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Oak Ridge Reservation

Oak Ridge Reservation: Public Health Assessment Work Group

Public Health Assessment Work Group

July 19, 2004 - Meeting Minutes


Attendance

ORRHES Members attending:
Kowetha Davidson (Subgroup Chair), David Johnson, James Lewis, Pete Malmquist (phone), and LC Manley

Public Members attending:
Roger Macklin, John Merkle, and Lynn Roberson (phone)

ATSDR Staff attending:
Loretta Bush (phone), Paul Charp, Marilyn Palmer (phone), Bill Taylor, and Maria Teran-MacIver (phone)

Others attending:
Tim Joseph (DOE)

ERG Contractor
Liz Bertelsen (phone)

Purpose

Bob Craig, PHAWG Chair, was unable to attend the meeting. In his absence, James Lewis volunteered to chair the meeting. Mr. Lewis called the meeting to order and made a motion to approve the minutes from the April 19, 2004, PHAWG meeting. The meeting minutes were unanimously approved.

The purpose of the meeting was to 1) receive a presentation on the derivation of dose values from the Task 4 report of the Tennessee Department of Health’s (TDOH’s) Reports of the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction, Radionuclide Releases to the Clinch River from White Oak Creek on the Oak Ridge Reservation—an Assessment of Historical Quantities Released, Off-Site Radiation Doses, and Health Risks (referred to as the “Task 4 report”), and 2) discuss ATSDR’s new process flow sheet for public health assessments.

Presentation: Example Calculations of Past Doses and Risks for the White Oak Creek Public Health Assessment (PHA)

Presenter: John Merkle, Public

John Merkle thought that it would be beneficial for the PHAWG to be familiar with the doses and risks presented in the Task 4 report because they were used by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to form its conclusions in the White Oak Creek PHA. Mr. Merkle explained that he would present calculations that involved doses and risks, but that he would simplify the process by not discussing statistics. He believed that he could make calculations based on the “average numbers” used in the Task 4 scenarios, and still arrive at a number that was close to the numbers calculated by SENES. (SENES, a company located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee prepared the Task 4 dose reconstruction report.) Mr. Merkle presented the information below to the PHAWG.

  1. Background


    1. The ATSDR PHAs are based on the corresponding dose reconstruction reports (DRRs) that were prepared by contractors and subcontractors under TDOH sponsorship and with funds from the US Department of Energy (DOE).


    2. The DRRs are available on the Internet at http://www2.state.tn.us/health/CEDS/OakRidge/ORidge.html Exiting ATSDR Website.


    3. The conclusions stated in the PHAs depend on the numbers; that is, doses and risks calculated in the DRRs1.


    4. It is important to have a basic understanding of how the doses and risks have been calculated in order to judge the reasonableness of the conclusions stated in the PHAs.


    5. The logic producing the numbers can be understood by making calculations based on the mean (average) values of the inputs without dealing with the uncertainties associated with the numbers.


  2. Concepts


    1. Doses due to radiation are a measure of potential tissue damage expressed as a product of energy per unit mass of tissue multiplied by a damage effectiveness factor. This is either presented in sievert (Sv) or millirem (mrem), where 1 Sv = 105 mrem = 1 joule/kilogram (J/kg).


    2. Risk is the fraction of a population that would be expected to be adversely affected by a given dose. Based on the linear-no-threshold (LNT) concept, any dose (no matter how small) can cause some damage, and therefore some risk. Each organ has its own dose-to-risk coefficient.


    3. If the risks due to the individual organ doses are small enough (as presented in this case), overall risk can be estimated in two different ways. The first method described below (a) was used in the DRR; the second method (b) is used without including tissue weighting factors (TWFs).


      1. Multiply each individual organ dose (doses are calculated from exposures) that can cause a solid tumor by an observed TWF (the sum of all of the TWFs is 1.0). Add the weighted doses to produce an effective whole body dose, and multiply this sum (whole body dose) by a risk-per-unit-dose factor for “all solid tumors” to obtain a risk for all solid tumors. Then, add the similarly calculated risk for leukemia. (Leukemia is not a solid tumor and the risk of leukemia must be added to the risk of solid tumors to obtain the total risk.)


