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GLIN==> Toxic Metals Risk Assessment





[Federal Register: October 14, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 198)]
[Notices]
[Page 59172-59173]
 >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14oc03-59]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[FRL-7574-3]

Meeting on Papers Addressing Scientific Issues in the Risk
Assessment of Metals

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of meeting.

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SUMMARY: Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces
an October 28, 2003, public meeting on five draft scientific white
papers on metals risk assessment. Development of the papers was led by
Eastern Research Group Inc., a contractor to EPA. The notice of
availability of these papers for review and comment was published in an
earlier Federal Register Notice (68 FR 55051, September 22, 2003).
Consistent with EPA's commitment to provide opportunities for external
input, the Agency now announces a public meeting to gather further
feedback on the draft papers. In order to assist in compiling comments
on the issue papers, the Agency asks that commenters address questions
posed in the September 22, 2003, Federal Register Notice. These
questions are reprinted below under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. ERG, the
EPA contractor who lead the development of the issue papers, is
organizing and convening the meeting.

DATES: The public meeting will be held Tuesday, October 28, 2003, from
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Participants wishing to
attend are asked to register with ERG by October 21, 2003.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the Hotel Washington, 515
15th Street at Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. You may
register online at <A 
HREF="https://www.ergweb.com/projects/metalreg/index.html";>https://www.ergweb.com/projects/metalreg/index.html</A>. 

You may also register by calling ERG at (781) 674-7374. Space is
limited and reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served
basis. Please let ERG know if you plan to make comments at the meeting.
     EPA has established an official public docket for comments under
Docket Identification Number OAR-2003-0192. An electronic version of
the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket
and comment system, EPA Dockets. Comments may be submitted and reviewed
on-line at <A 
HREF="http://www.epa.gov/edocket";>http://www.epa.gov/edocket</A> as 
detailed in the earlier
Federal Register Notice (68 FR 55051, September 22, 2003) entitled
``Papers Addressing Scientific Issues in the Risk Assessment of
Metals''.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For meeting information, registration,
and logistics, contact ERG, 110 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington,
Massachusetts 02421; telephone: (781) 674-7374; facsimile: (781) 674-
2906.
     For technical information on the white papers, contact Dr. William
P. Wood, Executive Director, Risk Assessment Forum, National Center for
Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development;
telephone: (202) 564-3361; facsimile: (202) 565-0062; or email:
<A HREF="mailto:risk.forum@epa.gov";>risk.forum@epa.gov</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
     Presentations: Members of the public who are interested in making a
short presentation on scientific issues at the meeting are requested to
indicate this interest at the time of registration. EPA would
appreciate provision of a short summary of the presentation, which
should be no more than one page. Please provide this summary in written
and electronic format upon arrival at the meeting. Presentations should
be no more than 20 minutes in duration, subject to the number of
presentations registered. Because EPA is seeking a variety of opinions,
the facilitator will ensure that there is a balance of time allotted.
Presenters please note that ERG may record the meeting proceedings to
support their developing a meeting summary report. Resources ERG uses
in the development of the report will remain the property of ERG. EPA
will make the summary report available on-line through the Risk
Assessment Forum's Web site, <A 
HREF="http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/";>http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/</A>.

[[Page 59173]]

     Comments: Comments presented during the meeting should be submitted
to Edocket. In addition, please submit one unbound original set of
comments with pages numbered consecutively at the meeting. For
attachments, provide an index and number pages consecutively with the
comments. Because all comments received will be placed in Edocket,
commentors should not submit personal information (such as medical data
or home address), Confidential Business Information, or information
protected by copyright.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: During their September 2002 review of the
Agency's draft action plan for the development of a metals framework,
the EPA Science Advisory Board emphasized the importance of engaging
the outside community so as to contribute to the knowledge base the
Agency would draw from in developing guidance on the risk assessment of
metals. As part of the effort to engage stakeholders and the scientific
community and to build on existing experience, the Agency commissioned
ERG to organize external experts to lead the development of scientific
papers on issues and state-of-the-art approaches to metals risk
assessment. (Some individual EPA experts contributed specific
discussions on topic(s) for which he or she has scientific expertise or
knowledge of current Agency practice.)
     On September 22, 2003, EPA published a Federal Register Notice
announcing the availability of, and opportunity to comment on, five
draft scientific white papers titled: (1) Issue Paper on the
Environmental Chemistry of Metals, (2) Issue Paper on Metal Exposure
Assessment, (3) Issue Paper on the Ecological Effects of Metals, (4)
Issue Paper on the Human Health Effects of Metals, and (5) Issue Paper
on the Bioavailability and Bioaccumulation of Metals. The draft issue
papers are available primarily via the Internet on the Risk Assessment
Forum's web page at <A 
HREF="http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/recordisplay.cfm?deid=59052";>http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/raf/recordisplay.cfm?deid=59052</A>.
  Comments will be received on the draft
papers until November 7, 2003.
     The public meeting will provide further opportunity for the Agency
to receive stakeholder input. EPA is particularly interested in the
public's perspectives on the following:
     1. For the purpose of deriving general principles that can be
applied in the assessment of metals, do the issue papers provide an
appropriate level of detail?
     2. Are there additional chemical, biological and physical processes
that should be considered for metals assessment? If so, please describe
and provide references.
     3. Are you aware of any models, approaches or methods not
considered in the reports that, if implemented, would substantially
reduce uncertainty in the Agency's metal assessments? If so, which ones
are ready for application now (or in the next few years), and which
types of assessments would benefit most from their application (e.g.,
hazard ranking/characterization, national, or site-specific
assessments)?
     4. What other suggestions do you have to improve the utility of
these papers as the Agency develops a metals assessment framework?
     The purpose of this meeting is for EPA to receive additional
scientific comment from the public on the issue papers. Therefore,
although EPA staff will be present, EPA will not evaluate or respond to
comments at the meeting. Likewise, EPA is not soliciting comments on
past Agency actions.
     The views expressed in the draft papers are those of the authors
and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the EPA. For
this reason, disposition of scientific comments received on these
papers will be made at the author's or author team's discretion. The
material contained in the papers may be used in total, or in part, as
source material for the Agency's framework for metals risk assessment
and EPA's evaluation of this material will therefore include
consideration of the Assessment Factors recently published by EPA for
use in evaluating the quality of scientific and technical information.

     Dated: October 7, 2003.
Peter W. Preuss,
Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment.
[FR Doc. 03-25935 Filed 10-10-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P


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