DEQ and our partners the Oregon Health Authority are conducting a rulemaking to create new rules to identify and evaluate stricter standards for certain high-hazard air toxics.
As part of this process, a Cleaner Air Oregon Hazard Index Technical Advisory Committee will recommend a list of chemicals for future consideration by the Environmental Quality Commission for use within Oregon’s proposed Cleaner Air Oregon program.
On July 12, 2018, the EQC appointed volunteer specialists to assist in the evaluation of certain high-hazard toxic air contaminants as members of the Cleaner Air Oregon Hazard Index Technical Advisory Committee. This committee of volunteers will assist in a rulemaking effort to identify and evaluate stricter standards for certain high-hazard air toxics. As part of this process, the TAC will recommend a list of chemicals for future consideration by the Environmental Quality Commission for use within Oregon’s proposed Cleaner Air Oregon program.
Technical Advisory Committee selection
This panel of seven TAC members includes five members recommended for appointment by DEQ in consultation with the Oregon Health Authority, and two at-large members recommended for appointment by DEQ and OHA via an application process. DEQ appointed volunteers with the technical background necessary to address requirements of Senate Bill 1541 (SB 1541) enacted by the 2018 Oregon Legislature. SB 1541 states: “…the [Environmental Quality] commission shall establish and consider the recommendations of an advisory committee, composed, at a minimum, of persons with technical expertise in toxic air contaminant risk assessment.”
Presented to the Environmental Quality Commission, July 12, 2018
A Risk Action Level is the level above which facilities must take action related to their air toxics emissions. The current proposed CAO rules set a non-cancer benchmark Hazard Index value of 5 as the RAL at which permitted facilities are required to evaluate reducing risks from emissions. However, SB 1541 allows non-cancer benchmarks to be set at a Hazard Index as low as 3 (but no lower) if the chemicals being considered are known to have “developmental human health effects associated with prenatal or postnatal exposure,” or have “other severe human health effects.” Please see Senate Bill 1541 in its entirety here.
The TAC members need to attend two meetings, one of which will likely occur in August and the other in October of 2018. In the first meeting, the TAC will discuss and recommend criteria to evaluate toxic air contaminants. DEQ and OHA toxicologists will then use the criteria identified by the TAC to evaluate these chemicals. The TAC’s second meeting will be an opportunity for the committee to review DEQ and OHA’s application of the criteria to regulated toxic air contaminants. In-person participation is preferred; however, there will be an option to participate remotely via webinar and phone.
All TAC members have experience with the evaluation, research and derivation of non-cancer toxicity values (e.g., Reference Concentrations), including the application of uncertainty factors.
In order to ensure a TAC that includes the specific expertise required to meet the legislative requirements of SB 1541, EQC evaluated DEQ’s recommendations and made appointments of TAC members. Two of these recommendations are at-large recommendations based upon a review of applicants received. This is consistent with the approach used to establish the rulemaking advisory committee for Cleaner Air Oregon.
The priority qualifications for the five DEQ/OHA-recommended members appointed by the EQC are individuals who:
- Currently work in one of the authoritative scientific agencies used as a source for setting non-cancer reference concentrations in the Cleaner Air Oregon draft rules.
- Have clinical training in pediatrics and developmental toxicology; Currently work as an academic researcher whose work includes a focus on developmental toxicology.
- Currently work as an academic researcher whose work includes a focus on inhalation toxicology.
- Currently work as a risk assessor or toxicologist in a health-based air toxics regulatory program in another state.
- The minimum qualifications for the two at-large TAC positions are:
- A minimum educational level of a Master of Science (MS) in toxicology, epidemiology, or a related field; and
- Five years of experience with risk assessment and/or toxicology assessments of toxic air contaminants; and
- Expertise in one or more of specializations noted above for the appointed members (institutional affiliations not required); and
Completion of a DEQ application by the required deadline.
Applicants disclosed whether their membership on this committee would create any actual or potential conflicts of interest. The State of Oregon recognizes volunteer TAC members as public officials under Oregon’s government ethics law (ORS 244.020(14)). More information about conflicts of interest for public officials.
Interested candidates were required to complete the online application form by 4 p.m. on June 12, 2018. DEQ did not consider applications received after this time and date. Applicants disclosed whether their membership on this committee will create any actual or potential conflicts of interest.
On July 12, 2018, the Environmental Quality Commission appointed the following seven candidates to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for the CAO Hazard Index rulemaking effort:
- Dr. Amy Padula, UCSF
- Dr. John Vandenberg, NCEA, USEPA (IRIS)
- Dr. John Budroe, California OEHHA
- Dr. Steven Gilbert, Univ. of Washington
- Dr. Perry Hystad, Oregon State Univ.
- Dr. Kathryn Kelly, Delta Toxicology (at-large)
- Dr. Neeraja Erraguntla, Am. Chem. Council (at-large)
Comments received from advisory committee members after final meeting
- The comments in this document represent the individual perspectives of two of the seven Technical Advisory Committee members. These comments were submitted to DEQ after the second Technical Advisory Committee meeting held on Dec. 4, 2018. None of the other five committee members opted to submit follow-up comments to DEQ.
Meeting 2 - Dec. 4, 2018
Meeting 1 - Oct. 23, 2018