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PARC meeting minutes November 16, 2005
Board members present
Chris Kirby – PARC Board Administrator
Dale Mitchell – ODA Co-Chair
Michael Heumann – DHS Co-Chair
Chris Kuenzi – OSFM
Brad Knotts – ODF
Gene Foster – DEQ
Garnet Cooke – OR/OSHA
Richard Kepler – ODF&W
Stan Thomas – OR-OSHA

Board members absent
Sandy Griffin – OHSU/Poison Control
Consultants present
Dr. Dan Sudakin - OSU
Dr. Fred Berman – CROET
Joan Rothlein – CROET
Kaci Agle – ODA

All present were introduced. Called to order: 9:10 am
Minutes from the September 21, 2005 PARC Board meeting were available for review and comment. Minutes were approved with favorable comments.
PARC administration transition
  1. Kaci Agle was appointed as the PARC Coordinator, and she provided an update on the Pesticide Division’s progress toward organizing the Center’s administrative functions. Phone lines, voicemail, and a website have been created and tested, and support staff have been trained on procedures related to PARC reports that will be received by the Department.
  2. Agle distributed a document containing some elements of the Pesticide Division’s Administrative Vision for PARC in its next era. Its elements are reproduced here (underlined):
    1. PARC will separate reports into two categories: Incident reports and PARC Cases. PARC cases will be those reports that meet the case definition, and sufficient information must be provided to allow the coordination of investigation. PARC cases will be classified (likely, unlikely, etc.) Incident reports will be those reports that do not meet the case definition, or those reports for which insufficient information is available/provided. All available information will be coded and tracked in a PARC database, regardless of its status as a PARC case or an incident report. Mitchell pointed out that incident reports would be essentially the same as “possibles” that DHS had been tracking previously. Cooke asked if the number of cases would go down. Agle said that it may, but it would be a matter of semantics, because all of the information available would still be tracked. She also said that the measure of PARC’s success should not be the number of cases, but it should be the measurable impact on reducing pesticide-related risks. Kirby said that the PARC database would not co-mingle with ODA databases, though the format would be similar.
    2. PARC will notify each member agency via email when a PARC case is opened (assigned a case number) and when a PARC case is closed (classified). PARC will review incident reports with the Board at regularly scheduled meetings. PARC will make a referral to individual member agencies when action is recommended and/or when pre-set criteria for referral are met. Heumann expressed some concern about the proposed approach, but encouraged Agle to try it this way, and be open to revisiting the procedure in the future if certain elements are redundant or otherwise not useful. Heumann asked who would be classifying PARC cases? The Board? A Subgroup? Agle suggested that the member agencies involved in a case might collaborate to classify it. Heumann said the logistics might be difficult, and it might be easier to do it at PARC meetings with the full Board. Kirby suggested that the classification issue has not yet been discussed, and decisions have not been made. The issue was tabled for later discussion.

PARC transition workgroup
[Members:Michael Heumann (DHS-HS), David Lew (DHS-HS), Garnet Cooke (OR-OSHA), Dr. Sudakin (OSU), and Chris Kirby, Dale Mitchell and Kaci Agle (ODA-PD)] Mitchell provided an update on the group’s progress. They met on October 19 reviewed a draft update to the Case Definition, and a draft set of Data Points for the new PARC database. Their comments were incorporated into drafts that were provided to the Board on November 9. In addition, the subgroup discussed ways to share more information within the Board while meeting statutory confidentiality requirements.
Discussion of draft documents
Agle presented a collection of draft documents for the Board’s review, including:
  • Pesticide Issues… who should you call? – A poster-type publication to replace the old “Pesticide Resources” poster.
  • Contacts for PARC Member Agencies – A resource for support staff in the offices of PARC member agencies with information about PARC and other pesticide-related contacts.
  • PARC Case Definition
  • Data Points for the new PARC database(s)
Board members provided meaningful suggestions to improve each draft, and all of the comments will be considered when revisions are made to these documents. (Thanks to all Board members for the thoughtful review and great suggestions!)

Referral criteria
Agle explained the role and importance of each member agency’s Summary & Answers, which most agencies have provided to PARC. Heumann encouraged those two member agencies that have not provided the requested information to provide it, as soon as possible. Agle said she would summarize the referral criteria, and provide that document to PARC members as soon as it is available.

