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Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Commonwealth of Virginia; Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone and the 1997 and 2006 Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards

Action

Final Rule.

Summary

EPA is approving submittals from the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA) sections 110(k)(2) and (3). These submittals address the infrastructure elements specified in CAA section 110(a)(2), necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 1997 8-hour ozone and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. This final rule is limited to the following infrastructure elements which were subject to EPA's completeness findings pursuant to CAA section 110(k)(1) for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS dated March 27, 2008 and the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS dated October 22, 2008: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof; and the following infrastructure elements for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Effective Date: This final rule is effective on November 10, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2010-0160. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., confidential business information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy for public inspection during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Marilyn Powers, (215) 814-2308, or by e-mail at powers.marilyn@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Throughout this document, whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

I. Background Back to Top

On July 14, 2011 (76 FR 41444), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The NPR proposed approval of Virginia submittals that provide the basic program elements specified in CAA section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. The formal submittals by the Commonwealth of Virginia on December 10, 2007, December 13, 2007, June 8, 2010, and June 9, 2010 addressed the section 110(a)(2) requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; the submittals dated July 10, 2008, September 2, 2008, June 8, 2010, June 9, 2010, and August 30, 2010 addressed the section 110(a)(2) requirements for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS; and the submittals dated August 30, 2010 and April 1, 2011 addressed the section 110(a)(2) requirements for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS.

II. Scope of Action on Infrastructure Submissions Back to Top

EPA is currently acting on State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that address the infrastructure requirements of CAA section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS for various states across the country. Commenters on EPA's recent proposals for some states raised concerns about EPA statements that it was not addressing certain substantive issues in the context of acting on those infrastructure SIP submissions. [1] Those commenters specifically raised concerns involving provisions in existing SIPs and with EPA's statements in other proposals that it would address two issues separately and not as part of actions on the infrastructure SIP submissions: (i) Existing provisions related to excess emissions during periods of start-up, shutdown, or malfunction (SSM) at sources, that may be contrary to the CAA and EPA's policies addressing such excess emissions; and (ii) existing provisions related to “director's variance” or “director's discretion” that purport to permit revisions to SIP approved emissions limits with limited public process or without requiring further approval by EPA, that may be contrary to the CAA. EPA notes that there are two other substantive issues for which EPA likewise stated in other proposals that it would address the issues separately: (i) Existing provisions for minor source new source review (“minor source NSR”) programs that may be inconsistent with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations that pertain to such programs and (ii) existing provisions for Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) programs that may be inconsistent with current requirements of EPA's “Final NSR Improvement Rule,” (67 FR 80186, December 31, 2002), as amended by the NSR Reform Rule (72 FR 32526, June 13, 2007) (NSR Reform). In light of the comments, EPA now believes that its statements in various proposed actions on infrastructure SIPs with respect to these four individual issues should be explained in greater depth.

EPA intended the statements in the other proposals concerning these four issues merely to be informational and to provide general notice of the potential existence of provisions within the existing SIPs of some states that might require future corrective action. EPA did not want states, regulated entities, or members of the public to be under the misconception that EPA's approval of the infrastructure SIP submission of a given state should be interpreted as a reapproval of certain types of provisions that might be contained in the larger existing SIP for such state. Thus, for example, EPA explicitly noted that we believe that some states may have existing SIP approved SSM provisions that are contrary to the CAA and EPA policy, but that “in this rulemaking, EPA is not proposing to approve or disapprove any existing State provisions with regard to excess emissions during SSM of operations at facilities.” EPA further explained, for informational purposes, that “EPA plans to address such State regulations in the future.” EPA made similar statements, for similar reasons, with respect to the director's discretion, minor source NSR, and NSR Reform issues. EPA's objective was to make clear that approval of an infrastructure SIP for these ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS should not be construed as explicit or implicit reapproval of any existing provisions that relate to these four substantive issues.

The commenters and others evidently interpreted these statements to mean that EPA considered action upon the SSM provisions and the other three substantive issues to be integral parts of acting on an infrastructure SIP submission, and therefore that EPA was merely postponing taking final action on the issue in the context of the infrastructure SIPs. This was not EPA's intention. To the contrary, EPA only meant to convey its awareness of the potential for certain types of deficiencies in existing SIPs and to prevent any misunderstanding that it was reapproving any such existing provisions. EPA's intention was to convey its position that the statute does not require that infrastructure SIPs address these specific substantive issues in existing SIPs and that these issues may be dealt with separately, outside the context of acting on the infrastructure SIP submission of a state. To be clear, EPA did not mean to imply that it was not taking a full final agency action on the infrastructure SIP submission with respect to any substantive issue that EPA considers to be a required part of acting on such submissions under section 110(k) or under section 110(c). Given the confusion evidently resulting from EPA's statements in those proposals, however, we want to explain more fully EPA's reasons for concluding that these four potential substantive issues in existing SIPs may be addressed separately.

