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Air Quality Designations for the 2010 Sulfur Dioxide (SO2

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule establishes the initial air quality designations for four areas in Texas for the 2010 primary sulfur dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is designating three of the areas as nonattainment because they do not meet the NAAQS. One area is being designated unclassifiable because it cannot be classified on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the NAAQS. The designations are based on the weight of evidence for each area, including available air quality monitoring data and air quality modeling. For the areas designated nonattainment by this rule, the Clean Air Act (CAA) directs the state of Texas to undertake certain planning and pollution control activities to attain the SO2 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable. This action is a supplement to the final rule addressing the second round of area designations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS, which the EPA Administrator signed on June 30, 2016.

DATES:

The effective date of this rule is January 12, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

The EPA has established a docket for the second round of designations, including this supplemental action, under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information 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 electronically in http://www.regulations.gov.

In addition, the EPA has established a Web site for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS designations rulemakings at: https://Start Printed Page 89871www.epa.gov/​sulfur-dioxide-designations. The Web site includes the EPA's final SO2 designations, as well as state and tribal initial recommendation letters, the EPA's letters announcing modifications to those recommendations, technical support documents, responses to comments and other related technical information.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For general questions concerning this supplemental action, please contact Liz Etchells, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Planning Division, C539-04, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541-0253, email at etchells.elizabeth@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

U.S. EPA Regional Office Contacts: Region VI—Jim Grady, telephone (214) 665-6745, email at grady.james@epa.gov.

The public may inspect the rule and area-specific technical support information at the following location: Air Planning Section, EPA Region VI, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202.

Table of Contents

The following is an outline of the preamble.

I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

II. What is the purpose of this supplemental action?

III. What is the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and what are the health concerns that it addresses?

IV. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations and what action has the EPA taken to meet these requirements?

V. What guidance did the EPA issue and how did the EPA apply the statutory requirements and applicable guidance to determine area designations and boundaries?

VI. What air quality information has the EPA used for these designations?

VII. How do the designations supplementing the Round 2 designations affect Indian country?

VIII. Where can I find information forming the basis for this action and exchanges between the EPA, states and tribes related to this action?

IX. Environmental Justice Concerns

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (URMA)

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

L. Judicial Review

I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

The following are abbreviations of terms used in the preamble.

APA Administrative Procedure Act

CAA Clean Air Act

CFR Code of Federal Regulations

DC District of Columbia

EO Executive Order

EPA Environmental Protection Agency

FR Federal Register

NAAQS National Ambient Air Quality Standards

NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

OMB Office of Management and Budget

SO2 Sulfur Dioxide

SOX Sulfur Oxides

RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act

UMRA Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995

TAR Tribal Authority Rule

TAD Technical Assistance Document

TSD Technical Support Document

US United States

II. What is the purpose of this supplemental action?

The purpose of this final action is to announce and promulgate initial air quality designations for four areas in Texas for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS, in accordance with the requirements of the CAA. The EPA is designating three of these areas as nonattainment, and one area as unclassifiable. As discussed in Section IV of this document, the EPA is designating areas for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in multiple rounds under a court-ordered schedule pursuant to a consent decree. The EPA completed the first round of SO2 designations in an action signed by the Administrator on July 25, 2013 (78 FR 47191; August 5, 2013). In that action, the EPA designated 29 areas in 16 states as nonattainment, based on air quality monitoring data.

The court order required the EPA Administrator to sign a notice designating areas in a second round that contained sources meeting certain criteria no later than July 2, 2016. See Sierra Club and NRDC v. McCarthy, No. 3:13-cv-3953-SI (N.D. Cal.) (March 2, 2015). The four areas in Texas covered by this action met those criteria, and the EPA responded to state recommendations for Round 2 designations, including Texas' recommendations for these four areas, on February 11, 2016 (Letter from Ron Curry, EPA Region 6 Administrator, to Governor of Texas, Honorable Greg Abbott). In the second round of SO2 designations signed on June 30, 2016, the EPA designated 61 areas in 24 states (including eight other areas in Texas): four nonattainment areas, 41 unclassifiable/attainment areas and 16 unclassifiable areas (81 FR 45039; July 12, 2016). However, by a series of stipulations of the parties in Sierra Club and NRDC v. McCarthy and orders of the Court, the deadline to promulgate designations was extended to November 29, 2016, for the four areas in Texas that are the subject of this supplemental action. This action to designate four Texas areas further discharges the EPA's duty to issue the second round of SO2 designations, and uses the same administrative record as supported by the action signed on June 30, 2016, that addressed eight other Texas areas and other areas in the United States, as supplemented by additional materials further addressing these four Texas areas.

