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E-M:/ Proposals for addition of Persistent bioaccumulative compounds



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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[Federal Register: November 23, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 225)]
[Notices]
[Page 70840-70841]
 From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23no05-82]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[FRL-7999-1]
 
Proposal of addition of certain substances to the 1998 Aarhus 
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Protocol under the Long-Range 
Transboundary Air Pollution Convention of the United Nations Economic 
Commission for Europe (UNECE): Notice of Data Availability

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice of data availability (NODA).

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of data and information 
concerning dossiers (or proposals) for the addition of 
hexachlorobutadiene, octabromo diphenyl ether (octaBDE), 
pentachlorobenzene, polychlorinated napthalenes, short-chain 
chlorinated parrafins (SCCPs), dicofol, pentabromodiphenyl ether 
(PeDBE), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as persistent organic 
pollutants (POPs) submitted to the Secretariat of the 1998 Aarhus POPs 
Protocol Under the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) 
Convention of the UNECE. We are issuing this NODA to alert interested 
and potentially affected parties of these proposals; to announce the 
substances proposed for inclusion in the Protocol; to provide the Web 
site where these proposals may be reviewed; to provide the addresses 
where comments or information may be submitted; and to provide the 
deadline for submitting comments and information. We are also issuing 
the NODA to solicit names and contact information for those parties who 
would like to be notified when proposals under the Aarhus POPs Protocol 
occur.

DATES: Comments and information on these proposals must be received on 
or before December 9, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The proposals can be found at the following Web site: <A HREF="http://www.unece.org/env/popsxg/proposals%20for%20NEW%20pops.htm";>http://
www.unece.org/env/popsxg/proposals%20for%20NEW%20pops.htm</A>. 
Comments and information on these proposals should be submitted to the 
UNECE Secretariat for the POPs Task Force via e-mail at <A HREF="mailto:air.env@unece.org";>air.env@unece.org</A>. 
Please provide a copy of your comments and information submitted to 
Paul Almod[oacute]var of the U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning 
and Standards via e-mail at <A HREF="mailto:almodovar.paul@epa.gov";>almodovar.paul@epa.gov</A>. If you are 
interested in being contacted in the future when proposals under this 
Protocol occur, please notify Paul Almod[oacute]var directly.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Almod[oacute]var of the U.S. EPA, 
Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Information Transfer 
Program Implementation Division, C304-03, Research Triangle Park, North 
Carolina 27711, telephone number (919) 541-0283, e-mail at <A HREF="mailto:almodovar.paul@epa.gov";>
almodovar.paul@epa.gov</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Outline: The information presented in this NODA is organized as 
follows:

I. 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol Under the Long-Range Transboundary Air 
Pollution Convention of the UNECE
    a. What Is the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) 
Convention of the UNECE?
    b. What Is the 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol?
II. Proposals for New POPs
    a. Who Are the Nominating Countries?
    b. What Do the Proposals Address?
    c. What Is Involved in the Technical Review of These Proposals?
    d. Other Proposals

I. 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol Under the Long-Range Transboundary Air 
Pollution Convention of the UNECE

a. What Is the LRTAP Convention of the UNECE?

    The LRTAP Convention functions to foster intergovernmental 
cooperation and has created the essential framework for controlling and 
reducing the damage to human health and the environment caused by 
transboundary air pollution. Since entry into force of the Convention 8 
specific Protocols have also been completed to address transboundary 
air pollution, one of which is the 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol, which 
today's NODA addresses. The United States is a Party to the LRTAP 
Convention. The focus of the Parties to the Convention over the next 
several years will be to ensure implementation of these protocols. 
Participation in this Convention allows the United States to continue 
to assert its leadership role in shaping the substance and structure of 
LRTAP protocols as they continue to tackle complex pollution issues and 
serve as models for action in other regional bodies, as well as for 
global environmental agreements.

b. What Is the 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol?

    The 1998 Aarhus POPs Protocol under the LRTAP Convention was 
established with the objective of controlling, reducing or eliminating 
discharges, emissions, and losses of POPs. POPs are defined in the 
Protocol as organic substances that (i) possess toxic characteristics; 
(ii) are persistent; (iii) bioaccumulate; (iv) are prone to long-range 
transboundary atmospheric transport and deposition; and (v) are likely 
to cause significant adverse human health or environmental effects near 
to and distant from their sources. The Protocol outlines basic 
obligations for countries that are Parties to the Protocol (have 
ratified the Protocol) for achieving this objective, and includes 
methods by which Parties to the Protocol can fulfill the basic 
obligations, including identifying best available techniques and 
emission limit values for stationary sources of POPs, and effective 
measures to control POPs emissions from mobile sources. The Protocol 
identifies POPs that have been targeted and scheduled for elimination 
(aldrin, chlorodane, clordecone, DDT, deildrin, endrin, heptachlor, 
hexabromobiphenyl, hexachlorobenzene, mirex, PCB, and toxaphene; Annex 
I of the Protocol); for use restrictions (DDT, HCH, PCB; Annex II of 
the Protocol); and for annual reductions in emissions from a specified 
reference year, achieved by taking effective measures as appropriate 
(polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Dioxins/furans, and 
hexachlorobenzene). The Protocol in its entirety can be viewed at the 
LRTAP POPs Web site at <A HREF="http://www.unece.org/env/lrtap/pops_h1.htm";>http://www.unece.org/env/lrtap/pops_h1.htm</A>. 
The United States is currently not a Party to the Aarhus POPs Protocol. 
Legislation is being developed that would allow the United States to 
become Parties to, and implement the protocol.

