[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 65 (Wednesday, April 5, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17050-17052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-4940]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R03-OAR-2006-0153; FRL-8053-9]


Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; 
Virginia; Revised Definition of ``Volatile Organic Compound''

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: EPA is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) 
revision submitted by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 
This revision amends Virginia regulation 9 VAC 5-10-20 by updating the 
definition of ``volatile organic compound''. This action is being taken 
under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before May 5, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA-
R03-OAR-2006-0153 by one of the following methods:
    A. http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    B. E-mail: morris.makeba@epa.gov.
    C. Mail: EPA-R03-OAR-2006-0153, Makeba Morris, Chief, Air Quality 
Planning Branch, Mailcode 3AP21, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.
    D. Hand Delivery: At the previously-listed EPA Region III address. 
Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R03-OAR-
2006-0153. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change, and may be made available online 
at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://
www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. 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. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses.
    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the 
http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI 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 in http://
www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the 
Air Protection Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 
III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103. Copies of the 
State submittal are available at the Virginia Department of 
Environmental Quality, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Helene Drago, (215) 814-5796, or by e-
mail at drago.helene@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 12, 2006, the Virginia Department 
of Environmental Quality submitted a revision to its State 
Implementation Plan (SIP). The revision updated the definition of 
``volatile organic compound''. The revision consists of amendments to 
Regulation 9 VAC 5-10-20 ``Terms defined''.

I. Background

    The Virginia Register of Regulations defines ``volatile organic 
compound'' at

[[Page 17051]]

9 VAC 5-10-20 under ``Terms defined''. On January 12, 2006, the 
Commonwealth submitted a SIP revision request which updated the 
definition of ``volatile organic compound''.

II. Summary of SIP Revision

    On January 12, 2006, the Commonwealth submitted a SIP revision 
request which amends the definition of ``volatile organic compound'' 
found under 9 VAC 5-10-20. The amendment revises the definition of the 
term ``volatile organic compound'' to exclude four compounds that have 
been demonstrated to be less reactive: 1,1,1,2,2,3,3-heptafluoro-3-
methoxy-propane, 3-ethoxy-1,1,1,2,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-dodecafluoro-2-
(trifluoromethyl) hexane, 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropane, and methyl 
formate. The definition of VOC has also been revised in order to 
partially exclude t-butyl acetate. The amendment states that the 
compound, t-butyl acetate, should be considered to be a VOC for record 
keeping, emissions reporting, photochemical dispersion modeling and 
inventory requirements that apply to VOCs and should be uniquely 
identified in emission reports, but it is not a VOC for purposes of VOC 
emission standards, emission limitations, or content requirements. This 
definition update is consistent with Federal regulations.

