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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; California State Implementation Plan Revision; Interim Final Determination that State has Corrected the Deficiencies

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Interim final determination.

SUMMARY:

Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, EPA published a direct final rulemaking fully approving revisions to the California State Implementation Plan. The revisions concern rules from El Dorado County Air Pollution Control District (EDCAPCD), Rule 523, New Source Review. Also in today's Federal Register, EPA published a proposed rulemaking document to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on EPA's action. If a person submits adverse comments on EPA's action within 30 days of publication of the direct final action, EPA will withdraw its direct final action and will consider any comments received before taking final action on the State's submittal. Based on the full approval, EPA is making an interim final determination by this action that EDCAPCD has corrected the deficiencies for which a sanctions clock began on March 3, 2000. This action will stay application of the offset sanction and will defer the application of the highway sanction. Although this action is effective upon publication, EPA will take comment. If no comments are received on EPA's approval of the State's submittal, the direct final action published elsewhere in today's Federal Register will also finalize EPA's determination that the State has corrected the deficiencies that started the sanctions clock. If comments are received on EPA's approval and this interim final action, EPA will publish a final document taking into consideration any comments received.

DATES:

This interim final determination is effective March 1, 2002. Comments must be received by April 1,2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be sent to: Roger Kohn, Permits Office (AIR-3), 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 the basis for this action, are available for public review at the above address and at the following locations:

Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

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

El Dorado County Air Pollution Control District, 2850 Fairlane Ct., Bldg. C, Placerville, CA 95667-4100.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Roger Kohn, Permits Office (AIR-3), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Telephone: (415) 972-3973, e-mail: kohn.roger@epa.gov

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On May 24, 1994, the State submitted EDCAPCD Rule 523, New Source Review, for which EPA published a limited disapproval in the Federal Register on February 2, 2000 (65 FR 4887). 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 23, 2001. EPA has taken direct final action on this submittal pursuant to its modified direct final policy set forth at 59 FR 24054 (May 10, 1994). In the Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is issuing a direct final full approval of the State of California's submittal of EDCAPCD Rule 523, New Source Review. In addition, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is proposing full approval of the State's submittal.

Based on the proposed and direct final 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 deficiencies have 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 March 3, 2000. However, this action will stay application of the offset sanction and will defer application of the highway sanction. See 59 FR 39832 (August 4, 1994). If EPA's direct final action fully approving the State's submittal becomes effective, such action will permanently stop the sanctions clock and will permanently lift any applied, stayed or deferred sanctions. If EPA must withdraw the direct final action based on adverse comments and EPA subsequently determines that the State, in fact, did not correct the disapproval deficiencies, EPA will also determine that the State did not correct the deficiencies and the sanctions consequences described in the sanctions rule will apply. See 59 FR 39832, to be codified at 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's direct final action fully approving the State's submittal becomes effective or until EPA takes action proposing or finally disapproving in whole or part the State submittal. If EPA's direct final action fully approving the State submittal becomes effective, at that time any sanctions clocks will be permanently stopped and any applied, stayed or deferred sanctions will be permanently lifted.

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 Start Printed Page 9406comment before this action takes effect.[1] 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 and direct final 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 necessary 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 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 (Pub. L. 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 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, “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 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. 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 April 30, 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).)

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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: February 8, 2002.

Wayne Nastri,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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Footnotes

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.

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[FR Doc. 02-4783 Filed 2-28-02; 8:45 am]

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