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Interim Final Determination To Stay and/or Defer Sanctions, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

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:

Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is making an interim final determination to stay and/or defer imposition of sanctions based on a direct final approval of a revision to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) portion of the Arizona State Implementation Plan (SIP) published elsewhere in today's Federal Register. The revisions concern ADEQ Rule R18-2-Appendix 8.

DATES:

This interim final determination is effective on April 12, 2006. However, comments will be accepted until May 12, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2006-0227, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.
  • E-mail: steckel.andrew@epa.gov.
  • Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send e-mail directly to EPA, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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.

Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Al Petersen, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4118, petersen.alfred@epa.gov. Start Printed Page 18627

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

I. Background

On November 1, 2004 (69 FR 63321), we published a limited approval and limited disapproval of ADEQ Rule R18-2-Appendix 8 as amended effective on November 15, 1993 and submitted by the State on July 15, 1998. We based our limited disapproval action on deficiencies in the submittal. This disapproval action started a sanctions clock for imposition of offset sanctions 18 months after December 1, 2004 and highway sanctions 6 months later, pursuant to section 179 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and our regulations at 40 CFR 52.31.

Effective on July 18, 2005, ADEQ amended Rule R18-2-Appendix 8 with the intention to correct the deficiencies identified in our limited disapproval action. On January 18, 2006, the State submitted these revisions to EPA. On March 1, 2006, the State resubmitted the amended Rule R18-2-Appendix 8 in codified form to supplement the January 18, 2006 submittal. In the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, we have proposed approval of this submittal because we believe it corrects the deficiencies identified in our November 1, 2004 disapproval action. Based on today's proposed approval, we are taking this direct final rulemaking action, effective on publication, to stay and/or defer imposition of sanctions that were triggered by our November 1, 2004 limited disapproval.

EPA is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on this stay/deferral of sanctions. If comments are submitted that change our assessment described in this final determination and the proposed full approval of revised ADEQ Rule R18-2-Appendix 8, we intend to take subsequent final action to reimpose sanctions pursuant to 40 CFR 51.31(d). If no comments are submitted that change our assessment, then all sanctions and sanction clocks will be permanently terminated on the effective date of a final rule approval.

II. EPA Action

We are making an interim final determination to stay and/or defer CAA section 179 sanctions associated with ADEQ Rule R18-2-Appendix 8 based on our concurrent proposal to approve the State's SIP revision as correcting a deficiency that initiated sanctions.

Because EPA has preliminarily determined that the State has corrected the deficiency identified in EPA's limited disapproval action, relief from sanctions should be provided as quickly as possible. Therefore, EPA is invoking the good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in not providing an opportunity for comment before this action takes effect (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)). However, by this action EPA is providing the public with a chance to comment on EPA's determination after the effective date, and EPA will consider any comments received in determining whether to reverse such action.

EPA believes that notice-and-comment rulemaking before the effective date of this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. EPA has reviewed the State's submittal and, through its proposed action, is indicating that it is more likely than not that the State has corrected the deficiencies that started the sanctions clocks. Therefore, it is not in the public interest to initially impose sanctions or to keep applied sanctions in place when the State has most likely done all it can to correct the deficiencies that triggered the sanctions clocks. Moreover, it would be impracticable to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking on a finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies prior to the rulemaking approving the State's submittal. Therefore, EPA believes that it is necessary to use the interim final rulemaking process to stay and/or defer sanctions while EPA completes its rulemaking process on the approvability of the State's submittal. Moreover, with respect to the effective date of this action, EPA is invoking the good cause exception to the 30-day notice requirement of the APA because the purpose of this notice is to relieve a restriction (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1)).

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action stays and/or defers federal sanctions and imposes no additional requirements.

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.

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action.

The Administrator certifies that this action 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.).

This rule 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 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 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 rule 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. The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272) do not apply to this rule because it imposes no standards.

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 to Congress and the Comptroller General. However, section 808 provides that any rule for which the issuing agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the agency promulgating the rule determines. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefor, and established an effective date of April 12, 2006. 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 rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Start Printed Page 18628

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 June 12, 2006. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purpose of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which 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: March 22, 2006.

Wayne Nastri,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 06-3406 Filed 4-11-06; 8:45 am]

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