Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Interim final determination.
On September 12, 2001 in the Federal Register, EPA published a direct final rulemaking fully approving revisions to the California State Implementation Plan. The revisions concern Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Rule 8-51, Adhesive and Sealant Products. On that date, EPA also published a proposed rulemaking to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on EPA's action. Based on the proposed full approval, EPA is making an interim final determination by this action that the State has corrected the deficiencies for which a sanctions clock began on December 6, 1999. This action will stay the application of the offset sanction and defer the application of the highway sanction. Although this action is effective upon publication, EPA will take comment. If comments are received on this interim final action, EPA will publish a final action taking into consideration any comments received.
This interim final determination is effective November 15, 2001. Comments must be received by December 17, 2001.
Comments should be sent to: Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Section (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.
The state submittal and EPA's analysis for that submittal, which are Start Printed Page 57388the basis for this action, are available for public review at the above address and at the following locations:
Environmental Protection Agency, Air Docket (6102), 401 “M” Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460.
California Air Resources Board, Stationary Source Division, Rule Evaluation Section, 1001 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 939 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Yvonne Fong, Rulemaking Section (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Telephone: (415) 744-1199.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
On June 23, 1998, the State submitted BAAQMD Rule 8-51, for which EPA published a limited disapproval in the Federal Register on November 4, 1999. 64 FR 60109. EPA's disapproval action started an 18-month clock for the application of one sanction (followed by a second sanction 6 months later) under section 179 of the Clean Air Act (Act) and a 24-month clock for promulgation of a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) under section 110(c) of the Act. The State subsequently submitted a revised rule on May 31, 2001. In the Proposed Rules section of the Federal Register dated September 12, 2001, EPA proposed full approval of the State's submittal.
Based on the proposed approval, EPA believes that it is more likely than not that the State has corrected the original disapproval deficiencies. Therefore, EPA is taking this final rulemaking action, effective on publication, finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies. However, EPA is also providing the public with an opportunity to comment on this final action. If, based on any comments on this action and any comments on EPA's proposed full approval of the State's submittal, EPA determines that the State's submittal is not fully approvable and this final action was inappropriate, EPA will either propose or take final action finding that the State has not corrected the original disapproval deficiencies. As appropriate, EPA will also issue an interim final determination or a final determination that the deficiency has not been corrected. Until EPA takes such an action, the application of sanctions will continue to be deferred and or stayed.
This action does not stop the sanctions clock that started for this area on November 4, 1999. However, this action will stay the application of the offsets sanction and will defer the application of the highway sanction. See 59 FR 39832 (Aug. 4, 1994). If EPA subsequently determines that the State, in fact, did not correct the disapproval deficiencies, EPA will also determine that the sanctions consequences described in the sanctions rule will apply. See 40 CFR 52.31.
II. EPA Action
EPA is taking interim final action finding that the State has corrected the disapproval deficiencies that started the sanctions clock. Based on this action, application of the offset sanction will be stayed and application of the highway sanction will be deferred until EPA takes action proposing or finally disapproving in whole or part the State submittal.
Because EPA has preliminarily determined that the State has an approvable plan, relief from sanctions should be provided as quickly as possible. Therefore, EPA is invoking the good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in not providing an opportunity for comment before this action takes effect. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). EPA believes that notice-and-comment rulemaking before the effective date of this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. EPA has reviewed the State's submittal and, through its proposed action is indicating that it is more likely than not that the State has corrected the deficiencies that started the sanctions clock. Therefore, it is not in the public interest to initially impose sanctions or to keep applied sanctions in place when the State has most likely done all that it can to correct the deficiencies that triggered the sanctions clock. Moreover, it would be impracticable to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking on a finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies prior to the rulemaking approving the State's submittal. Therefore, EPA believes that it is appropriate to use the interim final rulemaking process to temporarily stay or defer sanctions while EPA completes its rulemaking process on the approvability of the State's submittal. Moreover, with respect to the effective date of this action, EPA is invoking the good cause exception to the 30-day notice requirement of the APA because the purpose of this notice is to relieve a restriction. See 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1).
III. 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. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 32111, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action is associated with approving 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).
This rule also does not have tribal implications because it will 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). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does 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). This action is associated with approving 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, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (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 Start Printed Page 57389for 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. 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 January 14, 2002. 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).)Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52
- Environmental protection
- Air pollution control
- Hydrocarbons, incorporation by reference
- Intergovernmental regulations
- Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
- Volatile organic compounds
Dated: November 1, 2001.
Regional Administrator, Region IX.
1. As previously noted, however, by this action EPA is providing the public with a chance to comment on EPA's determination after the effective date and EPA will consider any comments received in determining whether to reverse such action.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 01-28341 Filed 11-14-01; 8:45 am]
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