[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 212 (Wednesday, November 3, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59644-59648]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-28386]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR PART 52

[OH 129-1a; FRL-6464-5]


Approval and Promulgation of Maintenance Plan Revisions; Ohio

AGENCY: United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: USEPA is approving an August 19, 1999, request from Ohio for a 
State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision of the Columbiana County ozone 
maintenance plan. The maintenance plan revision establishes a new 
transportation conformity mobile source emissions budget for the year 
2005. USEPA is approving the allocation of a portion of the safety 
margin for oxides of nitrogen (NOX) to the area's 2005 
mobile source emissions budget for transportation conformity purposes. 
This allocation will still maintain the total emissions for the area at 
or below the attainment level required by the transportation conformity 
regulations. The transportation conformity budget for volatile organic 
compounds will remain the same as previously approved in the 
maintenance plan.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 3, 2000, unless USEPA receives 
adverse written comments by December 3, 1999. If adverse comment is 
received, USEPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in the 
Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take 
effect.

ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: J. Elmer Bortzer, Chief, 
Regulation Development Section, Air Programs Branch, (AR-18J), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West

[[Page 59645]]

Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois, 60604.
    You may inspect copies of the documents relevant to this action 
during normal business hours at the following location:

Regulation Development Section, Air Programs Branch, (AR-18J), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, 
Chicago, Illinois, 60604.

    Please contact Patricia Morris at (312) 353-8656 before visiting 
the Region 5 office.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Morris, Environmental 
Scientist, Regulation Development Section, Air Programs Branch (AR-
18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson 
Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-8656.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document wherever ``we'', 
``us'', or ``our'' are used we mean USEPA.
    This Supplementary Information section is organized as follows:

What action is USEPA taking today?
Who is affected by this action?
How did the State support its request?
What is transportation conformity?
What is an emissions budget?
What is a safety margin?
How does this action change the Columbiana County ozone maintenance 
plan?
Why is the request approvable?
USEPA Action.
Administrative Requirements.

What Action is USEPA Taking Today?

    In this action, we are approving a revision to the ozone 
maintenance plan for Columbiana County, Ohio. The revision will change 
the mobile source emissions budget for NOX that is used for 
transportation conformity purposes. The revision will keep the total 
emissions for the area at or below the attainment level required by 
law. This action will allow State or local agencies to maintain air 
quality while providing for transportation growth.

Who Is Affected by This Action?

    Primarily, the transportation sector represented by Ohio Department 
of Transportation and persons needing to travel through Columbiana 
County will be affected by this revision. A proposed project to build a 
new 4 lane highway through a portion of Columbiana County would produce 
higher emissions than currently allowed in the maintenance plan. The 
conformity rule, however, provides that if a ``safety margin'' exists 
in the maintenance plan, then the safety margin can be allocated to the 
transportation sector via the mobile source budget.

How Did the State Support This Request?

    On August 19, 1999, Ohio submitted to USEPA a SIP revision request 
for the Columbiana County ozone maintenance area. A public hearing on 
this proposal was held on September 22, 1999. No one from the public 
commented on the proposed revisions. At the public hearing Ohio 
officially changed the request from 1 ton per day of NOX to 
0.5 ton per day of NOX to be allocated to the mobile source 
budget.
    In the submittal, Ohio requested to establish a new 2005 mobile 
source emissions budget for NOX for the Columbiana County, 
Ohio, ozone maintenance area. The State originally requested that 1 ton 
per day of NOX be allocated from the maintenance plan's 
safety margin. After comment from USEPA, however, the request was 
changed to 0.5 ton per day of NOX. The 0.5 ton per day 
change will accommodate the proposed highway and leave a safety margin 
for future use. The mobile source budgets are used for transportation 
conformity purposes.

What Is Transportation Conformity?

