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Proposed Rule

Relaxation of Summer Gasoline Volatility Standard for the Denver/Boulder Area

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

In this action, EPA is proposing approval of the State of Colorado's request to relax the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (“RVP”) gasoline standard that applies to gasoline that is supplied to the Denver/Boulder area (hereafter “Denver area”) from June 1st to September 15th (the ozone control season) of each year. This action proposes to amend our regulations to change the summertime RVP standard for the Denver area from 7.8 pounds per square inch (“psi”) to 9.0 psi. EPA has determined that this change to our federal RVP regulations would be consistent with criteria EPA has enumerated for making such changes: that the State has demonstrated it has sufficient alternative programs to attain and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone; and that amendments are appropriate to avoid adverse local economic impacts.

In the “Rules and Regulations” section of today's Federal Register, we are approving this amendment to the federal RVP regulations as a direct final rule without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipate no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this approval in the preamble to the direct final rule. If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

DATES:

Comments on this proposed rule must be received in writing by February 25, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Any person wishing to submit comments should submit a copy to both dockets listed below, and if possible, should also submit a copy to Richard Babst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Transportation and Regional Programs Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., (Mail Code: 6406J), Washington, DC 20460.

Public Docket: Materials relevant to this rule are available for inspection in public docket A-2001-26 at the Air Docket Office of the EPA, Room M-1500, 401 M Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-7548, between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A duplicate docket CO-RVP-02 has been established at U.S. EPA Region VIII, 999 18th Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80202-2466, and is available for inspection during normal business hours. Interested persons wishing to examine the documents in docket number CO-RVP-02 should contact Kerri Fiedler at (303) 312-6493 at least 24 hours before the visiting day. As provided in 40 CFR part 2, a reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard Babst at (202) 564-9473 facsimile: (202) 565-2085, e-mail address: babst.richard@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document concerns the amendment to EPA's regulations governing the RVP of gasoline supplied to the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado. For further information, please see the information provided in the direct final rule of the same title which is located in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register.

Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735 (Oct. 4, 1993)), the Agency must determine whether the regulatory action is “significant” and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the Executive Order. The Order defines “significant regulatory action” as one that is likely to result in a rule that may:

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;

(2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order.

It has been determined that this proposed rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is therefore not subject to OMB review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

This proposed action does not impose any new information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and therefore is not subject to these requirements.

C. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector of $100 million or more in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal Start Printed Page 3469governments, it must have developed under section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements.

EPA has determined that this rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector in any one year. Today's rule merely permanently continues the current relaxation of the Federal RVP standard for gasoline in the Denver/Boulder area, and thus avoids the costs imposed by the existing Federal regulations. Today's rule, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

EPA has determined that this proposed rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. As discussed above, the rule relaxes an existing standard and affects only the gasoline industry.

D. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, Apr. 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 proposed rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the Agency does not have reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. As previously discussed, the Denver/Boulder area has continued to meet the 1-hour ozone standard since 1987 without the implementation of the 7.8 psi standard. The revised maintenance plan we approved on September 11, 2001 shows maintenance of the 1-hour ozone NAAQS for the entire maintenance time period of 1993 through 2013 with the 9.0 psi standard.

The public is invited to submit or identify peer-reviewed studies and data, of which the agency may not be aware, that assess results of early life exposure to incremental evaporative emissions, or to ozone caused by incremental evaporative emissions, resulting from a relaxed RVP standard of 9.0 psi for gasoline in the Denver/Boulder area.

E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, Aug. 10, 1999), 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.”

This proposed rule does not have federalism implications. It 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. Today's proposed rule merely affects the level of the Federal RVP standard with which businesses supplying gasoline to the Denver/Boulder area must comply. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this proposed rule.

F. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (“NTTAA”), Public Law No. 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.

This proposed rulemaking does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA is not considering the use of any voluntary consensus standards. EPA welcomes comments on this aspect of the proposed rulemaking and, specifically, invites the public to identify potentially-applicable voluntary consensus standards and to explain why such standards should be used in this regulation.

G. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as Amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.

The RFA generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute 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 organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, a small entity is defined as:

(1) A small business, including its affiliates: a refinery that has a maximum of 1500 employees—NAICS code 324110, a bulk gasoline station or terminal or gasoline wholesaler that has a maximum of 100 employees—NAICS codes 422710 and 422720, respectively; a gasoline pipeline transporter that has a maximum of 1,500 employees—NAICS code 486910; a gasoline station that has a maximum of $6.5 million annual receipts—NAICS code 447190; and a gasoline station with a convenience store that has a maximum of $20 million annual receipts—NAICS code 447110 (see 13 CFR 121.201);

(2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and

(3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In determining whether a rule has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities, since the primary purpose of Start Printed Page 3470the regulatory flexibility analyses is to identify and address regulatory alternatives “which minimize any significant economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities.” 5 U.S.C. Sections 603 and 604. Thus, an agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, or otherwise has a positive economic effect on all of the small entities subject to the rule. Today's proposed rule relaxes an existing standard and affects only the gasoline industry. It relaxes the level of the Federal RVP standard with which businesses supplying gasoline to the Denver/Boulder area must comply. We have therefore concluded that today's proposed rule will relieve regulatory burden for any small entity.

We continue to be interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities and welcome comments on issues related to such impacts.

H. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, Nov. 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.”

Today's 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. The proposed rule affects the level of the Federal RVP standard applicable to gasoline supplied to the Denver/Boulder area. It therefore affects only refiners, distributors and other businesses supplying gasoline to the Denver/Boulder area. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this proposed rule.

I. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR. 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

Electronic Copies of Rulemaking

For more information about this proposed rule and more details as described in the preamble to the direct final rule see a copy of this rule on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/​otaq under the title: Relaxation of Summer Gasoline Volatility Standard for Denver/Boulder Area

Statutory Authority

Authority for this action is in sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7545(h) and 7601(a).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

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Dated: January 15, 2002.

Christine Todd Whitman,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 02-1494 Filed 1-23-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P