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1. EPA RELEASES DIESEL EXHAUST HEALTH ASSESSMENT, 2. AIR QUALITY REPORT CONFIRMS CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT AND REMAINING CHALLENGES, 3. EPA ADDS 19 FINAL, SEVEN PROPOSED SITES TO SUPERFUND NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST

Release Date: 09/04/2002
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Press Advisory


Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.


FOR RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2002
EPA RELEASES DIESEL EXHAUST HEALTH ASSESSMENT

Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819/ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov


EPA has released the final “Health Assessment Document for Diesel Engine Exhaust.” The assessment evaluates the health effects literature to identify the most important exposure hazards to humans. Secondly, the assessment evaluates the exposure-response characteristics of the key health effects so that information is available for understanding the possible impact on an exposed population. The information provided by this assessment was useful in developing EPA’s understanding of the public health implications of current exposure to diesel engine exhaust and the public health benefits of taking regulatory action to control diesel emissions. EPA has taken strong action to control diesel emissions. In fact, a draft of this assessment was part of the scientific basis that supported recently established EPA exhaust emission standards for heavy-duty highway engines that become effective with the 2007 model year, which will reduce emissions by as much as 95 percent. EPA’s Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program helps state and local agencies to retrofit older engines to make them run cleaner and to develop model programs to reduce emissions from idling engines. The Agency is also developing a proposal to address pollution from diesel-powered non-road vehicles and equipment. The assessment is available on EPA’s web site at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/.
AIR QUALITY REPORT CONFIRMS CONTINUED
IMPROVEMENT AND REMAINING CHALLENGES

David Deegan 202-564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov


According to EPA’s 2001 annual summary report of National Air Quality Trends released today, air quality in the United States continues to improve steadily. Continuing trends seen since 1970, U.S. air quality has steadily improved, while gross domestic product has grown by 161 percent. Also during the same time frame, miles traveled by cars and trucks has increased by nearly 150 percent and energy consumption has risen by 42 percent. Despite the strides made to improve air quality, more than 130 million people today live in areas where air is unhealthy at times because of high levels of air pollutants -- primarily ozone and fine particles. EPA has taken several steps in recent years to improve air quality by implementing more stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards, as well as new requirements to reduce emissions from industrial and on-road transportation sources. EPA has also submitted to Congress Clear Skies legislation that, if enacted, would mandate reductions of ozone- and particle-forming compounds from power generators by 70 percent from current levels through a nationwide cap and trade program. The Agency also expects to propose regulations that would reduce emissions that form ozone and fine particles from off-road vehicles, such as bulldozers and other large construction equipment. The report, “Latest Findings on National Air Quality - 2001 Status and Trends,” is available at: www.epa.gov/airtrends.

EPA ADDS 19 FINAL, SEVEN PROPOSED SITES TO SUPERFUND NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST
Dave Ryan 202-564-7827/ryan.dave@epa.gov


EPA is adding 19 final hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL) and proposing seven new sites for public comment. The primary purpose of the NPL is to guide the EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation. Generally, a site is proposed for the NPL if preliminary investigations indicate that it warrants further action. Proposed sites must go through a public comment period before they can be finalized on the NPL. Including today’s action, the NPL now contains 1,238 final sites. Including today’s action to add seven proposed sites to the NPL, there are now 62 sites proposed and awaiting final Agency action, 56 in the General Superfund Section and six in the Federal Facilities Section. Final and proposed sites now total 1,300. The 19 final sites are: Callahan Mine, Brooksville, Maine; Hatheway & Patterson Co., Mansfield, Mass.; Atlantic Resources Corp., Sayreville, N.J.; Diamond Head Refinery, Kearny, N.J.; Quanta Resources Corp., Edgewater, N.J.; Cayuga County Groundwater Contamination, Cayuga County, N.Y.; Crown Cleaners of Watertown, Carthage, N.Y.; Ellenville Scrap Iron & Metal, Ellenville, N.Y.; Franklin Slag Pile, Philadelphia, Pa.; Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard, Anne Arundel County, Md.; Reasor Chemical Co., Castle Hayne, N.C.; Ashland/Northern States Power, Ashland, Wis.; Patrick Bayou, Deer Park, Texas; Brine Service Co., Corpus Christi, Texas; McGaffey & Maine Groundwater Plume, Roswell, N.M.; Railroad Ave. Groundwater Contamination, Des Moines, Iowa; Oak Grove Village Well, Oak Grove Village, Mo.; Eureka Mills, Eureka, Utah; and Del Amo, Los Angeles, Calif. The seven proposed sites are: Pesticide Warehouse III, Manati, Puerto Rico; United Metals, Marianne, Fla.; Ward Transformer, Raleigh, N.C.; Lammers Barrel Factory, Beavercreek, Ohio; Falcon Refinery, Ingelside, Texas; Gulfco Marine Maintenance, Freeport, Texas; and Harbor Oil, Portland, Ore. More information about these sites and the Superfund program is available at:
http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/index.htm#.

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