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Notice

Adequacy Status of Chicago, IL Submitted Ozone Rate of Progress Plan Budget for Transportation Conformity Purposes

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice of adequacy.

SUMMARY:

In this notice, EPA is notifying the public that in a letter dated May 23, 2000, EPA found that the motor vehicle emissions budget in the Chicago, Illinois ozone nine percent rate of progress plan and supplemental information, submitted on December 18, 1997, December 17, 1999, January 14, 2000, and January 21, 2000, is adequate for conformity purposes. On March 2, 1999, the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that submitted State Implementation Plans (SIPs) cannot be used for conformity determinations until EPA has affirmatively found them adequate. As a result of our finding, Chicago can use the motor vehicle emissions budget for volatile organic compounds for the year 1999 from the submitted ozone nine percent rate of progress plan for future conformity determinations. This budget is effective July 7, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The finding and the response to comments already received will be available at EPA's conformity website: http://www.epa.gov/​oms/​traq, (once there, click on the “Conformity” button, then look for “Adequacy Review of SIP Submissions for Conformity”).

Patricia Morris, Environmental Scientist, Regulation Development Section (AR-18J), Air Programs Branch, Air and Radiation Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8656, morris.patricia@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

Throughout this document, whenever “we”, “us” or “our” is used, we mean EPA. Today's notice is simply an announcement of a finding that we have already made. EPA Region 5 sent a letter to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on May 23, 2000, stating that the motor vehicle emissions budget in the Chicago, Illinois submitted ozone nine percent rate of progress plan for 1999 is adequate. This finding will also be announced on EPA's conformity website: http://www.epa.gov/​oms/​traq, (once there, click on the “Conformity” button, then look for “Adequacy Review of SIP Submissions for Conformity”).

Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act. EPA's conformity rule requires that transportation plans, programs, and projects conform to state air quality implementation plans and establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not they do. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air quality standards.

The criteria by which we determine whether a SIP's motor vehicle emission budgets are adequate for conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). Please note that an adequacy review is separate from EPA's completeness review, and it also should not be used to prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the SIP. Even if we find a budget adequate, the SIP could later be disapproved.

We've described our process for determining the adequacy of submitted SIP budgets in guidance (May 14, 1999 memorandum titled “Conformity Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999 Conformity Court Decision”). We followed this guidance in making our adequacy determination.

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

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Dated: June 12, 2000.

David A. Ullrich,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 5.

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[FR Doc. 00-15717 Filed 6-21-00; 8:45 am]

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