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Interim Final Determination To Defer Sanctions, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Interim final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is making an interim final determination to defer imposition of sanctions based on a proposed approval of revisions to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD or District) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP) published elsewhere in today's Federal Register. The revisions concern SJVUAPCD Rules 2020 and 2201.

DATES:

This interim final determination is effective on December 6, 2011. However, comments will be accepted until January 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0881, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.
  • Email: R9airpermits@epa.gov.
  • Mail or deliver: Gerardo Rios (Air-3), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 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 www.regulations.gov or email. 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 email directly to EPA, your email 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 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 below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Laura Yannayon, EPA Region IX, (415) 972-3534 or send email to yannayon.laura@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. Background

On May 11, 2010 (75 FR 26102), we finalized a limited approval and limited disapproval of San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (“SJVUAPCD” or “District”) Rules 2020 (Exemptions) and 2201 (New and Modified Stationary Source Review Rule), which were submitted to EPA by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). These rules strengthened the SIP, but contained deficiencies in enforceability that prevented full approval. Both rules contained references to California Health and Safety Code (CH&SC) under circumstances where the State law has not been submitted to EPA for approval into the SIP. This disapproval action started a sanctions clock for imposition of sanctions pursuant to section 179 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and our regulations at 40 CFR 52.31. Under 40 CFR 52.31(d)(1), offset sanctions apply eighteen months after the effective date of a disapproval and highway sanctions apply six months after the offset sanctions, unless we determine that the deficiencies forming the basis of the disapproval have been corrected. The effective date of our May 11, 2010 final rule was June 10, 2010, and thus, the offset sanctions will apply beginning on December 10, 2011, unless we determine that the deficiencies forming the basis of the disapproval have been corrected.Start Printed Page 76047

On August 18, 2011 and April 21, 2011, SJVUAPCD adopted revisions to Rule 2020 and Rule 2201, respectively, that were intended, among other purposes, to correct the deficiencies identified in our limited disapproval action. On September 28, 2011 and May 19, 2011, the State submitted amended SJVUAPCD Rule 2020 and amended SJVUAPCD Rule 2201, respectively, to EPA as revisions to the California SIP. In the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, we have proposed full approval of the amended rules because we believe that they correct the deficiencies in the rules identified in our May 11, 2010 disapproval action, and they otherwise meet all applicable CAA requirements. Based on today's proposed approval, we are taking this final rulemaking action, effective on publication, to defer the imposition of sanctions triggered by our May 11, 2010 limited disapproval.

EPA is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on this deferral of sanctions. If comments are submitted that change our assessment described in this final determination and the proposed full approval of revised SJVUAPCD Rules 2020 and 2201, we intend to take subsequent final action to reimpose sanctions pursuant to 40 CFR 52.31(d). If no comments are submitted that change our assessment, then all sanctions clocks will be permanently terminated on the effective date of a final rule approval.

II. EPA Action

We are making an interim final determination to defer CAA section 179 sanctions associated with SJVUAPCD Rules 2020 and 2201 based on our proposal to approve the State's SIP revisions as correcting the specified deficiencies that prompted the finding to initiate sanctions clocks.

Because EPA has preliminarily determined that the SJVUAPCD has corrected the specified deficiencies prompting EPA's limited disapproval action, we have determined that it is appropriate to relieve the SJVUAPCD from the pending imposition of sanctions as quickly as possible. Therefore, EPA is invoking the good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in not providing an opportunity for comment before this action takes effect (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)). However, by this action EPA is providing the public with a chance to comment on EPA's determination after the effective date, and EPA will consider any comments received in determining whether to reverse such action.

EPA believes that notice-and-comment rulemaking before the effective date of this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. EPA has reviewed the State's submittal of the District's amended rules and, through its proposed action, is indicating that it is more likely than not that the State has corrected the deficiencies that started the sanctions clocks. Therefore, it is not in the public interest to impose sanctions when the State has most likely done all it can to correct the deficiencies that triggered the sanctions clocks. Moreover, it would be impracticable to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking on a finding that the State has corrected the deficiencies prior to the rulemaking approving the State's submittal. Therefore, EPA believes that it is necessary to use the interim final rulemaking process to defer sanctions while EPA completes its rulemaking process on the approvability of the State's submittal of amended District Rules 2020 and 2201. Moreover, with respect to the effective date of this action, EPA is invoking the good cause exception to the 30-day notice requirement of the APA because the purpose of this notice is to relieve a restriction (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1)).

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action defers Federal sanctions and imposes no additional requirements.

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget.

This action 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.

The administrator certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

This rule 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).

This rule does not have tribal implications because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, 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, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

This action does not have Federalism implications because it does 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 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272) do not apply to this rule because it imposes no standards.

This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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 to Congress and the Comptroller General. However, section 808 provides that any rule for which the issuing agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the agency promulgating the rule determines. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefore, and established an effective date of December 6, 2011. EPA will submit a report containing this rule 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 rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

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 February 6, 2012. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purpose of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not Start Printed Page 76048be 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: November 22, 2011.

Jared Blumenfeld,

Regional Administrator, EPA Region IX.

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[FR Doc. 2011-31184 Filed 12-5-11; 8:45 am]

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