Old business
  1. Rick Kepler provided an update on progress to secure a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODF&W) and the Oregon Vector Control Association (OVCA). He said the OVCA, which only includes about half of the vector control districts in Oregon, sought the MOU, and it contains some recommendations regarding integrated pest management that were not very popular with some districts. However, he said the MOU contains procedures by which ODF&W will approve pest management plans, and a Commission will review the document in December. Kepler said that some vector control districts have been making recommendations for the use of malation as an adulticide, and he wondered if they were licensed to perform that activity. Kirby said that malathion is generally not restricted-use, and if that’s the case, no license would be required [A subsequent search of ODA’s pesticide product database showed that there were no restricted-use products containing malathion registered in Oregon in 2005]. Kepler agreed to forward a copy of the draft MOU to Agle, which she would distribute to the Board.
  2. DEQ Land Quality Guidance - Gene Foster provided an update, saying that Jeff Christensen is in charge of this document, and he hadn’t heard any news about comments received. Mitchell said he knew the document was already in use, and Heumann applauded the agency’s effort, saying the guidance would be very useful indeed.
  3. ODF Oil & HazMat Incident Response Directive – Brad Knotts indicated that they plan to finalize the document soon, and encouraged everyone to provide comments ASAP, if they hadn’t done so already.
  4. Update on progress securing Memoranda of Agreement with each member agency – Chris Kirby said ODA had received input from all member agencies, and he would work on finalizing agreements with OSU and DHS-HS first, because they’re the only PARC member agencies that receive funding from PARC.
  5. Dallas Community / TOSC Workgroup update – Mitchell said the group would meet later that afternoon, and had not met since the last PARC Board meeting due to scheduling conflicts.
  6. Old PARC Cases- Updates
    1. Florence case – Mitchell provided an update, saying that Dr. Sudakin, Health Services staff, ODA-PD staff and EPA Region 10 staff have been participating in phone conferences every two weeks. They are done evaluating environmental samples, and the Medical Examiner’s report was released approximately two weeks ago. He said that the group posed questions to EPA headquarters re: product label statements, and they’re awaiting a reply. Mitchell said that this case could have broad implications relating to label statements re: ventilation/aeration.
    2. Walker fish case – Agle provided an update, saying that coordination with ODF&W staff had been helpful in the investigation. There is not much new information; ODA is awaiting results of laboratory analysis.
    3. DEQ Diuron case – Foster said he wasn’t aware of case details, but he would identify a point contact and provide it to Agle.
  7. AZM & fruit packing houses, Hood River – Foster provided an update on the project highlighted by Jeff Jenkins at the last PARC Board meeting. OSU, DEQ and fruit growers in the Hood River area worked on the project to monitor water for the presence of some pesticides (insecticides and fungicides) used in fruit production. Foster said that they had completed sampling, and they were expecting results by the end of the year. He said they plan to work with ochardists and discuss the project at winter meetings in the area. He said they’re also doing work in the Pudding River basin. Foster went on to say that the project has generated interest in central Oregon, where they are also curious about pyrethroids and neonicotinoids in runoff. He said they’re discussing ways to stabilize funding for the project(s) right now. Foster said that DEQ has been working with extension agents and growers to identify approximate spray times, and the data are being correlated with water monitoring data using a broad “land-use approach.” Mitchell said that this issue is really on the forefront at the national level right now.

New business
  1. New complaints/incidents (9/20 – 11/16)
    1. ODA-PD: 10 total cases. The dumpster case in Medford was discussed, and participants wondered if the bags of Weed & Feed might be defective, if every third bag on the pallet is ripped, as an employee at the facility reported. Agle agreed to follow up and find out more in order to answer that question [ODA Investigator Ron Simeroth visited the site near Medford the following day. He said that the plastic bags were all intact when he visited. He did not think the bags were defective based on his own observations and interviews with product handlers at the site].  However, Kirby noted that ODA would have likely received more than this one report if the bags were consistently falling apart in transit.
    2. OR-OSHA: Cooke said that one case (other than the ones described in ODA’s updates) in Hood River area could become adversarial. She said someone is trying to “set precedent” regarding labor camps in the middle of orchards. She said that a statement on the Guthion 2L (Bayer Corp. EPA Reg. No. 3125-301) label was removed recently, which indicated “Do not apply as to contact an occupied dwelling….” Cooke asked the registrant why that statement was removed, and they said they didn’t know it was necessary. Kirby said that buffer zones had been discussed in the past, but the idea didn’t go very far at EPA. He also said that this issue is not really new; the debate has been raging for years.
  2. Website moved; publications are being updated. Agle encouraged all of the representatives to put the processes in motion that would update links to PARC website on their own agency’s websites. Cooke said she had done so, for OR-OSHA (Thanks!) Heumann said he would take steps to remove the old (DHS-HS driven) PARC website from their server.
  3. Antimicrobials – Are these within PARC’s purview? Why or why not?    Mitchell suggested, and the group agreed to table this discussion point at this time.
  4. Updated presentation, “What is PARC?” Agle indicated that the outreach presentation had been updated and posted to the new website, with few changes. Heumann said he would forward a copy of the old presentation, in Power Point, to Agle, so she could carry the nice photographs over into the new presentation.

