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Environmental Assessment

Recent Additions for 2014

Recent Addition items from past years

September 26, 2014
Cover of the Next Generation for Risk Assessment 2014 Final ReportEPA is announcing the release of the final report, Next Generation Risk Assessment: Incorporation of Recent Advances in Molecular, Computational, and Systems Biology. This report describes new approaches that are faster, less resource intensive, and more robust that can help address the challenges of assessing potential health hazards for large number of chemicals introduced into the environment and to evaluate their safety from the perspective of human health. This report describes how new molecular, computational and systems biology data and approaches (together called "NexGen") could better inform risk assessment. Learn more about the NexGen Program at http://epa.gov/risk/nexgen.
September 25, 2014
EPA is announcing the availability of the draft report, IRIS Toxicological Review of Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) (External Review Draft), as it was submitted to the Science Advisory Board (SAB) Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), augmented for the review of the draft IRIS assessment. Details about the CAAC-benzo[a]pyrene panel, meeting dates and times will be announced in a Federal Register Notice by the SAB. The SAB will provide information on how the public can participate in the external peer review meetings, as well as instructions about how to provide comments to the SAB in the notice. Additional information on the SAB CAAC review of benzo[a]pyrene is on the SAB website.
September 22, 2014
Cover of the Child-Specific Exposure Scenarios Examples Final ReportEPA announces the final report, Child-Specific Exposure Scenarios Examples. This report is intended to be a companion document to the Exposure Factors Handbook (U.S. EPA 2011). The example scenarios were compiled from questions and inquiries received from users of the Exposure Factors Handbook (EFH) on how to select data from the EFH to assess childhood exposures.
September 16, 2014
Cover of the Best Practices for Wadeable Streams Final ReportEPA is announcing the availability of the final report,Best Practices for Continuous Monitoring of Temperature and Flow in Wadeable Streams. This best practices final report describes sensor deployment for and collection of continuous temperature and flow data at ungaged sites in wadeable streams. It was written to address questions related to equipment needs; configuration, placement, and installation of equipment; and data retrieval and processing.
September 02, 2014
EPA's SAB Advisory Panel announced a public teleconference to be held on October 3, 2013 for a discussion on EPA's draft Report on the Environment 2014. This follows after a face-to-face meeting that was held on July 30-31, 2014 to respond to charge questions on the web site. Specifically, the Agency requested the SAB to comment on the clarity of the ROE objectives for various audiences, the overarching conceptual framework based on a sustainability theme, the addition of statistical information for individual indicators, and the presentation of the ROE 2014 features in the online format. The purpose of the upcoming teleconference is for the SAB Panel to discuss its draft advisory report. [SAB Federal Register Notice Aug 30, 2014]
August 29, 2014
EPA announced the upcoming October IRIS public science meeting scheduled for October 29-30, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. In addition, EPA posted preliminary materials (literature search and search strategy, evidence tables, and exposure-response figures) for diisononyl phthalate (DINP) and hexavalent chromium - Part 2 (Cr(VI)) for public review and comment.
August 29, 2014
EPA hosted a Bimonthly IRIS public meeting on September 3, 2014, to provide an opportunity for the public to give input and participate in an open discussion regarding scoping and problem formulation materials for new IRIS assessments (ethylbenzene and naphthalene) prior to the development of the draft assessments. The EPA presentations are now availble from the IRIS meeting web site.
August 27, 2014
On September 26, 2014, EPA's SAB will conduct a quality review of the draft report entitled SAB Review of the Draft EPA Report Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters (August 11, 2014, Draft). This draft SAB panel report peer reviews the EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) draft report Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence (September, 2013 External Review Draft, EPA/600/R-11/098B). The ORD draft report was written to inform development of a rule proposed by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to clarify the definition of waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. The SAB panel was charged with reviewing the overall clarity and technical accuracy of the ORD draft report, whether it included and correctly summarized the most relevant peer-reviewed scientific literature, and whether the findings and conclusions were supported by the available science. [SAB Federal Register Notice Aug 27, 2014]
August 27, 2014
EPA hosted a Bimonthly IRIS public meeting on June 25-27, 2014, to provide an opportunity for the public to give input and participate in an open discussion regarding preliminary materials that were prepared for the IRIS chemicals (hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI) and inorganic arsenic (iAs)) prior to the development of the draft assessments. The EPA presentations and material presented by the public are now availble from the IRIS meeting web site.