II. Proposals To Include Substances as POPs

a. Who Are the Nominating Countries?

    The Protocol provides procedures by which Parties to the Protocol 
can propose to amend annex I, II, or III by adding substances to the 
Protocol. These procedures are outlined in Article 14 of the Protocol.
    This year, the European Commission has submitted proposals for 
hexachlorobutadiene, OctaBDE, pentachlorobenzene, polychlorinated 
napthalenes, and SCCPs, and the Netherlands has submitted a proposal 
for dicofol.

[[Page 70841]]

b. What Do the Proposals Address?

    The proposals need to provide information that allows a 
determination of whether the substance is a POP in the context of the 
Protocol. The proposals (e.g., risk profiles) are described as a 
comprehensive review of the scientific information related to the 
determination of general human health and environmental risks 
associated with the uses and releases of a substance. Specifically, the 
proposals document the following characteristics: potential for long-
range transport; toxicity; persistence; and bioaccumulation. The POPs 
Protocol provides guidance on numerical descriptors, as appropriate, to 
assist in the evaluation of the above characteristics in the context of 
the program. In addition to individual determinations, the evaluation 
includes a consideration as to whether sufficient information exists to 
suggest that the substance is likely to have significant adverse human 
health and/or environmental effects as a result of its long-range 
transboundary atmospheric transport (LRAT). The protocol also provides 
guidance to assist in the evaluation of socio-economic information to 
help frame the strategy for reducing risks from the proposed 
substances. The proposal must include, as available, information on 
release to the environment, including production, uses, and emissions, 
plus socio-economic factors related to the alternatives and/or 
techniques available to reduce emissions of the proposed substance. At 
this time, the proposals are available for public review and submission 
of comments and information (see the ADDRESSES section of this NODA for 
where to find these proposals) to supplement information contained in 
the dossiers. All relevant comments and information will be considered 
during the technical reviews of these proposals.

c. What Is Involved in the Technical Review of These Proposals?

    The Executive Body (EB) (which is the Convention's ``conference of 
the parties''), has decided that the Task Force on POPs shall prepare 
technical reviews of such proposals when requested to do so, and 
present relevant documentation on the proposals to the Working Group on 
Strategies and Review (WGSR). The WGSR is the group under the 
Convention which amongst other activities, develops ``strategies (i.e., 
negotiates) for action on substances and proposes such actions for 
adoption by the EB. Membership of the Task Force is open to experts 
from all Parties to the Convention, and to authorized representatives 
of intergovernmental or accredited non-governmental organizations. The 
Task Force on POPs receives its instructions from the annual work plan 
of the EB, but reports to the WGSR.
    A definitive description of the process for technical reviews of 
the proposals can be found at the following Web site: <A HREF="http://www.unece.org/env/popsxg/proposals%20for%20NEW%20pops.htm";>http://
www.unece.org/env/popsxg/proposals%20for%20NEW%20pops.htm</A>.
    The proposals submitted by the European Commission and the 
Netherlands will be considered by the EB of the Convention at its 
session on December 12-15, 2005 for acceptability and referral to the 
Task Force on POPs for technical review. These proposals can be 
reviewed at the website listed above in the ADDRESSES section of this 
NODA. Comments and information may be submitted until December 9, 2005 
to the entities listed in the ADDRESSES section.

d. Other Proposals

    Last year Norway submitted a proposal for pentbromodiphenyl ether 
(PeBDE) and Sweden submitted a proposal for perfluorocotane sulfonate 
(PFOS). These proposals were referred by the EB of the Convention for 
technical review to the Task Force on POPs in its session in December 
2004. Both of these substances underwent the first stage of technical 
review by the Task Force on POPs, and have been recommended by the WGSR 
as POPs, as defined under the POPs Protocol to the EB of the 
Convention. (<A HREF="http://www.unece.org/env/documents/2005/eb/wg5/eb.air.wg.5.2005.1.e.pdf";>http://www.unece.org/env/documents/2005/eb/wg5/eb.air.wg.5.2005.1.e.pdf</A>).
    Based on the recommendation of the WGSR, the Task Force on POPs is 
expected to be asked by the EB to develop proposed management 
strategies for both PeBDE and PFOS. To develop these management 
strategies, information on production/uses/emissions, measured 
environmental levels in areas distant from sources, abiotic and biotic 
degradation processes, and rates, degradation products, bio-
availability; and socio-economic factors related to the alternatives 
and/or the techniques available to reduce the emissions of the proposed 
substance including: Alternatives to the existing uses and their 
efficacy; any known adverse environmental or human health effects 
associated with the alternatives; process changes, control 
technologies, operating practices, and other pollution prevention 
techniques which can be used to reduce the emissions of the substance, 
and their applicability and effectiveness; and the non-monetary costs 
and benefits as well as the quantifiable costs and benefits associated 
with the use of these alternatives and/or techniques is being sought. 
This information may be submitted until December 9, 2005 to the 
entities listed in the ADDRESSES section.

    Dated: November 14, 2005.
William L. Wehrum,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 05-23227 Filed 11-22-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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