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September 19, 2014

Minutes of monthly meeting of the Western North Carolina Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility September 19, 2014

Present: Steve Gilman, Philip Bisesi and Stan Dienst

Review of July Minutes: No additions or corrections
Procedure (for this meeting) “Consensus” will be General agreement after discussion without dissent.

Status of: Board of Directors, Vice Chair (moderating in the absence of the President), and Secretary.

Discussion of Chapter Sponsoring of an individuals’ publishing or other initiative by consultation with any Board member between meetings and subsequent presentation at a chapter meeting.

A “time line” for submitting letters to the editor of the Citizen Times News was presented. Discussion Postponed.

Philip Bisesi is now a member of the Green Drinks steering committee. He has arranged for WNCPSR to give an hour  long presentation at the Sage Café on January 14th.  

Various proposals to increase WNCPSR membership were discussed and will be represented.

WNCPSR will present the film, “PAX AMERIACANA AND the Weaponization of Space,” in commemoration of the 2014 Keep Space for Peace Week at the West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road, at 6:30pm, Thursday, October 9th. For more information, contact Lew Patrie at 299-1242

Respectfully submitted, Stan Dienst


(Items submitted by Email)

To: Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Division of Energy, Minerals and Land Resources
Mining and Energy Commission
Attention Oil and Gas Program
1612 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1612

This document contains the comments of the Western North Carolina Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility concerning the draft regulation for hydraulic fracturing, Chapter 05D, Subchapter 5H, Oil and Gas Conservation.

Health professionals need to know the identity of chemicals used in fracking so as to provide well informed medical care to persons suspected of ill effects from exposure to such chemicals. Identification of all chemicals and their quantities used in the fracking industry on initial permitted application and an on-going basis will serve to protect the environmental and public health.  

We recommend the following revisions of the regulations:
1    Revise 15A NCAC 05H.1704.
b. Add “applicants for hydraulic fracturing must publically identify all chemicals used in the initial application. The department shall disseminate the identity of such chemicals on an on-going basis”.

2    Delete the word “hazardous” from 15 A NCAC, 05H.1702. This will avoid confusing controversy and debate as to which chemicals are “hazardous”. It will also permit health professionals to study various combinations of chemicals (including non-hazardous) for additive or potentiated toxicity.

3    Delete the option of permittees withholding public identification of chemicals used as “trade secrets”. This deletion will serve to permit health professionals to be well informed and knowledgeable of the risk to public as well as treat persons adversely affected by chemical exposure. A medical provider needs to have on-going access to chemicals used with fracking. Such on-going access would permit researchers and providers to be well informed so as to deliver quality care.

4    Delete any use of “confidentiality clauses” that health professionals may have to sign. Confidentiality clauses likely would interfere with good quality medical care as well as collection of information that researchers could use to study chemical exposure and health effects.

5    Add a regulation that prohibits “non-disclosure agreements” between the hydraulic fracturing industry and public regarding settlements provided to persons who are adversely affected by conduct or materials used by the industry. Such information needs to be available to the public and to health professionals for assuring a healthful environment.

Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations.
Sincerely, Terrence P. Clark, MD
Chairman Western North Carolina Chapter Physicians for Social Responsibility

WNCPSR will cosponsor MABCO's (Move to Amend of Buncombe County) 
Tuesday, October 21 presentation by David Cobb of National Move to

It will be a return engagement and is timely as the Senate has
 been considering an amendment that would go part way to accomplish 
this. We have recognized that the extreme power of corporations
 granted by a series of Supreme Court decisions has thwarted efforts to 
control the military-industrial complex.

 Cobb’s event will take place at 7 PM, Tues., Oct. 21st at Jubilee!. As
 co-sponsor our responsibility is limited to publicizing this and we
 will be given publicity. This will be another occasion when we pair up
 with MABCO.

