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Determination of Attainment for the West Central Pinal Nonattainment Area for the 2006 Fine Particle Standard; Arizona; Determination Regarding Applicability of Clean Air Act Requirements

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

EPA is taking final action to determine that the West Central Pinal nonattainment area in Arizona has attained the 2006 24-hour fine particle (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). This determination is based upon complete, quality-assured, and certified ambient air monitoring data showing that this area has monitored attainment of the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS based on the 2010-2012 monitoring period. Based on the above determination, the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, together with reasonably available control measures (RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, and contingency measures for failure to meet RFP and attainment deadlines are suspended for so long as the area continues to attain the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES:

Effective Date: This rule is effective on October 4, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

EPA has established docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0449 for this action. Generally, documents in the docket for this action are 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 at www.regulations.gov, some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps, multi-volume reports), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., Confidential Business Information). 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:

Ginger Vagenas, (415) 972-3964, or by email at vagenas.ginger@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, wherever “we”, “us” or “our” are used, we mean EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Summary of Proposed Action

II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

III. EPA's Final Action

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Summary of Proposed Action

On July 12, 2013 (78 FR 41901), EPA proposed to determine that the West Central Pinal nonattainment area [1] has attained the 2006 24-hour NAAQS [2] for Start Printed Page 54395fine particles (generally referring to particles less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter, PM2.5).

In our proposed rule, we explained that in making an attainment determination, EPA relies on complete, quality-assured, and certified data gathered at a State and Local Air Monitoring Station(s) (SLAMS) and entered into EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) database. Under 40 CFR 50.13 (“National primary and secondary ambient air quality standards for PM2.5”) and appendix N to 40 CFR part 50 (“Interpretation of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM2.5”), the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS is met when each monitoring site in the area has a design value at or below the standard.

EPA proposed the determination of attainment for the West Central Pinal area based upon a review of the monitoring network operated by the Pinal County Air Quality Control Department (PCAQCD) and the data collected at the monitoring site operating during the most recent complete three-year period (i.e., 2010 to 2012). Based on this review, EPA found that complete, quality-assured and certified data for the West Central Pinal area showed that the 24-hour design value for the 2009-2011 period was equal to or less than 35 µ/m3 at the monitoring site. See the data summary table on page 41904 of the July 12, 2013 proposed rule. We also noted that preliminary data available in AQS for 2013 indicates that the West Central Pinal area continues to attain the NAAQS.

In conjunction with and based upon our proposed determination that West Central Pinal has attained and is currently attaining the standard, EPA also proposed to determine that the obligation under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to submit the following attainment-related planning requirements is not applicable for so long as the area continues to attain the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS: The part D, subpart 4 obligations to provide an attainment demonstration pursuant to section 189(a)(1)(B), the RACM provisions of section 189(a)(1)(C), the RFP provisions of section 189(c), and related attainment demonstration, RACM, RFP and contingency measure provisions requirements of subpart 1, section 172. In doing so, we proposed to apply EPA's Clean Data Policy to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS to suspend the attainment-related SIP submittal obligations under subparts 1 and 4 of part D (of title I of the CAA), if the West Central Pinal nonattainment area were considered a moderate nonattainment area under subpart 4. See pages 41904-41906 of our July 12, 2013 proposed rule. In proposing to apply the Clean Data Policy to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, we explained that we are applying the same statutory interpretation with respect to the implications of clean data determinations that the Agency has long applied in regulations for the 1997 8-hour ozone and PM2.5 NAAQS and in individual rulemakings for the 1-hour ozone, coarse particle (PM10) and lead NAAQS.

Please see the July 12, 2013 proposed rule for more detailed information concerning the PM2.5 NAAQS, designations of PM2.5 nonattainment areas, the regulatory basis for determining attainment of the NAAQS, PCAQCD's PM2.5 monitoring network, EPA's review and evaluation of the data, and the rationale and implications for application of the Clean Data Policy to the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS.

II. Public Comments and EPA Responses

EPA's proposed rule provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we did not receive any comments.

III. EPA's Final Action

For the reasons provided in the proposed rule and summarized herein, EPA is taking final action to determine that the West Central Pinal nonattainment area in Pinal County, Arizona has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS based on the most recent three years of complete, quality-assured, and certified data in AQS for 2010-2012. Preliminary 2013 data available in AQS show that this area continues to attain the standard.

EPA is also taking final action, based on the above determination of attainment, to suspend the requirements for the West Central Pinal nonattainment area to submit an attainment demonstration pursuant to section 189(a)(1)(B), the RACM provisions of section 189(a)(1)(C), the RFP provisions of section 189(c), and related attainment demonstration, RACM, RFP and contingency measure provisions requirements of subpart 1, section 172 for so long as the area continues to attain the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA's final action is consistent and in keeping with its long-held interpretation of CAA requirements, as well as with EPA's regulations for similar determinations for ozone (see 40 CFR 51.918) and the 1997 fine particulate matter standards (see 40 CFR 51.1004(c)).

Today's final action does not constitute a redesignation of the West Central Pinal nonattainment area to attainment for the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS under CAA section 107(d)(3) because we have not yet approved a maintenance plan for the West Central Pinal nonattainment area as meeting the requirements of section 175A of the CAA or determined that the area has met the other CAA requirements for redesignation. The classification and designation status in 40 CFR part 81 remain nonattainment for this area until such time as EPA determines that Arizona has met the CAA requirements for redesignating the West Central Pinal nonattainment area to attainment.

If the West Central Pinal nonattainment area continues to monitor attainment of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, the requirements for the area to submit an attainment demonstration and associated RACM, a RFP plan, contingency measures, and any other planning requirements related to attainment of the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS will remain suspended. If after today's action EPA subsequently determines, after notice-and-comment rulemaking in the Federal Register, that the area has violated the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, the basis for the suspension of the attainment planning requirements for the area would no longer exist, and the area would thereafter have to address such requirements.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This final action makes a determination of attainment based on air quality and suspends certain federal requirements, and thus, this action would not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For this reason, the final 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);Start Printed Page 54396
  • 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 disproportionate human health or environmental effects with practical, appropriate, and legally permissible methods under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this final action does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP obligations discussed herein do not apply to Indian Tribes, and thus this action will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

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, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action 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 action 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 November 4, 2013. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be 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: August 22, 2013.

Jared Blumenfeld,

Regional Administrator, Region IX.

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Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

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1. The authority citation for Part 52 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

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Subpart D—Arizona

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2. Section 52.131 is amended by adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:

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Control Strategy and regulations: Fine Particle Matter.
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(b) Determination of Attainment: Effective October 4, 2013, EPA has determined that, based on 2010 to 2012 ambient air quality data, the West Central Pinal PM2.5 nonattainment area has attained the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination suspends the requirements for this area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment for as long as this area continues to attain the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS. If EPA determines, after notice-and-comment rulemaking, that this area no longer meets the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS, the corresponding determination of attainment for that area shall be withdrawn.

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Footnotes

1.  Covering approximately 460 square miles, the West Central Pinal PM2.5 nonattainment area is located within Pinal County, Arizona.

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2.  The 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS is 35 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3. ), based on a 3-year average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations.

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[FR Doc. 2013-21366 Filed 9-3-13; 8:45 am]

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