III. General Information Pertaining to SIP Submittals From the 
Commonwealth of Virginia

    In 1995, Virginia adopted legislation that provides, subject to 
certain conditions, for an environmental assessment (audit) 
``privilege'' for voluntary compliance evaluations performed by a 
regulated entity. The legislation further addresses the relative burden 
of proof for parties either asserting the privilege or seeking 
disclosure of documents for which the privilege is claimed. Virginia's 
legislation also provides, subject to certain conditions, for a penalty 
waiver for violations of environmental laws when a regulated entity 
discovers such violations pursuant to a voluntary compliance evaluation 
and voluntarily discloses such violations to the Commonwealth and takes 
prompt and appropriate measures to remedy the violations. Virginia's 
Voluntary Environmental Assessment Privilege Law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-
1198, provides a privilege that protects from disclosure documents and 
information about the content of those documents that are the product 
of a voluntary environmental assessment. The Privilege Law does not 
extend to documents or information (1) that are generated or developed 
before the commencement of a voluntary environmental assessment; (2) 
that are prepared independently of the assessment process; (3) that 
demonstrate a clear, imminent and substantial danger to the public 
health or environment; or (4) that are required by law.
    On January 12, 1998, the Commonwealth of Virginia Office of the 
Attorney General provided a legal opinion that states that the 
Privilege law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1198, precludes granting a privilege 
to documents and information ``required by law,'' including documents 
and information ``required by Federal law to maintain program 
delegation, authorization or approval,'' since Virginia must ``enforce 
Federally authorized environmental programs in a manner that is no less 
stringent than their Federal counterparts * * *.'' The opinion 
concludes that ``[r]egarding Sec.  10.1-1198, therefore, documents or 
other information needed for civil or criminal enforcement under one of 
these programs could not be privileged because such documents and 
information are essential to pursuing enforcement in a manner required 
by Federal law to maintain program delegation, authorization or 
approval.''
    Virginia's Immunity law, Va. Code Sec. 10.1-1199, provides that 
``[t]o the extent consistent with requirements imposed by Federal 
law,'' any person making a voluntary disclosure of information to a 
state agency regarding a violation of an environmental statute, 
regulation, permit, or administrative order is granted immunity from 
administrative or civil penalty. The Attorney General's January 12, 
1998 opinion states that the quoted language renders this statute 
inapplicable to enforcement of any Federally authorized programs, since 
``no immunity could be afforded from administrative, civil, or criminal 
penalties because granting such immunity would not be consistent with 
Federal law, which is one of the criteria for immunity.''
    Therefore, EPA has determined that Virginia's Privilege and 
Immunity statutes will not preclude the Commonwealth from enforcing its 
program consistent with the Federal requirements. In any event, because 
EPA has also determined that a state audit privilege and immunity law 
can affect only state enforcement and cannot have any impact on Federal 
enforcement authorities, EPA may at any time invoke its authority under 
the Clean Air Act, including, for example, sections 113, 167, 205, 211 
or 213, to enforce the requirements or prohibitions of the state plan, 
independently of any state enforcement effort. In addition, citizen 
enforcement under section 304 of the Clean Air Act is likewise 
unaffected by this, or any, state audit privilege or immunity law.

IV. Proposed Action

    EPA's review of this material indicates the revision will not cause 
or contribute to a violation the NAAQS. EPA is proposing to approve the 
Virginia SIP revision concerning the updating of the definition of 
``volatile organic compound'', which was submitted on January 12, 2006. 
EPA is soliciting public comments on the issues discussed in this 
document. These comments will be considered before taking final action.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this 
proposed action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' and 
therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and 
Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive 
Order 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 Fed. Reg. 28355 (May 22, 
2001)). This action merely proposes to approve state law as meeting 
Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond 
those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies 
that this proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule proposes to approve pre-
existing requirements under state law and does not impose any 
additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it 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). This proposed rule also does not have a 
substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the 
relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 
FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it 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, as specified 
in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255,

[[Page 17052]]

August 10, 1999), because it merely proposes to approve a state rule 
implementing a Federal requirement, and does not alter the relationship 
or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the 
Clean Air Act. This proposed rule also is not subject to Executive 
Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not 
economically significant.
    In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state 
choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In 
this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the 
State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority 
to disapprove a SIP submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be 
inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a SIP 
submission, to use VCS in place of a SIP submission that otherwise 
satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements 
of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. As required by section 3 
of Executive Order 12988 (61 FR 4729, February 7, 1996), in issuing 
this proposed rule, EPA has taken the necessary steps to eliminate 
drafting errors and ambiguity, minimize potential litigation, and 
provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct. EPA has complied 
with Executive Order 12630 (53 FR 8859, March 15, 1988) by examining 
the takings implications of the rule in accordance with the ``Attorney 
General's Supplemental Guidelines for the Evaluation of Risk and 
Avoidance of Unanticipated Takings'' issued under the executive order.
    This proposed rule to approve revisions to the Virginia SIP that 
update the definition of ``volatile organic compound'' does not impose 
an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Ozone, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

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

    Dated: March 29, 2006.
Donald S. Welsh,
Regional Administrator, Region III.
 [FR Doc. E6-4940 Filed 4-4-06; 8:45 am]
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