The requirement for the SIP submissions at issue arises out of CAA section 110(a)(1). That provision requires that states must make a SIP submission “within 3 years (or such shorter period as the Administrator may prescribe) after the promulgation of a national primary ambient air quality standard (or any revision thereof)” and that these SIPs are to provide for the “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of such NAAQS. Section 110(a)(2) includes a list of specific elements that “[e]ach such plan” submission must meet. EPA has historically referred to these particular submissions that states must make after the promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS as “infrastructure SIPs.” This specific term does not appear in the statute, but EPA uses the term to distinguish this particular type of SIP submission designed to address basic structural requirements of a SIP from other types of SIP submissions designed to address other different requirements, such as “nonattainment SIP” submissions required to address the nonattainment planning requirements of part D, “regional haze SIP” submissions required to address the visibility protection requirements of CAA section 169A, new source review permitting program submissions required to address the requirements of part D, and a host of other specific types of SIP submissions that address other specific matters.

Although section 110(a)(1) addresses the timing and general requirements for these infrastructure SIPs and section 110(a)(2) provides more details concerning the required contents of these infrastructure SIPs, EPA believes that many of the specific statutory provisions are facially ambiguous. In particular, the list of required elements provided in section 110(a)(2) contains a wide variety of disparate provisions, some of which pertain to required legal authority, some of which pertain to required substantive provisions, and some of which pertain to requirements for both authority and substantive provisions. [2] Some of the elements of section 110(a)(2) are relatively straightforward, but others clearly require interpretation by EPA through rulemaking, or recommendations through guidance, in order to give specific meaning for a particular NAAQS. [3]

Notwithstanding that section 110(a)(2) states that “each” SIP submission must meet the list of requirements therein, EPA has long noted that this literal reading of the statute is internally inconsistent, insofar as section 110(a)(2)(I) pertains to nonattainment SIP requirements that could not be met on the schedule provided for these SIP submissions in section 110(a)(1). [4] This illustrates that EPA must determine which provisions of section 110(a)(2) may be applicable for a given infrastructure SIP submission. Similarly, EPA has previously decided that it could take action on different parts of the larger, general “infrastructure SIP” for a given NAAQS without concurrent action on all subsections, such as section 110(a)(2)(D)(i), because EPA bifurcated the action on these latter “interstate transport” provisions within section 110(a)(2) and worked with states to address each of the four prongs of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) with substantive administrative actions proceeding on different tracks with different schedules. [5] This illustrates that EPA may conclude that subdividing the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) into separate SIP actions may sometimes be appropriate for a given NAAQS where a specific substantive action is necessitated, beyond a mere submission addressing basic structural aspects of the state's SIP. Finally, EPA notes that not every element of section 110(a)(2) would be relevant, or as relevant, or relevant in the same way, for each new or revised NAAQS and the attendant infrastructure SIP submission for that NAAQS. For example, the monitoring requirements that might be necessary for purposes of section 110(a)(2)(B) for one NAAQS could be very different than what might be necessary for a different pollutant. Thus, the content of an infrastructure SIP submission to meet this element from a state might be very different for an entirely new NAAQS, versus a minor revision to an existing NAAQS. [6]

Similarly, EPA notes that other types of SIP submissions required under the statute also must meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2), and this also demonstrates the need to identify the applicable elements for other SIP submissions. For example, nonattainment SIPs required by part D likewise have to meet the relevant subsections of section 110(a)(2) such as section 110(a)(2)(A) or (E). By contrast, it is clear that nonattainment SIPs would not need to meet the portion of section 110(a)(2)(C) that pertains to part C, i.e., the PSD requirements applicable in attainment areas. Nonattainment SIPs required by part D also would not need to address the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G) with respect to emergency episodes, as such requirements would not be limited to nonattainment areas. As this example illustrates, each type of SIP submission may implicate some subsections of section 110(a)(2) and not others.

Given the potential for ambiguity of the statutory language of section 110(a)(1) and (2), EPA believes that it is appropriate for EPA to interpret that language in the context of acting on the infrastructure SIPs for a given NAAQS. Because of the inherent ambiguity of the list of requirements in section 110(a)(2), EPA has adopted an approach in which it reviews infrastructure SIPs against this list of elements “as applicable.” In other words, EPA assumes that Congress could not have intended that each and every SIP submission, regardless of the purpose of the submission or the NAAQS in question, would meet each of the requirements, or meet each of them in the same way. EPA elected to use guidance to make recommendations for infrastructure SIPs for these NAAQS.

