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Proposed Rule

Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Proposed rule.


EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District (VCAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions from stationary gas turbines. We are proposing to approve a local rule to regulate these emission sources under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.


Any comments must arrive by March 28, 2003.


Mail comments to Andy Steckel, Rulemaking Office Chief (AIR-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

You can inspect copies of the submitted SIP revisions and EPA's technical support document (TSD) at our Region IX office during normal business hours. You may also see copies of the submitted SIP revisions at the following locations: California Air Resources Board, Stationary Source Division, Rule Evaluation Section, 1001 “I” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, 669 County Square Drive, Ventura, California 93003.

A copy of the rule may also be available via the Internet at​drdb/​drdbltxt.htm. Please be advised that this is not an EPA Web site and may not contain the same version of the rule that was submitted to EPA.

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Charnjit Bhullar, EPA Region IX, (415)972-3960.

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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 revisions?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How is EPA evaluating this rule?

B. Does this rule meet the evaluation criteria?

C. Public comment and final action.

III. Background Information

Why was this rule submitted?

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. The State's Submittal

A. What Rule Did the State Submit?

Table 1 lists the rule addressed by this proposal with the date that it was adopted by local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Table 1.—Submitted Rules

Local AgencyRule #Rule TitleAdoptedSubmitted
VCAPCD74.23Stationary Gas Turbines01/08/0203/15/02

On May 7, 2002, this rule 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?

VCAPCD adopted an earlier version of this rule on October 10, 1995, and CARB submitted it to us on March 26, 1996. We published approval of this previous version of rule 74.23 into the SIP on January 22, 1997 (14 FR 3220). VCAPCD adopted revisions to the SIP-approved version on June 12, 2001 and CARB submitted to us on October 30, 2001. While we can only act on the most recently submitted version, we have reviewed material associated with previous submittals.

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

Rule 74.23 applies to all stationary gas turbines with a rating equal to or greater than 0.3 megawatts (MW) output and operated on gaseous and/or liquid fuel. Stationary gas turbines in Ventura County are used as cogeneration units to generate electricity and supply heat for industrial processes, or as electric generators, and/or as primemovers of equipment used in the oil production industry. The primary purpose of the rule revisions is to slightly modify two emission limits.

The TSD has more information about this rule. Start Printed Page 8870

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How Is EPA Evaluating This Rule?

Generally, SIP rules must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the Act), must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for major sources in nonattainment areas (see section 182(a)(2)(A), 182(f) and 189(a)), and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). The VCAPCD regulates an ozone nonattainment area (see 40 CFR part 81), so Rule 74.23 must fulfill RACT.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to help evaluate enforceability and RACT requirements consistently include the following:

1. Issue Relating to VOC Regulation, Cut points, Deficiencies, and Deviations (the Blue Book), U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988.

2. “Guidance Document for Correcting VOC Rule Deficiencies”, U.S. EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the little bluebook).

3. State Implementation Plans: Nitrogen Oxides Supplement to the General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990 (the “NOX Supplement to the General Preamble”), U.S. EPA, 57 FR 55620, November 25, 1992.

4. Requirements for Preparation, Adoption, and Submittal of Implementation Plans, U.S. EPA, 40 CFR part 51.

5. State Implementation Plans for National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards, Section 110 of the Clean Air Act, and Plan Requirements for Nonattainment Areas, Title I Part D of the Clean Air Act.

6. Determination of Reasonably Available Control Technology and Best Available Retrofit Control Technology for the Control of Oxides of Nitrogen From Stationary Gas Turbines, State of California Air Resources Board, May 18, 1992.

7. Alternative Control Techniques (ACT) Document, NOX Emissions from Stationary Gas Turbines, U.S. EPA, January 1993, EPA-453/R-93-007.

8. Cost Effective Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT), U.S. EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, March 16, 1994.

B. Does This Rule Meet the Evaluation Criteria?

The substantive revisions to the rule were relaxation of the NOX emission limit in section B.5 from 20 ppmv to 24 ppmv for LM-2500 turbines, and the strengthening of the limit in section B.6 from 9 ppmv to 6.8 ppmv for LM-5000 turbines. We believe these changes result in a net decrease and that this rule is consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

C. Public Comment and Final Action

Because EPA believes the submitted rule fulfill all relevant requirements, we are proposing to fully approve it as described in section 110(k)(3) of the Act. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal for the next 30 days. Unless we receive convincing new information during the comment period, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate this rule into the federally enforceable SIP.

III. Background Information

Why Was This Rule Submitted?

NOX helps produce ground-level ozone, smog and particulate matter, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control NOX emissions. Table 2 lists some of the national milestones leading to the submittal of this local agency NOX rule.

Table 2.—Ozone Nonattainment Milestones

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. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this proposed 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 proposed action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this proposed 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 proposes to approve 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 (Public Law 104-4).

This proposed 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 proposes to approve 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 proposed 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 Start Printed Page 8871absence 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 proposed 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.).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Dated: February 7, 2003.

Alexis Strauss,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 03-4514 Filed 2-25-03; 8:45 am]