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Texas: Final Authorization of State Hazardous Waste Management Program Revision

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The State of Texas has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for Final authorization of the changes to its hazardous waste program under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA has determined that these changes satisfy all requirements needed to qualify for Final authorization, and is authorizing the State's changes through this direct final action. The EPA is publishing this rule to authorize the changes without a prior proposal because we believe this action is not controversial and do not expect comments that oppose it. Unless we receive written comments which oppose this authorization during the comment period, the decision to authorize Texas' changes to its hazardous waste program will take effect. If we receive comments that oppose this action, we will publish a document in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule before it takes effect, and a separate document in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register will serve as a proposal to authorize the changes.

DATES:

This final authorization will become effective on November 3, 2014 unless the EPA receives adverse written comment by October 3, 2014. If the EPA receives such comment, it will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that this authorization will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments by one of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

2. Email: patterson.alima@epa.gov.

3. Mail: Alima Patterson, Region 6, Regional Authorization Coordinator, State/Tribal Oversight Section (6PD-O), Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

4. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to Alima Patterson, Region 6, Regional Authorization Coordinator, State/Tribal Oversight Section (6PD-O), Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

Instructions: Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through regulations.gov, or email. The Federal regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means the 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 the EPA without going through 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, the 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 the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the 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. You can view and copy Texas' application and associated publicly available materials from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following locations: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, (TCEQ) 12100 Park S. Circle, Austin Texas 78753-3087, (512) 239-6079 and EPA, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, phone number (214) 665-8533. Interested persons wanting to examine these documents should make an appointment with the office at least two weeks in advance.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alima Patterson, Region 6 Regional Authorization Coordinator, State/Tribal Oversight Section (6PD-O), Multimedia Planning and Permitting Division, (214) 665-8533, EPA Region 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, and Email address patterson.alima@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Why are revisions to State programs necessary?

States which have received final authorization from the EPA under RCRA section 3006(b), 42 U.S.C. 6926(b), must maintain a hazardous waste program that is equivalent to, consistent with, and no less stringent than the Federal program. As the Federal program changes, States must change their programs and ask the EPA to authorize the changes. Changes to State programs may be necessary when Federal or State statutory or regulatory authority is modified or when certain other changes occur. Most commonly, States must change their programs because of changes to the EPA's regulations in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 124, 260 through 268, 270, 273, and 279.

B. What decisions have we made in this rule?

We conclude that the State of Texas' application to revise its authorized program meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by RCRA. Therefore, we grant the State of Texas Final Authorization to operate its hazardous waste program with the changes described in the authorization application. The State of Texas has responsibility for permitting treatment, storage, and disposal facilities within its borders (except in Indian Country) and for carrying out the aspects of the RCRA program described in its revised program application, subject to the limitations of the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments of 1984 (HSWA). New Federal requirements and prohibitions imposed by Federal regulations that the EPA promulgates under the authority of HSWA take effect in authorized States before they are Start Printed Page 52221authorized for the requirements. Thus, the EPA will implement those requirements and prohibitions in Texas including issuing permits, until the State is granted authorization to do so.

C. What is the effect of today's authorization decision?

The effect of this decision is that a facility in the State of Texas subject to RCRA will now have to comply with the authorized State requirements instead of the equivalent Federal requirements in order to comply with RCRA. The State of Texas has enforcement responsibilities under its State hazardous waste program for violations of such program, but the EPA retains its authority under RCRA sections 3007, 3008, 3013, and 7003, which include, among others, authority to:

  • Do inspections, and require monitoring, tests, analyses, or reports;
  • enforce RCRA requirements and suspend or revoke permits and
  • take enforcement actions after notice to and consultation with the State.

This action does not impose additional requirements on the regulated community because the regulations for which the State of Texas is being authorized by today's action are already effective under State law, and are not changed by today's action.

D. Why wasn't there a proposed rule before today's rule?

The EPA did not publish a proposal before today's rule because we view this as a routine program change and do not expect comments that oppose this approval. We are providing an opportunity for public comment now. In addition to this rule, in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register we are publishing a separate document that proposes to authorize the State program changes.

