EPN Comments on the Draft EPA Policy Assessment for Particulate Matter

On November 12, 2019, EPN submitted comments on EPA’s draft Policy Assessment (PA) of the scientific basis for the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to set standards for common air pollutants that are harmful to public health and the environment, and periodically reviews the standards and the science on which they are based. Recent research suggests that the existing limits for fine particulates in the air need to be tightened to adequately protect public health. An EPN review of the PA found inadequacies in both the independent peer review process and the studies considered in the assessment.

Last fall, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler disbanded an auxiliary scientific panel that was supposed to assist the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) with added expertise. He then tasked the seven-member CASAC to serve as the sole body to review the key scientific assessment for the NAAQS PM review on an expedited review timeline. The CASAC does not have the breadth or depth of expertise needed for this review. These events have raised concerns about the outcome of this review and potential threats to the environment and public health.

Read a summary of the comments.

Read the comments.