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Notice

Office of Research and Development; Ambient Air Monitoring Reference and Equivalent Methods: Designation of Two New Reference Methods

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Notice of the designation of two new reference methods for monitoring ambient air quality.

SUMMARY:

Notice is hereby given that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated, in accordance with 40 CFR part 53, two new reference methods, one each for measuring concentrations of particulate matter as PM10 and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the ambient air.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Elizabeth Hunike, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-D205-03), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. EPA, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711. Phone: (919) 541-3737, e-mail: Hunike.Elizabeth@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In accordance with regulations at 40 CFR Part 53, the EPA evaluates various methods for monitoring the concentrations of those ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQSs) as set forth in 40 CFR part 50. Monitoring methods that are determined to meet specific requirements for adequacy are designated by the EPA as either reference methods or equivalent methods (as applicable), thereby Start Printed Page 42090permitting their use under 40 CFR part 58 by States and other agencies for determining attainment of the NAAQSs.

The EPA hereby announces the designation of two new reference methods for measuring concentrations of PM10 and NO2 in the ambient air. These designations are made under the provisions of 40 CFR part 53, as amended on July 18, 1997 (62 FR 38764).

The new reference method for PM10 is a manual method that is based on a particular, commercially available high volume PM10 sampler, as specified in appendix J of 40 CFR part 50. The newly designated reference method is identified as follows: RFPS-0706-162, Ecotech Pty. Ltd. Model 3000 PM10 High Volume Air Sampler, configured with the Ecotech PM10 Size-Selective Inlet (SSI) (P-ECO-HVS3000-02), with the flow rate set to 1.13 m3/min (67.8 m3/hour).

An application for a reference method determination for the method based on this Ecotech sampler was received by the EPA on November 29, 2005. The sampler is available commercially from the applicant, Ecotech Pty. Ltd., 12 Apollo Court, Blackburn, Victoria 3130, Australia.

The new reference method for NO2 is an automated method (analyzer) that utilizes the measurement principle (gas phase chemiluminescence) and calibration procedure specified in appendix F of 40 CFR part 50. This newly designated NO2 reference method is identified as follows: RFNA-0706-0163, “Seres Model NOX 2000 G Nitrogen Dioxide Ambient Air Analyzer” operated with a full scale measurement range of 0-0.50 ppm, at any ambient temperature in the range of 20 °C to 30 °C.

An application for a reference method determination for the Seres Model NOX 2000 G was received by the EPA on January 19, 2006. The analyzer is available commercially from the applicant, Seres, 360, Rue Louis de Broglie, La Duranne BP 87000, 13793 Aix en Provence, Cedex 3, France (http://www.seres-france.com).

Samplers or a test analyzer representative of each of these methods have been tested in accordance with the applicable test procedures specified in 40 CFR part 53 (as amended on July 18, 1997). After reviewing the results of those tests and other information submitted by the applicants in the respective applications, EPA has determined, in accordance with part 53, that each of these methods should be designated as a reference method. The information submitted by the applicants in their respective applications will be kept on file, either at EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711 or in an approved archive storage facility, and will be available for inspection (with advance notice) to the extent consistent with 40 CFR part 2 (EPA's regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act).

As a designated reference or equivalent method, each of these methods is acceptable for use by states and other air monitoring agencies under the requirements of 40 CFR part 58, Ambient Air Quality Surveillance. For such purposes, the method must be used in strict accordance with the operation or instruction manual associated with the method and subject to any specifications and limitations (e.g., configuration or operational settings) specified in the applicable designation method description (see the identifications of the methods above).

Use of each method should also be in general accordance with the guidance and recommendations of applicable sections of the “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume I,” EPA/600/R-94/038a and “Quality Assurance Handbook for Air Pollution Measurement Systems, Volume II, part 1,” EPA-454/R-98-004 (available at http://www.epa.gov/​ttn/​amtic/​qabook.html). Vendor modifications of a designated reference or equivalent method used for purposes of Part 58 are permitted only with prior approval of the EPA, as provided in Part 53. Provisions concerning modification of such methods by users are specified under section 2.8 (Modifications of Methods by Users) of Appendix C to 40 CFR part 58.

In general, a method designation applies to any sampler or analyzer which is identical to the sampler or analyzer described in the application for designation. In some cases, similar samplers or analyzers manufactured prior to the designation may be upgraded or converted (e.g., by minor modification or by substitution of the approved operation or instruction manual) so as to be identical to the designated method and thus achieve designated status. The manufacturer should be consulted to determine the feasibility of such upgrading or conversion.

Part 53 requires that sellers of designated reference or equivalent method analyzers or samplers comply with certain conditions. These conditions are specified in 40 CFR 53.9 and are summarized below:

(a) A copy of the approved operation or instruction manual must accompany the sampler or analyzer when it is delivered to the ultimate purchaser.

(b) The sampler or analyzer must not generate any unreasonable hazard to operators or to the environment.

(c) The sampler or analyzer must function within the limits of the applicable performance specifications given in 40 CFR parts 50 and 53 for at least one year after delivery when maintained and operated in accordance with the operation or instruction manual.

(d) Any sampler or analyzer offered for sale as part of a reference or equivalent method must bear a label or sticker indicating that it has been designated as part of a reference or equivalent method in accordance with part 53 and showing its designated method identification number.

(e) If such an analyzer has two or more selectable ranges, the label or sticker must be placed in close proximity to the range selector and indicate which range or ranges have been included in the reference or equivalent method designation.

(f) An applicant who offers samplers or analyzers for sale as part of a reference or equivalent method is required to maintain a list of ultimate purchasers of such samplers or analyzers and to notify them within 30 days if a reference or equivalent method designation applicable to the method has been canceled or if adjustment of the sampler or analyzer is necessary under 40 CFR 53.11(b) to avoid a cancellation.

(g) An applicant who modifies a sampler or analyzer previously designated as part of a reference or equivalent method is not permitted to sell the sampler or analyzer (as modified) as part of a reference or equivalent method (although it may be sold without such representation), nor to attach a designation label or sticker to the sampler or analyzer (as modified) under the provisions described above, until the applicant has received notice under 40 CFR 53.14(c) that the original designation or a new designation applies to the method as modified, or until the applicant has applied for and received notice under 40 CFR 53.8(b) of a new reference or equivalent method determination for the sampler or analyzer as modified.

Aside from occasional breakdowns or malfunctions, consistent or repeated noncompliance with any of these conditions should be reported to: Director, Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences Division (MD-E205-01), National Exposure Research Laboratory, U.S. Environmental Start Printed Page 42091Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711.

Designation of these new reference and equivalent methods is intended to assist the States in establishing and operating their air quality surveillance systems under 40 CFR 58. Questions concerning the commercial availability or technical aspects of the method should be directed to the applicant.

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Jewel F. Morris,

Acting Director, National Exposure Research Laboratory.

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[FR Doc. E6-11820 Filed 7-24-06; 8:45 am]

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