EPA recently has published a plethora of proposed rules and notices governing or closely related to development of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). These include (in order by comment deadline):
Consideration of costs and benefits. On June 13 (83 FR 27524), EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) soliciting comment on whether and how EPA should promulgate regulations that provide a consistent and transparent method for weighing costs and benefits in making regulatory decisions in a manner consistent with applicable authorizing statutes. With respect to NAAQS, a major issue will be whether and to what extent EPA can consider costs consistently with Supreme Court decisions holding that economic impacts generally may be considered in NAAQS implementation but not in NAAQS development. Comments are due by July 13.
Retention of SO2 NAAQS. On June 8 (83 FR 26752), EPA proposed to retain the existing standards for sulfur oxides. The proposal is based on findings that the existing standards provide adequate public health and welfare protection. A public hearing will be held July 10 and comments are due by August 9.
Scientific transparency. As we reported last month, EPA has proposed new rules for scientific transparency in rulemaking proceedings. The final rules are likely to be applied in EPA’s upcoming proceedings to review the NAAQS for ozone and particulate matter (PM). Comments on the transparency proposal are due by August 16.
Ozone information call. On June 26 (83 FR 29785), EPA published a notice announcing development of a new Integrated Science Assessment (ISA) for ozone and inviting interested parties to submit information on new ozone research or policy-relevant issues for consideration in the agency’s review of the current standards. When finalized, the ISA will contain the scientific information on which EPA will base its decision whether to revise the current standards. Responses to the information call are due by August 27.
Eco ISA for NOx, SOx and PM. On June 26 (83 FR 29786) EPA announced the availability of the Second External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen, Oxides of Sulfur, and Particulate Matter—Ecological Criteria. This is a ground-breaking ISA that reviews new evidence of ecological effects from emissions of these three pollutants. Such effects previously have been considered separately in the ISAs for each of the pollutants. This second draft builds on an initial draft that the agency released for public comment last year. This draft will be reviewed by EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) as well as the public. Public comments are due by September 4.
NAAQS implementation strategies. On June 26 (83 FR 29784), EPA published a notice soliciting information to facilitate CASAC consideration of any adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects which may result from various strategies for NAAQS attainment and maintenance. Comments are due by October 24.