[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 25, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4342-4343]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1470]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[FRL-9256-8]


Adequacy Status of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas 
Reasonable Further Progress and Attainment Demonstration 8-Hour Ozone 
Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets for Transportation Conformity Purposes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of adequacy determination.

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SUMMARY: EPA is notifying the public that it has found that the motor 
vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, 
Texas (HGB) Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) and Attainment 
Demonstration State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions, submitted on 
April 1st and April 6th, 2010 respectively, by the Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are adequate for transportation conformity 
purposes. As a result of EPA's finding, the HGB area must use these 
budgets for future conformity determinations for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
standard.

DATES: These budgets are effective February 9, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  The essential information in this 
notice will be available at EPA's conformity Web site: http://
www.epa.gov/otaq/

[[Page 4343]]

stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm. You may also contact Mr. Jeffrey 
Riley, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, telephone 
(214) 665-8542, E-mail address: Riley.Jeffrey@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document ``we,'' ``us,'' and 
``our'' refers to EPA. The word ``budget(s)'' refers to the mobile 
source emissions budget for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the 
mobile source emissions budget for nitrogen oxides (NOX).
    On April 1st and April 6th, 2010, we received State Implementation 
Plan (SIP) revisions from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 
(TCEQ). These revisions consisted of a Reasonable Further Progress 
(RFP) SIP and an Attainment Demonstration SIP for the Houston-
Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) ozone nonattainment area. These submissions 
established motor vehicle emissions budgets (MVEB) for the HGB area for 
the years 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2018. The MVEB is the amount of 
emissions allowed in the state implementation plan for on-road motor 
vehicles; it establishes an emissions ceiling for the regional 
transportation network. The MVEBs are provided in Tables 1 and 2:

             Table 1--Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Reasonable Further Progress (RFP) NOX and VOC MVEBS
                                          [Summer season tons per day]
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                                       2008            2011            2014            2017            2018
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NOX.............................          193.39          135.74           95.26           67.95           60.92
VOC.............................           94.75           75.17           61.84           53.23           51.35
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Table 2--Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Attainment Demonstration NOX and VOC
                                  MVEB
                      [Summer season tons per day]
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                                                               2018
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NOX.....................................................           49.22
VOC.....................................................           45.97
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    On June 24, 2010, EPA posted the availability of the HGB area 
budgets on EPA's Web site, as part of the adequacy process, for the 
purpose of soliciting public comments. The comment period closed on 
July 26, 2010, and we received no comments.
    Today's notice is simply an announcement of a finding that EPA has 
already made. EPA Region 6 sent a letter to TCEQ on October 8, 2010, 
finding that the MVEBs in the HGB RFP and Attainment Demonstration 
SIPs, submitted on April 1st and April 6th, 2010 respectively, are 
adequate and must be used for transportation conformity determinations 
in the HGB area. This finding has 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. EPA's conformity rule, 40 Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) part 93, 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 so. 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.
    The criteria by which EPA determines whether a SIP's MVEB is 
adequate for transportation conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 
93.118(e)(4). We have also described the process for determining the 
adequacy of submitted SIP budgets in our 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). Please note that an adequacy review is 
separate from EPA's completeness review, and it should not be used to 
prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the HGB RFP SIP and Attainment 
Demonstration SIP revision submittals. Even if EPA finds the budgets 
adequate, these submittals could later be disapproved.
    Within 24 months from the effective date of this notice, the 
transportation partners will need to demonstrate conformity to the new 
MVEBs if the demonstration has not already been made, pursuant to 40 
CFR 93.104(e). See, 73 FR 4419 (January 24, 2008).

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

    Dated: January 13, 2011.
Al Armendariz,
Regional Administrator, Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2011-1470 Filed 1-24-11; 8:45 am]
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