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new EPA EDSTAC mail list

  August 5, 1997
  Here is a report on the Public Meeting July 15-16, 1997 in Chicago of the
  Endocrine Disruptors Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC),
  convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop
  recommendations for EPA about how to screen and test chemicals for their
  potential to disrupt hormone function in humans and wildlife.   EDSTAC is a
  committee established under the provisions of the Federal Committee
  Advisory Act (FACA).
  Recent legislation (the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act and the 1996
  reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act) has mandated that such a
  screening and testing program be developed by EPA.  EPA is under statutory
  deadline to present a screening and testing program to Congress by August,
  1998.  EDSTAC is chaired by Dr. Lynn Goldman, EPA Assistant Administrator
  in the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances.
  EDSTAC is meeting approximately every two months over the next year in
  different U.S. cities.  Their first public meeting was in December 1996 in
  San Francisco; the second was in February 1997 in Houston; the third was in
  April 1997 in Baltimore.
  The EDSTAC is composed of approximately forty stakeholders drawn from
  industry, academia, government agencies, and public interest and
  environmental organizations.  A full list of members is available from the
  website (see below).
  As background, it may be helpful to know that EDSTAC has broken out into
  four work groups to manage specific pieces of its work.  The four work
  groups are:
  *  Principles Work Group - defining parameters for how the work is performed.
  *  Priority Setting Work Group - what will be tested first?
  *  Screening and Testing Work Group - how to actually do the work;
  "screens" are the first "rough cut" while "tests" zero in on more precise
  *  Communication & Outreach - how and when screening and testing results
  will be communicated to the public.
           [BIG SNIP]
  Like the PSWG and the STWG, the Communication and Outreach Work Group
  (COWG) presented ideas to the full EDSTAC plenary in Chicago for reaction
  and feedback.
  Communicating Screening And Testing Results
  The COWG will draft recommendations for the final EDSTAC report to EPA
  concerning the communication of screening and testing results to the
  public.  Each of the four decision points in the Conceptual Framework is a
  potential opportunity to convey information to the public about the
  following questions:
  1)  What information should be communicated?
  2)  How should information be communicated?
  3)  To whom should information be communicated?
  4)  When should information be communicated?
  In terms of serving the public interest, some feel that as much information
  as possible should be communicated, including specific outreach and public
  education about endocrine disruption.  Language needs to be drafted which
  clearly explains the screening and testing program to the public; and
  describes the implications for chemicals which are undergoing screening and
  testing, especially if they are testing positive.
  At the same time, it is recognized that the logistics of sending out
  updates on every chemical in the screening and testing program at every
  decision point could quickly become unwieldy and confusing.  Furthermore,
  the costs of an extensive communication and outreach program by EPA may
  dictate what is actually possible.
  No decisions have yet been finalized about the method of distribution;
  i.e., should EPA mail information to interested parties on a regular basis,
  or should the information be available only by request from interested
  Outreach Mailing
  In anticipation of EPA assuming ongoing responsibility for outreach and
  communication to the public about the screening and testing program after
  EDSTAC completes its work, EPA is building a database of organizations and
  individuals who would like to be keep apprised of EPA's efforts to screen,
  test, and regulate endocrine disrupting chemicals.  An initial mailing is
  planned in the near future.
  One of the immediate tasks for the COWG is to identify constituencies which
  may want to be regularly updated on both EDSTAC's work and the ongoing
  efforts of EPA.  To be added to the EPA database, members of the public or
  representatives of organizations may contact Ms. Guynin Myers who will have
  responsibility for maintaining the database.  Her contact information is:
  Guynin Myers
  U.S. EPA
  401 M Street S.W. (7502 C)
  Washington DC  20460
  703 305-5060 fax
  (No phone calls please)
  Focus Groups
  The COWG specifically asked for feedback from the entire EDSTAC membership
  about whether conducting a series of focus groups about endocrine
  disruption and the EDSTAC process would be useful.  The idea was generated
  because of the potential for significant impacts on certain impacted
  constituencies.  Focus groups would both educate the public and provide an
  opportunity for the COWG to test messages and communication strategies.
  The three identified constituencies for focus groups were environmental
  justice organizations, disease-specific groups, and "downstream"
  While many agreed that the idea of focus groups has merit, it was also made
  plain that EPA will not have funding available to bring participants
  together.  Public interest representatives on EDSTAC commented that asking
  groups on limited budgets to travel to Washington (or wherever) at their
  own expense for focus groups would ultimately be unworkable, especially
  given the timeline that EDSTAC envisions.
  Mr. Herman Koëter of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
  Development (OECD) observed the Chicago EDSTAC plenary, and briefed EDSTAC
  membership on OECD activities relating to endocrine disruptors.  Mr. Koëter
  is the Principal Administrator for the Environmental Health and Safety
  Division in OECD's Environment Directorate.
  OECD is made up of 29 member countries.  It is a member organization of the
  International Organization for Sound Management of Chemicals, which was
  formed in the aftermath of UNCED (the Earth Summit) in Rio.  OECD is the
  only non-UN member of this grouping, which also includes FAO, ILO, WHO,
  UNEP, and UNIDO.
  The three main areas of work for OECD in this area are:
  1.  Test Guideline Programs.
  2.  Harmonization of Classification and Labeling Systems.
  3.  Risk Assessment Programs.
  OECD has generated a "Review Paper" which outlines proposals for how OECD
  should conduct a screening and testing program for endocrine disrupting
  chemicals.  The paper has been circulated to all OECD member countries.