      2. Multiply the individual organ doses, including those that can cause leukemia, by the corresponding individual dose-to-risk factor, and add the calculated risks (under the assumption that they are “small enough” individual risks). These individual risks are not mutually exclusive; therefore, multiple cancers could occur.


  3. SENES Results Presented in the Dose Reconstruction Report for Releases to White Oak Creek (Task 4 Report)


    1. The largest calculated past dose (810 mrem to bone) was for dose-to-bone surface for category I male fish consumers who were living near or on Jones Island, Tennessee, and caught their fish near the island.


    2. The largest calculated risk was to the same population (category I male fish consumers who caught their fish near Jones Island). The calculated risk was 2.8 x 10-4, which can also be expressed as 2.8 people in 10,000 or 1 out of 3,571. John Merkle doubted that as many as 3,571 people lived around Jones Island, Tennessee, during this time frame. He thought that a few hundred people possibly lived there at this time.


    3. In this case, the calculations of maximum dose and maximum risk were “somewhat disconnected” because the maximum individual risk was not dominated by dose to bone. In fact, no dose-to-risk coefficient was available for bone surface. However, John Merkle noted that Paul Charp informed him that more recent coefficients had been calculated that were reportedly not available at the time of the Task 4 report.


    4. Risk for category I male fish consumer at Jones Island was dominated by the effects of cesium 137.


  4. Calculations


    1. John Merkle calculated the doses to bone surface for category I male fish consumers at Jones Island. Mr. Merkle explained that the risk for category I male fish consumers was dominated by the effects of cesium 137, whereas the dose was dominated by both cesium 137 and strontium 90.
    2. John Merkle explained that the following formula was used to calculate dose: Dose (in Sv) = intake (becquerel [Bq]) x dose per unit intake. He said that the dose per unit intake was a coefficient that accounted for the energy deposited in tissue by a particular isotope. Mr. Merkle added that the dose was calculated as a product of several factors and noted that Tables 8.B.1 to 8.B.4 in the Task 4 report contained the radionuclide concentrations for fish. Other factors of the equation, which are described below, were presented on pages 7-36 (Nfish), 7-38 (Pfish), 7-39 (Fcf and FRfish), and 13B-3 (ED) in the Task 4 report.

      John Merkle presented the following equation used to calculate intake:

      I = Cfish x Nfish x Pfish x Fcf x EF x ED x FRfish

      Where: I = Intake

      Cfish = concentration of radionuclides in fish (Bq/kilogram)
      Nfish = number of meals (meals/week)
      Pfish = size of portions (kilogram/meals)
      Fcf = fraction of fish consumed that is contaminated (unitless)
      EF = exposure frequency (week/year)
      ED = exposure duration (year)
      FRfish = fraction of radionuclide remaining in fish after processing (unitless)

      John Merkle presented the following calculations:

      Weight of contaminated fish consumed over 48 years
      (Nfish)(Pfish)(Fcf)(EF)(ED)(FRfish) =
      (1.8)(0.2)(0.6)(52)(48)(0.85) = 458.27 kilograms

      Cesium 137
      I = (748)(458.27) = 3.43 x 105 Bq
      Dose = (3.43 x 105)(1.2 x 10-8) = 4.11 x 10-3 Sv = 411 mrem

      Strontium 90
      I = (21)(458.27) = 9.62 x 103 Bq
      Dose = (9.62 x 103)(3.2 x 10-7) = 3.08 x 10-3 Sv = 308 mrem

      Ruthenium 106
      I = (6)(458.27) = 2.75 x 103 Bq
      Dose = (2.75 x 103)(1.5 x 10-9) = 4.13 x 10-6 Sv = 0.4 mrem

      Cobalt 60
      I = (15)(458.27) = 6.87 x 103 Bq
      Dose = (6.87 x 103)(1.2 x 10-9) = 8.25 x 10-6 Sv = 0.8 mrem

      Total Dose
      Total Dose = 411 + 308 + 0.4 + 0.8 = 720 mrem

      John Merkle stated that this total dose (720 mrem) was close to 810 mrem, which was the total dose presented in the Task 4 report; Mr. Merkle’s total dose was 12.5% less than the dose in the report.

