[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 23 (Monday, February 4, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7705-7718]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-02380]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 52 and 81

[EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986; FRL-9775-5]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation 
of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia; Redesignation of 
the Atlanta; 1997 8-Hour Ozone Moderate Nonattainment Area to 
Attainment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: On April 4, 2012, the State of Georgia, through the Georgia 
Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), submitted a request for EPA 
to redesignate the Atlanta, Georgia 8-hour ozone nonattainment area 
(hereafter referred to as the ``Atlanta Area'' or ``Area'') to 
attainment for the 1997 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
(NAAQS); and to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision 
containing a maintenance plan for the Area. The Atlanta Area consists 
of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, 
Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, 
Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton Counties in their entireties. 
EPA is proposing to approve the redesignation request for the Area, 
along with the related SIP revision, including Georgia's plan for 
maintaining attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard in the Area. 
EPA is also proposing to approve the motor vehicle emission budgets 
(MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic 
compounds (VOC) for the year 2024 for the Area. These actions are being 
proposed pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and its 
implementing regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 6, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-
OAR-2012-0986, by one of the following methods:
    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    2. Email: R4-RDS@epa.gov.
    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.
    4. Mail: EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986, Regulatory Development Section, Air 
Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.
    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, 
Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides 
and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours 
of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are 
Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding federal holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-
2012- 0986. 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 through www.regulations.gov or 
email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. 
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 email 
comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your 
email 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 electronic docket are listed in the 
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 www.regulations.gov or 
in hard copy at the Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning 
Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you 
contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official 
hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding 
federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Spann or Sara Waterson of the 
Regulatory Development Section, in the Air Planning Branch, Air, 
Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 
30303-8960. Ms. Spann may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9029, or via 
electronic mail at spann.jane@epa.gov. Ms. Waterson may be reached by 
phone at (404) 562-9061,

[[Page 7706]]

or via electronic mail at waterson.sara@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. What are the actions EPA is proposing to take?
II. What is the background for EPA's proposed actions?
III. What are the criteria for redesignation?
IV. Why is EPA proposing these actions?
V. What is EPA's analysis of the request?
VI. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's proposed NOX and 
VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta area?
VII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 for the Atlanta area?
VIII. Proposed action on the redesignation request and maintenance 
plan SIP revision including proposed approval of the 2024 
NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta area.
IX. What is the effect of EPA's proposed actions?
X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What are the actions EPA is proposing to take?

    EPA is proposing to take the following two separate but related 
actions, one of which involves multiple elements: (1) to redesignate 
the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and (2) 
to approve into the Georgia SIP, under section 175A of the CAA, 
Georgia's plan for maintaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (1997 ozone 
NAAQS maintenance plan), including the associated MVEBs. EPA is also 
notifying the public of the status of EPA's adequacy determination for 
the Atlanta Area MVEBs. These actions are summarized below and 
described in greater detail throughout this notice of proposed 
rulemaking.
    First, EPA proposes to determine that the Atlanta Area has met the 
requirements for redesignation under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. 
In this action, EPA is proposing to approve a request to change the 
legal designation of the Atlanta Area from nonattainment to attainment 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    Second, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's 1997 ozone NAAQS 
maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area as meeting the requirements of 
section 175A (such approval being one of the CAA criteria for 
redesignation to attainment status). The maintenance plan is designed 
to help keep the Atlanta Area in attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS through 2024. Consistent with the CAA, the maintenance plan that 
EPA is proposing to approve today also includes NOX and VOC 
MVEBs for the year 2024 for the Atlanta Area. EPA is proposing to 
approve (into the Georgia SIP) the 2024 MVEBs that are included as part 
of Georgia's 1997 ozone NAAQS maintenance plan.
    EPA is also notifying the public of the status of EPA's adequacy 
process for the newly-established NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 
for the Atlanta Area. The public comment period for Adequacy for the 
Atlanta Area 2024 MVEBs began on February 29, 2012, with EPA's posting 
of the availability of this submittal on EPA's Adequacy Web site 
(http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm#atlanta2). The Adequacy comment period for these MVEBs 
closed on March 30, 2012. No comments, adverse or otherwise, were 
received during EPA's adequacy process for the MVEBs associated with 
Georgia's 1997 8-hour ozone maintenance plan. Please see section VII of 
this proposed rulemaking for further explanation of this process and 
for more details on the MVEBs.
    Today's notice of proposed rulemaking is in response to Georgia's 
April 4, 2012, SIP revision. That document addresses the specific 
issues summarized above and the necessary elements described in section 
107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA for redesignation of the Atlanta Area to 
attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

