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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; State of Delaware Transportation Conformity Regulations

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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:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Delaware. This revision establishes the State's transportation conformity requirements. After they have been approved, the State regulations will govern transportation conformity determinations in the State of Delaware. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before December 7, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2007-1009 by one of the following methods:

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

. E-mail: febbo.carol@epa.gov.

C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2007-1009, Carol Febbo, Chief, Energy, Radiation and Indoor Environment Branch, Mailcode 3AP23, 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-2007-1009. 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 the 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, Start Printed Page 62808is 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 Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, 89 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 1401, Dover, Delaware 19903.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Martin Kotsch, (215) 814-3335, or by e-mail at kotsch.martin@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we”, “us”, or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

Table of Contents

I. What Is Transportation Conformity?

II. What Is the Background for This Action?

III. What Did the State Submit and How Did We Evaluate It?

IV. What Action Is EPA Taking Today?

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What Is Transportation Conformity?

Transportation conformity is required under section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act to ensure that Federally supported highway, transit projects, and other activities are consistent with (conform to) the purpose of the SIP. Conformity currently applies to areas that are designated nonattainment, and those redesignated to attainment after 1990 (maintenance areas), with plans developed under section 175A of the Clean Air Act for the following transportation related criteria pollutants: ozone, particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Conformity to the purpose of the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the relevant national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). The transportation conformity regulation is found in 40 CFR part 93 and provisions related to conformity SIPs are found in 40 CFR 51.390.

II. What Is the Background for This Action?

On August 10, 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law. SAFETEA-LU revised certain provisions of section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act, related to transportation conformity. Prior to SAFETEA-LU, states were required to address all of the Federal conformity rule's provisions in their conformity SIPs. After SAFETEA-LU, states' SIPs were required to contain all or portions of only the following three sections of the Federal rule, modified as appropriate to each state's circumstances: 40 CFR 93.105 (consultation procedures); 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) (written commitments to implement certain kinds of control measures); and 40 CFR 93.125(c) (written commitments to implement certain kinds of mitigation measures). States are no longer required to submit conformity SIP revisions that address the other sections of the Federal conformity rule.

III. What Did the State Submit and How Did We Evaluate It?

On July 9, 2007, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) submitted a revision to its State Implementation Plan (SIP) for Transportation Conformity purposes. The SIP revision consists of the State Regulation 1132, Delaware Transportation Conformity Regulation. This SIP revision addresses the three provisions of the EPA Conformity Rule required under SAFETEA-LU: 40 CFR 93.105 (consultation procedures); 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) (control measures) and, 40 CFR 93.125(c) (mitigation measures).

We reviewed the submittal to assure consistency with the February 14, 2006 “Interim Guidance for Implementing the Transportation Conformity provisions in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).” The guidance document can be found at http://epa.gov/​otaq/​stateresources/​transconf/​policy.htm. The guidance document states that each state is only required to address and tailor the afore-mentioned three sections of the Federal Conformity Rule to be included in their state conformity SIPs.

EPA's review of Delaware's proposed SIP indicates that it is consistent with EPA's guidance in that it includes the three elements specified by SAFETEA-LU. Consistent with the EPA Conformity Rule at 40 CFR 93.105 (consultation procedures), Regulation 1132(3) identifies the appropriate agencies, procedures and allocation of responsibilities as required under 40 CFR 93.105 for consultation procedures. In addition, Regulation 1132(3) provides for appropriate public consultation/public involvement consistent with 40 CFR 93.105. With respect to the requirements of 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 40 CFR 93.125(c), Regulation 1132(4) specifies that written commitments for control measures and mitigation measures for meeting these requirements will be provided as needed.

IV. What Action Is EPA Taking Today?

EPA is proposing to approve the Delaware SIP revision for Transportation Conformity, which was submitted on July 9, 2007. This revision is being proposed under a procedure called parallel processing, whereby EPA proposes rulemaking action concurrently with the state's procedures for amending its regulations. If the proposed revision is changed in areas other than those identified in this action, EPA will evaluate those changes and may publish another notice of proposed rulemaking. If no changes are made, EPA will publish a Final Rulemaking Notice on the revisions. The final rulemaking action by EPA will occur only after the SIP revision has been adopted by the State of Delaware and submitted formally to EPA for incorporation into the 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 proposed 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 (Public Law 104-4). This proposed rule also does not have tribal implications because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or Start Printed Page 62809more 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 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 “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it approves a state rule implementing a Federal standard.

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. This proposed rule to approve Delaware's transportation conformity regulation 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: October 29, 2007.

Donald S. Welsh,

Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. E7-21853 Filed 11-6-07; 8:45 am]

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