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Notice

California State Nonroad Engine Pollution Control Standards; Small Off-Road Engines Regulation; Request for Within-the-Scope and Full Authorization; Opportunity for Public Hearing and Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has notified the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it has adopted amendments to its spark-ignited (SI) Small Off-Road Engines (SORE) regulation (2008 SORE amendments). By letter dated December 2, 2013, ARB asked that EPA authorize these amendments pursuant to section the Clean Air Act. CARB seeks confirmation that the amendments are within the scope of a prior authorization issued by EPA, or, in the alternative, that the amendments merit full authorization. This notice announces that EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing to consider California's authorization request for the 2008 SORE amendments, and that EPA is now accepting written comment on the request.

DATES:

EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing concerning CARB's request on June 19, 2014, at 10 a.m. ET. EPA will hold a hearing only if any party notifies EPA by June 9, 2014 to express interest in presenting the agency with oral testimony. Parties wishing to present oral testimony at the public hearing should provide written notice to David Dickinson at the email address noted below. If EPA receives a request for a public hearing, that hearing will be held at 1310 L Street NW., Washington, DC 20005. If EPA does not receive a Start Printed Page 30611request for a public hearing, then EPA will not hold a hearing, and instead will consider CARB's request based on written submissions to the docket. Any party may submit written comments until July 21, 2014.

Any person who wishes to know whether a hearing will be held may call David Dickinson at (202) 343-9256 on or after June 13, 2014. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0036, by one of the following methods:

  • Online at http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the Online Instructions for Submitting Comments.
  • Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 566-9744.
  • Mail: Air and Radiation Docket, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0036, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of two copies.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Online Instructions for Submitting Comments: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0036. EPA's policy is that all comments we receive will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://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 http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will automatically be 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. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

EPA will make available for public inspection materials submitted by CARB, written comments received from any interested parties, and any testimony given at the public hearing. Materials relevant to this proceeding are contained in the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, maintained in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0036. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket in the EPA Headquarters Library, EPA West Building, Room 3334, located at 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open to the public on all federal government work days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; generally, it is open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. The telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566-1744. The Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center's Web site is http://www.epa.gov/​oar/​docket.html. The electronic mail (email) address for the Air and Radiation Docket is: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov, the telephone number is (202) 566-1742, and the fax number is (202) 566-9744. An electronic version of the public docket is available through the federal government's electronic public docket and comment system. You may access EPA dockets at http://www.regulations.gov. After opening the http://www.regulations.gov Web site, enter, in the “Enter Keyword or ID” fill-in box to view documents in the record. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (“CBI”) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality also maintains a Web page that contains general information on its review of California waiver and authorization requests. Included on that page are links to prior waiver and authorization Federal Register notices. The page can be accessed at http://www.epa.gov/​otaq/​cafr.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David Dickinson, Attorney-Advisor, Compliance Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue (6405J) NW., Washington, DC 20460. Telephone: (202) 343-9256. Fax: (202)343-2804. Email: Dickinson.david@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. California's SORE Regulation

Small off-road engines and equipment [1] are rated at or below 19 kilowatts (kW) (25 horsepower (hp)). The vast majority of engines covered by the SORE regulations are SI engines that are used to power a broad range of equipment, including lawn mowers, leaf blowers, generators, and small industrial equipment. Exhaust and evaporative emissions from these engines are a significant source of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen, pollutants that contribute to smog problems in California.

CARB promulgated its first SORE regulations in 1992 and amended them in 1993. EPA authorized the regulations, as amended, on July 5, 1995.[2] CARB further amended these regulations in 1994, 1995, and 1996, and EPA confirmed all the amendments to be within the scope of the prior approval on November 9, 2000.[3] CARB again amended the SORE regulations in 1998, this time requesting within-the-scope determination for all but one of the amendments, for which full authorization was requested. EPA issued its within-the-scope determination on November 9, 2000, for these former amendments, and a full authorization on November 10, 2003, for the latter amendment.[4] In 2000 and again in 2004, CARB amended the SORE regulations to more closely align with the federal SORE program. EPA confirmed that the 2000 amendments were within the scope of the previously granted SORE authorization in February, 2010, and also granted a full authorization for the 2004 amendments to standards and test procedures for certain nonroad compression ignition engines.[5] EPA issued a full authorization for CARB's 2004 amendments to the SI SORE regulations on December 11, 2006.[6]

CARB adopted the 2008 SORE amendments on November 21, 2008.[7] Start Printed Page 30612The 2008 SORE amendments made three further changes to California's SORE regulations. First, California modified certification emissions credits to expire five years after creation, and permitted the generation of certification emissions credits through the production of professional grade zero-emissions equipment. Second, the amendments eliminated production emissions credits, and provided manufacturers with the option to convert production emissions credits into certification emissions credits until 2010. Third, manufacturers were permitted to use a certification fuel with up to ten volume percent ethanol content, provided that the same fuel is used for certification with the EPA.

By letter dated December 2, 2013, CARB submitted a request to EPA pursuant to section 209(e) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act) for authorization of its 2008 SORE amendments. CARB seeks EPA's confirmation that the 2008 SORE amendments fall within the scope of EPA's previous authorizations,[8] or, in the alternate, a full authorization for those amendments.

