40 CFR Appendix R to Part 50, Interpretation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Lead
(a) This appendix explains the data handling conventions and computations necessary for determining when the primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for lead (Pb) specified in § 50.16 are met. The NAAQS indicator for Pb is defined as: lead and its compounds, measured as elemental lead in total suspended particulate (Pb-TSP), sampled and analyzed by a Federal reference method (FRM) based on appendix G to this part or by a Federal equivalent method (FEM) designated in accordance with part 53 of this chapter. Although Pb-TSP is the lead NAAQS indicator, surrogate Pb-TSP concentrations shall also be used for NAAQS comparisons; specifically, valid surrogate Pb-TSP data are concentration data for lead and its compounds, measured as elemental lead, in particles with an aerodynamic size of 10 microns or less (Pb-PM10), sampled and analyzed by an FRM based on appendix Q to this part or by an FEM designated in accordance with part 53 of this chapter. Surrogate Pb-TSP data (i.e., Pb-PM10 data), however, can only be used to show that the Pb NAAQS were violated (i.e., not met); they can not be used to demonstrate that the Pb NAAQS were met. Pb-PM10 data used as surrogate Pb-TSP data shall be processed at face value; that is, without any transformation or scaling. Data handling and computation procedures to be used in making comparisons between reported and/or surrogate Pb-TSP concentrations and the level of the Pb NAAQS are specified in the following sections.
(b) Whether to exclude, retain, or make adjustments to the data affected by exceptional events, including natural events, is determined by the requirements and process deadlines specified in §§ 50.1, 50.14, and 51.930 of this chapter.
(c) The terms used in this appendix are defined as follows:
Annual monitoring network plan refers to the plan required by section 58.10 of this chapter.
Creditable samples are samples that are given credit for data completeness. They include valid samples collected on required sampling days and valid “make-up” samples taken for missed or invalidated samples on required sampling days.
Daily values for Pb refer to the 24-hour mean concentrations of Pb (Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10), measured from midnight to midnight (local standard time), that are used in NAAQS computations.
Design value is the site-level metric (i.e., statistic) that is compared to the NAAQS level to determine compliance; the design value for the Pb NAAQS is selected according to the procedures in this appendix from among the valid three-month Pb-TSP and surrogate Pb-TSP (Pb-PM10) arithmetic mean concentration for the 38-month period consisting of the most recent 3-year calendar period plus two previous months (i.e., 36 3-month periods) using the last month of each 3-month period as the period of report.
Extra samples are non-creditable samples. They are daily values that do not occur on scheduled sampling days and that can not be used as “make-up samples” for missed or invalidated scheduled samples. Extra samples are used in mean calculations. For purposes of determining whether a sample must be treated as a make-up sample or an extra sample, Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data collected before January 1, 2009 will be treated with an assumed scheduled sampling frequency of every sixth day.
Make-up samples are samples taken to replace missed or invalidated required scheduled samples. Make-ups can be made by either the primary or collocated (same size fraction) instruments; to be considered a valid make-up, the sampling must be conducted with equipment and procedures that meet the requirements for scheduled sampling. Make-up samples are either taken before the next required sampling day or exactly one week after the missed (or voided) sampling day. Make-up samples can not span years; that is, if a scheduled sample for December is missed (or voided), it can not be made up in January. Make-up samples, however, may span months, for example a missed sample on January 31 may be made up on February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 (with an assumed sampling frequency of every sixth day). Section 3(e) explains how such month-spanning make-up samples are to be treated for purposes of data completeness and mean calculations. Only two make-up samples are permitted each calendar month; these are counted according to the month in which the miss and not the makeup occurred. For purposes of determining whether a sample must be treated as a make-up sample or an extra sample, Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data collected before January 1, 2009 will be treated with an assumed scheduled sampling frequency of every sixth day.
Monthly mean refers to an arithmetic mean, calculated as specified in section 6(a) of this appendix. Monthly means are computed at each monitoring site separately for Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 (i.e., by site-parameter-year-month).
Parameter refers either to Pb-TSP or to Pb-PM10.
