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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina: Approval of Revisions to Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Regulations Within the North Carolina State Implementation Plan

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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:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

On August 7, 2002, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources submitted revisions to the North Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions are contained within 15A NCAC 2D .1000 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Standards. North Carolina has submitted these rules for an enhanced inspection and maintenance (I/M) program which is a component of the State's Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Budget and Allowance Trading Program. The I/M program establishes reductions which are being utilized by the State as part of their NOX SIP budget. Approval of these I/M rules allow North Carolina to gain credits ranging from 914 tons in 2004 to 4,385 credits in 2007. These credits are then used to determine the number of credits that will be made available for new growth in North Carolina. This submittal resolves all outstanding issues and allows for EPA's final approval of the State's NOX Budget and Allowance Trading Program. The final approval of the North Carolina NOX Budget and Allowance Trading Program, which was proposed for approval in 67 FR 42519 and received no adverse comments, will be processed in a later action. The EPA is approving these revisions.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective December 30, 2002 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse Start Printed Page 66057comment by November 29, 2002. If adverse comment is received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

All comments should be addressed to: Randy Terry at the EPA, Region 4 Air Planning Branch, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

Copies of the State submittal(s) are available at the following addresses for inspection during normal business hours:

Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Air Planning Branch, 61 Forsyth Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Randy Terry, 404/562-9032. North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Randy B. Terry, Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, Region 4, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is (404) 562-9032. Mr. Terry can also be reached via electronic mail at terry.randy@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On August 7, 2002, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources submitted revisions to the North Carolina SIP. These revisions involve the amending of multiple rules within Section 15A NCAC 2D .1000 Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Standards to establish an enhanced I/M program. An analysis of each of the major revisions submitted is listed below.

II. Analysis of State's Submittal

15A NCAC 2D

.1001 Purpose

This rule has been amended to change “vehicle exhaust emission standard” to “vehicle emission control standard.”

.1002 Applicability This rule is being amended to replace the list of nine counties where tailpipe testing is currently required with a reference to the North Carolina General Statutes that lists the counties covered under the I/M program.

.1004 Tailpipe Emission Standards for CO (Carbon Monoxide) and HC (Hydrocarbon)

This rule is being amended to list the nine counties covered under the tailpipe testing program, to reference the tailpipe testing procedures and to state that the requirements of this Rule expire on January 1, 2006.

.1005 On-board Diagnostic Standards

This rule is being amended to specify that 1996 and later modeled-year vehicles are to be inspected using On Board Diagnostics (OBD) test. The federal procedures are incorporated by reference.

Approval of these I/M rules allow North Carolina to gain credits ranging from 914 tons in 2004 to 4,385 credits in 2007. These credits are then used to determine the number of credits that will be made available for new growth in North Carolina. The total credits obtained from these I/M rules and the credits allocated for new growth are detailed in the North Carolina Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Budget and Allowance Trading Program Federal Register proposal notice (67 FR 42519).

III. Final Action

EPA is approving the aforementioned changes to the SIP because the revisions are consistent with Clean Air Act and EPA regulatory requirements. The EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective December 30, 2002 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by November 29, 2002.

If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on December 30, 2002 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

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

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 (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 Clean Air Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 “Protection of Children from Start Printed Page 66058Environmental 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 Clean Air Act. 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 Clean Air Act. 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 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 December 30, 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

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Dated: October 21, 2002.

A. Stanley Meiburg,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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is amended as follows:

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PART 52—[AMENDED]

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1. The authority for 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 II—North Carolina

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2. In § 52.1770(c), table 1 is amended under subchapter 2D by revising entries .1001; .1002; .1004; and .1005 to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

Table 1.—EPA Approved North Carolina Regulations

State citationTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateComments
Subchapter 2DAir Pollution Control Requirements
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Section .1000Motor Vehicle Emissions Control Standards
Sect. .1001Purpose7/01/0210/30/02 and FR page citation
Sect. .1002Applicability7/01/0210/30/02 and FR page citation
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Sect. .1004Emission Standards7/01/0210/30/02 and FR page citation
Sect. .1005Measurement and Enforcement7/01/0210/30/02 and FR page citation
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
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[FR Doc. 02-27495 Filed 10-29-02; 8:45 am]

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