    Transportation conformity means that the level of emissions from 
the transportation sector (cars, trucks and buses) must be consistent 
with the requirements in the SIP to attain and maintain the air quality 
standards. The Clean Air Act, in section 176(c), requires conformity of 
transportation plans, programs and projects to an implementation plan's 
purpose of attaining and maintaining the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards. On November 24, 1993, USEPA published a final rule 
establishing criteria and procedures for determining if transportation 
plans, programs and projects funded or approved under Title 23 U.S.C. 
or the Federal Transit Act conform to the SIP.
    The transportation conformity rules require an ozone maintenance 
area, such as Columbiana County, to compare the actual projected 
emissions from cars, trucks and buses on the highway network, to the 
mobile source emissions budget established by a maintenance plan. The 
Columbiana County area has an approved ozone maintenance plan. Our 
approval of the maintenance plan established the mobile source 
emissions budgets for transportation conformity purposes.

What Is an Emissions Budget?

    An emissions budget is the projected level of controlled emissions 
from the transportation sector (mobile sources) that is estimated in 
the SIP. The SIP controls emissions through regulations, for example, 
on fuels and exhaust levels for cars. The emissions budget concept is 
further explained in the preamble to the November 24, 1993, 
transportation conformity rule (58 FR 62188). The preamble also 
describes how to establish the mobile source emissions budget in the 
SIP and how to revise the emissions budget. The transportation 
conformity rule allows the mobile source emissions budget to be changed 
as long as the total level of emissions from all sources remains below 
the attainment level.

What Is a Safety Margin?

    A ``safety margin'' is the difference between the attainment level 
of emissions (from all sources) and the projected level of emissions 
(from all sources) in the maintenance plan. The attainment level of 
emissions is the level of emissions during one of the years in which 
the area met the air quality health standard. For example: Columbiana 
County was monitoring attainment of the one hour ozone standard during 
the 1988-1990 time period. The State uses 1990 as the attainment level 
of emissions for Columbiana County. The emissions from County point, 
area and mobile sources in 1990 equaled 23.98 tons per day of VOC and 
11.66 tons per day of NOX. The Ohio Environmental Protection 
Agency projected emissions out to the year 2005 and projected a total 
of 18.70 tons per day of VOC and 10.02 tons per day of NOX 
from all sources in Columbiana County. The safety margin for the County 
is calculated to be the difference between these amounts or 5.28 tons 
per day of VOC and 1.64 tons per day of NOX. Table 1 gives 
detailed information on the estimated emissions from each source 
category and the safety margin calculation.
    The 2005 emission projections reflect the point, area and mobile 
source reductions and are illustrated in Table 1.

        Table 1.--NOX and VOC Emissions Budget; and Safety Margin
                    Determinations, Columbiana County
                               [Tons/day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Source Category                      1990      2005
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          VOC Emission
Point...............................................      1.89      2.25
Mobile..............................................     11.69      5.65
Area................................................     10.40     10.80
                                                     -------------------
  Totals............................................     23.98    18.70

[[Page 59646]]

 
 Safety Margin = 1990 total emissions--2005 total emissions = 5.28 tons/
                                 day VOC
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         NOX Emissions
Point...............................................      0.06      0.07
Mobile..............................................      7.00      5.05
Area................................................      4.60      4.90
                                                     -------------------
  Totals............................................     11.66    10.02
 Safety Margin = 1990 total emissions--2005 total emissions = 1.64 tons/
                                 day NOX
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The emissions are projected to maintain the area's air quality 
consistent with the air quality health standard. The safety margin 
credit can be allocated to the transportation sector. The total 
emission level, even with this allocation will be below the attainment 
level or safety level and thus is acceptable. The safety margin is the 
extra safety [points] that can be allocated as long as the total level 
is maintained.

How Does This Action Change the Columbiana County Zone Maintenance 
Plan?