On October 2, 2007, EPA issued guidance making recommendations for the infrastructure SIP submissions for both the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS. [7] Within this guidance document, EPA described the duty of states to make these submissions to meet what EPA characterized as the “infrastructure” elements for SIPs, which it further described as the “basic SIP requirements, including emissions inventories, monitoring, and modeling to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards.” [8] As further identification of these basic structural SIP requirements, “attachment A” to the guidance document included a short description of the various elements of section 110(a)(2) and additional information about the types of issues that EPA considered germane in the context of such infrastructure SIPs. EPA emphasized that the description of the basic requirements listed on attachment A was not intended “to constitute an interpretation of” the requirements and was merely a “brief description of the required elements.” [9] EPA also stated its belief that with one exception, these requirements were “relatively self explanatory, and past experience with SIPs for other NAAQS should enable states to meet these requirements with assistance from EPA Regions.” [10] For the one exception to that general assumption, however, i.e., how states should proceed with respect to the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS, EPA gave much more specific recommendations. But for other infrastructure SIP submittals, and for certain elements of the submittals for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS, EPA assumed that each state would work with its corresponding EPA regional office to refine the scope of a state's submittal based on an assessment of how the requirements of section 110(a)(2) should reasonably apply to the basic structure of the state's SIP for the NAAQS in question.

On September 25, 2009, EPA issued guidance to make recommendations to states with respect to the infrastructure SIPs for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. [11] In the 2009 Guidance, EPA addressed a number of additional issues that were not germane to the infrastructure SIPs for the 1997 8-hour ozone and 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS, but were germane to these SIP submissions for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS, e.g., the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) that EPA had bifurcated from the other infrastructure elements for those specific 1997 ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS.

Significantly, neither the 2007 Guidance nor the 2009 Guidance explicitly referred to the SSM, director's discretion, minor source NSR, or NSR Reform issues as among specific substantive issues EPA expected states to address in the context of the infrastructure SIPs, nor did EPA give any more specific recommendations with respect to how states might address such issues even if they elected to do so. The SSM and director's discretion issues implicate section 110(a)(2)(A), and the minor source NSR and NSR Reform issues implicate section 110(a)(2)(C). In the 2007 Guidance, however, EPA did not indicate to states that it intended to interpret these provisions as requiring a substantive submission to address these specific issues in the context of the infrastructure SIPs for these NAAQS. Instead, EPA's 2007 Guidance merely indicated its belief that the states should make submissions in which they established that they have the basic SIP structure necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the NAAQS. EPA believes that states can establish that they have the basic SIP structure, notwithstanding that there may be potential deficiencies within the existing SIP. Thus, EPA's other proposals mentioned these issues not because EPA considers them issues that must be addressed in the context of an infrastructure SIP as required by section 110(a)(1) and (2), but rather because EPA wanted to be clear that it considers these potential existing SIP problems as separate from the pending infrastructure SIP actions.

EPA believes that this approach to the infrastructure SIP requirement is reasonable, because it would not be feasible to read section 110(a)(1) and (2) to require a top to bottom, comprehensive, review of each and every provision of an existing SIP merely for purposes of assuring that the state in question has the basic structural elements for a functioning SIP for a new or revised NAAQS. Because SIPs have grown by accretion over the decades as statutory and regulatory requirements under the CAA have evolved, they may include some outmoded provisions and historical artifacts that, while not fully up to date, nevertheless may not pose a significant problem for the purposes of “implementation, maintenance, and enforcement” of a new or revised NAAQS when EPA considers the overall effectiveness of the SIP. To the contrary, EPA believes that a better approach is for EPA to determine which specific SIP elements from section 110(a)(2) are applicable to an infrastructure SIP for a given NAAQS, and to focus attention on those elements that are most likely to need a specific SIP revision in light of the new or revised NAAQS. Thus, for example, EPA's 2007 Guidance specifically directed states to focus on the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(G) for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS because of the absence of underlying EPA regulations for emergency episodes for this NAAQS and an anticipated absence of relevant provisions in existing SIPs.

