NATICK CANCER STUDY TASK FORCE
OLD MEETING MINUTES (1997, Part B)
(and some other meetings of interest)
(Last updated on December 26, 1997)

  • 1997, Part A (970313-970514, including NCSTF meetings 1-8)
  • 1997, Part B (970515-970827, including NCSTF meetings 9-16)
  • 1997, Part C (970828-971005, including NCSTF meetings 17-19)
  • 1997, Part D (971006-971116, including NCSTF meetings 20-22)
  • 1997, Part E (971117-971231, including NCSTF meetings 23-25)
  • Recent Meeting Minutes
  • Also see our members, our upcoming meetings, and our main cancer page.


    Meeting 9: Thursday, May 15th, 1997 (7:30-9:30pm, NTH, 1st-Floor Auditorium, 13 E. Central St.):
    1. Internal working session
    2. Peter Silbermann delivered and discussed his first mapping of Roger Wade's extended cancer-mortality data (see prior-meeting notes).
    3. New data re Natick cancer-incidence: Discussed mapped (draft) data, new MDPH report, look for patterns, future implications. Next mappings to concentrate on 8-1/2"x11" simplified views suitable for "slide-show" viewing by year. Use logical color-sequencing for year, cancer type, etc.
    4. Propose and adopt NCSTF policy re new cancer data, mappings, publicity. We cannot release data gained on a confidential basis (MDPH/Mass. Cancer Registry et al), and we will not release data which is public but considered sensitive (potentially offensive to victims or their families). Our findings are for the Natick Selectmen; we will ask them for Town Counsel's assistance in devising an appropriate release form to share working database and mapping with volunteers.
    5. Locating of 15 past pancreatic-cancer case informants for MDPH (see Meeting 6). Four now located; how to search for others?
    6. Progress report re Massachusetts Legislative Budget: Our $50K line-item is in House and Senate versions.
    7. Hand out copies of new US ATSDR Public Health Assessment for Natick Laboratory report (absent members can pick up copy from Dick Miller).
    8. Discuss upcoming meeting events: MDEP on May 22nd, US ATSDR on May 27th (at U.S. Army Natick Labs). Medical presentation? Meet Dr. Richard Clapp?
    9. Carol Scannell and Maureen Campbell to plan NCSTF info at late-June East Natick reunion.
    10. Non-members attending: Mel Albert, Holly and Dana Reed, Peter Silbermann (Earthtech).

    Meeting 10: Thursday, May 22nd, 1997 (7:30-9:30pm, NTH, 1st-Floor Auditorium, 13 E. Central St.):
    1. Main presentation: Robert Campbell of the Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection presented an overview of over 100 known pollution discharge sites in Natick and focussed on a few sites and the MDEP management process.

    2. In discussion, he pointed out that State normally seeks correction from the current owner except where another party is clearly at fault and apt to pay. Thus, although Natick homeowners with leaky underground heating oil storage tanks were lesser contributors than the Town (whose Planning and Zoning Boards approved the original installations without monitoring capability) or the developers (who did the failure-prone UST installations), the homeowners were the target of the MDEP clean-up; they do, however, have the ability to correct that imbalance through legal action.
      Ten residents can petition MDEP to add a public involvement program (PIP) for the Route 9/27 Plaza site which currently is seeking to suspend treatment operation (while others are requesting more effective treatment instead).
    3. New data re Natick cancer-incidence: Discuss (last meeting's) first mapped (draft) data. Town Counsel John Lynch has discussed, is considering proper guidelines; we won't publicize individual data points, will share findings.
    4. MDPH study's public comment period: Dick Miller to request extension of from one month to autumn, so we can gather more data, analyze for patterns, share findings with MDPH.
    5. Locating of 15 past pancreatic-cancer case informants for MDPH (see Meeting 6).
    6. USGS regional groundwater model: May 12 meeting, status report.
    7. How to improve meeting participation, agenda, volunteerism, etc.? Tom Branham and Carol Scannell to plan and co-chair next meeting, with this as main topic.
    8. Discuss upcoming meeting events: U.S. ATSDR on May 27th (at U.S. Army Natick Labs; additional follow-up period desired 3-6pm Wed., May 28th?). Medical presentation? Meet Dr. Richard Clapp? June meetings move to Room 307.
    9. Non-members attending: Mel Albert, Kristin Alves, Robert Campbell (MDEP), David Green, Marco Kaltofen (SSCOM RAB), Joel McCassie, Bonnie McCormick, Holly and Dana Reed (East Natick Neighborhood Association), Susanne Simon (U.S. ATSDR), Ken Soderholm (Natick Conservation Commission).
    10. For future discussions:

    11. Pesticide usage in Natick? Roger Wade has been asked to provide annual data.
    12. EMF risks under power lines (residences, schools): MDPH has provided its 1993 report, which concludes that professional opinions vary and it remains a matter for concern. Roger Wade also provides copy of EMF article in Science (Vol. 274, 8 Nov. 1996, "Panel Finds EMFs Pose No Threat").
    13. What cancer-incidence data exists for Natick Labs employees, Natick School personnel, etc.?
    14. Budget items: Any?
    15. Outreach activities: Tom Branham to bring draft response letter for volunteers; how best to utilize their services?
    16. Detailed report(s) on Toxics Action '97 conference on April 5th.
    17. Carol Scannell to report re East Natick meetings, June reunion plans.
    18. Dow Chemical (MDEP Tier 1A) pollution site by Rte. 30 and Oak St. in Cochituate.
    19. Status report re Massachusetts Legislative Budget.
    20. Status report re support by U.S. Congressman Ed Markey.

