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Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen-Health Criteria

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Notice of Public Comment Period.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of the second external review draft of a document titled, “Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen—Health Criteria” (EPA/600/R-099aB). The document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment within EPA(s Office of Research and Development as part of the review of the primary (health-based) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen.

EPA is releasing this draft document solely for the purpose of seeking public comment and for review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) (meeting date and location to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). It does not represent and should not be construed to represent any Agency policy, viewpoint, or determination. EPA will consider any public comments submitted in accordance with this notice when revising the document.

DATES:

The public comment period begins on or about March 6, 2008. Comments must be received on or before May 5, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

The “Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen—Health Criteria” will be available primarily via the Internet on the National Center for Environmental Assessment's home page under the Recent Additions and Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/​ncea. A limited number of CD-ROM or paper copies will be available. Contact Ms. Emily Lee by telephone: 919-541-4169, facsimile: 919-541-1818, or e-mail: lee.emily@epa.gov to request either of these, and please provide your name, your mailing address, and the document title, “Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen—Health Criteria” (EPA/600/R-099aB) to facilitate processing of your request.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis Kotchmar, NCEA; telephone: 919-541-4158; facsimile: 919-541-1818; or e-mail: kotchmar.dennis@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Information About the Document

Section 108 (a) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to identify certain pollutants that “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health and welfare” and to issue air quality criteria for them. 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 [a] 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 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.

Oxides of nitrogen is one of six principal (or “criteria”) pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document (AQCD). The ISA and supplementary annexes, in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provide the scientific basis for EPA decisions on the adequacy of a current NAAQS and the appropriateness of new or revised standards. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), an independent science advisory committee mandated by the Clean Air Act and part of the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB), is charged with independent expert scientific review of EPA's draft ISAs.

On December 9, 2005 (70 FR 73236), EPA formally initiated its current review of the criteria for Oxides of Nitrogen, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified topics. A draft of EPA's “Integrated Plan for Review of the Primary National Ambient Air Quality Standard” was made available in February 2007 for public comment and was discussed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) via a publicly accessible teleconference consultation on May 11, 2007 (72 FR 20336). A review of the secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS for Oxides of Nitrogen is being conducted separately, in conjunction with the review of the secondary NAAQS for Sulfur Oxides. In February 2007 (72 FR 6238), a workshop was held to discuss, with invited scientific experts, initial draft materials prepared in the development of the ISA and supplementary annexes for oxides of nitrogen. The first external review draft of this ISA was released for public comment and review by the CASAC on August 31, 2007 (72 FR 50107), and was reviewed by CASAC at a public meeting held on October 24-25, 2007. This second draft document incorporates revisions to address comments raised by CASAC and the public.

The second external review draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen will be discussed at a public meeting for review by CASAC, and public comments received will be provided to the CASAC review panel. A future Federal Register notice will inform the public of the exact date and time of that CASAC meeting.

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

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2005-0029, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ORD.Docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: 202-566-1753. Start Printed Page 11917
  • Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket (Mail Code: 2822T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-566-1752.
  • Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center, Room 3334 EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave., 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 legal 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-2005-0029. 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 http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://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 e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your e-mail 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 http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

Docket: Documents in the docket are listed in the http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the EPA Headquarters Docket Center.

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Dated: February 26, 2008.

Peter W. Preuss,

Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.

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[FR Doc. E8-4232 Filed 3-4-08; 8:45 am]

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