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Proposed Rule

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Virginia; Section 110(a)(2) Infrastructure Requirements for the 2010 Nitrogen Dioxide 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 pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA). Whenever new or revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are promulgated, the CAA requires states to submit a plan Start Printed Page 47265for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of such NAAQS. The plan is required to address basic program elements, including, but not limited to regulatory structure, monitoring, modeling, legal authority, and adequate resources necessary to assure attainment and maintenance of the standards. These elements are referred to as infrastructure requirements. The Commonwealth of Virginia has made a submittal addressing the infrastructure requirements for the 2010 nitrogen dioxide (NO2) NAAQS.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before September 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0510 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-2013-0510, 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-2013-0510. 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On May 30, 2013, 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 2010 NO2 NAAQS.

I. Background

EPA first set standards for NO2 in 1971, setting both a primary standard (to protect health) and a secondary standard (to protect the public welfare) at 53 parts per billion (53 ppb), averaged annually. EPA has reviewed the standards twice since that time, but chose not to revise the annual standards at the conclusion of each review. On February 9, 2010, EPA established an additional primary NO2 standard at 100 ppb, averaged over one hour.

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. Specifically, 110(a)(1) requires states to submit SIPs meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years following the promulgation of such NAAQS, or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe, and section 110(a)(2) requires states to address specific elements for monitoring, basic program requirements and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the newly established or revised NAAQS.

The contents of a 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. States were required to submit such SIPs for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS to EPA no later than January 2013.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

On May 30, 2013, VADEQ provided a SIP revision to satisfy the requirements of section 110(a)(2) of the CAA for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. This revision addresses the following infrastructure elements, which EPA is proposing to approve: Sections 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C) (for enforcement and regulation of minor sources and minor modifications), (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 section 110(a)(2)(C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) as they relate to Virginia's prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program and on section 110(a)(2)(E)(ii) as it relates to section 128 (State Boards). This action does not include any proposed action on section 110(a)(2)(I) of the CAA which pertains to the nonattainment requirements of part D, Title I of the CAA, because 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.

Also, in accordance with the EME Homer City decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a state is not required to submit a SIP pursuant to section 110(a) which addresses section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) until EPA has defined a state's contribution to nonattainment or interference with maintenance in another state. See EME Homer City Generation, LP v. EPA, 696 F.3d 7 (DC Cir. 2012), cert. granted, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 4801 (2013). Unless the EME Homer City decision is reversed or otherwise modified by the Supreme Court, states such as Virginia are not required to submit section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) SIPs until the EPA has quantified their obligations under that section. Virginia's May 30, 2013 infrastructure SIP submission for the Start Printed Page 472662010 NO2 NAAQS does not include a component to address section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I). Therefore, in this action, EPA is not proposing to act on the section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) portion of Virginia's May 30, 2013 SIP submission for the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. A detailed summary of EPA's review and rationale for approving Virginia's submittal may be found in the Technical Support Document (TSD) for this proposed rulemaking action, which is available online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number EPA-R03-OAR-2013-0510.

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 infrastructure elements or portions thereof of Virginia's May 30, 2013 SIP revision: Section 110(a)(2)(A), (B), (C) (for enforcement and regulation of minor sources and minor modifications), (D)(i)(II) (for visibility protection), (D)(ii), (E)(i), (E)(iii), (F), (G), (H), (J) (relating to consultation, public notification, and visibility protection requirements), (K), (L), and (M). Virginia's SIP revision provides the basic program elements specified in section 110(a)(2) necessary to implement, maintain, and enforce the 2010 NO2 NAAQS. This action does not include any proposed action on 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. EPA is not taking proposed action on section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(I) of the CAA, because this element, or portions thereof, is not presently required to be submitted by a state until the EPA has quantified a state's obligations under that section. EPA is taking separate action on the portions of (C), (D)(i)(II), and (J) as they relate to Virginia's PSD program, and on (E)(ii) as it relates to section 128 (State Boards). 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 merely 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);Start Printed Page 47267
  • 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 2010 NO2 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.

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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: July 19, 2013.

Shawn M. Garvin,

Regional Administrator, Region III.

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[FR Doc. 2013-18705 Filed 8-2-13; 8:45 am]

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