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Clean Air Act Promulgation of Extension of Attainment Date for the San Diego, California Serious Ozone Nonattainment Area

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is extending the attainment date for the San Diego serious ozone nonattainment area from November 15, 1999, to November 15, 2000. This extension is based in part on monitored air quality readings for the 1-hour national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone during 1999. Accordingly, we are updating the table concerning attainment dates for the State of California. In this action, we are approving the State's request through a “direct final” rulemaking. Elsewhere in this Federal Register, we are proposing approval and soliciting written comment on this action; if adverse written comments are received, we will withdraw the direct final rule and address the comments received in a new final rule; otherwise no further rulemaking will occur on this attainment date extension request.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective December 11, 2000 unless before November 13, 2000 adverse comments are received. If adverse comment is received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register, and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Please address your comments to the EPA contact below. You may inspect and copy the rulemaking docket for this notice at the following location during normal business hours. We may charge you a reasonable fee for copying parts of the docket. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, Air Division, Air Planning Office (AIR-2), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Copies of the SIP materials are also available for inspection at the addresses listed below:

California Air Resources Board, 2020 L Street, Sacramento, CA 92123-1095

San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, 9150 Chesapeake Drive, San Diego, CA 92123-1096

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dave Jesson, Air Planning Office (AIR-2), Air Division, U.S. EPA, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901. Telephone: (415) 744-1288. E-mail: jesson.david@epa.gov

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Attainment Date Extension for the San Diego Area

On May 15, 2000, the State of California requested a one-year attainment date extension for the San Diego serious ozone nonattainment area. This area, which consists of San Diego County, is currently designated a serious ozone nonattainment area. The statutory ozone attainment date, as prescribed by section 181(a) of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (“the Act”), was November 15, 1999. Start Printed Page 60363

CAA Requirements Concerning Designation and Classification

Section 107(d)(4) of the Act required the States and EPA to designate areas as attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable for ozone as well as other pollutants for which national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) have been set. Section 181(a)(1) required that ozone nonattainment areas be classified as marginal, moderate, serious, severe, or extreme, depending on their air quality.

In a series of Federal Register documents, we completed this process by designating and classifying all areas of the country for ozone. See, e.g., 56 FR 58694 (Nov. 6, 1991), and 57 FR 56762 (Nov. 30, 1992). San Diego County was originally classified as severe, but was reclassified as serious based upon our determination that the ozone value used in the original classification was incorrect. See 60 FR 3771 (Jan. 19, 1995).

Areas designated nonattainment for ozone are required to meet attainment dates specified under the Act. As noted, the San Diego ozone nonattainment area was reclassified as serious. By this classification, its attainment date became November 15, 1999. A discussion of the attainment dates is found in EPA's General Preamble for Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. See 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992).

CAA Requirements Concerning Meeting the Attainment Date

Section 181(b)(2)(A) requires the Administrator, within six months of the attainment date, to determine whether ozone nonattainment areas attained the NAAQS. For ozone, we determine attainment status on the basis of the expected number of exceedances of the NAAQS over the three-year period up to, and including, the attainment date. See General Preamble, 57 FR 13506. In the case of serious ozone nonattainment areas, the three-year period is 1997-1999.

A review of the actual ambient air quality ozone data from the EPA Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) shows that three air quality monitors located in the San Diego ozone nonattainment area recorded exceedances of the NAAQS for ozone during the three-year period from 1997 to 1999.[1] (See Table 1.) There were 9 exceedances at the Alpine monitor, an average of more than 1.0 over the three-year period, which constitutes a violation of the ozone NAAQS for the San Diego area during this three-year period. Thus, the area did not meet the November 15, 1999 attainment date.

Table 1.—Exceedances of the 1-Hour Ozone NAAQS in San Diego 1997-1999

[Source: AIRS]

Monitoring StationExceedances
199719981999Total
Chula Vista0000
El Cajon0101
Oceanside0000
San Diego (Overland)0101
Del Mar0000
Escondido0000
Alpine1809
San Diego (12th St.)0000
Camp Pendleton0000
Otay Mesa0000

CAA Provisions Authorizing a One-Year Extension of the Attainment Date

CAA section 181(b)(2)(A) states that, for areas classified as marginal, moderate, or serious, if the Administrator determines that the area did not attain the standard by its attainment date, the area must be reclassified upwards. However, CAA section 181(a)(5) provides an exemption from these bump up requirements. Under this exemption, we may grant up to 2 one-year extensions of the attainment date under specified conditions:

Upon application by any State, the Administrator may extend for 1 additional year (hereinafter referred to as the “Extension Year”) the date specified in table 1 of paragraph (1) of this subsection if—

(A) the State has complied with all requirements and commitments pertaining to the area in the applicable implementation plan, and

(B) no more than 1 exceedance of the national ambient air quality standard level for ozone has occurred in the area in the year preceding the Extension Year.