In this supplementary designation action, the list of areas being designated in Texas and the boundaries of each area appear in the tables within the regulatory text at the end of this notice. These designations are based on the EPA's technical assessment of and conclusions regarding the weight of evidence for each area, including but not limited to available air quality monitoring data or air quality modeling. With respect to air quality monitoring data, the EPA considered data from the most recent calendar years 2012-2015. In the modeling runs conducted by industry and members of the public, the air quality impacts of the actual emissions for the 3-year periods 2012-2014 or 2013-2015 were assessed.

For the areas being designated nonattainment, the CAA directs states to develop and submit to the EPA State Implementation Plans within 18 months of the effective date of this final rule that meet the requirements of sections 172(c) and 191-192 of the CAA and provide for attainment of the NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, but not later than 5 years from the effective date of this final rule. We also note that under the EPA's SO2 Data Requirements Rule in 40 CFR part 51, subpart BB (80 FR 51052; August 21, 2015), the EPA expects to receive additional air quality characterization for the one area in Milam County, Texas, designated unclassifiable in this action, and the agency will consider such data, as appropriate, in future actions.Start Printed Page 89872

III. What is the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and what are the health concerns that it addresses?

The Administrator signed a final rule revising the primary SO2 NAAQS on June 2, 2010. The rule was published in the Federal Register on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35520) and became effective on August 23, 2010. Based on the Administrator's review of the air quality criteria for oxides of sulfur and the primary NAAQS for oxides of sulfur as measured by SO2, the EPA revised the primary SO2 NAAQS to provide requisite protection of public health with an adequate margin of safety. Specifically, the EPA established a new 1-hour SO2 standard at a level of 75 parts per billion (ppb), which is met at an ambient air quality monitoring site when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations is less than or equal to 75 ppb, as determined in accordance with Appendix T of 40 CFR part 50. 40 CFR 50.17(a)-(b). The EPA also established provisions to revoke both the existing 24-hour and annual primary SO2 standards, subject to certain conditions. 40 CFR 50.4(e).

Additional information regarding the current scientific evidence on the health impacts of short-term exposures to SO2 is provided in the Federal Register notice containing the final rule for the second round of SO2 designations for other areas that was signed on June 30, 2016. See 81 FR 45041.

IV. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations and what action has the EPA taken to meet these requirements?

After the EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the EPA is required to designate all areas of the country as either “nonattainment,” “attainment,” or “unclassifiable,” for that NAAQS pursuant to section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. Section 107(d)(1)(A)(i) of the CAA defines a nonattainment area as “any area that does not meet (or that contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for the pollutant.” If an area meets either prong of this definition, then the EPA is obligated to designate the area as “nonattainment.” This provision also defines an attainment area as any area other than a nonattainment area that meets the NAAQS and an unclassifiable area as any area that cannot be classified on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the NAAQS.

Additional information regarding the process for designating areas following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS pursuant to section 107(d) of the CAA and how the EPA is applying this process to the designation of areas under the 2010 SO2 NAAQS is provided in the final rule addressing the second round of SO2 designations for other areas signed on June 30, 2016. See 81 FR 45041. For this supplemental action, the EPA reiterates that CAA section 107(d) provides the agency with discretion to determine how best to interpret the terms in the definition of a nonattainment area (e.g., “contributes to” and “nearby”) for a new or revised NAAQS, given considerations such as the nature of a specific pollutant, the types of sources that may contribute to violations, the form of the standards for the pollutant, and other relevant information. In particular, the EPA's position is that the statute does not require the agency to establish bright line tests or thresholds for what constitutes “contribution” or “nearby” for purposes of designations.[1]

Similarly, the EPA's position is that the statute permits the EPA to evaluate the appropriate application of the term “area” to include geographic areas based upon full or partial county boundaries, as may be appropriate for a particular NAAQS. For example, CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(ii) explicitly provides that the EPA can make modifications to designation recommendations for an area “or portions thereof,” and under CAA section 107(d)(1)(B)(iv) a designation remains in effect for an area “or portion thereof” until the EPA redesignates it.

