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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Maryland; Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone and Fine Particulate Matter

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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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Maryland Department of the Environment. The revision consists of modifications to the ambient air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter and the replacement of the abbreviation “ppm” with parts per million in existing standards. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before November 14, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Regional Material in EDocket (RME) ID Number R03-OAR-2005-MD-0012 by one of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Agency Web site: http://docket.epa.gov/​rmepub/​ RME, EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

E-mail: Campbell.dave@epa.gov.

Mail: R03-OAR-2005-MD-0012, David Campbell, Chief, Air Quality Planning and Analysis Branch, Mailcode 3AP21, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

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 RME ID No. R03-OAR-2005-MD-0012. Start Printed Page 59689EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change, and may be made available online at http://docket.epa.gov/​rmepub/​, 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 RME, regulations.gov or e-mail. The EPA RME and the Federal regulations.gov Web sites are 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 RME or regulations.gov, 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.

Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the RME index at http://docket.epa.gov/​rmepub/​. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in RME or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 705, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Linda Miller, (215) 814-2068, or by e-mail at miller.linda@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

On March 15, 2005, the State of Maryland submitted a formal revision to its SIP. The SIP revision consists of an amendment which includes the revised ambient air quality standards for ozone and particulate matter. EPA promulgated the new, more stringent, national ambient quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone and fine particulate matter on July 18, 1997, 62 FR 38894 and 62 FR 38711, respectively.

In 1997, EPA adopted an 8-hour ozone NAAQS with a level of 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to provide greater protection to public health than the previous standard 0.12 ppm averaged over a 1-hour block of time. At the same time, EPA established a new standard for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that applies to particles 2.5 microns in diameter or less.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

Maryland's revision incorporates the 1997 Federal 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 standards into Title 26, Subtitle 11, Chapter 4 of the Code of Maryland Adminstrative Regulations (COMAR). The new ozone standard incorporated in this SIP revision is the average of the fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration that is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm, averaged over three consecutive years. In addition, the SIP revision adds a new PM2.5 ambient air quality standard. The standards for PM2.5 incorporated in this SIP revision are 65 micrograms per cubic meter based on a 24-hour concentration and 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter annual arithmetic mean concentration. Compliance with the new 8-hour standard and fine particulate matter standards are determined in a manner identical to the NAAQS as defined at 40 CFR part 50. It should be noted that Maryland has not made any revisions to the existing standards for ozone (1-hour standard) or particulate matter (PM10).

The revision also includes a clarification of the unit of measure for ambient air quality standards for sulfur oxides and nitrogen dioxide. The abbreviation “ppm” has been replaced by the written form “parts per million”.

III. Proposed Action

EPA is proposing to approve the Maryland SIP revision for addition of new 8-hour ozone ambient air quality standards and fine particulate matter ambient air quality standards and clarification of unit of measure, which was submitted on March 15, 2005. 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 Fed. Reg. 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 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 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 requirement, 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 Start Printed Page 59690failure 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 to approve addition of ozone and fine particulate standards 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

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Dated: October 5, 2005.

Donald S. Welsh,

Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 05-20514 Filed 10-12-05; 8:45 am]

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