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Created in January, 2002, the position of Independent Process Observer, is non-voting and independent of any committee (see Terms of Reference). The Observer is Mr. Franco Mariotti, a Staff Scientist at Science North. He will regularly review the study process, report to the public on a regular basis, and at all times represent the interests of both the general public and the environment. His views and comments as the Observer are of a personal nature and do not represent his employer.

Although independent of both the Public Advisory Committee and the Technical Committee, the Independent Process Observer does sit as a non-voting member of both groups. As an impartial observer, he advises on matters related to the Human Health Risk Assessment and the Ecological Risk Assessment, as managed by the Technical Committee with input from the Public Advisory Committee.


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, Inco Ltd. and 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 to as part of the information necessary to conduct a Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA), and an Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA). The MOE, along with Inco and Falconbridge, established a Technical Committee (TC) and a Public Advisory Committee (PAC). The TC has been established to provide technical guidance in carrying out the HHRA/ERA and any associated studies. The TC will also review and consider input from the PAC. The purpose of the PAC is to advise, by providing comment and input, to the TC on decisions relating to activities assessing the health and environmental impacts of metals in the Sudbury environment. The PAC will also act to communicate to the residents of the City of Greater Sudbury on progress as well as issues and concerns that they identify.

In order that the interests of the Sudbury community are served throughout the development of the HHRA/ERA, the stakeholders wish to retain an Independent Process Observer (IPO). The purpose of the IPO is to oversee and report on the process used to conduct the HHRA and ERA to ensure that it is transparent to the community and that communication with the public is timely and effective.

The Independent Process Observer will:

Act as an impartial observer and recorder of the process.
Be independent of any bureaucracy.
Maintain the right to review information and files such as minutes of meetings, terms of reference, proposals, draft reports, and final reports pertaining to the HHRA/ERA process.
Act as an observer and where necessary as a facilitator to ensure that proper practice is followed with the Technical Committee (TC) and Public Advisory Committee (PAC).
Receive comment/input/complaints from the public on matters relating to process and respond appropriately.
Point out and suggest remedies for inconsistencies in procedures in consultation with committee members.
Recommend process improvements to the Technical Committee and Public Advisory Committee to ensure effective and timely completion of work assignments, investigations, studies, and reporting.
Suggest opportunities to improve the process for a more effective outcome for all parties.
Prepare a quarterly written report on the overall progress and direction of the work of the committees for dissemination to the public.
Encourage teamwork through consultation and communication.

Terms of Agreement

An honorarium ($10K per year) will be provided by Inco Limited, Falconbridge Limited, the Ministry of the Environment, the Sudbury & District Health Unit, the City of Greater Sudbury and Health Canada to the Independent Process Observer that will be administered through a third party. It is expected that the incumbent will continue the role of the Independent Process Observer throughout the length of the project upon mutual agreement of performance functions.
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