[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 187 (Wednesday, September 27, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 56422-56425]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-15842]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0087; FRL-8223-5]
RIN-2060-AM24


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes for 
Ozone-Depleting Substances--Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to list 
four substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in the fire 
suppression and explosion protection sector as acceptable subject to 
use conditions under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. SNAP implements 
section 612 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990, which requires 
EPA to evaluate substitutes for ODSs and find them acceptable where 
they do not pose a greater overall risk to human health and the 
environment than other acceptable substitutes.

DATES: Comments must be received in writing by October 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2005-0087 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Mail: OAR Docket and Information Center, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. To expedite review, a second copy of 
the comments should be sent to Bella Maranion at the address listed 
below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
     Hand Delivery: Air and Radiation Docket, EPA Docket 
Center, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20004. 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-HQ-OAR-
2005-0087. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
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 www.regulations.gov or e-mail. 
The 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 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. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information

[[Page 56423]]

whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket, 
EPA/DC, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, 
DC. The 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 
Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bella Maranion, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (6205J), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9749; fax number: 
(202) 343-2363; e-mail address: maranion.bella@epa.gov. The published 
versions of notices and rulemakings under the SNAP program are 
available on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web site at http://www.epa.gov/
ozone/snap/regs.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Elsewhere in today's Federal Register, EPA 
is taking this action as a direct final rule without prior proposal 
because EPA views this as a non-controversial revision and anticipates 
no adverse comments. A rationale for this action is set forth in the 
preamble to the direct final rule.
    If we receive no adverse comments and no requests for public 
hearings in response to this action, we will take no further activity 
in relation to this rule. If EPA receives adverse comments or a request 
for public hearing, we will withdraw this direct final action as it 
applies to the substitute or substitutes on which the Agency has 
received adverse comment and will consider and respond to any comments 
prior to taking any new, final action for the substitute or 
substitutes. If a public hearing is requested, EPA will provide notice 
in the Federal Register as to the location, date, and time. Any parties 
interested in commenting on this action should do so at that this time.

I. EPA Proposal

    EPA would add four fire suppression agents to the list of 
acceptable substitutes subject to use conditions. The regulations 
implementing the SNAP program are codified at 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart 
G. The appendices to Subpart G list substitutes for ODSs that are 
unacceptable or that have restrictions imposed on their use. Today's 
action will add the four halon substitutes acceptable subject to use 
conditions to the appendices to Subpart G.
    The direct final rule will be effective on November 27, 2006 
without further notice unless we receive adverse comment (or a request 
for a public hearing) by October 27, 2006. If EPA receives adverse 
comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register 
informing the public that all or part of this rule will not take 
effect. EPA will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule 
based on this proposed rule. We will not institute a second public 
comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting 
must do so at this time.
    You may claim that information in your comments is confidential 
business information, as allowed by 40 CFR Part 2. If you submit 
comments and include information that you claim as confidential 
business information, we request that you submit them directly to Bella 
Maranion in two versions: one clearly marked ``Public'' to be filed in 
the public docket, and the other marked ``Confidential'' to be reviewed 
by authorized government personnel only.

II. Administrative Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order (EO) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
is therefore not subject to review under the EO.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    EPA has determined that this proposed rule contains no information 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq., that are not already approved by the OMB. OMB has reviewed and 
approved two Information Collection Requests (ICRs) by EPA which are 
described in the March 18, 1994 rulemaking (59 FR 13044, at 13121, 
13146-13147) and in the October 16, 1996 rulemaking (61 FR 54030, at 
54038-54039). These ICRs included five types of respondent reporting 
and record-keeping activities pursuant to SNAP regulations: submission 
of a SNAP petition, filing a SNAP/TSCA Addendum, notification for test 
marketing activity, record-keeping for substitutes acceptable subject 
to narrowed use limits, and record-keeping for small volume uses. The 
OMB Control Numbers are 2060-0226 and 2060-0350. The EPA ICR Numbers 
are 1596.06 and 1774.03.
    Copies of the ICR document(s) may be obtained from Susan Auby, by 
mail at the Office of Environmental Information, Collection Strategies 
Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2822T); 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, by e-mail at 
auby.susan@epa.gov, or by calling (202) 566-1672. Include the ICR and/
or OMB number in any correspondence.
    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or 
provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time 
needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; 
train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; 
search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; 
and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations are listed in 40 CFR Part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act generally requires an agency to 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice 
and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure 
Act or any other statutes 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 
organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impact of today's rule on small 
entities, small entities are defined as (1) a small business as defined 
by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 
121.201; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a government of 
a city, county, town, school district or special district with a 
population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization that is 
any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated 
and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on 
small entities, I certify that this action

