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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Determination of Attainment of the 1997 Ozone Standard for the Greater Connecticut Area

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

The EPA is proposing to determine that the Greater Connecticut, moderate 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area has attained the 1997 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. This determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, certified ambient air monitoring data that show the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 2007-2009 monitoring period. If this proposed determination is made final, under the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule, the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning State Implementation Plans related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS shall be suspended for so long as the area continues to attain the 1997 ozone NAAQS. In addition, EPA is proposing to determine that this area has attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS as of June 15, 2010, its applicable attainment date, provided that the area continues to attain the standard through June 15, 2010.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before July 1, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0380 by one of the following methods:

1. http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

2. E-mail: arnold.anne@epa.gov

3. Fax: (617) 918-0047.

4. Mail: “Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0380,” Anne Arnold, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100 (mail code: OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver your comments to: Anne Arnold, Manager, Air Quality Planning Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding legal holidays.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0380. 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 through http://www.regulations.gov, or e-mail, Start Printed Page 30311information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. 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 electronic docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., 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 in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA. 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 legal holidays.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard P. Burkhart, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone number (617) 918-1664, fax number (617) 918-0664, e-mail Burkhart.Richard@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

Organization of this document. The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

I. What actions is EPA taking?

II. What is the effect of these actions?

III. What is the background for these actions?

IV. What is EPA's analysis of the relevant air quality data?

V. Proposed Actions

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What actions is EPA taking?

EPA is proposing to determine that the Greater Connecticut, moderate 8-hour ozone nonattainment area has attained the 1997 8-hour NAAQS for ozone. This determination is based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data that show the area has monitored attainment of the 1997 ozone NAAQS for the 2007-2009 monitoring period. In addition, under section 181(b)(2)(A) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA is proposing to determine that this area has attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS by its applicable attainment date (June 15, 2010), provided that the area continues to attain the standard as of June 15, 2010. EPA will not finalize this determination unless the area continues to attain the standard through June 15, 2010.

II. What is the effect of these actions?

If EPA's determination that the area is attaining the standard is made final, under the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule (see 40 CFR 51.918), the requirements for the Greater Connecticut moderate ozone nonattainment area to submit an attainment demonstration, a reasonable further progress plan, section 172(c)(9) contingency measures, and any other planning State Implementation Plans (SIPs) related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS would be suspended for so long as the area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This proposed action, if finalized, would not constitute a redesignation to attainment under the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 107(d)(3), because we would not yet have an approved maintenance plan for the area as required under section 175A of the CAA, nor a determination that the area has met the other requirements for redesignation. The classification and designation status of the area would remain moderate nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS until such time as EPA determines that the area meets the CAA requirements for redesignation to attainment.

If this determination of attainment is finalized and EPA subsequently determines, after notice-and-comment rulemaking in the Federal Register, that the area has violated the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, the basis for the suspension of these requirements would no longer exist, and the area would thereafter have to address the pertinent CAA requirements. It should be noted that Connecticut submitted an attainment demonstration, reasonable further progress plan and contingency measures for this area on February 1, 2008. EPA has not taken action on these submittals for the Greater Connecticut area.

In addition, under section 181(b)(2)(A) of the CAA and the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule (see 40 CFR 51.902(a)), EPA is proposing to determine that this area has attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS by its applicable attainment date of June 15, 2010, provided that the area continues to attain the standard through June 15, 2010. The effect of a final determination of attainment by the area's attainment date would be to discharge EPA's obligation under section 181(b)(2)(A), and to establish that, in accordance with that section, the area would not be reclassified for failure to attain by its applicable attainment date.

III. What is the background for this action?

On April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23857), EPA designated as nonattainment any area that was violating the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on the three most recent years (2001-2003) of air quality data. The Greater Connecticut area was designated as a moderate ozone nonattainment area. The Greater Connecticut area consists of the following Connecticut counties: Hartford, Litchfield, New London, Tolland and Windham. Recent air quality data, however, indicate that the Greater Connecticut area is now attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone standard.

