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Proposed Rule

Revisions to the California State Implementation Plan, Placer County Air Pollution Control District

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing a limited approval and limited disapproval of Start Printed Page 54994revisions to the Placer County Air Pollution Control District (PCAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions from biomass fuel-fired boilers. We are proposing action on 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 October 6, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0536, by one of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.

2. E-mail: steckel.andrew@epa.gov.

3. 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: Generally, documents in the docket for this action are 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 at http://www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), 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:

Idalia Pérez, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3248, perez.idalia@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

A. How is EPA evaluating the rule?

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

C. What are the rule deficiencies?

D. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

III. Proposed Action

IV. 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 (CARB).

Table 1—Submitted Rule

Local agencyRule No.Rule titleAmendedSubmitted
PCAPCD233Biomass Boilers12/10/0905/07/10

On June 8, 2010, the submittal for PCAPCD Rule 233 was found to meet 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?

We approved an earlier version of Rule 233 into the SIP on April 30, 1996 (61 FR 18959). PCAPCD adopted revisions to the SIP-approved version on October 11, 2007, CARB submitted it to us on March 7, 2008 and it was officially withdrawn on November 5, 2008.

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rule?

NOX helps produce ground-level ozone, smog and particulate matter, which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control NOX emissions. Rule 233 regulates emissions of NOX from biomass boilers and steam generators. EPA's technical support document (TSD) has more information about this rule.

II. EPA's Evaluation

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 of the Act). Section 172(c)(1) of the Act also requires nonattainment areas to implement all reasonably available control measures (RACM), including such reductions in emissions from existing sources in the area as may be obtained through the adoption, at a minimum, of reasonably available control technology (RACT), as expeditiously as practicable. Additionally, ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above must require RACT for all major sources of NOX (CAA section 182(b)(2) & (f); 40 CFR section 51.912(a)). Because PCAPCD regulates an ozone nonattainment area that is classified as Severe-15 under both the 1-hr ozone and 8-hr ozone standards (40 CFR section 81.305), submitted Rule 233 must fulfill RACT requirements for NOX.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to evaluate enforceability and RACT requirements for Rule 233 included the following:

1. “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.

2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations,” EPA, May 25, 1988 (the Bluebook).

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

4. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990”; 57 FR Start Printed Page 5499513498 (April 16, 1992); 57 FR 18070 (April 28, 1992).

5. Preamble, “Final Rule to Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Phase 2,” 70 FR 71612 (November 29, 2005).

6. “Determination of Reasonably Available Control Technology and Best Available Retrofit Control Technology for Industrial, Institutional, and Commercial Boilers, Steam Generators, and Process Heaters”, CARB, July 18, 1991.

7. “Alternative Control Techniques Document—NOX Emissions from Industrial/Commercial/Institutional (ICI) Boilers”, US EPA, March 1994.

8. “Alternative Control Techniques Document—NOX Emissions from Utility Boilers”, US EPA, March 1994.

9. “State Implementation Plans (SIPs): Policy Regarding Excess Emissions During Malfunctions, Startup and Shutdown”, Memorandum from Steven A. Herman, Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and Robert Perciasepe, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, September 20, 1999.

B. Does the rule meet the evaluation criteria?

Rule 233 improves the SIP by establishing more stringent emission limits. We believe the rule is consistent with the applicable requirements and guidance regarding enforceability and SIP revisions. Rule provisions which do not meet the evaluation criteria are summarized below and discussed further in the TSD.

C. What are the rule deficiencies?

PCAPCD has not demonstrated that the NOX emission limits for biomass boilers found in Section 301 implement RACT. The NOX emission limits should be lowered to ensure implementation of RACT. Alternatively, PCAPCD may submit additional information to demonstrate that lower emission limits are not reasonably achievable.

D. EPA Recommendations To Further Improve the Rule

We do not currently have additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rule.

III. Proposed Action

EPA is proposing a limited approval of the submitted rule under sections 110(k)(3) and 301(a) of the Act. If finalized, this action would incorporate the submitted rule into the SIP, including those provisions identified as deficient. This approval is limited because EPA is simultaneously proposing a limited disapproval of the rule under section 110(k)(3). If this disapproval is finalized, sanctions will be imposed under section 179 of the Act unless EPA approves subsequent SIP revisions that correct the rule deficiencies within 18 months of the disapproval. These sanctions would be imposed according to 40 CFR 52.31. A final disapproval would also trigger the 2-year clock for the federal implementation plan (FIP) requirement under section 110(c). Note that the submitted rule has been adopted by the PCAPCD, and EPA's final limited disapproval would not prevent the local agency from enforcing it. The limited disapproval also would not prevent any portion of the rule from being incorporated by reference into the federally enforceable SIP (see EPA memo regarding “Processing of State Implementation Plan (SIP) Submittals” (July 9, 1992), available at: http://www.epa.gov/​nsr/​ttnnsr01/​gen/​pdf/​memo-s.pdf).

We will accept comments from the public on the proposed limited approval and limited disapproval for the next 30 days.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this regulatory action from Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review.”

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b).

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions.

This rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because SIP approvals or disapprovals under section 110 and subchapter I, part D of the Clean Air Act do not create any new requirements but simply approve or disapprove requirements that the State is already imposing. Therefore, because the proposed Federal SIP limited approval/limited disapproval does not create any new requirements, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Moreover, due to the nature of the Federal-State relationship under the Clean Air Act, preparation of flexibility analysis would constitute Federal inquiry into the economic reasonableness of state action. The Clean Air Act forbids EPA to base its actions concerning SIPs on such grounds. Union Electric Co. v. U.S. EPA, 427 U.S. 246, 255-66 (1976); 42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(2).

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Under section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (“Unfunded Mandates Act”), signed into law on March 22, 1995, EPA must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; or to the private sector, of $100 million or more. Under section 205, EPA must select the most cost-effective and least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with statutory requirements. Section 203 requires EPA to establish a plan for informing and advising any small governments that may be significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.

EPA has determined that the limited approval/limited disapproval action proposed does not include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector. This Federal action proposes to approve and disapprove pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

E. Executive Order 13132, Federalism

Federalism (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) revokes and replaces Executive Orders 12612 (Federalism) and 12875 (Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership). Executive Order 13132 requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.” “Policies that have federalism implications” is defined in the Executive Order to include Start Printed Page 54996regulations that 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.” Under Executive Order 13132, EPA may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications, that imposes substantial direct compliance costs, and that is not required by statute, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by State and local governments, or EPA consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation. EPA also may not issue a regulation that has federalism implications and that preempts State law unless the Agency consults with State and local officials early in the process of developing the proposed regulation.

This rule will 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, because it merely proposes to approve or disapprove a State rule implementing a federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply to this rule.

F. Executive Order 13175, Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This proposed rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed rule from tribal officials.

G. Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045, because it approves a state rule implementing a Federal standard.

H. Executive Order 13211, Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 requires Federal agencies to evaluate existing technical standards when developing a new regulation. To comply with NTTAA, EPA must consider and use “voluntary consensus standards” (VCS) if available and applicable when developing programs and policies unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.

The EPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to this action. Today's action does not require the public to perform activities conducive to the use of VCS.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.

EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this rulemaking.

Start List of Subjects

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: August 19, 2011.

Jared Blumenfeld,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 2011-22662 Filed 9-2-11; 8:45 am]

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