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Approval and Promulgation of State Plans for Designated Facilities and Pollutants; Nebraska; Sewage Sludge Incinerators

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Direct final rule.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111(d)/129 negative declaration for the state of Nebraska, for existing sewage sludge incinerator (SSI) units. This negative declaration certifies that existing SSI units subject to sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA do not exist within the jurisdiction of Nebraska. EPA is accepting the negative declaration in accordance with the requirements of the CAA.


This direct final rule will be effective March 7, 2016, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by February 5, 2016. If EPA receives adverse comment, we 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 No. EPA-R07-OAR-2015-0733, to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from The EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e. on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit​dockets/​commenting-epa-dockets.

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Paula Higbee, Environmental Protection Agency, Air Planning and Development Branch, 11201 Renner Boulevard, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 at 913-551-7028 or by email at

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Throughout this document “we,” “us,” or “our” refer to EPA. This section provides additional information by addressing the following:

I. Background

II. Analysis of State Submittal

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background

The CAA requires that state regulatory agencies implement the emission guidelines and compliance times using a state plan developed under sections 111(d) and 129 of the CAA. The general provisions for the submittal and approval of state plans are codified in 40 CFR part 60, subpart B and 40 CFR part 62, subpart A. Section 111(d) establishes general requirements and procedures on state plan submittals for the control of designated pollutants. Section 129 requires emission guidelines to be promulgated for all categories of solid waste incineration units, including SSI units. Section 129 mandates that all plan requirements be at least as protective and restrictive as the promulgated emission guidelines. This includes fixed final compliance dates, fixed compliance schedules, and Title V permitting requirements for all affected sources. Section 129 also requires that state plans be submitted to EPA within one year after EPA's promulgation of the emission guidelines and compliance times.

States have options other than submitting a state plan in order to fulfill their obligations under CAA sections 111(d) and 129. If a State does not have any existing Sewage Sludge Incineration (SSI) units for the relevant emissions guidelines, a letter can be submitted certifying that no such units exist within the State (i.e., negative declaration) in lieu of a state plan. The negative declaration exempts the State from the requirements of subpart B that would otherwise require the submittal of a CAA section 111(d)/129 plan.

On March 21, 2011 (76 FR 15372), the EPA established emission guidelines and compliance times for existing SSI units. The emission guidelines and compliance times are codified at 40 CFR 60, Subpart MMMM. In order to fulfill obligations under CAA sections 111(d) and 129, NDEQ submitted a negative declaration letter to EPA on December 6, 2012. The submittal of this declaration exempts NDEQ from the requirement to Start Printed Page 381submit a state plan for existing SSI units.

II. Analysis of State Submittal

In this Direct Final action, EPA is amending part 62 to reflect receipt of the negative declaration letter from the NDEQ, certifying that there are no existing SSI units subject to 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM, in accordance with Section 111(d) of the CAA. If a designated facility (i.e., existing SSI unit) is later found within NDEQ's jurisdiction after publication of this Federal Register action, then the overlooked facility will become subject to the requirements of the Federal plan for that designated facility, including the compliance schedule. The Federal plan will no longer apply, if we subsequently receive and approve the 111(d) plan from the jurisdiction with the overlooked facility. EPA is publishing this direct final rule without a prior proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. However, in the “Proposed Rules” section of this Federal Register, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule to approve the negative declaration if adverse comments are received on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. We will address all public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this rule 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 rule approves pre-existing 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). This action 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). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does 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). This action merely approves a state rule implementing a Federal requirement, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it approves a state rule implementing a Federal standard. In reviewing section 111(d)/129 plan submissions, EPA's role is to approve State choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Act. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to disapprove a section 111(d)/129 plan submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a section 111(d)/129 plan submission, to use VCS in place of a section 111(d)/129 plan submission that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Act. 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. 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. 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 March 7, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule 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 approving Nebraska's section 111(d)/129 plan revision for SSI sources 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 62

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Sewage sludge incinerators
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Dated: December 23, 2015.

Mark Hague,

Regional Administrator, Region 7.

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For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 62 as set forth below:

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1. The authority citation for part 62 continues to read as follows:

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

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Subpart CC—Nebraska

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2. Subpart CC is amended by adding an undesignated center heading and § 62.6917 to read as follows: Start Printed Page 382

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Air Emissions Standards of Performance for New Sewage Sludge Incinerators

Identification of plan—negative declaration.

Letter from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality received December 6, 2012, certifying that there are no Sewage Sludge Incinerator units subject to 40 CFR part 60, subpart MMMM.

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[FR Doc. 2015-33292 Filed 1-5-16; 8:45 am]