II. What is the background for EPA's proposed actions?

    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 
0.08 parts per million (ppm). Under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 
50, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS is attained when the 3-year average of 
the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air 
quality ozone concentrations is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm (i.e., 
0.084 ppm when rounding is considered). See 69 FR 23857 (April 30, 
2004).\1\ Ambient air quality monitoring data for the 3-year period 
must meet a data completeness requirement. The ambient air quality 
monitoring data completeness requirement is met when the average 
percent of days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than 90 
percent, and no single year has less than 75 percent data completeness 
as determined in Appendix I of part 50.
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    \1\ On July 20, 2012, EPA designated the Atlanta area as a 
marginal nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The 
current proposed action, however, is being taken with regard to the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and not for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
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    Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires EPA 
to designate as nonattainment any area that is violating the NAAQS, 
based on the three most recent years of ambient air quality data at the 
conclusion of the designation process. The Atlanta Area was designated 
nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS on April 30, 2004 
(effective June 15, 2004) using 2001-2003 ambient air quality data (69 
FR 23857, April 30, 2004). At the time of designation the Atlanta Area 
was classified as a marginal nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. In the April 30, 2004, Phase I Ozone Implementation Rule, 
EPA established ozone nonattainment area attainment dates based on 
Table 1 of section 181(a) of the CAA. This established an attainment 
date 3 years after the June 15, 2004, effective date for areas 
classified as marginal areas for the 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment 
designations. Therefore, the Atlanta Area's original attainment date 
was June 15, 2007. See 69 FR 23951, April 30, 2004.
    The Atlanta Area failed to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by 
June 15, 2007 (the applicable attainment date for marginal 
nonattainment areas), and did not qualify for any extension of the 
attainment date as a marginal area. As a consequence, on March 6, 2008, 
EPA published a rulemaking determining that the Atlanta Area failed to 
attain and, consistent with Section 181(b)(2) of the CAA, the Atlanta 
Area was reclassified by operation of law to the next highest 
classification, or ``moderate'' nonattainment. See 73 FR 12013. When an 
area is reclassified, a new attainment date for the reclassified area 
must be established. Section 181 of the CAA explains that the 
attainment date for moderate nonattainment areas shall be as 
expeditiously as practicable, but no later than six years after 
designation, or June 15, 2010.\2\ EPA further required that Georgia 
submit the SIP revisions meeting the new moderate area requirements as 
expeditiously as practicable, but no later than December 31, 2008.
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    \2\ On November 30, 2010, EPA determined that Georgia met the 
CAA requirements to obtain a one-year extension of the attainment 
date for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Atlanta Area. See 75 FR 
73969. As a result, the Atlanta Area's attainment date was extended 
from June 15, 2010, to June 15, 2011, for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS.
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    On October 21, 2009, Georgia submitted an attainment demonstration 
and associated reasonably available control measures (RACM), a 
reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, contingency measures, a 2002 
base year emissions inventory and other planning SIP

