[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 238 (Monday, December 13, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 77636-77637]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-31210]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9238-1]


Public Information Exchange on EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Public Meeting to Receive Comments and Questions and 
To Provide Information on EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies and Their 
Purpose

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SUMMARY: EPA is announcing a public meeting to receive comments and 
questions on the EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=230972; http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=226723). This meeting will also afford EPA an 
opportunity to highlight the Nanomaterial Case Studies and how they are 
being used as part of an ongoing process to refine a long-term research 
strategy to support the comprehensive environmental assessment of 
nanomaterials.
    All interested public parties are requested to register to attend 
this workshop. Space is limited, and reservations will be accepted on a 
first-come, first-served basis. Comments may be submitted in writing or 
as brief oral statements during specified periods of the meeting. EPA 
intends to consider all such comments in evaluating whether or how to 
develop further case studies and workshops on nanomaterials.

DATES: The Public Information Exchange Meeting on the EPA Nanomaterial 
Case Studies will be held on January 4, 2011, beginning at 12:30 p.m. 
and ending no later than 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Written 
comments should be submitted to EPA by December 28, 2010.

ADDRESSES: The Public Information Exchange Meeting on the EPA 
Nanomaterial Case Studies will be held at the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, NC. To attend the 
workshop, please register no later than December 28, 2010, preferably 
by sending an e-mail to NanoWorkshop@icfi.com. Alternatively, you may 
register by calling Ms. Amalia Marenberg at ICF International at (919) 
293-1624.
    EPA welcomes public attendance at the Public Information Exchange 
Meeting on the EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies and will make every effort 
to accommodate persons with disabilities. For information on access or 
services for individuals with disabilities, or if you have any other 
questions related to this meeting, please contact Ms. Amalia Marenberg 
of ICF International at (919) 293-1624.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Information About the EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies and Workshops

    Engineered nanoscale materials (nanomaterials) have often been 
described as having at least one dimension between 1 and 100 nanometers 
(nm) and frequently possessing unusual, if not unique, properties that 
arise from their small size. Like all technological developments, 
nanomaterials offer the potential for both benefits and risks. The 
assessment of such risks and benefits requires information, but given 
the emergent state of nanotechnology, much remains to be learned about 
the characteristics and effects of nanomaterials before such 
assessments can be accomplished.
    In its 2007 Nanotechnology White Paper (2007, p. 89), EPA included 
the following recommendations regarding the risk assessment of 
nanomaterials: (1) Develop case studies based on publicly available 
information on one or several intentionally produced nanomaterials, and 
from such case studies identify information gaps to help map areas of 
research that would support the risk assessment process; (2) hold a 
series of workshops involving a substantial number of experts from 
several disciplines to assist in this process.
    In keeping with these recommendations, the National Center for 
Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in EPA's Office of Research and 
Development (ORD) prepared Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale 
Titanium Dioxide in Water Treatment and in Topical Sunscreen [External 
Review Draft] (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 
EPA/600/R-09/057, 2009, http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=210206), released in July 2009, and subsequently 
held the ``Nanomaterial Case Studies Workshop: Developing a 
Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Research Strategy for Nanoscale 
Titanium Dioxide'' on September 29-30, 2009, in Durham, North Carolina. 
A summary of the workshop may be found at: http://www.epa.gov/osp/bosc/pdf/nano1005summ.pdf. The summary document provides information on the 
design and conduct of the 2009 case studies workshop, noting that the 
Nanomaterial Case Studies Workshop

[[Page 77637]]

