The Superfund Research Program (SRP) has a strong history of sharing research findings with communities impacted by hazardous waste sites and providing scientific expertise in response to their questions. Heather Henry, Ph.D., from the SRP and J. Phillip Kaiser, Ph.D., from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) organized an interactive session at the annual Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference (TRAC) to highlight successful academic and federal activities to address community concerns. Kelly Pennell, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky SRP Center participated with EPA presenters Marian Olsen, Dr.P.H., Puttappa Dodmane, Ph.D., John McKernan, Sc.D., and Mike Kravitz. Each presented a case study showing how technical support can help communities understand and accept risk assessments. Pennell also discussed a collaborative project with the Boston University SRP Center to characterize vapor intrusion pathways in a neighborhood located near a contaminated groundwater plume by comparing modeled predictions and field observations.
Approximately 70 people attended the session with diverse expertise ranging from academic research, state government public health programs, and federal agencies with interests in environmental public health. Each presentation led to engaging interactions with the audience members. Many of them shared their own experiences working on sites with challenging risk assessment situations, and how they utilized technical support centers to overcome those difficulties.
TRAC provides attendees with an overview of current research, methodologic, and practice issues that are the focus of toxicology and risk assessment efforts in various federal agencies, academic institutions, industry, and other organizations. TRAC 2016 included federal agency representation from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the U.S. Army Public Health Center, EPA, the U.S. Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.