Ensuring objective study results
To ensure a credible and scientifically valid study, multiple layers of expertise and review are built into the process, starting with the Project Team. Additional layers of review involve the Community Advisory Group, Science Task Force, Peer Review Panel, Technical Sub-Committee, and the LOTT Board of Directors.
Joint Meeting of Science Task Force and Peer Review Panel – A joint meeting of the Science Task Force and Peer Review Panel to discuss the human health risk assessment associated with the study was held on November 2. The public was invited to observe the open session of the virtual meeting.
Project Team – LOTT environmental and communications staff work closely with technical experts from HDR Engineering to design, conduct reviews, and implement each step of the study.
Wendy Steffensen, LOTT Environmental Project Manager
Joanne Lind, LOTT Public Communications Manager
Lisa Dennis-Perez, LOTT Director of Environmental Planning & Communications
Jeff Hansen, P.E., HDR Project Engineer
Shane McDonald, P.G. – HDR Project Hydrologist
Michael Murray, Ph.D. – HDR Project Soil Scientist
Community Advisory Group – Members were chosen from the community and represent diverse interests. The group was formed to assist the LOTT Board of Directors and Project Team to understand community perspectives and questions, ensure the study is designed to address community concerns, and help identify effective ways to engage the public throughout the study. This group meets intermittently as needed.
Science Task Force – The task force is made up of technical experts from the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater, Thurston County, the Squaxin Island Tribe, and the state Departments of Ecology and Health. The Science Task Force examines the science and methodology of the study, representing their jurisdictions while applying their expertise as water resource specialists, hydrogeologists, analysts, and toxicologists. Their input helps ensure the study is based on sound science and reflects regional knowledge.
Peer Review Panel – The National Water Research Institute (NWRI) serves as an independent third party to manage peer review by a team of six nationally renowned researchers and technical experts. These are experts in areas related to the infiltration of reclaimed water, including water reuse and public health criteria, toxicology, environmental geology, environmental health, and other relevant fields.
Technical Sub-Committee – LOTT’s Technical Sub-Committee is made up of Public Works Directors from the cities of Lacey, Olympia, and Tumwater. It also includes Thurston County’s Director of Environmental Health, LOTT’s Executive Director, Engineering Director, and Operations and Facilities Director. The Technical Sub-Committee gets updates on the study on a regular basis. They ask questions and raise policy-related issues, to ensure the study is answering the most pressing questions in a cost-effective manner.
LOTT Board of Directors – The LOTT Board of Directors is comprised of four elected officials, one from each partner government: Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County. They receive periodic updates on the study and must approve any significant changes to the approved scope and funding of the study.