May 28, 2009 Acting Commissioner Mauriello signed Administrative Order
2009-05 establishing the Science Advisory Board. Below are some frequently
asked questions and answers concerning the work of the SAB and membership.
How is the Science Advisory Board (SAB) constituted?
A: The SAB will
consist of up to twelve members. One of whom will sever as Chairperson.
The members and chairperson will be appointed by the Commissioner of DEP
from among a pool of applicants who responded to DEP solicitation for
members, and who meet the required criteria.
What are the four standing committees?
Processes, Public Health, Water Quality and Quantity and Climate and Atmospheric
Sciences. All four committees report to the Science Advisory Board.
How will membership on the standing committees be constituted?
committee will have up to twelve members each. The members and committee
chairs will be appointed by the Commissioner of DEP from among a pool
of applicants who responded to DEP solicitation for members, and who meet
the required criteria
How will the work of the SAB be defined/directed?
A. The SAB will
provide independent peer review and advice to the Commissioner on scientific
and technical issues relevant to the Department’s mission. The Commissioner,
with input from staff will determine the issues the SAB will research.
Their work is limited to scientific and technical issues and they will
not be addressing issues of a policy or regulatory nature.
How does the SAB report to the Commissioner?
A: The SAB will
deliver its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner through the
Office of Science, which will serve as a liaison between the Commissioner,
the Departmental staff and the public.
How will ad hoc committees be utilized?
A. The SAB may
request that the Commissioner convene one or more ad hoc committees with
appropriate membership to deliberate on a specific issue presented by
the Commissioner that is beyond the scope of the standing committees.
These ad hoc committees will exist only for the period of time necessary
to address their specific issue and report their findings through the
SAB to the Commissioner.
Who decides on members of the ad-hoc committees?
A: The Commissioner
will appoint the members of the ad hoc committee along with the chairperson.
A separate request for candidates may be sent out in order to obtain an
adequate number of potential candidates for consideration.
Will the meetings of the SAB or the Committees be open to the public?
will not be open to the public. Information on the SAB and the Committees
will be posted on the SAB website: http://www.nj.gov/dep/sab/.
How will the work of the SAB differ from other focus groups?
A: The SAB will
be the ultimate voice to report to the Commissioner via the Office of
Science regarding the issues assigned to the SAB. The SAB will direct
new issues to the appropriate committee and insure that work is reported
out in a timely fashion. The SAB will avoid overlap with existing advisory
groups whenever possible.
How long will members of the SAB and standing committees serve?
Their terms will
be three years, however the terms of the initial membership will be balanced
with one, two and three year terms to start a process of regular turnover.
Will SAB or committee members receive compensation or be reimbursed for
A: Members of
the SAB or any standing, ad hoc or subcommittee will not be compensated
by the Department or the State for their service.
What is the time commitment anticipated?
A: It is anticipated
that meetings will be held between 4-12 times per year. Work on committees
may intensify due to the nature of the issue. Members may be asked to
prepare information for meetings and review documents prepared by the
Will the NJDEP consider conflict of interest for potential candidates
that may serve on the SAB or one of the Standing Committee?
A: Yes, “conflict
of interest” means any financial or other interest which conflicts
with the service of the individual because it could significantly impair
the individual’s objectivity or could create an unfair competitive
advantage for any person or organization. Candidates being considered
for appointment will be asked to complete a confidential conflict of interest
If I am currently receiving funding from the NJDEP can I serve on the
SAB or one of the Standing Committees?
A: The NJDEP will
allow candidates that are currently receiving funds to be considered for
appointment to the SAB or one of the Standing Committees. Members of the
SAB or one of the Standing Committees must recuse themselves from any
SAB/Committee activities (e.g., discussions, decisions) if a conflict
of interest situation arises during their membership (e.g., when a new
charge is presented to the SAB/Committee).
How will the SAB or the DEP determine if there are conflicts of interest?
being considered for appointment will be asked to complete a confidential
conflict of interest disclosure form to be reviewed by the NJDEP. Subsequently,
all members of the respective SAB/Committee will be required to respond
to questions about the appearance or actual lack of impartiality every
time a new activity is initiated or a new charge is issued. Any disputes
will be brought before the Conflict Review Committee consisting of the
SAB Chair and two NJDEP representatives for resolution. The NJDEP Commissioner
will have the final decision on any unresolved disputes.
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