II. Clean Air Act Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Authorizations

Section 209(e)(1) of the CAA prohibits states and local governments from adopting or attempting to enforce any standard or requirement relating to the control of emissions from new nonroad vehicles or engines. The Act also preempts states from adopting and enforcing standards and other requirements related to the control of emissions from non-new nonroad engines or vehicles. Section 209(e)(2), however, requires the Administrator, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, to authorize California to enforce such standards and other requirements, unless EPA makes one of three findings. In addition, other states with air quality attainment plans may adopt and enforce such regulations if the standards, and implementation and enforcement procedures, are identical to California's standards. On July 20, 1994, EPA promulgated a rule that sets forth, among other things, regulations providing the criteria, as found in section 209(e)(2), which EPA must consider before granting any California authorization request for new nonroad engine or vehicle emission standards.[9] EPA revised these regulations in 1997.[10] The authorization criteria are (1) whether California's protectiveness determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as comparable federal standards is arbitrary and capricious; (2) California does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; or (3) The California standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 209 of the Act. As stated in the preamble to the 1994 rule, EPA has historically interpreted the section 209(e)(2)(iii) “consistency” inquiry to require, at minimum, that California standards and enforcement procedures be consistent with section 209(a), section 209(e)(1), and section 209(b)(1)(C) (as EPA has interpreted that subsection in the context of section 209(b) motor vehicle waivers).[11]

In order to be consistent with section 209(a), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not apply to new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines. To be consistent with section 209(e)(1), California's nonroad standards and enforcement procedures must not attempt to regulate engine categories that are permanently preempted from state regulation. To determine consistency with section 209(b)(1)(C), EPA typically reviews nonroad authorization requests under the same “consistency” criteria that are applied to motor vehicle waiver requests. Pursuant to section 209(b)(1)(C), the Administrator shall not grant California a motor vehicle waiver if she finds that California “standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are not consistent with section 202(a)” of the Act. Previous decisions granting waivers and authorizations have noted that state standards and enforcement procedures are inconsistent with section 202(a) if: (1) There is inadequate lead time to permit the development of the necessary technology giving appropriate consideration to the cost of compliance within that time, or (2) the federal and state testing procedures impose inconsistent certification requirements.

If California amends regulations that EPA has already authorized, California can seek EPA confirmation that the amendments are within the scope of the previous authorization. A within-the-scope confirmation, without a full authorization review, is permissible if three conditions are met. First, the amended regulations must not undermine California's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards. Second, the amended regulations must not affect consistency with section 202(a) of the Act. Third, the amended regulations must not raise any “new issues” affecting EPA's prior authorizations.

III. EPA's Request for Comments

As stated above, EPA is offering the opportunity for a public hearing, and is requesting written comment on issues relevant to a within-the-scope analysis. Specifically, we request comment on whether California's 2008 SORE amendments: (1) Undermine California's previous determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as comparable federal standards; (2) affect the consistency of California's requirements with section 209 of the Act; or (3) raise any other new issues affecting EPA's previous waiver or authorization determinations.

Should any party believe that the amendments are not within the scope of the previous authorization, EPA also requests comment on whether the 2008 SORE amendments meet the criteria for a full authorization. Specifically, we request comment on: (a) Whether CARB's determination that its standards, in the aggregate, are at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards is arbitrary and capricious; (b) whether California needs such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; and (c) whether California's standards and accompanying enforcement procedures are consistent with section 209 of the Act.

IV. Procedures for Public Participation

If a hearing is held, the Agency will make a verbatim record of the proceedings. Interested parties may arrange with the reporter at the hearing to obtain a copy of the transcript at their own expense. Regardless of whether a public hearing is held, EPA will keep the record open until July 21, 2014. Upon expiration of the comment period, the Administrator will render a decision on CARB's request based on the record from the public hearing, if any, all relevant written submissions, and other information that she deems pertinent. All information will be available for inspection at the EPA Air Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0036.Start Printed Page 30613

Persons with comments containing proprietary information must distinguish such information from other comments to the greatest extent possible and label it as “Confidential Business Information” (“CBI”). If a person making comments wants EPA to base its decision on a submission labeled as CBI, then a non-confidential version of the document that summarizes the key data or information should be submitted to the public docket. To ensure that proprietary information is not inadvertently placed in the public docket, submissions containing such information should be sent directly to the contact person listed above and not to the public docket. Information covered by a claim of confidentiality will be disclosed by EPA only to the extent allowed, and according to the procedures set forth in 40 CFR Part 2. If no claim of confidentiality accompanies the submission when EPA receives it, EPA will make it available to the public without further notice to the person making comments.

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Dated: May 15, 2014.

Christopher Grundler,

Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Office of Air and Radiation.

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Footnotes

1.  The federal term “nonroad” and the California term “off-road” are used interchangeably.

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2.  60 FR 37440 (July 20, 1995).

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3.  65 FR. 69763 (November 20, 2000).

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4.  65 FR 69767 (November 20, 2000); 68 FR 65702 (November 21, 2003).

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5.  75 FR 8056 (February 23, 2010).

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6.  71 FR 75536 (December 15, 2006).

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7.  The specific regulatory text for the 2008 amendments is codified at title 13, California Code of Regulations (CCR), sections 2401, 2403, 2404, 2405, 2406, 2408, 2408.1 and 2409 (see enclosure 6 to CARB's December 2, 2013 request). California's Office of Administrative Law formally approved the rulemaking on April 5, 2010 and the regulations became effective on May 5, 2010.

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8.  EPA's most recent authorizations for CARB's SORE regulations can be found at 71 FR 75536 (December 15, 2006) and 75 FR 8056 (February 23, 2010).

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9.  59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994).

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10.  62 FR 67733 (December 30, 1997). The applicable regulations are now in 40 CFR part 1074, subpart B, § 1074.105.

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11.  59 FR 36969 (July 20, 1994).

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[FR Doc. 2014-12017 Filed 5-27-14; 8:45 am]

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