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Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

March 16, 2008 

I.      Introductions

Steering Committee members present: Bette Meek (University of Ottawa), Ed Ohanian (US EPA), Michael Dourson (TERA), Phil Wexler (National Library of Medicine), Ruthann Rudel (Silent Spring Institute)

Alternates present: Neeraja Erraguntla (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) for Michael Honeycutt

Others: Andy Maier (TERA), Ann Manley (AMVAC), Bernard Gadagbui (TERA), Elliot Gordon (Elliot Gordon Consulting), Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta (US EPA), John Christopher (California EPA), Harlal Choudhury (US EPA), Janis Hulla (US Army), Jason Lambert (US EPA), Kurt Klaassen (University of Kansas), Lillian Yengi (Wyeth), Mark Maier (Cambrex Charles City, Inc.), Melissa Kohrman (TERA), Michael Stevens (US EPA), Oliver Kroner (TERA), Peter Di Marco (Golder Associates), Ralph Gingell (Shell)

II.      Reports

a.      ARA management

                                                               i.      ARA funding is currently provided by

1.      NLMs purchase order (to support development of RiskIE Database)

2.      7% project fee

3.      Grants: e.g., Makhteshim-Agan of North America, Inc.

4.      TERAs State Hazard Evaluation Lending Program (StateHELP)

                                                             ii.      Webstats

1.      www.allianceforrisk.org web visits have show a steady increase to approximately 4500 unique visits each quarter, 40% of which are return visitors

2.      Geographic analysis shows web visitors from across the globe, with concentrations in the U.S., E.U., South Africa, and Australia.  Within the U.S., concentrations were found in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan


III.    Committee Assignments

a.      Committee members were asked to post projects to the Risk Information Exchange.  The State of Texas posted several Development Support Documents (DSD) and TERA posted two projects they are doing in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health


IV.    Old Business

a.      Existing ARA Projects

                                                               i.      Texas: 1,3 Butadiene:

1.      Neeraja Erraguntla of TCEQ briefly explained the letter peer review of the DSD for 1,3-Butadiene

                                                             ii.      U.S. Army: RDX

1.      Bernard Gadagbui of TERA briefly described the development of a relative source contribution for the explosive RDX, and the work was shared with the US EPA for their input.

                                                            iii.      Hawaii Department of  Health & Texas Commission on Environmental Quality: Arsenic from soil

1.      Oliver Kroner explained a partnership between two State organizations to review the data available on dietary arsenic exposure form soil

b.      Risk Information Exchange (RiskIE) and demonstration

                                                               i.      In 2007 ARA introduced the current beta version of RiskIE.  This database for tracking in-progress risk assessments has grown to include over 5000 projects being conducted by 25 different organizations.  Individuals can post their own projects on RiskIE.  Funded by the National Library of Medicine, RiskIE is scheduled to join NLMs TOXNET later this year.  Several observers and panel members made suggestions for additional data sources, including California EPA projects, and discussed the potential for adding ecological risk assessment data.


V.      New Business

a.      It was agreed the Steering Committee should include an industry representative.  Nominations are welcomed.

b.      A brief discussion was held on the added value of using the ARA process.  Mike Dourson noted that based on the feedback from project leaders, that the ARA process provides greater confidence in the independence of the end product.  Oliver Kroner noted that ARA involvement led to greater project exposure in the case of the arsenic from soil project, which led to broader collaboration.

c.      Next Meeting Agenda

                                                               i.      The next meeting will be arranged by email


VI.    Good and Welfare

a.      Dr. Christopher had a granddaughter in December!

b.      ARA web growth looks very promising.

c.      ARA has first example of ARA-coordinated collaboration in Hawaii-Texas Arsenic project.