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Withdrawal of Direct Final Rule Removing the Federal Antidegradation Policy Applicable to Waters of the United States Within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Withdrawal of direct final rule.


EPA is withdrawing a direct final rule that the Agency published on September 15, 2008. The direct final rule would have removed from the Code of Federal Regulations a rule that EPA promulgated in 1996 making provisions of the federal antidegradation policy directly applicable for all waters of the United States within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. EPA published the direct final rule with a parallel proposal to remove the federal antidegradation rule as it applies to waters in Pennsylvania. In a separate action today, EPA is also re-opening the comment period of the proposed rule to ensure all parties have adequate opportunity to express their views to the Agency prior to taking final action on the proposed rule.


Effective on November 14, 2008, EPA withdraws the direct final rule published at 73 FR 53140, on September 15, 2008.


EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2007-0093. All documents in the docket are listed on the Web site. Although listed on the web site, 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, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Start Printed Page 67397Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through or in hard copy at the OW Docket Center. This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket telephone number is (202) 566-2426, and the Docket address is OW Docket, EPA West, Room 3334, and 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. 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.

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Caroline Whitehead at U.S. EPA Headquarters, Office of Water (4305T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW., Washington, DC 20460 (telephone: 202-566-2907, fax: 202-566-0409 or e-mail: or Denise Hakowski at U.S. EPA Region 3, (3WP30) 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 (telephone: 215-814-5726, fax: 215-814-2318 or e-mail:

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I. Potentially Affected Entities

Citizens concerned with water quality in Pennsylvania may be interested in this rulemaking. Entities discharging pollutants to the surface waters of Pennsylvania could be indirectly affected by this rulemaking since water quality standards are used in determining National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits.

Categories and entities which may ultimately be affected include:

CategoryExamples of potentially affected entities.
IndustryIndustries discharging pollutants to surface waters in Pennsylvania.
MunicipalitiesPublicly-owned treatment works discharging pollutants to surface waters in Pennsylvania.

This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding NPDES-regulated entities likely to be affected by this action. This table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware could potentially be affected by this action.

II. Today's Action

As EPA explained in its September 15, 2008 notices (73 FR 53140 and 73 FR 53178), EPA proposed to remove the federal regulation that made provisions of the federal antidegradation policy directly applicable in Pennsylvania. EPA proposed to remove the federal rule because Pennsylvania now has an EPA-approved antidegradation policy meeting the federal requirements at 40 CFR 131.12. Therefore, the federal antidegradation regulation promulgated by EPA for Pennsylvania is no longer needed. On September 15, EPA also published a direct final rule to remove the federal regulation at 40 CFR 131.32.

EPA has determined that additional opportunity for public comment would be beneficial. Therefore, EPA is withdrawing the direct final rule (73 FR 53140).

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 131

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Dated: November 6, 2008.

Stephen L. Johnson,


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Accordingly, the amendments to the rule published on September 15, 2008 (

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[FR Doc. E8-26952 Filed 11-13-08; 8:45 am]