As explained in more detail in the final rule addressing the second round of SO2 designations for other areas, the EPA completed the first round of SO2 designations for 29 areas on July 25, 2013 (78 FR 47191), and intends to complete up to three more rounds of designations to address all remaining areas pursuant to a schedule contained in a consent decree and enforceable order entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on March 2, 2015. See 81 FR 45042.

The court order specifies that in this second round of SO2 designations the EPA must designate two groups of areas: (1) Areas that have newly monitored violations of the 2010 SO2 NAAQS and (2) areas that contain any stationary sources that had not been announced as of March 2, 2015, for retirement and that, according to the EPA's Air Markets Database, emitted in 2012 either (i) more than 16,000 tons of SO2, or (ii) more than 2,600 tons of SO2 with an annual average emission rate of at least 0.45 pounds of SO2 per one million British thermal units (lbs SO2/mmBTU).

On March 20, 2015, the EPA sent letters to Governors notifying them of the schedule for completing the remaining designations for the 2010 1-hour SO2 NAAQS. The EPA offered states, including Texas, the opportunity to submit updated recommendations and supporting information for the EPA to consider for the affected areas. The EPA also notified states that the agency had updated its March 24, 2011, SO2 designations guidance to support analysis of designations and boundaries for the next rounds of designations. All of the states, including Texas, with affected areas submitted updated designation recommendations.

In a letter dated February 11, 2016, the EPA notified Texas of its intended designation of twelve Round 2 areas, including the four areas in Texas addressed in this final notice, as either nonattainment, unclassifiable/attainment, or unclassifiable for the SO2 NAAQS. Texas then had the opportunity to demonstrate why they believed the EPA's intended modification of their updated recommendations may be inappropriate. Although not required, as the EPA had done for the first round of SO2 designations, the EPA also provided an opportunity for members of the public to comment on the EPA's February 2016 response letters. The EPA published a notice of availability and public comment period for the intended designation on March 1, 2016 (81 FR 10563). The public comment period closed on March 31, 2016. The updated recommendations, the EPA's February 2016 responses to those letters, any modifications, and the subsequent state and public comment letters, are in the docket for the Round 2 SO2 designations at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464 and are available on the SO2 designations Web site.

Before taking final action, however, the parties to Sierra Club and NRDC v. McCarthy filed the first in a series of joint stipulations extending the deadline for these four areas in Texas, out to November 29, 2016.[2] In the final rule signed on June 30, 2016, the EPA promulgated designations for the Round 2 areas for which no extensions in the deadline had been obtained (including the eight other Texas areas) and explained the ongoing process for completing SO2 designations for all Start Printed Page 89873areas of the country by December 31, 2020 (see generally 81 FR 45042-43).

In these supplemental Round 2 designations, and consistent with the extended deadline under the consent decree, the EPA must designate the four areas in Texas associated with the following sources by November 29, 2016: The Big Brown Steam Electric Station in the Freestone and Anderson Counties Area, the Sandow Power Station in the Milam County Area, the Martin Lake Electrical Station in the Rusk and Panola Counties Area, and the Monticello Steam Electric Station in the Titus County Area.

V. What guidance did the EPA issue and how did the EPA apply the statutory requirements and applicable guidance to determine area designations and boundaries?

Following entry of the March 2, 2015, court order, the EPA issued updated designations guidance through a March 20, 2015, memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to Air Division Directors, U.S. EPA Regions 1-10 titled, “Updated Guidance for Area Designations for the 2010 Primary Sulfur Dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard.” As explained in the final rule addressing the second round of SO2 designations for other areas signed on June 30, 2016, this guidance contains the factors the EPA intends to evaluate in determining the appropriate designations and associated boundaries for all remaining areas in the country, including: (1) Air quality characterization via ambient monitoring or dispersion modeling results; (2) emissions-related data; (3) meteorology; (4) geography and topography; and (5) jurisdictional boundaries. See 81 FR at 45043. Additional information regarding relevant guidance relied upon in designating the other second round areas and that is also used in this supplemental action is available in the previously issued final rule. See id.

