Monday, January 31, 2011

EPA NOT changing air standards for carbon monoxide

The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed to keep the current national air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO), while taking steps to gather additional data through more focused monitoring. 

The agency said that "the science shows that the current standards will protect people, especially those susceptible to health problems associated with breathing CO from the outdoor air. " 

The current health standards are 9 parts per million (ppm) measured over 8 hours, and 35 ppm measured over 1 hour.

To ensure people are protected from high concentrations of CO and to develop better information about CO and its health impacts, EPA said it is proposing to revise the air monitoring requirements.  The proposed changes would require a more focused monitoring network with CO monitors placed near highly trafficked roads in urban areas with populations of 1 million or more. The data from these sites would be available for scientific studies that could help inform future reviews of the standard. 

EPA estimates that the proposal would require approximately 77 CO monitors in 53 urban areas.  EPA expects that states would not need to purchase new monitoring equipment. They could relocate some of their existing CO monitors to the near-road monitoring stations already required in connection with the revised nitrogen dioxide standards issued in January 2010. CO monitors at the new locations would be required to be operational by January 1, 2013.

EPA will accept comments for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register. If requested, the agency will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule on Feb. 18, 2011. EPA will take final action by Aug. 12, 2011. 
More information

Also see:
EPA seeks input on regulating largest GHG sources

EPA weighs using vapor intrusion as a Superfund criteria


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