[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 86 (Friday, May 3, 2013)]
[Pages 26026-26027]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10430]



[FRL-9808-5; Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-0232]

Draft Plan for Development of the Integrated Science Assessment 
for Nitrogen Oxides--Health Criteria

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of public comment period.


SUMMARY: The U.S. EPA is announcing the availability of the ``Draft 
Plan for Development of the Integrated Science Assessment for Nitrogen 
Oxides--Health Criteria.'' The draft document was prepared by the 
National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) 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 
nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The purpose of this draft document 
is to communicate the plan for the development of the Integrated 
Science Assessment (ISA) for the health effects of nitrogen oxides 
(NOX), which will provide a comprehensive assessment of the 
current scientific literature pertaining to known and anticipated 
effects on public health associated with the NOX in the 
ambient air.
    EPA is releasing this draft document to seek consultation by the 
Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public (meeting 
date and time to be specified in a separate Federal Register notice). 
The draft document does not represent and should not be construed to 
represent any final EPA policy, viewpoint, or determination. EPA will 
consider any public comments submitted in response to this notice when 
revising the draft plan for development of the NOX ISA.

DATES: The public comment period begins, May 3, 2013, and ends May 31, 
2013. Comments must be received on or before May 31, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The ``Draft Plan for Development of the Integrated Science 
Assessment for Nitrogen Oxides--Health Criteria'' will be available 
primarily via the Internet on the NCEA home page under the Recent 
Additions and Publications menus at http://www.epa.gov/ncea or in the 
public docket at http://www.regulations.gov (Docket ID: EPA-HQ-ORD-
2013-0232). A limited number of CD-ROM or paper copies will be 
available. Contact Ms. Marieka Boyd by phone (919-541-0031), fax (919-
541-5078), or email ([email protected]) to request either of these, 
and please provide your name, your mailing address, and the document 
title, ``Draft Plan for Development of the Integrated Science 
Assessment for Nitrogen Oxides--Health Criteria'' to facilitate 
processing of your request.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical information, contact Dr. 
Molini Patel, NCEA; telephone: 919-541-1492; facsimile: 919-541-1818; 
or email: [email protected].


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 [the] pollutant in the ambient air . . . 
.'' Under 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 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 or welfare. 
EPA is also to revise the NAAQS, if appropriate, based on the revised 
air quality criteria.
    NO2 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, in conjunction with additional technical 
and policy assessments, provide the scientific basis for EPA decisions 
on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of 
possible alternative standards. The 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 EPA's air quality criteria.
    On February 10, 2012 (77 FR 7149), EPA formally initiated its 
current review of the air quality criteria for the health effects of 
NOX and the primary (health-based) NO2 NAAQS, 
requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified 
topics. EPA held a workshop February 29 to March 1, 2013, to discuss 
with invited scientific experts, key science and policy issues relevant 
to the review of the health effects of NOX (77 FR 7149). 
NCEA has prepared a draft plan for development of the ISA for the 
health effects of NOX, which communicates the scope, 
organization, methodology, and key policy-relevant issues for the ISA. 
EPA is planning to release the first external review draft of the 
health effects ISA for NOX for review by CASAC and the 
public later on in 2013.
    Development of the ISA is one phase of the NAAQS review, and a 
draft Integrated Review Plan (IRP) is being developed that will 
characterize all of the phases of the review of the primary NAAQS for 
NO2, including the schedule for the entire review, the 
process for conducting the various phases of the review, and the key 
policy-relevant science issues that will guide the review. The draft 
IRP will be released for review by CASAC and the public later on in 
2013 and after consideration of CASAC and public comments, a final IRP 
will be issued in early 2014. The IRP will incorporate a revised plan 
for ISA development after consideration of CASAC and public comments.

II. How To Submit Technical Comments to the Docket at 

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2013-
0232 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 202-566-9744.
     Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket 
(Mail Code: 28221T), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. The phone number is 202-
     Hand Delivery: The OEI Docket is located in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Avenue 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

[[Page 26027]]

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-
2013-0232. 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 through 
www.regulations.gov or email that you consider to be CBI or otherwise 
protected. 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. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the 
EPA Docket Center homepage at www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: 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 materials, 
such as copyrighted material, are publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the OEI Docket in the EPA 
Headquarters Docket Center.

    Dated: April 18, 2013.
Debra B. Walsh,
Acting Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 2013-10430 Filed 5-2-13; 8:45 am]