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Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Alabama Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Nonattainment New Source Review

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is taking final action to approve revisions to the Alabama State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of Alabama on June 16, 2006. The SIP revisions modify Alabama's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD regulations in the Alabama SIP to address changes to the federal New Source Review (NSR) regulations, which were promulgated by EPA on December 31, 2002, and reconsidered with minor changes on November 7, 2003 (commonly referred to as the “2002 NSR Reform Rules”). EPA proposed approval of these revisions on January 24, 2008; no comments were received on that proposal. The revisions include provisions for baseline emissions calculations, an actual-to-projected-actual methodology for calculating emissions changes, options for plantwide applicability limits, and recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

DATES:

Effective Date: This rule will be effective June 2, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0532. All documents in the docket are listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information 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 through http://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 federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information regarding the Alabama State Implementation Plan, contact Ms. Stacy Harder, 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. Harder can also be reached via electronic mail at harder.stacy@epa.gov. For information regarding New Source Review, contact Ms. Gracy R. Danois, Air Permits Section, at the same address above. The telephone number is (404) 562-9119. Ms. Danois can also be reached via electronic mail at danois.gracy@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?

II. What Is the Background for This Action?

III. Final Action

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?

EPA is taking final action to approve revisions to the Alabama SIP, which includes changes to Alabama's NSR program. On June 16, 2006, the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) submitted revisions to the Alabama SIP. Specifically, the SIP revisions include changes to ADEM Administrative Code (AAC) Division 3 (Air Division), Chapter 14, entitled “Air Permits.” ADEM submitted these revisions in response to EPA's December 31, 2002, revisions to the federal NSR program. EPA is now approving these SIP revisions with the exception of the requirements found in Rule 335-3-14-.04(2)(w)1, the portion of the definition of “significant” that establishes a significance threshold of 100 tons for all NSR regulated pollutants for which there is not a listed significant amount. On December 3, 2007, Alabama requested this portion of the definition not be approved in to the SIP. Notably, the June 16, 2006, submittal also addressed the Clean Air Interstate Rule which EPA has already addressed in a separate action (October 1, 2007, 72 FR 55659).

On January 24, 2008 (73 FR 4133), EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) in the Federal Register, proposing to approve the Alabama SIP revisions regarding its NSR program. The January 24, 2008, NPR provides additional information about the proposed Alabama SIP revisions and the rationale for this final action. The public comment period for the proposed action ended on February 25, 2008. No comments were received on EPA's proposed action. EPA is now taking final action to approve the SIP revisions submitted by ADEM on June 16, 2006.

II. What Is the Background for This Action?

On December 31, 2002 (67 FR 80186), EPA published final rule changes to 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 51 and 52, regarding the Clean Air Act (CAA), PSD and NNSR programs. On November 7, 2003 (68 FR 63021), EPA published a notice of final action on its reconsideration of the 2002 rules. On June 13, 2007 (72 FR 32526), EPA took final action to revise the 2002 NSR Reform Rules to exclude the clean units and Pollution Control Project (PCP) provisions that were vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit Court) on June 24, 2005. The purpose of this action regarding the Alabama SIP is to approve the SIP submittal from the State of Alabama incorporating rule changes consistent with EPA's 2002 NSR Reform Rules.

The June 24, 2005, DC Circuit Court decision also involved a remand of the recordkeeping provisions of the 2002 NSR Reform Rules. On December 14, 2007, EPA issued a final rulemaking in response to the DC Circuit's remand establishing that “reasonable possibility” applies where source Start Printed Page 23958emissions equal or exceed 50% of the CAA NSR significance levels for any pollutant. The rule was published in the Federal Register on December 21, 2007 (72 FR 72607). For further information, see, http://www.epa.gov/​nsr.

The “reasonable possibility” standard identifies, for sources and reviewing authorities, the circumstances under which a major stationary source undergoing a modification that does not trigger major NSR must keep records. Alabama's SIP revisions are approvable at this time because the Alabama rules are substantially the same as the current federal rules and EPA's interpretation of the reasonable possibility standard did not result in any actual changes to the corresponding federal rule.

As is discussed in greater detail in the NPR, EPA reviewed the SIP revisions and determined that they were at least as stringent as the federal NSR program. Therefore, Alabama's revisions are consistent with the federal NSR regulations published December 31, 2002 (67 FR 80186) and November 7, 2003 (68 FR 63021), with the one exception noted earlier regarding AAC Rule 335-3-14-.04(2)(w)1 which is no longer a part of the current SIP submittal. As a result, the SIP revisions are approvable pursuant to the CAA.

The January 24, 2008, NPR and the docket for this action provide more details about the SIP revisions being approved and the rationale for EPA's final action. For additional information on EPA's 2002 NSR Reform Rules, see 67 FR 80186 (December 31, 2002), and http://www.epa.gov/​nsr.

III. Final Action

EPA is taking final action to approve changes to Alabama's Rule 335-3-14-.04, with the exception of 335-3-14.04(2)(w)1, as submitted by ADEM on June 16, 2006, as revisions to the Alabama SIP.

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 (Pub. L. 104-4).

This final 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 (59 FR 22951, 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 state and local rules 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 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 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 June 30, 2008. 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: April 17, 2008.

Russell L. Wright, Jr.,

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 the entry for “Section 335-3-14.04” to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
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State citationTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateExplanation
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Chapter 335-3-14 Air Permits
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Section 335-3-14-.04Air Permits Authorizing Construction in Clean Air Areas (Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD))07/11/200605/01/2008 [Insert citation of publication]EPA is not approving Section 335-3-14.04(2)(w)1.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
* * * * *
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[FR Doc. E8-9481 Filed 4-30-08; 8:45 am]

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