Pollutant Occurrence Code (POC) refers to a numerical code (1, 2, 3, etc.) used to distinguish the data from two or more monitors for the same parameter at a single monitoring site.
Scheduled sampling day means a day on which sampling is scheduled based on the required sampling frequency for the monitoring site, as provided in section 58.12 of this chapter.
Three-month means are arithmetic averages of three consecutive monthly means. Three-month means are computed on a rolling, overlapping basis. Each distinct monthly mean will be included in three different 3-month means; for example, in a given year, a November mean would be included in: (1) The September-October-November 3-month mean, (2) the October-November-December 3-month mean, and (3) the November-December-January(of the following year) 3-month mean. Three-month means are computed separately for each parameter per section 6(a) (and are referred to as 3-month parameter means) and are validated according to the criteria specified in section 4(c). The parameter-specific 3-month means are then prioritized according to section 2(a) to determine a single 3-month site mean.
Year refers to a calendar year.
2. Use of Pb-PM10Data as Surrogate Pb-TSP Data.
(a) As stipulated in section 2.10 of Appendix C to 40 CFR part 58, at some mandatory Pb monitoring locations, monitoring agencies are required to sample for Pb as Pb-TSP, and at other mandatory Pb monitoring sites, monitoring agencies are permitted to monitor for Pb-PM10 in lieu of Pb-TSP. In either situation, valid collocated Pb data for the other parameter may be produced. Additionally, there may be non-required monitoring locations that also produce valid Pb-TSP and/or valid Pb-PM10 data. Pb-TSP data and Pb-PM10 data are always processed separately when computing monthly and 3-month parameter means; monthly and 3-month parameter means are validated according to the criteria stated in section 4 of this appendix. Three-month “site” means, which are the final valid 3-month mean from which a design value is identified, are determined from the one or two available valid 3-month parameter means according to the following prioritization which applies to all Pb monitoring locations.
(i) Whenever a valid 3-month Pb-PM10 mean shows a violation and either is greater than a corresponding (collocated) 3-month Pb-TSP mean or there is no corresponding valid 3-month Pb-TSP mean present, then that 3-month Pb-PM10 mean will be the site-level mean for that (site's) 3-month period.
(ii) Otherwise (i.e., there is no valid violating 3-month Pb-PM10 that exceeds a corresponding 3-month Pb-TSP mean),
(A) If a valid 3-month Pb-TSP mean exists, then it will be the site-level mean for that (site's) 3-month period, or
(B) If a valid 3-month Pb-TSP mean does not exist, then there is no valid 3-month site mean for that period (even if a valid non-violating 3-month Pb-PM10 mean exists).
(b) As noted in section 1(a) of this appendix, FRM/FEM Pb-PM10 data will be processed at face value (i.e., at reported concentrations) without adjustment when computing means and making NAAQS comparisons.
3. Requirements for Data Used for Comparisons With the Pb NAAQS and Data Reporting Considerations.
(a) All valid FRM/FEM Pb-TSP data and all valid FRM/FEM Pb-PM10 data submitted to EPA's Air Quality System (AQS), or otherwise available to EPA, meeting the requirements of part 58 of this chapter including appendices A, C, and E shall be used in design value calculations. Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data representing sample collection periods prior to January 1, 2009 (i.e., “pre-rule” data) will also be considered valid for NAAQS comparisons and related attainment/nonattainment determinations if the sampling and analysis methods that were utilized to collect that data were consistent with previous or newly designated FRMs or FEMs and with either the provisions of part 58 of this chapter including appendices A, C, and E that were in effect at the time of original sampling or that are in effect at the time of the attainment/nonattainment determination, and if such data are submitted to AQS prior to September 1, 2009.
(b) Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 measurement data are reported to AQS in units of micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m 3) at local conditions (local temperature and pressure, LC) to three decimal places; any additional digits to the right of the third decimal place are truncated. Pre-rule Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 concentration data that were reported in standard conditions (standard temperature and standard pressure, STP) will not require a conversion to local conditions but rather, after truncating to three decimal places and processing as stated in this appendix, shall be compared “as is” to the NAAQS (i.e., the LC to STP conversion factor will be assumed to be one). However, if the monitoring agency has retroactively resubmitted Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10 pre-rule data converted from STP to LC based on suitable meteorological data, only the LC data will be used.