    It raises the NOX emissions budget for mobile sources. 
The maintenance plan is designed to provide for future growth while 
still maintaining the ozone air quality standard. Growth in industries, 
population, and traffic is offset with reductions from cleaner cars and 
other emission reduction programs. Through the maintenance plan the 
State and local agencies can manage and maintain air quality while 
providing for growth.
    In the submittal, Ohio requested to allocate part of the area's 
safety margin to the mobile source emissions budget. The Columbiana 
County area's safety margin is the difference between the 1990 
attainment inventory year and the 2005 projected emissions inventory 
(5.28 tons /day VOC safety margin, and 1.64 tons/day NOX 
safety margin) as shown in Table 1. The SIP revision requests the 
allocation of 0.5 ton/day NOX, into the area's mobile source 
NOX emissions budget from the safety margin. The 2005 mobile 
source NOX emissions budget showing the safety margin 
allocations are outlined in Table 2. The mobile source NOX 
emissions budget in Table 2 will be used for transportation conformity 
purposes.
    Table 2 below illustrates that the requested portion of the safety 
margin can be allocated to the 2005 mobile source budget and that total 
emissions will still remain at or below the 1990 attainment level of 
total emissions for the Columbiana County maintenance area. Since the 
area would still be at or below the 1990 attainment level for the total 
emissions, this allocation is allowed by the conformity rule. The VOC 
budget and safety margin will remain the same.

     Table 2.--Allocation of Safety Margin to the 2005 Mobile Source
                   Emissions Budget, Columbiana County
                               [Tons/day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Source category                      1990      2005
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                         NOX Emissions
Point...............................................      0.06      0.07
Mobile..............................................      7.00      5.55
Area................................................      4.60      4.90
                                                     -------------------
  Total.............................................     11.66     10.52
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Remaining Safety Margin = 1990 total emissions -2005 total 
emissions = 1.14 tons/day NOX

Why is the Request Approvable?

    After review of the SIP revision request, USEPA finds that the 
requested allocation of the safety margin for the Columbiana County 
area is approvable because the new mobile source emissions budget for 
NOX maintains the total emissions for the area at or below 
the attainment year inventory level as required by the transportation 
conformity regulations. This allocation is allowed by the conformity 
rule since the area would still be at or below the 1990 attainment 
level for the total emissions.

USEPA Action

    USEPA is approving the requested allocation of the safety margin to 
the mobile source NOX emission budget for the Columbiana 
County ozone maintenance area.
    USEPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because 
USEPA views this as a noncontroversial revision and anticipates no 
adverse comments. However, in a separate document in this Federal 
Register publication, USEPA is proposing to approve the SIP revision 
should adverse written comments be filed. This action will be effective 
without further notice unless USEPA receives relevant adverse written 
comment by December 3, 1999. Should the Agency receive such comments, 
it will publish a final rule informing the public that this action will 
not take effect. Any parties interested in commenting on this action 
should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public 
is advised that this action will be effective on January 3, 2000.

Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this 
regulatory action from Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, entitled 
``Regulatory Planning and Review.''

B. Executive Orders on Federalism

    Under E.O. 12875, USEPA may not issue a regulation that is not 
required by statute and that creates a mandate upon a state, local, or 
tribal government, unless the Federal government provides the funds 
necessary to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by those 
governments. If the mandate is unfunded, USEPA must provide to the 
Office of Management and Budget a description of the extent of USEPA's 
prior consultation with representatives of affected state, local, and 
tribal governments, the nature of their concerns, copies of written 
communications from the governments, and a statement supporting the 
need to issue the regulation.
    In addition, E.O. 12875 requires USEPA to develop an effective 
process permitting elected officials and other representatives of 
state, local, and tribal governments ``to provide meaningful and timely 
input in the development of regulatory proposals containing significant 
unfunded mandates.'' Today's rule does not create a mandate on state, 
local or tribal governments. The rule does not impose any enforceable 
duties on these entities. Accordingly, the requirements of section 1(a) 
of E.O. 12875 do not apply to this rule.
    On August 4, 1999, President Clinton issued a new executive order 
on federalism, Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255 (August 10, 1999),) 
which will take effect on November 2, 1999. In the interim, the current 
Executive Order 12612 [52 FR 41685 (October 30, 1987),] on federalism 
still applies. This rule will not have a substantial direct effect on 
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 12612. 
The rule affects only one State, and does not alter the relationship or 
the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean 
Air Act.

C. Executive Order 13045

    Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), applies to any rule that: (1) is 
determined to be ``economically

[[Page 59647]]

significant'' as defined under E.O. 12866, and (2) concerns an 
environmental health or safety risk that USEPA has reason to believe 
may have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory 
action meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental 
health or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain 
why the planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective 
and reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.
    This rule is not subject to E.O. 13045 because it does not involve 
decisions intended to mitigate environmental health or safety risks.

