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Notice

California State Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Pollution Control Standards; Amendments to the California Small Offroad Emission Standards; Opportunity for Public Hearing and Request for Written Comment

Document Details

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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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice of opportunity for public hearing and comment.

SUMMARY:

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has notified EPA that it has adopted revised exhaust emissions standards and test procedures and new evaporative emissions standards and test procedures (and certification procedures) for small offroad engines. By letter dated April 11, 2005, CARB requested that EPA confirm that its exhaust emission standards and test procedures are within the scope of prior authorizations issued by EPA, and requested a new authorization for the evaporative emission standards, test procedures and certification procedures. This notice announces that EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing concerning California's requests and that EPA is accepting written comment on the requests.

DATES:

EPA has scheduled a public hearing concerning CARB's requests on June 29, 2006 beginning at 10 a.m. Any party may submit written comments by August 1, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

EPA will make available for public inspection at the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center materials submitted by CARB, written comments received from interested parties, in addition to any testimony 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 EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0133. Parties wishing to present oral testimony at the public hearing should provide written notice to David Dickinson at the address noted below. EPA will hold the public hearing in room 1153 at EPA's “East Building” located at 1201 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Dickinson, Compliance and Innovative Strategies 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.

For Obtaining and Submitting Electronic Copies of Comments

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-2005-0133, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: dickinson.david@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 343-2804. Start Printed Page 32083
  • Mail: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West (Air Docket), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Room B108, Mail Code 6102T, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0133. Please include a total of two copies.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. 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 EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0133.

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 information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail.

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. Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

(A) Background and Discussion

Section 209(e)(1) of the Act addresses the permanent preemption of any State, or political subdivision thereof, from adopting or attempting to enforce any standard or other requirement relating to the control of emissions for certain new nonroad engines or vehicles.[1]

Section 209(e)(2) of the Act requires the Administrator to grant California authorization to enforce state standards for new nonroad engines or vehicles which are not listed under section 209(e)(1), subject to certain restrictions. On July 20, 1994, EPA promulgated a regulation that sets forth, among other things, the criteria, as found in section 209(e)(2), by which EPA must consider any California authorization requests for new nonroad engines or vehicle emission standards (section 209(e) rules).[2]

Section 209(e)(2) requires the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, to authorize California to enforce standards and other requirements relating to emissions control of new engines not listed under section 209(e)(1).[3] The section 209(e) rule and its codified regulations [4] formally set forth the criteria, located in section 209(e)(2) of the Act, by which EPA must grant California authorization to enforce its new nonroad emission standards and they are as follows:

(a) The Administrator shall grant the authorization if California determines that its standards will be, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards.

(b) The authorization shall not be granted if the Administrator finds that:

(1) The determination of California is arbitrary and capricious;

(2) California does not need such California standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; or

(3) California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 209.

As stated in the preamble to the section 209(e) rule, EPA has interpreted the requirement “California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 209” to mean that California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures must be consistent with section 209(a), section 209(e)(1), and section 209(b)(1)(C), as EPA has interpreted that subsection in the context of motor vehicle waivers.[5] In order to be consistent with section 209(a), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not apply to new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines. Secondly, California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must be consistent with section 209(e)(1), which identifies the categories permanently preempted from state regulation.[6] California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures would be considered inconsistent with section 209 if they applied to the categories of engines or vehicles identified and preempted from State regulation in section 209(e)(1).

Finally, because California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must be consistent with section 209(b)(1)(C), EPA reviews nonroad authorization requests under the same “consistency” criteria that are applied to motor vehicle waiver requests. Under section 209(b)(1)(C), the Administrator shall not grant California a motor vehicle waiver if he finds that California “standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 202(a)” of the Act. As previous decisions granting waivers of Federal preemption for motor vehicles have explained, State standards are inconsistent with section 202(a) if there is inadequate lead time to permit the development of the necessary technology giving appropriate consideration to the cost of compliance within that time period or if the Federal and State test procedures impose inconsistent certification procedures.[7]

Congress further directed EPA to “give appropriate consideration to Start Printed Page 32084safety factors (including the potential increased risk of burn or fire) associated with compliance with the California standard” when considering any request from California to authorize the state to adopt or enforce standards or other requirements relating to the control of emission from new non-road spark-ignition engines smaller than 50 horsepower.[8]

When EPA receives new waiver or authorization requests from CARB, EPA traditionally publishes a notice of opportunity for public hearing and comment and then publishes a decision in the Federal Register following the public comment period. In contrast, when EPA receives within the scope waiver requests from CARB, EPA usually publishes a decision in the Federal Register and concurrently invites public comment if an interested part is opposed to EPA's decision.

Although CARB in its April 11, 2005 letter to EPA seeks confirmation that it exhaust emission amendments are within the scope of previous authorizations, EPA invites comment on whether California's exhaust emission standards and test procedures amendments, within the context of a within the scope analysis (a) Undermine California's previous determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as comparable Federal standards, (b) affect the consistency of California's requirements with section 209 of the Act, and (c) raise new issues affecting EPA's previous authorization determinations. EPA also asks comment on how safety factors, including the potential increased risk of burn or fire, are affected by the California standards. Please also provide comment that if CARB's exhaust emission standards and test procedures amendments were not found to be within the scope of previous authorizations and instead required a full authorization analysis, whether (a) CARB's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, 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 209 of the Act. EPA also asks comment on how safety factors, including the potential increased risk of burn or fire, are affected by the California standards.

EPA also invites comment on CARB's evaporative emission standards and test procedures (for which CARB seeks a full authorization) and whether (a) CARB's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, 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 209 of the Act. EPA also asks comment on how safety factors, including the potential increased risk of burn or fire, are affected by the California standards.

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.

The Agency will make a verbatim record of the proceedings. Interested parties may arrange with the reporter at the hearing to obtain a copy of the transcript at their own expense. EPA will keep the record open until August 1, 2006. Upon expiration of the comment period, the Administrator will render a decision on CARB's request based on the record of the public hearing, relevant written submissions, and other information that he deems pertinent. All information will be available for inspection at EPA Air Docket. (EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0133).

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 extent 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: May 26, 2006.

William L. Wehrum,

Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation.

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Footnotes

1.  Section 209(e)(1) of the Act provides:

No State or any political subdivision thereof shall adopt or attempt to enforce any standard or other requirement relating to the control of emissions from either of the following new nonroad engines or nonroad vehicles subject to regulation under this Act—(A) New engines which are used in construction equipment or vehicles or used in farm equipment or vehicles and which are smaller than 175 horsepower. (B) New locomotives or new engines used in locomotives. Subsection (b) shall not apply for purposes of this paragraph.

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2.  See 59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994), and regulations set forth therein, 40 CFR part 85, subpart Q, §§ 85.1601-85.1606.

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3.  As discussed above, states are permanently preempted from adopting or enforcing standards relating to the control of emissions from new engines listed in section 209(e)(1).

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4.  See 40 CFR part 85, subpart Q, § 85.1605.

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5.  See 59 FR 36969, 36983 (July 20, 1994).

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6.  Section 209(e)(1) of the Act has been implemented, see 40 CFR part 85, subpart Q §§ 85.1602, 85.1603.

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7.  To be consistent, the California certification procedures need not be identical to the Federal certification procedures. California procedures would be inconsistent, however, if manufacturers would be unable to meet both the state and the Federal requirement with the same test vehicle in the course of the same test. See, e.g., 43 FR 32182 (July 25, 1978).

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8.  See Fiscal Year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 108-199 Division G Section 428).

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[FR Doc. E6-8611 Filed 6-1-06; 8:45 am]

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