(c) At each monitoring location (site), Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data are to be processed separately when selecting daily data by day (as specified in section 3(d) of this appendix), when aggregating daily data by month (per section 6(a)), and when forming 3-month means (per section 6(b)). However, when deriving (i.e., identifying) the design value for the 38-month period, 3-month means for the two data types may be considered together; see sections 2(a) and 4(e) of this appendix for details.
(d) Daily values for sites will be selected for a site on a size cut (Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10, i.e., “parameter”) basis; Pb-TSP concentrations and Pb-PM10 concentrations shall not be commingled in these determinations. Site level, parameter-specific daily values will be selected as follows:
(i) The starting dataset for a site-parameter shall consist of the measured daily concentrations recorded from the designated primary FRM/FEM monitor for that parameter. The primary monitor for each parameter shall be designated in the appropriate state or local agency annual Monitoring Network Plan. If no primary monitor is designated, the Administrator will select which monitor to treat as primary. All daily values produced by the primary sampler are considered part of the site-parameter data record (i.e., that site-parameter's set of daily values); this includes all creditable samples and all extra samples. For pre-rule Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data, valid data records present in AQS for the monitor with the lowest occurring Pollutant Occurrence Code (POC), as selected on a site-parameter-daily basis, will constitute the site-parameter data record. Where pre-rule Pb-TSP data (or subsequent non-required Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10 data) are reported in “composite” form (i.e., multiple filters for a month of sampling that are analyzed together), the composite concentration will be used as the site-parameter monthly mean concentration if there are no valid daily Pb-TSP data reported for that month with a lower POC.
(ii) Data for the primary monitor for each parameter shall be augmented as much as possible with data from collocated (same parameter) FRM/FEM monitors. If a valid 24-hour measurement is not produced from the primary monitor for a particular day (scheduled or otherwise), but a valid sample is generated by a collocated (same parameter) FRM/FEM instrument, then that collocated value shall be considered part of the site-parameter data record (i.e., that site-parameter's monthly set of daily values). If more than one valid collocated FRM/FEM value is available, the mean of those valid collocated values shall be used as the daily value. Note that this step will not be necessary for pre-rule data given the daily identification presumption for the primary monitor.
(e) All daily values in the composite site-parameter record are used in monthly mean calculations. However, not all daily values are given credit towards data completeness requirements. Only “creditable” samples are given credit for data completeness. Creditable samples include valid samples on scheduled sampling days and valid make-up samples. All other types of daily values are referred to as “extra” samples. Make-up samples taken in the (first week of the) month after the one in which the miss/void occurred will be credited for data capture in the month of the miss/void but will be included in the month actually taken when computing monthly means. For example, if a make-up sample was taken in February to replace a missed sample scheduled for January, the make-up concentration would be included in the February monthly mean but the sample credited in the January data capture rate.
4. Comparisons With the Pb NAAQS.
(a) The Pb NAAQS is met at a monitoring site when the identified design value is valid and less than or equal to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m 3). A Pb design value that meets the NAAQS (i.e., 0.15 µg/m 3 or less), is considered valid if it encompasses 36 consecutive valid 3-month site means (specifically for a 3-year calendar period and the two previous months). For sites that begin monitoring Pb after this rule is effective but before January 15, 2010 (or January 15, 2011), a 2010-2012 (or 2011-2013) Pb design value that meets the NAAQS will be considered valid if it encompasses at least 34 consecutive valid 3-month means (specifically encompassing only the 3-year calendar period). See 4(c) of this appendix for the description of a valid 3-month mean and section 6(d) for the definition of the design value.
(b) The Pb NAAQS is violated at a monitoring site when the identified design value is valid and is greater than 0.15 µg/m 3, no matter whether determined from Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10 data. A Pb design value greater than 0.15 µg/m 3 is valid no matter how many valid 3-month means in the 3-year period it encompasses; that is, a violating design value is valid even if it (i.e., the highest 3-month mean) is the only valid 3-month mean in the 3-year timeframe. Further, a site does not have to monitor for three full calendar years in order to have a valid violating design value; a site could monitor just three months and still produce a valid (violating) design value.
