[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 189 (Monday, September 29, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56581-56583]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-22799]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-8722-2; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699]


Notice of Workshop and Call for Information on Integrated Science 
Assessment for Ozone

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice; call for information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing 
that the Office of Research and Development's National Center for 
Environmental Assessment (NCEA) is preparing an Integrated Science 
Assessment (ISA) as part of the review of the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone (O3). This is intended 
to update the scientific assessment presented in the ``Air Quality 
Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants'' (EPA 600/P-05/
004aF-cF), published in February 2006. Interested parties are invited 
to assist the EPA in developing and refining the scientific information 
base for the review of the O3 NAAQS by submitting research 
studies that have been published, accepted for publication, or 
presented at a public scientific meeting.
    The EPA is also announcing that a workshop entitled, ``Workshop to 
Discuss Policy-Relevant Science to Inform EPA's Integrated Plan for the 
Ozone NAAQS,'' is being organized by NCEA and the EPA Office of Air and 
Radiation's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). The 
workshop will be held October 29-30, 2008, in Research Triangle Park, 
North Carolina. The workshop will be open to attendance by interested 
public observers on a first-come, first-served basis up to the limits 
of available space.

DATES: The workshop will be held on October 29 and 30, 2008. The pre-
registration deadline is October 17, 2008. In response to the call for 
information, all communications and information should be received by 
EPA by November 3, 2008.

ADDRESSES: The workshop will be held at U.S. EPA, 109 T.W. Alexander 
Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. An EPA contractor, E.H. 
Pechan & Associates, Inc., is providing logistical support for the 
workshop. To register, please use the on-line registration form at: 
http://projects.pechan.com/epa/o3review/. Please direct questions 
regarding workshop registration or logistics to E. H. Pechan & 
Associates at 919-493-3144, ext. 119, or Tricia Crabtree at 919-541-
5688, or e-mail: workshop.o3review@pechan.com. For specific questions 
regarding technical aspects of the workshop see the section of this 
notice entitled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Information in response to the call for information may be 
submitted electronically, by mail, by facsimile, or by hand delivery/
courier. Please follow the detailed instructions as provided in the 
section of this notice entitled SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details on the period for 
submission of research information from the public, contact the Office 
of Air and Radiation (OAR) Docket, telephone: 202-566-1752, facsimile: 
202-566-9744, or e-mail: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
    For technical information, contact James Brown, NCEA, telephone: 
919-541-0765, facsimile: 919-541-1818, or e-mail: brown.james@epa.gov; 
or contact David McKee, OAQPS, telephone: 919-541-5288, or e-mail: 
mckee.dave@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Information About the Project

    Section 108 (a) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to 
issue ``air quality criteria'' for certain air pollutants. These air 
quality criteria are to ``accurately reflect the latest scientific 
knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of all identifiable 
effects on public health or welfare which may be expected from the 
presence of such pollutants in the ambient air. * * *'' Under section 
109 of the Act, EPA is then to establish National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQS) for each pollutant for which EPA has issued criteria. 
Section 109 (d) of the Act subsequently requires periodic review and, 
if appropriate, revision of existing air quality criteria to reflect 
advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on 
public health and welfare. EPA is also to revise the NAAQS, if 
appropriate, based on the revised air quality criteria.
    Ozone (O3) is one of six principal (or ``criteria'') 
pollutants for which EPA has

[[Page 56582]]

