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Notice

First Draft Documents Related to the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone

Action

Notice Of Extension Of Comment Period.

Summary

The EPA is announcing an extension of the public comment period for the first draft assessment documents titled, Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft; Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft; and Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: First External Review Draft. The Agency is extending the comment period by 31 days to provide stakeholders and the public adequate time to conduct appropriate analysis and prepare meaningful comments on these first draft assessment documents. The original comment period was to end on September 11, 2012. The extended comment period will now close on October 12, 2012.

 

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DATES: Back to Top

Comments should be submitted on or before October 12, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699, by one of the following methods:

  • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: Comments may be sent by electronic mail (email) to a-and-r-docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699.
  • Fax: Fax your comments to 202-566-9744, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699.
  • Mail: Send your comments to: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to: EPA Docket Center, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Room 3334, Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0699. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the 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.

Docket: All 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 material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket in the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is 202-566-1742; fax 202-566-9744.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

For questions related to the draft document titled, Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft (EPA-452/P-12-001; July 2012), please contact Ms. Karen Wesson, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Mail code C504-02), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; email: wesson.karen@epa.gov; telephone: 919-541-3515; fax: 919- 541-5315.

For questions related to the draft document titled, Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft (EPA-452/P-12- 004; July 2012), please contact Dr. Travis Smith, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Mail code C539-07), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; email: smith.jtravis@epa.gov; telephone: 919-541-2035; fax: 919-541-5315.

For questions related to the draft document titled, Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: First External Review Draft (EPA-452/P-12-002; August 2012), please contact Ms. Susan Lyon Stone, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Mail code C504-06), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; email: stone.susan@epa.gov; telephone: 919-541-1146; fax: 919-541-0237.

General Information Back to Top

A. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

1. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to EPA through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, remember to:

  • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
  • Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
  • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes.
  • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.
  • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.
  • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.
  • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Under section 108(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Administrator identifies and lists certain pollutants which “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.” The EPA then issues air quality criteria for these listed pollutants, which are commonly referred to as “criteria pollutants.” The 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 [a] pollutant in the ambient air, in varying quantities.” Under section 109 of the CAA, EPA establishes primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for pollutants for which air quality criteria are issued. Section 109(d) of the CAA requires periodic review and, if appropriate, revision of existing air quality criteria. The revised air quality criteria reflect advances in scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on public health or welfare. The EPA is also required to periodically review and revise the NAAQS, if appropriate, based on the revised criteria. [1] A draft of the integrated review plan was released for public review and comment in September 2009 and was the subject of a consultation with the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) on November 13, 2009 (74 FR 54562; October 22, 2009). [2] Comments received from that consultation and from the public were considered in finalizing the plan and in beginning the review of the air quality criteria.

As part of EPA's review of the primary and secondary ozone (O 3) NAAQS, [3] the Agency is conducting quantitative assessments characterizing the health and welfare risks associated with exposure to ambient O 3. The EPA's plans for conducting these assessments, including the proposed scope and methods of the analyses, were presented in two planning documents titled, Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: Scope and Methods Plan for Health Risk and Exposure Assessment and Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: Scope and Methods Plan for Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment (henceforth, Scope and Methods Plans). [4] These documents were released for public comment in April 2011, and were the subject of a consultation with the CASAC on May 19-20, 2011 (76 FR 23809; April 28, 2011). In May 2012, a memo titled, Updates to information presented in the Scope and Methods Plans for the Ozone NAAQS Health and Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessments, was made available that described changes to elements of the scope and methods plans and provided a brief explanation of each change and the reason for it.

On July 16, 2012 EPA made available the first draft documents Health Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft and Welfare Risk and Exposure Assessment for Ozone, First External Review Draft. At that time, we noted that Chapter 6 of the Health Risk and Exposure Assessment (REA) and quantitative results of ecosystem services modeling in Chapter 6 of the Welfare REA would be made available in a separate submission in August, 2012.

On August 15, EPA made available updates to the first draft Health and Welfare REAs, along with several technical memos and appendices. Updates to the Health REA include Chapter 6 which describes risk analyses based on application of results from human clinical studies, an updated Chapter 9 which incorporates the findings from Chapter 6, and several corrections to other chapters, including corrected table numbers in Chapter 5, and corrected references in several locations. Updates to the Welfare REA include additional analyses described in Chapter 6 which provide estimates of damages from O 3 exposure to ecosystem services related to commercial forests and urban trees, additional discussions in Chapter 7 related to the ecosystem service analyses in the revised Chapter 6, as well as corrections to maps in Chapter 4 and corrected references in several locations.

In addition, on August 15, 2012 EPA made available the first draft document titled Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards: First External Review Draft. When final, the Policy Assessment will serve to “bridge the gap” between the scientific information and the judgments required of the Administrator in determining whether it is appropriate to retain or revise the standards. The first draft Policy Assessment builds upon information presented in the Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Third draft) [5] and the two draft Risk and Exposure Assessment documents described above. The first draft Policy Assessment may be accessed online through EPA's TTN Web site at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/ozone/s_o3_index.html.

The EPA is soliciting advice and recommendations from the CASAC by means of a review of these draft documents at an upcoming public meeting of the CASAC that will be held September 11-13, 2012. Information about these public meetings, including the dates and locations, was published in a separate notice in the Federal Register (77 FR 46755). The EPA is also soliciting comments from the public on these draft documents. Following the CASAC meeting and the close of the public comment period, EPA will consider comments received from the CASAC and the public in preparing revisions to these documents.

The draft documents briefly described above do not represent and should not be construed to represent any final EPA policy, viewpoint, or determination. The EPA will consider any public comments submitted in response to this notice when revising the documents.

Dated: August 20, 2012.

Mary Henigin,

Acting Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.

[FR Doc. 2012-21034 Filed 8-24-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. See http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/review.html for more information on the NAAQS review process.

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2. See http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/WebProjectsbyTopicCASAC!OpenView for more information on CASAC activities related to the current O 3 NAAQS review.

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3. See http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/review.html for more information on the NAAQS review process.

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4. EPA-452/P-11-001 and -002; April 2011; Available: http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/standards/ozone/s_o3_2008_pd.html

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5. U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment of Ozone and Related Photochemical Oxidants (Third External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-10/076C, 2012; Available: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/isa/recordisplay.cfm?deid=242490#Download.

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