September 16, 2022

Final Policy Assessment for Particulate Matter NAAQS

In May 2022, EPA released its Policy Assessment for the Reconsideration of the NAAQS for Particulate Matter (PM). [87 FR 31965] Similar to the draft policy assessment on ozone released in April 2022 (see previous article), this final policy assessment “bridges the gap” between previous assessments and more recent scientific and quantitative technical information. Specifically, the agency is reviewing previous recommendations based on 2019 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (2019 ISA) and 2020 Policy Assessment (2020 PA) in light of the more recent information in the 2022 ISA Supplement. In essence, the policy implications of the 2019 ISA have been reassessed, and EPA policymakers will use this information to decide whether to retain the existing PM NAAQS. It is notable that the 2020 PA suggested reducing the primary annual PM2.5 standard based on evidence indicating the standard was inadequate to protect public health. However, EPA’s December 2020 decision resulted in no changes to the PM2.5 and PM10 standards.

The 2022 final policy assessment sits at 685 pages, much of which is an analysis of the relevant scientific data. Five chapters provide this information:

 


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This document addresses issues of a general nature related to the federal RCRA regulations. Persons evaluating specific circumstances dealing with the RCRA regulations should review state and local laws and regulations, which may be more stringent than federal requirements. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any site-specific circumstances.