Public Participation Policy & Process

TERA conducts peer reviews and consultations under the TERA Peer Consultation and Review Program.  These meetings are open to the public to observe the proceedings.  To ensure adequate space is available, we ask that all observers register in advance for the meeting.  Registration information for specific meetings can be found on the meeting’s web page.  


These meetings cover a wide range of risk assessment related documents and topics, which have been prepared by various types of sponsoring organizations.  The public may be invited to provide written and/or oral technical comments.  TERA offers the sponsoring organizations the option of including time on the agenda to hear comments from the public.  Observers are informed when they register whether or not there will be an opportunity to provide comments.


To maintain the independence of the process, TERA requests that sponsors, authors, and observers refrain from communication with the panel members prior to the meeting.  At breaks and other gathering times during the meeting, TERA asks the sponsors, authors, and observers to refrain from initiating conversation with panel members regarding the subject under review, rather these parties should approach the Chair for guidance if they feel the need to talk with a panel member.  Panel members may, however, initiate discussion with sponsors, authors, or observers in order to obtain further information.  They will be asked to report on these conversations when the meeting reconvenes.


If public comments are requested, instructions for submitting these comments are found with each meeting’s registration information.  Comments should be brief (no more than five pages) and should address scientific and technical matters.  The purpose of public comments is for stakeholders and others to share scientific data and analyses with the panel, authors, and sponsors.  Written comments should be sent to TERA by the deadline specified so that the panel members and authors have the opportunity to review and consider the comments prior to the meeting.  TERA will make copies available to observers at the meeting. 


In addition to written comments, there will be some time set aside at the meeting for observers to make brief technical comments to the panel (2-3 minutes each).  Those wishing to present technical comments at the meeting should register with TERA in advance and provide a written copy of the comments as outlined above.  Depending on the time available during the meeting, the chair may allow additional oral technical comments.  Comments should be limited to technical issues and TERA reserves the right to limit the time devoted to public comments.  Since the purpose of the public comments is to share scientific data and analyses, panel members, authors, and sponsors will be provided the opportunity to ask clarifying questions of those observers making comments. 


Public Record  


TERA will prepare a meeting report for each peer review or consultation.  Written public comments will be included in the meeting report and oral public comments will  be briefly summarized.