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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; California State Implementation Plan Revision; Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP) for ozone. These revisions concern the control of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) from cement kilns. The intended effect of proposing limited approval and limited disapproval of this rule is to regulate emissions of NOX in accordance with the requirements of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). EPA's final action on this proposed rule will incorporate this rule into the Federally approved SIP. EPA has evaluated this rule and is proposing a simultaneous limited approval and limited disapproval under provisions of the CAA regarding EPA actions on SIP submittals and general rulemaking authority because these revisions, while strengthening the SIP, also do not fully meet the CAA provisions regarding plan submissions and requirements for nonattainment areas.

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DATES:

Comments on this proposed action must be received in writing on or before April 3, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be mailed to: Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Copies of the rule and EPA's evaluation report of the rule are available for public inspection at EPA's Region IX office during normal business hours. Copies of the submitted rule are also available for inspection at the following locations:

Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District, 15428 Civic Drive, Suite 200, Victorville, CA 92392-2383

California Air Resources Board, Stationary Source Division, Rule Evaluation Section, 2020 “L” Street, Sacramento, CA 95812

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Max Fantillo, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Telephone: (415) 744-1183.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Applicability

The rule being proposed for limited approval and limited disapproval into the SIP is Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District (MDAQMD) Rule 1161, Portland Cement Kilns. This rule was submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to EPA on June 29, 1995.

II. Background

On November 15, 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA) were enacted. Public Law 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q. The air quality planning requirements for the reduction of NOX emissions through reasonably available control technology (RACT) are set out in section 182(f) of the CAA. On November 25, 1992, EPA published a proposed rule entitled, “State Implementation Plans; Nitrogen Oxides Supplement to the General Preamble; Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 Implementation of Title I; Proposed Rule,” (the NOX Supplement) which describes and provides preliminary guidance on the requirements of section 182(f). The November 25, 1992, action should be referred to for further information on the NOX requirements and is incorporated into this document by reference.

Section 182(f) of the Clean Air Act requires States to apply the same requirements to major stationary sources of NOX (“major” as defined in section 302 and sections 182(c), (d), and (e)) as are applied to major stationary sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in moderate or above ozone nonattainment areas. The Southeast Desert Air Basin managed by MDAQMD is classified as severe,[1] therefore this area was subject to the RACT requirements of section 182(b)(2) and the November 15, 1992 deadline, cited below.

Section 182(b)(2) requires submittal of RACT rules for major stationary sources of VOC (and NOX) emissions (not covered by a pre-enactment control technologies guidelines (CTG) document or a post-enactment CTG document) by November 15, 1992. There were no NOX CTGs issued before enactment and EPA has not issued a CTG document for any NOX sources since enactment of the CAA. The RACT rules covering NOX sources and submitted as SIP revisions, are expected to require final installation of the actual NOX controls as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than May 31, 1995.

This document addresses EPA's proposed action for MDAQMD, Rule 1161, Portland Cement Kilns. MDAQMD adopted Rule 1161 on June 28, 1995. The State of California submitted this rule on June 29, 1995. Rule 1161 was found to be complete on July 3, 1995 pursuant to EPA's completeness criteria that are set forth in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V.[2]

NOX emissions contribute to the production of ground level ozone and smog. Rule 1161 controls emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) from portland cement kilns within MDAQMD area. The rule was adopted as part of MDAQMD's efforts to achieve the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone and in response to the CAA requirements cited above. The following is EPA's evaluation and proposed action for this rule.

III. EPA Evaluation and Proposed Action

In determining the approvability of a NOX rule, EPA must evaluate the rule for consistency with the requirements of the CAA and EPA regulations, as found in section 110 and part D of the CAA and 40 CFR part 51 (Requirements for Preparation, Adoption and Submittal of Implementation Plans). EPA's interpretation of these requirements, which forms the basis for this action, appears in the NOX Supplement (57 FR 55620) and various other EPA policy guidance documents.[3] Among these provisions is the requirement that a NOX rule must, at a minimum, provide for the implementation of RACT for stationary sources of NOX emissions.