(i) A 3-month parameter mean is considered valid (i.e., meets data completeness requirements) if the average of the data capture rate of the three constituent monthly means (i.e., the 3-month data capture rate) is greater than or equal to 75 percent. Monthly data capture rates (expressed as a percentage) are specifically calculated as the number of creditable samples for the month (including any make-up samples taken the subsequent month for missed samples in the month in question, and excluding any make-up samples taken in the month in question for missed samples in the previous month) divided by the number of scheduled samples for the month, the result then multiplied by 100 but not rounded. The 3-month data capture rate is the sum of the three corresponding unrounded monthly data capture rates divided by three and the result rounded to the nearest integer (zero decimal places). As noted in section 3(c), Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 daily values are processed separately when calculating monthly means and data capture rates; a Pb-TSP value cannot be used as a make-up for a missing Pb-PM10 value or vice versa. For purposes of assessing data capture, Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data collected before January 1, 2009 will be treated with an assumed scheduled sampling frequency of every sixth day.
(ii) A 3-month parameter mean that does not have at least 75 percent data capture and thus is not considered valid under 4(c)(i) shall be considered valid (and complete) if it passes either of the two following “data substitution” tests, one such test for validating an above NAAQS-level (i.e., violating) 3-month Pb-TSP or Pb-PM10 mean (using actual “low” reported values from the same site at about the same time of the year (i.e., in the same month) looking across three or four years), and the second test for validating a below-NAAQS level 3-month Pb-TSP mean (using actual “high” values reported for the same site at about the same time of the year (i.e., in the same month) looking across three or four years). Note that both tests are merely diagnostic in nature intending to confirm that there is a very high likelihood if not certainty that the original mean (the one with less than 75% data capture) reflects the true over/under NAAQS-level status for that 3-month period; the result of one of these data substitution tests (i.e., a “test mean”, as defined in section 4(c)(ii)(A) or 4(c)(ii)(B)) is not considered the actual 3-month parameter mean and shall not be used in the determination of design values. For both types of data substitution, substitution is permitted only if there are available data points from which to identify the high or low 3-year month-specific values, specifically if there are at least 10 data points total from at least two of the three (or four for November and December) possible year-months. Data substitution may only use data of the same parameter type.
(A) The “above NAAQS level” test is as follows: Data substitution will be done in each month of the 3-month period that has less than 75 percent data capture; monthly capture rates are temporarily rounded to integers (zero decimals) for this evaluation. If by substituting the lowest reported daily value for that month (year non-specific; e.g., for January) over the 38-month design value period in question for missing scheduled data in the deficient months (substituting only enough to meet the 75 percent data capture minimum), the computation yields a recalculated test 3-month parameter mean concentration above the level of the standard, then the 3-month period is deemed to have passed the diagnostic test and the level of the standard is deemed to have been exceeded in that 3-month period. As noted in section 4(c)(ii), in such a case, the 3-month parameter mean of the data actually reported, not the recalculated (“test”) result including the low values, shall be used to determine the design value.
(B) The “below NAAQS level” test is as follows: Data substitution will be performed for each month of the 3-month period that has less than 75 percent but at least 50 percent data capture; if any month has less than 50% data capture then the 3-month mean can not utilize this substitution test. Also, incomplete 3-month Pb-PM10 means can not utilize this test. A 3-month Pb-TSP mean with less than 75% data capture shall still be considered valid (and complete) if, by substituting the highest reported daily value, month-specific, over the 3-year design value period in question, for all missing scheduled data in the deficient months (i.e., bringing the data capture rate up to 100%), the computation yields a recalculated 3-month parameter mean concentration equal or less than the level of the standard (0.15 µg/m 3), then the 3-month mean is deemed to have passed the diagnostic test and the level of the standard is deemed not to have been exceeded in that 3-month period (for that parameter). As noted in section 4(c)(ii), in such a case, the 3-month parameter mean of the data actually reported, not the recalculated (“test”) result including the high values, shall be used to determine the design value.
