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California State Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Request for Waiver of Federal Preemption; Opportunity for Public Hearing

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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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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Notice of opportunity for public hearing and comment.


The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has notified EPA that it has adopted amendments to the California heavy-duty diesel regulations for 2007 and subsequent model year vehicles and engines (“2007 California Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Standards”) and related test procedures including the not-to-exceed (NTE) and supplemental steady-state tests (“supplemental test procedures”) to determine compliance with applicable standards. By letter dated July 16, 2004, CARB submitted a request that EPA grant a waiver of preemption under section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7543(b) for these amendments. This notice announces that EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing concerning California's request and that EPA is accepting written comment on the request.


EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing concerning CARB's request on December 15, 2004 beginning at 10 a.m. EPA will hold a hearing only if a party notifies EPA by December 6, 2004, expressing its interest in presenting oral testimony. By December 10, 2004, any person who plans to attend the hearing should call David Dickinson at (202) 343-9256 to learn if a hearing will be held. If EPA does not receive a request for a public hearing, then EPA will not hold a hearing, and instead consider CARB's request based on written submissions to the docket. Any party may submit written comments by January 24, 2005.


EPA will make available for public inspection at the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center written comments received from interested parties, in addition to any Start Printed Page 65595testimony given at the public hearing. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1743. The reference number for this docket is OAR-2004-0132. Parties wishing to present oral testimony at the public hearing should provide written notice to David Dickinson at the address noted below. If EPA receives a request for a public hearing, EPA will hold the public hearing at 1310 L St, NW., Washington, DC 20005.

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David Dickinson, Certification and Compliance Division (6405J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 343-9256, Fax: (202) 343-2804, e-mail address: Dickinson.David@EPA.GOV. EPA will make available an electronic copy of this Notice on the Office of Transportation and Air Quality's (OTAQ's) homepage (​otaq/​). Users can find this document by accessing the OTAQ homepage and looking at the path entitled “Regulations.” This service is free of charge, except any cost you already incur for Internet connectivity. Users can also get the official Federal Register version of the Notice on the day of publication on the primary Web site: (​docs/​fedrgstr/​EPA-AIR/​).

Please note that due to differences between the software used to develop the documents and the software into which the documents may be downloaded, changes in format, page length, etc., may occur. Parties wishing to present oral testimony at the public hearing should provide written notice to David Dickinson at: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., (6405J), Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 343-9256.

Docket: An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket and comment system. You may use EPA dockets at​edocket/​ to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Once in the edocket system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID number.

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(A) Background and Discussion

Section 209(a) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (“Act”), 42 U.S.C. 7543(a), provides:

No State or any political subdivision thereof shall adopt or attempt to enforce any standard relating to the control of emissions from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines subject to this part. No state shall require certification, inspection or any other approval relating to the control of emissions from any new motor vehicle or new motor vehicle engine as condition precedent to the initial retail sale, titling (if any), or registration of such motor vehicle, motor vehicle engine, or equipment.

Section 209(b)(1) of the Act requires the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, to waive application of the prohibitions of section 209(a) for any state that has adopted standards (other than crankcase emission standards) for the control of emissions from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines prior to March 30, 1966, if the state determines that the state standards will be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards. California is the only state that is qualified to seek and receive a waiver under section 209(b). The Administrator must grant a waiver unless he finds that (A) the determination of the state is arbitrary and capricious, (B) the state does not need the state standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions, or (C ) the state standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 202(a) of the Act.

CARB's July 16, 2004, letter to the Administrator notified EPA that it had adopted amendments to its heavy-duty diesel vehicle and engine program. These amendments are to title 13, California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 1958.8. The specific regulatory text and the incorporated document covered by CARB's rulemaking are: section 1956.8, Title 13, CCR as shown in attachment 2 to CARB's July 16, 2004 letter; and the amendments to the related test procedures incorporated in section 1956.8(b), “California Exhaust Emission Standards and Test Procedures for 1985 and Subsequent Model Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines and Vehicles,” also shown in attachment 2.

Please provide comment as to whether (a) California's determination that its amendments as referenced in its July 16, 2004, request letter, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards is arbitrary and capricious, (b) California needs separate standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions, and (c) California's standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are consistent with section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.

Procedures for Public Participation

In recognition that public hearings are designed to give interested parties an opportunity to participate in this proceeding, there are no adverse parties as such. Statements by participants will not be subject to cross-examination by other participants without special approval by the presiding officer. The presiding officer is authorized to strike from the record statements that he or she deems irrelevant or repetitious and to impose reasonable time limits on the duration of the statement of any participant.

If hearing(s) are held, the Agency will make a verbatim record of the proceedings. Interested parties may arrange with the reporter at the hearing(s) to obtain a copy of the transcript at their own expense. Regardless of whether public hearing(s) are held, EPA will keep the record open until January 24, 2005. Upon expiration of the comment period, the Administrator will render a decision on CARB's request based on the record of the public hearing(s), if any, relevant written submissions, and other information that he deems pertinent. All information will be available for inspection at EPA Air Docket. (OAR-2004-0132).

Persons with comments containing proprietary information must distinguish such information from other comments to the greatest possible extent and label it as “Confidential Business Information” (CBI). If a person making comments wants EPA to base its decision in part on a submission labeled CBI, then a nonconfidential version of the document that summarizes the key data or information should be submitted for the public docket. To ensure that proprietary information is not inadvertently placed in the docket, submissions containing such information should be sent directly to the contact person listed above and not to the public docket. Information covered by a claim of confidentiality will be disclosed by EPA only to the Start Printed Page 65596extent allowed and by the procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. If no claim of confidentiality accompanies the submission when EPA receives it, EPA will make it available to the public without further notice to the person making comments.

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Dated: November 8, 2004.

Jeffrey R. Holmstead,

Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation.

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[FR Doc. 04-25304 Filed 11-12-04; 8:45 am]