For the purposes of assisting State and local agencies in developing NOX RACT rules, EPA prepared the NOX Supplement to the General Preamble. In the NOX Supplement, EPA provides preliminary guidance on how RACT will be determined for stationary sources of NOX emissions. While most of the guidance issued by EPA on what constitutes RACT for stationary sources has been directed towards application for VOC sources, much of the guidance is also applicable to RACT for stationary sources of NOX (see section 4.5 of the NOX Supplement). In addition, pursuant to section 183(c), EPA is issuing alternative control technique documents (ACTs), that identify alternative controls for categories of stationary sources of NOX. The ACT documents will provide information on control technology for stationary sources that emit or have the potential to emit 25 tons per year or more of NOX. However, the ACTs will not establish a presumptive norm for what is considered RACT for stationary sources of NOX. In general, the guidance documents cited above, as well as other relevant and applicable guidance documents, have been set forth to ensure that submitted NOX RACT rules meet Federal RACT requirements and are fully enforceable and strengthen or maintain the SIP.

There is currently no version of MDAQMD's Rule 1161, Portland Cement Kilns, in the SIP. The submitted rule includes the following provisions: applicability, exemptions, emission limits, compliance determination, compliance alternative, test methods, monitoring and recordkeeping, and compliance schedule.

With exception of the deficiencies discussed below, EPA has determined that the emission limits and other provisions of Rule 1161 meet the RACT requirement of section 182(b). Although Rule 1161, Portland Cement Kilns, will strengthen the SIP, this rule contains the Start Printed Page 11277following appendix D/RACT deficiencies:

  • The Alternative Compliance Strategy (ACS) is not approvable as written because it lacks substantive detail. ACS provisions must be consistent with the EPA Emissions Trading Policy Statement (ETPS), the Economic Incentive Program Rules (EIP), and EPA policies regarding alternative control and alternative methods of compliance. The EIP and other EPA policies require bubble provisions to meet, among other things, a 10 percent (%) or greater reduction in emissions beyond the established baseline.
  • The rule allows exemption from the emission limits during start-up/shutdown(su/sd). EPA policy on excess emissions during su/sd generally disallows automatic exemption from emission limits during these periods. Automatic exemptions might aggravate ambient air quality by excusing excess emissions that cause or contribute to a violation of an ambient air quality standard.
  • The rule references submitted Rule 430 which is not State Implementation Plan (SIP) approved. Referenced rules must be SIP approved.

A more detailed discussion of the sources controlled, the controls required, justification for why these controls represent RACT, and the rule deficiencies can be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD), dated December 29, 1999.

Because of the above deficiencies, EPA cannot grant full approval of this rule under section 110(k)(3) and part D. Also, because the submitted rule is not composed of separable parts which meet all the applicable requirements of the CAA, EPA cannot grant partial approval of the rule under section 110(k)(3). However, EPA may grant a limited approval of the submitted rule under section 110(k)(3) in light of EPA's authority pursuant to section 301(a) to adopt regulations necessary to further air quality by strengthening the SIP. The approval is limited because EPA's action also contains a simultaneous limited disapproval. In order to strengthen the SIP, EPA is proposing a limited approval of MDAQMD'S submitted Rule 1161 under sections 110(k)(3) and 301(a) of the CAA as meeting the requirements of section (110)(a) and part D. At the same time, EPA is also proposing a limited disapproval of this rule because it contains deficiencies which must be corrected in order to fully meet the requirements of sections 182(a)(2), 182(b)(2), 182(f), and part D of the CAA. Under section 179(a)(2), if the Administrator disapproves a submission under section 110(k) for an area designated nonattainment, based on the submission's failure to meet one or more of the elements required by the Act, the Administrator must apply one of the sanctions set forth in section 179(b) unless the deficiency has been corrected within 18 months of such disapproval. Section 179(b) provides two sanctions available to the Administrator: highway funding and offsets. The 18 month period referred to in section 179(a) will begin on the effective date of EPA's final limited disapproval. Moreover, the final disapproval triggers the Federal implementation plan (FIP) requirement under section 110(c). It should be noted that the rule covered by this document has been adopted by the MDAQMD and is currently in effect in the MDAQMD area. EPA's final limited disapproval action will not prevent MDAQMD or EPA from enforcing this rule.