(d) Months that do not meet the completeness criteria stated in 4(c)(i) or 4(c)(ii), and design values that do not meet the completeness criteria stated in 4(a) or 4(b), may also be considered valid (and complete) with the approval of, or at the initiative of, the Administrator, who may consider factors such as monitoring site closures/moves, monitoring diligence, the consistency and levels of the valid concentration measurements that are available, and nearby concentrations in determining whether to use such data.
(e) The site-level design value for a 38-month period (three calendar years plus two previous months) is identified from the available (between one and 36) valid 3-month site means. In a situation where there are valid 3-month means for both parameters (Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10), the mean originating from the reported Pb-TSP data will be the one deemed the site-level monthly mean and used in design value identifications unless the Pb-PM10 mean shows a violation of the NAAQS and exceeds the Pb-TSP mean; see section 2(a) for details. A monitoring site will have only one site-level 3-month mean per 3-month period; however, the set of site-level 3-month means considered for design value identification (i.e., one to 36 site-level 3-month means) can be a combination of Pb-TSP and Pb-PM10 data.
(f) The procedures for calculating monthly means and 3-month means, and identifying Pb design values are given in section 6 of this appendix.
5. Rounding Conventions.
(a) Monthly means and monthly data capture rates are not rounded.
(b) Three-month means shall be rounded to the nearest hundredth µg/m 3 (0.xx). Decimals 0.xx5 and greater are rounded up, and any decimal lower than 0.xx5 is rounded down. E.g., a 3-month mean of 0.104925 rounds to 0.10 and a 3-month mean of .10500 rounds to 0.11. Three-month data capture rates, expressed as a percent, are round to zero decimal places.
(c) Because a Pb design value is simply a (highest) 3-month mean and because the NAAQS level is stated to two decimal places, no additional rounding beyond what is specified for 3-month means is required before a design value is compared to the NAAQS.
6. Procedures and Equations for the Pb NAAQS.
(i) A monthly mean value for Pb-TSP (or Pb-PM10) is determined by averaging the daily values of a calendar month using equation 1 of this appendix, unless the Administrator chooses to exercise his discretion to use the alternate approach described in 6(a)(ii).
(ii) The Administrator may at his discretion use the following alternate approach to calculating the monthly mean concentration if the number of extra sampling days during a month is greater than the number of successfully completed scheduled and make-up sample days in that month. In exercising his discretion, the Administrator will consider whether the approach specified in 6(a)(i) might in the Administrator's judgment result in an unrepresentative value for the monthly mean concentration. This provision is to protect the integrity of the monthly and 3-month mean concentration values in situations in which, by intention or otherwise, extra sampling days are concentrated in a period during which ambient concentrations are particularly high or low. The alternate approach is to average all extra and make-up samples (in the given month) taken after each scheduled sampling day (“Day X”) and before the next scheduled sampling day (e.g., “Day X 6”, in the case of one-in-six sampling) with the sample taken on Day X (assuming valid data was obtained on the scheduled sampling day), and then averaging these averages to calculate the monthly mean. This approach has the effect of giving approximately equal weight to periods during a month that have equal number of days, regardless of how many samples were actually obtained during the periods, thus mitigating the potential for the monthly mean to be distorted. The first day of scheduled sampling typically will not fall on the first day of the calendar month, and there may be make-up and/or extra samples (in that same calendar month) preceding the first scheduled day of the month. These samples will not be shifted into the previous month's mean concentration, but rather will stay associated with their actual calendar month as follows. Any extra and make-up samples taken in a month before the first scheduled sampling day of the month will be associated with and averaged with the last scheduled sampling day of that same month.
(b) Three-month parameter means are determined by averaging three consecutive monthly means of the same parameter using Equation 2 of this appendix.
(c) Three-month site means are determined from available 3-month parameter means according to the hierarchy established in 2(a) of this appendix.
(d) The site-level Pb design value is the highest valid 3-month site-level mean over the most recent 38-month period (i.e., the most recent 3-year calendar period plus two previous months). Section 4(a) of this appendix explains when the identified design value is itself considered valid for purposes of determining that the NAAQS is met or violated at a site.