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Proposed Rule

Approval of Louisiana's Petition To Relax the Summer Gasoline Volatility Standard for the Grant Parish Area

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:

EPA is proposing to approve the State of Louisiana's request to relax the federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard applicable to gasoline introduced into commerce in the Grant Parish 8-hour ozone attainment area (Grant Parish) during the summer high ozone season—June 1 to September 15 of each year. Grant Parish is a designated attainment area under the 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (“NAAQS”) and is a redesignated attainment area under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. This action amends our regulations to change the summertime RVP standard for Grant Parish from 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi. EPA has determined that this change to our federal RVP regulations is consistent with the applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act. Louisiana's request is supported by evidence that Grant Parish can implement the 9.0 psi RVP standard and maintain the 8-hour ozone NAAQS and that relaxation of the applicable RVP standard to 9.0 psi will provide economic benefits.

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DATES:

Comments must be received on or before March 14, 2008. Request for a public hearing must be received by February 28, 2008. If we receive a request for a public hearing, we will publish information related to the timing and location of the hearing and the timing of a new deadline for public comments.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0002, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: Air and Radiation Docket—(202) 566-9744.
  • Mail: Air Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, Attention: Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0002. In addition, please mail a copy of your comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 20503.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2007-0002. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://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 http://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 docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sean Hillson, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Transportation and Regional Programs Division, Mailcode AASMCG, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: (734) 214-4789; fax number: (734) 214-4052; e-mail address: Hillson.Sean@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the “Rules and Regulations” section of today's Federal Register, we are making these revisions as a direct final rule without prior proposal because we view these revisions as noncontroversial and anticipate no adverse comment.

We have explained our reasons for these revisions in the preamble to the direct final rule. For further information, please see the information provided 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 on the rule, or on one or more distinct actions in the rule, we will withdraw the direct final rule, or the portions of the rule receiving adverse comment. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time.

The contents of this preamble are listed in the following outline:

I. General Information

II. Summary of Rule

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

IV. Statutory Provisions and Legal Authority

I. General Information

A. Does This Action Apply to Me?

This action will affect you if you produce, import, distribute, or sell gasoline fuel for use in Grant Parish, Louisiana. The following table gives some examples of entities that may have to follow the regulations. But because these are only examples, you should carefully examine the regulations in 40 CFR part 80. If you have questions, call the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

Examples of potentially regulated entitiesNAICS codes a
Petroleum Refineries324110
Gasoline Marketers and Distributors424710
424720
Gasoline Retail Stations447110
Gasoline Transporters484220
484230
a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

B. What Should I Consider as I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

1. Submitting CBI

Do not submit confidential business information to EPA through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. Clearly mark the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

2. Tips for Preparing Your Comments

When submitting comments, remember to:

  • Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and page number).
  • Follow directions—The agency may ask you to respond to specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
  • Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives and substitute language for your requested changes. Start Printed Page 8253
  • Describe any assumptions and provide any technical information and/or data that you used.
  • If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be reproduced.
  • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and suggest alternatives.
  • Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the use of profanity or personal threats.
  • Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

II. Summary of Rule

This proposed rule would relax the applicable RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) standard of 7.8 psi (pounds per square inch) to 9.0 psi in Grant Parish, Louisiana, during the summer high ozone season—June 1 to September 15 of each year. The State of Louisiana petitioned us for this relaxation in May 2005 and raised several valid points to justify this action. First, Grant Parish is classified as rural, is not adjacent to any urban area, and has a population of roughly 18,700 as of the 2000 Census. Second, air quality reflects a general decrease in emissions of ozone-forming pollutants since redesignation to attainment under the 1-hour standard in 1995 (data has fluctuated from year-to-year, but averaging annual emissions over three-year increments evidences the downward trend). Additionally, there is an economic advantage to relaxing the applicable RVP standard. Grant Parish is isolated from other (former) nonattainment areas which are required to use 7.8 psi gasoline. This isolation increases transportation costs which translate to roughly 2 cents per gallon increase in price to the consumer.

