The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) summary report on metals in soil and vegetation in the Sudbury area identified that further soil investigations and assessments were necessary. As a result, the MOE, Vale Inco (formerly CVRD Inco and Inco Ltd) and Xstrata Nickel (formerly Falconbridge Ltd) have cooperatively undertaken a sampling program for the Sudbury area that will refine the existing database. In addition, this database will be used as part of the information necessary to conduct a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), and an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). The MOE, Vale Inco, Xstrata Nickel, the Sudbury & District Health Unit and the City of Greater Sudbury established a Soils Public Liaison Committee (PLC) as a form of public consultation with the local community prior to and during these studies.
At the October 30, 2001 PLC meeting it was agreed that the two goals of the PLC were to discuss and advise on technical issues, and to provide a forum for public consultation. It was felt that this process would be best served by two separate committees. The PLC evolved into the Technical Committee (TC) that includes the Sudbury & District Health Unit, Ontario Ministry of Environment, City of Greater Sudbury, Vale Inco, Xstrata Nickel and First Nations and Inuit Health Branch of Health Canada. A separate Public Advisory Committee (PAC) was established to address the concerns of the community at large.
2.1 The PAC has been established to address the concerns of the community at large, by providing comments and input to the Technical Committee on deliberations surrounding the activities assessing the health and environmental impacts of metals in the Sudbury environment. Study activities upon which the PAC might offer commentary would include:
a) the sampling and reporting of community soil metal levels;
b) the development and implementation of community HHRA/ERA studies;
c) the initiation of any remedial works recommended by the conclusions of the HHRA/ERA studies;
d) all associated public communication and consultation activities.
2.2 The PAC will be maintained as long as required by the activities of the TC or at a minimum until such time as the Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Risk Assessment are completed and distributed to the public.
2.3 The PAC is not responsible for the scientific or technical review of the study. The PAC may, however, offer its comment and input to the TC on these matters. The PAC reserves the right to ask the TC to provide the PAC with access to advisors who have the necessary expertise to comment on scientific or technical issues.
2.4 In addition, the PAC will provide opportunities for members of the public to express their concerns or to ask questions about any aspect of the Sudbury Soils Study, such as questions related to scientific or technical matters or to process or procedural issues.
a) Committee members from the study area (which includes the City of Greater Sudbury and those adjacent areas that lie within the study boundary) shall be selected by a joint committee of the PAC and the TC. Applications shall be solicited through newspaper advertisements. The joint committee shall consist of two (2) members of the TC’s Working Group and two (2) members of the PAC (typically the PAC Chair and Vice-Chair or their designates). The joint committee shall review the applications and circulate the names of all applicants to the PAC for feedback. The list shall note those applicants who have been selected for interview and shall include their resumes. After the interviews, the joint committee shall circulate to the PAC a list of the individuals who have been nominated for PAC membership. The list of nominees will be circulated to the PAC at least one (1) week in advance of the next PAC meeting. A quorum of the PAC shall reach consensus as to whether or not to accept the nominations.
b) Committee members from the Whitefish Lake and Wahnapitae First Nations shall be determined by the Band Councils from those communities.
3.2 The composition of the committee shall be a maximum of twelve (12) members who live in the study area, including one member to represent each of the Whitefish Lake and Wahnapitae First Nations communities. Members of the PAC are to be representative of the community at large. A recording secretary shall be provided by Vale Inco and Xstrata Nickel. The recording secretary is not a member of the PAC.
3.3 Membership shall be for two (2) years and members may be reappointed. Members shall be notified by the recording secretary that their current term has expired. Members seeking reappointment shall apply in writing to the PAC Chair within sixty (60) days of being notified by the recording secretary. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the letter, the Chair shall call a meeting of the Committee of the Whole to discuss the application. The member seeking reappointment shall not be present during these discussions. A quorum of the PAC Committee of the Whole shall reach consensus (see section 5.4) as to whether or not to accept the re-application. Members who have reached the end of their term and have been duly notified and do not reapply within sixty (60) days will be deemed to have ended their participation in the PAC.
3.4 Any member who misses three consecutive meetings may be replaced. Absentee members must first be notified in writing by the Chair. Based on communications with the absentee member, the Chair may choose to call a meeting of the Committee of the Whole to review the circumstances of the absentee member. The member in question shall not be present during these discussions. A quorum of the Committee of the Whole shall come to a consensus as to whether or not the member should be replaced. As asserted in section 3.1b, members from the Whitefish Lake and Wahnapitae First Nations shall be determined by the Band Councils from those communities.
3.5 Resignations are to be provided in writing to the PAC Chair.
3.6 Replacement of any member of the PAC shall be the responsibility of the joint committee of the PAC and the TC upon being advised by the PAC Chair of such a vacancy.
3.7 The PAC shall notify the TC of any changes in membership and shall announce any changes at the next Full PAC meeting that is open to the public.
4.1 The Chair of the initial meetings of the PAC will be the original Chair of the PLC. The PAC shall have the option to elect a Chair from amongst its members at the first meeting of each new calendar year, or if the position becomes vacant.
The Chair will plan meeting agendas, preside over the meetings, and coordinate activities of the PAC. The Chair is full member of the PAC.
4.2 The Committee shall also elect a Vice-Chair from amongst its members at the first meeting of each new calendar year, or if the position becomes vacant. The Vice-Chair shall act as Chair in the absence of the Chair.
4.3 The Chair of the PAC (or designate) is a member of the TC. As noted in the TC Terms of Reference, the role of this individual would not be one of decision-making, but rather to provide a communication link between the TC and PAC.
5.0 Meeting Procedures
5.1 The Committee shall meet on the third Tuesday in the months of January, March, May, July, September and November, and cancelled at the discretion of the Chair. The Committee will ensure the date; time and place of all meetings are advertised for the information of the public. The Chair may call additional meetings as needed.
5.2 Full PAC meetings shall be open to the public. The policy for public participation at full PAC meetings is set out in a policy statement that was accepted by the PAC on June 22, 2004.
5.3 Quorum shall consist of fifty percent of the membership, plus one.
5.4 Decisions are to be made by consensus, using the definition of consensus adopted by the TC (February 12, 2004):
Reaching Consensus: Consensus building is a process of seeking unanimous agreement. It involves a good-faith effort to meet the interests of all stakeholders. Consensus has been reached when everyone agrees they can live with whatever is proposed after every effort has been made to meet the interests of all stakeholder parties.
5.5 In the absence of a quorum, meetings may be held and motions may be put forward and seconded for the record. However, all motions must be fully discussed by a quorum of the committee at a subsequent meeting in order to be accepted as official and acted on by the committee.
5.6 All agendas, minutes and letters from the committee, and all public communications on behalf of the committee, must be approved by the committee.
5.7 All documentation received or produced by the committee shall be made accessible to the public. Those individuals or organizations, who submit documentation to the PAC, assume all responsibility for the accuracy of the data and information and assume all responsibility for all privacy or confidentiality requirements.
5.8 An annual report shall be prepared for the TC to document PAC activities. The report will include activities, lessons learned, etc., from the calendar year.
5.9 The Terms of Reference of the PAC will be reviewed on an annual basis.
6.0 Minutes and Secretariat
All administrative services associated with this committee will be the responsibility of Vale Inco and Xstrata Nickel. Minutes will be distributed electronically. All minutes will be forwarded to the Technical Committee and the Process Observer.