IV. Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this regulatory action from Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review.

B. Executive Order 12875

Under Executive Order 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership, EPA may not issue a regulation that is not required by statute and that creates a mandate upon a State, local or tribal government, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by those governments, or EPA consults with those governments. If EPA complies by consulting, Executive Order 12875 requires EPA to provide to the Office of Management and Budget a description of the extent of EPA's prior consultation with representatives of affected State, local and tribal governments, the nature of their concerns, copies of any written communications from the governments, and a statement supporting the need to issue the regulation. In addition, Executive Order 12875 requires EPA to develop an effective process permitting elected officials and other representatives of State, local and tribal governments “to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of regulatory proposals containing significant unfunded mandates.” Today's rule does not create a mandate on State, local or tribal governments. The rule does not impose any enforceable duties on these entities. Accordingly, the requirements of section 1(a) of Executive Order 12875 do not apply to this rule.

C. Executive Order 13045

Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) is determined to be “economically significant” as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is does not involve decisions intended to mitigate environmental health or safety risks.

D. Executive Order 13084

Under Executive Order 13084, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, EPA may not issue a regulation that is not required by statute, that significantly or uniquely affects the communities of Indian tribal governments, and that imposes substantial direct compliance costs on those communities, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by the tribal governments, or EPA consults with those governments. If EPA complies by consulting, Executive Order 13084 requires EPA to provide to the Office of Management and Budget, in a separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a description of the extent of EPA's prior consultation with representatives of affected tribal governments, a summary of the nature of their concerns, and a statement supporting the need to issue the regulation. In addition, Executive Order 13084 requires EPA to develop an effective process permitting elected officials and other representatives of Indian tribal governments “to provide meaningful and timely input in the development of regulatory policies on matters that significantly or uniquely affect their communities.” Today's rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Indian tribal governments. Accordingly, the requirements of section 3(b) of Executive Order 13084 do not apply to this rule. Start Printed Page 11278

E. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions. This final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because SIP approvals under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the Clean Air Act do not create any new requirements but simply approve requirements that the State is already imposing. Therefore, because the Federal SIP approval does not create any new requirements, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Moreover, due to the nature of the Federal-State relationship under the Clean Air Act, preparation of flexibility analysis would constitute Federal inquiry into the economic reasonableness of state action. The Clean Air Act forbids EPA to base its actions concerning SIPs on such grounds. Union Electric Co. v. U.S. EPA, 427 U.S. 246, 255-66 (1976); 42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(2).

F. Unfunded Mandates

Under section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (“Unfunded Mandates Act”), signed into law on March 22, 1995, EPA must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated annual costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; or to private sector, of $100 million or more. Under section 205, EPA must select the most cost-effective and least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with statutory requirements. Section 203 requires EPA to establish a plan for informing and advising any small governments that may be significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.

EPA has determined that the approval action promulgated does not include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated annual costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector. This Federal action approves pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Dated: February 17, 2000.

Felicia Marcus,

Regional Administrator Region IX.

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Footnotes

1.  Southeast Desert Air Basin managed by MDAQMD retained its designation of nonattainment and was classified by operation of law pursuant to sections 107(d) and 181(a) upon the date of enactment of the CAA. See 55 FR 56694 (November 6, 1991).

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2.  EPA adopted the completeness criteria on February 16, 1990 (55 FR 5830) and, pursuant to section 110(k)(1)(A) of the CAA, revised the criteria on August 26, 1991 (56 FR 42216).

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3.  Among other things, the pre-amendment guidance consists of those portions of the proposed post-1987 ozone and carbon monoxide policy that concern RACT, 52 FR 45044 (November 24, 1987); “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations, Clarification to Appendix D of November 24, 1987 Federal Register document” (Blue Book) (notice of availability was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 1988).

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[FR Doc. 00-5041 Filed 3-1-00; 8:45 am]

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