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Notice

Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Notice of proposed consent decree; request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with section 113(g) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (“CAA”), notice is hereby given of a proposed consent decree, to address a lawsuit filed by Sierra Club in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia: Sierra Club v. Jackson, No. 1: 12-cv-00012 (CKK). On March 2, 2012, the Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint alleging that EPA failed to perform nondiscretionary duties under the Clean Air Act related to the attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleged that EPA failed to take timely action to approve, disapprove, or approve in part and disapprove in part, pursuant to CAA, portions of the State of Texas' State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittals for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, including an ozone attainment demonstration, contingency provisions, reasonably available control technology requirements, reasonable further progress provisions, and transportation control measures and demonstrations in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area. The proposed consent decree establishes deadlines for EPA to take action on the SIP submittals listed in the consent decree. The proposed consent decree also provides that once EPA has completed the actions specified in the decree the case will be dismissed with prejudice.

DATES:

Written comments on the proposed consent decree must be received by August 2, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OGC-2012-0516, online at www.regulations.gov (EPA's preferred method); by email to oei.docket@epa.gov; mailed to EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; or by hand delivery or courier to EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. Comments on a disk or CD-ROM should be formatted in Word or ASCII file, avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption, and may be mailed to the mailing address above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kaytrue Ting, Air and Radiation Law Office (2344A), Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone: (202) 564-6380; fax number (202) 564-5601; email address: ting.kaytrue@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Additional Information About the Proposed Consent Decree

The proposed consent decree would resolve a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club seeking to compel the Administrator to take final action under sections 110(k)(2) and (3) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7410(k)(2) and (3), on portions of the State of Texas' State Implementation Plan (SIP) submittals for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Specifically, the lawsuit seeks to compel the Administrator to take final action, pursuant to section 110(k) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7410(k), on several SIP submittals related to 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS nonattainment area requirements in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area, including: an ozone attainment demonstration submitted to EPA on or about April 6, 2010; contingency provisions submitted to EPA on or about April 1, 2010; reasonably available control technology requirements submitted to EPA on or about June 13, 2007; reasonable further progress provisions submitted to EPA on or about April 1, 2010; and transportation control measures and demonstrations submitted to EPA on or about April 6, 2010.

The proposed consent decree provides various dates by which EPA must take proposed and final action on the SIP submittals at issue. Following signature of each proposed and final rule described in the proposed consent decree, EPA is required to send the notice to the Office of the Federal Register promptly for review and publication in the Federal Register. The proposed consent decree also states that after EPA fulfills its obligations under the consent decree, this case shall be dismissed with prejudice.

For a period of thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will accept written comments relating to the proposed consent decree from persons who were not named as parties or intervenors to the litigation in question. EPA or the Department of Justice may withdraw or withhold consent to the proposed consent decree if the comments disclose facts or considerations that indicate that such consent is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the Act. Unless EPA or the Department of Justice determines, based on any comment submitted, that consent to this consent decree should be withdrawn, the terms of the decree will be affirmed.

II. Additional Information About Commenting on the Proposed Consent Decree

A. How can I get a copy of the consent decree?

The official public docket for this action (identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OGC- 2012-0516) contains a copy of the proposed consent decree. The official public docket is available for public viewing at the Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket in the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

An electronic version of the public docket is available through www.regulations.gov. You may use the www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, key in the appropriate docket identification number then select “search”.

It is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing online at www.regulations.gov without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute is not included in the official public docket or in the electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material, including copyrighted material contained in a public comment, will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the EPA Docket Center.

B. How and to whom do I submit comments?

You may submit comments as provided in the ADDRESSES section. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an email address or other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. Any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. 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.

Use of the www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. The electronic public docket system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, email address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's electronic mail (email) system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an email comment directly to the Docket without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address is automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

Dated: June 26, 2012.

Lorie J. Schmidt,

Associate General Counsel.

[FR Doc. 2012-16304 Filed 7-2-12; 8:45 am]

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