SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is committed to providing quality environmental information to its partners and the public. This commitment is integral to its mission to protect human health and the environment. High quality information enables stakeholders to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks. Peer Review, the evaluation of a product by experts in that field, is a critical tool used to ensure that only high-quality, sound science is released. Peer Review has a long and exemplary history at the EPA. In response to recommendations in the 1993 SAB report Safeguarding the Future: Credible Science, Credible Decisions, EPA issued an Agency-wide policy for peer review. In 1994 EPA reaffirmed the central role of peer review and instituted an Agency-wide implementation program. In 1998, a Peer Review Handbook was created as a single, centralized form of implementation guidance for Agency staff and managers. An updated Peer Review Policy was signed by the Administrator on January 31, 2006. A third edition of the Peer Review Handbook is now being released. It incorporates insights gained from implementing the program over the last decade as well as the provisions of the OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (PRB). The OMB PRB contains provisions for the conduct of peer review at all federal agencies in order to enhance transparency and accountability. The OMB Bulletin applies to "influential scientific information'' and "highly influential scientific assessments.'' Peer Review brings independent expert experience and judgment to Agency issues and plays a large part in ensuring that EPA's decisions rest on sound, credible science and data.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Go to http://www.epa.gov/ PeerReview or contact Barbara Klieforth, (202.564.6787) Science Policy Council Staff, Office of the Science Advisor, U.S. EPA.
SUMMARY: The purpose of this action is to request comments on a proposed interpretation of certain existing Federal air program operating permits regulations. This proposed interpretation is that certain sections of the operating permits regulations do not require or authorize permitting authorities to assess or enhance existing monitoring requirements in implementing the operating permits independent of such monitoring required or authorized in other rules. Such other rules include the monitoring requirements in existing Federal air pollution control standards and regulations implementing State requirements. We propose to interpret these sections to require that title V permits contain the monitoring provisions specified or developed under these separate sources of monitoring requirements. We also formally withdraw a September 17, 2002 Federal Register proposal to revise the Federal operating permits program and with this action provide an interpretation of those rules different from that set forth in the 2002 proposal. This proposed interpretation will clarify the permit content requirements and facilitate permit issuance ensuring that air pollution sources can operate and comply with requirements.
DATES: Written comments must be received by July 17, 2006.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Westlin, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Mail code: D243-05, 109 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, Telephone: (919) 541-1058.