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Proposed Rule

Regulation of Fuels and Fuel Additives: Modifications to Reformulated Gasoline Covered Area Provisions

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to make several minor modifications to its reformulated gasoline (RFG) regulations to reflect changes in the covered areas for the federal RFG program, and to delete obsolete language and clarify existing language in the provisions listing the federal RFG covered areas. These changes include: Deleting the seven southern counties in Maine from the RFG covered areas list, reflecting their opt-out of the RFG program as of March 10, 1999; adding the Sacramento Metro and San Joaquin Valley nonattainment areas to the list of RFG covered areas, reflecting the Sacramento Metro Area's inclusion in the RFG program as of June 1, 1996 and the San Joaquin Valley Area's inclusion in the RFG program on December 10, 2002; and deleting the text which extended the RFG opt-in provisions to all ozone nonattainment areas including previously designated ozone nonattainment areas, reflecting a court decision in January, 2000, which invalidated this language. This proposal also makes certain other minor changes in the provisions listing the RFG covered areas for purposes of clarification. In the Final Rules section of this Federal Register, EPA is approving these modifications as a direct final rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. A detailed rationale for these modifications is set forth in the direct final rule. If no adverse comments are received in response to this action, no further activity is contemplated. If EPA receives adverse comments, the direct final rule will be withdrawn and all public comments received will be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before July 5, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should be mailed (in duplicate if possible) to John Brophy, Office of Transportation and Air Quality (mail code 6406J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20460, and to the following docket address: Docket A-2001-32, Air Docket Section, Mail Code 6102, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, in room M-1500 Waterside Mall. Materials relevant to today's rulemaking have been placed in the Docket A-2001-32 at the docket address listed above, and may be inspected on business days from 8:00 Start Printed Page 38454a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

Materials relevant to today's rulemaking regarding the removal of the seven Maine counties from the federal RFG program are also available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA-New England, One Congress Street, 11th floor, Boston, MA and the Bureau of Air Quality Control, Department of Environmental Protection, 71 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME 04333. For further information, contact Robert C. Judge at (617) 918-1045.

Materials relevant to today's rulemaking regarding the self-executing change in status of the Sacramento Metro and San Joaquin Valley nonattainment areas are also available for inspection during normal business hours in the Air Docket, EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. This rule and the Technical Support Documents for the proposed actions are also available in the air programs section of EPA Region 9's website, http://www.epa.gov/​region09/​air. Interested persons may make an appointment with Ms. Virginia Peterson at (415) 744-1265, to inspect the docket between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

There are several other dockets that may also contain related materials of interest to the public:

Materials relevant to EPA's approval of a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maine are available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, One Congress Street, 11th floor, Boston, MA; Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Room M-1500, 401 M Street, (Mail Code 6102), SW., Washington, DC; and the Bureau of Air Quality Control, Department of Environmental Protection, 71 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME 04333. For further information, contact Robert C. Judge at (617) 918-1045.

Materials regarding the reclassification of the Sacramento Metro Area as a “Severe” ozone nonattainment area are in Docket A-94-09. The docket is located at the Air Docket Section, Mail Code 6102, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, in room M-1500 Waterside Mall. Documents may be inspected on business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

Materials regarding the reclassification of the San Joaquin Valley Area as a “Severe” ozone nonattainment area are available for inspection during normal business hours in the Air Docket, EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. This rule and the Technical Support Documents for the proposed actions are also available in the air programs section of EPA Region 9's website, http://www.epa.gov/​region09/​air. Interested persons may make an appointment with Ms. Virginia Peterson at (415) 744-1265, to inspect the docket between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

Materials regarding the extension of the RFG opt-in provisions to all ozone nonattainment areas including previously designated ozone nonattainment areas, and the January, 2000, court decision, are in Docket A-96-30. The docket is located at the Air Docket Section, Mail Code 6102, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, in room M-1500 Waterside Mall. Documents may be inspected on business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

Materials relevant to the removal of the Phoenix area from the federal RFG program are in Docket A-98-23. The docket is located at the Air Docket Section, Mail Code 6102, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW, Washington, DC 20460, in room M-1500 Waterside Mall. Documents may be inspected on business days from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A reasonable fee may be charged for copying docket material.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Brophy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW (Mail Code 6406J), Washington, DC 20460, (202) 564-9068, e-mail address: brophy.john@epa.gov

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

For additional information, see the direct final rule which is located in the Rules section of this Federal Register.

