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Proposed Rule

Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan; San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

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.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to approve revisions to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from flare operations at facilities such as oil and chemical refineries. We are proposing to approve a local rule regulating these emission sources under the Clean Air Act as amended in 1990 (CAA or the Act). We are taking comments on this proposal and plan to follow with a final action.

DATES:

Any comments must arrive by December 20, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number [DOCKET NUMBER], by one of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

2. E-mail: steckel.andrew@epa.gov.

3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or e-mail. www.regulations.gov is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send e-mail directly to EPA, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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.

Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business Start Printed Page 65284hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jerald S. Wamsley, EPA Region IX, at either (415) 947-4111, or wamsley.jerry@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, “We”, “Us”, and “Our” refer to the EPA.

Table of Contents

I. The State's Submittal

A. What rule did the State submit?

B. Are there other versions of this rule?

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

D. Public Comment and Final Action

I. The State's Submittal

A. What rule did the State submit?

Table 1 lists the rule addressed by this proposal with the date it was adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Table 1.—Submitted Rules

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAdoptedSubmitted
SJVAPCD4311Flares06/15/0612/29/06

On February 13, 2007, EPA found Rule 4311 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR Part 51, Appendix V. SJVAPCD must meet these criteria before formal EPA review.

B. Are there other versions of this rule?

On February 26, 2003, EPA approved a version of Rule 4311 and incorporated it within the SIP; please see 68 FR 8835. California has not made any intervening submittals of the rule.

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule revisions?

VOCs and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) help produce ground-level ozone and smog, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit regulations that control VOC and NOX emissions.

SJVAPCD Rule 4311 is designed to decrease VOC and NOX emissions from industries such as refineries, unrecoverable gases from oil wells, vented gases from blast furnaces, unused gases from coke ovens, and gaseous wastes from chemical industries by requiring that flares be operated in a prescribed manner. The June 15, 2006 revisions to the rule set the applicability threshold for the rule at ten tons per year potential to emit VOC or NOX and provide a compliance schedule for facilities subject to the rule.

EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about the Rule 4311.

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

Generally, SIP rules must be enforceable (see section 110(a) of the Act), must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source in nonattainment areas (see section 182(a)(2)), and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). The SJVAPCD regulates an ozone nonattainment area (see 40 CFR part 81), so Rule 4311 must fulfill RACT.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to help evaluate enforceability and RACT requirements consistently include the following:

1. Portions of the proposed post-1987 ozone and carbon monoxide policy that concern RACT, 52 FR 45044, November 24, 1987.

2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” USEPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook).

3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies,” USEPA Region 9, August 21, 2001 (the Little Bluebook).

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

We believe Rule 4311 is consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT, and SIP relaxations. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

C. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

The TSD describes additional rule revisions that do not affect EPA's current action but are recommended for the next time the local agency modifies the rules. We recommend that SJVAPCD reconsider the utility of incorporating provisions such as those in South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1118 and Bay Area Air Quality Management District Rule 12-12 within Rule 4311 to aid their enforcing of the rule, developing an accurate emissions inventory for these sources, and minimizing excess emissions from flare activity to the maximum extent practicable.

D. Public Comment and Final Action

Because EPA believes Rule 4311 fulfills all relevant requirements, we are proposing to fully approve it as described in section 110(k)(3) of the Act. We will accept comments from the public on this proposal for the next 30 days. Unless we receive convincing new information during the comment period sufficient to cause us to reverse our position, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

III. 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 (Pub. L. 104-4).

This proposed rule also does not have tribal implications because it will not Start Printed Page 65285have 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 proposes to approve a state rule implementing a Federal standard, 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 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: November 2, 2007.

Laura Yoshii,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. E7-22656 Filed 11-19-07; 8:45 am]

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