    3. Calculations of individual organ doses from intake of cesium 137 for category I male fish consumers at Jones Island are presented below. Cesium 137 is distributed “fairly” uniformly throughout the body. Therefore, equal intakes were assumed in the following approximations, with the dose factors being adapted from Table 11.2.3 in the Task 4 report. Kathleen Thiessen, SENES, provided updated calculations to John Merkle.


    4. Organa

      Intake (Bq)

      Dose Factor (Sv/Bq)b

      Dose, DT (Sv)c

      Oral cavity and pharynx

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.85E-03

      Esophagus

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.85E-03

      Stomach

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      4.00E-03

      Colon

      3.50E+05

      1.50E-08

      5.70E-03

      Rectum

      3.50E+05

      1.50E-08

      5.25E-03

      Liver

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.20E-03

      Gallbladder

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.85E-03

      Pancreas

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.40E-03

      Lung

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.60E-03

      Skin

      3.50E+05

      9.40E-09

      3.10E-03

      Breast

      3.50E+05

      9.40E-09

      3.29E-03

      Uterus

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.20E-03

      Ovary

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.20E-03

      Prostate

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.85E-03

      Bladder

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.10E-03

      Nervous System

      3.50E+05

      1.00E-08

      3.50E-03

      Thyroid

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      5.20E-03

      Kidney

      3.50E+05

      1.20E-08

      4.20E-03

      Organs Evaluated Separately

      Remainderd

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      3.85E-03

      Red bone marrow/leukemia

      3.50E+05

      1.10E-08

      6.00E-03

      a Calculations could only be performed if sufficient data were available for the individual organ.
      b Dose factors were taken from Table 11.2.3 in the Task 4 report.
      c Doses were calculated in this table or were extracted from the Task 4 report.
      d Terms in the remainder category included the following 11 organs: adrenals, bone surface, gallbladder, muscle, respiratory system, skin, small intestine, spleen, testes, thymus, and upper large intestine.

    5. Calculations of weighted doses due to cesium 137 and effective whole body doses for category I male fish consumers at Jones Island are presented below. Kathleen Thiessen, SENES, provided updated calculations to John Merkle.


    6. Organ

      Dose, DT (Sv)a

      kT (tissue weighting coefficients)b

      kT * DT (individual weighted doses)

      Oral cavity and pharynx

      3.85E-03

      0.010

      3.85E-05

      Esophagus

      3.85E-03

      0.003

      1.16E-05

      Stomach

      4.00E-03

      0.008

      3.20E-05

      Colon

      5.70E-03

      0.082

      4.67E-04

      Rectum

      5.25E-03

      0.009

      4.73E-05

      Liver

      4.20E-03

      0.003

      1.26E-05

      Gallbladder

      3.85E-03

         

      Pancreas

      4.40E-03

      0.005

      2.20E-05

      Lung

      3.60E-03

      0.220

      7.92E-04

      Skin

      3.10E-03

         

      Breast (female)c

      3.29E-03

      0.306

      1.01E-03

      Uterus (female)c

      4.20E-03

         

      Ovary (female)c

      4.20E-03

      0.026

      1.09E-04

      Prostate

      3.85E-03

      0.058

      2.23E-04

      Bladder

      4.10E-03

      0.052

      2.13E-04

      Nervous System

      3.50E-03

      0.005

      1.75E-05

      Thyroid

      5.20E-03

      0.014

      7.28E-05

      Kidney

      4.20E-03

         

      Organs Evaluated Separately

      Remainderd

      3.85E-03

      0.199

      7.66E-04

      Red bone marrow/leukemia

      6.00E-03

         

      Sum

       

      1.000
      (sum of tissue weighting factors)

      3.83E-03 (Sv)(sum of individual weighted doses)e

      a Doses were either calculated in this table or were extracted from the Task 4 report.
      b Tissue weighting coefficients were obtained from Table 12.16 in the Task 4 report.
      c The individual weighted dose is 1.11 x 10-3 Sv for the female organs.
      d Terms in the remainder category included the following 11 organs: adrenals, bone surface, gallbladder, muscle, respiratory system, skin, small intestine, spleen, testes, thymus, and upper large intestine.
      e This sum is also known as the effective whole body dose; in this case, the sum includes both males and females.

