[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 168 (Thursday, August 29, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53452-53454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21025]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9900-42-ORD: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0620]


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

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 secondary 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen 
(NOX) and oxides of sulfur (SOX). This ISA is 
intended to update the scientific assessment presented in the 
Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur--
Ecological Criteria (EPA 600/R-08/082F), published in December 2008. 
Interested parties are invited to assist the EPA in developing and 
refining the scientific information base for the review of the 
secondary NOX and SOX 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 Review of the Secondary 
NOX and SOX 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 1 to 3, 2013, 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 October 1 to 3, 2013. All 
communications and information submitted in response to notice of the 
workshop should be received by EPA by September 27, 2013.

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. Please 
register by going to https://sites.google.com/site/soxnoxkickoffworkshop/. The pre-registration deadline is September 27, 
2013. Please direct questions regarding workshop registration or 
logistics to Courtney Skuce at EPA_NAAQS_Workshop@icfi.com or by 
phone at (919) 293-1660. 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 Research and Development (ORD) Docket; telephone: 202-566-1752; 
facsimile: 202-566-9744; or email: Docket_ORD@epa.gov. For technical 
information, contact Tara Greaver, Ph.D., NCEA, telephone: (919) 541-
5762; facsimile: (919) 541-2435; or email: greaver.tara@epa.gov or 
Ginger Tennant, OAQPS, telephone: (919) 541-4072 or email: 
tennant.ginger@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 pollutant for 
which EPA has issued criteria. Section 109(d) of the Act

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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.
    NOX and SOX are two 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 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, conducts 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 and 
SOX ISAs. These opportunities will also be announced in the 
Federal Register.
    For the review of the NOX and SOX NAAQS being 
initiated by this notice, the Agency is interested in obtaining 
additional new information on how gas-phase and deposition of these 
pollutants affects all ecosystem types in the US. Studies of particular 
interest are those evaluating the effects of exposure to gas-phase or 
deposition of NOX and SOX on laboratory plants 
and/or animals, field studies on ecosystem structure and/or function, 
including but not limited to studies on biogeochemistry, biodiversity, 
population and/or community structure. Deposition of NOX and 
SOX contribute to deposition of total nitrogen (N) and total 
sulfur (S) categories. General ecological effects due to deposition are 
ecosystem acidification (N + S deposition), nutrient enrichment (N 
deposition), eutrophication (N deposition) and sulfur induced mercury 
methylation (S deposition). EPA also seeks recent information in other 
areas of NOX and SOX research such as chemistry 
and physics, sources and emissions, analytical methodology, transport 
and transformation in the environment, and ambient concentrations in 
addition to information on reduced N and organic N to understand how 
NOX contributes to total N loading. This and other selected 
literature relevant to a review of the NAAQS for NOX and 
SOX will be assessed in the forthcoming NOX and 
SOX ISA.
    As part of this review of the NOX and SOX 
NAAQS, EPA intends to sponsor a workshop on October 1 to 3, 2013, to 
inform the planning for EPA's review of the secondary (welfare-based) 
NAAQS for NOX and SOX. Consistent with the NAAQS 
review process,\1\ the workshop will provide an opportunity to 
highlight key policy-relevant science issues around which EPA would 
structure the review. In workshop discussions, EPA and experts from 
other organizations will be expected to highlight significant new and 
emerging NOX and SOX research and make 
recommendations to the Agency regarding the design and scope of this 
review. The goal of the workshop is to ensure that this review focuses 
on the key policy-relevant issues and considers the most meaningful new 
science to inform our understanding of these issues. Workshop 
discussions will provide important input as EPA considers the 
appropriate design and scope of major elements of the review that will 
inform the Agency's policy assessment. These elements include an 
integrated review plan (IRP) highlighting the key policy-relevant 
issues; an integrated science assessment; and a risk and exposure 
assessment. We intend that workshop discussions will build upon three 
prior assessments or events (please see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/no2so2sec/cr.html to obtain a copy of these and other related 
documents):
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    \1\ More information on the NAAQS review process is provided at: 
http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/.
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    1. Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Nitrogen 
Dioxide; Final Rule (40 CFR Part 50 [EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-1145], April 3, 
2012). 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 and 
Sulfur--Ecological Criteria (EPA 600/R-08/082F, December 2008).
    3. Risk and Exposure Assessment to Support the Review of the NO2 
Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (EPA 452/R-09/008a, 
September 2009).
    Based in large part on the input received during this workshop, EPA 
will develop a draft IRP that will outline the schedule, process, and 
approaches for evaluating the relevant scientific information, 
assessing risks to the environment and addressing the key policy-
relevant issues. The CASAC will be asked to review 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 as a framework 
to guide the review.

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

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-
0620 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: Docket_ORD@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-9744.
     Mail: Office of Research and Development (ORD) Docket 
(Mail Code: 28221T), 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-
2013-0620. 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

[[Page 53454]]

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, 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: August 21, 2013.
Debra B. Walsh,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2013-21025 Filed 8-28-13; 8:45 am]
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