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Proposed Rule

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

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of a revision to the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District (ICAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns the control of emissions from sulfur compounds. We are proposing action on a local rule that regulates these emissions under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

DATES:

Any comments must arrive by July 5, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Mail comments to Andy Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief (AIR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

You can inspect copies of the submitted SIP revision and EPA's technical support document (TSD) at our Region IX office during normal business hours. You may also see copies of the submitted SIP revision at the following locations:

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

Imperial County Air Pollution Control District, 150 South 9th Street, El Centro, CA 92243-2801.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christine Vineyard, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, (415) 744-1197.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

Table of Contents

I. The State's Submittal

A. What rule did the State submit?

B. Are there other versions of this rule?

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revision?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action.

A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

C. What are the rule deficiencies?

D. Proposed action and public comment.

III. Background information.

A. Why was this rule submitted?

IV. Administrative Requirements

I. The State's Submittal

A. What Rule Did the State Submit?

Table 1 lists the rule addressed by this proposal with the date that it was adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Table 1.—Submitted Rule

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAdoptedSubmitted
CAPCD405Sulfur Compounds Emission Standards, Limitations09/14/9905/26/00

On October 6, 2000, this rule submittal was found to meet the completeness criteria in 40 CFR Part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

B. Are There Other Versions of This Rule?

EPA approved a version of Rule 405 into the SIP on August 11, 1978.

C. What Is the Purpose of the Submitted Rule Revision?

ICAPCD Rule 405 includes the following significant changes from the current SIP:

  • The effluent process gas from sulfur recovery units, sulfuric acid units, and fuel burning equipment shall not exceed 500 ppm by volume of sulfur compounds calculated as sulfur dioxide; or 200 lbs. per hour of sulfur compounds calculated as sulfur dioxide. Additionally, sulfur recovery units shall not discharge more than 10 ppm by volume of hydrogen sulfide.
  • A person shall not burn any gaseous fuel containing sulfur compounds in excess of 50 grains per 100 cubic feet of gaseous fuel, calculated as hydrogen sulfide at standard conditions; or a sulfur content in excess of 0.5 percent by weight.
  • The use of non-complying fuel may be allowed with approval where process conditions or control equipment will reduce emissions at a level equal to or less than emissions associated with the use of complying fuel.
  • Several test methods are included to determine compliance. The TSD has more information about this rule.

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How Is EPA Evaluating the Rule?

Generally, SIP rules for SO2 must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the Act) and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). ICAPCD is listed as being attainment for the national ambient air quality standards (see 40 CFR 81) for sulfur dioxide (SO2). Therefore, for purposes of controlling SO2, Rule 405 needs only to comply with the general provisions of Section 110 of the Act.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to define specific enforceability requirements include the following:

1. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations; Clarification to Appendix D of November 24, 1987 Federal Register Notice,” (Blue Book), notice of availability published in the May 25, 1988 Federal Register.

2. “SO2 Guideline Document,” EPA-452/R-94-008.

B. Does the Rule Meet the Evaluation Criteria?

This rule improves the SIP by establishing requirements for sulfur emissions and listing the appropriate test methods. This rule is largely consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability. One deficiency that does not meet the evaluation criteria summarized below and discussed further in the TSD.

C. What Is the Rule Deficiency?

This rule lacks recordkeeping requirements for sources subject to the rule and prevents full approval of the SIP revision.

D. Proposed Action and Public Comment

As authorized in sections 110(k)(3) and 301(a) of the Act, EPA is proposing a limited approval of the submitted rule to improve the SIP. If finalized, this action would incorporate the submitted rule into the SIP, including the identified deficiency. This approval is limited because EPA is simultaneously proposing a limited disapproval of the rule under section 110(k)(3). If this disapproval is finalized, sanctions will be not be imposed under section 179 because this an attainment area and not a required submittal. Note that the submitted rule has been adopted by the ICAPCD, and EPA's final limited disapproval would not prevent the local agency from enforcing it.

We will accept comments from the public on the proposed limited approval and limited disapproval for the next 30 days. Start Printed Page 30147

III. Background Information

A. Why Was This Rule Submitted?

Sulfur dioxide is formed by the combustion of fuels containing sulfur compounds and causes harm to human health and the environment. This rule is designed to reduce SO2 emissions.

IV. Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this regulatory action from Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, 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 Equal Opportunity 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 Equal Opportunity 13045 because it does not involve decisions intended to mitigate environmental health or safety risks.

C. 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. Equal Opportunity 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 Equal Opportunity 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, because it merely acts on 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 proposed rule.

D. Executive Order 13175

Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 6, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” “Policies that have tribal implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that have “substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes.”

This proposed rule does not have tribal implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule. In the spirit of Executive Order 13175, and consistent with EPA policy to promote communications between EPA and tribal governments, EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed rule from tribal officials.

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 proposed 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 act on 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.

EPA's proposed disapproval of the state request under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the Clean Air Act does not affect any existing requirements applicable to small entities. Any pre-existing federal requirements remain in place after this disapproval. Federal disapproval of the state submittal does not affect state enforceability. Moreover, EPA's disapproval of the submittal does not impose any new Federal requirements. Therefore, 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).

D. 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 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 Start Printed Page 30148may be significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.

EPA has determined that the proposed action does not include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector. This proposed Federal action acts on 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.

E. 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.

EPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to today's proposed action because it does not require the public to perform activities conducive to the use of VCS.

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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: May 8, 2001.

Jane Diamond,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 01-14082 Filed 6-4-01; 8:45 am]

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