Workshop on Assessment of Health Science for the Review of the Naaqs for Nitrogen (NOx) and Sulfur Oxides (SOx)

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EPA has announced that a workshop on Assessment of Health Science for the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Nitrogen (NOX) and Sulfur Oxides (SOX) is being organized by EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), in conjunction with the Office of Air Quality Planning Standards (OAQPS), and will be held on February 26-28, 2007. This was announced in a February 9, 2007 Federal Register Notice.

The U.S. Clean Air Act requires EPA to carry out periodic reviews of the NAAQS for major criteria air pollutants and to retain or revise the NAAQS for a given pollutant, as appropriate. EPA recently instituted a number of changes to the NAAQS review process to help improve the EPA the efficiency of the process while ensuring that EPA's decisions on the NAAQS are informed by the best science available. As part of the NAAQS reviews NCEA, within EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD), will assess newly available scientific information in Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) documents (formerly known as Criteria Documents). The ISA will be supported by a more detailed and comprehensive Science Assessment Support Document (SASD). The assessments in these documents will provide the scientific basis for the reviews of the NAAQS. EPA's OAQPS will prepare risk and exposure assessment analyses, as appropriate, drawing upon the scientific evidence summarized in the ISA. Subsequently, the EPA will prepare a policy assessment that discusses, in part, the findings of the science and risk/exposure assessments related to the adequacy of the standards and describes a range of options for revising or retaining the NAAQS.

NCEA is holding this workshop to inform the Agency's assessment process of the existing scientific evidence for the review of the NAAQS for the criteria pollutants NOx and SOx. The workshop will address various issues involved in the preparation of the draft material for the ISA and SASD and issues involved in the integration of health evidence from both animal and human toxicology and epidemiology studies, along with key information from atmospheric science and exposure studies. This workshop is planned to help ensure that the SASD provides an up-to-date, state of the art scientific basis for the review of the NAAQS for these criteria pollutants. Workshop discussions will be focused on identifying and integrating policy relevant health findings in the ISA and for future risk and exposure analyses.


A second workshop planned for Spring-Summer 2007, will be to discuss environmental effects related to the review of the NAAQS for NOx and SOx and the preparation of the draft ISA.