Workshop Scope and Objectives

This workshop is designed to inform the planning for EPA’s next review of the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards  (NAAQS) for NOx and SOx, which EPA intends to complete in 2017. This workshop will provide EPA the opportunity to consider key science and policy issues around which the review of the NOx and SOx NAAQS will be structured. Workshop participants will be asked to highlight significant new and emerging research and make recommendations to the Agency regarding the design and scope of this review. 

The goal of the workshop is to ensure that this review of the NOx and SOx Secondary NAAQS focuses on the key policy-relevant issues and considers the most meaningful science to inform the understanding of these issues.

Workshop participants will be encouraged to think broadly about the body of new scientific evidence and how it can be best used to build upon the scientific evidence that supported the last review of the NOx and SOx Secondary NAAQS. They will be invited to participate in an open dialogue regarding ways in which this new evidence could most effectively be used in the assessments that will serve as the scientific and technical foundations for the Agency’s decisions. Specifically, workshop discussions will provide important input as EPA considers the appropriate design and scope of the Integrated Review Plan, which will highlight key policy-relevant issues; the Integrated Science Assessment (ISA), which will summarize and assess the policy-relevant scientific evidence; and a potential Risk and Exposure Assessment (REA), which will characterize exposures and health risks. These documents, in turn, will inform the Policy Assessment (PA), which will discuss the range of available policy options and will present staff conclusions regarding the policy options that could be supported by the available scientific evidence and exposure/risk information.

Panelists participating in the workshop will represent a wide range of external experts as well as EPA staff with various areas of expertise (e.g., biogeochemistry, animal toxicology, statistics, critical loads, atmospheric science, policy analysis). The workshop discussions are planned to build upon three prior publications: 

v  Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxides: Final Rule 
v  Integrated Science Assessment for Nitrogen and Sulfur Oxides – Ecological Criteria 
v  Risk and Exposure Assessment to Support the Review of the NOx and SOx Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards 

Workshop participants are encouraged to review these documents thoroughly before the meeting, as they provide important insights into the key scientific and policy issues in the last review.

Based in large part on input received during this workshop, EPA will develop a draft Integrated Review Plan for the NOx and SOx Secondary NAAQS. This draft Plan will outline the schedule, process, and approaches for assessing the relevant scientific information and for addressing the key policy-relevant issues. The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) will be asked to conduct a consultation with the Agency on the draft Integrated Review Plan, and the public will also have the opportunity to comment on that plan. The final Integrated Review Plan will be used as a framework to guide the development of the ISA, REA, and PA. CASAC review and public comments will be solicited during the development of these critical documents. EPA anticipates that a proposed rulemaking will be issued in early 2017, with a final rulemaking in late 2017.