Looks Like The Existing Lead NAAQS Is Good – For Now
Posted: January 30th, 2013Author: All4 Staff
On January 11, 2013, U.S. EPA released a draft policy paper regarding the agency’s current outlook on the lead national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS). The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires that EPA review each of the NAAQS every five years to confirm that the standards remain sufficient to protect public health in light of newly available data and research. In 2008, after three decades of scientific review, the primary lead NAAQS was lowered one order of magnitude from 1.5 µg/m3 to 0.15 µg/m3, and the averaging time was revised to a rolling three-month period.
In the draft document, U.S. EPA was unable to identify an alternate standard for consideration and recommended retaining the current primary and secondary NAAQS for lead, both levels are 0.15 µg/m3 on a rolling three-month average. At this time, U.S. EPA is unable to scientifically prove that there would be any reductions to public health risk with a lower lead NAAQS. The draft document does identify areas for future research such as the health effects of lead exposure and the relationship between ambient air lead and outdoor dust/surface soil lead concentrations.
What happens next? U.S. EPA will accept comments on the draft policy paper through February 4, 2013. U.S. EPA is scheduled to issue a final rulemaking on whether to retain (or revise) the lead NAAQS in December 2013. Whatever happens, ALL4 will be here to keep you up to date. A link to the January 11, 2013 Federal Register publication can be found here.