VCCEP Procedures for Public Participation

TERA conducts VCCEP peer consultations under the TERA Peer Consultation and Review Program.  The Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP) peer consultation 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 here.


In the VCCEP pilot program, industry Sponsors are preparing assessments of the available toxicity and exposure information on a list of 20 chemicals, to determine whether the toxicity and exposure data are sufficient to adequately characterize the risk of the chemical to children or prospective parents.  A group of scientific experts (Peer Consultation Panel) with experience in toxicity testing, exposure evaluation, and risk assessment will evaluate each assessment.  The public is invited to attend the meetings and observe the Panel discussions. 


Written Comments


Written technical comments from the public received prior to the meeting will be shared with the Panel and Sponsors.  Instructions for submitting comments are found with each meeting’s registration information.  These comments should be brief (no more than five pages) and should address scientific and technical matters as outlined in the Panel Charge.  The purpose of Observer comments is for stakeholders and others to share scientific data and analyses with the Panel and Sponsors.  Written comments should be sent to TERA two weeks prior to the meeting 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 other Observers at the meeting. 


Oral Comments


In addition to written comments, there will be some time set aside at the peer consultation meeting for observers to make brief technical comments to the panel (2-3 minutes).  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 Observer comments.  Since the purpose of the observer comments is to share scientific data and analyses, panel members and Sponsors will be provided the opportunity to ask clarifying questions of those Observers making comments.  Note – these peer consultations are not public hearings.  The meeting’s main purpose is to gain the insights and opinions of the expert panel and as a result, only a limited amount of time can be available for Observers to address the panel.  Those wishing to make comments are strongly encouraged to provide clear and concise written comments for the panel to consider.


Meeting Report


TERA will prepare a meeting report, which will summarize the range of opinions and recommendations expressed by the panel.  Sponsor presentations and Observer comments will also be summarized.  The Sponsors and Observers will be offered the opportunity to review text on their presentations to make sure the text is accurate.  A draft of the complete report will be sent to panel members for comments and concurrence prior to finalization.