[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 91 (Friday, May 10, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11197]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[FRL-9812-5; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0357]
Notice of Workshop and Call for Information on Integrated Science
Assessment for Oxides of Sulfur
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice of Workshop; Call for Information.
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 sulfur
(SOX) (for which the indicator is sulfur dioxide
[SO2]). This ISA will update the scientific assessment
presented in the Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides--
Health Criteria (EPA 600/R-08/047F), published in September 2008.
Interested parties are invited to assist the EPA in developing and
refining the scientific information base for the review of the NAAQS
for SOX by submitting recent research studies that have been
published, accepted for publication, or presented at a public
The EPA is also announcing that a workshop entitled ``Kickoff
Workshop to Inform EPA's Review of the Primary SO2 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 June 12-13, 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
Additionally, in the near future, the EPA Scientific Advisory Board
(SAB) will be forming a Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC)
panel for the SO2 NAAQS health review.
DATES: The workshop will be held on June 12-13, 2013. All
communications and information submitted in response to the call for
information should be received by EPA by June 10, 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/soxkickoffworkshop/.
The pre-registration deadline is May 31, 2013. Please direct questions
regarding workshop registration or logistics to Whitney Kihlstrom at
EPA_NAAQS_Workshop@icfi.com or by phone at 919-293-1646. 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 Environmental Information (OEI) Docket; telephone: 202-566-1752;
facsimile: 202-566-9744; or email: Docket_ORD@epa.gov. For technical
information, contact Tom Long, Ph.D., NCEA; telephone: 919-541-1880;
facsimile: 919-541-2985; or email: email@example.com or Amy Lamson,
Ph.D., OAQPS; telephone: 919-541-4383 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 National Ambient Air Quality
Standards (NAAQS) for each pollutant for which EPA has issued criteria.
Section 109(d) of the Act requires EPA to review periodically, and, if
appropriate, to revise 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 determine whether it is
appropriate to revise the NAAQS based on the revised air quality
Oxides of Sulfur (SOX) are one of six ``criteria''
pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA
reviews the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an
Integrated Science Assessment (ISA). The ISA, along with additional
technical and policy assessments conducted by OAQPS, form the
scientific and technical bases for EPA decisions on the adequacy of the
SO2 NAAQS and the appropriateness of revising that standard.
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. CASAC, an independent scientific
advisory committee whose role is 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 SOX ISAs. These opportunities will also
be announced in the Federal Register.
For the review of the primary SO2 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 SOX 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 SOX. EPA also seeks recent information in
other areas of SOX 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 SO2 NAAQS will be assessed in the forthcoming
As part of this review of the SO2 NAAQS, EPA intends to
sponsor a workshop on June 12-13, 2013, in Research Triangle Park,
North Carolina to highlight significant new and emerging SOX
research, and to make recommendations to the Agency regarding the
design and scope of the review for the primary (health-based)
SO2 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. Workshop discussions are intended
to build upon three prior publications or events (see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/so2/s_so2_index.html to obtain a copy
of these and other related documents):
Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Sulfur
Dioxide; Final Rule (40 CFR Parts 50, 53, and 58, June 22, 2010). The
preamble to the final rule included detailed discussions of policy-
relevant issues central to the last review.
Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides--Health
Criteria (EPA 600/R-08/047F, September 2008).
Risk and Exposure Assessment to Support the Review of the
SO2 Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard (EPA 452/
R-09/007, July 2009).
Based in large part on the input received during this workshop, EPA
will develop a draft integrated review plan for the SOX
review 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. 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 SOX review under the NAAQS review
process: An integrated science assessment, a risk/exposure assessment,
and a policy assessment.
II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket
Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-
0357 by one of the following methods:
www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for
Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket
(Mail Code: 28221T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA
Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 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-
2013-0357. 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, 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: May 2, 2013.
Debra B. Walsh,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2013-11197 Filed 5-9-13; 8:45 am]
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