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Alliance for Risk Assessment

Steering Committee Conference Call

Date: Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Time: 2:00 PM EST

1.      Introductions

Steering Committee members present: Anita Meyer, (US ARMY Corps of Engineers), Ed Ohanian (US EPA), Michael Dourson (TERA), Michael Honeycutt (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality), Phil Wexler (National Library of Medicine), Ruthann Rudel (Silent Spring Institute)

Others: Andrea Wullenweber (TERA), Chuck Tomlijanovic (Concurrent Technologies Corptoration), Oliver Kroner (TERA)

Steering Committee welcomed new member Anita Meyer, DABT.  Ms. Meyer is the Directorate of Environmental and Munitions Center of Expertise for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

2.   Old Business

The Committee reviewed ARA activities of 2008, including completed and in-progress projects, ITER and RiskIE progress, briefings, and presentations.

3.   New Business

         Steering Committee membership renewal

o        Michael Dourson asked committee members to renew their membership for 2009.  In the event a member would like to step down, they were asked to appoint a replacement.

         World Library of Toxicology

o        Phil Wexler described this new project from the National Library of Medicine- an online portal to sources of toxicology information from around the world.  NLM has decided to outsource the maintenance and hosting of the site, and has requested proposals from a variety of groups.

         Interstate Chemical Clearinghouse (IC2)

o        An article in Risk Policy Report described an Interstate Chemical Clearinghouse for chemical information that sounds similar to the efforts of the ARA.  The story was traced to a report form the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production.  Efforts to contact the authors and share ideas have been unsuccessful.  Familiar with the report, Ruthann Rudel thought the focus was chemical policy overhaul, as opposed to toxicity data sharing.  Oliver and Ruthann will follow-up 

         Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund, Appendix F

o        A draft revision of this appendix has caused some state risk assessors concern.  As a reviewer, Anita Meyer offered possible cause for concern may be the addition of route-to-route extrapolation guidance.  This issue will be deferred to email/next meeting.

          Chromium VI Oral Carcinogenicity Peer Review

o        Michael Dourson told of a group who approached TERA in need of a peer review.  He explained to them that the ARA may be a more appropriate venue if their priority is transparency. 

         ARA Promotion

o        The Committee was asked to brainstorm on possible new methods to market the ARA.  It was pointed out ARA has had good coverage at the Society of Toxicology, the Society of Risk Analysis, and the World Congress on Risk.  Other conferences were suggested including IUTOX, EuroTOX, the Federal-State Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference, and DoD conferences such as the Environmental Data Quality Workgroup.

o        It was suggested ARA could focus on press coverage, such as Risk policy report, or contact reporters, such as Rebecca Rinner.

o        Phil noted we may want to delay major promotion efforts until RiskIE joins TOXNET.


4.   Next Meeting Agenda

      The Steering Committee will likely convene again before the end of the year.


5.   Good and Welfare

Ruthann reported Silent Spring has published a series of breast cancer articles in a Supplement of Cancer.  They have been invited to pull together a digest for Breast Disease Quarterly.  The reports are available from www.Silentspring.org.

Michael Dourson reported his brother, Danny, will be named Kentucky Biologist of the Year next week.