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Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Final rule.


EPA is finalizing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This action was proposed in the Federal Register on January 10, 2001 and concerns volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from soil decontamination operations. Under authority of the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act), this action simultaneously approve a local rule that regulates these emission sources and directs California to correct rule deficiencies.


This rule is effective on June 21, 2001.


You can inspect copies of the administrative record for this action at EPA's Region IX office during normal business hours. You can inspect copies of the submitted SIP revisions at the following locations:

Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Environmental Protection Agency, Air Docket (6102), Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington DC 20460.

California Air Resources Board, Stationary Source Division, Rule Evaluation Section, 1001 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Ventura County APCD, 669 County Square Dr., 2nd Fl., Ventura, CA 93003-5417

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Ed Addison, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, (415) 744-1160.

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Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

I. Proposed Action

On January 10, 2001, 66 FR 1927, EPA proposed a limited approval and limited disapproval of the following rule that was submitted for incorporation into the California SIP.

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAdoptedSubmitted
VCAPCD74.29Soil Decontamination Operations10/10/9503/26/96

We proposed a limited approval because we determined that this rule improves the SIP and is largely consistent with the relevant CAA requirements. We simultaneously proposed a limited disapproval because some rule provisions conflict with section 110 and part D of the Act. These provisions include the following:

(Section C.4) This section provides for case-by-case exemptions by the Director from the 0.08 lb/hr allowable emission rate for vapor extraction or bioremediation, if the operator can demonstrate compliance with VCAPCD Rule 51, Nuisance. This exemption is deficient because it does not specify replicable criteria for an exemption nor require equivalent emissions reduction for an exempted source.

Our proposed action contains more information on the basis for this rulemaking and on our evaluation of the submittal.

II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

EPA provided for a 30-day public comment period on January 10, 2001 in 66 FR 1927. EPA received the following verbal comments on the proposed rulemaking during the comment period from Bernard Bigham of the Chesapeake Environmental Group.

Comment 1: VCAPCD 74.29 does little to reduce VOC emissions. Under the exemption in paragraph (C)(3)(f), it is estimated that 200,000 tons/year of contaminated soil is excavated and trucked to landfills, and VOCs volatilize during transport and when soil is used as landfill daily cover. There is currently no rule other than VCAPCD 74.17 that controls VOC loss in contaminated soil transport to landfills. VCAPCD should remove paragraph (C)(3)(f), or Rule 74.17 should be revised to establish soil handling procedures and specify test methods that adequately evaluate and control VOC loading of landfills. The commenter points, for example, to Bay Area Air Quality Management District Rule 8-40.

Response: We discussed this comment with VCAPCD staff, who explained that Alternate Daily Cover (ADC) soil is only exempt under (C)(3)(f) if it meets the test in Definition (G)(2), which states limits by weight ppm VOC as referenced in (F)(2) test methods. We agree that this does establish some control on emissions from ADC, but recommend that the rule be clarified by stating these requirements in paragraph (B) or (C)(3)(f), and by clearly referencing the appropriate test methods in this requirement.

We also recommend that the rule be revised to reference the other District protocols for safe handling and transport of contaminated soil to safe disposal. Start Printed Page 28057

Comment 2: Paragraph (F)(2) appropriately references Methods 8015B and 5035, but 74.29(F)(5) undermines (F)(2) by referencing (B)(1)(a), which specifies Method 21. Method 25D should be referenced in (B)(1)(a) instead in light of crust formation on piled soil.

Response: The District believes Definition (G)(2), Alternate Daily Cover, calls for the measurement of weight ppm VOC content of crusted soils, which requires the use of Method 25D for determining VOCs beneath the surface of excavated soil.

EPA concurs that an appropriate method is being required, but recommends for clarity that testing for weight ppm VOC, by methods in paragraph (F)(2), be a requirement for the “Alternate Daily Cover” exemption allowed in paragraph (C)(3)(f).

III. EPA Action

EPA has made several additional rule recommendations based on the submitted comments. No comments were submitted, however, that change our overall assessment of the rule or modify our action on the rule as described in our proposed action. Therefore, as authorized in sections 110(k)(3) and 301(a) of the Act, EPA is finalizing a limited approval of the submitted rule. This action incorporates the submitted rule into the California SIP, including those provisions identified as deficient. As authorized under section 110(k)(3), EPA is simultaneously finalizing a limited disapproval of the rule. As a result, sanctions will be imposed unless EPA approves subsequent SIP revisions that correct the rule deficiencies within 18 months of the effective date of this action. These sanctions will be imposed under section 179 of the Act according to 40 CFR 52.31. In addition, EPA must promulgate a federal implementation plan (FIP) under section 110(c) unless we approve subsequent SIP revisions that correct the rule deficiencies within 24 months. Note that the submitted rule has been adopted by the VCAPCD, and EPA's final limited disapproval does not prevent the local agency from enforcing them.

IV. Administrative Requirements

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. This action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule approves pre-existing requirements under state law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it 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). For the same reason, this rule also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13084 (63 FR 27655, May 10, 1998). 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 rule implementing a federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to disapprove a SIP submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a SIP submission, to use VCS in place of a SIP submission that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings'' issued under the executive order. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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

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 July 23, 2001. 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 52

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Volatile organic compound
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Dated: April 27, 2001.

Mike Schulz,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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

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

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Subpart F—California

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2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(230)(i)(A)( 3) to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
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(c) * * *

(230) * * * Start Printed Page 28058

(i) * * *

(A) * * *

(3) Rule 74.29, adopted on October 10, 1995.

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[FR Doc. 01-12716 Filed 5-21-01; 8:45 am]