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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Jersey; Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Environmental Protection Agency.


Final rule.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that the State of New Jersey has implemented the enhanced Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program. EPA, therefore, is terminating all sanctions clocks related to the implementation of the New Jersey enhanced I/M program upon the effective date of this document. This action also reinstates the interim approval granted under Section 348 of the National Highway Systems Designation Act of the enhanced I/M program. The interim approval became effective on December 13, 1999.


This rule will be effective July 12, 2001.


Copies of the documents relevant to this action are available at the following addresses for inspection during normal business hours: Environmental Protection Agency, Region II Office, Air Programs Branch, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866; New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Air Quality Management, Bureau of Air Pollution Control, 401 East State Street, CN027, Trenton, New Jersey 08625; and Environmental Protection Agency, Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Air Docket (6102), 401 M Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460.

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Judy-Ann Mitchell, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 25th Floor, New York, New York 10278, (212) 637-4249.

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I. What Is EPA Taking Action On?

On November 19, 1999, New Jersey notified EPA by letter that the mandatory enhanced I/M program would be implemented on December 13, 1999. EPA had been working closely with the State during the phase-in period of the enhanced I/M program and agreed that the State would have the program implemented on December 13, 1999. Therefore, on December 17, 1999 (64 FR 70659), EPA proposed to find that the State of New Jersey had implemented its enhanced I/M program by December 13, 1999. EPA also proposed to reinstate the interim approval under Section 348 of the NHSDA of the enhanced I/M program effective on December 13, 1999.

Also in the December 17, 1999 Federal Register, EPA published an interim final rule (64 FR 70593), which stayed the application of the offset sanction and deferred the highway sanction as of December 13, 1999. Although the State of New Jersey had numerous start-up problems, the program was implemented and is currently operational. A description of EPA's rationale for our proposed action was presented in the proposal and will not be restated here. No public comments were received on the proposal.

II. Final Action

Upon the effective date of today's action, all sanctions clocks related to the implementation of New Jersey's enhanced I/M program are terminated. In addition, the interim approval of New Jersey's enhanced I/M program is reinstated. Since approximately six months of the interim period had passed by December 12, 1997, the State had the remaining 12 months of the interim approval period to demonstrate their I/M program's test and repair network effectiveness. On December 13, 2000, New Jersey submitted their I/M program's test and repair network effectiveness demonstration.

Administrative Requirements

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this final action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. This final action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements Start Printed Page 31545beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this final 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). This final rule also does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, 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 by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it 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 final 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). This rule will be effective July 12, 2001.

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 August 13, 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
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Ozone
  • Volatile organic compounds
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Dated: May 9, 2001.

William J. Muszynski,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 2.

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[FR Doc. 01-13779 Filed 6-11-01; 8:45 am]