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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Control of VOC Emissions From AIM Coatings

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Proposed rule.


EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maryland. This revision pertains to the control of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings.


Written comments must be received on or before June 24, 2004.


Submit your comments, identified by MD166-3111 by one of the following methods:

A. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

B. E-mail:

C. Mail: Makeba Morris, Chief, Air Quality Planning Branch, Mailcode 3AP21, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. MD166-3111. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through or e-mail. The Federal Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

Copies of the documents relevant to this action are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103; and Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland 21230.

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Rose Quinto, (215) 814-2182, or by e-mail at

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On March 19, 2004, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) submitted a revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP revision consists of COMAR 26.11.33 Architectural Coatings which pertains to the control of VOC emissions from AIM coatings (the AIM Rule).

I. Background

In December 1999, EPA identified emission reduction shortfalls in several one-hour ozone nonattainment areas in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) and required those areas to address the shortfalls. The Ozone Transport Commission (OTC) developed model rules of control measures for a number of source categories. The OTC AIM coatings model rule was based on the existing rules developed by the California Air Resources Board, which were analyzed and modified by the OTC workgroup to address VOC reduction needs in the OTR. The standards and requirements contained in Maryland's AIM coatings rule are consistent with the OTC model rule.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

The Maryland AIM Rule applies to any person who supplies, sells, offers for sale, or manufactures any AIM coating for the use in Maryland; as well as a person who applies or solicits the application of any AIM coating within Maryland. The rule does not apply to the following: (1) Any AIM coating that is sold or manufactured for use outside of Maryland, or for shipment to other manufacturers for reformulation or repackaging; (2) any aerosol coating product; or (3) any architectural coating that is sold in a container with a volume of one liter (1.057 quarts) or less. The rule sets specific VOC content limits, in grams per liter, for AIM coating categories with a compliance date of January 1, 2005. Manufacturers would ensure compliance with the limits by reformulating coatings and substituting coatings with compliant coatings that are already in the market. The rule contains VOC content requirements for a wide variety of field-applied coatings, including graphic art coatings, lacquers, primers and stains. The rule also contains administrative requirements for labeling and reporting. There are a number of test methods that would be used to demonstrate compliance with this rule. Some of these test methods include those promulgated by EPA and South Coast Air Quality Management District of California. The test methods used to test coatings must be the most current approved method at the time testing is performed. In addition, the rule includes good faith efforts to be used by a retailer in safeguarding against the sale of a non-compliant product, in the course of business, ensure that the products meet the applicable State requirements.

III. Proposed Action

EPA is proposing to approve COMAR 26.11.33 for the control of VOC emission from AIM Coatings submitted on March 19, 2004. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

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 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 Start Printed Page 29675under 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 proposed rule also does 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), nor will it 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), because it 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 (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. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this proposed rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the executive order.

This proposed rule pertaining to Maryland's AIM 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
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Ozone
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Volatile organic compounds
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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Dated: May 18, 2004.

Richard J. Kampf,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 04-11773 Filed 5-24-04; 8:45 am]