[[Page 7707]]

revisions related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the 
Atlanta Area. Subsequently, on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36873), EPA 
determined that the Atlanta Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
The determination of attaining data was based upon complete, quality-
assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2008-2010 
period, showing that the Area had monitored attainment of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. The requirements for the Area to submit an attainment 
demonstration and associated RACM, RFP plan, contingency measures, and 
other planning SIP revisions related to attainment of the standard were 
suspended as a result of the determination of attainment, so long as 
the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 40 CFR 
52.582(d). Within the April 4, 2012, maintenance plan and redesignation 
request cover letter, Georgia withdrew the Atlanta Area's attainment 
demonstration (except the emissions inventory) as allowed by 40 CFR 
51.1004(c); however, such withdrawal does not suspend the emissions 
inventory requirement found in CAA section 172(c)(3) and section 
182(a)(1). EPA took direct final action to approve the baseline 
emissions inventory portion of the attainment demonstration SIP 
revision on April 24, 2012 (77 FR 24399). The emissions statements 
requirement was approved on November 27, 2009 (74 FR 62249).

III. What are the criteria for redesignation?

    The CAA provides the requirements for redesignating a nonattainment 
area to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA 
allows for redesignation providing that: (1) the Administrator 
determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS; (2) the 
Administrator has fully approved the applicable implementation plan for 
the area under section 110(k); (3) the Administrator determines that 
the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable 
reductions in emissions resulting from implementation of the applicable 
SIP and applicable federal air pollutant control regulations and other 
permanent and enforceable reductions; (4) the Administrator has fully 
approved a maintenance plan for the area as meeting the requirements of 
section 175A; and (5) the state containing such area has met all 
requirements applicable to the area for purposes of redesignation under 
section 110 and part D of the CAA.
    On April 16, 1992, EPA provided guidance on redesignation in the 
General Preamble for the Implementation of title I of the CAA 
Amendments of 1990 (57 FR 13498), and supplemented this guidance on 
April 28, 1992 (57 FR 18070). EPA has provided further guidance on 
processing redesignation requests in the following documents:
    1. ``Ozone and Carbon Monoxide Design Value Calculations,'' 
Memorandum from Bill Laxton, Director, Technical Support Division, June 
18, 1990;
    2. ``Maintenance Plans for Redesignation of Ozone and Carbon 
Monoxide Nonattainment Areas,'' Memorandum from G. T. Helms, Chief, 
Ozone/Carbon Monoxide Programs Branch, April 30, 1992;
    3. ``Contingency Measures for Ozone and Carbon Monoxide (CO) 
Redesignations,'' Memorandum from G. T. Helms, Chief, Ozone/Carbon 
Monoxide Programs Branch, June 1, 1992;
    4. ``Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to 
Attainment,'' Memorandum from John Calcagni, Director, Air Quality 
Management Division, September 4, 1992 (hereafter referred to as the 
``Calcagni Memorandum'');
    5. ``State Implementation Plan (SIP) Actions Submitted in Response 
to Clean Air Act (CAA) Deadlines,'' Memorandum from John Calcagni, 
Director, Air Quality Management Division, October 28, 1992;
    6. ``Technical Support Documents (TSDs) for Redesignation of Ozone 
and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Nonattainment Areas,'' Memorandum from G. T. 
Helms, Chief, Ozone/Carbon Monoxide Programs Branch, August 17, 1993;
    7. ``State Implementation Plan (SIP) Requirements for Areas 
Submitting Requests for Redesignation to Attainment of the Ozone and 
Carbon Monoxide (CO) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) On 
or After November 15, 1992,'' Memorandum from Michael H. Shapiro, 
Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, September 17, 
1993;
    8. ``Use of Actual Emissions in Maintenance Demonstrations for 
Ozone and CO Nonattainment Areas,'' Memorandum from D. Kent Berry, 
Acting Director, Air Quality Management Division, November 30, 1993;
    9. ``Part D New Source Review (Part D NSR) Requirements for Areas 
Requesting Redesignation to Attainment,'' Memorandum from Mary D. 
Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, October 14, 
1994; and
    10. ``Reasonable Further Progress, Attainment Demonstration, and 
Related Requirements for Ozone Nonattainment Areas Meeting the Ozone 
National Ambient Air Quality Standard,'' Memorandum from John S. Seitz, 
Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, May 10, 1995.
    11. ``Next Steps for Pending Redesignation Requests and State 
Implementation Plan Actions Affected by the Recent Court Decision 
Vacating the 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,'' Memorandum from 
Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator, November 19, 2012.