*(The “PAX AMERICANA” film on October 9th is noted in the regular meeting minutes above)

The Green Drinks steering committee put PSR on the agenda for Jan 14. The subject will be nuclear hazards to health and the environment.  They would like to hear Bob’s VFP presentation on the OAK Ridge bomb factory and your presentation of choice.  Each 15 min + 15 min of written questions.  After the first hour the Green Sage will be open for customers, but they may allow audience participation for a while.  WNCA will furnish a moderator / facilitator to keep time and recognize people wishing to speak (no positions – just to-the-point questions).  I will give a full report of our outreach activities Fri 17 Sep.

Our WNC/PSR monthly meetings have been and continue to be 
opportunities to solicit chapter support for something.
 For a time sensitive item that can't wait until the next WNC/PSR 
meeting, the following proposal was discussed and there was consensus
 to accept:

 When our WNC/PSR chapter is requested to endorse, co-sponsor or
 support an event, a petition, a position or the like, someone on our
 chapter's Executive Committee can be contacted and provided details. The
 WNC/PSR Executive Committee will collaborate and determine chapter
 acceptance, denial or other steps. Current WNC/PSR Executive committee
 members are Lew Patrie, Terry Clark and Steve Gilman.


The proposed meeting agenda was passed out, reviewed and approved.

 All present agreed to use consensus with discussion to decide and 
reach conclusions for this meeting. Consensus in this context means
 general agreement without significant dissent.

 Steve offered to email Stan any items that he (Steve) presented and no
 later than this weekend. Phil offered that no later than Monday, Sept.
22, he would email Stan items that he presents at this meeting.

The treasury report will be brief since our treasurer, Lew, is not 
present. Steve spoke with Lew, and we are in relatively good financial

There are two other WNC/PSR meeting items I will send this weekend.
 The Executive Committee report, and the Humanitarian Consequences of
 Nuclear War Committee report.

- Steve

On September 2, 2014, the WNC/PSR Executive Committee (Steve, Lew,
Terry) met to discuss a variety of topics.

1. We discussed whether or not to reserve time once a month to either
 meet face-to-face or conference call. There was consensus to table 
this idea for now, and meet as needed.

2. We discussed a proposed process that was discussed at our last
 chapter meeting regarding chapter endorsement. We developed consensus
 on this and the information was communicated by Steve at the WNC/PSR 
9/19/2014 meeting. (Additional details are provided in another section 
of this WNC/PSR 9/19/2014 meeting minutes)

3. Terry requested help regarding a WNC/PSR tax related issue, and Lew 
offered to collaborate with him on next steps. Staff at PSR national
 (Marj Plumb?) may also be a resource to help with this.

4. We discussed open staffing items (WNC/PSR vice chair, permanent
 secretary) and agreed to defer to Terry on next step.

5. There was consensus that Terry can call on the other Executive Committee members to help firm up our monthly chapter meetings.

Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear War committee report.

At present both Steve and Terry are active members of this committee. 
Activities since last month’s chapter meeting:

a)      Received feedback from PSR National that our committee’s 2
op-eds in the Cit-Times this year as well as the article documenting
 our work at the Veterans for Peace national convention were well
 written and are much appreciated.

b)      At this point, PSR National is encouraging all chapters to
 focus on presentations to Rotary clubs.

c)       Steve will be presenting Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear 
War at the Brevard Rotary on Sept. 23.

d)      Steve provided PSR National with contact information for close 
to 100 people documenting a call for a treaty banning nuclear weapons.

e)      In regard to our proposing to present this topic at the
 Asheville Rotary, Terry ran into a bottleneck. Steve connected with
 his peers at PSR National and found someone (Bob Dodge) who had run 
into the same bottleneck and provided us actions he had taken to 
resolve it.

f)       Steve was interviewed on camera by Peacecast TV on this 
topic. The interview will be broadcast on Sept. 21, the UN
 International Day of Peace.


Our next chapter meeting is scheduled for Friday, October 17, 2014, at the home of Steve and Beth Gilman (18 Birchwood Lane, Asheville, NC 28805) Informal time starting at noon and Meeting from 12:30 to 2:00pPM.