The settlement with the Southern California Gas Company mandates Public Health to form a Scientific Oversight Committee to guide the Health Research Study.
The Scientific Oversight Committee will:
Public Health will provide opportunities for the Community Advisory Group and Scientific Oversight Committee to collaborate. Public Health will direct the Scientific Oversight Committee to prioritize research that is valued by the community and that aids in community recovery.
At the end of the Health Research Study's third year, the Scientific Oversight Committee will independently analyze and determine whether the Health Study is likely to achieve the predetermined goals set by the Scientific Oversight Committee and whether the Health Study is likely to achieve the predetermined goals set by the SOC, and based on this determine whether the study should continue. This evaluation will happen on an annual basis following the third year of the study.
The Scientific Oversight Committee includes experts in the areas of environmental health, public health and other related research fields, who will provide guidance on research design and implementation, monitoring of progress, and interpretation of findings. In addition to independent experts (appointed through a public nomination process), the Scientific Oversight Committee includes representatives of the following agencies:
Scientific Oversight Committee members' expertise reflect concerns identified by community members and other stakeholders. The following areas of expertise were identified as meeting these concerns: Environmental Epidemiology, Disaster Epidemiology, Toxicology, Community-Based Research, Exposure Assessment, Disaster Behavioral Health, Environmental Science, and Air Modeling. Experience in oil, gas and related chemicals research was also encouraged.