subject to the revised NSR programs. In response to the request, the NRC established the Committee on Changes in New Source Review Programs for Stationary Sources of Air Pollutants. For its interim report, the committee was charged to present all conclusions and recommendations the committee determined to be feasible and appropriate by January 2005. A final report will be provided at the end of 2005.
Congress did not ask the committee to determine the desirability of the NSR revisions or to recommend whether they be revised or repealed. Such conclusions involve considerations that go beyond science and involve value judgments (for example, how to weigh environmental protection against other societal goals). Congress also did not ask the committee to appraise whether EPA acted within the scope of its authority and, if so, whether EPA’s decision was reasonable. In addition, Congress did not ask the committee to investigate any effects of the NSR changes other than on human health (such as changes in atmospheric visibility, climate, or ecological consequences of pollutant deposition). Because Congress requested an evaluation of changes in emissions of pollutants regulated under the NSR programs, the committee did not include emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, in its assessment. EPA does not consider those gases to be regulated under the CAA.
This interim report provides a synthesis of background information on relevant health effects, air quality indicators, emissions, and industry activities in a regulatory context that will serve as a basis for the committee’s final report. The interim report also describes the committee’s approach to assessing the impacts it has been asked to address. This approach will be refined as the study progresses.
As it carries out its charge, the committee is considering a number of relevant scientific and technical documents prepared by EPA, other federal agencies, states, industry, and environmental and other nongovernmental organizations. Although the committee does not present evaluations of those documents in this report, they have been used to inform the committee’s deliberations. The committee expects to provide its perspectives on several of those documents in the final report. The committee also will gather information on how the revised NSR regulations may affect emissions, air quality, public health, and industry ac-