I. 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. Today's proposed rule merely amends EPA's regulations to reflect the current status of covered areas within the RFG program. These various changes in status are not dependant on today's proposed rulemaking, but have occurred (or will occur) as the result of separate agency action and self-executing statutory provisions. However, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has previously approved the information collection requirements contained in the existing [RFG] regulations [CFR citation—40 CFR part 80, subparts D, E and F,] under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB control number 2060-0277 (EPA ICR No. 1591.13).

Copies of the ICR document(s) may be obtained from Sandy Farmer, by mail at the Office of Environmental Information, Collection Strategies Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2822); 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, by e-mail at farmer.sandy@epa.gov, or by calling (202) 260-2740. A copy may also be downloaded off the internet at http://www.epa.gov/​icr. Include the ICR and / or OMB number in any correspondence.

Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of Start Printed Page 38455collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR chapter 15.

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 governments, 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 proposed 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 proposed rule, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

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.

EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that are based on health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks.

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. This proposed rule simply makes several minor modifications in the regulations to reflect changes in the covered areas for the federal RFG program, and to delete obsolete language and clarify existing language in the provisions listing the federal RFG covered areas. 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”), Pub L. 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 action does not involve technical standards. This proposed rule simply makes several minor modifications in the regulations to reflect changes in the covered areas for the federal RFG program, and to delete obsolete language and clarify existing language in the provisions listing the federal RFG covered areas. Therefore, EPA did not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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 rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A firm having no more than 1,500 employees and no more than 75,000 barrels per day capacity of petroleum-based inputs, including Start Printed Page 38456crude oil or bona fide feedstocks;.[1] according to Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards established under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS); (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. Today's rule revises the introductory text of § 80.70(j) to distinguish the nonattainment areas that have opted into the RFG program from those that are required to be in the program under the Clean Air Act. In addition, today's rule revises the text of sections 80.70(l) and (n) to make these provisions clearer. These minor revisions are strictly organizational and do not change the substance or intent of these provisions in any way. Today's rule also removes the current provisions of § 80.70(m) relating to Phoenix as an opt-in covered area, since the Phoenix area is no longer a covered area as of June 10, 1998. Published on August 11, 1998, in the Federal Register (at 63 FR 43044) is a public announcement of EPA's approval of the Arizona Governor's petition and the effective date of the Phoenix opt-out. The opt-out effective date for the Phoenix area was June 10, 1998. The provisions for the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley covered areas, described above, are included in a new § 80.70(m).

Today's amendments to the CFR reflect changes that have occurred in separate actions in accordance with EPA's regulations and the CAA. This rule is not itself an approval of Maine's or Arizona's opt-out request—Agency action approving those petitions occurred earlier in separate administrative proceedings. Similarly, neither the reclassification of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley nonattainment areas, nor the self-executing change in status of these areas to RFG “covered areas,” are dependent on today's action. EPA is simply modifying the list of covered areas in the RFG regulations, 40 CFR 80.70, so the list will reflect EPA's earlier approval of the Maine and Arizona opt-out requests, and the self-executing change in the status of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley nonattainment areas. Thus, the various elements of today's direct final rule involve little or no exercise of agency discretion. Rather today's actions essentially are ministerial regulatory amendments.

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 and 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. This proposed rule simply makes several minor modifications in the regulations to reflect changes in the covered areas for the federal RFG program, and to delete obsolete language and clarify existing language in the provisions listing the federal RFG covered areas. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this proposed rule.

I. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

This proposed 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.

II. Statutory Authority

The Statutory authority for the proposed action today is granted to EPA by sections 211(c) and (k), 301, and 307 of the Clean Air Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 7545(c) and (k), 7601, 7607; and 5 U.S.C. 553(b).

III. Judicial Review

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this proposed action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 5, 2002. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this proposed 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).)

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: May 23, 2002.

Christine Todd Whitman,

Administrator.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Capacity includes owned or leased facilities as well as facilities under a processing agreement or an agreement such as an exchange agreement or a throughput. The total product to be delivered under the contract must be at least 90 percent refined by the successful bidder from either crude oil or bona fide feedstocks.

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[FR Doc. 02-13977 Filed 6-3-02; 8:45 am]

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