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Oak Ridge Reservation

Oak Ridge Reservation: Communications & Outreach Work Group

Historical Document

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Communications and Outreach Work Group

February 21, 2001 - Meeting Minutes


ORRHES Members present:
James F. Lewis, Chair; David Johnson; Donna Mosby; and Kowetha Davidson, Chair, ORRHES.

Public Members present:
Linda Gass (phone).

ATSDR Staff present:
La Freta Dalton, Designated Federal Official; Bill Murray.

The meeting was convened at 6:30 p.m. by the Chair, James Lewis. There was some discussion whether a quorum was present because there was uncertainty about the Work Group membership. The decision was made to proceed with the members present. The following items were discussed.

1.) ORRHES web site - La Freta Dalton distributed a handout (Attachment A) showing the16 steps that ATSDR and its contractor, ERG, Inc., must take in setting up the ORRHES website. ORRHES and COWG have opportunities to provide input at six (6) of these steps. To date, steps one to four (1-4) have been completed. At step five (5), the content (maps, links, text, etc.) must be decided by COWG/ORRHES so that ERG can prepare the content for beta 1 quality control testing.

James Lewis described the structure to Linda Gass. The site will have a Home Page and 6 sub pages (roster, public health activities, meetings, frequently asked questions (FAQs), contacts, and related links. Three color designs (included in the September pre-meeting mailing for ORRHES) for the site map were considered.

Motion: Donna Mosby made a motion to adopt the site map in olive and blue colors.

David Johnson seconded.

Linda Gass stated that she was concerned about the lack of public involvement on setting up the website and that she has not been able to find out about the status of developing the web site.

James Lewis said that the lack of a web site has been a problem as has the lack of an email/telephone hot line.

Linda Gass stated that the orchestration behind the scenes and has been going on for many years.

Donna Mosby said that this comment is not concerned with the motion.

Linda Gass disagreed with that since a recommendation is being made. She stated further that the (ORRHES) web site currently on the internet is inappropriate and it is chilling that it is there. The web site serves as a foundation for ORRHES.

Kowetha Davidson said that ORRHES does not as yet have a website.

James Lewis asked what the exact address is for the web site.

The motion was voted on and approved . (3 - yes; 1 abstain)

James Lewis said the WG recommendation would be submitted to ORRHES and there would be further discussion at that time. Only the Home Page recommended by COWG would be sent out in the pre-meeting mailing.

Linda Gass requested that the information be available in the Oak Ridge Field Office and stated that a briefing book is needed.

2.) Outreach tools - This discussion focused on the comment sheet and the fact sheet.

James Lewis said that COWG had developed a comment sheet.

La Freta Dalton referred to the comment sheet that had been passed out to ORRHES at the September meeting (Attachment B). She stated that there are specific requirements established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on such comment sheets. They are regulated under the Paperwork Reduction Act passed by Congress. The comment sheet is similar to the one developed for the Hanford Site but ORRHES wanted a form developed especially for the Oak Ridge Reservation.

La Freta Dalton continued that the concerns sheet developed by COWG has specific questions on it and would require OMB clearance. She handed out the ATSDR OMB Clearance Process and a Paperwork Reduction Act (OMB Clearance) Fact Sheet (Attachment C). She will take both the COWG concerns sheet and the ORRHES comment sheet to the ATSDR expert on OMB and get advice on how to handle this issue.

James Lewis wants the comment (concerns) sheet to be user-friendly.

La Freta Dalton suggested that the COWG concerns sheet be redrafted using statements, not questions, as prompts for people who want to fill it out.

Linda Gass stated that it can take up to 18 months to get OMB approval for a questionnaire. But the public health assessment (PHA) will go on without input from the public. We need public input before we go on. She recommended that ATSDR notify all eight (8) counties about the PHA by posting notices at the court house and notifying newspapers.

James Lewis said that whether we use the present comment sheet or develop a new one, we need a data base to register all the concerns.

Donna Mosby said the questions on the COWG sheet should be changed to statements.

Motion: Linda Gass made the following motion: “An ATSDR employee will read the Oak Ridge Health Assessment Steering Panel (ORHASP) minutes and put concerns into present format to capture concerns for ORRHES.” This was a long process with continuing registration of concerns.

Donna Mosby said there was a wide range of concerns.

James Lewis suggested modifying the motion to look at the minutes and assess the work required to carry out the task.

The motion voted on and approved. (3- yes; 1 - no) It will be submitted to ORRHES.

Motion: Donna Mosby made a motion to use the Community Health Concerns Comment Sheet without the questions and to use the boxes on the reverse side with prompts.

La Freta Dalton said she would make the changes and return it as soon as possible.

Donna Mosby said to send it to the COWG for comments.

3.) ORRHES Fact Sheet - La Freta said she had received comments on the Fact Sheet from Theresa NeSmith in the Division of Health Education and Promotion.

James Lewis referred to the ATSDR Report to Congress on Fiscal Year 1999 Activities and he thinks it is done better than the fact sheet. He will extract the points from the report that he thinks should be emphasized in the fact sheet.

Kowetha Davidson said that more than one fact sheet might be needed.

La Freta Dalton responded that we need to finish this one first but that follow-up fact sheets would be considered.

Donna Mosby suggested that several fact sheets could focus on different issues.

David Johnson thought a quarterly or semi-annual newsletter would be good.

Donna Mosby wants the COWG to identify possible topics for future fact sheets, e.g., a fact sheet for each Work Group.

The COWG decided that the ORRHES/ATSDR Fact Sheet is the top priority for the first Fact Sheet. They will work on the fact Sheet to incorporate the ATSDR information from the 1999 report and to put the ORRHES information in the form of bullets. The mission statement would also be included. The ORRHES accomplishments and mission statement would be published in a newsletter.

4.) Outreach for ORRHES nominations - La Freta Dalton described the nomination process for soliciting applications for membership on ORRHES. She explained that there are two (2) packets: one for general nominations and the other for an ill worker nomination. packets. The general nomination process will be open only for a specific period of time. The process for nominating an ill worker will remain open until a suitable nominee is found, or until 12/26/2003, when the charter expires. The nomination process will be publicized on the ATSDR web site.

Linda Gass asked how the nomination process was handled two (2) years ago for the present ORRHES members, specifically about the newspapers any notices were published in. She wants to nominate someone who has had direct or indirect contact with affected people. She is concerned about the wording of the nomination packet.

La Freta Dalton said that the worker packet is based on the ORRHES request for an ill worker.

James Lewis stated that we need members who can work with people.

La Freta Dalton said that the nomination packets are the same except that the one specifies the nominee be an ill worker who attributes his/her illness to working at DOE.

James Lewis asked ATSDR to provide a copy of the announcement in 2000 to Linda Gass. He also mentioned that a better press release is needed.

La Freta Dalton said the press release will not be changed until the COWG sees it.

James Lewis emphasized that information on the nomination process is important to allay claims of stacking ORRHES.

Donna Mosby emphasized the need for additional members on the Work Groups. She suggested combining the Health Needs Assessment Work Group (HNAWG) with COWG.

Motion: James Lewis made a motion to write a rationale and justification to combine the HNAWG and COWG. Originally the health needs assessment work was assigned to COWG and the HNAWG was formed to carry out that activity. Since most of the work of HNAWG is completed, the COWG could absorb the HNAWG and its work.

The motion was tabled until the next COWG meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 pm.

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