  The paper can be downloaded from the OECD website, whose address is:
  Mr. Koëter commented on patents, a subject which had come up during
  EDSTAC's discussions.  He said that OECD would never adopt a recommendation
  using a patented test.  It is OECD's position that any assay or test that
  is recommended for use by OECD should be reasonably available in labs in
  all member countries.  Koëter said that patents are a huge issue in the
  international arena.
  Mr. Koëter also said that in vitro assays tended to be problematic in the
  OECD view because of validation problems.  It was clear that evidence of
  endocrine disruption from whole animal studies carried much more weight.
  Thirty-four individuals gave public comments in Chicago.  Commenters were
  limited to four minutes each.
  Several EDSTAC members commented that the quality of public comments was
  the highest since the process has begun.  Awareness about endocrine
  disruptors has always been high in the Great Lakes region.  In addition,
  EPA Region 5 produced a day-long symposium on endocrine disrupting
  chemicals in Chicago immediately prior to the EDSTAC plenary.
  Public interest representatives again far outnumbered other constituencies.
  For the second time since EDSTAC has begun to meet in Public Meetings,
  some employees of industry provided public comments, accounting for about
  one-sixth of the total.
  Those providing comments (in no particular order) were the following.
  Apologies for misspellings or omissions.
  George Raab, Chicago Zoological Society and World Conservation Union
  Mark Ritchie, Organic Buyers and Growers Association
  Tracey Easthope, Ecology Center of Ann Arbor and Michigan Environmental
  Health Network
  Mary Beth Doyle, Ecology Center of Ann Arbor and Michigan Environmental
  Health Network
  Patricia Speth, farmer
  Brett Hulsey, Sierra Club
  Jackie Hunt Christensen, Health Care Without Harm
  Joanna Hoelscher, Citizens for a Better Environment
  Scott Sederstrom, Citizens for a Better Environment
  Chuck Elkins, environmental consultant, Jellinek, Shcwartz, & Connelly
  Ellen Kaufman, Endometriosis Association
  Cecile-Marie Sastre, Endometriosis Association
  Andrea Jackson, citizen
  Nancy Erickson, Illinois Farm Bureau
  Bernadette Ryan, IIT Research Institute
  Sarah Janssen, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Coalition to Stop
  Medical Waste Incineration
  Mark Hulmer, Chemical Industry Council of Illinois
  Jack Weinberg, Greenpeace
  Charlie Cray, Greenpeace
  David DeRosa, Greenpeace
  Joe Di Gangi, Greenpeace
  Rob Christie, FMC Corp.
  Michael Murray, National Wildlife Federation
  Barbara Alexander Mullarkey, Illinois Waste Network
  Linda  Roberts, Chevron
  Penny Richard, horse rancher and Learning Disabilities Association
  Marjorie Fisher, League of Women Voters
  Lynn Lawson, MCS: Health and Environment
  Jim Houston, International Joint Commission
  Ed Gunderson, Stepan Co.
  Angel Cohoon, pregnant mother
  Bill Holland, Illinois Public Interest Research Group
  Davis Baltz, Commonweal
  The next plenary meeting for EDSTAC will be October 7-8, 1997 in New York
  City.  Work Groups will continue to meet between now and then.
  It is expected that the National Research Council will release their report
  on endocrine disruptors in September 1997.  Either by conference call or at
  a future plenary, the EDSTAC membership will be briefed on the report.
  An approximate timeline which will guide subsequent work by EDSTAC looks
  something like this:
  Aug.-Sept. 1997:  work groups meet.
  Oct. 1997:  EDSTAC plenary in New York.
  Nov. 1997:  work groups meet.
  Dec. 1997:  possible EDSTAC plenary in Orlando if plenary session needed to
  review work group output.
  Feb. 1998:  EDSTAC plenary in Washington to review and approve "Final
  Draft" of EDSTAC report to EPA.
  Mar.-Apr. 1998:  SAB/SAP peer review.  Public comment period.
  June 1998:  Final plenary session in Washington DC.
  Aug. 1998:  EPA presents proposed Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing
  Program to U.S. Congress.
  The EDSTAC process is being facilitated by The Keystone Center, a
  non-profit with offices in Washington D.C. and Colorado.  They have a
  contract to conduct the facilitation for this committee.
  The primary mechanism by which information is shared with the public is a
  website at address:
  For those without access to the Internet, The Keystone Center is
  maintaining a list of stakeholders and will communicate developments as
  appropriate.  Contact:
  Tutti Otteson
  The Keystone Center
  PO Box 8606
  Keystone CO  80435
  tel 970-468-5822
  fax 970-262-0152
  EDSTAC documents are available from the EDSTAC Docket, located in the Toxic
  Substances Control Act Public Docket Office at EPA in Washington (401 M St.
  SW,  Washington DC 20460).  The telephone is 202 260-7099.  The docket
  number is OPPTS-42189.  For members of the public visiting in person, there
  will be no charge for the first 100 pages of information copied.  For those
  phoning in their requests for information, there will be a 15 cents per
  page charge.
  This summary prepared by:
  Davis Baltz
  PO Box 316
  Bolinas CA  94924
  415 868-0970 or 510 845-9023 telephone
  415 868-2230 fax