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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans: Revisions to the Alabama Nitrogen Oxides Budget and Allowance Trading Program

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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:

The EPA is approving revisions to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's nitrogen oxides budget and allowance trading program submitted on September 13, 2002, by the State of Alabama. These revisions are designed to provide greater flexibility to reward sources that achieve quantifiable reductions ahead of the compliance deadline by allowing sources to request credit for early reductions obtained during the 2001 control period.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective February 10, 2003 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by January 13, 2003. 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: Sean Lakeman; Regulatory Development Section; Air Planning Branch; Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4; 61 Forsyth Street, SW; Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960

Copies of documents relative to this action 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

Alabama Department of Environmental Management, 400 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery, Alabama 36110-2059

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sean Lakeman; Regulatory Development Section; Air Planning Branch; Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4; 61 Forsyth Street, SW; Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Mr. Lakeman can also be reached by phone at (404) 562-9043 or by electronic mail at lakeman.sean@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Analysis of State's Submittal

On September 13, 2002, the State of Alabama through Alabama Department of Environmental Management submitted revisions to Chapter 335-3-8 regarding early reduction credits. The revisions to Chapter 335-3-8-.10—NOX Allowance Tracking System would provide greater flexibility to reward sources that achieve quantifiable reductions ahead of the compliance deadline May 1, 2004, by allowing sources to qualify for early reduction credit in the form of nitrogen oxides allowances from a compliance supplement pool for the 2001 control period. This is being accomplished by expanding the early reduction credit program from 2002 through 2003 to 2001 through 2003.

II. Final Action

EPA is approving the aforementioned change to the State of Alabama's SIP because it is consistent with the CAA and EPA policy. 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 February 10, 2003 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by January 13, 2003.

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 February 10, 2003 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Start Printed Page 76317

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 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 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 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. section 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. section 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 February 10, 2003. 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: November 26, 2002.

A. Stanley Meiburg,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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Chapter I, title 40 of the

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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 B-Alabama

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2. Section 52.50(c) is amended by revising the entry for “Section 335-3-8.10” to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
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(c) * * *

EPA Approved Alabama Regulations

State citationTitle subjectAdoption dateEPA approval dateFederal Register notice
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Section 335-3-8.10NOX Allowance Tracking SystemAugust 27, 2002December 12, 2002[Insert FR page citation from publication date]
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[FR Doc. 02-31235 Filed 12-11-02; 8:45 am]

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