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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama: Volatile Organic Compounds

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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.

SUMMARY:

EPA is approving revisions to the Alabama State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) on November 18, 2005. The revisions include modifications to Alabama's Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) rules found at Alabama Administrative Code (AAC) Chapter 335-3-1. ADEM is taking an action that was similarly approved by EPA on November 29, 2004 (69 FR 69298). The revision adds several compounds to the list of compounds excluded from the definition of VOC on the basis that they make a negligible contribution to ozone formation. This action is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective December 11, 2006 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by November 13, 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 No. “EPA-R04-OAR-2005-AL-0004,” by one of the following methods: Start Printed Page 59675

1. 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-0004,” 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 to 4:30, excluding federal holidays.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. “EPA-R04-OAR-2005-AL-0004.” 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 through www.regulations.gov or e-mail, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov website is an “anonymous access” systems, 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 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 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 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 to 4:30 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 November 18, 2005, ADEM submitted proposed SIP revisions to EPA for review and approval into the Alabama SIP. The revisions include changes made by the State of Alabama to AAC Chapter 335-3-1, regarding VOCs. The rules became state effective on December 12, 2005. EPA is now taking direct final action to approve the proposed revisions, which include revising the definition of VOC, which is a part of the State's strategy to meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) by reducing emissions of VOCs. In summary, the revisions submitted by ADEM added four compounds to the list of those excluded from the definition of VOC, on the basis that these compounds make a negligible contribution to ozone formation. The revision modified the definition to say that: 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-methoxy-propane (n-C3 F7 OCH3) (known as HFE-7000); 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluro-2-(trifluoromethyl) hexane (known as HFE-7500), 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane (known as HFC-227ea); and methyl formate (HCOOOCH3) will be considered to be negligibly reactive. The revisions summarized above are approvable pursuant to section 110 of the CAA.

II. Background

Tropospheric ozone, commonly known as smog, occurs when VOCs and nitrogen oxides (NOX) react in the atmosphere. Because of the harmful health effects of ozone, EPA limits the amount of VOCs and NOX that can be released into the atmosphere. VOCs are those compounds of carbon (excluding carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, carbonic acid, metallic carbides, or carbonates, and ammonium carbonate) which form ozone through atmospheric photochemical reactions. Compounds of carbon (or organic compounds) have different levels of reactivity; they do not react at the same speed, or do not form ozone to the same extent.

It has been EPA's policy that compounds of carbon with a negligible level of reactivity need not be regulated to reduce ozone (see 42 FR 35314, July 8, 1977). EPA determines whether a given carbon compound has “negligible” reactivity by comparing the compound's reactivity to the reactivity of ethane. EPA lists these compounds in its regulations at 40 CFR 51.100(s), and excludes them from the definition of VOC. The chemicals on this list are often called “negligibly reactive.” EPA may periodically revise the list of negligibly reactive compounds to add compounds to or delete them from the list.

EPA finalized a similar rule on November 29, 2004 (69 FR 69298), approving the addition of the four compounds listed in Section I above to the list of those excluded from the definition of VOC.

III. Final Action

EPA is approving revisions to the Alabama SIP to include changes made to Alabama's VOC regulations which are part of the State's strategy to meet the NAAQS. These changes are consistent with the CAA.

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 December 11, 2006 without further notice unless the Start Printed Page 59676Agency receives adverse comments by November 13, 2006.

If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the 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 December 11, 2006 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

IV. 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 (Public Law 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 December 11, 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: September 18, 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 335-3-1.02” to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
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(c) * * *

EPA Approved Alabama Regulations

State cita- tionTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateExplanation
Chapter 335-3-1 General provisions
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Section 335-3-1-.02Definitions12/12/200510/11/06 [Insert citation of publication]
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[FR Doc. E6-16812 Filed 10-10-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P