[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 28 (Friday, February 10, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 7149-7151]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3161]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9630-1; EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-0093]


Notice of Workshop and Call for Information on Integrated Science 
Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice; call for information.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. EPA 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 primary National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen 
(NOX). The scientific review that informs the ISA will 
include evidence for NOX whereas the indicator for 
NOX that has been used for the standard is nitrogen dioxide 
(NO2). Thus, the ISA is referred to as the NOX 
ISA while the standard itself is referred to as the NO2 
NAAQS. This ISA is intended to update the scientific assessment 
presented in the Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen--
Health Criteria (EPA 600/R-08/071), published in July 2008. Interested 
parties are invited to assist the EPA in developing and refining the 
scientific information base for the review of the NO2 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 ``Kickoff 
Workshop to Inform EPA's Review of the Primary NO2 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 February 29 to March 1, 2012, 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 February 29 to March 1, 2012. All 
communications and information submitted in response to the call for 
information should be received by EPA by March 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES: The workshop will be held at U.S. EPA, 109 T.W. Alexander 
Drive, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. An EPA contractor, ICF 
International, is providing logistical support for the workshop. To 
register, please send an email to: EPA_NAAQS_Workshop@icfi.com with 
``NOx Kickoff Workshop'' in the subject line. The pre-registration 
deadline is February 17, 2012. Please direct questions regarding 
workshop registration or logistics to Courtney Skuce at (919) 293-1660, 
or the email address provided above. For specific questions regarding 
technical aspects of the workshop see the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this notice.
    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 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For details on the period for 
submission of research information from the public, contact the Office 
of Research and Development (ORD) Docket; telephone: 202-566-1752; 
facsimile: 202-566-1753; or email: ORD.Docket@epa.gov. For technical 
information, contact Tom Luben, Ph.D., NCEA, telephone: (919) 541-5762; 
facsimile: (919) 541-2985; or email: luben.tom@epa.gov or Scott 
Jenkins, Ph.D., OAQPS, telephone: (919) 541-1167 or email: 
jenkins.scott@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 pollutant in the ambient air * * *.'' Under section 
109 of the Act, EPA is then to establish NAAQS for each

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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.
    NO2 is one of six ``criteria'' pollutants for which EPA 
has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis 
for these standards by preparing an ISA. The ISA, along with additional 
technical and policy assessments conducted by OAQPS, form the 
scientific and technical basis for EPA decisions on the adequacy of 
existing NAAQS and the appropriateness of new or revised standards.
    At the start of a NAAQS review, EPA issues an announcement of the 
review and notes the initiation of the development of the ISA. At that 
time, EPA also issues a request that the public submit scientific 
literature that they want to bring to the attention of the Agency for 
consideration in the review process. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory 
Committee (CASAC), an independent scientific advisory committee 
mandated by the Clean Air Act, 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 
NOX ISAs. These opportunities will also be announced in the 
Federal Register.
    For the review of the NO2 NAAQS being initiated by this 
notice, the Agency is interested in obtaining additional new 
information, particularly concerning toxicological studies of effects 
of controlled exposure to NO2 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 NO2. EPA also seeks recent information in 
other areas of NO2 research such as chemistry and physics, 
sources and emissions, analytical methodology, transport and 
transformation in the environment, and ambient concentrations. This and 
other selected literature relevant to a review of the NAAQS for 
NO2 will be assessed in the forthcoming NOX ISA.
    As part of this review of the NO2 NAAQS, EPA intends to 
sponsor a workshop on February 29 to March 1, 2012, to highlight 
significant new and emerging NOX research, and to make 
recommendations to the Agency regarding the design and scope of the 
review for the primary (health-based) NO2 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. We 
intend that workshop discussions will build upon three prior 
publications or events (please see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/nox/s_nox_index.html to obtain a copy of these and other 
related documents): (1) Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
for Nitrogen Dioxide; Final Rule (40 CFR Parts 50 and 58, February 9, 
2010). The preamble to the final rule included detailed discussions of 
policy-relevant issues central to the last review; (2) Integrated 
Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen--Health Criteria (EPA 600/R-
08/071, July 2008); and (3) Risk and Exposure Assessment to Support the 
Review of the NO2 Primary National Ambient Air Quality 
Standard (EPA 452/R-08/008a, November 2008).
    Based in large part on the input received during this workshop, EPA 
will develop a draft integrated NO2 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 review 
plan, and the public will have the opportunity to comment on it as 
well. The final integrated review plan will be used to frame each of 
the major elements of the NO2 review under the NAAQS review 
process: an integrated science assessment document, a risk/exposure 
assessment report, and a policy assessment.

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

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2012-
0093 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: ORD.Docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-1753.
     Mail: Office of Research and Development (ORD) Docket 
(Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
566-1752.
     Hand Delivery: The ORD Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, Room 3334, EPA West Building, 1301 
Constitution Avenue 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 Federal 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-ORD-
2012-0093. 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 email. 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 email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
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,

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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 ORD Docket in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: February 6, 2012.
Rebecca Clark,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2012-3161 Filed 2-9-12; 8:45 am]
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