E. What happens if the EPA receives comments that oppose this action?

If the EPA receives comments that oppose this authorization, we will withdraw this rule by publishing a document in the Federal Register before the rule becomes effective. The EPA will base any further decision on the authorization of the State program changes on the proposal mentioned in the previous paragraph. We will then address all public comments in a later final rule. You may not have another opportunity to comment. If you want to comment on this authorization, you must do so at this time. If we receive comments that oppose only the authorization of a particular change to the State hazardous waste program, we will withdraw only that part of this rule, but the authorization of the program changes that the comments do not oppose will become effective on the date specified in this document. The Federal Register withdrawal document will specify which part of the authorization will become effective, and which part is being withdrawn.

F. For what has Texas previously been authorized?

The State of Texas initially received final authorization on December 26, 1984 (49 FR 48300), to implement its Base Hazardous Waste Management Program. This authorization was clarified in a notice published March 26, 1985 (50 FR 11858). Texas received authorization for revisions to its program, effective October 4, 1985 (51 FR 3952), February 17, 1987 (51 FR 45320), March 15, 1990 (55 FR 7318), July 23, 1990 (55 FR 21383), October 21, 1991 (56 FR 41626), December 4, 1992 (57 FR 45719), June 27, 1994 (59 FR 16987), June 27, 1994 (59 FR 17273), November 26, 1997 (62 FR 47947), December 3, 1997 (62 FR 49163), October 18, 1999 (64 FR 44836), November 15, 1999 (64 FR 49673), September 11, 2000 (65 FR 43246), June 14, 2005 (70 FR 34371), December 29, 2008, (73 FR 64252), and July 13, 2009 (74 FR 22469). The EPA incorporated by reference Texas' then authorized hazardous waste program effective December 3, 1997 (62 FR 49163), November 15, 1999 (64 FR 49673), December 29, 2008 (73 FR 64252), March 7, 2011 (76 FR 12285) effective May 6, 2011 and March 6, 2012 (77 FR 13200) effective May 7, 2012.

On March 28, 2013, Texas submitted a final complete program revision application, seeking authorization of its program revision in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. In 1991, Texas Senate Bill 2 created the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) which combined the functions of the former Texas Water Commission and the former Texas Air Control Board. The transfer of functions to the TNRCC from the two agencies became effective on September 1, 1993. House Bill 2912, Article 18 of the 77th Texas Legislature, 2001, changed the name of the TNRCC to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and directed the TNRCC to adopt a timetable for phasing in the change of the agency's name. The TNRCC decided to make the change of the agency's name to the TCEQ effective September 1, 2002. The change of name became effective September 1, 2002, and the legislative history of the name change is documented at (See, Act of June 15, 2001, 77th Leg. R. S., Ch 965, Section 18.01, 2001 Tex. Gen. Laws 1985). The TCEQ may perform any act authorized by law either as the TNRCC or as the TCEQ. Id. Therefore, references to the TCEQ are references to TNRCC and to its successor, the TCEQ.

The TCEQ has primary responsibility for administration of laws and regulations concerning hazardous waste. The official State regulations may be found in Title 30, Texas Administrative Code, Chapters 305, 324 and 335, effective February 21, 2013. Some of the State rules incorporate the Federal regulations by reference. Texas Water Code Section 5.103 and Section 5.105 and Texas Health and Safety Code Section 361.017 and Section 361.024 confer on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality the powers to perform any acts necessary and convenient to the exercise of its jurisdiction. The TCEQ is authorized to administer the RCRA program. However, the Railroad Commission (RRC) has jurisdiction over the discharge, storage, handling, transportation, reclamation, or disposal of waste materials (both hazardous and non-hazardous) that result from the activities associated with the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas or geothermal resources and other activities regulated by the RRC. A list of activities that generate wastes that are subject to the jurisdiction of the RRC is found at Texas Health and Safety Code Section 401.415. Such wastes are termed “oil and gas wastes.” The TCEQ has responsibility to administer the RCRA program, however, hazardous waste generated at natural gas or natural gas liquids processing plants or reservoir pressure maintenance or repressurizing plants are subject to the jurisdiction of the TCEQ until the RRC is authorized by EPA to administer that waste under RCRA. The TCEQ jurisdiction over Solid waste can be found at Chapter 361, Sections 361.001 through 361.754 of the Texas Health and Safety Code. The TCEQ's jurisdiction encompasses hazardous and nonhazardous, industrial and municipal Solid waste. The definition of Solid waste can be found at Texas Health and Safety Code Section 361.003(34). When the RRC is authorized by EPA to administer the RCRA program for these wastes, jurisdiction over such hazardous waste will transfer from the TCEQ to the RRC. The EPA has designated the TCEQ as the lead agency to coordinate RCRA activities between the two agencies. The EPA is responsible for the regulation of Start Printed Page 52222any hazardous waste for which TCEQ has not been previously authorized.