Finally, EPA believes that its approach is a reasonable reading of section 110(a)(1) and (2) because the statute provides other avenues and mechanisms to address specific substantive deficiencies in existing SIPs. These other statutory tools allow EPA to take appropriate tailored action, depending upon the nature and severity of the alleged SIP deficiency. Section 110(k)(5) authorizes EPA to issue a “SIP call” whenever EPA determines that a state's SIP is substantially inadequate to attain or maintain the NAAQS, to mitigate interstate transport, or otherwise to comply with the CAA. [12] Section 110(k)(6) authorizes EPA to correct errors in past actions, such as past approvals of SIP submissions. [13] Significantly, EPA's determination that an action on the infrastructure SIP is not the appropriate time and place to address all potential existing SIP problems does not preclude EPA's subsequent reliance on provisions in section 110(a)(2) as part of the basis for action at a later time. For example, although it may not be appropriate to require a state to eliminate all existing inappropriate director's discretion provisions in the course of acting on the infrastructure SIP, EPA believes that section 110(a)(2)(A) may be among the statutory bases that EPA cites in the course of addressing the issue in a subsequent action. [14]

III. Summary of SIP Revision Back to Top

The submittals referenced in the Background section above address the infrastructure elements specified in the CAA section 110(a)(2). These submittals refer to the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS, and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. The rationale supporting EPA's proposed action is explained in the NPR and the technical support document (TSD) and will not be restated here. The TSD is available online at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID number EPA-R03-OAR-2010-0160. No public comments were received on the NPR.

IV. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals from the Commonwealth of Virginia Back to Top

In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information (1) That are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) that are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) that demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) that are required by law.

On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce Federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their Federal counterparts. * * * ” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

Virginia's Immunity Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by Federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any Federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with Federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the Federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on Federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

V. Final Action Back to Top

EPA is approving the Commonwealth of Virginia's submittals that provide the basic program elements specified in CAA sections 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof, necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS.

EPA made completeness findings for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS on March 27, 2008 (73 FR 16205) and on October 22, 2008 (73 FR 62902) for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS. These findings pertained only to whether the submissions were complete, pursuant to section 110(k)(1)(A), and did not constitute EPA approval or disapproval of such submissions. The Virginia submittals, described above and in the technical support document, addressed these findings, with the exception of the part C PSD permit program.

EPA has taken separate action on the portions of section 110(a)(2)(C) and (J) for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as they relate to Virginia's part C PSD permit program. With respect to this permit program, on November 29, 2005 (70 FR 71612), EPA promulgated a change that made NO X a precursor for ozone in the part C regulations at 40 CFR 51.166 and 40 CFR 52.21. In the March 27, 2008 completeness findings, EPA determined that Virginia failed to submit a SIP revision to its part C PSD permit program to fully incorporate NO X as a precursor for ozone. On June 7, 2010, Virginia submitted revisions to it PSD regulation, 9VAC5 Chapter 80, to include NO X as a precursor for ozone. EPA has approved this PSD SIP revision and element 110(a)(2)(C) and (J) as it pertains to the PSD permit program for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was addressed in this separate action (76 FR 54706, September 2, 2011).

Two elements identified in section 110(a)(2) are not governed by the three year submission deadline of section 110(a)(1) because SIPs incorporating necessary local nonattainment area controls are not due within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, but rather are due at the time the nonattainment area plan requirements are due pursuant to section 172. This action does not cover these specific elements. This action also does not address the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. The 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) requirements have been addressed by separate findings issued by EPA (70 FR 21147, April 25, 2005 and 75 FR 32673, June 9, 2010), and a federal implementation plan (FIP) (75 FR 45210, August 2, 2010). The 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) portion of these requirements are addressed through 110(a)(2) SIP submittals that EPA will take separate action on.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Back to Top

A. General Requirements

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

  • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
  • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
  • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
  • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4);
  • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
  • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);
  • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
  • Is not subject to the requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and
  • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

C. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 12, 2011. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action.

This action pertaining to Virginia's section 110(a)(2) infrastructure SIP submittals for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM 2.5 NAAQS, and the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS, may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR part 52 Back to Top

Dated: September 27, 2011.

W. C. Early,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

40 CFR Part 52 is amended as follows:

begin regulatory text

PART 52—[AMENDED] Back to Top

1.The authority citation for 40 CFR part 52 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart VV—Virginia Back to Top

2.In § 52.2420, the table in paragraph (e) is amended by adding entries at the end of the table for Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS, Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS, and Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS. The amendments read as follows:

§ 52.2420 Identification of plan.

