Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur and Particulate Matter Ecological Criteria (Second External Review Draft, Jun 2018)

Notice

EPA has released the Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter – Ecological Criteria (Second External Review Draft). The deadline for comments is September 4, 2018.


Abstract

This draft Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) represents a concise synthesis and evaluation of the most policy-relevant science and will ultimately provide the scientific bases for EPA’s decision on retaining or revising the current secondary standards for NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10 since the prior release of the final assessment. The draft ISA was prepared as part of the review of the secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter. The ISA, in conjunction with additional technical and policy assessments, provides the scientific basis for EPA’s decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards.

Oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulfur, and particulate matter are three 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, provides the scientific basis for EPA’s decisions on the adequacy of the current NAAQS and the appropriateness of possible alternative standards. The intent of the ISA, as described in the Clean Air Act, is to 'accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in ambient air.' It includes scientific research from atmospheric sciences, exposure and deposition, biogeochemistry, hydrology, soil science, marine science, plant physiology, animal physiology, and ecology conducted at multiple scales (e.g., population, community, ecosystem, landscape levels).

Key information and judgments formerly found in the AQCDs for oxides of sulfur, oxides of nitrogen and particulate matter for ecological effects are included; appendices provide additional details supporting the ISA. Together, the ISA and appendices serve to update and revise the last oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur ISA which was published in 2008 and the ecological portion of the last particulate matter ISA, which was published in 2009.

Additionally, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) is an independent science advisory committee whose review and advisory functions are mandated by Section 109(d)(2) of the Clean Air Act, and charged (among other things) with performing an independent scientific review of all the EPA’s air quality criteria.

Status

The draft document will be discussed at a public meeting for review by CASAC and the public. In addition to the public comment period announced in this notice, the public will have an opportunity to address the CASAC. A separate Federal Register notice will inform the public of the exact date and time of the CASAC meeting and of the procedures for public participation.

Citation

U.S. EPA. Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur and Particulate Matter Ecological Criteria (Second External Review Draft, Jun 2018). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-18/097, 2018.

History/Chronology

Jun 2018EPA released the second external review draft for public review and comment. The draft document was then discussed at a CASAC meeting September 5-6. 2018.
Mar 2017EPA released the first external review draft for public review and comment. The draft document was then discussed at a CASAC meeting May 24-25. 2017.
Jan 2017EPA released the final Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur and Particulate Matter.
Aug 2015EPA hosted a multiple teleconference workshops with invited scientific experts, both internal and external to EPA, on August 25, 26 and 27, 2015 (80 FR 48316, August 12, 2015) and June 13, 2016 (81 FR 89262, May 11, 2016) to discuss initial draft materials prepared in the development of the draft ISA.
Feb 2015EPA conducted a workshop on February 11, 2015 (79 FR 71764, December 3, 2014) for particulate matter 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 secondary NAAQS. These science and policy issues were incorporated into EPA’s draft of the Integrated Review Plan for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter.
Dec 2014On December 3, 2014 (79 FR 71764), EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for the particulate matter NAAQS.
Mar 2014EPA conducted a workshop on March 4 to 6, 2014 for oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur (79 FR 8644, February 13, 2014) 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 these secondary NAAQS. These science and policy issues were incorporated into EPA’s ‘‘Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur (draft IRP)’’.
Aug 2013EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for the ecological effects of oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur and the associated secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified topics.

Additional Information

To request an electronic copy of this report, please contact Ms. Marieka Boyd by phone: 919-541-0031; fax: 919-541-5078; or email: boyd.marieka@epa.gov to request a CD-ROM, and provide your name, mailing address, and include the document title, "Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter – Ecological Criteria (2nd External Review Draft)" in your request to facilitate processing.