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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designations of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; North Carolina: Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point; Determination of Attaining Data for the 1997 Fine Particulate Matter Standard

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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 determining that the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, North Carolina, (hereafter referred to as “Greensboro, North Carolina”) nonattainment area for the 1997 fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) has attaining data for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES:

Effective Date: This final rule is effective on January 4, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID Number EPA-R04-OAR-2009-0561. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., confidential business information (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. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy for public inspection during normal business hours 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joel Huey, 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. Mr. Huey may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9104 or via electronic mail at huey.joel@epa.gov. For information relating to the North Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP), please Start Printed Page 55contact Nacosta Ward at (404) 562-9140. Ms. Ward can also be reached at ward.nacosta@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?

II. What Is the Effect of This Action?

III. When Is This Action Effective?

IV. What Is EPA's Final Action?

V. What Are the Statutory and Executive Order Reviews?

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?

EPA is determining that the Greensboro, North Carolina, nonattainment area has attaining data for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination is based upon quality assured, quality controlled and certified ambient air monitoring data that show the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS based on the 2006-2008 data. In addition, quality controlled and quality assured monitoring data submitted during the calendar year 2009, which are available in the EPA Air Quality System database, but not yet certified, indicate that this area continues to meet the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

Other specific requirements of the determination and the rationale for EPA's proposed action are explained in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) published on October 6, 2009 (74 FR 51246) and will not be restated here. The comment period for the NPR closed on November 5, 2009. No public comments were received in response to the NPR.

II. What Is the Effect of This Action?

This final action, in accordance with 40 CFR 51.1004(c), suspends the requirements for this area to submit attainment demonstrations, associated reasonably available control measures, reasonable further progress plans, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS as long as this area continues to meet the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

III. When Is the Action Effective?

EPA finds that there is good cause for this approval to become effective on the date of publication of this action in the Federal Register, because a delayed effective date is unnecessary due to the nature of the approval. The expedited effective date for this action is authorized under both 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1), which provides that rule actions may become effective less than 30 days after publication if the rule “grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction” and 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), which allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication “as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.” As noted above, this determination of attainment suspends the requirements for the Greensboro, North Carolina, PM2.5 nonattainment area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and any other planning SIPs related to attainment of the standard as long as this area continues to meet the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The suspension of these requirements is sufficient reason to allow an expedited effective date of this rule under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1). In addition, this nonattainment area's suspension from these requirements provide good cause to make this rule effective on the date of publication of this action in the Federal Register, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3). The purpose of the 30-day waiting period prescribed in 5 U.S.C. 553(d) is to give affected parties a reasonable time to adjust their behavior and prepare before the final rule takes effect. Where, as here, the final rule suspends requirements rather than imposing obligations, affected parties, such as the State of North Carolina, do not need time to adjust and prepare before the rule takes effect.

IV. What Is EPA's Final Action?

EPA is determining that the Greensboro, North Carolina, nonattainment area has attaining data for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination is based upon quality assured, quality controlled, and certified ambient air monitoring data showing that this area has monitored attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS during the period 2006-2008. This final action, in accordance with 40 CFR 51.1004(c), will suspend the requirements for this area to submit attainment demonstrations, associated reasonably available control measures, reasonable further progress plans, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS as long as the Area continues to meet the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

V. What Are Statutory and Executive Order Reviews?

A. General Requirements

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

  • Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
  • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
  • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
  • 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);
  • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
  • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);
  • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
  • Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and
  • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

B. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

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 Start Printed Page 56Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action 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).

C. Petitions for Judicial Review

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 March 5, 2010. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action 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, pertaining to the determination of attaining data for the 1997 fine particulate matter standard for the Greensboro, North Carolina, PM2.5 nonattainment area, 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: December 15, 2009

J. Scott Gordon,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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Accordingly,

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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 II—North Carolina

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2. Section § 52.1781 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as follows:

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Control strategy: Sulfur oxides and particulate matter.
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(e) Determination of Attaining Data. EPA has determined, as of January 4, 2010, the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, North Carolina nonattainment area has attaining data for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination, in accordance with 40 CFR 52.1004(c), suspends the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the standard for as long as this area continues to meet the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.

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[FR Doc. E9-31083 Filed 12-31-09; 8:45 am]

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