Chairman O’Sullivan called the meeting to order.
Attendance: Chairman O’Sullivan, Commissioners Oberquell and Wolfe, Department Director Pat Libbey, Deputy Director Sherri McDonald, Environmental Health Director Art Starry, Health Officer Dr. Diana Yu, and Clerk of the Board Patti Swanson.
a) Approval of Agenda - Commissioner Wolfe moved to approve the Agenda as submitted. Commissioner Oberquell seconded the motion. The motion carried.
b) Approval of Minutes – Commissioner Wolfe moved to approve the minutes of May 21, 2001 as submitted. Commissioner Oberquell seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Robert L. Berger, licensed Pesticide Consultant, was present and addressed the Board concerning the Department’s Diazinon educational campaign. Neil Wolbert, Owner of Wolbert’s Landscape Healthcare, was present and expressed concern to the Board with non-governmental agencies being used as References in the Diazinon educational campaign. Mr. Wolbert objected to the Department giving weight to radical organizations with their own agendas. Mr. Wolbert also expressed concern with being asked to be included in the proposed ad thanking businesses for participating in the effort to discontinue the use of Diazinon, and the message it might give to the public. Dr. Diana Yu, Health Officer responded to the concerns raised and answered questions of the Board. Dr. Yu indicated the campaign is precautionary and is a recommendation for discontinuation of use of Diazinon prior to it officially being banned from use. Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Environmental Educator, provided copies of material included in the education campaign, provided information, and answered questions. Chairman O’Sullivan acknowledged the points made by Mr. Berger and Mr. Wolbert regarding the references. Commissioner Oberquell asked if the Thurston County Pest and Vegetation Management Committee reviewed the message contained in the campaign. Ms. Mountjoy-Venning responded that the Pest and Vegetation Committee is charged with pesticide applications on County property and did not review documents associated with this campaign. However, staff to the Committee, Mark Swartout, did review the brochure. The Board suggested that the Committee be asked to review the brochure and any future literature of this type. Rachel Donnette, Environmental Educator, provided information on the number of brochures printed and distributed. The Board instructed staff to discontinue distributing any more of the brochures, and asked that staff come back to the Board with more information. Direction and/or approval will be provided at that time. Commissioner Oberquell indicated a preference that balanced views, including pros and cons, are presented when information is brought back to the Board. Chairman O’Sullivan stated appreciation for the Health Department staff’s enthusiasm in getting the word out on this issue, but wants to be more careful in how information is presented to the public. Pat Libbey, summarized that until staff meets with the Board again on this issue, ads being currently run are okay, however, callers/inquirers will not be given the brochure, but will be given IPM options. Commissioner Wolfe commended Department staff on their work to inform the public.
a) Linda Hofstad Award
Pat Libbey announced that Linda Hofstad was awarded the John P. Nordin Outstanding Sanitarian Award presented by the Washington State Environmental Health Association. Ms. Hofstad received the award in recognition of her 15 years of outstanding work in Thurston County. Art Starry, Environmental Health Director, provided a brief overview of Ms. Hofstad’s accomplishments. The Board expressed interest in acknowledging Ms. Hofstad at the Board of County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday, June 11, 2001.
b) Board of Health Meeting Options Discussion
Discussion continued around implementing changes to the format and timing of Board of Health meetings. Three options were reviewed and considered. It was the consensus of the Board to continue with two Board of Health meetings per month, on the first and third Mondays. The meetings will begin at 1:30 P.M. Both meetings will be televised. Staff will work with Board of County Commissioner staff to be sure appropriate notification requirements are fulfilled.
c) Discussion Concerning Clean Up of Meth Lab Sites
Mr. Libbey explained that the purpose of the briefing was to review current policies and regulations regarding Environmental Health’s role in the clean up of illicit drug labs. Mr. Starry provided background information. Commissioner Oberquell explained how this issue was brought to her attention. Gerald Tousley, Hazardous Waste Specialist III, described the process currently being used, and indicated that between August, 1999 and June, 2001 of 109 sites investigated, 91 sites are either cleaned up or are in progress. A list of 18 outstanding drug lab sites that currently have little or no activity was reviewed. Jane Futterman, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, spoke regarding ordinances, statutes and codes pertaining to enforcement and compliance, and indicated that there are currently no ordinances or State laws that requires the property owner to clean up such sites. The Board expressed interest in establishing an ordinance that would require property owners to clean up illicit drug lab sites. Ms. Futterman indicated that the State law gives the local Health Officer and Board of Health the authority to require cleanup, and will begin working with staff to look at modifying an ordinance to do so and include enforcement measures. Mr. Libbey stated he will continue to discuss with the Association of Counties possible use of the Model Toxics Account as a revolving loan fund to assist with clean up measures. Commissioner Wolfe stated she would like to include this issue in the forthcoming discussion on overall enforcement. Prosecuting Attorney Ed Holm was present and commented that 20 million dollars is included in the Federal Justice Department budget for clean up of Meth labs.
a) Director’s Report
Mr. Libbey reported on a meeting with Congressman Brian Baird to publicize cooperative efforts of the community in dealing with children found in drug labs. Mr. Libbey recognized Capital Medical Center’s willingness to serve as the referral point in doing baseline testing for kids found in these settings. The Board asked Mr. Libbey to draft a letter of thanks to Capital Medical Center and suggested they be invited to a future Board of Health meeting where the Board can acknowledge them in person and let the community know of their contribution.
Mr. Libbey indicated that the Department will be reapplying for a grant from the Washington Dental Foundation as part of our ABCD Dental Program.
Mr. Libbey explained that the Board of Health is being asked to designate the Thurston Community Network as the “Local Council” for purposes of applying for a Health and Human Services Early Learning Opportunity Act Discretionary Grant. The purpose of this grant is to develop early learning programs likely to produce sustained gains in early learning, and lays the groundwork for home visitation opportunities in Thurston County, which has been identified as a goal of the Board. The Board was agreeable to the designation.
Commissioner Oberquell introduced a letter from John A. Leraas, M.D. concerning CHOICE trying to organize a regional healthcare network, with a general plan to organize a single payer system. Dr. Leraas expressed concern that the medical community would likely be completely devastated by such a move. Mr. Libbey and Sherri McDonald, Deputy Director, responded, providing background information and informing the Board of the Department’s purpose for being involved with CHOICE. Mr. Libbey will draft a letter of response to Dr. Leraas.
b) Health Officer’s Report - There was no report.
Patti Swanson, Clerk of the Board
Date of Approval June 18, 2001
The Board of Health meets on the 1st and 3rd Board Meetings of the Month. Minutes will be published when approved by the Board of Health at their next regularly scheduled meeting. If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Patti Swanson, Clerk of the Board of Health using e-mail or calling (360) 786-5581.
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