Skip to Content

Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; California State Implementation Plan Revision; Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District and South Coast Air Quality Management District

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing a disapproval of revisions to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP) in the Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District (AVAPCD) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). These revisions would allow the district the discretion to suspend district rules, regulations or orders in the event of a state or federally declared state of emergency. EPA has evaluated these revisions and is proposing to disapprove them because they would weaken the SIP.

DATES:

Comments on this proposed action must be received by May 1, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

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

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

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

Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District, 315 W. Pondera Street, Lancaster, California 93534

South Coast Air Quality Management District, 21865 E. Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cynthia G. Allen, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Telephone (415) 744-1189.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Applicability

The rules being proposed for disapproval are Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District (AVAPCD) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 118, Emergencies. Rule 118 was submitted to EPA by the California Air Resources Board on March 10, 1998 and May 18, 1998, respectively.

II. Background

This document addresses EPA's proposed action for Antelope Valley Air Pollution Control District (AVAPCD) and South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 118, Emergencies. These rules were adopted by AVAPCD on August 19, 1997 and by SCAQMD on December 7, 1995. These rules were found to be complete on May 21, 1998 for AVAPCD and on July 17, 1998 for SCAQMD, pursuant to EPA's completeness criteria that are set forth in 40 CFR part 51, appendix V.[1]

III. EPA Evaluation and Proposed Action

In determining the approvability of a 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 EPA policy guidance documents. In general, the guidance documents have been set forth to ensure that submitted rules meet Federal requirements, are fully enforceable, and strengthen or maintain the SIP.

There is currently no version of Antelope Valley or South Coast Rule 118, Emergencies, in the SIP. The submitted rules include the following:

  • Definitions of various terms used in the rule;
  • Executive Officer authority to suspend AQMD rules; regulations, or orders in the event of a state or federally-declared State of Emergency; and
  • Guidelines for suspending or modifying compliance with existing rules, regulations, or permit conditions, and provisions allowing extension of suspension beyond the state of emergency.

Rules submitted to EPA for approval as revisions to the SIP must be fully enforceable, must maintain or strengthen the SIP, and must conform with EPA policy in order to be approved by EPA. AVAPCD and SCAQMD Rules 118 weaken, rather than strengthen or Start Printed Page 17230maintain the SIP. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA does not have the authority to approve SIP provisions which would allow Executive Officers' discretion to suspend federally enforceable requirements. AVAPCD and SCAQMD Rule 118, if approved, would impact EPA's ability to seek injunctive relief and penalties in appropriate instances and would allow the districts to waive federally enforceable requirements contrary to section 110 of the Clean Air Act. These deficiencies undermine the prerogatives retained by EPA for protecting the NAAQS, PSD increments, and other air quality related values under section 110 and part D. Therefore, in order to maintain the SIP, EPA is proposing a disapproval of these rules. Because these rules are not required under section 110 or part D, their disapproval will not trigger sanctions or FIP requirements pursuant to section 179.

Nothing in this action should be construed as permitting or allowing or establishing a precedent for any future request for revision to any State implementation plan. Each request for revision to the State Implementation Plan shall be considered separately in light of specific technical, economic and environmental factors and in relation to relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.

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 13132

Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) revokes and replaces Executive Orders 12612, Federalism and 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership. Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.” Under Executive Order 13132, EPA may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or EPA consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. EPA also may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications and that preempts State law unless the Agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation.

This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely approves a state rule implementing a federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order 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.

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 Start Printed Page 17231that 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

End List of Subjects Start Authority

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: March 17, 2000.

Laura Yoshii,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

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

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 00-7993 Filed 3-30-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P