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Air Quality: EPA's Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs)

Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (Second External Review Draft)

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Report Information

EPA has announced that the Second External Review Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Particulate Matter (PM) have been made available for independent peer review and public review. The ISA reflects the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in ambient air (42 U.S.C. 7408). This draft ISA document represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA's decision regarding whether the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for PM sufficiently protects public health and the environment.

Background

EPA released this draft document to seek review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public (meeting date and location 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 document.

PM 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 ISA (formerly called an Air Quality Criteria Document). The ISA and supplementary annexes, 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 Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), an independent science advisory committee whose existence and 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.

History/Chronology

1969EPA published the first Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Air Quality Criteria for Sulfur Oxides.
1970EPA published an update to the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Air Quality Criteria for Sulfur Oxides.
1977The Air Quality Criteria Document (including 3 volumes) were updated in response to specific requirements of Section 108 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1977.
Dec 1982EPA published an update to the Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides.
Dec 1986EPA published the Second Addendum to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
Aug 1994EPA published the Supplement to the Second Addendum (1986) to Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter and Sulfur Oxides (1982): Assessment of New Findings on Sulfur Dioxide and Acute Exposure Health Effects in Asthmatic Individuals.
Apr 1996EPA released an updated Air Quality Criteria Document for Particulate Matter (Final Report).
1997 - 2004EPA released multiple external review drafts for comment and review.
Oct 2004EPA released an updated Air Quality Criteria Document for Particulate Matter (Final Report).
Jun 2007EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for PM, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specific topics. [ Federal Register Jun 28, 2007]
Oct 2007EPA released an external review draft of EPA's Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Particulate Matter (EPA/452/P-08/006) for public comment and was discussed by the CASAC via a publicly accessible teleconference consultation on November 30, 2007 (72 FR 63177).
Mar 2008EPA released the final plan, Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Particulate Matter(EPA/452/R-08/004).
Jun 2008EPA held a workshop to discuss, with invited scientific experts, initial draft materials prepared in the development of the PM ISA and its supplementary annexes. [Federal Register May 27, 2008]
Dec 2008EPA released the first external review draft of the ISA for PM assessment for public review and comment.[Federal Register Dec 19, 2008]
Feb 2009EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) announced a public meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory (CASAC) PM Review Panel to discuss the PM ISA (First External Review Draft). [Federal Register Feb 19, 2009]
Jul 2009EPA released the second external review draft for public review and comment.[Federal Register Jul 31, 2009]
Sep 2009EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) announced a public meeting of the Clean Air Scientific Advisory (CASAC) PM Review Panel to discuss the PM ISA (Second External Review Draft). [Federal Register Sep 10, 2009]

Next Steps

The second external review draft ISA for PM 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.

Additional Information

On August 13, 2009 an updated version of the Second External Review Draft ISA was posted that includes linkage of references in all chapters and annexes. The updated version of the draft ISA also includes corrections to formatting issues in the text and some figures so that text on some pages has been shifted; however, no substantive changes have been made. In addition, the draft Annexes were also posted on August 13, 2009.

Submitting Comments: Comments on the draft ISA for PM (Second External Review Draft) or it's annexes may be submitted and reviewed using the e-Government Regulations.gov Web site. From the site, select Environmental Protection Agency and the keyword EPA-HQ-ORD-2007-0517 (for the docket ID) to comment on this report and supporting documents.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (Second External Review Draft). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-08/139B, 2009.

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