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Acting Administrator Wheeler Announces Science Advisors for Key Clean Air Act Committee

Tasks Chartered Panel to Lead Review of Ozone & Particulate Matter Standards Under Reformed Process

10/10/2018
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WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the appointment of five new members of the chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). This seven-member panel, required under Section 109 of the Clean Air Act, provides critical advice related to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), including about how to set standards that protect public health with an adequate margin of safety, the role of background pollution, research needs, and potential adverse effects from strategies to meet these standards. Consistent with the Clean Air Act and CASAC’s charter, Acting Administrator Wheeler also tasked this panel with leading the review of science for any necessary changes to the NAAQS for ozone or particulate matter. As outlined in the May 2018 “Back-to-Basics Process for Reviewing NAAQS” memorandum these changes would be finalized by late 2020.

“These experts will provide critical scientific advice to EPA as it evaluates where to set national standards for key pollutants like ozone and particulate matter,” said Acting Administrator Wheeler. “They are highly qualified and have a diverse set of backgrounds in fields like toxicology, engineering, medicine, ecology, and atmospheric science. These individuals, including five panelists who work in state, local, or federal environmental agencies, will work hard over the next two years to advise EPA in a manner consistent with the Clean Air Act and the protection of public health.”

The seven-member chartered CASAC

  • Dr. Anthony (Tony) Cox, Cox Associates (Chair)

  • Dr. James Boylan, Georgia Department of Natural Resources

  • Dr. Mark Frampton, University of Rochester Medical Center

  • Dr. Sabine Lange, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

  • Dr. Timothy Lewis, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Dr. Corey Masuca, Jefferson County (AL) Department of Health

  • Dr. Steven Packham, Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Under the Clean Air Act, CASAC is to provide advice on air quality criteria, recommending any new NAAQS or revisions of existing criteria or standards as may be appropriate as well as advising the Administrator of: areas in which additional knowledge is required to appraise the adequacy and basis of existing, new, or revised NAAQS; research efforts necessary to provide the required information; the relative contribution to air pollution concentrations of natural as well as anthropogenic activity; and any adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects which may result from various strategies for attainment and maintenance of such NAAQS.

Following the April 2018 Presidential Memorandum on Job Creation and Domestic Manufacturing, EPA issued a memorandum laying out the following principles to reform the process for setting NAAQS: 

  • Meet statutory deadlines;

  • Address all Clean Air Act provisions for NAAQS reviews;

  • Streamline and standardize the process for development and review of key policy-relevant information;

  • Differentiate science and policy considerations in the NAAQS review process; and

  • Issue timely implementation rules or guidance following the revision of a NAAQS.

CASAC operates pursuant to the Clean Air Act, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and its charter, which is renewed every two years. Consistent with these authorities, the seven-member chartered CASAC will serve as the body to review key science assessments for the ongoing reviews of the ozone and particulate matter NAAQS (last revised in 2015 and 2012, respectively). In the next two weeks, EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) intends to make public the draft Integrated Science Assessment for particulate matter for review and comment by CASAC and the public ahead of an in-person meeting in December. ORD also intends to hold a webinar regarding the Integrated Science Assessment for ozone in late October. EPA will also be releasing a draft Integrated Review Plan to outline the expected ozone NAAQS review process. These steps will kick off the scientific review process which will result in EPA finalizing any necessary changes to the ozone or particulate matter NAAQS by the end of 2020.

For more information, visit EPA’s NAAQS review and CASAC websites.