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Proposed Rule

Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management 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 Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District (YSAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern volatile organic compound (VOC), oxides of nitrogen (NOX), oxides of sulfur (SOX), particulate matter (PM), and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from the permanent curtailment of burning rice straw. We are approving a local rule that regulates 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 May 17, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2010-0237, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.
  • E-mail: steckel.andrew@epa.gov.
  • 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 http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. http://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 http://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 hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lily Wong, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4114, wong.lily@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to 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?

II. EPA's Evaluation and Action

A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

C. Public Comment and Final Action

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. The State's Submittal

A. What rule did the State submit?

Table 1 lists the rule addressed by this proposal with the dates that it was adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board.

Table 1—Submitted Rule

Local agencyRule #Rule titleAdoptedSubmitted
YSAQMD3.21Rice Straw Emission Reduction Credits12/10/0803/17/09

On April 20, 2009, EPA determined that the submittal for YSAQMD Rule 3.21 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review.

B. Are there other versions of this rule?

There are no previous versions of Rule 3.21 in the SIP.Start Printed Page 19924

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule?

VOCs and NOX help produce ground-level ozone and smog, which harm human health and the environment. PM contributes to effects that are harmful to human health and the environment, including premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, decreased lung function, visibility impairment, and damage to vegetation and ecosystems. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control VOC, NOX, and PM emissions.

Historically, the practice of rice growing included burning the field stubble or straw following harvest to kill weeds and insects and prepare the field for next year's plantings. The purpose of Rule 3.21 is to provide procedures to quantify, certify and issue emission reduction credits (ERCs) that have resulted from the permanent curtailment of rice straw burning in YSAQMD. Approval of Rule 3.21 into the SIP would allow these ERCs to be used as offsets under YSAQMD's New Source Review (NSR) rule. EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about this rule.

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), and must not relax existing requirements (see sections 110(l) and 193). In addition, a rule of this type that generates emission reduction credits for use as offsets in the NSR program must meet the NSR requirement for valid offsets (see section 173(c)) and should meet the criteria set forth in EPA's guidance concerning economic incentive programs.

Guidance and policy documents that we use to evaluate these criteria consistently include the following:

1. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations; Clarification to Appendix D of November 24, 1987 Federal Register Notice,” (Blue Book), notice of availability published in the May 25, 1988 Federal Register.

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

3. “State Implementation Plans; Nitrogen Oxides Supplement to the General Preamble; Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 Implementation of Title I; Proposed Rule,” (the NOx Supplement), 57 FR 55620, November 25, 1992.

4. New Source Review—Section 173(c) of the CAA and 40 CFR part 51, appendix S, “Emission Offset Interpretative Ruling” require certain sources to obtain emission reductions to offset increased emissions from new projects.

5. “Improving Air Quality with Economic Incentive Programs,” EPA-452/R-01-001, January 2001.

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

We believe this rule is consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, SIP relaxations, and economic incentive programs; and ensures that the emission reductions are real, surplus, quantifiable, enforceable, and permanent. This rule includes detailed emissions quantification protocols and enforceable procedures which provide the necessary assurance that the emission reduction credits issued will meet the criteria for valid NSR offsets. The TSD has more information on our evaluation.

C. Public Comment and Final Action

Because EPA believes the submitted rule 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, we intend to publish a final approval action that will incorporate this rule into the federally enforceable SIP.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 Clean Air Act. 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 Clean Air Act; 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.

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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: April 1, 2010.

Jared Blumenfeld,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 2010-8771 Filed 4-15-10; 8:45 am]

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