Finally, the Grant Parish 8-hour ozone attainment area has submitted an 8-hour maintenance demonstrating that the use of 9.0 psi gasoline will not interfere with attainment of the 8-hour NAAQS. EPA Region 6 approved this maintenance plan in November 2007. Grant Parish was formerly a 1-hour ozone nonattainment area and was redesignated to attainment in 1995, but at that time did not request relaxation of the applicable RVP standard. In 2004, Grant Parish was designated as attainment for the 8-hour ozone standard and, under the Phase 1 Ozone Implementation Rule, Grant Parish was required to submit an 8-hour maintenance plan under Clean Air Act section 110(a)(1). In Louisiana's 2006 8-hour maintenance demonstration, the state supported their petition by modeling 9.0 psi gasoline and demonstrated that Grant Parish will be able to maintain attainment of the 8-hour standard for 10 years, thereby meeting the requirements to have the applicable gasoline volatility standard relaxed.

For additional discussion of the proposed rule changes, see the direct final rule EPA has published in the “Rules and Regulations” section of today's Federal Register. This proposal incorporates by reference all the reasoning, explanation, and regulatory text from the direct final rule.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

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 OMB review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

This action does not impose any new information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., and therefore is not subject to these requirements.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) 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 organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.

For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's 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 small 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 rule on small entities, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In determining whether a rule has a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities, since the primary purpose of the regulatory flexibility analyses is to identify and address regulatory alternatives “which minimize any significant economic impact of the rule on small entities.” 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. Thus, an agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, or otherwise has a positive economic effect on all of the small entities subject to the rule.

This action will relax the federal RVP standard for gasoline sold in Grant Parish, Louisiana, during the ozone control season (June 1 to September 15), from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi, and is therefore expected not to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule does not impose any requirements or create impacts on small entities beyond those, if any, already required by or resulting from the CAA Section 211(h) Volatility Control program. We continue to be interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities and welcome comments on issues related to such impacts.

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 Start Printed Page 8254governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying 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 this 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. Today's rule merely relaxes the Federal RVP standard for gasoline in the Grant Parish area, and thus avoids imposing the costs that the existing Federal regulations would otherwise impose. Today's rule, therefore, is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA.

EPA has determined that this rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. As discussed above, the rule relaxes an existing standard and affects only the gasoline industry.

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. 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 rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This rule would relax the applicable RVP standard in Grant Parish, LA, during the ozone control season (June 1 to September 15) from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi. It applies only to Grant Parish, LA. 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, “Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, Apr. 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.

This rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and because the Agency does not have reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate risk to children. As previously discussed, the Grant Parish area has continued to meet the 1-hour ozone standard since 1995 and has met the 8-hour ozone standard since initial designations were issued in 2004. The maintenance plan approved on November 6, 2007 shows maintenance of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the entire maintenance time period of 2002 through 2014 with the 9.0 psi RVP standard.

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

This rule is not subject to 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.

I. 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.

This action does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA did not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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

Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, Feb. 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 applicable 8-hour ozone NAAQS which establish the level of protection provided to human health or the environment. This rule will relax the applicable volatility standard of gasoline during the summer possibly resulting in slightly higher mobile source emissions. However, the State of Louisiana has demonstrated in a maintenance plan Approval of Louisiana's Petition To Relax the Summer Gasoline Volatility Standard for the Grant Parish Area page 18 of 18—Proposal that this action will not interfere with attainment of the 8-hour ozone NAAQS and therefore disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects Start Printed Page 8255on minority or low-income populations are not an anticipated result.

IV. Legal Authority

Authority for this action is in sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7545(h) and 7601(a).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: February 7, 2008.

Stephen L. Johnson,

Administrator.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E8-2705 Filed 2-12-08; 8:45 am]

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