- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The EPA revised its air quality monitoring requirements for lead in 2008, at the same time the agency tightened the national air quality standards for lead for the first time in 30 years. The current rule requires air quality monitoring in areas where any industry emits at least one ton of lead to the air each year, and in the 101 urban areas with populations of 500,000 or more.
The EPA said it will consider whether additional monitoring near industrial sources of lead is warranted. The agency also will reconsider the monitoring requirements for urban areas as part of its review. The EPA is not reconsidering the lead standards.
"We have a fundamental responsibility to protect every child from environmental threats, especially contaminants like lead that can cause behavioral and learning disabilities and create a lifetime of challenges," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "We're putting in place rigorous standards to prevent contamination. To make them fully effective, we need close interaction and monitoring in the communities where harmful levels of airborne lead are most likely to be found."
The reconsideration will not delay implementation of the 2008 lead standards, the agency noted. The EPA will issue a proposal and take public comment before deciding whether to revise the lead monitoring requirements. The agency anticipates issuing a proposal for public review and comment later this summer, and a final rule in early spring 2010.