    SSCOM RAB: Tuesday, May 27th, 1997 (7:00-9:00pm, NLabs Officers Club, south of Kansas Street).
    Meeting 11: Thursday, May 29th, 1997 (7:30-9:30pm, NTH, Room 307 despite prior intent for
            1st-Floor Auditorium, 13 E. Central St.):
    1. Special: New Meeting Format Comments (2 min.)
    2. Old Business (20 min.) Carol Scannell reports on E. Natick Meetings (10 min.) Tom Branham presents draft letter to volunteers (5 min.) Reports on Toxics Action 97 ? (5 min.)
    3. Budget (1 min.)
    4. New Business (50 min.) Weekly meetings through June in room 307? No, decided to reduce to shorter meetings on 2nd and 4th Thursdays. (5 min.) Reports and data available, response deadlines (2 min.) 2 Volunteers for mortality data entry? Yes, Helen Johnson on computer, Bob Goldkamp manual; to coordinate with Roger Wade. (3 min.) The group involvement problem (10 min.) Discuss and Form Topic Action Groups (25 min.) Discuss meeting format. Will continue. (5 min.)
    5. Future Business Report on ATSDR meeting, Update on MA Legislative Budget, Support from congressman Ed Markey, Dow site update.
    6. Non-members attending: Mel Albert.

    Special: Tuesday, June 3rd, 1997 (7:30pm, Morse Institute Library, Main Hall, 14 E. Central St.):
    Meeting 12: Thursday, June 12th, 1997 (7:30-8:46pm, NTH, Room 307, 13 E. Central St.):
    1. Moderated by Tom Branham.
    2. Old Business (25 min.)

    3. Carol Scannell reports on Preparation for Reunion (10 min.)
      Helen Johnson and Robert Goldkamp report on data entry (10 min.)
      Jay Ball presents new version of volunteer letter (5 min.)
    4. Budget (1 min.)
    5. New Business (50 min.)

    6. Review of ATSDR Meeting (15 min.)
      Review of meeting with Dick Clapp (20 min.)
      Hydrogeology Volunteer-Knoll Environmental (10 min.)
      Assign moderator for next meeting (5 min.)
    7. Future Business

    8. Dick Clapp answers questions for the Task Force
      Update on MA Legislative Budget
      Support from U.S. Congressman Ed Markey
      Dow site update

    Meeting 13: Tuesday, June 24th, 1997 (5:00-6:40pm, working dinner meeting):
    SSCOM RAB: Tuesday, June 24th, 1997 (7:00-9:00pm, NLabs Officers Club, south of Kansas Street).
    Wayland Cancer Study: Thursday, June 26th, 1997 (7:00-9:00pm, Wayland Middle School Cafetorium).
    Meeting 14: Thursday, July 10th, 1997 (7:30-9pm, NTH, Room 307, 13 E. Central St.):
    Meeting 15: Thursday, July 24th, 1997 (7:30-9pm, NTH, Room 307, 13 E. Central St.):
    Meeting 16: Thursday, August 14th, 1997 (7:30-9pm, NTH, Room 307, 13 E. Central St.):
    1. New meeting schedule:

    2. Following our final currently-scheduled meeting on Thursday, August 28th, we'll start meeting every other Monday evening: Sept. 8th, Sept. 22nd, Oct. 6th, Oct. 20th.
      Dick Miller will confirm that Roger Wade can attend, and will request room reservations for these nights (still 7:30pm, in Town Hall Rm. 307 if possible).
      Dick also will inform Town Clerk's Office of this schedule, and ask that it be posted alongside the other scheduled announcements by the Town Hall elevator.
    3. Moderation, Minute keeping and Agenda duties were discussed and clarified:

    4. Tom Branham will be responsible for selecting a moderator and a minutes-keeper at each meeting for the following meeting. He will also deliver agenda items to the Moderator in timely fashion.
      Mary Ellen Siudut will take minutes at all meetings she attends. Minutes will be e-mailed to Tom within days of meeting. Tom will edit and forward to Dick for posting on our Webpage.
      Dick will be responsible for creation and early posting of proposed agenda items, for Tom to review and use in preparing an agenda schedule for the next meeting.
      Discussion of mailing minutes and agenda to non-email members; no responsibilty was assigned for this job.
      Carol Scannell will continue to phone members a week before each meeting.
    5. Prepare for a Meeting with Selectmen:

    6. Mary Ellen has drafted and presented a first cut. The report was read and critiqued. Discussion was cut off for lack of time, to be continued next month. She will update for next meeting, according to initial feedback.
    7. New mapping:

    8. Peter Silbermann presented a major update of the main computer-generated map from the mortality database mapping project (now 1975-95, 508 Natick cancer mortalities; 175 more about to be added). Discussed: the addition of more data, need to normalize for population density, potential geographically interesting clusters, and the need for better identification of cancer groupings of interest (ask the medical community volunteers for help here: Beth Donelly, Dr. Krikorian, Dr. Clapp).
      Dick showed draft groundwater mapping by volunteer Kevin Doherty of Knoll Environmental; Peter believes they and Don Tata can cooperate.
    9. Town Counsel's recommendations for Sensitive-Data Agreement were NOT discussed tonight, except for a brief discussion at end where some expressed agreement with Dick's concerns. Dick to pursue.
    10. Funding issues:

    11. Discussed Middlesex News report re MDPH and NCSTF both expecting same $50K Mass.
      Budget item. Dick has had initial discussion with Martha Steele of MDPH, a live meeting is proposed to discuss further.
    12. Newsletter to NCSTF Members: Tom and Carol will draft one.
    13. Status Letter to volunteers: Tom and Carol will draft one.
    14. Non-members attending: Mel Albert, Peter Silbermann.
      Mel Albert will moderate the next meeting.