and discussed 15-20 items/issues raised by the new members in the handout.

  1. Clear statement of ORRHES mission
  2. Accomplishments
  3. What is to be accomplished/scope of the PHA
  4. What is the focus of Needs Assessment Work Groups
  5. Timeline of ORRHES evolution and progress
  6. Original and total funding for ORRHES
  7. Community’s principle ORR-related health concerns
  8. 1998 Dose Reconstruction Report for Oak Ridge - release estimates
  9. ORRHES areas of concern and health issues not in the ORRHES charter
  10. Balancing the weight of stakeholders/selection of Subcommittee members
  11. Policies regarding examination of toxic releases
  12. Trust in AOEC clinics
  13. Why does CDC refer ill persons to AOEC clinics
  14. Needs of sick workers facing reluctant doctors/clinics
  15. Limited resources of ill persons
  16. What pressures are keeping people silent
  17. Why doesn’t CDC dig into Oak ridge issues as it does other hazards

Wrap up

A copy of the binder of information provided to new Subcommittee members for the orientation meeting will be kept in the ATSDR field office as a source of information documenting the work performed under the Subcommittee.

The new member orientation meeting ended at 11:50 AM.

Call to Order/ Opening Remarks

The Oak Ridge Reservation Health Effects Subcommittee (ORRHES) convened on December 3, 2002 at the YWCA at 1660 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Chairperson Kowetha Davidson called the meeting to order at 12:30 PM, welcoming all attendees.

Introduction of Subcommittee Members

Kowetha Davidson asked the attendees to introduce themselves. The attendees present at this time were:

Kowetha Davidson, Chairperson, ORRHES
La Freta Dalton, DFO, ATSDR
Chudi Nwangwa, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Jeff Crane, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Bob Craig, ORRHES member
James Lewis, ORRHES member
Don Creasia, ORRHES member
LC Manley, ORRHES member
Jeff Hill, ORRHES member
Barbara Sonnenburg, ORRHES member
Donna Mosby, ORRHES member
Charles Washington, ORRHES member
Peggy Adkins, ORRHES member
Anthony Malinauskas, ORRHES member
George Gartseff, ORRHES member
Don Box, ORRHES member
Herman Cember, ORRHES member
Jerry Pereira, ATSDR
Sandy Isaacs, ATSDR
Burt Cooper, ATSDR
Paul Charp, ATSDR
Jack Hanley, ATSDR
Bill Murray, ATSDR
Elizabeth Howze, ATSDR
Lorine Spencer, ATSDR
Jean Shaakir-Ali
Tim Joseph, Oak Ridge Office, Department of Energy (DOE)

The recorders are Ken Ladrach and Amylane Duncan, Auxier & Associates, Inc.

Agenda Review, Correspondence, and Announcements

Agenda Review
Kowetha Davidson reviewed highlights of the agenda dated November 19, 2002. At 1:45 PM is the presentation on thyroid disorders by Dr. Jerome Hershman of UCLA Medical School. The public comment period is at 3:45 PM. Work group recommendations session is at 4:15 PM. Jeff Crane will present an update on the status of the EPA Scarboro soil-sampling project.

Correspondence
No correspondence has been received since the October 22, 2002 ORRHES meeting.

Announcements
Bill Murray has coordinated an optional tour for the new members of the Subcommittee on December 4, 2002. Members need to meet at the Oak Ridge ATSDR field office at 8:30 AM. The tour will be by van. The tour will visit ETTP, Y-12, ORNL, Scarboro, and other areas of interest to the Subcommittee members. The tour will last for 3 to 3.5 hours.

La Freta Dalton reminded Subcommittee members that there is an annual requirement for Subcommittee members to complete the financial disclosure reports (form 450). If the information is not received and processed Subcommittee members cannot vote during a meeting.

Approval of October 22, 2002 ORRHES Meeting Minutes

A motion to approve the minutes of the October 22, 2002 ORRHES meeting was received and seconded. The minutes of the October 22, 2002 ORRHES meeting were approved by voice vote with none opposed.

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