Further clarification of the jurisdiction between the TCEQ and the RRC can be found in a separate document. This document, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), became effective on May 31, 1998.

The TCEQ has the rules necessary to implement EPA's RCRA Clusters XIX through XXI excluding the Definition of Solid Waste (Checklist 219) in RCRA Cluster XIX and Removal of “Saccharin and Its Salts” from the Lists of Hazardous Generator Standards Technical Corrections (Checklist 225) also in RCRA Cluster XXI, because the TCEQ did not adopt these rules. The State is also seeking authorization for Recycled Used Oil Management Standards; Clarification (Checklist 203), Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Rule (Checklist 207), Academic Laboratories Generator Standards (Checklist 220), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ((OECD) (Checklist 222)) Requirements, Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarification (Checklist 223) and Academic Laboratories Generator Standards Technical Corrections (Checklist 226). The TCEQ authority includes changes to 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapters 305, 324, and 335. The Commissioners adopted these rules on January 29, 2013 and the rules became effective on February 21, 2013. The TCEQ authority to incorporate Federal rules by reference can be found at Texas Administrative Code 335 Sections 335.28, 335.29 and 335.31.

G. What changes are we approving with today's action?

On March 28, 2013, the State of Texas submitted a final complete program application, seeking authorization of their changes in accordance with 40 CFR 271.21. We now make a direct final decision, subject to receipt of written comments that oppose this action that the State of Texas' hazardous waste program revision satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for final authorization. The State of Texas revisions consist of regulations which specifically govern Federal Hazardous Waste revisions promulgated from July 30, 2003, through December 20, 2010. The adoption for RCRA Clusters XIX through XXI are Checklists 220, 222, 223, and 226. Also Checklists 203, 207 and 208 are included in the below chart.

Description of federal requirement (include checklist #, if relevant)Federal Register date and page (and/or RCRA statutory authority )Analogous state authority
1. Recycled Used Oil Management Standards; Clarification. (Checklist 203)64 FR 44659-44665 July 30, 2003Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.78(j), 224.1, 324.3 and 324.14 as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.
2. Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest Rule. (Checklist 207)70 FR 10776-10825 March 4, 2005Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.1(39), 335.1(95), 335.1(96), 335.10(a), 335.41(f)(2)(iii), 335.67, 335.67(b), 335.68, 335.69, 335.69(m), 335.76(d), 335.11(a), 335.12(a), 335.152(a)(4), 335.15(3), and 335.112(a)(4), as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.
3. Methods Innovation and SW-846 Final Update IIIB. (Checklist 208)70 FR 34538-34592 June 14, 2005. As amended August 1, 2005; 70 FR 44150-44151Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.31, 4 as amended 335.504(1), 335.504(3), 335.504(2), 335.29(1), 335.29(2), 335.152(a)(8), 335.175(c), 335.152(a)(17)(c), 335.152(a)(17), 335.152(a)(18), 335.152(a)(21), 335.152(a)(9), 335.125(d), 335.152(19), 335.221(a)(1), 335.221(a)(3), 335.221(a)(17), 335.221(a)(23), 335.221(a), 335.431(c)(1), 305.50(a)(4)(A), 305.172(2)(a)(iii)-(iv), 324.1, 324.11, 324.12 and 324.13, amended and effective February 21, 2013.
4. Academic Laboratories Generator Standards. (Checklist 220)73 FR 72912-72960 December 1, 2008Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.78(c)(6), 335.78(c)(7), 335.61(i) and 335.79, 335.61(i) and 335.61(i)(1)-(2), 335.61(i)(2), and 335.79, as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.
5. OECD Requirements; Export Shipments of Spend Lead-Acid Batteries. (Checklist 222)75 FR 1236-1262 January 8, 2010Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.13(o), 335.13(k), 335.76, 335.24(c)(1)(A), 335.76(a), 335.76(f), 335.76(h), 335.11(e), 335.152(a)(1), 335.112(a)(1), 335.112(a)(4) and 335.71(d), as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.
6. Hazardous Waste Technical Corrections and Clarifications. (Checklist 223)75 FR 13009, 75 FR 31716-31717, March 18, 2010, June 4, 2010Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.017 and 361.024; 30 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 335.504(1), 335.1(138)(A)(iv) and 335.1(138(D)(iv), 335.504(2), 335.504(3), 335.61(e), 335.77, 335.62, 335.10(a), 335.69(a)(4)(B), 335.69(b), 335.69(d), 335.69(e), 335.69(f)(4)(C), 335.10(a), 335.2(o), 335.94, 335.152(a)(3), 335.153(2), 335.12(e), 335.12(c), 335.175, 335.152(a)(12), 335.152(a)(14), 335.112(a)(3), 335.113(2), 335.12, 335.125, 335.112(a)(13), 335.211(b), 335.211(b), 335.213, 335.241(d), 335.251(b)(1), 335.222(e)(1)(E), 335.431(c)(1), and 305.122(a), as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.
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7. Academic Laboratories Generator Standards Technical Corrections. (Checklist 226)75 FR 79304-79308 December 20, 2010Texas Water Code Annotated Sections 5.103 and 5.105, 7.031, Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Section 361.024, 361.082; Texas Administrative Code 335.79), as amended January 29, 2013 effective February 21, 2013.