    7. Calculations of excess lifetime risk (ELR) due to cesium 137 for category I male fish consumers at Jones Island are presented below. Kathleen Thiessen, SENES, provided updated calculations to John Merkle.
    8. John Merkle explained the following calculations:

      Total weighted dose equivalent (Dw)(3.83E-03 Sv) – Dw for breast, uterus, and ovary (1.11E-03 Sv) = adjusted Dw for males = 2.72E-03 Sv.

      Adjusted Dw for males (2.72E-03 Sv) x risk factor (RF) for solid tumors (7.50E-02 Sv-1) = ELR for standard tumors = 2.04E-04.

      Dose to red bone marrow (6.00E-03 Sv) x RF for leukemia (6.40E-03 Sv-1) = ELR for leukemia = 3.84E-05.

      ELR for solid tumors (2.04E-04) + ELR for leukemia (3.84E-05) = Total ELR (2.42E-04)

      John Merkle explained that the total ELR for cesium 137 in the Task 4 report was 2.60E-04; it was 2.80E-04 for all radionuclides. Page 13-19 in the report provides more details. Mr. Merkle said that these were straightforward calculations (without considering any uncertainties) that illustrated how to use logic to obtain numbers that were “fairly close” to those in the report. He thought that this logic could help the work group when it reviewed the PHA.

Discussion

Roger Macklin noted that the second “PHAs” in section A.3 should read, “DRRs.” John Merkle agreed with Mr. Macklin. [Note: this change was incorporated into the minutes presentation above.]

James Lewis stated that in addition to the Intranet, Tim Joseph had also provided the DRRs on CD-ROMs.

Paul Charp made a comment in regards to John Merkle’s following statement (C.4. above): In this case, the calculations of maximum dose and maximum risk were “somewhat disconnected” because the maximum individual risk was not dominated by dose to bone. In fact, no dose-to-risk coefficient was available for bone surface. Dr. Charp was unsure where SENES had obtained these numbers. He added that the International Commission on Radiological Protection’s (ICRP’s) 1990 Recommendations (ICRP Publication 60), which included these more recent coefficients, was referenced in the Task 4 report. Dr. Charp believed that the report contained some “disconnects.” Mr. Merkle replied that he would need to know when SENES calculated the risks in order to assess the resources that would have been available to SENES during its evaluation.

James Lewis asked how the FRfish of 0.6 was calculated. John Merkle replied that this was discussed in more detail in the Task 4 report. Tim Joseph asked about the inclusiveness of this factor. Mr. Merkle believed that it could include any steps between cleaning and cooking, but that he needed to look at the report.

Kowetha Davidson asked about the half-life of cesium. Tim Joseph replied that it was 30 years. Dr. Davidson asked if the report assumed that there was continuously a new supply of cesium. John Merkle replied that the concentrations in fish varied over 48 years. He said that concentrations were higher for a few years in the 1940s and 1950s, but dropped significantly after the early 1950s. He added that the doses were cumulative.

Paul Charp said that “respiratory system” was no longer in the remainder category. John Merkle replied that there was some redundancy with the list. Dr. Charp said that there was a newer list that contained different categories. Mr. Merkle responded that he had evaluated the remainder category list at “face value.”

James Lewis thanked John Merkle for his presentation. Mr. Lewis thought that it might be helpful to further define terms, such as “TWF.” He wondered if ATSDR could put this material into an easily understood format that included graphics (e.g., charts). He believed that the public would appreciate information that did not come from ATSDR staff members; he thought that it added more validity to the information.

Paul Charp stated that he had spoken with John Merkle 3 weeks before the work group meeting. He had told Mr. Merkle that this presentation was going to help a lot of people understand the material. Dr. Charp also agreed with Mr. Merkle, as he thought that this type of presentation would facilitate a better understanding of the flow and reasoning of scientists and how the numbers fit into the equations.

Tim Joseph asked if John Merkle had an electronic version of his presentation. Mr. Merkle replied that only part of his presentation was available electronically, but that the spreadsheets from SENES could be sent electronically. Dr. Joseph asked if Mr. Merkle could scan the documents and asked if Bill Taylor had a scanner in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, field office. However, Dr. Taylor did not have a scanner. Mr. Merkle added that the text portion of his presentation was in Microsoft Word (MS Word). Paul Charp said that he could scan the presentation and convert the verbiage to MS Word.