[[Page 56424]]

will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. This proposed rule will not impose any requirements on 
small entities. Today's action effectively supports the introduction of 
four new alternatives to the fire protection extinguishing systems 
market thus providing additional options for users making the 
transition away from ozone-depleting halons.
    Use of halon 1301 total flooding systems have historically been in 
specialty fire protection applications including essential electronics, 
civil aviation, military mobile weapon systems, oil and gas and other 
process industries, and merchant shipping with smaller segments of use 
including libraries, museums, and laboratories. The majority of halon 
1301 system owners continue to maintain and refurbish existing systems 
since halon 1301 supplies continue to be available in the U.S. Owners 
of new facilities make up the market for the new alternative agent 
systems and may also consider employing other available fire protection 
options including new, improved technology for early warning and smoke 
detection. Thus, EPA is providing more options to any entity, including 
small entities, by finding these substitutes acceptable for use. The 
use restrictions imposed on the substitutes in today's rule are 
consistent with the applications suggested by the submitters. Thus far, 
these alternatives have not been sold or used in the end uses not found 
acceptable under today's rule. Until a manufacturer or other party 
requests a SNAP review for such end uses, these products may not be 
sold for such end uses. Therefore, we conclude that the rule does not 
impose a new cost on businesses.
    Although this proposed rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities, EPA nonetheless has 
tried to reduce the impact of this rule on small entities. By 
introducing new substitutes, today's rule gives additional flexibility 
to small entities that are concerned with fire suppression. EPA also 
has worked closely together with the National Fire Protection 
Association, which conducts regular outreach with, and involves small 
state, local, and tribal governments in developing and implementing 
relevant fire protection standards and codes. We continue to be 
interested in the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small 
entities and welcome comments on issues related to such impacts.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector.
    Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written 
statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final 
rules with ``Federal mandates'' that may result in expenditures by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before 
promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, 
section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider 
a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least 
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that 
achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do 
not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, 
section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least 
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the 
Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that 
alternative was not adopted. Section 204 of the UMRA requires the 
Agency to develop a process to allow elected state, local and tribal 
government officials to provide input in the development of any 
proposal containing a significant Federal intergovernmental mandate.
    Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal 
governments, it must have developed under section 203 of the UMRA a 
small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying 
potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected 
small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the 
development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal 
intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising 
small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements.
    Today's rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory 
provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, or tribal 
governments or the private sector. Because this rule imposes no 
enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal government it is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. EPA 
has also determined that this rule contains no regulatory requirements 
that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments; 
therefore, EPA is not required to develop a plan with regard to small 
governments under section 203. Finally, because this rule does not 
contain a significant intergovernmental mandate, the Agency is not 
required to develop a process to obtain input from elected state, 
local, and tribal officials under section 204.

E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132, entitled ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 
10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``Policies that have federalism implications'' is defined in the 
Executive Order to include regulations that 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.''
    This proposed rule 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, 
as specified in Executive Order 13132. This proposed rule will provide 
additional options for fire protection subject to safety guidelines in 
industry standards. These standards are typically already required by 
state or local fire codes, and this rule does not require state, local, 
or tribal governments to change their regulations. Thus, Executive 
Order 13132 does not apply to this rule.

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

    Executive Order 13175, entitled ``Consultation and Coordination 
with Indian Tribal Governments'' (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful 
and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory 
policies that have tribal implications.'' This proposed rule does not 
have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It 
will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, 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 in Executive Order 13175. 
This proposed rule will provide additional options for fire protection

[[Page 56425]]

subject to safety guidelines in industry standards. These standards are 
typically already required by state or local fire codes, and this rule 
does not require tribal governments to change their regulations. Thus, 
Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this rule.

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

    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 significant'' 
as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an 
environmental health or safety risk that EPA 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 proposed rule is not economically significant as defined in 
Executive Order 12866, and the Agency does not have reason to believe 
the environmental health or safety risks addressed by this action 
present a disproportionate risk to children. The acceptability listings 
in this proposed rule primarily apply to the workplace, and thus, do 
not put children at risk disproportionately. This rule is not subject 
to Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as 
defined in Executive Order 12866 and because the Agency does not have 
reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by 
this action present a disproportionate risk to children.

H. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    This rule is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)) because it is not likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The rule allows 
wider use of substitutes, providing greater flexibility for industry 
related to choices of alternative fire suppression systems to support 
the transition away from ozone-depleting substances, but little if any 
impact related to energy. Thus, we have concluded that this rule is not 
likely to have any adverse energy effects.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law No. 104-113, Section 12(d) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in 
regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with 
applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards 
are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, 
sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA 
to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides 
not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards. EPA is not 
requiring that specific technical standards be met in these 
regulations. EPA defers to existing National Fire Protection 
Association (NFPA) voluntary consensus standards and Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations that relate to the 
safe use of halon substitutes reviewed under SNAP. EPA refers users to 
the latest edition of NFPA 2001 Standard on Clean Agent Fire 
Extinguishing Systems which provides for exposure guidelines and safe 
use of halocarbon and inert gas agents used to extinguish fires. EPA 
also refers to the latest edition of NFPA 2010 Standard on Aerosol 
Extinguishing Systems, 2005 edition, which provides for safe use of 
aerosol extinguishing agents and technologies. Copies of these 
standards may be obtained by calling the NFPA's telephone number for 
ordering publications at 1-800-344-3555. The NFPA 2001 and 2010 
standards meet the objectives of the rule by setting scientifically-
based guidelines for safe exposure to halocarbon and inert gas agents 
and aerosol extinguishing agents, respectively. In addition, EPA has 
worked in consultation with OSHA to encourage development of technical 
standards to be adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: September 21, 2006.
Stephen L. Johnson,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E6-15842 Filed 9-26-06; 8:45 am]
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