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Air Plan Approval; NC; Fine Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards Revision

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to a State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (NCDEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on December 11, 2015, that incorporates amendments to the state rules reflecting the 2012 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM2.5). This action is being taken pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

DATES:

This direct final rule is effective September 12, 2016 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by August 15, 2016. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-2016-0106 at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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 http://www.epa.gov/​dockets/​commenting-epa-dockets.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Madolyn Sanchez, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Sanchez can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-9644 or via electronic mail at sanchez.madolyn@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Sections 108 and 109 of the CAA govern the establishment, review, and revision, as appropriate, of the NAAQS to protect public health and welfare. The CAA requires periodic review of the air quality criteria—the science upon which the standards are based—and the standards themselves. EPA's regulatory provisions that govern the NAAQS are found at 40 CFR 50National Primary and Secondary Ambient Air Quality Standards. In this rulemaking, EPA is taking direct final action to approve North Carolina's December 11, 2015, submission amending the State's regulations to incorporate the NAAQS for PM2.5, which are found at 15A North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC) 02D .0410. The SIP submittal amending North Carolina's rules to incorporate the NAAQS can be found in the docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov and is summarized below.

II. Analysis of State's Submittal

On December 14, 2012, EPA promulgated a revised primary annual PM2.5 NAAQS. See 78 FR 3086. In that action, EPA revised the primary annual PM2.5 standard, strengthening it from 15.0 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) to 12.0 μg/m3, and retained the existing 24-hour PM2.5 standard at 35 μg/m3. Accordingly, in the December 11, 2015, SIP submittal, North Carolina revised state rule 15A NCAC 02D .0410 PM2.5Particulate Matter to update the primary air quality standard for PM2.5 to be consistent with the NAAQS that were promulgated by EPA in 2012. EPA has reviewed this change to North Carolina's rule for PM2.5 and has made the determination that this change is consistent with federal regulations.

III. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of North Carolina regulation 15A NCAC 02D .0410 PM2.5Particulate Matter effective September 1, 2015, which was revised to be consistent with the current NAAQS. Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference by the Director of the Federal Register in the Start Printed Page 45422next update to the SIP compilation.[1] EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and/or at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this preamble for more information).

IV. Final Action

EPA is approving the aforementioned change to the North Carolina SIP because it is consistent with EPA's 2012 PM2.5 standards. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal 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 adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective September 12, 2016September 12, 2016 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by August 15, 2016.

If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document 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. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on September 12, 2016 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. See 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 CAA. 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 CAA; 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).

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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it 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 September 12, 2016. 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 today's 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).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • Incorporation by reference
  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Particulate matter
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: June 30, 2016.

Heather McTeer Toney,

Regional Administrator, Region 4.

End Signature

40 Part 52 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 II—North Carolina

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2. Section 52.1770(c) is amended under Table 1, at “Subchapter 2D—Air Pollution Control Requirements”, “Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards” by revising the entry for “Sect .0410” to read as follows:

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Identification of plan.
* * * * *

(c) * * *Start Printed Page 45423

Table 1—EPA Approved North Carolina Regulations

State citationTitle/SubjectState effective dateEPA Approval dateExplanation
Subchapter 2D Air Pollution Control Requirements
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Section .0400 Ambient Air Quality Standards
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Sect .0410PM2.5 Particulate Matter9/1/20157/14/16, [Insert citation of publication]
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

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[FR Doc. 2016-16458 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am]

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