H. Where are the revised State Rules different from the Federal Rules?

The State hazardous waste program is at least as equivalent to the Federal program in all areas, except where the State program is more stringent and broader in scope. The State's more stringent and broader in scope provisions are listed in the State codification crosswalk dated July 2009. Under RCRA title C provisions, the EPA cannot authorize broader in scope provisions because the Agency cannot enforce those regulations.

I. Who handles permits after the authorization takes effect?

The State of Texas will issue permits for all the provisions for which it is authorized and will administer the permits it issues. The EPA will continue to administer any RCRA hazardous waste permits or portions of permits which we issued prior to the effective date of this authorization. We will not issue any more new permits or new portions of permits for the provisions listed in the Table in this document after the effective date of this authorization. The EPA will continue to implement and issue permits for HSWA requirements for which Texas is not yet authorized.

J. How does today's action affect Indian Country (18 U.S.C. 1151) in Texas?

The State of Texas Hazardous Program is not being authorized to operate in Indian Country.

K. What is codification and is the EPA codifying Texas' hazardous waste program as authorized in this rule?

Codification is the process of placing the State's statutes and regulations that comprise the State's authorized hazardous waste program into the CFR. We do this by referencing the authorized State rules in 40 CFR part 272. We reserve the amendment of 40 CFR part 272, subpart SS for this authorization of Texas' program changes until a later date. In this authorization application the EPA is not codifying the rules documented in this Federal Register document.

L. Administrative Requirements

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this action from the requirements of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), and therefore this action is not subject to review by OMB. This action authorizes State requirements for the purpose of RCRA 3006 and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. Accordingly, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this action authorizes preexisting requirements under State law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by State law, it 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). For the same reason, this action also does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Tribal governments, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it merely authorizes State requirements as part of the State RCRA hazardous waste program without altering the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established by RCRA. This action also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant and it does not make decisions based on environmental health or safety risks. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

Under RCRA 3006(b), the EPA grants a State's application for authorization as long as the State meets the criteria required by RCRA. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for the EPA, when it reviews a State authorization application; to require the use of any particular voluntary consensus standard in place of another standard that otherwise satisfies the requirements of RCRA. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing this rule, the EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. The EPA has complied with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the “Attorney General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings” issued under the Executive Order. This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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. The EPA will submit a report containing this document 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 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). This action will be effective November 3, 2014.

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 271

  • Environmental protection
  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Confidential business information
  • Hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste transportation
  • Indian lands
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Penalties
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
End List of Subjects Start Authority

Authority: This action is issued under the authority of sections 2002(a), 3006, and 7004(b) of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6926, 6974(b).

End Authority Start Signature

Dated: August 5, 2014.

Ron Curry,

Regional Administrator, EPA Region 6.

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[FR Doc. 2014-20789 Filed 9-2-14; 8:45 am]

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