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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2008 Lead National Ambient Air Quality Standards

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia addressing the basic program elements specified in 110(a)(2) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2008 lead national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). This submission is commonly referred to as an infrastructure SIP. This action does not include the nonattainment requirements of part D, Title I (referred to as element I), since this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1), and will be addressed in a separate action. This action is being taken under the CAA.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before July 11, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2012-0451 by one of the following methods:

A. www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

B. Email: fernandez.cristina@epa.gov.

C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2012-0451, Cristina Fernandez, Associate Director, Office of Air Program Planning, Air Protection Division, Mailcode 3AP30, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-2012-0451. EPA's policy is that all comments received 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 information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 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 email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 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 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 www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the State submittal are available at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Schmitt, (215) 814-5787, or by email at schmitt.ellen@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On March 9, 2012, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) submitted a revision to its SIP to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2008 lead NAAQS.

I. Background

On October 15, 2008, EPA substantially strengthened the primary and secondary lead NAAQS (hereafter the “2008 lead NAAQS”), revising the level of the primary (health-based) standard from 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 0.15 μg/m3, measured as total suspended particles (TSP) and not to be exceeded with an averaging time of a rolling 3-month period. EPA also revised the secondary (welfare-based) standard to be identical to the primary standard, as well as the associated ambient air monitoring requirements. See 40 CFR 50.16.

Section 110(a) of the CAA requires states to submit SIPs to provide for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of a new or revised NAAQS within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. The contents of that submission may vary depending upon the facts and circumstances. In particular, the data and analytical tools available at the time the state develops and submits the SIP for a new or revised NAAQS affects the content of the submission. The contents of such SIP submissions may also vary depending upon what provisions the state's existing SIP already contains.

Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(1) provides the procedural and timing requirements for SIPs and section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. More specifically, section 110(a)(2) lists specific elements that states must meet for “infrastructure” SIP requirements related to a newly established or revised NAAQS.

For the 2008 lead NAAQS, states typically have met many of the basic program elements required in CAA section 110(a)(2) through earlier SIP submissions in connection with previous lead NAAQS. Nevertheless, pursuant to CAA section 110(a)(1), states will have to review and revise, as appropriate, their existing lead NAAQS SIPs to ensure that the SIPs are adequate to address the 2008 lead NAAQS. To assist states in meeting this statutory requirement, EPA issued a guidance on October 14, 2011, entitled, “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements Required Under sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2) for the 2008 Lead (Pb) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)” (hereafter the “2011 Lead Infrastructure Guidance”), which lists the basic Start Printed Page 34971elements that states should include in their SIPs for the 2008 lead NAAQS.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

On March 9, 2012, VADEQ provided a submittal to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2008 lead NAAQS. This submittal addressed the following infrastructure elements, which EPA is proposing to approve: CAA section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C) (for enforcement and regulation of minor sources), (D)(i)(I), (D)(i)(II) (for visibility protection), (D)(ii), (E)(i), (E)(iii), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof. EPA is taking separate action on the portions of (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) as they relate to Virginia's PSD program and (E)(ii) as it relates to CAA section 128 (State Boards). Virginia did not submit element (I) which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA, since this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1), and will be addressed in a separate process.

In accordance with a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the EPA at this time is not treating the 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIP submission from the Commonwealth of Virginia as a required SIP submission. See EME Homer City Generation, LP v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7 (D.C. Cir. 2012), reh'g denied 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 1623 (Jan. 24, 2013). However, even if the submission is not considered to be “required,” the EPA must act on the 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIP submission from Virginia because section 110(k)(2) of the CAA requires the EPA to act on all SIP submissions. Unless the EME Homer City decision is reversed or otherwise modified by the Supreme Court, states are not required to submit 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIPs until the EPA has quantified their obligations under that section. In this notice, EPA is proposing to act on the Commonwealth of Virginia's 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) submission.

III. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals from the Commonwealth of Virginia

In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) “privilege” for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and information about the content of those documents that are the product of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not extend to documents or information that: (1) Are generated or developed before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment; or (4) are required by law.

On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege to documents and information “required by law,” including documents and information “required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval,” since Virginia must “enforce Federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less stringent than their Federal counterparts. . . .” The opinion concludes that “[r]egarding § 10.1-1198, therefore, documents or other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of these programs could not be privileged because such documents and information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or approval.”

Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that “[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by Federal law,” any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute inapplicable to enforcement of any Federally authorized programs, since “no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with Federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.”

Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its PSD, NSR, or Title V programs consistent with the Federal requirements. In any event, because EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on Federal enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under the CAA, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen enforcement under section 304 of the CAA is likewise unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

IV. Proposed Action

EPA is proposing to approve the following CAA section 110(a)(2) elements of Virginia's SIP revision: (A), (B), (C) (for enforcement and regulation of minor sources), (D)(i)(I), (D)(i)(II) (for visibility protection), (D)(ii), (E)(i), (E)(iii), (F), (G), (H), (J), (K), (L), and (M), or portions thereof. Virginia's SIP revision provides the basic program elements specified in CAA section 110(a)(2) necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2008 lead NAAQS. This SIP revision was submitted on March 9, 2012. This action does not include section 110(a)(2)(I) of the CAA which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA, since this element is not required to be submitted by the 3-year submission deadline of CAA section 110(a)(1), and will be addressed in a separate process. Additionally, EPA is taking separate action on the portions of CAA section 110(a)(2) infrastructure elements for the 2008 lead NAAQS as they relate to Virginia's PSD program, as required by part C of Title I of the CAA. This includes portions of the following infrastructure elements of CAA section 110(a)(2): (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J). EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the CAA 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 CAA. Accordingly, this action Start Printed Page 34972merely proposes to approve state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this proposed 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 CAA; 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 proposed rule, which satisfies certain infrastructure requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2008 lead NAAQS for the Commonwealth of Virginia, 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Lead
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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Dated: May 28, 2013.

W.C. Early,

Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 2013-13726 Filed 6-10-13; 8:45 am]

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