No more than 2 one-year extensions may be issued under this paragraph for a single nonattainment area.

We interpret this provision to authorize the granting of a one-year extension under the following minimum conditions: (1) The State requests a one-year extension; (2) all requirements and commitments in the EPA-approved SIP for the area have been complied with; and (3) the area has no more than one measured exceedance of the NAAQS during the year at any one monitor that includes the attainment date (or the subsequent year, if a second one-year extension is requested).

We have determined that the requirements for a one-year extension of the attainment date have been fulfilled as follows:

(1) California has formally submitted the attainment date extension request, in a letter dated May 15, 2000, from Michael P. Kenny, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board, to P. Kenny, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board, to Felicia Marcus, EPA Regional Administrator, Region 9.

(2) California is currently implementing the EPA-approved SIP. The State's letter, cited above, discusses implementation of State measures in the SIP, and shows that these measures plus new State measures have achieved an overall surplus of emission reductions beyond those assumed in the SIP. The State also attached a letter dated March Start Printed Page 6036413, 2000, from R. J. Sommerville, Director, San Diego County Air Pollution Control District, which provides evidence that all District SIP rules have been fully implemented.

(3) California has certified that the area has monitored no exceedances during 1999. This is also reflected in the quality-assured ambient ozone data shown in Table 1 above.

Because the statutory provisions have been satisfied, we approve California's attainment date extension request for the San Diego ozone nonattainment area. As a result, the chart in 40 CFR 81.305 entitled “California—Ozone” is being modified to extend the attainment date for the San Diego ozone nonattainment area from November 15, 1999, to November 15, 2000.

We are approving the attainment date extension without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, elsewhere in the proposed rule section of today's Federal Register we are publishing a proposal to approve this part 81 action should adverse or critical comments be filed. This action will be effective December 11, 2000 unless before November 13, 2000 adverse or critical comments are received.

If we receive such comments, this action will be withdrawn before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this action serving as a proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this action will be effective on December 11, 2000.

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.

Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

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

B. Executive Order 13045

Executive Order 13045, entitled 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 does not involve decisions intended to mitigate environmental health or safety risks.

C. 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 affects 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. If the mandate is unfunded, EPA must 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 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.

D. Executive Order 13132

Executive Order 13132, entitled 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 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 request for an attainment date extension, 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.

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.

Extension of an area's attainment date under the CAA does not impose any new requirements on small entities. Start Printed Page 60365Extension of an attainment date is an action that affects a geographical area and does not impose any regulatory requirements on sources. EPA certifies that the approval of the attainment date extension will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

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 promulgated attainment date extension 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 imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

G. 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 rule 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 rule is not a “major” rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

H. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 requires Federal agencies to evaluate existing technical standards when developing a new regulation. To comply with NTTAA, EPA must consider and use “voluntary consensus standards” (VCS) if available and applicable when developing programs and policies unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.

The EPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to this action. Today's action does not require the public to perform activities conducive to the use of VCS.

I. Petitions for Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 11, 2000. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule 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 may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

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

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Dated: September 8, 2000.

Felicia Marcus,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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Part 81 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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PART 81—[AMENDED]

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1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows:

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

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2. In § 81.305 the “California—ozone” table is amended by revising the entry for San Diego area to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
California.
* * * * *

California—Ozone

[1-Hour Standard]

Designated areaDesignationClassification
Date 1TypeDate 1Type
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
San Diego Area:
San Diego County11/15/90Nonattainment2/21/95Serious 2
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
1 This date is November 15, 1990, unless otherwise noted.
2 Attainment date is extended to November 15, 2000.
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  AIRS Data Monitor Values Reports are available electronically at http://www.epa.gov/​airsdata/​monvals.htm

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[FR Doc. 00-25926 Filed 10-10-00; 8:45 am]

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