Paul Charp noted a conversion error in John Merkle’s presentation. He stated that, by definition, 1 Sievert or gray was 1 joule/kilogram; Mr. Merkle had 1 Sievert as equal to 1/10 joule/gram. However, according to Dr. Charp, this error did not affect Mr. Merkle’s calculations because the numbers were not converted to joule/kilogram. [Note: this change was incorporated into the presentation above.]

James Lewis asked if there was a way to present the information so that people could relate to it, such as associating the calculations with smoking or other behaviors that were relatable for the public. Tim Joseph thought that Mr. Lewis wanted to put John Merkle’s conclusions into material that people could relate to and understand. Mr. Lewis added that the lay public wanted “one stop shopping,” and therefore, an overview would be helpful. Kowetha Davidson said that because smoking was related to numerous chemical carcinogens, it would not be able to be used in this manner. Mr. Lewis thought that they should attempt to create examples and examine if they could make correlations. Paul Charp said that this would be extremely difficult. For example, he said that they could show how much radiation a person may potentially be exposed to if he or she rode a bicycle for a certain amount of days; however, the effects would depend on the city and many other factors. Dr. Davidson stated that they were talking about relative risk for a number of different things and that these could only be presented on a scale.

James Lewis asked if John Merkle should present this material to ORRHES. LC Manley made the following recommendation, which passed unanimously: The PHAWG recommends that John Merkle present his example calculations of past doses and risks for the White Oak Creek PHA to ORRHES.

New Draft Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments

Presenter: Bill Taylor, ATSDR

Bill Taylor explained that he had two handouts for the PHAWG. One handout was the former Draft Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments on Contaminants of Concern (dated March 14, 2003). The second handout was a new draft flow sheet—Process Flow Sheet for Public Health Assessments (dated July 19, 2004). The new process is detailed below.

Preliminary Assessment
Informal Discussion of Issues/Concerns and the PHA

Evaluation Work Group Meetings

ATSDR

  • Presentation and discussion on the approach and methodology of the PHA
  • Review list of references and data sources: Important to understand the nature and extent of contamination!
  • Discuss potentially exposed population and exposure scenarios: Important local information!
  • Evaluate preliminary issues/concerns raised by the Energy Efficiency Working Group (EEWG)
  • DOE classification review
  • Internal ATSDR review

PUBLIC COMMENT PHA

ORRHES MEETING 1

ATSDR

Public comment period: approximately 60 days

Address comments: approximately 60 days

  • ATSDR distributes Public Comment PHA approximately 2 weeks before the ORRHES meeting
  • ATSDR presents the Public Comment PHA to ORRHES and the general public
  • Address public and external peer review comments
  • Internal ATSDR review

FINAL PHA

ORRHES MEETING 2

ATSDR

  • ATSDR distributes PHA comments, responses, and description of significant changes approximately 2 weeks before the ORRHES meeting
  • ORRHES determines if it has recommendations for ATSDR
  • ATSDR considers ORRHES recommendations (if any)
  • Release Final PHA

Bill Taylor explained that the new draft flow sheet outlined the proposed updated process for ORRHES to approve PHAs. Dr. Taylor noted that the main difference was that there was no longer a Data Validation PHA, also referred to as a “red cover” PHA. However, there would still be a Public Comment PHA (“brown cover”) and a Final PHA (“blue cover”). Dr. Taylor explained that ATSDR had evaluated the procedures that were successful and unsuccessful, and as a result, ATSDR has tried to “streamline” the process through this new procedure. With this new process, they would be able to reduce the number of cycles that ORRHES would review the document. Dr. Taylor believed that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Incinerator PHA would be the next assessment to follow this updated format.

Bill Taylor explained the new process to the work group. ATSDR intended to provide a copy of the Public Comment PHA to the subcommittee about 2 weeks before the first ORRHES meeting in which that PHA is discussed. Bill Taylor said that ORRHES would be under the same deadline as the public to review the Public Comment PHA (about 60 days). When the document is released at this meeting, the public comment period would begin. Dr. Taylor noted that this should allow ample time to review the document and submit comments into the docket. He added that the docket was used to officially submit comments to ATSDR and that ORRHES members could submit their comments as a group or individually.

