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Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Rhode Island; Control of Volatile Organic Compounds From Adhesives and Sealants

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Direct final rule.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Rhode Island. This revision includes a regulation adopted by Rhode Island that establishes and requires Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for volatile organic compound (VOC) sources of emissions from miscellaneous adhesives and sealants. The intended effect of this action is to approve these requirements into the Rhode Island SIP. This action is being taken in accordance with the Clean Air Act.


This direct final rule will be effective September 21, 2015, unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 24, 2015. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.


Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0460 by one of the following methods:

1. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

2. Email:

3. Fax: (617) 918-0047.

4. Mail: Docket Identification Number EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0460, Anne Arnold, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912.

5. Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Anne Arnold, Manager, Air Quality Planning Unit, Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No EPA-R01-OAR-2010-0460. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at, 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 through, or email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The 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 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 Start Printed Page 43629recommends 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 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 or in hard copy at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem Protection, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding legal holidays.

In addition, copies of the state submittal are also available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the State Air Agency; Office of Air Resources, Department of Environmental Management, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908-5767.

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David Mackintosh, Air Quality Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square—Suite 100, (Mail code OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, telephone number (617) 918-1584, fax number (617) 918-0584, email

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Throughout this document whenever “we,” “us,” or “our” is used, we mean EPA.

Organization of this document. The following outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

I. Background

II. Rhode Island's SIP Revision

III. EPA's Evaluation of Rhode Island's SIP Revision

IV. Final Action

V. Incorporation by Reference

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background

In 1997, EPA revised the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone, setting it at 0.08 parts per million (ppm) averaged over an 8-hour time frame. EPA set the 8-hour ozone standard based on scientific evidence demonstrating that ozone causes adverse health effects at lower ozone concentrations and over longer periods of time than was understood when the pre-existing 1-hour ozone standard was set. EPA determined that the 8-hour standard would be more protective of human health, especially with regard to children and adults who are active outdoors, and individuals with a pre-existing respiratory disease, such as asthma. On April 30, 2004, pursuant to the Federal Clean Air Act (the Act, or CAA), 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq., EPA designated portions of the country as being in nonattainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (69 FR 23858). The entire State of Rhode Island was designated as nonattainment for ozone and classified as moderate. The entire State of Rhode Island is also part of the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) under Section 184(a) of the CAA. Sections 182(b)(2) and 184 of the CAA compel states with moderate and above ozone nonattainment areas, as well as areas in the OTR respectively, to submit a revision to their applicable State Implementation Plan (SIP) to include provisions to require the implementation of reasonable available control technology (RACT) for sources covered by a Control Techniques Guideline (CTG) and for all major sources. A CTG is a document issued by EPA which establishes a “presumptive norm” for RACT for a specific VOC source category.

EPA has determined that States which have RACT provisions approved in their SIPs for the 1-hour ozone standard have several options for fulfilling the RACT requirements for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS. If a State meets certain conditions, it may certify that previously adopted 1-hour ozone RACT controls in the SIP continue to represent RACT control levels for purposes of fulfilling 8-hour ozone RACT requirements. Alternatively, a State may establish new or more stringent requirements that represent RACT control levels, either in lieu of, or in conjunction with, a certification. In addition, a State may submit a negative declaration if there are no CTG sources or major sources of VOC and NOx emissions in lieu of, or in addition to, a certification. See Final Rule to Implement the 8-Hour Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard—Phase 2 (the Phase 2 Rule) (70 FR 71612; November 29, 2005).

As noted in the EPA's Phase 2 ozone implementation rule, the RACT submittal for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard was due from Rhode Island on September 16, 2006. (See 40 CFR 51.916(b)(2).) On March 24, 2008 (73 FR 15416), EPA issued a finding of failure to submit to Rhode Island for the 1997 8-hour ozone RACT requirement. This finding started an 18-month sanctions clock, as well as a 24 month Federal Implementation Plan (FIP) clock. On April 30, 2008, the RI DEM submitted a SIP revision which included an attainment demonstration, a RACT demonstration, and a reasonable further progress plan for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA determined the SIP revision complete on May 30, 2008, stopping the 18-month sanctions clock.

II. Rhode Island's SIP Revision

On October 27, 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) submitted a SIP revision to EPA. This SIP revision included Rhode Island's new Air Pollution Control (APC) Regulation No. 44, “Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants.” Then, on March 25, 2015, Rhode Island DEM submitted a SIP revision containing a minor revision to APC Regulation No. 44 to address a typographical error in the regulation.

III. EPA's Evaluation of Rhode Island's SIP Revision

Rhode Island's APC Regulation No. 44, “Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants,” is based on the OTC Model Rule for Adhesives and Sealants. APC Regulation No. 44 includes all of the approaches to controlling VOC emissions found in EPA's CTG for Miscellaneous Industrial Adhesives (EPA 453/R-08-005, September 2008): VOC content limits for adhesives and cleaning solvents; work practices; record keeping; air pollution control equipment requirements; surface preparation requirements; and spray gun cleaning requirements. Rhode Island's rule is also more comprehensive than the CTG, since it establishes VOC content limits for sealants and sealant primers (in addition to adhesives as covered by the CTG), regulates sellers and manufacturers, not just appliers, of regulated adhesives, adhesive primers and sealants, and contains a VOC composite vapor pressure limit for cleaning materials. The exemptions of APC Regulation No. 44 are similar to those recommended in the CTG. While Start Printed Page 43630there are minor differences in the named adhesive categories (and emission limits) included in the CTG and APC Regulation No. 44, those differences are inconsequential compared to the broader applicability of APC Regulation No. 44 noted above.

The March 25, 2015, SIP revision corrects the header on page 1 to identify the regulation as “No. 44” and not “No. 33.”

IV. Final Action

EPA is approving, and incorporating into the Rhode Island SIP, Rhode Island's APC Regulation No. 44, “Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants.”

The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should relevant adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective September 21, 2015 without further notice unless the Agency receives relevant adverse comments by August 24, 2015.

If the EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a notice withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the proposed rule. All parties interested in commenting on the proposed rule should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 21, 2015 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

V. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the [State Agency Regulations] described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents generally available electronically through and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act 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 Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

  • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);
  • 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 Clean Air Act; 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, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

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 Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 21, 2015. 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. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Ozone
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Volatile organic compounds
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Dated: June 18, 2015.

H. Curtis Spalding,

Regional Administrator, EPA New England.

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Part 52 of chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

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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 OO—Rhode Island

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2. In § 52.2070, the table in paragraph (c), EPA-Approved Rhode Island Regulations, is amended by adding an entry in numerical order for Air Pollution Control Regulation 44 to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
* * * * *

(c) * * *

EPA-Approved Rhode Island Regulations

State citationTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateExplanations
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Air Pollution Control Regulation 44Control of Volatile Organic Compounds from Adhesives and Sealants06/04/200907/23/2015 [Insert Federal Register citation]
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
* * * * *
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[FR Doc. 2015-17852 Filed 7-22-15; 8:45 am]