VI. What air quality information has the EPA used for these designations?

To inform designations for the SO2 NAAQS, air agencies have the flexibility to characterize air quality using either appropriately sited ambient air quality monitors or using modeling of actual or allowable source emissions. The EPA's non-binding Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (TAD) and Modeling TAD contain scientifically sound recommendations on how air agencies should conduct such monitoring or modeling. For the SO2 designations of the four Texas areas addressed in this supplemental action, the EPA is using the same approach taken for a number of areas designated in the final rule signed on June 30, 2016, and considering available air quality monitoring data from calendar years 2012-2015, and modeling submitted by the affected emissions sources and a public interest group. See 81 FR 45043. In the modeling runs, the impacts of the actual emissions for the 3-year periods 2012-2014 or 2013-2015 were considered. The 1-hour primary SO2 standard is violated at an ambient air quality monitoring site (or in the case of dispersion modeling, at an ambient air quality receptor location) when the 3-year average of the annual 99th percentile of the daily maximum 1-hour average concentrations exceeds 75 ppb, as determined in accordance with appendix T of 40 CFR part 50. The EPA has concluded that dispersion modeling shows that three Round 2 areas in Texas (portions of Freestone and Anderson Counties, portions of Rusk and Panola Counties, and portions of Titus County) are not meeting the 1-hour primary SO2 standard and we are, therefore, designating these areas as nonattainment. Based on available information, the EPA has also concluded that it cannot determine whether one Round 2 area in Texas (Milam County) is or is not meeting the 1-hour primary SO2 standard and whether the area contributes to a violation in a nearby area. Therefore, we are designating this area as unclassifiable. Details about the available information can be found in the supplemental technical support document in the docket for the Round 2 SO2 designations at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464.

VII. How do the designations supplementing the Round 2 designations affect Indian country?

For the designations in four areas of Texas for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS supplementing the Round 2 designations, the EPA is designating 3 state areas as nonattainment and 1 state area as unclassifiable. No areas of Indian country are being designated as part of this action.

VIII. Where can I find information forming the basis for this action and exchanges between the EPA, states and tribes related to this action?

Information providing the basis for this action can be found in several technical support documents (TSDs), a response to comments document (RTC) and other information in the docket. The TSDs, RTC, applicable EPA guidance memoranda and copies of correspondence regarding this process between the EPA and the states, tribes and other parties, are available for review at the EPA Docket Center listed above in the ADDRESSES section of this document and on the agency's SO2 Designations Web site at https://www.epa.gov/​sulfur-dioxide-designations. Area-specific questions can be addressed by the EPA Regional office (see contact information provided at the beginning of this notice).

IX. Environmental Justice Concerns

When the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to designate all areas of the U.S. as either nonattainment, attainment, or unclassifiable. This final action addresses designation determinations for four areas in Texas for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. Area designations address environmental justice concerns by ensuring that the public is properly informed about the air quality in an area. In locations where air quality does not meet the NAAQS, the CAA requires relevant state authorities to initiate appropriate air quality management actions to ensure that all those residing, working, attending school, or otherwise present in those areas are protected, regardless of minority and economic status.

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to designate areas as attaining or not attaining the NAAQS. The CAA then specifies requirements for areas based on whether such areas are attaining or not attaining the NAAQS. In this final rule, the EPA assigns designations to selected areas as required.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

This action is exempted from the Office of Management and Budget because it responds to the CAA requirement to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This action responds to the requirement to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. This requirement is prescribed in the CAA section 107 of title 1. This action does not contain any information collection activities.Start Printed Page 89874

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

This final rule is not subject to the RFA. The RFA applies only to rules subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other statute. This rule is not subject to notice-and-comment requirements under the APA but is subject to the CAA section 107(d)(2)(B) which does not require a notice-and-comment rulemaking to take this action.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

This action does not contain any unfunded mandates as described by URM, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

This final action does not have federalism implications. It 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.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments

This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This action concerns the designation of certain areas in the U.S. for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. The CAA provides for states and eligible tribes to develop plans to regulate emissions of air pollutants within their areas, as necessary, based on the designations. The Tribal Authority Rule (TAR) provides tribes the opportunity to apply for eligibility to develop and implement CAA programs, such as programs to attain and maintain the SO2 NAAQS, but it leaves to the discretion of the tribe the decision of whether to apply to develop these programs and which programs, or appropriate elements of a program, the tribe will seek to adopt. This rule does not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes. It does not create any additional requirements beyond those of the SO2 NAAQS. This rule establishes the designations for certain areas of the country for the SO2 NAAQS, but no areas of Indian country are being designated in this action. Furthermore, this rule does not affect the relationship or distribution of power and responsibilities between the federal government and Indian tribes. The CAA and the TAR establish the relationship of the federal government and tribes in developing plans to attain the NAAQS, and this rule does nothing to modify that relationship. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply.

