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ENVIRO-NEWS  January 2004

ENVIRO-NEWS January 2004

Subject:

Notice of Availability of Draft Aquatic Life Criteria Document fo r Copper and Request for Scientific Views

From:

Joe Makuch <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Joe Makuch <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 5 Jan 2004 10:18:47 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (442 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2003 11:17 AM
To: EPA-WATER
Subject: [epa-water] Notice of Availability of Draft Aquatic Life Criteria

http://www.epa.gov/fedreg/EPA-WATER/2003/December/Day-31/index.html
http://www.epa.gov/fedreg/
=======================================================================

[Federal Register: December 31, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 250)]
[Notices]
[Page 75552-75555]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr31de03-74]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
[FRL-OW-FRL-7605-4]

Notice of Availability of Draft Aquatic Life Criteria Document
for Copper and Request for Scientific Views

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice of availability and request for scientific views.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This notice informs the public about the availability of a
draft document containing updated aquatic life criteria for copper and
requests scientific views. The Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA to
develop and publish, and, from time to time, revise criteria for water
quality that accurately reflect the latest scientific knowledge. EPA's
recommended water quality criteria provide guidance for States and
authorized Tribes to establish water quality standards under the CWA to
protect human health and aquatic life.

DATES: EPA will accept scientific views on the draft 2003 Draft Updated
of Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Copper document on or before
March 1, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Scientific views may be submitted electronically, by mail or
through hand-delivery/courier. Follow the detailed instructions as
provided in section I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
Electronic files may be e-mailed to: <A
HREF="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A>. Scientific
views may be mailed to the Water Docket, Environmental Protection
Agency, Mailecode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC
20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079. Instructions for couriers
and other hand delivery are provided in section I.C.3. The Agency will
not accept facsimiles (faxes).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cindy Roberts, Health and Ecological
Criteria Division (4304T), U.S. EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; (202) 566-1124;
<A HREF="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Interested Entities

    Entities potentially interested in today's notice are those that
produce, use, or regulate copper. Categories and entities interested in
today's notice include.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Examples of interested
                 Category entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
State/Local/Tribal Government............. States, Tribes and
                                             municipalities.
Industry.................................. Mining, fabricated metal
                                             products, electric
                                             equipment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be interested in this
notice. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware
could potentially be interested in this notice. Other types of entities
not listed in the table could also be interested.

B. How Can I Get Copies of This Document and Other Related Information?

    1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this
notice under Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079. The official public docket
consists of the documents specifically referenced in this notice, any
scientific views received, and other information related to this
notice. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does
not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The official
public docket is the collection of materials that is available for
public viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC)
EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The
EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30
p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone
number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone
number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. To view these materials,
we encourage you to call ahead to schedule an appointment. Every user
is entitled to copy 266 pages per day before incurring a charge. The
docket may charge 15 cents a page for each page over the 266-page limit
plus an administrative fee of $25.00.
    2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document
electronically through the EPA Internet under the ``Federal Register''
listings at <A
HREF="http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/">http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/</A>.
    An electronic version of the public docket is available through
EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may
use EPA Dockets at <A
HREF="http://www.epa.gov/edocket/">http://www.epa.gov/edocket/</A> to submit
or view the
scientific views, access the index listing of the contents of the
official public docket, and to access those documents in the public
docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select
``search,'' then key in the appropriate docket identification number.
    Certain types of information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets.
Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is
restricted by statute, which is not included in the official public
docket will not be available for public viewing in EPA's electronic
public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material will not be
placed in EPA's electronic public docket, but will be available only in
printed, paper form in the official public docket. To the extent
feasible, publicly available docket materials will be made available in
EPA's electronic public docket. When a document is selected from the
index list in EPA Dockets, the system will identify whether the
document is available for viewing in EPA's electronic public docket.
Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you
may still access any of the publicly available

[[Page 75553]]

docket materials through the docket facility identified in section
I.B.1.
    For public commenters, it is important to note that EPA's policy is
that scientific views, whether submitted electronically or in paper,
will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public
docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the views
contain copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose
disclosure is restricted by statute. When EPA identifies a scientific
view containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to
that material in the version of the view that is placed in EPA's
electronic public docket. The entire printed scientific view, including
the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.
    Scientific views submitted on computer disks that are mailed or
delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public
docket. Scientific views that are mailed or delivered to the Docket
will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where
practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph
will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief
description written by the docket staff.

