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Madam Chairman, the full text of my report is attached and I ask that it be inserted into the record.

Mrs. MORELLA. Without objection.
Mr. BAILUS WALKER. And I will simply summarize our
Mrs. MORELLA. Without objection, so ordered.
Mr. BAILUS WALKER. Thank you
Which is a reflection of the panel's concern.

First of all, I think the panel agreed with the approach that the Corps of Engineers was using to evaluate the soil. That plan was presented to the advisory panel in considerable detail, and it was our view, based on the expertise of our soil scientists, that this was a sound approach. The panel recommended also that the District of Columbia develop a very comprehensive plan; and I think earlier the District was just responding to complaints and concerns, and there was no clear-cut plan. And so our panel recommended that the District develop a comprehensive plan which would really enhance efforts to try to get an answer to some of the concerns raised by the community.

We also recommended that the District government use the soil sampling results from the Corps of Engineers as the basis for determining what additional human testing should be done. In other words, in areas or in neighborhoods on properties where there were high concentrations of arsenic or whatever contaminant, that would signal to the District of Columbia that should be testing about monitoring of the individuals who live on those hot spots.

We also recommended that the District of Columbia do another analysis of cancer trends. The presentation that was made to a panel lacked what we thought was a good comparison group. The comparison group was chosen from the census tracts next to Spring Valley, and we suggested that from a sound epidemiological standpoint, the control group should be outside of that area and under the same socioeconomic profile as the Spring Valley community.

We also recommended that the three agencies, District of Columbia, Corps of Engineers and EPA, really develop a plan for communicating the results of the environmental analysis as well as the health analysis, a plan so that the public—the community residents fully understood the scientific issues, as well as the data that was being collected. In other words, a kind of risk communication process should be developed.

Madam Chairman, those are the principal recommendations of our committee, and as I indicated, my full statement is attached. I would conclude that there is a need for a full health risk assessment of the potential exposure contaminants of the residents to the contaminants in that community. We felt that there was a need for more data before we could draw any sound conclusion with respect to health and environmental issues.

That concludes my testimony, Madam Chairman. I invite any questions that you may have.

Mrs. MORELLA. Thank you, Dr. Walker. We will address questions to you at the end of the first panel.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Walker follows:)

Testimony of
Bailus Walker Jr., Ph.D., MPH
Chairman, District of Columbia Mayor's
Spring Valley Scientific Advisory Panel

Hearing on Spring Valley - Toxic Waste Contamination in the Nation's
Capitol Subcommittee on the District of Columbia Committee on

Government Reform
House of Representative

July 27, 2001
Washington, D.C.

Chairman Morella, Ranking Minority Member Norton, Distinguished
Members of the Subcommittee

I am Bailus Walker Jr., Chairman of the District of Columbia Mayor's

Spring Valley Scientific Advisory Panel.

I am a professor of environmental and occupational medicine, Howard

University College of Medicine.

I appreciate the invitation to participate in the Subcommittee's effort

to determine a range of factors regarding the chemical contamination of the

Spring Valley Community. My comments will focus on the findings and

recommendations of the Scientific Advisory Panel.

The D.C. Mayor, Anthony Williams, appointed the Panel earlier this

in response to the growing health and environment concerns of the

year

The panel members were chosen for their technical expertise in

toxicology, epidemiology, environmental and occupational health sciences,

and soil sampling and analysis. The Panel also includes two residents of

Spring Valley who are thoroughly knowledgeable about community

attitudes and concerns, as well as the historical dimensions of the

contamination problem.

Mayor Williams charged the Panel (paraphrasing) to review processes

and procedures underway regarding the identified and measured

contaminants in the Spring Valley neighborhood. The Mayor's Order also

charged the Panel with assuring that the best available scientific knowledge

is applied in seeking answers to the residents' questions.

The full text of our first report is attached. I asked that it be inserted

into the record. So, I will simply summarize our recommendations, which

reflect the Panel's concerns.

The Panel generally agreed with the soil sampling/testing plan

proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ----- a plan which is now

being implemented.

The Panel recommends that the District of Columbia Department of

Health develop a comprehensive plan, the objective of which is to address

concerns about exposure to, and health effects of, contaminants in Spring

Valley. Such a plan would outline an orderly process for determining

environmental health risks for residents of that community. It would also

enhance effort to determine what data

scientific and otherwise

are

needed to respond to residents' concerns.

The Panel recommends that the District of Columbia Department of

Health utilize the results of the soil sampling, being conducted by the U.S.

Army Corps of Engineers, as an indicator of places in Spring Valley where

additional testing of humans should be conducted.

In other words, where high concentrations of arsenic or other

contaminants are found in soil sites, individuals residing in close proximity

to those sites should be tested.

The Panel recommends that the District of Columbia Department of

Health redesign its study of cancer trends in the Spring Valley

neighborhoods. Cancer appears to be among the health effects of greatest

concern to residents of that area.

The available human data in the literature on the health effects of

inorganic arsenic

the chemical which has thus far received the most

attention in Spring Valley

is sufficient to conclude that chronic

cancer. With minor exceptions, human studies for cancer are based on

populations exposed to arsenic concentrations in drinking water.

For the District's analysis of cancer trends, a more appropriate

“control group”

those persons who could be classified as "unexposed"

to the contaminants identified in Spring Valley soils ----- should be selected

for comparison

It should be noted that developmental and reproductive effects

resulting from chronic ingestion of inorganic arsenic have not been

demonstrated in humans

a concern raised by some residents.

Finally, the Panel recommends that the three agencies ----- D.C.

Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and EPA

develop a well thoughtout plan for communicating health and environmental

risks ----- based on available data (soil sampling results, health monitoring

information) ----- to Spring Valley residents.

It is the Panel's view that the data collected should be thoroughly

discussed

interpreted, translated

with community members to

ensure their understanding of real or potential health risks.

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