IV. Why is EPA proposing these actions?

    On April 4, 2012, the State of Georgia, through GA EPD, requested 
the redesignation of the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. EPA's evaluation indicates that the Atlanta Area has 
attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and that the Atlanta Area meets 
the requirements for redesignation set forth in section 107(d)(3)(E), 
including the maintenance plan requirements under section 175A of the 
CAA. As a result, EPA is proposing to take the two related actions 
summarized in section I of this notice.

V. What is EPA's analysis of the request?

    As stated above, in accordance with the CAA, EPA proposes in 
today's action to: (1) redesignate the Atlanta Area to attainment for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; and (2) approve the Atlanta Area's 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan, including the associated MVEBs, into 
the Georgia SIP. These actions are based upon EPA's preliminary 
determinations that the Atlanta Area continues to attain the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS, and EPA's preliminary determination that Georgia has 
met all other redesignation criteria for the Atlanta Area. The five 
redesignation criteria provided under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are 
discussed in greater detail for the Atlanta Area in the following 
paragraphs of this section.

Criteria (1)--The Atlanta Area has Attained the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS

    For ozone, an area may be considered to be attaining the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS if it meets the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, as determined 
in accordance with 40 CFR 50.10 and Appendix I of part 50, based on 
three complete, consecutive calendar years of quality-assured air 
quality monitoring

[[Page 7708]]

data. To attain these NAAQS, the 3-year average of the fourth-highest 
daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations measured at each 
monitor within an area over each year must not exceed 0.08 ppm. Based 
on the data handling and reporting convention described in 40 CFR part 
50, Appendix I, the NAAQS are attained if the design value is 0.084 ppm 
or below. The data must be collected and quality-assured in accordance 
with 40 CFR part 58, and recorded in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS). 
The monitors generally should have remained at the same location for 
the duration of the monitoring period required for demonstrating 
attainment.
    On June 23, 2011, at 76 FR 36873, EPA determined that the Atlanta 
Area was attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. For that action EPA 
reviewed ozone monitoring data from monitoring stations in the Atlanta 
Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for 2008-2010. These data have 
been quality-assured and are recorded in AQS. EPA has reviewed the 
2009-2011 data, which indicate that the Area continues to attain the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS beyond the submitted 3-year attainment period 
of 2008-2010. The fourth-highest 8-hour ozone average for 2008, 2009, 
2010, 2011, and the 3-year averages of these values (i.e., design 
values), are summarized in the following Table 1 of this proposed 
rulemaking.

                                       Table 1--Design Value Concentrations for the Atlanta 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area
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                                                                                         Annual arithmetic mean concentrations    3-Year design values
                                                                                                         (ppm)                            (ppm)
                 Location                             County               Monitor ID   ----------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             2008         2009         2010      2008-2010    2009-2011
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GA National Guard McCollum Pkwy..........  Cobb........................     13-067-0003        0.075        0.076        0.079        0.076        0.078
University of West Georgia at Newnan.....  Coweta......................     13-077-0002        0.075        0.065        0.065        0.068        0.067
2390-B Wildcat Road Decatur..............  Dekalb......................     13-089-0002        0.087        0.077        0.075        0.079        0.077
Douglasville W. Strickland St............  Douglas.....................     13-097-0004        0.080        0.072        0.074        0.075        0.074
Gwinnett Tech 1250 Atkinson Rd...........  Gwinnett....................     13-135-0002        0.079        0.073        0.072        0.074        0.075
Henry County Extension Office............  Henry.......................     13-151-0002        0.086        0.074        0.078        0.079        0.078
Yorkville................................  Paulding....................     13-223-0003        0.072        0.067        0.071        0.070        0.071
Conyers Monastery........................  Rockdale....................     13-247-0001        0.089        0.070        0.076        0.078        0.075
Confederate Ave..........................  Fulton......................     13-121-0055        0.084        0.077        0.080        0.080        0.080
Fayetteville-GDOT........................  Fayette.....................     13-113-0001        0.086            *            *            *           *
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* The Fayetteville-GDOT monitor was temporarily discontinued on October 31, 2008.

