Two-day public conference on 9/11 health bill

The World Trade Center Health Program’s Scientific-Technical Advisory Committee (S.T.A.C.) will host a two-day public conference next Wednesday, Feb. 15 and Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Jacob J. Javits Federal Office Building, located at 26 Federal Plaza.

Discussion items on the agenda include eligibility criteria for 9/11 victims, needs for additional research of 9/11 illnesses and the New York State delegation’s petition to add cancer to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The overall purpose of the S.T.A.C. is to evaluate scientific and medical evidence of 9/11 exposure and illnesses, and subsequently make recommendations to W.T.C. Program Administrator John Howard to add illnesses to the 9/11 health bill and revise victims’ eligibility criteria for federally subsidized treatment and compensation.

Next week’s conference will go from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, allowing for public comment between 3:45 and 4:45 p.m.; and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, with public comment from 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The meeting will also be available via teleconference by dialing 1-800-593-0693 and entering code ‘37121.’ The conference line will accommodate up to 300 callers.

Those who would like to make comments during the designated time slots are asked to sign up ahead of time. One may sign up prior to the meeting by mail, e-mail or telephone. There are a limited number of time slots available, and they will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Each person will have up to five minutes to make oral comments to the S.T.A.C.

Advance sign-ups will conclude at 5 p.m. on Feb. 13. If there are remaining available time slots past that date, members of the public will be able to sign up at the conference starting at 11 a.m. on Feb. 15 and 8 a.m. on Feb. 16.

To sign up in advance, contact the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Robert A. Taft Laboratories at 513-533-8611 or nioshdocket@cdc.gov. Submissions to the docket should reference docket #248.

Members of the public are also invited to submit written comments, up to two pages, ahead of time. Written comments must be received by the end of the day on Thursday, Feb. 9 and should be sent to: NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, MS-C-34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226. Written comments can also be emailed to nioshdocket@cdc.gov. Efforts will be made by Health Program administrators to provide the comments received by the deadline to the committee members prior to the meeting.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/stac.