[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 117 (Friday, June 18, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 34734-34735]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14774]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-R04-OAR-2010-0255-201017; FRL-9163-9]


Adequacy Status of the Kentucky Portion of the Huntington-Ashland 
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 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 
Kentucky portion of the tri-state Huntington-Ashland nonattainment 
area. The tri-state Huntington-Ashland 1997 annual PM2.5 
nonattainment area is comprised of Boyd County, Kentucky; Cabell and 
Wayne Counties, West Virginia; Lawrence and Scioto Counties, Ohio;

[[Page 34735]]

and the partial Counties of Lawrence in Kentucky; Mason in West 
Virginia; and Adams and Gallia in Ohio. On December 5, 2008, the 
Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Division of Air Quality (DAQ), 
submitted an attainment demonstration for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 standard for the Kentucky portion of the tri-state 
Huntington-Ashland area (hereafter referred to as the Ashland Area). As 
a result of EPA's insignificance finding, the Ashland Area is no longer 
required to perform regional emissions analyses for either directly 
emitted PM2.5 or NOX as part of future 
PM2.5 conformity determinations for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 air quality standard. This finding only relates to the 
Kentucky portion of the tri-state Huntington-Ashland 1997 
PM2.5 nonattainment area. In a letter dated October 23, 
2009, EPA informed the State of Ohio that regional mobile emissions of 
direct PM2.5 and NOX are insignificant for 
transportation conformity purposes as well. That insignificance finding 
took effect on December 22, 2009. EPA will review the adequacy of the 
West Virginia submittal in a separate action.

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 sent a letter to DAQ on March 
23, 2010, stating that regional direct PM2.5 and 
NOX emissions are insignificant from mobile sources as 
provided in the Kentucky portion of the 1997 annual PM2.5 
attainment demonstration for the tri-state Huntington-Ashland area. The 
Commonwealth of Kentucky submitted the 1997 annual PM2.5 
attainment demonstration for the Ashland Area on December 5, 2008. Ohio 
and West Virginia provided separate submittals for their portion of 
this Area and EPA is addressing these submissions in actions separate 
from today's action. EPA posted the availability of the insignificance 
finding for the Ashland Area on EPA's Web site on September 8, 2009, as 
part of the adequacy process, for the purpose of soliciting comments. 
The comment period for Kentucky's submission ran from September 8, 
2009, through October 8, 2009. During EPA's adequacy comment period for 
Kentucky's submission, no comments were received on the insignificance 
finding for the Ashland 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 Ashland 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 
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; the area's obligation to meet other 
transportation conformity requirements (i.e., other than the regional 
emissions analysis); 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 Ashland Area. Even if EPA finds 
the insignificance finding for direct PM2.5 and 
NOX 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 Ashland 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 Ashland 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 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 9, 2010.
Beverly H. Banister,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2010-14774 Filed 6-17-10; 8:45 am]
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