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Interim Final Determination That State Has Corrected the Rule Deficiencies and Stay of Sanctions in California, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control 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 proposed approval of revisions to the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revisions concern San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD) Rule 4354. Based on the proposed approval, EPA is making an interim final determination that the State has corrected deficiencies in the rule for which a sanction clock began on October 2, 2000. This action will stay the imposition of the offset sanctions and defer the imposition of the highway sanctions. Although this action is effective upon publication, EPA will take comment and will publish a final rule taking into consideration any comments received on this interim final determination.

DATES:

This interim final determination is effective April 24, 2002. Comments must be received by May 24, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments must be submitted to Andrew Steckel, Rulemaking Section (AIR-4), Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Copies of the rule revisions and EPA's evaluation report for the rule are available for public inspection at EPA's Region IX office during normal business hours. Copies of the submitted rule revisions are available for inspection at the following locations:

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), 401 “M” Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460.

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

San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, 1990 E. Gettysburg Ave., Fresno, CA 93726.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Charnjit Bhullar, Rulemaking Office, AIR-4, Air Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Start Printed Page 20035Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105, Telephone: (415) 972-3960.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On September 29, 1998, the State submitted SJVUAPCD Rule 4354, for which EPA published a limited disapproval in the Federal Register on September 1, 2000 (65 FR 53181). The effective date of our limited disapproval was October 2, 2000. EPA's disapproval action started an 18-month clock 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 a revised version of Rule 4354 on March 05, 2002. In the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, EPA has proposed approval of the March 2002 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 interim final rulemaking action finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies. However, EPA is also providing the public with an opportunity to comment on this interim final action. If, based on the comments on this action and the comments on EPA's proposed approval, EPA determines that the State's submittal is not approvable and this interim 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 that the deficiencies have not been corrected. Until EPA takes such action, the application of sanctions will continue to be stayed.

This action does not stop the sanctions clock that started for this area on October 2, 2000, the effective date of our disapproval. However, this action will stay the imposition of the offset sanction and will defer imposition of the highway sanction. See 40 CFR 52.31(d)(2)(ii). If EPA takes final action approving the State's submittal, such action will permanently stop the sanctions clock and will permanently lift any imposed, stayed or deferred sanctions. However, if at any time EPA determines that the State, in fact, did not correct the disapproval deficiencies, as appropriate, EPA either will withdraw this interim final determination or take final action finding that the State has not corrected the deficiencies. Such action will retrigger the sanctions consequences as described in 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, imposition of the offset sanction will be stayed and imposition of the highway sanction will be deferred until EPA takes final action fully approving the State's submittal or EPA takes action proposing or finally disapproving in whole or part the State submittal. If EPA takes final action approving the State's submittal, any deferral or stay of the sanctions clock will be permanently stopped and any imposed, 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 to the 30-day notice requirement of the Administrative Procedure Act because the purpose of this document 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 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 (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 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, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (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 effected conduct. EPA has compiled 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 impractible, unnecessary, or 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 24, 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 Start Printed Page 20036Comptroller 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 June 24, 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 rules. 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

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Dated: April 10, 2002.

Nora L. McGee,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 02-9909 Filed 4-23-02; 8:45 am]

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