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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; State Implementation Plan Revision for Burlington Industries, Clarksville, VA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 Commonwealth of Virginia. This revision pertains to the removal of a Consent Agreement from the Virginia SIP. The Consent Agreement was written for the control of emissions of sulfur dioxide from the Burlington Industries facility located in Clarksville, Mecklenburg County, Virginia. This Agreement has been superseded by a federally enforceable state operating permit dated May 17, 2004, which imposes operating restrictions on the facility's boilers and the subsequent shutdown of the remainder of the facility. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before August 10, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2006-0059 by one of the following methods:

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

B. E-mail: campbell.david@epa.gov

C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2006-0059, David J. Campbell, Chief, Permits and Technical Assistance Branch, Mailcode 3AP11, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

D. 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 Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2006-0059. EPA's policy is that all comments received 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 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 www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The 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 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 Start Printed Page 39031the 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 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 www.regulations.gov 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 Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sharon McCauley, (215) 814-3376, or by e-mail at mccauley.sharon@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 12, 2004, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality submitted a revision request to its SIP entitled “SIP Revision for Burlington Industries”. The request was for the removal of a Consent Agreement incorporated into the Virginia SIP. This agreement was written to regulate the control of emissions of sulfur dioxide from the Burlington Industries facility located in Clarksville, Virginia.

I. Background

The need to restrict the operation and reduce the allowable sulfur dioxide emissions of the Burlington Industries facility was discovered through an Air Quality Impact Analysis supporting a Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit application submitted by the Mecklenburg Cogeneration Limited Partnership. The analysis indicated that Burlington Industries had the potential to exceed the primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide when operating at its maximum allowable levels. As a result, Burlington Industries voluntarily agreed to a control program with the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board.

In 1991, Burlington Industries submitted a plan (including proposed operating restrictions and a dispersion modeling demonstration) for mitigating any potential NAAQS violations. Because no regulations for issuing operating permits existed at that time in Virginia, the plan was incorporated into a legally enforceable Consent Agreement on November 19, 1991 between the Commonwealth and Burlington Industries. In order to then make the provisions federally enforceable, Virginia submitted the Consent Agreement to EPA as part of a SIP revision, and EPA subsequently approved this SIP revision on March 18, 1992 (57 FR 9388).

II. Summary of SIP Revision

EPA is proposing to approve this SIP revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Burlington Industries' federal operating (Title V) permit which included conditions from the Consent Agreement was issued on December 14, 2001. In 2002, Burlington Industries closed its facility and all of the manufacturing equipment was removed; however, the boilers remained operable. Burlington Industries requested that the Commonwealth impose additional operating restrictions at the facility. As a result of these additional restrictions, the facility is no longer considered a major source with respect to the Title V program. In order to make these new restrictions state and Federally enforceable, it is necessary to include Burlington Industries in a new Federally enforceable state operating permit, which would then become the legally enforceable mechanism for implementing the restrictions.

The new Federally enforceable state operating permit issued on May 17, 2004 vacated the original Consent Agreement from Nov. 19, 1991 and automatically rendered it ineffective at the state level. In order to vacate the Agreement at the federal level, the Virginia SIP must be revised to remove the Consent Agreement previously approved at 40 CFR 52.2420(c)(96), and currently cited at 40 CFR 52.2420(d) and 52.2465(c)(96). EPA is proposing to remove the Consent Agreement from the Virginia SIP.

III. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the Commonwealth of Virginia

In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information (1) that are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) that are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) that demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) that are required by law.

On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce Federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their Federal counterparts. * * *.” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by Federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any Federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with Federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.” Start Printed Page 39032

Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its program consistent with the Federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on Federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the Clean Air Act, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the Clean Air Act is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

IV. Proposed Action

EPA is proposing to approve the removal of the vacated Consent Agreement for Burlington Industries from the Virginia SIP. EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

V. 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 FR 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 (Pub. L. 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 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 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 the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality State Implementation Plan revision request for the removal of the Consent Agreement for the Burlington Industries facility located in Clarksville, Mecklenburg County, VA, 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: June 27, 2006.

William T. Wisniewski,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 06-6149 Filed 7-10-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P