PARC case classification strategy
Pesticide Analytical & Response Center

PARC Case Classification Strategy
Procedural Questions for consideration of the Board on January 18, 2006

In response to feedback received from PARC Board representatives seeking more involvement and notification related to the case classification process, the PARC administration feels that it is an appropriate time to revisit some fundamental questions. The following questions are intended to generate meaningful discussion at the next meeting of the PARC Board, and to stimulate new trains of thought in its members.

  1. Who will classify PARC cases? (Remember, only PARC cases will be classified, not incident reports.
    1. Whole PARC Board
    2. Representatives from PARC member agencies that played a role in the case
    3. A subcommittee of the PARC Board
  2. In choosing a classification system, how can PARC best meet its mission? What question should be answered by the classification system?
    1. Were the reported/documented impacts caused by the reported/documented pesticide exposure? (Definite, Probable, Possible, Unlikely, Unrelated)
    2. Did the pesticide use result in adverse impacts to health and/or the environment? (Definite, Probable, Possible, Unlikely, Unrelated)
    3. How severe was the acute pesticide-related illness, injury and/or environmental impact? (S-1 Death, S-2 High severity, S-3 Moderate severity, S-4 Low severity). Should PARC try to answer two questions for each case? Pesticide relationship AND severity? In this way, PARC could more easily prioritize problematic trends.
  3. For cases with documented impacts to multiple parties, will they be classified as a whole or in parts? For example, consider a case that involves nine people with reported health impacts, one of whom reported severe impacts while the other eight reported minor impacts that resolved quickly… Should PARC-
    1. Classify case as a whole, grouping all affected parties and “taking an average.”
    2. Classify each group of similarly affected parties separately.
    3. Classify each affected party separately
    4. Classify humans, animals, and environmental “parties” separately.
  4. Given that DHS-HS plans to continue sharing data re: PARC cases with the CDC by entering data into the SENSOR system, should PARC make it a priority to collect data in the same terms as other states and/or other federal agencies (EPA) in order to facilitate data transfer? EPA does not have one system for pesticide-related incident data characterization , but they have one system for collecting data for each of the following data sources:
    1. National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
    2. EPA OPP Environmental Fate & Effects Division (Ecological Incident Information System (EIIS))
    3. FIFRA 6(a)2 Adverse Effects Reporting required by pesticide registrants
    4. EPA OPP Health Division

Additional field in PARC database to “flag” cases of importance
During the January 18, 2006 PARC Board meeting, the group discussed using a certainty index and a severity index to categorize PARC cases. The group suggested some kind of catch-all, binomial (y/n) field that would allow the Board and/or staff to identify important cases that may not have resulted in symptoms, or for some other reason, might be considered low in severity.

Possible “flag” or field names:
  • Case of Importance
  • High Risk Identified
  • Note-worthy Case
  • Strange/Interesting
  • Other Important Case
Suggested definition:
PARC cases that, by their nature, highlight a risk or potential risk for future problematic pesticide exposure(s).

  • A pesticide formulation erodes the lining of a commonly used hose, causing a small spill.
  • Outcome: No symptoms reported, low in severity. However, PARC may have an opportunity to prevent future spills/exposures by making a recommendation to the product manufacturer re: label statements and/or formulation adjustments.
  • An applicator spills a pesticide all over herself while taking off a backpack sprayer.
  • Outcome: She acted quickly to decontaminate, and no symptoms were reported. However, PARC may have an opportunity to prevent future spills/exposures by making a recommendation to the equipment manufacturer regarding safety and/or integrity.
  • Any of the following, if identified, would serve as a justification for “flagging” a case in this field:
  • The need for more training of pesticide handlers, dealers, applicators or neighbors in a given industry, group, or trade.
  • The need for additional product label statements to clarify an issue or risk.
  • The need for misleading label statements to be removed and/or reworded to reduce risk.
  • The need for pesticide formulation tracking/testing to determine the safety and/or composition of the product.
***Please respond with comments and/or suggestions. Thank you!