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Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, South Coast Air Quality Management District

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Direct final rule.


EPA is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions from fuel burning equipment and from boilers, steam generators, process heaters, and from water heaters. We are approving local rules under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act).


This rule is effective on June 7, 2002 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by May 8, 2002. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this rule will not take effect.


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 a copy of the submitted rule revisions and EPA's technical support documents (TSDs) at our Region IX office during normal business hours. You may also see a copy of the submitted rule revisions and TSDs at the following locations:

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

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

Table of Contents

I. The State's Submittal

A. What rules did the State submit?

B. Are there other versions of these rules?

C. What are the changes or purposes to the submitted rules?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How is EPA evaluating the rules?

B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

C. Public comment and final action

D. EPA recommendation to further improve the rules

III. Background Information

A. Why were these rules submitted?

IV. Administrative Requirements

I. The State's Submittal

A. What Rules Did the State Submit?

Table 1 lists the rules we are approving with the date that they were adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Table 1.—Submitted Rules

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAdoptedSubmitted
SCAQMD1146Emission of Oxides of Nitrogen from Industrial, Institutional, and Commercial Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters11/17/0005/08/01
SCAQMD1146.2Emission of Oxides of Nitrogen from Large Water Heaters and Small Boilers01/09/9805/18/98

On July 20, 2001 and July 17, 1998, respectively, these submittals were found to meet the completeness criteria in 40 CFR Part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

B. Are There Other Versions of These Rules?

We approved a version of SCAQMD Rule 1146 into the SIP on September 6, 1995 (60 FR 46220). There are no previous versions of SCAQMD Rule 1146.2 in the SIP.

The SCAQMD also adopted revisions to the SIP-approved version of Rule 1146 on June 16, 2000, and CARB submitted them to us on February 8, 2001. While we can act on only the most recently submitted version, we have reviewed materials provided with the previous submittal. Start Printed Page 16641

C. What Are the Changes or Purposes to the Submitted Rules?

The changes to revised SCAQMD Rule 1146 are as follows:

  • The NOX emission limit is lowered from 40 to 30 ppmv by phasing-in partially on January 1, 2002 and partially on July 1, 2002.
  • Requirements for annual emission testing are added.
  • A requirement for totalizing fuel flow meters for units burning both gaseous fuel and non-gaseous fuel is added.
  • A one-time exemption for facilities that exceeded the 90,000 therms per year fuel usage threshold in 1996 was added.

The purpose for Rule 1146.2 is to regulate NOX and CO emissions from any natural-gas fired large commercial water heater, small industrial boiler, or process heater with a rated heat input capacity starting at 75,000 Btu per hour up to 2,000,000 Btu per hour.

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How Is EPA Evaluating the Rules?

Generally, SIP rules must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the CAA), must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for major sources of NOX in ozone nonattainment areas (see section 182(f) and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(1) and 193). The SCAQMD regulates an extreme ozone nonattainment area (see 40 CFR part 81). Such areas must fulfill RACT for all major sources of NOX pursuant to sections 107(d) and 182(f) of the CAA.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to define specific enforceability and RACT requirements include the following:

  • Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, U.S. EPA, 40 CFR part 51.
  • Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations; Clarification to Appendix D of November 24,1987 Federal Register Notice, (Blue Book), notice of availability published in the May 25, 1988 Federal Register.
  • State Implementation Plans; Nitrogen Oxides Supplement to the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (the “NOX Supplement to the General Preamble”), U.S. EPA, 57 FR 55620 (November 25, 1992).
  • Cost-Effective Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (March 16, 1994).
  • State Implementation Plans: Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup, and Shutdown, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (September 20, 1999).
  • Determination of Reasonably Available Control Technology and Best Available Retrofit Control Technology for Industrial, Institutional, and Commercial Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters, CARB (July 18, 1991).

B. Do the Rules Meet the Evaluation Criteria?

We believe the rules are consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations.

C. Public Comment and Final Action

As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA is fully approving submitted SCAQMD Rules 1146 and 1146.2 because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We do not think anyone will object to this, so we are finalizing the approval without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted rules. If we receive adverse comments by May 8, 2002, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on June 7, 2002. This will incorporate these rules into the federally-enforceable SIP.

Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

D. EPA Recommendation To Further Improve the Rules

The Rule 1146.2 TSD describes an additional rule revision that does not affect EPA's current action but is recommended for the next time the local agency modifies the rule.

III. Background Information

A. Why Were these Rules Submitted?

NOX helps produce ground-level ozone and smog, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit rules that control NOX emissions. Table 2 lists some of the national milestones leading to the submittal of these local agency rules.

Table 2.—Ozone Nonattainment Milestones

March 3, 1978EPA promulgated a list of ozone nonattainment areas under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1977. 43 FR 8964; 40 CFR 81.305.
May 26, 1988EPA notified Governors that parts of their SIPs were inadequate to attain and maintain the ozone standard and requested that they correct the deficiencies (EPA's SIP-Call). See section 110(a)(2)(H) of the pre-amended Clean Air Act.
November 15, 1990Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were enacted. Pub. L. 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671 q.
May 15, 1991Section 182(a)(2)(A) requires that ozone nonattainment areas correct deficient RACT rules by this date.

IV. 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 13211, “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 (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 Start Printed Page 16642between 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 CAA. 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 CAA. 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 CAA. 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 CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by June 7, 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

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Ozone
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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Dated: March 8, 2002.

Keith Takata,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Subpart F—California

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2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(255)(i)(F) and (284)(i)(B)( 2) to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(255) * * *

(i) * * *

(F) South Coast Air Quality Management District.

(1) Rule 1146.2, adopted on January 9, 1998.

* * * * *

(284) * * *

(i) * * *

(B) * * *

(2) Rule 1146, adopted on November 17, 2000.

* * * * *
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[FR Doc. 02-8291 Filed 4-5-02; 8:45 am]