August 15, 2014
EPA transmitted the revised external review draft of the ethylene oxide assessment to the SAB for peer review by the SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), augmented for the review of the draft IRIS assessment of ethylene oxide (CAAC-Ethylene oxide panel). Additionally, the draft assessment and charge to the peer reviewers were made available on the IRIS website. Any questions about this activity should be directed to the SAB. [SAB FR Notice August 11, 2014]
August 11, 2014
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) office announced the dates for two meetings of the Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), augmented for the review of the draft IRIS assessment of ethylene oxide; a public teleconference (09/30/2014) and a face-to-face meeting (11/18 through 11/20/2014). A draft of the assessment will be posted on the IRIS web site on or about August 15th, when it is transmitted to the SAB for review. Once the draft is posted, please visit the SAB website for additional information. Any related questions should be directed to the SAB. [SAB FR Notice August 11, 2014]
July 25, 2014
EPA announced the September 2014 IRIS Public Science Meeting. In addition, EPA released scoping and problem formulation materials for new IRIS assessments of ethylbenzene and naphthalene for public comment and discussion. The scoping information was based on input from EPA's program and regional offices and was provided for informational purposes. The problem formulation materials are the first to be developed since the National Research Council released its Review of EPA's IRIS Process in May 2014. EPA followed these recommendations in developing the ethylbenzene and naphthalene problem formulations materials. Background information on the chemicals was also provided.
July 24, 2014
EPA hosted a Bimonthly IRIS public meeting on April 23, 2014, to provide an opportunity for the public to give input and participate in an open discussion regarding preliminary materials that were prepared for the IRIS chemicals (diethyl phthalate (DEP) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)) prior to the development of the draft assessments. The EPA presentations and material presented by the public are now availble from the IRIS meeting web site.
June 20, 2014
The Ecological Risk Assessment Support Center (ERASC) announces the release of the final report, Evaluating Potential Exposures to Ecological Receptors Due to Transport of Hydrophobic Organic Contaminants (HOCs) in Subsurface Systems. This technical paper recommends several types of screening assessments to evaluate site conditions for the potential to enhance transport of HOCs, as well as site artifacts that result from inadequate well installation and sampling procedures within a ground-water monitoring network. You can also download other ERASC Reports at http://www.epa.gov/ncea/erasc.
June 12, 2014
EPA is announcing a 2-day science workshop to obtain input on draft materials for the update to the Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxide (Health Criteria). The public is invited to attend this event which will be held on June 23-24, 2014 in Research Triangle Park, NC. [Federal Register Notice June 12, 2014]
June 02, 2014
Clu-in Logo EPA is announcing that Benchmark Dose Modeling (BMDS) training with an on-line demonstration/tutorial will be hosted via CLU-IN on June 3-5, 2014 by webinar. This 6-module training event covering many aspects of this modeling tool is intended for risk assessors, however the first session includes an "Introduction to BMDS." Participants attending the more advanced modules (2-6), will need to have the newest version of BMDS 2.5 installed (with necessary administrative rights). The latest version of the software program can be found at: http://epa.gov/ncea/bmds/. Additionally, in order to use the BMDS Wizard templates, Microsoft Excel must be installed on the participant's computers. For attendees of the Modeling Time webinar, the R statistical package (preferably version 3.1.0) must also be installed on your computers.
May 29, 2014
EPA is announcing a public workshop for October 15-16, 2014 to discuss some of the recommendations from the National Academies' National Research Council's May 2014 report on the IRIS assessment process. In their report, the NRC provided several recommendations which they said should be seen as building on the progress that EPA has already made. This workshop will allow EPA to get input from the public and scientific community in an open forum. The workshop will take place in the Washington, DC area, and will be available by webinar. More details, including the location, agenda, and registration links, will be available at a later date.
May 06, 2014
The National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) released their review of the IRIS assessment development process. The NRC report applauds EPA's efforts to improve IRIS and finds that the Program has moved forward steadily in planning for and implementing changes in each element of the assessment process. Their report notes that the IRIS Program has made substantial progress in a short time, and the committee offers recommendations which build on the progress that EPA has already made. [EPA Press Release May 6, 2014] [NAS Press Release May 6, 2014]
May 01, 2014
EPA's SAB CAAC posted the agenda for the upcoming public teleconference meeting to dicuss the review of the draft IRIS trimethylbenzene assessment, the meeting will take place on May 22, 2014. See the SAB site for specific details.