C. How and To Whom Do I Submit My Scientific Views?

    You may submit scientific views electronically, by mail, or through
hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the
appropriate docket identification number in the subject line on the
first page of your views. Please ensure that your views are submitted
within the specified time period. Scientific views received after the
close of the stated time period will be marked ``late.'' EPA is not
required to consider these late submittals. If you wish to submit CBI
or information that is otherwise protected by statute, please follow
the instructions in section I.B.2. Do not use EPA Dockets or e-mail to
submit CBI or information protected by statute.
    1. Electronically. If you submit electronic scientific views as
prescribed below, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing
address, and an e-mail address or other contact information in the body
of your scientific views. Also include this contact information on the
outside of any disk or CD-ROM you submit, and in any cover letter
accompanying the disk or CD-ROM. This ensures that you can be
identified as the submitter of the scientific views and allows EPA to
contact you in case EPA cannot read your views due to technical
difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your
views. EPA's policy is that EPA will not edit your scientific views,
and any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a
view will be included as part of the scientific views that are placed
in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic
public docket. If EPA cannot read your views due to technical
difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be
able to consider your views.
    i. EPA Dockets. Your use of EPA's electronic public docket to
submit scientific views to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method
for receiving scientific views. Go directly to EPA Dockets at <A
HREF="http://www.epa.gov/edocket">http://
www.epa.gov/edocket</A> and follow the online instructions for submitting
scientific views. To access EPA's electronic public docket from the EPA
Internet Home Page, select ``Information Sources,'' ``Dockets,'' and
``EPA Dockets.'' Once in the system, select ``search,'' and then key in
Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079. The system is an ``anonymous access''
system, which means EPA will not know your identity, e-mail address, or
other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your
input.
    ii. E-mail. Scientific views may be sent by electronic mail (e-
mail) to: <A HREF="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]</A>,
Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079. In
contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system is not
an ``anonymous access'' system. If you send an e-mail scientific view
directly to the Docket without going through EPA's electronic public
docket, EPA's e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address.
E-mail addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's e-mail system
are included as part of the scientific views that are placed in the
official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public
docket.
    iii. Disk or CD-ROM. You may submit scientific views on a disk or
CD-ROM that you mail to the mailing address identified in section
I.C.2. These electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect, or
ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of
encryption.
    2. By Mail. Send an original and three copies of all scientific
views, enclosures, or references, to the Water Docket, Environmental
Protection Agency, Mailcode MC-4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079.
    3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your scientific views to:
EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution
Ave., NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0079. Such
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of
operation as identified in section I.B.1.

D. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Scientific Views for EPA?

    You may find these suggestions helpful for preparing your
scientific views:
    1. Explain your scientific views as clearly as possible.
    2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
    3. Provide any technical information and/or data you used that
support your scientific views.
    4. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
    5. Offer alternatives.
    6. Make sure to submit your scientific views by the time period
deadline identified.
    7. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket
identification number in the subject line on the first page of your
response. It would also be helpful if you provided the name, date, and
Federal Register citation related to your views.

II. What Are Water Quality Criteria?

    Water quality criteria are scientifically-derived concentrations of
a pollutant that protect aquatic life or human health from the harmful
effects of pollutants in ambient water. Section 304(a)(1) of the Clean
Water Act requires EPA to develop and publish and, from time to time,
revise criteria for water quality to accurately reflect the latest
scientific knowledge. Water quality criteria developed under section
304(a) are based solely on data and scientific judgments on the
relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and
human health effects. Section 304(a) criteria do not consider economic
impacts or the technological feasibility of meeting the chemical
concentrations in ambient water. Section 304(a) criteria help States
and authorized Tribes adopt water quality standards that ultimately
provide a basis for controlling discharges or releases of pollutants.
The criteria also help EPA promulgate federal regulations under section
303(c) when such action is necessary.
    Once established, an EPA water quality criterion does not
substitute for the CWA or EPA regulations; nor is it a regulation. It
cannot impose legally binding requirements on the EPA, States,
authorized Tribes or the regulated community. State and Tribal
decision-makers have the discretion to

[[Page 75554]]

adopt approaches that differ from EPA's guidance on a case-by-case
basis.

