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Proposed Rule

Revisions to Consolidated Federal Air Rule

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.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The EPA is proposing to revise the General Provisions for Consolidated Federal Air Rule. On May 16, 2007, we published a final rule that revised the General Provisions for Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources, for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, and for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories to allow extensions to the deadline imposed for source owners and operators to conduct initial or other required performance tests in certain specified force majeure circumstances. We recently realized that we should have also revised the Consolidated Federal Air Rule to allow similar extensions.

DATES:

Written comments must be received by September 26, 2007.

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ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0429 by mail to Revisions to Consolidated Federal Air Rule, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of two copies. Comments may also be submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Lula Melton, Air Quality Assessment Division (C304-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-2910; fax number: (919) 541-4511; e-mail address “melton.lula@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Why Is EPA Issuing This Proposed Rule?

This document proposes to take action on Revisions to the Consolidated Federal Air Rule. We have published a direct final rule to revise the Consolidated Federal Air Rule to allow extensions to the deadline imposed for source owners and operators to conduct performance tests in certain specified force majeure circumstances in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register. These revisions would mirror those contained in a May 16, 2007 final rule revising the General Provisions for Standards of Performance for New Stationary Sources, for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, and for National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Source Categories to allow extensions to the deadline imposed for source owners and operators to conduct initial or other required performance tests in certain specified force majeure circumstances. We recently realized that we should have also revised the Consolidated Federal Air Rule for the same reasons. We view this as a non-controversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct final rule.

If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw the direct final rule, and it will not take effect. We would address all public comments in any subsequent final rule base on this proposed rule. We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

The regulatory text for the proposal is identical to that for the direct final rule published in the “Rules and Regulations” section of this Federal Register. For further supplementary information, the detailed rationale for the proposal and the regulatory revisions, see the direct final rule published in a separate part of this Federal Register.

II. Does This Action Apply to Me?

This action applies to any owner or operator of a source required to conduct performance testing to demonstrate compliance with applicable standards under the General Provisions for Consolidated Federal Air Rule.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Reviews

This action is not a “significant regulatory action” under the terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735 October 4, 1993) and is therefore not subject to review under the EO.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

The information collection requirements in this proposed rule have been submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. The Information Collection Request (ICR) document prepared by EPA has been assigned EPA ICR No. xxxx.

The proposed rule would require a written notification only if a plant owner or operator needs an extension of a performance test deadline due to certain rare events, such as acts of nature, acts of war or terrorism, or equipment failure or safety hazard beyond the control of the affected facility. Since EPA believes such events will be rare, the projected cost and hour burden will be minimal.

The increased annual average reporting burden for this collection (averaged over the first 3 years of the ICR) is estimated to total 6 labor hours per year at a cost of $377.52. This includes one response per year from six respondents for an average of 1 hour per response. No capital/startup costs or operation and maintenance costs are associated with the proposed reporting requirements. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to, a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions.

For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 121.201; (2) a governmental jurisdiction that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.

After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Extensions to deadlines for conducting performance tests will provide flexibility to small entities and reduce the burden on them by providing them an opportunity for additional time to comply with performance test deadlines during force majeure events. Furthermore, we expect force majeure events to be rare since these events include circumstances such as acts of nature, acts of war or terrorism, or equipment failure or safety hazard beyond the control of the affected facility. Start Printed Page 48955

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final rules with “Federal mandates” that may result in expenditures to State, Local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including Tribal governments, it must have developed, under section 203 of the UMRA, a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements.

EPA has determined that the proposed rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector in any one year. The maximum total annual cost of this proposed rule for any year has been estimated to be less than $435.00. Thus, today's proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

EPA has determined that the proposed rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The proposed rule requires source owners and operators to provide a written notification to the Agency only if an extension to a performance test deadline is necessary due to a rare force majeure event. Therefore, the proposed rule is not subject to the requirements of section 203 of the UMRA.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations that 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.”

This proposed rule does not have federalism implications. It will 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. The proposed rule requirements will not supersede State regulations that are more stringent. In addition, the proposed rule requires a written notification only if a plant owner or operator needs an extension of a performance test deadline due to certain rare events, such as acts of nature, acts of war or terrorism, or equipment failure or safety hazard beyond the control of the affected facility. Since EPA believes that such events will be rare, the projected cost and hour burden will be minimal. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to this rule.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This proposed rule does not have tribal implications as specified in Executive Order 13175. This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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 in Executive Order 13175. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks

Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) applies to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be “economically significant” as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health or safety effects of the planned rule on children and explain why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.

The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866 and because the Agency does not have reason to believe that the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. This rule does not affect the underlying control requirements established by the applicable standards but only the timeframe associated with performance testing in limited circumstances.

H. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) establishes Federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs Federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not affect the level of Start Printed Page 48956protection provided to human health or the environment. The rule merely allows extensions to performance test deadlines in rare force majeure events.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

The proposed rule is not a “significant energy action” as defined in 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 under Executive Order 12866.

J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (NTTAA), Public Law 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 272 note), directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards. New test methods are not being proposed in this rulemaking, but EPA is allowing for extensions of the regulatory deadlines by which owners or operators are required to conduct performance tests when a force majeure is about to occur, occurs, or has occurred which prevents owners or operators from testing within the regulatory deadline. Therefore, NTTAA does not apply.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 65

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: August 17, 2007.

Stephen L. Johnson,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E7-16835 Filed 8-24-07; 8:45 am]

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