Bill Taylor stated that the “key” part of this new process was that ATSDR wanted to provide the document to ORRHES at least a couple of weeks in advance of an ORRHES meeting so that the subcommittee could discuss its contents and ask specific questions. Also, if ORRHES wanted to send an assignment concerning the PHA to the work group, it could do so at that time.

Bill Taylor directed the work group to the final row of the new flow sheet. He explained that after ATSDR addressed public comments, it would provide a copy of the comments, ATSDR’s responses to the comments, and a description of significant changes to the document to the subcommittee about 2 weeks before another ORRHES meeting. This process would enable ORRHES to examine the changes that would be incorporated into the Final PHA. Dr. Taylor noted that this new process would alleviate some of the problems that occurred with the Y-12 PHA because ORRHES would be given an opportunity to consider the changes that were made to the document. After these steps, ATSDR would consider recommendations (if any) from ORRHES and then release the Final PHA.

Discussion

David Johnson asked if different organizations, such as the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, conducted peer reviews of the document. Mr. Johnson thought that people needed to see that the document had been approved by different agencies that the community trusted. Bill Taylor asked if Mr. Johnson wanted input on the PHA process from an organization of this nature. Mr. Johnson said that Dr. Taylor was correct.

James Lewis questioned the new process and wanted to know when internal governmental agencies would review the document and make comments. Mr. Lewis also asked if these comments would be shared with other agencies. Bill Taylor responded that, under the tri-party agreement of this Superfund site, ATSDR was obligated to share certain portions of the document with DOE, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Dr. Taylor said that ATSDR would continue to show these agencies particular portions of the PHA, but would not provide an “intact document to them.” Thus, these agencies may not receive the conclusions, recommendations, and other portions of the document that they were not required to review.

James Lewis asked about the differences between the new process and the process that was used for the Y-12 PHA. Bill Taylor replied that the document that would be provided to the agencies would most likely not include recommendations and conclusions. Paul Charp noted that this new process had been used by ATSDR and had proven to be successful. He added that the portions of the PHA that would be shown to these agencies would not include recommendations, conclusions, and public health action plans.

LC Manley asked if ATSDR was removing a version of the PHA. Bill Taylor responded that ATSDR would no longer prepare the “red cover” version of the PHA.

Kowetha Davidson suggested eliminating steps in the new process by having ORRHES review the document after the Public Comment PHA. She said that individuals could review the document during the public comment period, but that ORRHES should review the document after this time. Bill Taylor said that ORRHES would need to decide when to review the document, but that the subcommittee did not have to review the document during the public comment period. Dr. Taylor noted that the new process allotted ORRHES more time at the end to evaluate ATSDR’s responses to comments.

James Lewis wanted to know if comments, such as those received from EPA for the Y-12 document, would be shared with them under the new process. Bill Taylor said that the other agencies decide if they want to provide comments to ATSDR. If they submit comments to ATSDR, then the agencies need to decide if they want to show their comments to the public. Dr. Taylor added that ATSDR would receive comments from the agencies and would make necessary changes to the document before ORRHES reviewed the PHA.

James Lewis asked how they had obtained EPA’s comments for the Y-12 PHA. Paul Charp had understood that Susan Kaplan requested the comments through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Bill Taylor said that because the comments were available via FOIA, EPA had provided the information directly to Ms. Kaplan. He thought that EPA was willing to share its comments, but noted that ATSDR could follow up to confirm if this was true. Dr. Taylor added that ATSDR would develop responses for these questions.

Kowetha Davidson asked if it was up to each agency to share its comments. James Lewis asked if the agency could provide a disclaimer so that the comments would not be shared. Paul Charp and Bill Taylor said that would not be permitted.

James Lewis asked if ATSDR could elect to share comments. Paul Charp replied that the comments needed to come from EPA or the agency affiliated with the comments. Bill Taylor added that it was not their position to share other agency’s comments. Mr. Lewis cautioned that people may ask questions about this and to be prepared. Tim Joseph said that the problem with using FOIA was that it could take months to receive information. Dr. Charp said that the law required that the information be provided within 10 days of the request.

