Update on the air monitoring status as of December 4, 2013:
EPA is working to develop a passive air sampler that can be deployed in the investigation area. These samplers will be able to monitor the air for the herbicides of interest in the exposure investigation. On August 30, 2013, EPA was given an official ‘notice to proceed’. The overall budget for the project, not including EPA staff time, increased from the original estimate of $70,000 to $82,000. Extra funding was provided by EPA’s Office of Research & Development, through its National Exposure Research Laboratory (NERL), because of the potential for advancing the ability to measure off-target movement of pesticide applications on a national scale.
With NERL’s assistance, some of the technical hurdles have been resolved, including the development of a single analytical technique that can detect the different classes of herbicides used in the investigation area. Work will begin within four to six weeks to assess the sampling device’s effectiveness to be deployed in the field for as long as 128 days. Actual work on the extraction development (the way the herbicides get extracted from the air samplers) will begin sometime in January 2014. The project was delayed several weeks because of the federal government shutdown.
Public Health Assessment:
The investigation team continues to work on addressing comments received on the May 9, 2013 Public Health Assessment. OHA received comments, some very extensive, from 54 individuals. We anticipate the final version of the report will be released sometime in the spring of 2014.
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