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Community Liaison Council Meeting Minutes — July 17, 2014
July 17, 2014; 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Natcher Building, Conference Room D
National Institutes of Health
Mr. Burklow informed CLC members of the recent finding of smallpox vials on the NIH campus. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists found the vials in the back of a cold storage room in Building 29 as they were preparing to move out of that leased building into their new White Oak facility. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) took the vials to Atlanta, where analysis showed that all the smallpox is still viable. NIH staff now have until September 30 to go through the entire campus as well as other NIH facilities to locate any other agents.
NIH Environmental Protection — Presentation — Kenny Floyd, Director, Division of Environmental Protection, Office of Research Facilities
Three NIH facilities participated in environmental audits this year to identify potential issues and improve compliance.
The Environmental Compliance Branch (ECB) within the Division of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducted a Multi-media Environmental Compliance Audit using external auditors at the NIH-Bethesda campus in February. Similar audits occurred at the NIH facility in North Carolina (NIEHS) and Montana (Rocky Mountain Labs) in April and June respectively.
Regular audits help NIH address issues proactively at the root level and reduce negative impacts on the environment and local community. The campus has conducted these exercises since the 1990s. This year NIH completed true external audits at the sites using an experienced contractor who has completed this type of work for other agencies and has improved compliance at those facilities. At the Bethesda campus, the audit focused on such areas as
- underground storage tanks
- air quality
- the energy savings program
- hazardous waste
- medical waste
- the pesticide program, and
- the stormwater/wastewater program
Auditors physically inspected key program areas, interviewed personnel, reviewed records and examined permits.
Mr. Schofer asked if the campus focused on noise pollution. Mr. Floyd said the audit didn’t evaluate that issue, but the Environmental Protection Division does work on noise pollution. Bethesda campus staff currently are in the middle of a noise study. The campus completed its most recent noise study back in 2006.
The Bethesda campus, which is the largest facility, had improvement opportunities in nine program areas. Staff resolved some of the issues immediately. Other corrections remain in progress. Staff will address all findings from the audit in a detailed corrective action plan that identifies root causes. Research Triangle Park in North Carolina had findings in four program areas. Rocky Mountain Labs in Montana had findings in five program areas.
NIH Updates — Phil Neuberg
Due to lean budget times, the campus is doing more with less, said Mr. Neuberg. As part of its effort to improve lighting, NIH is replacing some light fixtures with more energy-efficient LED lamps, which should save on rebulbing and reduce energy costs. The campus will re-use its light poles as much as possible. In response to concerns about the quality of the light, Mr. Neuberg asked CLC members to let the campus know if the Bethesda trolley trail path currently appears bright enough. The campus wants to ensure the planned fixtures still generate enough light while saving energy.
The John Edwards Porter Building opened officially March 31. The building is 100 percent occupied. The campus can arrange a tour for CLC members. John Edwards Porter, the senator from the north shore of Chicago for about 20 years, played a key role in doubling NIH’s budget during the 1990s.
In early June, the campus increased the size of the gutters on the Children’s Inn to deal with the runoff from sudden thunderstorms more effectively.
The campus cloned a gift tree and planted the new version during the spring.
In April NIH had a public hearing about its master plan and environmental impact study. The campus will respond to all comments and expects to make another presentation to the National Capital Planning Commission. The campus parking ratio and the proposed entrance onto West Cedar Lane remain the biggest issues with the master plan. Currently no funding is available for the master plan so these are long-term campus goals.
Regarding BRAC/traffic updates, Mr. Neuberg reported that the bike path along Old Georgetown Road will be widened from the south end of the Bethesda trolley trail to the northern gate, which is Center Drive on Old Georgetown Road. Mr. Neuberg also discussed pedestrian/crosswalk issues at MD 355 and Cedar Lane. CLC members should discuss these issues with their neighbors:
- Is that area a concern?
- Are residents aware that they need to push the pedestrian assist button to cross the street?
- Do they know where the buttons are?
If residents have issues, they should contact their council members.
Campus staff expect representatives from the State Highway Administration to attend the September CLC meeting. County representatives will attend the November meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m. The next meeting will take place Thursday, September 18.
Marian Bradford, Camelot Mews
Margaret Dittemore, Huntington Terrace
Darrell Lemke, Parkview
Marilyn Mazuzan, Oakmont
Ralph Schofer, Maplewood
Jennette Wade, Whitehall
John Burklow, Acting Director and Co-Chair, CLC
Kenny Floyd, Division of Environmental Protection
Mark Miller, Division of Environmental Protection
Brad Moss, ORS
Tara Mowery, OCL
Laura Jackson, Audio Associates
This page last reviewed on March 9, 2017