Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter

Published date27 January 2020
Citation85 FR 4655
Record Number2020-01223
SectionNotices
CourtEnvironmental Protection Agency
Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 17 (Monday, January 27, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 17 (Monday, January 27, 2020)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 4655-4656]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2020-01223]
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                ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
                [Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0859; FRL-10004-64-ORD]
                Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter
                AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
                ACTION: Notice of availability.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the
                availability of a final document titled, ``Integrated Science
                Assessment for Particulate Matter'' (EPA/600/R-19/188). The document
                was prepared by the Center for Public Health and Environmental
                Assessment (CPHEA) within EPA's Office of Research and Development
                (ORD) as part of the review of the primary (health-based) and secondary
                (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for
                particulate matter (PM) and represents an update of the 2009 Integrated
                Science Assessment (ISA) for PM. The welfare-based effects evaluated
                consist of non-ecological effects, specifically visibility impairment,
                climate effects, and effects on materials. The ISA provides the
                scientific basis for EPA's decisions, in conjunction with additional
                technical and policy assessments, on the adequacy of the current NAAQS
                and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. EPA is
                currently developing a separate ISA to support the secondary NAAQS
                review for ecological effects for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur,
                and particulate matter.
                DATES: The document is available on or about January 6, 2020.
                ADDRESSES: The ``Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter
                (Final)'' will be available primarily via the internet on EPA's
                Integrated Science Assessment Particulate Matter page at https://www.epa.gov/isa/integrated-science-assessment-isa-particulate-matter or
                the public docket at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-ORD-
                2014-0859. A limited number of CD-ROM copies will be available. Contact
                Ms. Marieka Boyd by phone: 919-541-0031; fax: 919-541-5078; or email:
                [email protected] to request a CD-ROM, and please provide your name,
                your mailing address, and the document title, ``Integrated Science
                Assessment for Particulate Matter'' to facilitate processing of your
                request.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information, contact Mr.
                Jason Sacks, CPHEA; phone: 919-541-9729; fax: 919-541-1818; or email:
                [email protected].
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                I. Information About the Document
                 Section 108(a) of the Clean Air Act directs the Administrator to
                identify certain pollutants which, among other things, ``cause or
                contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to
                endanger public health or 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
                [[Page 4656]]
                section 109 of the Act, EPA is then to establish NAAQS for each
                pollutant for which EPA has issued criteria. Section 109(d) of the Act
                subsequently requires review every five years and, if appropriate,
                revision of existing air quality criteria to reflect advances in
                scientific knowledge on the effects of the pollutant on public health
                or welfare. EPA is also required to review and, if appropriate, revise
                the NAAQS, based on the revised air quality criteria (for more
                information on the NAAQS review process, see http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/review.html).
                 Particulate matter is one of six criteria pollutants for which EPA
                has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis
                for these standards by preparing an ISA (formerly called an Air Quality
                Criteria Document). The ISA provides the scientific basis for EPA's
                decisions, in conjunction with additional technical and policy
                assessments, on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the
                appropriateness of possible alternative standards. The Clean Air
                Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), an independent science advisory
                committee whose review and advisory functions are mandated by Section
                109(d)(2) of the Clean Air Act, is charged (among other things) with
                independent scientific review of the EPA's air quality criteria.
                 On December 3, 2014 (79 FR 71764), EPA formally initiated its
                current review of the air quality criteria for the health and welfare
                effects of particulate matter and the primary (health-based) and
                secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS, requesting the submission of recent
                scientific information on specified topics. EPA conducted a workshop
                from February 9 to 11, 2015 to gather input from invited scientific
                experts, both internal and external to EPA, as well as from the public,
                regarding key science and policy issues relevant to the review of the
                primary and secondary NAAQS (79 FR 71764). These science and policy
                issues were incorporated into EPA's ``Draft Integrated Review Plan for
                the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter,''
                which was available for public comment (81 FR 22977) and discussion by
                the CASAC via publicly accessible teleconference consultation (81 FR
                13362). The ``Final Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air
                Quality Standards for Particulate Matter'' was released December 6,
                2016 (81 FR 87933).
                 Subsequent webinar workshops were held on June 9, 13, 20, and 22,
                2016, to discuss initial draft materials prepared in the development of
                the particulate matter ISA with invited EPA and external scientific
                experts (81 FR 29262). The input received during these webinar
                workshops aided in the development of the materials presented in the
                ``Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (External Review
                Draft), which was released on October 23, 2018'' (83 FR 53471), and is
                available at: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/isa/recordisplay.cfm?deid=341593. The CASAC met at a public meeting on
                December 12-13, 2018 (83 FR 55529), to review the draft PM ISA. A
                public teleconference was then held on March 28, 2019 for CASAC to
                review their draft letter to the Administrator on the draft ISA. This
                meeting was announced in the Federal Register on March 8, 2019 (84 FR
                8523). Subsequently, on April 11, 2019, the CASAC provided a letter of
                their review to the Administrator of the EPA, available at: https://
                yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/264cb1227d55e02c85257402007446a4/
                6CBCBBC3025E13B4852583D90047B352/$File/EPA-CASAC-19-002+.pdf. The
                letter from the CASAC, as well as public comments received on the draft
                PM ISA, can be found in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2014-0859.
                 The Administrator responded to the CASAC's letter on the External
                Review Draft of the PM ISA on July 25, 2019, and is available at:
                https://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/
                264cb1227d55e02c85257402007446a4/6CBCBBC3025E13B4852583D90047B352/
                $File/EPA-CASAC-19-002_Response.pdf. Administrator Wheeler's letter to
                the CASAC indicated the Agency will ``incorporate the CASAC's comments
                and recommendations, to the extent possible, and create a final PM ISA
                so that it may be available to inform a proposed decision on any
                necessary revisions of the NAAQS in early 2020.'' The U.S. EPA focused
                on addressing comments presented in the main body of the CASAC letter
                (i.e., the cover letter and consensus responses to charge questions),
                and to the extent possible, in the statutorily provided timeframe,
                addressed individual CASAC member comments as well as public comments
                on the draft PM ISA. The consensus CASAC comments on the draft PM
                Policy Assessment (December 16, 2019) stated ``. . . the Draft PM ISA,
                does not provide a comprehensive, systematic review of relevant
                scientific literature; inadequate evidence and rationale for altered
                causal determinations; and a need for clearer discussion of causality
                and causal biological mechanisms and pathways.'' To address these
                comments in the Final PM ISA, the EPA: (1) Added text to the Preface
                and developed a new Appendix to more clearly articulate the process of
                ISA development; (2) revised the causality determination for long-term
                ultrafine particle (UFP) exposure and nervous system effects to
                suggestive of, but not sufficient to infer, a causal relationship; and
                (3) added additional text to the Preface of the PM ISA as well as text
                in the health effects chapters to clarify the discussion of biological
                plausibility and its role in forming causality determinations.
                Additionally, the U.S. EPA focused on addressing those comments that
                contributed to improving clarity, could be addressed in the near-term,
                and identified errors in the draft PM ISA. Lastly, Administrator
                Wheeler noted, ``for those comments and recommendations that are more
                significant or cross-cutting and which were not fully addressed, the
                Agency will develop a plan to incorporate these changes into future PM
                ISAs as well as ISAs for other criteria pollutant reviews.''
                 Dated: December 31, 2019.
                Wayne E. Cascio,
                Director, Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment.
                [FR Doc. 2020-01223 Filed 1-24-20; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
                

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