The United States has made tremendous progress in reducing lead concentrations in the outdoor air. Average lead concentrations in the air have dropped a dramatic 96 percent since 1980, primarily as a result of the ban on lead in motor vehicle gasoline. Also, since the late 1970s, blood lead concentrations for children ages one to five have dropped significantly, from about 15 micrograms per deciliter (:g/dL) to less than 2 :g/dL.
EPA has released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR). It is not a proposal, but a new part of the NAAQS review process that offers an additional public comment period before the agency issues a proposed rule.
EPA is seeking broad public input on the policy options under consideration as part of the lead NAAQS review. For example, the ANPR seeks comment on available scientific information, on current lead exposures for both airborne sources and other sources, and on a number of lead monitoring issues. That input will help inform the agency as it develops a proposed rule.
EPA will accept comment on the ANPR for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
EPA is required by a consent decree to issue a proposal regarding the lead standards by May 1, 2008, and to issue a final rule by Sept. 1, 2008.