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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama: State Implementation Plan Revision

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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.

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SUMMARY:

EPA is approving revisions to the Alabama State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) on September 11, 2003. The revisions include modifications to Alabama's open burning rules found at Alabama Administrative Code (AAC) Chapter 335-3-3-.01. These revisions are part of Alabama's strategy to meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) by reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides. Open burning creates smoke that contains fine particles (PM2.5) and precursors to ozone. ADEM has found that elevated levels of PM2.5 mirror the months when ozone levels are highest (May-September). These rules are intended to help control levels of PM2.5 and ozone precursors that contribute to high ozone and PM2.5 levels. Today's action is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). In its September 11, 2003, submittal, ADEM also proposed SIP revisions to include changes to AAC Chapter 335-3-4, concerning opacity. EPA is not acting on that part of the revision at this time.

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective May 8, 2006 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by April 10, 2006. 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:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number, “EPA-R04-OAR-2005-AL-0002,” by one of the following methods:

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

2. E-mail: difrank.stacy@epa.gov.

3. Fax: 404-562-9019.

4. Mail: “EPA-R04-OAR-2005-AL-0002,” 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.

5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Stacy DiFrank, Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division 12th floor, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID Number, “EPA-R04-OAR-2005-AL-0002.” EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, 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 through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The http://www.regulations.gov 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 http://www.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. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. 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 http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the 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. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding legal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Stacy DiFrank, 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. The telephone number is (404) 562-9042. Ms. DiFrank can also be reached via electronic mail at difrank.stacy@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Today's Action

On September 11, 2003, ADEM submitted to EPA proposed SIP revisions for review and approval into the Alabama SIP. The proposed revisions include changes made by the State of Alabama to its open burning regulations, found at AAC Chapter 335-3-3-.01. These rules became state effective on October 2, 2003.

The original provisions that were part of Chapter 335-3-3-.01(1) still exists, with the exception of subpart (i), which was deleted and included as part of the newly added provision, 335-3-3-.01(2). In summary, the revisions submitted by ADEM include changes to the duration, timing, and location of open burning, and add other specific requirements for open burning.

These other requirements include expansion of the seasonal ban on open burning to now include the months of May and September, and the additional counties of Baldwin, Lawrence, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Morgan, and Shelby. The new provision, Chapter 335-3-3-.01(2), also describes new requirements for open burning which include, among others: (1) A limitation on open burning of vegetation or untreated wood for only the specified purposes; (2) a specification regarding fuel; (3) setbacks for all open burning; (4) a requirement to reduce traffic hazards associated with the burning; and (5) a limit on the hours of open burning. No action is being taken with regard to the last paragraph of Chapter 335-3-3-.01(2)(d), referring to open burning in Morgan County during 2003, because it was removed from the Alabama SIP in a separate action in December 2005 (70 FR 76694, December 28, 2005). The proposed revisions summarized above are approvable pursuant to section 110 of the CAA.

EPA is now taking direct final action to approve the proposed revisions, specifically, AAC Chapter 335-3-3-.01(1) and .01(2), into the Alabama SIP. These revisions include the entirety of Alabama's open burning rules and are Start Printed Page 12140part of the State's strategy to meet the NAAQS by reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

II. Final Action

EPA is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Alabama SIP to include changes made to Alabama's open burning rules found at AAC Chapter 335-3-3-.01, as submitted on September 11, 2003, with the exception of one sentence in 335-3-3-.01(2)(d) regarding Morgan County. In addition, at this time, EPA is not acting on the revision to AAC Chapter 335-3-4 concerning opacity.

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 May 8, 2006 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by April 10, 2006.

If EPA receives such comments, EPA will then publish a document withdrawing the direct final rule and informing the public that such rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. 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 May 8, 2006 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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 CAA. 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 CAA. 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 CAA. 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. 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. 804(2).

Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 8, 2006. 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: February 17, 2006.

A. Stanley Meiburg,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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is amended as follows:

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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 entries for “Section 335-3-3.01” to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
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EPA Approved Alabama Regulations

State citationTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateExplanation
Chapter 335-3-3Control of Open Burning and Incineration
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Section 335-3-3-.01Open Burning10/2/20033/9/2006 [Insert citation of publication]We are not acting on the portion of section 2(d) stating “During 2003 only burning may be conducted in Morgan County if any air curtain incinerator is used to burn the materials.”
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* * * * *
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[FR Doc. 06-2184 Filed 3-8-06; 8:45 am]

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