Conference on Air Quality Modeling
We announce the Eighth Conference on Air Quality Modeling. Such a conference is required by section three hundred twenty of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to be held every three years. The purposes of the Eighth Conference are to provide an overview of the latest features of the new air quality models and to provide a forum for public review and comment on potential revisions to the way the Agency determines and applies the appropriate air quality models in the future.
Approaches for the Application of Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Models and Supporting Data in Risk Assessment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is extending the public comment period on the external review draft document titled, ``Approaches for the Application of Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (PBPK) Models and Supporting Data in Risk Assessment'' (EPA/600/R-05/043A), by 45 days. On July 28, 2005, EPA published a Federal Register notice (70 FR 43692) announcing: (1) The public availability of the draft document; (2) the beginning of a 30-day public comment period; and (3) an anticipated external peer-review workshop. EPA is extending the public comment period to October 14, 2005, in response to requests for extension of the comment period. EPA intends to make comments received by the end of the extended public comment period (October 14, 2005) available to Versar, Inc., an EPA contractor for external scientific peer review, for the external peer review panelists prior to the anticipated workshop. The U.S. EPA will consider all comments received by October 14, 2005, in preparing a final report. EPA still expects Versar, Inc., to convene a panel of experts and organize and conduct an external peer-review workshop. This workshop will be announced in a separate Federal Register notice, once EPA is notified by Versar, Inc., of the date and location for the workshop. The public comment period and the external peer-review workshop are separate processes that will provide opportunities for all interested parties to comment on the document. In preparing a final report, EPA will consider any public comments that EPA receives in accordance with this notice.
Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Attainment Demonstration of the Mountain, Unifour, Triad and Fayetteville Early Action Compact Areas
The EPA is approving revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on December 21, 2004, for the four Early Action Compact (EAC) areas in North Carolina: the Mountain, Unifour, Triad and Fayetteville areas (the North Carolina EAC Areas). The SIP revisions meet the requirements for the North Carolina EAC Areas to attain and maintain the 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (the 8-hour ozone standard) as described in the EAC Protocol and related regulations. EPA is also now approving the photochemical modeling used by North Carolina to support the attainment and maintenance demonstration of the 8-hour ozone standard in the North Carolina EAC Areas. In this action, EPA is not finalizing its proposed rulemaking to defer the effective date of the nonattainment designations for EAC areas. In a separate action, published on June 8, 2005, EPA proposed to defer the effective date of the nonattainment deferred designation for EAC areas until December 31, 2006 (69 FR 23858). EPA final action on the deferral is expected to be published before September 30, 2005.
Office of Environmental Information; Announcement of Availability and Comment Period for Institutional Controls Draft Data Standard
Notice of availability for a 45 day review and comment period is hereby given for the Draft Institutional Controls Data Standard. The Draft Institutional Control (IC) Data Standard provides a structure for defining the elements required for describing IC information. It provides information about the implementation, monitoring, enforcement, and termination of instruments (via the IC Event) as well as the objectives they meet, associated locations, affiliates and their roles/responsibilities relevant to the IC, cleanup actions (via the IC Event), technologies, and the documentation related to each of the aforementioned subsets of data. States and U.S. EPA completed a technical review of this standard in the Fall of 2004.
Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Louisiana; Attainment Demonstration for the Shreveport-Bossier City Early Action Compact Area
The EPA is approving revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) on December 28, 2004. The revisions will incorporate the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) Early Action Compact (EAC) Air Quality Improvement Plan (AQIP) into the Louisiana SIP. EPA is approving the photochemical modeling in support of the attainment and maintenance demonstration for the 8-hour ozone standard within the Shreveport-Bossier City EAC area and is approving the associated control measures. These actions strengthen the SIP in accordance with the requirements of sections 110 and 116 of the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act) and will result in emission reductions needed to ensure continued attainment and maintenance of the 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone.
Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Attainment Demonstration of the San Antonio Early Action Compact Area
The EPA is approving revisions to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on December 6, 2004. The revisions demonstrate attainment of the 8-hour ozone standard and incorporate the San Antonio Early Action Compact (EAC) Clean Air Plan into the Texas SIP. EPA is approving the photochemical modeling in support of the attainment demonstration of the 8-hour ozone standard within the San Antonio EAC area and is approving the associated control measures. These actions strengthen the SIP in accordance with the requirements of sections 110 and 116 of the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act), and will result in emission reductions needed to achieve attainment of and maintain the 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone.
Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation (UCMR) for Public Water Systems Revisions
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), as amended in 1996, requires the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish criteria for a program to monitor unregulated contaminants and to publish a list of contaminants to be monitored every five years. EPA published such a list for the first Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation cycle (i.e., UCMR 1) and a revised approach for UCMR implementation in the Federal Register dated September 17, 1999. UCMR 1 established a three-tiered approach for monitoring contaminants based on the availability of analytical methods and laboratory capacity considerations. Today's proposed regulation meets the SDWA requirement to publish a listing of unregulated contaminants every five years. Today's action proposes the design for the second UCMR cycle. EPA is proposing to require monitoring of 26 chemicals using nine different analytical methods. UCMR 2 monitoring is proposed to occur during 2007- 2011.This proposed action builds on the established structure of UCMR 1 and proposes some changes to the rule design. The primary changes to UCMR 1 include: Redesign of the Screening Survey for List 2 contaminants to increase the statistical strength of the sampling results by incorporating additional PWSs; updates to the lists of contaminants to be monitored and the analytical methods approved to conduct that monitoring; revisions to the ``data elements'' required to be reported; and some revisions to the implementation of the monitoring program to reflect ``lessons learned'' during UCMR 1. A systematic procedure for the determination of a Minimum Reporting Level (MRL) is also being proposed. Implementation of today's proposed action would benefit the environment by providing EPA and other interested parties with scientifically valid data on the occurrence of these contaminants in drinking water, permitting the assessment of the population potentially being exposed and the levels of that exposure. These data are the primary source of occurrence and exposure data for the Agency to determine whether to regulate these contaminants.
Public Health and Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, NV
We, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are proposing to revise certain of our public health and safety standards for radioactive material stored or disposed of in the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Section 801(a) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EnPA, Pub. L. 102-486) directed us to develop these standards. These standards (the 2001 standards) were originally promulgated on June 13, 2001 (66 FR 32074). Section 801 of the EnPA also required us to contract with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study to provide findings and recommendations on reasonable standards for protection of the public health and safety. The health and safety standards promulgated by EPA are to be ``based upon and consistent with'' the findings and recommendations of NAS. On August 1, 1995, NAS released its report (the NAS Report), titled ``Technical Bases for Yucca Mountain Standards.'' In promulgating our standards, we considered the NAS Report as the EnPA directs. On July 9, 2004, in response to a legal challenge by the State of Nevada and the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated portions of our standards that addressed the period of time for which compliance must be demonstrated. The Court ruled that the time frame for regulatory compliance was not ``based upon and consistent with'' the findings and recommendations of the NAS and remanded those portions of the standards to us for revision. These remanded provisions are the subject of today's action. Today's proposal incorporates multiple compliance criteria applicable at different times for protection of individuals and in circumstances involving human intrusion into the repository. Compliance will be judged against a standard of 150 microsievert per year (15 millirem per year) committed effective dose equivalent at times up to 10,000 years after disposal and against a standard of 3.5 millisievert per year (350 millirem per year) committed effective dose equivalent at times after 10,000 years and up to 1 million years after disposal. Today's proposal also includes several supporting provisions affecting DOE's performance projections. DOE will measure the median of the distribution of doses against the dose standard beyond 10,000 years, will calculate doses using updated scientific factors, and will incorporate specific direction on analyzing features, events, and processes that may affect performance. Section 801(b) of the EnPA requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to modify its technical requirements for licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository to be consistent with the standards promulgated by EPA. NRC did incorporate EPA's Yucca Mountain standards into its licensing regulations and the regulatory time frame provision of these was similarly struck down by the Court of Appeals. Once revised regulatory time frame components of our standards have been promulgated, NRC must revise its licensing regulations to be consistent with our revised standards. The Department of Energy (DOE) plans to submit a license application providing a compliance demonstration. The NRC will determine whether DOE has demonstrated compliance with NRC's licensing regulations, which must be consistent with our standards, prior to granting or denying the necessary licenses to dispose of radioactive material in Yucca Mountain.