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EPA's Persistent Bioaccumulative toxicant draft strategy



[Federal Register: November 17, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 221)]
[Notices]               
[Page 63926-63928]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17no98-65]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[OPPTS-00255; FRL-6045-2]

 
Multimedia Strategy for Priority Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and 
Toxic Pollutants; Notice of Availability and Solicitation of Public 
Comments

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability and solicitation of public comments.

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SUMMARY: EPA is making available for public review and comment the 
draft Multimedia Strategy for Priority Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and 
Toxic (PBT) Pollutants. This document outlines the Agency's 
comprehensive approach to identify and take action to reduce releases 
of and exposures to PBT pollutants. Also available for public review 
and comment in connection with this document is the draft EPA Action 
Plan for Mercury. Interested parties may request copies of these 
documents as set forth in the ``ADDRESSES'' unit of this notice.

DATES: Comments must be received by February 16, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Each comment must bear the docket control number OPPTS-
00255. All comments should be sent in triplicate to: OPPT Document 
Control Officer (7407), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Rm. G-099, East Tower, 
Washington, DC 20460.
    Comments and data may also be submitted electronically to: oppt. 
ncic@epa.gov. Follow the instructions under Unit IV. of this document. 
No Confidential Business Information (CBI) should be submitted through 
e-mail.
    All comments which contain information claimed as CBI must be

[[Page 63927]]

clearly marked as such. Three sanitized copies of any comments 
containing information claimed as CBI must also be submitted and will 
be placed in the public record for this notice. Persons submitting 
information on any portion of which they believe is entitled to 
treatment as CBI by EPA must assert a business confidentiality claim in 
accordance with 40 CFR 2.203(b) for each such portion. This claim must 
be made at the time that the information is submitted to EPA. If a 
submitter does not assert a confidentiality claim at the time of 
submission, EPA will consider this as a waiver of any confidentiality 
claim and the information may be made available to the public by EPA 
without further notice to the submitter.
    To obtain copies of the draft Multimedia Strategy for Priority PBT 
Pollutants and the draft EPA Action Plan for Mercury contact: Pollution 
Prevention Information Clearinghouse (7409), Environmental Protection 
Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460, telephone number: 202-
260-1023, facsimile number: 202-260-0178, e-mail: PPIC@epa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sam K. Sasnett, Pollution Prevention 
Division (7407), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460, 
telephone number: 202-260-8020, e-mail: sasnett.sam@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Electronic Availability

A. Internet

    Electronic copies of the draft Multimedia Strategy for Priority PBT 
Pollutants and the draft EPA Action Plan for Mercury are available from 
the EPA Home Page at the Federal Register - Environmental Documents 
entry for these documents under ``Laws and Regulations'' (http://
www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/). Copies are also available electronically from 
the EPA Home Page (http://www.epa.gov/pbt/) under ``Strategy.''

B. Fax-on-Demand

    For Fax-on-Demand, use a faxphone to call 202-401-0527 and select 
item 4045 for a copy of the draft Multimedia Strategy for Priority PBT 
Pollutants and item 4046 for the draft EPA Action Plan for Mercury.

II. Background

    This Federal Register notice announces the availability of and 
requests comment on the draft Multimedia Strategy for Priority PBT 
Pollutants and the draft EPA Action Plan for Mercury.
    EPA has developed this draft national strategy to overcome the 
remaining challenges in addressing priority PBT pollutants. These 
pollutants pose risks because they are toxic, persist in ecosystems, 
and accumulate in fish and other animals further up the food chain. 
Consumption of fish is a significant exposure pathway for humans. These 
pollutants travel long distances, transfer rather easily among air, 
water, and land and linger for generations, making EPA's traditional 
single-statute approaches less than the full solution to reducing risks 
from PBTs. The fetus and young child may be at particular risk for 
developmental effects.
    This strategy fortifies and builds on existing EPA commitments 
related to priority PBTs, such as the 1997 Canada-U.S. Binational 
Toxics Strategy (BNS), the North American Agreement on Environmental 
Cooperation, and the recently released Clean Water Action Plan. EPA is 
forging a new approach to reduce risks from and exposures to priority 
PBT pollutants through increased coordination among EPA national and 
regional programs. This approach also requires the significant 
involvement of stakeholders, including international, state, local, and 
tribal organizations, the regulated community, environmental groups, 
and private citizens.
    A primary function of the strategy is to establish and implement 
national action plans on priority PBT pollutants. The PBT strategy 
targets for immediate focus the 12 PBT substances included in the 
Canada-U.S. Binational Toxics Strategy Level 1 list. As they are 
developed, these national action plans will be appended to the 
strategy. In this manner the strategy will continue to be a living 
document. One such draft action on mercury is also being made available 
for review and public comment at this time. It illustrates an action 
plan that is national and even international in scope and describes the 
kinds of actions EPA may take to reduce risks posed by other priority 
PBT pollutants. Each substance or group of substances will present its 
own set of action opportunities.
    EPA's strategy realizes that the 12 Binational Toxics Strategy 
Level 1 substances are not the only PBTs we need to be concerned about. 
The strategy calls for developing a process to select additional 
pollutants of concern. Once these pollutants are selected, action plans 
will be developed to address environmental and human health problems 
associated with them. Other activities include preventing the 
introduction of new PBTs into commerce, identifying research needs for 
priority PBTs, and measuring the results of PBT reduction activities, 
preferably in terms of environmental and human health impacts.

III. Comments

    EPA is requesting comment on the overall approach of the strategy 
and its proposed individual components, including the development and 
implementation of national action plans, the 12 initial pollutants for 
which EPA intends to develop such plans, the process for selection of 
additional PBT substances for national action plans, approaches for the 
prevention of the introduction (and reintroduction) of new PBT 
substances, and means of measuring progress in the reduction of PBTs in 
the environment. EPA is particularly interested in whether the strategy 
clearly articulates its goals and is comprehensive enough, whether 
there are major activities or approaches not articulated, and whether 
the directions outlined in the strategy are appropriate.
    EPA also is requesting comment on the Mercury Action Plan. EPA is 
interested in comments on its overall approach to reducing exposure to 
mercury. EPA also invites comments on the applicability of the approach 
outlined for mercury to other PBT pollutants and the usefulness of the 
Mercury Action Plan as a model for other action plans that may be 
developed under the PBT Initiative.

IV. Public Record and Electronic Submissions

    The official record for this notice, as well as the public version, 
has been established for this notice under docket control number OPPTS-
00255 (including comments and data submitted electronically as 
described below). A public version of this record, including printed, 
paper versions of electronic comments, which does not include any 
information claimed as CBI, is available for inspection from 12 noon to 
4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The official 
record is located in the TSCA Nonconfidential Information Center, Rm. 
NE-B607, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC.
    Electronic comments can be sent directly to EPA at:

    oppt.ncic@epa.gov


    Electronic comments must be submitted as an ASCII file avoiding the 
use of special characters and any form of encryption. Comments and data 
will also be accepted on disks in WordPerfect 5.1/6.1 or ASCII file

[[Page 63928]]

format. All comments and data in electronic form must be identified by 
the docket control number OPPTS-00255. Electronic comments on this 
notice may be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

List of Subjects

    Environmental protection.

    Dated: November 9, 1998.

Lynn R. Goldman,

Assistant Administrator for Prevention Pesticides and Toxic Substances.

[FR Doc. 98-30719 Filed 11-16-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-F




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