Although Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule, after the EPA promulgated the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS, the EPA communicated with tribal leaders and environmental staff regarding the designations process. The EPA also sent individualized letters to all federally recognized tribes to explain the designation process for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS, to provide the EPA designations guidance, and to offer consultation with the EPA. The EPA provided further information to tribes through presentations at the National Tribal Forum and through participation in National Tribal Air Association conference calls. The EPA also sent individualized letters to all federally recognized tribes that submitted recommendations to the EPA about the EPA's intended designations for the SO2 standard and offered tribal leaders the opportunity for consultation. These communications provided opportunities for tribes to voice concerns to the EPA about the general designations process for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS, as well as concerns specific to a tribe, and informed the EPA about key tribal concerns regarding designations as the rule was under development. For this supplemental round of SO2 designations action, the EPA sent additional letters to tribes that could potentially be affected and offered additional opportunities for participation in the designations process. The communication letters to the tribes are provided in the dockets for Round 1 designations (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0233) and Round 2 designations (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464).

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

The action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is not an economically significant regulatory action as defined in Executive Order 12866. While not subject to the Executive Order, this final action may be especially important for asthmatics, including asthmatic children, living in SO2 nonattainment areas because respiratory effects in asthmatics are among the most sensitive health endpoints for SO2 exposure. Because asthmatic children are considered a sensitive population, the EPA evaluated the potential health effects of exposure to SO2 pollution among asthmatic children as part of the EPA's prior action establishing the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. These effects and the size of the population affected are summarized in the EPA's final SO2 NAAQS rules. See http://www3.epa.gov/​ttn/​naaqs/​standards/​so2/​fr/​20100622.pdf.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

This action does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

The EPA believes this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income populations and or indigenous peoples, as specified Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). The documentation for this decision is contained in Section IX of this document.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

The CRA, 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 U.S. The 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 U.S. 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). This rule will be effective January 12, 2017.

L. Judicial Review

Section 307 (b) (1) of the CAA indicates which Federal Courts of Appeal have venue for petitions for review of final actions by the EPA. This section provides, in part, that petitions for review must be filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: (i) When the agency action consists of “nationally applicable Start Printed Page 89875regulations promulgated, or final actions taken, by the Administrator,” or (ii) when such action is locally or regionally applicable, if “such action is based on a determination of nationwide scope or effect and if in taking such action the Administrator finds and publishes that such action is based on such a determination.”

This final action designating areas for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS is “nationally applicable” within the meaning of section 307(b)(1). As explained in the preamble, this final action supplements the June 30, 2016 final action taken by the EPA to issue a second round of designations for areas across the U.S. for the 2010 primary SO2 NAAQS. EPA determined the June 30, 2016 final action was “nationally applicable” within the meaning of section 307(b)(1). 81 FR 45045. The rulemaking docket, EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0464, is the same docket for both the June 30, 2016 action and for this supplemental action, with the relevant difference being that in addition to the materials it contained regarding these four Texas areas generated through June 30, 2016—the date that action was signed by the Administrator—it now also contains the final technical support documents and responses to comments related to these four areas. Both the June 30, 2016 action and this supplemental action were proposed in a single March 1, 2016, notice announcing the EPA's intended Round 2 designations and were taken to discharge a duty under the court order to issue a round of designations of areas with sources meeting common criteria in the court order. As explained in the June 30, 2016 final rule, at the core of that final action and this supplemental final action is the EPA's interpretation of the definitions of nonattainment, attainment and unclassifiable under section 107(d)(1) of the CAA, and its application of that interpretation to areas across the country. Id. Accordingly, the Administrator has determined that this supplemental final action, which results from the same proposed action as the June 30, 2016 final action, is nationally applicable and is hereby publishing that finding in the Federal Register.