IV. What is EPA's analysis of the relevant air quality data?

The EPA has reviewed the ambient air monitoring data for ozone, consistent with the requirements contained in 40 CFR Part 50 and recorded in the Air Quality Data System (AQS) database, for Greater Connecticut, from 2007 through 2009. On the basis of that review, EPA proposes to conclude that the area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone standard at the end of the 2009 ozone season, based on three years of complete, quality-assured and state-certified 2007-2009 ozone data.

Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR Part 50, the 1997 8-hour ozone standard is attained at a site when the 3-year average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations at an ozone monitor is Start Printed Page 30312less than or equal to 0.08 parts per million (ppm) (i.e., 0.084 ppm, based on the rounding convention in 40 CFR part 50, appendix I). This 3-year average is referred to as the design value. When the design value is less than or equal to 0.084 ppm at each monitoring site within the area, then the area is meeting the NAAQS. Also, the data completeness requirement is met when the average percent of days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than 90%, and no single year has less than 75% data completeness as determined in Appendix I of 40 CFR part 50.

Table 1 shows the fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations for the Greater Connecticut nonattainment area monitors for the years 2007-2009, and the ozone design values for these same monitors based on 2007-2009.

Table 1—2007-2009 Fourth-High 8-Hour Average Ozone Concentrations and 2007-2009 Design Values (Parts per Million) in the Greater Connecticut Area

Site IDSite location4th High 20074th High 20084th High 2009Design value (07-09)
090050006Cornwall89777078
090031003East Hartford97806681
090110008Groton89
090110124Groton1 92807381
090131001Stafford87847481

EPA's review of these data indicates that the Greater Connecticut ozone nonattainment area has met the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, based on 2007-2009 data. EPA believes these data establish the likelihood that the Greater CT area will also be attaining the standard as of its applicable attainment date of June 15, 2010. Thus, in accordance with CAA section 181(b)(2), EPA is also proposing to determine that the Greater CT area has attained the standard by its applicable attainment date, provided that the area continues to be in attainment of the standard as of that date. EPA will not finalize this proposed determination of attainment by the area's attainment date unless the area is in attainment as of June 15, 2010.

EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this notice or on other relevant matters pertaining to this rulemaking action. These comments will be considered before EPA takes final action. Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure by submitting written comments to the EPA New England Regional Office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register.

V. Proposed Actions

EPA is proposing to determine that the Greater Connecticut 1997 8-hour ozone moderate nonattainment area has attained the 1997 8-hour ozone standard, based on complete, quality-assured data from 2007 through 2009. As provided in 40 CFR 51.918, if EPA finalizes this determination, it would suspend the requirements for Connecticut to submit planning SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for this area, for so long as the area continues to attain the standard.[2] In addition, under section 181(b)(2)(A) of the Clean Air Act and the provisions of EPA's ozone implementation rule (see 40 CFR Section 51.902(a)), EPA is proposing to determine that this area has attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS by its applicable attainment date of June 15, 2010, provided that the area continues in attainment as of that date. EPA will not finalize this determination unless the area continues to attain through June 15, 2010.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

These actions propose to make determinations of attainment based on air quality, and would, if finalized; result in the suspension of certain Federal requirements, and would not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, these proposed actions:

  • Are 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);
  • Do not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
  • Are 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.);
  • Do 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);
  • Do not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
  • Are not economically significant regulatory actions based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);
  • Are not significant regulatory actions subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
  • Are not subject to the 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
  • Do 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: May 20, 2010.

Ira W. Leighton,

Acting, Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

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Footnotes

1.  Groton site relocated in 2007. Data collected at both sites for 2007. The site was relocated because site 090110008 was in danger of not meeting EPA siting criteria due to nearby trees, which could not be cut. Site 090110124 was chosen, in part since it is a CT DEP owned site and can remain at this location for a long time. The new site is less than three miles from the old site and measures comparable air quality. Both sites meet data capture requirements for 2007. EPA approved this relocation in 2007.

Back to Citation

2.  Connecticut submitted an attainment demonstration, reasonable further progress plan and contingency measures for this area on February 1, 2008. EPA has not taken action on these submittals.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2010-13083 Filed 5-28-10; 8:45 am]

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