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Notice

Proposed Partial Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice of proposed partial consent decree; request for public comment.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with section 113(g) of the Clean Air Act, as amended (“CAA” or the “Act”), notice is given of a proposed partial consent decree in Sierra Club v. Pruitt, No. 1:17-cv-02174-APM (D.D.C.). On October 19, 2017, Sierra Club filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) failed to perform a non-discretionary duty to assess and report to Congress on the environmental and resource conservation impacts of the Energy Independence and Security Act's (EISA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, failed to complete the required anti-backsliding study to determine whether the vehicle and engine air pollutant emissions changes resulting from the RFS program's renewable fuel volumes adversely impact air quality, and failed to promulgate fuel regulations to implement appropriate measures to mitigate any such adverse impacts or make a determination that such regulations were unnecessary. The proposed partial consent decree would establish a deadline for EPA to take action on the anti-backsliding study.

DATES:

Written comments on the proposed partial consent decree must be received by March 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OGC-2018-0818, online at www.regulations.gov (EPA's preferred method). For comments submitted at www.regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from www.regulations.gov. 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, please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/​dockets/​commenting-epa-dockets.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Seth Buchsbaum, Air and Radiation Law Office (2344A), Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone: (202) 564-2484; email address: buchsbaum.seth@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Additional Information About the Proposed Partial Consent Decree

The proposed partial consent decree would partially resolve a lawsuit filed by Sierra Club seeking to compel the Administrator to take action under the Clean Air Act to complete a study to determine whether the vehicle and engine air pollutant emissions changes resulting from the RFS program's renewable fuel volumes adversely impact air quality (Anti-backsliding Study), and either promulgate fuel regulations to implement appropriate measures to mitigate any such adverse impacts or make a determination that such regulations are unnecessary (Follow-up Action).

Under the terms of the proposed partial consent decree, EPA shall Start Printed Page 5673complete the Anti-backsliding Study on or before March 30, 2020. In addition, within three months of completing the Anti-backsliding Study, if the parties cannot reach an agreement on a deadline for the Follow-up Action, they will promptly submit a joint motion (or, if the Parties are unable to agree, separate motions) to govern further proceedings.

For a period of thirty (30) days following the date of publication of this notice, the Agency will accept written comments relating to the proposed partial consent decree from persons who are not named as parties or intervenors to the litigation in question. EPA or the Department of Justice may withdraw or withhold consent to the proposed partial consent decree if the comments disclose facts or considerations that indicate that such consent is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the Act.

II. Additional Information About Commenting on the Proposed Partial Consent Decree

A. How can I get a copy of the partial consent decree?

The official public docket for this action (identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OGC-2018-0818) contains a copy of the proposed partial consent decree. The official public docket is available for public viewing at the Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket in the EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

An electronic version of the public docket is available through www.regulations.gov. You may use www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, key in the appropriate docket identification number then select “search.”

It is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing online at www.regulations.gov without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information claimed as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute is not included in the official public docket or in the electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material, including copyrighted material contained in a public comment, will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the EPA Docket Center.

B. How and to whom do I submit comments?

You may submit comments as provided in the ADDRESSES section. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments.

If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an email address or other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. Any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. 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.

Use of the www.regulations.gov website to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. The electronic public docket system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, email address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's electronic mail (email) system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an email comment directly to the Docket without going through www.regulations.gov, your email address is automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

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Dated: January 30, 2019.

Gautam Srinivasan,

Acting Associate General Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 2019-03108 Filed 2-21-19; 8:45 am]

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