Kowetha Davidson did not think that the same events that occurred during Y-12 (in regards to EPA) would occur again. James Lewis questioned her statement. Dr. Davidson continued that, based on what she has been told, EPA would not become involved with the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, community in the same way as during the last PHA process. She noted that EPA had acted outside of its “normal procedures.” She explained that EPA headquarters was in a consulting position with EPA Region IV; therefore, headquarters only looked at material within Region IV’s jurisdiction if it was requested by the region.

James Lewis questioned that the comments could not be shared if they were sent to ATSDR. Bill Taylor reiterated that the comments were not ATSDR’s to share. However, according to Dr. Taylor, Jon Richards (EPA) had noted that EPA would share its comments in the same manner (considered as public information) if the same events occurred in the future.

Kowetha Davidson said that the group needed to understand that if EPA Region IV did not request input from EPA headquarters, then headquarters would not review the document nor provide input on the PHA. James Lewis asked what would happen if Region IV did not have the expertise to review the document. Dr. Davidson said that this did not happen before. She said that EPA had explained the events that took place with the Y-12 document. Dr. Davidson said that, according to EPA, the document was received by EPA headquarters from an “outside source,” and that was how EPA had become involved. She said that if Region IV had needed headquarters to review the document, then the region would have asked for assistance from the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA). She added that even if Region IV did not have the expertise, headquarters could not ask for the document.

LC Manley said that he had historically “seen jealousy” when dealing with EPA. He thought that EPA often worked against ATSDR and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He stated that he could be wrong, but that this was his impression after working with EPA for over 10 years. He noted that it was extremely frustrating to have this occur when they were dealing with government agencies that were supposed to be working together, and added that it seemed as though EPA was not working collaboratively with other agencies. James Lewis agreed with Mr. Manley and pointed out that this type of “infighting” affected how the community trusted these agencies.

James Lewis asked if the new process needed to be reviewed with the Guidelines and Procedures Work Group (GPWG) or to be presented at ORRHES. Bill Taylor responded that there was “little or no chance to have a red cover” PHA again for the Oak Ridge Reservation. He said that ATSDR would consider any questions, comments, or suggested changes for the new process. Dr. Taylor thought that it would be worthwhile to present the new process to ORRHES; Kowetha Davidson agreed.

Additional Information

Marilyn Palmer asked the PHAWG if they preferred to have the next ORRHES meeting (September 14, 2004) at a location in Kingston, Tennessee, because the White Oak Creek PHA would be available at that time. Pete Malmquist noted that the city of Kingston, Tennessee, had been discussing future construction along the waterfront. Although, to his understanding, there was no public health significance involved with the PHA. He asked Paul Charp if he was correct; Dr. Charp said that Dr. Malmquist was correct. Dr. Malmquist did not think that the location of the meeting would make a significant difference, and suggested choosing the “easiest” location. James Lewis thought that they needed to see the entire agenda before deciding which location would be most beneficial.

Paul Charp said that ATSDR was continuing to work on the iodine health consultation. Dr. Charp explained that additional soil samples would be collected for iodine 129. Because iodine 129 had an extremely long half-life (approximately 16 million years), ATSDR wanted to evaluate the distribution of iodine 129 in soil around X-10 and possibly in some off site areas. Dr. Charp also mentioned correlating the samples with cesium 137 levels. Bill Taylor asked if the consultation would contain a recommendation for sampling. Dr. Charp replied that ATSDR was preparing the consult as a joint recommendation to EPA (Region IV and ORIA) and DOE. Kowetha Davidson asked if the consultation would be completed before the PHA. Dr. Charp said that she was correct.

Tim Joseph asked about the specificity of the recommendation in regards to sampling locations. Paul Charp said that the sampling plan would be another issue that needed to be addressed. Dr. Joseph asked that ATSDR be as detailed as possible to assist DOE in its efforts. Dr. Joseph added that the more detailed ATSDR could be, the less “flack” DOE would receive. Dr. Charp added that he had also thought about having the samples analyzed for uranium to support the Y-12 PHA.

James Lewis adjourned the meeting at 7:00 pm.

Please see the last page of these minutes for the recommendation passed during the meeting.

LC Manley made the following recommendation, which passed unanimously: The PHAWG recommends that John Merkle present his example calculations of past doses and risks for the White Oak Creek PHA to ORRHES.


1 This statement was incorrect on the original presentation and was corrected later during the discussion. It is correct here.
 
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