III. How Did EPA Involve the Public in the Criteria Update Process?

    EPA solicited the public for data and information that would be
useful in updating its copper criteria in the1999 Federal Register
notice titled, Notice of Intent To Revise Aquatic Life Criteria for
Copper, Silver, Lead, Cadmium, Iron and Selenium; Notice of Intent To
Develop Aquatic Life Criteria for Atrazine, Diazinon, Nonylphenol,
Methyl Tertiary-Butyl Ether (MtBE), Manganese and Saltwater Dissolved
Oxygen (Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras); Notice of Data Availability;
Request for Data and Information (64 FR 58409, October 29, 1999). In
this notice, EPA also notified the public that it was assessing the use
of the biotic ligand model for updating its copper criteria.

IV. What's New About the Updated Criteria?

    The draft aquatic life criteria document, titled 2003 Draft Update
of Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Copper (EPA-822-R-03-026),
contains updated freshwater and saltwater aquatic life criteria for
copper. These criteria revisions are based in part on new data that
have become available since EPA's last comprehensive criteria updates
for copper: (Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Copper--1985 (EPA 440/
5-84-031) and Ambient Water Quality Criteria Saltwater Copper Addendum
(April 14, 1995)). We derived both the freshwater and saltwater
criteria recommendations presented in this draft document based on the
principles set forth in EPA's 1985 Guidelines for Deriving Numerical
National Aquatic Life Criteria for Protection of Aquatic Organisms and
Their Uses. In addition to incorporating new data, the freshwater
criterion maximum concentration (CMC or ``acute criterion'') also uses
the biotic ligand model (BLM) in the criteria derivation procedures.
The freshwater criterion continuous concentration (CCC or ``chronic
criterion'') is based on a BLM-derived acute value divided by a final
acute-chronic ratio.

V. How Do BLM-Derived Criteria Differ From Hardness-Dependent Criteria?

    The biotic ligand model is a metal bioavailability model based on
the latest information about chemical and physiological effects of
metals in aquatic environments. Earlier freshwater aquatic life
criteria for copper published by the Agency were based on empirical
relationships of toxicity to water hardness. That is, a relationship
was established linking the criteria concentrations with water
hardness. These hardness-dependent criteria, however, represented
combined effects of different water quality variables (such as pH and
alkalinity) correlated with hardness. Unlike the empirically derived
hardness-dependent criteria, the BLM explicitly accounts for individual
water quality variables and addresses variables that were not factored
into the hardness relationship. Where the previous freshwater aquatic
life criteria were hardness-dependent, these updated criteria are
dependent on a number of water quality parameters (e.g., calcium,
magnesium, dissolved organic carbon) described in the document.
    You can find more detailed information on the development and
application of the biotic ligand model in the criteria document as well
as in Draft Biotic Ligand Model: Technical Support Document for Its
Application to the Evaluation of Water Quality Criteria for Copper (EPA
822-R-03-027) and Integrated Approach to Assessing the Bioavailability
and Toxicity of Metals in Surface Waters and Sediments (EPA-822-E-99-
001).

