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Rule

Interim Final Determination That the State of California Has Corrected Deficiencies and Stay of Sanctions, South Coast Air Quality Management District

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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 has published a direct final rulemaking fully approving the State of California's submittal of a revision to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) portion of the State Implementation Plan (SIP). We have also published a proposed rulemaking to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on EPA's action. If a person submits adverse comments on our direct final action, we will withdraw our direct final rule and will consider any comments received before taking final action on the State's submittal. Based on the proposed full approval, we are making an interim final determination by this action that the State has corrected the deficiencies for which a sanctions clock began on August 25, 2000. This action will stay the imposition of the offset sanction and defer the imposition of the highway sanction. Although this action is effective upon publication, we will take comment. If no comments are received on our approval of the State's submittal and on our interim final determination, the direct final action published in today's Federal Register will also finalize our determination that the State has corrected the deficiencies that started the sanctions clock. If comments are received on our approval or on this interim final determination, we will publish a final rule taking into consideration any comments received.

DATES:

This interim final determination is effective April 8, 2002. Comments must be received by May 8, 2002.

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.

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

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Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Environmental Protection Agency, Air Docket (6102), Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.

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

South Coast Air Quality Management District, 21865 East Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, CA 91765.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Al Petersen, Rulemaking Office (AIR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX; (415) 947-4118.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. Background

On March 23, 1988, the State of California submitted a revision to Rule 444 in the SCAQMD portion of the SIP, which we disapproved in part on July 26, 2000 (65 FR 45912). Our disapproval action started an 18-month clock beginning on August 25, 2000 for the imposition of one sanction (followed by a second sanction 6 months later) and a 24-month clock for promulgation of a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP). The State subsequently submitted revised Rules 208 and 444 on January 22, 2002. We have taken direct final action on this submittal pursuant to our modified direct final policy set forth at 59 FR 24054 (May 10, 1994). In the Rules section of today's Federal Register, we have issued a direct final full approval of the State of California's submittal of its SIP revision. In addition, in the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, we have proposed full approval of the State's submittal. Based on the proposed full approval set forth in today's Federal Register, we believe that it is more likely than not that the State has corrected the original disapproval deficiencies. Therefore, we are taking this final rulemaking action, effective on publication, finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies. However, we are 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 our proposed full approval of the State's submittal, we determine that the State's submittal is not fully approvable and this final action was inappropriate, we will either propose or take final action finding that the State has not corrected the original disapproval deficiencies. As appropriate, we will also issue an interim final determination or a final determination that the deficiency has been corrected.

This action does not stop the sanctions clock that started for this area on August 25, 2000 (65 FR 45912). However, this action will stay the imposition of the offsets sanction and will defer the imposition of the highway sanction. If our direct final action fully approving the State's submittal becomes effective, such action will permanently stop the sanctions clock and will permanently lift any imposed, stayed or deferred sanctions. If we must withdraw the direct final action based on adverse comments and we subsequently determine that the State, in fact, did not correct the disapproval deficiencies, we will also determine that the State did not correct the deficiencies and the sanctions consequences described in the sanctions rule will apply. See 40 CFR 52.31.

II. EPA Action

We are taking interim final action finding that the State has corrected the disapproval deficiencies that started the sanctions clock. Based on this action, imposition of the offset sanction will be stayed and imposition of the highway sanction will be deferred until our direct final action fully approving the State's submittal becomes effective or until we take action proposing or finally disapproving in whole or part the State submittal. If our direct final action fully approving the State submittal becomes effective, at that time any sanctions clocks will be permanently stopped and any imposed, stayed, or deferred sanctions will be permanently lifted.

Because we have preliminarily determined that the State has an approvable submittal, relief from sanctions should be provided as quickly as possible. Therefore, we are invoking the good cause exception to the 30-day notice requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act 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. This action merely stays and defers federal sanctions. 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 only stays an imposed sanction and defers the imposition of another, 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). For the same reason, this rule also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13084 (63 FR 27655, May 10, 1998). This 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 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely stays a sanction and defers another one, 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 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

This rule does not contain technical standards, 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. However, section 808 provides that any rule for which the issuing agency for good cause finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rule) that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, Start Printed Page 16644or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the agency promulgating the rule determines. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). As stated previously, EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefor, and established an effective date of April 8, 2002. 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. This rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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Dated: March 1, 2002.

Keith Takata,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 02-8286 Filed 4-5-02; 8:45 am]

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