For the same reasons, the Administrator also is finding that this supplemental final action is based on a determination of nationwide scope and effect for the purposes of section 307(b)(1). As previously explained in the June 30, 2016 final action, in the report on the 1977 Amendments that revised section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, Congress noted that the Administrator's determination that an action is of “nationwide scope or effect” would be appropriate for any action that has a scope or effect beyond a single judicial circuit. H.R. Rep. No. 95-294 at 323, 324, reprinted in 1977 U.S.C.C.A.N. 1402-03. 81 FR 45045. Here, the June 30, 2016 final action and this supplemental final action combined issue designations in 65 areas in 24 states and extend to numerous judicial circuits. In these circumstances, section 307(b)(1) and its legislative history calls for the Administrator to find the action to be of “nationwide scope or effect” and for venue to be in the D.C. Circuit. Therefore, like the June 30, 2016 final action it supplements, see 81 FR at 45045, this final action is based on a determination by the Administrator of nationwide scope or effect, and the Administrator is hereby publishing that finding in the Federal Register.

Thus, any petitions for review of these final designations must be filed in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit within 60 days from the date final action is published in the Federal Register.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

  • Environmental protection
  • Air pollution control
  • National parks
  • Wilderness areas
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: November 29, 2016.

Gina McCarthy,

Administrator.

End Signature

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 81 is amended as follows:

Start Part

PART 81—DESIGNATIONS OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq.

End Authority

Subpart C—Section 107 Attainment Status Designations

Start Amendment Part

2. Section 81.344 is amended by revising the table titled “Texas—2010 Sulfur Dioxide NAAQS (Primary)” to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Texas.
* * * * *

Texas—2010 Sulfur Dioxide NAAQS (Primary)

Designated areaDesignation
DateType
Freestone and Anderson Counties, TX 11/12/17Nonattainment.
Freestone County (part) and Anderson County (part)
Those portions of Freestone and Anderson Counties encompassed by the rectangle with the vertices using Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates in UTM zone 14 with datum NAD83 as follows:
(1) Vertices—UTM Easting (m) 766752.69, UTM Northing (m) 3536333.0,
(2) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 784752.69, UTM Northing (m) 3536333.0,
(3) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 784752.69, UTM Northing (m) 3512333.0,
(4) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 766752.69, UTM Northing (m) 3512333.0
Rusk and Panola Counties, TX 11/12/17Nonattainment.
Rusk County (part) and Panola County (part)
Those portions of Rusk and Panola Counties encompassed by the rectangle with the vertices using Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates in UTM zone 15 with datum NAD83 as follows:
(1) Vertices—UTM Easting (m) 340067.31, UTM Northing (m) 3575814.75
(2) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 356767.31, UTM Northing (m) 3575814.75
(3) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 356767.31, UTM Northing (m) 3564314.75
(4) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 340067.31, UTM Northing (m) 3564314.75
Titus County, TX 11/12/17Nonattainment.
Titus County (part)
That portion of Titus County encompassed by the rectangle with the vertices using Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates in UTM zone 15 with datum NAD83 as follows:
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(1) Vertices—UTM Easting (m) 304329.030, UTM Northing (m) 3666971.0,
(2) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 311629.030, UTM Northing (m) 3666971.0,
(3) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 311629.03, UTM Northing (m) 3661870.5,
(4) vertices—UTM Easting (m) 304329.03, UTM Northing (m) 3661870.5
Milam County, TX 11/12/17Unclassifiable.
Milam County, TX
Potter County, TX  19/12/16Unclassifiable.
Potter County, TX
Atascosa County, TX 19/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Atascosa County, TX
Fort Bend County, TX 19/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Fort Bend County
Goliad County, TX 19/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Goliad County
Lamb County, TX 19/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Lamb County
Limestone County, TX 29/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Limestone County
McLennan County, TX 29/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
McLennan County, TX
Robertson County, TX 29/12/16Unclassifiable/Attainment.
Robertson County
1 Excludes Indian country located in each area, if any, unless otherwise specified.
2 Includes Indian country located in each area, if any, unless otherwise specified.
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  This view was confirmed in Catawba County v. EPA, 571 F.3d 20 (D.C. Cir. 2009).

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2.  The parties to Sierra Club and NRDC v. McCarthy also filed a joint stipulation extending the Round 2 designation deadline for the Muskogee County Area in Oklahoma out to December 31, 2016.

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[FR Doc. 2016-29561 Filed 12-12-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P