VI. What Are the Updated Criteria?

    The procedures described in the Guidelines for Deriving Numerical
National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms
and Their Uses indicate that, except where a locally important species
is very sensitive, freshwater aquatic organisms and their uses should
not be affected unacceptably if:
    * The 4-day average concentration of dissolved copper does
not exceed the BLM-derived site-water LC50 (i.e., Final Acute Value
(FAV)) divided by the final acute-chronic ratio more than once every 3
years on the average (i.e., the CCC) and if:
    * The 24-hour average dissolved copper concentration does not
exceed the BLM-derived site-LC50 (or FAV) divided by two, more than
once every 3 years on the average (i.e., the CMC).
    The procedures described in the Guidelines for Deriving Numerical
National Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Aquatic Organisms
and Their Uses indicate that, except where a locally important species
is very sensitive, saltwater aquatic organisms and their uses should
not be affected unacceptably if:
    * The 4-day average concentration of dissolved copper does
not exceed 1.9 ug/L more than once every 3 years on the average (i.e.,
the CCC) and if:
    * The 24-hour average dissolved copper concentration does not
exceed 3.1 ug/L more than once every 3 years on the average (i.e., the
CMC).

VII. What Specific Questions of Science Does EPA Want Views on?

    Though the public is welcome to submit scientific views on any
component of the copper aquatic life criteria document, EPA is
specifically interested in scientific views on the following issues of
science:
    * The freshwater criteria presented in this document were
developed utilizing the biotic ligand model (BLM). Are the procedures
used to incorporate the model apt? Is the establishment of the chronic
criterion through the BLM-calculated FAV and the assigned acute-
chronic-ratio (ACR) appropriate?
    * Measurements were not available for all input parameters,
for all studies used to derive the criteria. In some cases therefore,
input parameters were estimated. A detailed description of the methods
used to estimate these missing parameters is included in the updated
draft copper criteria document's Appendix, Estimation of Water
Chemistry Parameters for Acute Copper Toxicity Tests. Are the
estimation procedures for the parameters appropriate or could other
methods be used to improve the estimations?
    * To calculate the saltwater final chronic value (FCV) the
Mytilus spp. species mean acute value (SMAV) was divided by a final
acute-chronic ratio (FACR) derived from both freshwater and saltwater
species, implying that a ``5th percentile'' ACR was applicable for use
in conjunction with the M. spp.-FAV. Submit scientific views on the
appropriateness of this calculation procedure.

VIII. What Is the Relationship Between the Water Quality Criteria and
Your State or Tribal Water Quality Standards?

    Section 303(c)(1) requires States and authorized Tribes to review
and modify, if appropriate, their water quality standards at least once
every three years. Water quality standards consist of designated uses,
water quality criteria to protect those uses, a policy for
antidegradation, and general policies for application and
implementation.
    States and authorized Tribes must adopt water quality criteria that
protect designated uses. Protective criteria, based on a sound
scientific rationale, contain appropriate factors to protect the
designated uses. Criteria may be either narrative or numeric. States
and authorized Tribes have four options when adopting water quality
criteria for which EPA has published section 304(a) criteria. They can:

[[Page 75555]]

    (1) Establish numerical values based on recommended section 304(a)
criteria;
    (2) Adopt section 304(a) criteria, modified to reflect site-
specific conditions;
    (3) Adopt criteria derived using other scientifically defensible
methods; or
    (4) Establish narrative criteria where numeric criteria cannot be
determined (40 CFR 131.11).
    Consistent with 40 CFR 131.21 (see: EPA Review and Approval of
State and Tribal Water Quality Standards (65 FR 24641, April 27,
2000)), water quality criteria that States and authorized Tribes
adopted before May 30, 2000, are in effect for CWA purposes unless
Federal regulations superseded them (see, for example, the National
Toxics Rule, 40 CFR 131.36; Water Quality Standards for Idaho, 40 CFR
131.33). New or revised water quality criteria that States and
authorized Tribes adopted into law or regulation on or after May 30,
2000, are in effect for CWA purposes only after EPA approves them.

IX. What Is the Status of Existing Recommended Criteria While They Are
Being Revised?

    Water quality criteria published by EPA are the Agency's
recommended water quality criteria until EPA revises or withdraws the
criteria. EPA supports using the current section 304(a) criteria for
those chemicals for which criteria are being updated and considers them
to be scientifically sound until the Agency publishes revised 304(a)
criteria.

    Dated: December 22, 2003.
G. Tracy Mehan III,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Water.
[FR Doc. 03-32209 Filed 12-30-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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