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Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District (MBUAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). This revision concerns the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) from steam drive crude oil production wells.

DATES:

This rule is effective on October 21, 2002, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments by September 23, 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.

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 a copy of the submitted rule revision and EPA's technical support document (TSD) at our Region IX office during normal business hours. You may also see a copy of the submitted rule revision and TSD 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.

Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, 24580 Silver Cloud Court, Monterey, CA 93940.

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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.

Table of Contents

I. The State's Submittal

A. What Rule Did the State Submit?

B. Are There Other Versions of This Rule?

C. What Is the Purpose of the Submitted Rule Revision?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How Is EPA Evaluating the Rule?

B. Does the Rule Meet the Evaluation Criteria?

C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

D. Public Comment and Final Action

III. Background Information

A. Why Was This Rule Submitted?

IV. Administrative Requirements

I. The State's Submittal

A. What Rule Did the State Submit?

Table 1 lists the rule we are approving with the date that it was adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Start Printed Page 54350

Table 1.—Submitted Rules

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAmendedSubmitted
MBUAPCD427Steam Drive Crude Oil Production Wells12/19/0103/15/02

On May 7, 2002, this submittal was 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 This Rule?

We approved into the SIP on February 9, 1996 (60 FR 8565) a version of Rule 427, adopted on August 25, 1993.

C. What Is the Purpose of the Submitted Rule Revision?

The purpose of these revisions to Rule 427 is to add certain exemptions for components with less than 10% VOC, to add a limitation on the number of wells that have open-ended lines, and to add two test methods.

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How Is EPA Evaluating the Rule?

Generally, SIP rules must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the Clean Air Act of 1990 (CAA)), must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for major sources in nonattainment areas (see section 182(a)(2)(A)), and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). The MBUAPCD regulates an ozone attainment area. 40 CFR part 81. Therefore Rule 427 is not required to fulfill RACT requirements.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to define specific enforceability 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, (Blue Book), notice of availability published in the May 25, 1988 Federal Register.

B. Does the Rule Meet the Evaluation Criteria?

The principal changes to improve the rule include the incorporation of the latest applicable test methods and the limitation on the number of open-ended line. This latter revision should improve the effectiveness of the rule by reducing the potential number of valves that can leak. The rule revisions also exempt streams containing less than 10% VOC. These streams contribute negligible VOC emissions. This exemption should improve the effectiveness of the rule by allowing employees to work on areas where VOC emissions potentially can be decreased, allowing more time to repair leaks. This allowance is made because repairs are often contracted out and the contractor may not be able to perform the retesting in the time previously allowed. The net result is that these rule revisions should not significantly affect emissions from these sources, and should not interfere with the areas plan to maintain the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

We believe the rule is consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability and SIP relaxations.

The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

The TSD for Rule 427 describes additional rule revisions that do not affect EPA's current action but are recommended for the next time the local agency modifies the rules.

D. Public Comment and Final Action

As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the CAA, EPA is fully approving the submitted rule because we believe it fulfills 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 rule. If we receive adverse comments by September 23, 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 October 21, 2002. This will incorporate this rule into the federally-enforceable SIP.

III. Background Information

A. Why Was This Rule Submitted?

VOCs help produce ground-level ozone and smog, which harm human health and the environment. EPA has established a NAAQS for ozone. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations necessary to achieve and maintain the ozone NAAQS. Table 2 lists some of the national milestones leading to the submittal of these local agency VOC rules.

Table 2.—Ozone Nonattainment Milestones

DateEvent
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 Act.
November 15, 1990Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were enacted. Pub. L. 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.
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 Start Printed Page 5435122, 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 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 October 21, 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. Section 307(b)(2).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

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Dated: July 16, 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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PART 52—[AMENDED]

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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 paragraph (c)(297)(i)(D) to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

(297) * * *

(i) * * *

(D) Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District.

(1) Rule 427, adopted on January 16, 1980 and amended on December 19, 2001.

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[FR Doc. 02-21435 Filed 8-21-02; 8:45 am]

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