Skip to Content

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the 'Feedback' button on the bottom right of each page!


Air Plan Approvals; TN; Prevention of Significant Deterioration Infrastructure Requirements for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Final rule.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conditionally approving portions of the Tennessee infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission for the 2015 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) provided to EPA on September 13, 2018. Whenever EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) requires that states adopt and submit a SIP submission to establish that the state's SIP meets infrastructure requirements for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each such NAAQS. Specifically, EPA is taking final action to conditionally approve the portions of the Tennessee infrastructure SIP submission related to the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) infrastructure Start Printed Page 19889elements for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS.


This rule will be effective May 11, 2020.


EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2019-0203. All documents in the docket are listed on the website. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., 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 either electronically through or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air and Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person 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 Federal holidays.

Start Further Info


Nacosta C. Ward of the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air and Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Ward can be reached by telephone at (404) 562-9140 or via electronic mail at

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


I. Background and Overview

On October 1, 2015, EPA promulgated revised primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone, revising the 8-hour ozone standards from 0.075 parts per million (ppm) to a new more protective level of 0.070 ppm. See 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015). Pursuant to section 110(a)(1) of the CAA, states are required to submit SIP revisions meeting the applicable requirements of section 110(a)(2) within three years after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS or within such shorter period as EPA may prescribe. Section 110(a)(2) requires states to address basic SIP elements such as requirements for monitoring, basic program requirements, and legal authority that are designed to assure attainment and maintenance of the NAAQS. This particular type of SIP is commonly referred to as an “infrastructure SIP.” States were required to submit such SIP revisions for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS to EPA no later than October 1, 2018.[1]

As explained in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published February 11, 2020 (85 FR 7692), Tennessee cites to Tennessee Air Pollution Control Regulations (TAPCR) 1200-03-09-.01(4) “Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality” to demonstrate that its SIP meets the PSD-related infrastructure requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3),[2] and 110(a)(2)(J). Each of these requirements are met if the State's SIP includes a PSD program that meets current federal requirements, however, Tennessee's SIP-approved PSD program does not contain or reference the most recent version of 40 CFR part 51, appendix W, Guideline on Air Quality Models.[3] Therefore, on November 15, 2019, TDEC submitted a commitment letter to EPA requesting conditional approval of the PSD-related program requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3) and 110(a)(2)(J) of the aforementioned infrastructure SIP submission. In its commitment letter, Tennessee commits to satisfy the PSD program requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3), and 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS by revising their PSD regulations to reflect the most recent version of appendix W and submitting SIP revisions containing these revised rules within one year of final conditional approval.

If Tennessee meets its commitment to submit the SIP revision(s) within one year of the final conditional approval, the PSD-related requirements of sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3) and 110(a)(2)(J) of the conditionally approved infrastructure SIP submissions will remain a part of the SIP until EPA takes final action approving or disapproving the new SIP revision(s). However, if the State fails to submit these revisions within the one-year timeframe, the conditional approval will automatically become a disapproval one year from EPA's final conditional approval and EPA will provide notification of the disapproval of these requirements. If the conditional approval is converted to a disapproval, the final disapproval triggers the FIP requirement under CAA section 110(c).

In the NPRM published on February 11, 2020 (85 FR 7692), EPA proposed to conditionally approve Tennessee's SIP submission provided on September 13, 2018, for the applicable PSD-related infrastructure SIP requirements of the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The NPRM provides additional detail regarding the background and rationale for EPA's action. Comments on the NPRM were due on or before March 12, 2020, no adverse comments were received.

II. Final Action

EPA is taking final action to conditionally approve the portions of Tennessee's September 13, 2018, 2015 8-hour ozone infrastructure SIP submission that address the PSD-related requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3), and 110(a)(2)(J). All other outstanding applicable infrastructure requirements for this SIP submission have been or will be addressed in separate rulemakings.

III. 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. This action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and do 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);
  • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;
  • 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.);Start Printed Page 19890
  • 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 June 8, 2020. 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. 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
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Particulate matter
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Volatile organic compounds
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: March 17, 2020.

Mary S. Walker,

Regional Administrator, Region 4.

End Signature

40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

Start Part


End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

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

End Authority

Subpart RR—Tennessee

Start Amendment Part

2. Amend § 52.2219 by designating the text as paragraph (a) and adding paragraph (b) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Conditional approval.

(a) * * *

(b) Tennessee submitted a letter to EPA on November 15, 2019, with a commitment to address the State Implementation Plan deficiencies regarding the PSD-related requirements of CAA sections 110(a)(2)(C), 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (Prong 3), and 110(a)(2)(J) for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA conditionally approved these portions of Tennessee's September 13, 2018, infrastructure SIP submission in an action published in the Federal Register on April 9, 2020. If Tennessee fails to meet its commitment by April 9, 2021, the conditional approval will become a disapproval on that date and EPA will issue a notification to that effect.

End Supplemental Information


1.  In infrastructure SIP submissions, states generally certify evidence of compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2) of the CAA through a combination of state regulations and statutes, some of which have been incorporated into the SIP. In addition, certain federally-approved, non-SIP regulations may also be appropriate for demonstrating compliance with sections 110(a)(1) and (2).

Back to Citation

2.  Section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) contains a provision that prohibits emissions activity in one state interfering with measures required to prevent significant deterioration of air quality in another state, which is commonly referred to as “prong 3.”

Back to Citation

3.  EPA approved the most recent version of appendix W on January 17, 2017, at 82 FR 5182.

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2020-06586 Filed 4-8-20; 8:45 am]