D. Executive Order 13084

    Under E.O. 13084, USEPA may not issue a regulation that is not 
required by statute, that significantly affects or uniquely affects the 
communities of Indian tribal governments, and that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs on those communities, unless the Federal 
government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance 
costs incurred by the tribal governments. If the mandate is unfunded, 
USEPA must provide to the Office of Management and Budget, in a 
separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a 
description of the extent of USEPA's prior consultation with 
representatives of affected tribal governments, a summary of the nature 
of their concerns, and a statement supporting the need to issue the 
regulation.
    In addition, E.O. 13084 requires USEPA to develop an effective 
process permitting elected and other representatives of Indian tribal 
governments ``to provide meaningful and timely input in the development 
of regulatory policies on matters that significantly or uniquely affect 
their communities.'' Today's rule does not significantly or uniquely 
affect the communities of Indian tribal governments. Accordingly, the 
requirements of section 3(b) of E.O. 13084 do not apply to this rule.

E. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency 
to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small 
businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental 
jurisdictions.
    This final rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial 
number of small entities because SIP approvals under section 110 and 
subchapter I, part D of the Clean Air Act do not create any new 
requirements but simply approve requirements that the State is already 
imposing. Therefore, because the Federal SIP approval does not create 
any new requirements, I certify that this action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    Moreover, due to the nature of the Federal-State relationship under 
the Clean Air Act, preparation of flexibility analysis would constitute 
Federal inquiry into the economic reasonableness of state action. The 
Clean Air Act forbids EPA to base its actions concerning SIPs on such 
grounds. Union Electric Co., v. U.S. EPA, 427 U.S. 246, 255-66 (1976); 
42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(2).

F. Unfunded Mandates

    Under Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(``Unfunded Mandates Act''), signed into law on March 22, 1995, USEPA 
must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or 
final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated 
annual costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; 
or to private sector, of $100 million or more. Under Section 205, USEPA 
must select the most cost-effective and least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with 
statutory requirements. Section 203 requires USEPA to establish a plan 
for informing and advising any small governments that may be 
significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.
    USEPA has determined that the approval action promulgated does not 
include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated annual costs of 
$100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in 
the aggregate, or to the private sector. This Federal action approves 
pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new 
requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or 
tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.

G. Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

    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. USEPA will submit a report containing this rule 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 rule is not a ``major'' rule as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).

H. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act 
(NTTAA) of 1995 requires Federal agencies to evaluate existing 
technical standards when developing a new regulation. To comply with 
NTTAA, USEPA must consider and use ``voluntary consensus standards'' 
(VCS) if available and applicable when developing programs and policies 
unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise 
impractical.
    USEPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to this action. Today's 
action does not require the public to perform activities conducive to 
the use of VCS.

I. Petitions for Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for 
judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 3, 2000. 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 may not be challenged later in proceedings 
to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Hydrocarbons, 
Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Nitrogen oxides, Transportation 
conformity.

    Dated: October 20, 1999.
Francis X. Lyons,
Regional Administrator.

    Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is 
amended as follows:

PART 52--[AMENDED]

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


[[Page 59648]]


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

Subpart KK--Ohio

    2. Section 52.1885 is amended by adding paragraph (a)(13) to read 
as follows:


Sec. 52.1885  Control Strategy: Ozone.

    (a) * * *
    (13) Approval--On August 19, 1999, Ohio submitted a revision to the 
ozone maintenance plan for the Columbiana County area. The revision 
consists of allocating a portion of the Columbiana County area's 
NOX safety margin to the transportation conformity mobile 
source emissions budget. The mobile source emissions budgets for 
transportation conformity purposes for the Columbiana County area are 
now: 5.65 tons per day of volatile organic compound emissions for the 
year 2005 and 5.55 tons per day of oxides of nitrogen emissions for the 
year 2005. This approval only changes the NOX transportation 
conformity emission budget for Columbiana County.

[FR Doc. 99-28386 Filed 11-2-99; 8:45 am]
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