established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis for 
these standards by preparing an Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), 
formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document (AQCD). The ISA and 
supplementary annexes are the scientific basis for the additional 
technical and policy assessments that form the basis for EPA decisions 
on the adequacy of a current NAAQS and the appropriateness of new or 
revised standards. Early steps in this process include announcing the 
beginning of this periodic NAAQS review and the development of the ISA, 
and NCEA requesting that the public submit scientific literature that 
they want to bring to the attention of the Agency as it begins this 
process. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), an 
independent science advisory committee mandated by the Clean Air Act 
and part of the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), is charged with 
independent/expert scientific review of EPA's draft ISAs. As the 
process proceeds, the public will have opportunities to review and 
comment on draft O3 ISAs. These opportunities will also be 
announced in the Federal Register.
    The Agency is interested in obtaining additional information, 
particularly concerning toxicological studies of effects of controlled 
exposure to O3 on laboratory animals, humans, and in vitro 
systems, as well as epidemiologic (observational) studies of health 
effects associated with ambient exposures of human populations to 
O3. EPA also seeks recent information in other areas of 
O3 research such as chemistry and physics, sources and 
emissions, analytical methodology, transport and transformation in the 
environment, ambient concentrations, and effects on public welfare or 
the environment. This and other selected literature relevant to a 
review of the NAAQS for O3 will be assessed in the 
forthcoming O3 ISA.
    As part of this review of the O3 NAAQS, EPA intends to 
sponsor a workshop on October 29-30, 2008, to highlight significant new 
and emerging O3 research, and to make recommendations to the 
Agency regarding the design and scope of the review for the primary 
(health-based) and secondary (welfare) O3 standards to 
ensure that it addresses key policy-relevant issues and considers the 
new science that is relevant to informing our understanding of these 
issues. In addition, other opportunities for submission of new peer-
reviewed, published (or in-press) papers will be possible as part of 
public comment on the draft ISAs that will be reviewed by CASAC. The 
workshop will provide an opportunity for internal and external experts 
to highlight significant new and emerging O3 research, and 
to make recommendations to the Agency regarding the design and scope of 
the review for the O3 standards to ensure that it addresses 
key policy-relevant issues and considers the new science relevant to 
informing our understanding of these issues. We intend that workshop 
discussions will build upon three prior publications or events:
    1. National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Final Rule (73 
FR 16436, March 27, 2008). The preamble to the final rule included 
detailed discussions of policy-relevant issues central to the last 
review.
    2. Air Quality Criteria for Ozone and Related Photochemical 
Oxidants (EPA 600/P-05/004aF-cF, February 2006). Please see http://
www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/o3/s_o3_index.html to obtain a copy 
of the 2006 Air Quality Criteria Document, the notice of final 
rulemaking from 2008, and other related documents.
    3. December 2006 workshop sponsored by NCEA, entitled 
``Interpretation of Epidemiologic Studies of Multi-pollutant Exposure 
and Health Effects.'' The workshop dealt with important issues relevant 
to this review, such as the interpretation and understanding of 
criteria air pollutant health effects analyses in population-level 
epidemiologic studies, with a focus on multi-pollutant exposures (71 FR 
67566, November 22, 2006). Workshop participants are encouraged to 
review each of these documents and/or supporting materials thoroughly 
before the meeting begins, as they provide important insights into new 
scientific advances and key policy-relevant questions.
    Based in large part on the input received during this workshop, EPA 
will develop a draft integrated O3 NAAQS review plan that 
will outline the schedule, process, and approaches for evaluating the 
relevant scientific information and addressing the key policy-relevant 
issues to be considered in this review. The CASAC will be asked to 
conduct a consultation with the Agency on the draft integrated plan 
early next year, and the public will have the opportunity to comment on 
it as well. The final integrated plan will be used to frame each of the 
major elements of the O3 review under the new NAAQS process: 
an integrated science assessment document, a risk/exposure assessment 
report, and a policy assessment to be published as an advance notice of 
proposed rulemaking (ANPR).

II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at 
www.regulations.gov

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-
0699 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     E-mail: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-9744.
     Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket 
(Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
566-1752.
     Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, Room 3334 EPA West Building, 1301 
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is 202-566-1744. Such deliveries are only accepted during 
the docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should 
be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    If you provide comments by mail or hand delivery, please submit 
three copies of the comments. For attachments, provide an index, number 
pages consecutively with the comments, and submit an unbound original 
and three copies.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2008-0699. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the 
specified comment period. Comments received after the closing date will 
be marked ``late,'' and may only be considered if time permits. It is 
EPA's policy to include all comments it receives in the public docket 
without change and to make the comments available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless a comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. 
The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, 
which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-
mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, 
your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part 
of the

[[Page 56583]]

comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other materials, 
such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: September 23, 2008.
Rebecca Clark,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. E8-22799 Filed 9-26-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P