    The 3-year design value for 2008-2010 submitted by Georgia for 
redesignation of the Atlanta Area is 0.080 ppm, which meets the NAAQS 
as described above. As mentioned above, on June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36873), 
EPA published a clean data determination for the Atlanta Area for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The 2009-2011 certified data show that the 
Atlanta Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS with a 
design value of 0.080 ppm at the Confederate Ave monitor. In today's 
action, EPA is proposing to determine that the Area is attaining the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA will not go forward with the redesignation 
if the Area does not continue to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
until the time that EPA finalizes the redesignation. As discussed in 
more detail below, the State of Georgia has committed to continue 
monitoring in this Area in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.

Criteria (2)--Georgia has a Fully Approved SIP Under Section 110(k) for 
the Atlanta Area; and Criteria (5)--Georgia Has Met All Applicable 
Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D of Title I of the CAA

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the state has met all applicable 
requirements under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA (CAA 
section 107(d)(3)(E)(v)) and that the state has a fully approved SIP 
under section 110(k) for the area (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii)). EPA 
proposes to find that Georgia has met all applicable SIP requirements 
for the Atlanta Area under section 110 of the CAA (general SIP 
requirements) for purposes of redesignation. Additionally, EPA proposes 
to find that the Georgia SIP satisfies the criterion that it meets 
applicable SIP requirements for purposes of redesignation under part D 
of title I of the CAA (requirements specific to 1997 8-hour ozone 
nonattainment areas) in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(v). 
Further, EPA proposes to determine that the SIP is fully approved with 
respect to all requirements applicable for purposes of redesignation in 
accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). In making these proposed 
determinations, EPA ascertained which requirements are applicable to 
the Area and, if applicable, that they are fully approved under section 
110(k). SIPs must be fully approved only with respect to requirements 
that were applicable prior to submittal of the complete redesignation 
request.
a. The Atlanta Area Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 
110 and Part D of the CAA
    General SIP requirements. Section 110(a)(2) of title I of the CAA 
delineates the general requirements for a SIP, which include 
enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means, or 
techniques; provisions for the establishment and operation of 
appropriate devices necessary to collect data on ambient air quality; 
and programs to enforce the limitations. General SIP elements and 
requirements are delineated in section 110(a)(2) of title I, part A of 
the CAA. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the 
following: submittal of a SIP that has been adopted by the state after 
reasonable public notice and hearing; provisions for establishment and 
operation of appropriate procedures needed to monitor ambient air 
quality; implementation of a source permit program; provisions for the 
implementation of part C requirements (Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD)) and provisions for the implementation of part D 
requirements (New Source Review (NSR) permit programs); provisions for 
air pollution modeling; and provisions for public and local agency 
participation in planning and emission control rule development.

[[Page 7709]]