was held under the auspices of the EPA Board of Scientific Counselors 
(BOSC), an advisory committee of independent scientists and engineers 
established by EPA to provide advice, information, and recommendations 
concerning practices and programs of the Office of Research and 
Development, including ORD's research planning process, in accordance 
with provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (5 U.S.C. 
App. 2 [http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/laws/fed-advisory-committee]) and related regulations. In August 2010, the BOSC provided 
comments on the case studies workshop (http://www.epa.gov/osp/bosc/pdf/nano1008rpt.pdf).
    The Nanomaterial Case Studies: Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water 
Treatment and in Topical Sunscreen [External Review Draft] (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=210206) was used as a 
starting point for the 2009 workshop. A key feature of the case studies 
is the comprehensive environmental assessment (CEA) framework, which 
takes a holistic view of specific applications of selected 
nanomaterials, beginning with the product life cycle and encompassing 
environmental fate and transport, exposure, and ecological as well as 
human health implications. CEA also includes a process component 
involving decision science methods, and this aspect of CEA was used in 
a workshop to identify and prioritize research or information needed to 
assess nanoscale titanium dioxide (nano-TiO2).
    It is important to note that the Nanomaterial Case Studies document 
and workshop were not intended to be ends in themselves, even though 
they may have value or be of interest in their own right. They were 
conceived as the first in a series of nanomaterial case studies and 
workshops to be used in developing and refining a long-term research 
strategy to support the comprehensive environmental assessment of 
selected nanomaterials for potential human health and ecological risks 
(U.S. EPA, 2009, 225004). Such a comprehensive strategy is expected to 
develop in an evolutionary process reflecting adjustments and 
modifications as additional nanomaterials are considered and new 
information becomes available.
    The purpose of the Public Information Exchange Meeting scheduled on 
January 4, 2011, is to afford an opportunity for EPA to receive 
comments and questions and to provide information on the EPA 
nanomaterial case studies and associated workshops, including their 
purpose and rationale. The Information Exchange will be held from 12:30 
p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of the EPA facility in Research 
Triangle Park, North Carolina.
    ICF International, a contractor to EPA, will conduct a separate 
meeting, the ``ICF International Nanomaterial Case Studies Workshop: 
Developing a Comprehensive Environmental Assessment Research Strategy 
for Nanoscale Silver,'' at 3:45 p.m., January 4, 2011, in the same 
location. This workshop will be conducted with a selected set of 
invitee-only participants in a structured decision science process 
known as Nominal Group Technique (NGT), similar to the NGT process used 
in the 2009 workshop on nano-TiO2 (http://www.epa.gov/osp/bosc/pdf/nano1005summ.pdf). The upcoming ICF workshop will use the EPA 
document Nanomaterial Case Study: Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant 
Spray [External Review Draft] (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/081, 2010, http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=226723) as a starting point for identifying and 
prioritizing possible research directions related to nanoscale silver. 
The ICF workshop is expected to conclude by 1 p.m. on Friday, January 
7, 2011. Although funded by EPA, the ICF workshop is being conducted 
independently of EPA so as to comply with provisions of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The ICF workshop will be open to public 
observers. Persons interested in obtaining more information about the 
workshop conducted by ICF International or in attending as an observer 
are asked to e-mail NanoWorkshop@icfi.com or call Ms. Amalia Marenberg 
at (919) 293-1624. Please indicate whether you are interested in 
attending the EPA Public Information Exchange Meeting or the ICF 
International NGT Workshop or both.

II. How To Submit Comments

    The public comment period has closed for Nanomaterial Case Studies: 
Nanoscale Titanium Dioxide in Water Treatment and in Topical Sunscreen 
[External Review Draft] (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-09/057, 2009, http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=210206), which has now been completed and posted 
as a final version (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=230972). Also closed is the public comment period 
for Nanomaterial Case Study: Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant Spray 
[External Review Draft] (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/081, 2010, http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=226723). However, comments on either of these 
documents, especially comments related to the approach used in 
developing the case studies and how they could be used in developing a 
comprehensive environmental assessment research strategy, are welcomed 
in connection with the EPA Public Information Exchange on the 
Nanomaterial Case Studies and may be used by EPA in evaluating whether 
or how to develop further case studies and workshops on nanomaterials. 
Comments may be submitted orally at specified times during the Public 
Information Exchange Meeting on the EPA Nanomaterial Case Studies on 
January 4, 2011. Comments may also be submitted in writing in advance 
of the meeting. Anyone who wishes to attend the meeting and/or submit 
comments orally or in writing should so indicate, preferably no later 
than December 28, 2010, by sending an e-mail to NanoWorkshop@icfi.com 
or by calling Ms. Amalia Marenberg at ICF International at (919) 293-
1624.

    Dated: December 7, 2010.
Darrell A. Winner,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2010-31210 Filed 12-10-10; 8:45 am]
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