* * * * *

(e) * * *

Name of non-regulatory SIP revision Applicable geographic area State submittal date EPA approval date Additional explanation
*******        
Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS Statewide 12/10/07 12/13/07 6/8/10 6/9/10 10/11/11 [Insert page number where the document begins] This action addresses the following CAA elements or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).
Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS Statewide 7/10/08 9/2/08 6/8/10 6/9/10 4/1/08 10/11/11 [Insert page number where the document begins] This action addresses the following CAA elements or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).
Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2006 PM 2.5 NAAQS Statewide 8/30/10 4/1/11 10/11/11 [Insert page number where the document begins] This action addresses the following CAA elements or portions thereof: 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M).
end regulatory text

[FR Doc. 2011-26095 Filed 10-7-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. See, Comments of Midwest Environmental Defense Center, dated May 31, 2011. Docket # EPA-R05-OAR-2007-1179 (adverse comments on proposals for three states in Region 5). EPA notes that these public comments on another proposal are not relevant to this rulemaking and do not have to be directly addressed in this rulemaking. EPA will respond to these comments in the appropriate rulemaking action to which they apply.

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2. For example, section 110(a)(2)(E) provides that states must provide assurances that they have adequate legal authority under state and local law to carry out the SIP; section 110(a)(2)(C) provides that states must have a substantive program to address certain sources as required by part C of the CAA; section 110(a)(2)(G) provides that states must have both legal authority to address emergencies and substantive contingency plans in the event of such an emergency.

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3. For example, section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) requires EPA to be sure that each state's SIP contains adequate provisions to prevent significant contribution to nonattainment of the NAAQS in other states. This provision contains numerous terms that require substantial rulemaking by EPA in order to determine such basic points as what constitutes significant contribution. See, e.g.,“Rule To Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone (Clean Air Interstate Rule); Revisions to Acid Rain Program; Revisions to the nitrogen oxides (NO x) SIP Call; Final Rule,” (70 FR 25162, May 12, 2005) (defining, among other things, the phrase “contribute significantly to nonattainment”).

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4. See, e.g., Id., (70 FR 25162, at 63-65, May 12, 2005) (explaining relationship between timing requirement of section 110(a)(2)(D) versus section 110(a)(2)(I)).

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5. EPA issued separate guidance to states with respect to SIP submissions to meet section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 1997 ozone and 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS. See, “Guidance for State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submissions to Meet Current Outstanding Obligations Under Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i) for the 8-Hour Ozone and PM 2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” from William T. Harnett, Director Air Quality Policy Division OAQPS, to Regional Air Division Director, Regions I-X, dated August 15, 2006.

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6. For example, implementation of the 1997 PM 2.5 NAAQS required the deployment of a system of new monitors to measure ambient levels of that new indicator species for the new NAAQS.

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7. See, “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Section 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 1997 8-hour Ozone and PM 2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards,” from William T. Harnett, Director Air Quality Policy Division, to Air Division Directors, Regions I—X, dated October 2, 2007 (the “2007 Guidance”).

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8. Id., at page 2.

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9. Id., at attachment A, page 1.

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10. Id., at page 4. In retrospect, the concerns raised by commenters with respect to EPA's approach to some substantive issues indicates that the statute is not so “self explanatory,” and indeed is sufficiently ambiguous that EPA needs to interpret it in order to explain why these substantive issues do not need to be addressed in the context of infrastructure SIPs and may be addressed at other times and by other means.

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11. See, “Guidance on SIP Elements Required Under Sections 110(a)(1) and (2) for the 2006 24-Hour Fine Particle (PM 2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS),” from William T, Harnett, Director Air Quality Policy Division, to Regional Air Division Directors, Regions I—X, dated September 25, 2009 (the “2009 Guidance”).

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12. EPA has recently issued a SIP call to rectify a specific SIP deficiency related to the SSM issue. See, “Finding of Substantial Inadequacy of Implementation Plan; Call for Utah State Implementation Plan Revision,” (74 FR 21639, April 18, 2011).

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13. EPA has recently utilized this authority to correct errors in past actions on SIP submissions related to PSD programs. See, “Limitation of Approval of Prevention of Significant Deterioration Provisions Concerning Greenhouse Gas Emitting-Sources in State Implementation Plans; Final Rule,” (75 FR 82536, Dec. 30, 2010). EPA has previously used its authority under CAA 110(k)(6) to remove numerous other SIP provisions that EPA determined it had approved in error. See, e.g., (61 FR 38664, July 25, 1996) and (62 FR 34641, June 27, 1997) (corrections to American Samoa, Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada SIPs); (69 FR 67062, November 16, 2004) (corrections to California SIP); and (74 FR 57051, November 3, 2009) (corrections to Arizona and Nevada SIPs).

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14. EPA has recently disapproved a SIP submission from Colorado on the grounds that it would have included a director's discretion provision inconsistent with CAA requirements, including section 110(a)(2)(A). See, e.g., (75 FR 42342- 42344, July 21, 2010) (proposed disapproval of director's discretion provisions); (76 FR 4540, Jan. 26, 2011) (final disapproval of such provisions).

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