    Section 110(a)(2)(D) requires that SIPs contain certain measures to 
prevent sources in a state from significantly contributing to air 
quality problems in another state. To implement this provision, EPA has 
required certain states to establish programs to address the interstate 
transport of air pollutants (e.g., NOX SIP Call \3\ and the 
Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) \4\). The section 110(a)(2)(D) 
requirements for a state are not linked with a particular nonattainment 
area's designation and classification in that state. EPA believes that 
the requirements linked with a particular nonattainment area's 
designation and classifications are the relevant measures to evaluate 
in reviewing a redesignation request. The transport SIP submittal 
requirements, where applicable, continue to apply to a state regardless 
of the designation of any one particular area in the state. Thus, EPA 
does not believe that the CAA's interstate transport requirements 
should be construed to be applicable requirements for purposes of 
redesignation. However, as discussed later in this notice, addressing 
pollutant transport from other states is an important part of an area's 
maintenance demonstration.
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    \3\ On October 27, 1998 (63 FR 57356), EPA issued a 
NOX SIP Call requiring the District of Columbia and 22 
states to reduce emissions of NOX in order to reduce the 
transport of ozone and ozone precursors. While Georgia was not 
issued a NOX SIP Call, the State has identified benefits 
from surrounding states. In compliance with EPA's NOX SIP 
Call, 22 eastern states developed rules governing the control of 
NOX emissions from electric generating units (EGU), major 
non-EGU industrial boilers, major cement kilns, and internal 
combustion engines.
    \4\ On May 12, 2005, EPA published the Clean Air Interstate Rule 
(CAIR), which requires significant reductions in emissions of 
SO2 and NOX from electric generating units to 
limit the interstate transport of these pollutants and the ozone and 
fine particulate matter they form in the atmosphere. See 76 FR 
70093. The D.C. Circuit initially vacated CAIR, North Carolina v. 
EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008), but ultimately remanded the rule 
to EPA without vacatur to preserve the environmental benefits 
provided by CAIR, North Carolina v. EPA, 550 F.3d 1176, 1178 (D.C. 
Cir. 2008). In response to the court's decision, EPA issued Cross-
State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), to address interstate transport of 
NOX and SO2 in the eastern United States. See 
76 FR 48208 (August 8, 2011). On August 21, 2012, the D.C. Circuit 
issued a decision to vacate CSAPR. In that decision, it also ordered 
EPA to continue administering CAIR ``pending the promulgation of a 
valid replacement.'' EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 
F.3d. 7, 38 (D.C. Cir., 2012). The D.C. Circuit has not yet issued 
the final mandate in EME Homer City as EPA (as well as other 
intervenors) petitioned for rehearing en banc, asking the full court 
to review the decision. While rehearing proceedings are pending, EPA 
intends to act in accordance with the panel opinion in the EME Homer 
City opinion.
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    In addition, EPA believes other section 110 elements that are 
neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked with 
an area's attainment status are applicable requirements for purposes of 
redesignation. The area will still be subject to these requirements 
after the area is redesignated. The section 110 and part D requirements 
which are linked with a particular area's designation and 
classification are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a 
redesignation request. This approach is consistent with EPA's existing 
policy on applicability (i.e., for redesignations) of conformity and 
oxygenated fuels requirements, as well as with section 184 ozone 
transport requirements. See Reading, Pennsylvania, proposed and final 
rulemakings (61 FR 53174-53176, October 10, 1996), (62 FR 24826, May 7, 
1997); Cleveland-Akron-Loraine, Ohio, final rulemaking (61 FR 20458, 
May 7, 1996); and Tampa, Florida, final rulemaking at (60 FR 62748, 
December 7, 1995). See also the discussion on this issue in the 
Cincinnati, Ohio, redesignation (65 FR 37890, June 19, 2000), and in 
the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, redesignation (66 FR 50399, October 19, 
2001).
    EPA completed rulemaking on a submittal from Georgia dated December 
13, 2007, addressing ``infrastructure SIP'' elements required for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS under CAA section 110(a)(2) on February 6, 
2012. See 77 FR 5706. However, these are statewide requirements that 
are not a consequence of the nonattainment status of the Atlanta Area. 
As stated above, EPA believes that section 110 elements not linked to 
an area's nonattainment status are not applicable for purposes of 
redesignation. Therefore, EPA believes it has approved all SIP elements 
under section 110 that must be approved as a prerequisite for 
redesignating the Atlanta Area to attainment.
    Title I, Part D, subpart 1 applicable SIP requirements. Subpart 1 
of part D, found in sections 172(c)(1) through (9) and in section 176 
of the CAA, sets forth the basic nonattainment requirements applicable 
to all nonattainment areas. A thorough discussion of the requirements 
contained in section 172 can be found in the General Preamble for 
Implementation of title I (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992). Subpart 2 of 
part D, which includes section 182 of the CAA, establishes additional 
specific requirements depending on the area's ozone nonattainment 
classification. A thorough discussion of the requirements contained in 
section 182 can be found in the General Preamble for Implementation of 
Title I (57 FR 13498).
    Part D Subpart 1 Section 172 Requirements and Part D, Subpart 2 
Section 182 Requirements. Section 172(c)(1) requires the plans for all 
nonattainment areas to provide for the implementation of all RACM as 
expeditiously as practicable and to provide for attainment of the 
national primary ambient air quality standards. EPA interprets this 
requirement to impose a duty on all nonattainment areas to consider all 
available control measures and to adopt and implement such measures as 
are reasonably available for implementation in each area as components 
of the area's attainment demonstration. Under section 172, states with 
nonattainment areas must submit plans providing for timely attainment 
and meeting a variety of other requirements. Section 182 of the CAA, 
found in subpart 2 of part D, establishes additional specific 
requirements depending on the area's ozone nonattainment 
classification. For purposes of evaluating this redesignation request, 
the applicable part D, subpart 2 SIP requirements for all moderate 
nonattainment areas are contained in sections 182(b)(1)-(5). However, 
pursuant to 40 CFR 51.918, EPA's June 23, 2011, determination that the 
Area was attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS suspended Georgia's 
obligation to submit most of the attainment planning requirements that 
would otherwise apply. Specifically, the determination of attainment 
suspended Georgia's obligation to submit an attainment demonstration 
and planning SIPs to provide for RFP, RACM, and contingency measures 
under sections 172(c)(9) and 182(b)(1) of the CAA.
    The General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 13498, 
April 16, 1992) also discusses the evaluation of these requirements in 
the context of EPA's consideration of a redesignation request. The 
General Preamble sets forth EPA's view of applicable requirements for 
purposes of evaluating redesignation requests when an area is attaining 
a standard (General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 
13498, April 16, 1992)).
    Because attainment has been reached in the Atlanta Area, no 
additional measures are needed to provide for attainment for the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS,\5\ and section 172(c)(1) requirements for an 
attainment demonstration and RACM are no longer