April 30, 2014
EPA announced the availability of key science issues specific to inorganic arsenic and hexavalent chromium for the upcoming June IRIS Public Science Meeting scheduled for June 25-27, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia. Registration is now open.
April 25, 2014
EPA announced the availability of preliminary materials (literature search and search strategy, evidence tables, and exposure-response figures) for inorganic arsenic for public review and comment. These materials, and key science issues related to the assessment, will be discussed at the upcoming June IRIS public science meeting scheduled for June 25-27, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia.
April 17, 2014
EPA announced the availability of preliminary materials (literature search and search strategy, evidence tables, and exposure-response figures) for hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) for public review and comment. These materials, and key science issues related to the assessment, will be discussed at the upcoming June IRIS public science meeting scheduled for June 25-27, 2014 in Arlington, Virginia.
April 16, 2014
EPA announces the availability of the final agenda for the April IRIS Bimonthly Public Meeting. The meeting will be held on April 23, 2014 (the second day, April 24, is no longer needed).
April 09, 2014
The EPA SAB staff office previously announced in the Federal Register (March 25, 2014) an incorrect date for the teleconference of the SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee Augmented for the Review of the Draft Ammonia Assessment (CAAC-Ammonia Panel), the correct date is June 2, 2014 from 1 - 5pm. [SAB Federal Register Notice April 9, 2014]
April 04, 2014
A draft agenda is now available for the April IRIS Bimonthly Public Meeting. The meeting will be held on April 23, 2014 (the second day, April 24, is no longer needed).

An updated preliminary Agenda is now available for the Formaldehyde Workshop, which will be held on April 30 and May 1, 2014, in the Washington D.C. metro area. A final agenda, additional workshop details, and a specific location will be announced in the near future.
March 27, 2014
EPA is announcing a redesigned and updated Report on the Environment (ROE 2014) website created as a new fully integrated online experience. The ROE is a comprehensive source of scientific indicators that describe the trends in the nation's environmental and human health condition. The deadline for comments is April 27, 2014. [Federal Register Notice March 27, 2014].
March 26, 2014
EPA is confirming the dates for the Formaldehyde Workshop to be held April 30 - May 1, 2014. The workshop is part of EPA's efforts in revising its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) toxicological assessment of formaldehyde. This assessment addresses both noncancer and cancer human health effects that may result from chronic inhalation exposure to formaldehyde. To facilitate discussion of several scientific issues pertinent to the assessment, EPA will convene a public state-of-the-science workshop and webinar to discuss these issues.

March 25, 2014
EPA's SAB staff office has announced two meetings of the SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), augmented for the review of the draft IRIS assessment of ammonia; a public teleconference on June 2, 2014 and face-to-face meeting July 14-16, 2014. See the SAB website for additional information regarding these meetings. [Federal Register Notice March 25, 2014]
March 25, 2014
EPA's SAB staff office has announced two meetings of the SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC), augmented for the review of the draft IRIS assessment of trimethylbenzenes; a public teleconference on May 22, 2014 and face-to-face meeting June 17-19, 2014. See the SAB website for additional information regarding these meetings. [Federal Register Notice March 25, 2014]
March 21, 2014
EPA is announcing the availability of two new documents related to comments received from the public on the review of the Bristol Bay Assessment (BBA). The first document, EPA's Response to Public Comments document (Apr 2013 BBA Draft), presents EPA's response to the public comments from the April 2013 draft, the second document contains the comments received from the May 2012 revised draft of the assessment.
March 13, 2014
EPA announced the availablity of a "General Comments" docket for the IRIS Program. This docket will be used to accept public comments that have broad applicability to the IRIS Program, which may include comments on general scientific issues that apply to all assessments and/or other non-chemical-specific comments about the IRIS Program. This docket does not replace the IRIS Hotline, but rather provides another avenue to submit feedback to the IRIS Program. This docket will remain open indefinitely (or until otherwise annouced that it will be closing) and is accessible from the IRIS home page.
