[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 91 (Friday, May 10, 2013)]
[Pages 27387-27388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11197]



[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 
scientific meeting.
    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: long.tom@epa.gov or Amy Lamson, 
Ph.D., OAQPS; telephone: 919-541-4383 or email: lamson.amy@epa.gov.


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

[[Page 27388]]

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 
submitting comments.
     Email: Docket_ORD@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-9744.
     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]