Title: Call for Information on Adverse Effects of Strategies for Attainment and Maintenance of National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0365

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency

Comments Close: October 24, 2018

Summary Index:

  1. Purpose

  2. Notice Details

  3. Context


“Steps Associated with a Streamlined and Efficient Review of National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Source: Memorandum on ‘Back to Basics Process for reviewing NAAQs - Scott Pruitt, 5/9/2018


The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting scientific input regarding ‘adverse public health, welfare, social, economic, or energy effects,’ which could result from setting and attaining national ambient air quality standards. The Environmental Protection Agency is specifically soliciting sources of peer-reviewed information regarding the impacts of strategy-setting for national ambient air quality standards. 



The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is calling for information to inform the review of national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and the strategies used to develop NAAQS. The EPA is particularly interested in:

  • Statements assessing strategies for attaining NAAQS, covering various sources of emissions (stationary, mobile, area)

  • Statements evaluating the effects of permitting requirements on economic growth, including new and preventative requirements

  • Statements examining the impacts of not achieving NAAQS and the effect on employment and economic growth

  • Statements evaluating the impacts of health, welfare, energy use and other social effects

  • Statements evaluating trade-offs between strategies for attaining NAAQS


The Clean Air Act mandates that the EPA facilitate the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (Committee), which is charged with evaluating existing national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) every five years. The Committee must review NAAQS criteria and recommend appropriate revisions or standards. The Committee is further charged with advising the EPA administrator of the process and necessity for further research, especially regarding anthropogenic (human-based) sources of air pollution.

The Clean Air Act distinguishes between primary and secondary standards for NAAQS. Primary standards are focused on protecting the human health, in particular for “sensitive” populations, including children, the sick and the elderly. Secondary standards are focused on protecting the public welfare and include “protection against decreased visibility and damage to animals, crops, vegetation, and buildings.” The EPA has set NAAQS for six criteria pollutants (listed in the table below), but has often failed to update and review the criteria pollutants every five years.  







Contributor: Master's Candidate, Water Science and Governance