March 06, 2014
EPA announced the availability of preliminary materials (literature search and search strategy, evidence tables, and exposure-response figures) for development of the draft Toxicological Review of Diethyl Phthalate (DEP) and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) for public review and comment. This announcement comes with a special message from the IRIS Program. These materials will be discussed at the IRIS bimonthly public meeting scheduled for April 23-24th in Arlington, Virginia, and the public is invited to register to attend or to speak on the key issues outlined under each chemical.
February 26, 2014
At this upcoming meeting, the IRIS Program will explore a new format intended to promote public discussion of key issues for several assessments under development. The Program is being responsive to public comments heard at the December 2013 bimonthly public meeting and reflects continuing evolution in response to public comments and peer review advice.
February 20, 2014
EPA is planning to host a workshop from April 29-30, 2014, to discuss several scientific issues related to its draft Integrated Risk Information System assessment of formaldehyde (inhalation exposure). The workshop will focus on three areas: (1) Epidemiological research examining the potential association between formaldehyde exposure and lymphohematopoietic cancers (leukemia and lymphomas); (2) Mechanistic evidence relevant to formaldehyde inhalation exposure and these types of cancers; and (3) Evidence pertaining to the influence of formaldehyde that is produced endogenously (by the body during normal biological processes) on the toxicity of inhaled formaldehyde, and implications for the health assessment. We will confirm the workshop dates in the very near future.
February 13, 2014
EPA is announcing a workshop to discuss policy-relevant science to Inform EPA's "Review of the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulfur" report. The workshop is being organized by EPA's Office of Research and Development's, National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) in conjunction with the Office of Air and Radiation's, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS). The workshop will be held March 4-6, 2014, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and it will be open to attendance by interested public observers on a first-come, first-served basis up to the limits of available space.
February 12, 2014
To provide the public with additional time to prepare, EPA is rescheduling the February 18-20, 2014, meeting of the Science Advisory Board (SAB) Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC). The purpose of this public meeting is for the SAB CAAC to peer review the draft IRIS assessments of ammonia and trimethylbenzenes (1,2,3-, 1,2,4- and 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene) to provide advice to the Agency through the chartered SAB. Rescheduling the meeting is responsive to stakeholder requests, will provide the public with additional time to prepare for the meeting, and is consistent with the IRIS Program's practice of providing approximately two months advance notice of its public meetings and the SAB's commitment to provide at least 45 days advanced notice of meetings. The EPA SAB staff office will reschedule the peer reviews of these draft assessments. Additional information will be provided in the near future.
January 30, 2014
EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces three public meetings. The SAB Chemical Assessment Advisory Committee (CAAC) and additional experts will meet in a plenary session to learn about new enhancements to the EPA's process for IRIS health assessments for chemicals. [Federal Register Notice Jan 31, 2014]
January 29, 2014
EPA announced a request for nominations for experts to augment the SAB CAAC committee to forma panel for the review of the EPA's draft IRIS Assessment of Benzo[a]pyrene. [Federal Register Notice Jan 28, 2014].
January 15, 2014
Cover of the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment Final Report EPA is announcing the release of the final report, An Assessment of Potential Mining Impacts on Salmon Ecosystems of Bristol Bay, Alaska. This report assesses potential impacts of large-scale mining development on fish habitat and populations and resulting effects on wildlife and indigenous cultures within the Nushagak and Kvichak River watersheds of Bristol Bay, Alaska. Its purpose is to provide a characterization of the biological and mineral resources of the Bristol Bay watershed, increase understanding of the potential impacts of large-scale mining on the region's fish resources, and inform future government decisions related to protecting and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the watershed. It will also serve as a technical resource for the public, tribes, and governments who must consider how best to address the challenges of mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed. [Federal Register Notice Jan 21, 2014]
January 07, 2014
EPA hosted a Bimonthly IRIS public meeting on December 12-13, 2013 to provide an opportunity for the public to give input and participate in an open discussion regarding preliminary materials that were prepared for IRIS chemicals prior to the development of the draft assessment. This included the following chemicals: ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE), tert-butyl alcohol (tert-butanol), and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). This meeting was also an opportunity for the public to provide input and discussion on draft assessments and draft charges to the peer review panel prior to external peer review for the following chemicals: ethylene oxide (EtO) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). A few weeks after the meeting, EPA posted the presentations that were given during the meeting and general session.

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