[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 155 (Friday, August 12, 2005)]
[Pages 47199-47200]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-16038]




Notice of a Scientific Peer Review Meeting to Review the 
Document: The Inventory of Sources and Environmental Releases of 
Dioxin-Like Compounds in the U.S.: the Year 2000 Update, March, 2005 

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of external peer-review panel meeting.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing 
that ERG, an EPA contractor for external scientific peer review, will 
convene a panel of experts and organize and conduct an independent 
external peer-review workshop to review the draft report, ``The 
Inventory of Sources and Environmental Releases of Dioxin-Like

[[Page 47200]]

Compounds in the U.S.: the Year 2000 Update,'' March, 2005 (EPA/600/P/
03/002a) (Draft Dioxin Inventory Update). The public is invited to 
register to attend this meeting as an observer. In addition, the public 
is invited to give oral and/or provide written comments at the meeting 
regarding the draft document under review.

DATES: The peer-review panel meeting will occur from September 13, 
2005, to September 15, 2005. Each day the meeting is scheduled to begin 
at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m., eastern daylight time. The public may 
attend the peer-review panel meeting as observers. In addition, members 
of the public in attendance at the meeting will be allowed to make 
brief (no longer than five minutes) oral statements at the commencement 
of the meeting.

ADDRESSES: The external peer-review panel meeting will be held at the 
Hilton Crystal City hotel, located at 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway in 
Arlington, Virginia. The EPA contractor, ERG, is organizing, convening, 
and conducting the peer-review panel meeting. To attend the meeting, 
register by September 7, 2005, by calling ERG, 110 Hartwell Avenue, 
Lexington, MA, at 781-674-7374 or by sending a facsimile to 781-674-
2851. Interested parties may also register on-line at: https://www2.ergweb.com/projects/conferences/dioxin/register-dioxin.htm. Space 
is limited, and reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-
served basis. At the time of your registration for the meeting, please 
indicate if you intend to make an oral statement at the meeting.
    The Draft Dioxin Inventory Update is available primarily via the 
Internet on the National Center for Environmental Assessment's (NCEA) 
home page at http://www.epa.gov/ncea under the Recent Additions (See 
May 6, 2005 entry) and Data and Publications menus.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions regarding registration and 
logistics for the peer review meeting should be directed to Katherine 
Moore, ERG, 110 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington, MA 02421; telephone: 781-
674-7374; facsimile: 781-674-2851; e-mail: [email protected].
    If you have questions about the document, contact David Cleverly, 
National Center for Environmental Assessment, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
NW. (8601 D), Washington, DC 20460; telephone: 202-564-3238; facsimile: 
202-565-2018; e-mail: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 6, 2005, a Federal Register notice 
was published that announced a 60-day public comment period for EPA's 
Draft Dioxin Inventory Update (70 FR 24039). On May 6 this draft 
document, prepared by NCEA within EPA's Office of Research and 
Development, was also made publicly available on NCEA's Web site for 
review and comment. The 60-day public comment period closed on July 5. 
In the May 6 notice, EPA also announced that a subsequent Federal 
Register notice would announce the date and location of a meeting for 
independent external peer review of this draft document. Today's notice 
provides information on that peer review meeting.
    The purpose of this report is to present an inventory of sources 
and environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the United 
States. This inventory is associated with three distinct reference 
years: 1987, 1995, and 2000. The presentation of information in this 
manner permits the ranking of sources by magnitude of annual release 
and allows for the evaluation of environmental trends over time. The 
term dioxin-like includes congeners of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-
dioxins (CDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (CDFs) having chlorine 
atoms in the 2,3,7,8 positions on the molecule, and certain coplanar-
substituted polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Dioxin-like refers to the 
fact that these compounds have similar chemical structure and physical-
chemical properties and invoke a common battery of toxic response. 
Because of their hydrophobic nature and resistance towards metabolism, 
these chemicals persist and bioaccumulate in fatty tissues of animals 
and humans. Consequently, the principal route of chronic population 
exposure is through the dietary consumption of animal fats, fish, 
shellfish, and dairy products. Dioxin-like compounds are persistent in 
soils and sediments, with environmental half-lives ranging from years 
to several decades. Understanding the sources and environmental 
releases of dioxin-like compounds is fundamental to ultimately linking 
sources with population exposures. It is through such understanding 
that actions can be taken to reduce human exposures.
    This current inventory is an update of an external review draft 
report entitled, The Inventory of Sources of Dioxin in the United 
States (EPA/600/P-98/002Aa), dated April 1998. The 1998 draft inventory 
presented annual estimates of environmental releases for reference 
years 1987 and 1995. The current inventory represents an update with 
the inclusion of a third reference year, 2000.
    This updated inventory of sources and environmental releases of 
dioxin-like compounds concludes that, between 1987 and 2000, there was 
an approximately 89% reduction in the release of dioxin-like compounds 
to the circulating environment of the United States from all known 
sources combined. Annual emission estimates (TEQDF-
WHO98) of releases of CDDs/CDFs to air, water, and land from 
reasonably quantifiable sources were approximately 1,529 grams in 
reference year 2000; 3,280 grams in reference year 1995; and 13,962 
grams in reference year 1987. In 1987 and 1995, the leading sources of 
dioxin emissions to the U.S. environment were municipal waste 
combustors. The inventory concludes that the major source of dioxin in 
2000 was the uncontrolled burning of refuse in backyard burn barrels in 
rural areas of the United States. The inventory also identifies 
bleached chlorine pulp and paper mills as a significant source of 
dioxin to the aquatic environment in 1987 but a minor source in 1995 
and 2000.
    The reduction in environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds 
from 1987 to 2000 is attributable to source-specific regulations, 
improvements in source technology, advancements in the pollution 
control technologies specific to controlling dioxin discharges and 
releases, and the voluntary actions of U.S. industries to reduce or 
prevent dioxin releases.

    Dated: August 8, 2005.
Peter W. Preuss,
Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 05-16038 Filed 8-11-05; 8:45 am]