[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 117 (Friday, June 18, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34735-34736]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14770]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-R04-OAR-2010-0260-201019; FRL-9164-1]


Adequacy Status of the Alabama Portion (Jackson County) of the 
Chattanooga, Tennessee Tri-State Area 1997 Annual PM2.5 Attainment 
Demonstration Insignificance Finding for Transportation Conformity 
Purposes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of Adequacy.

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SUMMARY: In this notice, EPA is notifying the public that EPA has made 
an insignificance finding through the transportation conformity 
adequacy

[[Page 34736]]

process for directly emitted fine particulate matter (PM2.5) 
and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions as contained in the 1997 
PM2.5 attainment demonstration for the Alabama portion of 
the tri-state Chattanooga, Tennessee nonattainment area (hereafter 
referred to as the ``Jackson County Area''). On October 14, 2009, the 
State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental 
Management (ADEM), submitted an attainment demonstration plan for the 
1997 annual PM2.5 standard for Jackson County, Alabama as 
part of the tri-state Chattanooga 1997 PM2.5 nonattainment 
area. The tri-state Chattanooga 1997 annual PM2.5 
nonattainment area is comprised of a portion of Jackson County, 
Alabama; Catoosa and Walker Counties, Georgia; and Hamilton County, 
Tennessee. As a result of EPA's finding, the portion of Jackson County 
within the tri-state Chattanooga 1997 PM2.5 nonattainment 
area is no longer required to perform a regional emissions analysis for 
either directly emitted PM2.5 or NOX as part of 
future PM2.5 conformity determinations for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 standard. This finding only relates to the Alabama 
portion of this Area, and does not relieve the Georgia or Tennessee 
portions of the tri-state 1997 PM2.5 nonattainment area from 
the requirement of performing the regional emissions analyses for 
direct PM2.5 and NOX. EPA will review the 
adequacy of the Georgia and Tennessee submittals with regard to the 
motor vehicle emission budgets or insignificance findings (if any and 
if appropriate) in separate actions.

DATES: This insignificance finding for direct PM2.5 and 
NOX is effective July 6, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dianna Smith, Environmental Scientist, 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Air Planning Branch, 
Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section, 61 Forsyth Street, 
SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Ms. Smith can also be reached by telephone 
at (404) 562-9207, or via electronic mail at smith.dianna@epa.gov. The 
finding is available at EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is simply an announcement of a 
finding that EPA has already made. EPA Region 4 sent a letter to ADEM 
on March 25, 2010, stating that regional mobile source emissions of 
direct PM2.5 and NOX emissions are insignificant 
as provided in the Alabama portion of the 1997 annual PM2.5 
attainment demonstration for the Jackson County Area submitted on 
October 14, 2009. EPA posted the availability of the insignificance 
finding on EPA's Web site on February 16, 2010, as part of the adequacy 
process, for the purpose of soliciting comments. The comment period ran 
from February 16, 2010, through March 18, 2010. During EPA's adequacy 
comment period, no comments were received on the insignificance finding 
for the Jackson County Area. Through this notice, EPA is informing the 
public of the insignificance finding for direct PM2.5 and 
NOX for the purpose of implementing transportation 
conformity in the Jackson County Area for the 1997 PM2.5 
standard. EPA's findings have also been announced on EPA's conformity 
Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm.
    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the 
Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990. EPA's conformity rule requires that 
transportation plans, programs and projects conform to state air 
quality implementation plans and establishes the criteria and 
procedures for determining whether or not they do. Conformity to a SIP 
means that transportation activities will not produce new air quality 
violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of 
the national ambient air quality standards. On March 2, 1999, the 
District of Columbia Circuit Court ruled that submitted State 
Implementation Plans (SIPs) cannot be used for transportation 
conformity determinations until EPA has affirmatively found them 
adequate.
    The criteria by which EPA determines whether a SIP's motor vehicle 
emissions budget is adequate for transportation conformity purposes are 
outlined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 93.118(e)(4). The 
Transportation Conformity Rule in 40 CFR 93.109(k) states that a 
regional emissions analysis is no longer necessary if EPA finds through 
the adequacy or approval process that a SIP demonstrates that regional 
motor vehicle emissions are an insignificant contributor to the air 
quality problem for that pollutant/precursor. A finding of 
insignificance does not change the requirement for a regional analysis 
for other pollutants/precursors and does not change the requirement for 
hot-spot analysis. (See 73 FR 4419, January 24, 2008.) Please note that 
an adequacy review is separate from EPA's completeness review, and it 
also should not be used to prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the 
attainment demonstration plan for the Jackson County Area. Even if EPA 
finds the insignificance determination adequate, the attainment 
demonstration plan could later be disapproved.
    Transportation partners should note this insignificance finding in 
future transportation conformity determinations. Additionally, while 
this insignificance finding waives the requirements for regional 
emissions analyses for direct PM2.5 and NOX for 
the Jackson County Area for the 1997 PM2.5 standard, as 
mentioned above, it does not waive other conformity requirements for 
the 1997 PM2.5 standard for the Jackson County Area, nor 
does it waive transportation conformity requirements for other 
pollutants/precursors for which the Area may be designated 
nonattainment or redesignated to attainment with a maintenance plan.
    EPA has described the process for determining the adequacy of 
submitted SIP budgets (which also applies to insignificance 
determinations) in a May 14, 1999, memorandum entitled ``Conformity 
Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, Conformity Court 
Decision.'' EPA has followed this guidance in making this adequacy 
determination. This guidance is incorporated into EPA's July 1, 2004, 
final rulemaking entitled ``Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments 
for the New 8-hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards and Miscellaneous Revisions for Existing Areas; 
Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments: Response to Court Decision 
and Additional Rule Changes'' (69 FR 40004).

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

    Dated: June 8, 2010.
Beverly H. Banister,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2010-14770 Filed 6-17-10; 8:45 am]
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