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NPDES Permits in New England

OMSAP  LogoInter-agency Advisory Committee (IAAC) Meeting

Wednesday, February 24, 1999, 1:00-3:30 PM,
EPA Boston

Members Present: Salvatore Testaverde, NMFS (chair); Mike Bothner, USGS; Leigh Bridges, MADMF; David Dow, NMFS alternate; Tom Fredette, USACE; Russell Isaac, MADEP alternate; Matt Liebman, EPA; Steve Lipman, MADEP; and Jack Schwartz, MADMF alternate.

Observers: Cathy Coniaris, OMSAP Assistant; Patty Daley, Cape Cod Commission; Mike Delaney, MWRA; Cate Doherty, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay; Marianne Farrington, New England Aquarium; Glenn Haas, MADEP; Janet Labonte, EPA; Ron Manfredonia, EPA; and Andrea Rex, MWRA.


  1. An ad hoc subcommittee was formed to develop the IAAC mission, discuss potential revisions to the OMSAP charter, and consider the Cape Cod Commission request to leave the Public Interest Advisory Committee to join the IAAC. Recommendations will be forwarded to IAAC. Members of this subcommittee: L. Bridges, M. Liebman, and S. Testaverde.
  2. PCBs will be discussed further at the next IAAC meeting.
  3. IAAC members present elected Sal Testaverde as chair.

The draft OMSAP/PIAC/IAAC protocol was distributed. [Comments may be sent directly to C. Coniaris at catherine.coniaris@state.ma.us or fax: (617) 292-5696]. R. Manfredonia thanked the members for volunteering their time and then gave background on the formation of OMSAP/PIAC/IAAC. The Outfall Monitoring Task Force was reformatted into the OMSAP mainly to refocus the group so that everyone felt comfortable with the independent science being recommended to EPA/MADEP. The Public Interest Advisory Committee (PIAC) was formed to give citizens the opportunity to participate in terms of bringing forth public concerns to the OMSAP. There was then the dilemma of how to include the agency scientists in this process without introducing conflict of interest. Initially, there were two major roles for the IAAC. The first was to provide information on the responsibilities and the authorities of each agency when asked by the OMSAP (e.g. questions about the permit or the Endangered Species Act). The second involved the input of scientific perspectives. R. Manfredonia recommended the IAAC spend time commenting on the protocol since it will dictate how the three groups function. One benefit of IAAC is that agencies are in the same room in a formal forum discussing issues. G. Haas added that an important role for IAAC is to discuss OMSAP recommendations as a group since some OMSAP advice may mean changes in regulations.

The group then had a discussion about the OMSAP charter. S. Testaverde is concerned that the OMSAP charter implies that the IAAC comes under the authority of OMSAP. R. Manfredonia replied that "[IAAC] will report to the OMSAP" in the OMSAP charter does not mean that the OMSAP has authority over IAAC. S. Testaverde pointed out that within the charter, the mission of IAAC "the committee with advise the OMSAP on environmental regulations" is very narrow. L. Bridges thinks that the IAAC relationship with OMSAP be a two-way street. IAAC should be independent enough to provide information on issues that OMSAP may not be considering. R. Isaac reminded the group that not every issue can go to OMSAP since they are a finite resource. J. Schwartz suggested that the protocol include that IAAC is available on an "as needed basis".

R. Manfredonia stated that the charter may be revised, but not on a whim. J. Labonte added that EPA/MADEP are planning to attach the charter to the NPDES permit as a reference document. R. Manfredonia encouraged IAAC to work with C. Coniaris to try and develop IAAC's roles, responsibilities, protocol, decision making process, amount of involvement and add it to the draft OMSAP/PIAC/IAAC protocol. The group agreed. An ad hoc subcommittee was formed to discuss these aspects as well as discuss revisions to the OMSAP charter, and consider the Cape Cod Commission request to join the IAAC (see below). Recommendations will be forwarded to IAAC. Members of this subcommittee: L. Bridges, M. Liebman, and S. Testaverde.

P. Daley described the Cape Cod Commission's reasoning for their desire to join the IAAC instead of the PIAC. The CCC was created 10 years ago by a special act of the State legislature and is charged with protecting the resources and economy of Cape Cod by regulating development. The CCC is authorized to coordinate with federal, state, and local governments. Their jurisdiction extends three miles offshore but they do not have regulations pertaining to ocean discharges.

Several points were raised by various members and observers. The OMSAP charter limits IAAC membership to state and federal agencies. By opening membership to the CCC, other commissions would also request membership. There needs to be a limit on membership since large groups can become unproductive. Some felt that the CCC does not belong on IAAC because they do not make any regulatory decisions on the MWRA outfall permit. S. Testaverde believes that the CCC should be a member of the IAAC because they have been very involved with MWRA issues over the years. It was pointed out that the CCC has already been appointed to the PIAC and thus will continue to be involved, even if not allowed to move to the IAAC. S. Testaverde moved to allow membership of CCC. The motion failed. The ad hoc subcommittee will further address this issue.

M. Liebman briefly described EDs and how EPA is studying them. In the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 and amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA was mandated to form an advisory committee, the Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC). Their charge is to set up a process to screen and test the ~87,000 chemicals which may be endocrine disruptors. EDs are "exogenous chemical substances or mixtures that alter the structure or function of the endocrine [hormone] system and cause adverse effects in organisms, progeny, populations or subpopulations". PCBs, many pesticides, tributyl tin (an antifoulant for boats) are examples of EDs. Since this program is in its early stages, IAAC agreed that ED monitoring in wastewater is not an issue OMSAP would have to deal with for several years.

S. Testaverde requested the formation of an "End-of-Pipe PCB Committee" to educate dischargers about PCBs. MWRA stated that since PCBs are banned substances and sources are difficult to track down, they did not think there would be value in having such a group. S. Testaverde pointed out that though PCBs are banned, they are still used under very special circumstances. MWRA agreed to bring their PCB expert to the next IAAC meeting to discuss PCBs further.

Members present elected Sal Testaverde as chair.

Summary prepared by C. Coniaris.

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