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The EPA on Thursday announced the availability of a document titled, First External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Carbon Monoxide (EPA/600/R-09/019). This draft document was prepared by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) within the EPA's Office of Research and Development as part of the review of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for carbon monoxide (CO).
On Sept. 13, 2007 (72 FR 52369), the EPA formally initiated its current review of the air quality criteria for CO, requesting the submission of recent scientific information on specified topics. A workshop was held on January 28-29, 2008 (73 FR 2490) to discuss policy-relevant science to inform EPA's planning for the CO NAAQS review. Following the workshop, a draft of the EPA's Plan for Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Carbon Monoxide (EPA- 452/D-08-001) was made available in March 2008 for public comment and was discussed by the CASAC via a publicly accessible teleconference consultation on April 8, 2008 (73 FR 12998). The EPA finalized the plan and made it available in August 2008 (EPA/452/R-08/005; http://www.epa.gov/ ttn/naaqs/standards/co/s_co_cr_pd.html). In November 2008, the EPA held an authors' teleconference to discuss, with invited scientific experts, preliminary draft materials prepared during the ongoing development of the CO ISA and its supplementary annexes.
The agency is releasing the draft document to seek review by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and the public. According to an intra-agency note, the draft document "does not represent and should not be construed to represent any final EPA policy, viewpoint, or determination."
The EPA said it will consider any timely public comments submitted in response to this notice when revising the document. Comments must be received on or before May 8, 2009.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is one of six ``criteria'' pollutants for which EPA has established NAAQS. Periodically, EPA reviews the scientific basis for these standards by preparing an Integrated Science Assessment (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 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.