[[Page 7710]]

considered to be applicable for purposes of redesignation as long as 
the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS until 
redesignation. See also 40 CFR 51.918.
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    \5\ Effective July 20, 2012, EPA designated 15 counties in the 
Atlanta Area as nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This 
rulemaking does not address requirements for the portion of Atlanta 
that was designated nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
Requirements for the portion of Atlanta that was designated 
nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS will be addressed in 
the future.
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    The RFP plan requirements under sections 172(c)(2) and 182(b)(1) 
are defined as progress that must be made toward attainment for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These requirements are not relevant for 
purposes of redesignation because EPA has determined that the entire 
Atlanta Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
See General Preamble, 57 FR 13564. See also 40 CFR 51.1004 (c). While 
it is not a requirement for redesignation, EPA is considering taking 
action on Georgia's RFP plan for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS separate 
from today's proposed action.
    Section 172(c)(3) and section 182(b) requires submission and 
approval of a comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual 
emissions. Section 182(b) references section 182(a) of the CAA which 
requires, in part, for states to submit a current inventory of actual 
emissions (182(a)(1)). As part of Georgia's attainment demonstration 
for the Atlanta Area, Georgia submitted a 2002 base year emissions 
inventory. EPA approved the 2002 base year inventory on March 24, 2012, 
as meeting the section 172(c)(3) and section 182(a)(1) emissions 
inventory requirement. See 77 FR 24399.
    Section 172(c)(4) requires the identification and quantification of 
emissions for major new and modified stationary sources to be allowed 
in an area, and section 172(c)(5) and section 182(b) require source 
permits for the construction and operation of new and modified major 
stationary sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. EPA has 
determined that, since PSD requirements will apply after redesignation, 
areas being redesignated need not comply with the requirement that a 
NSR program be approved prior to redesignation, provided that the area 
demonstrates maintenance of the NAAQS without part D NSR. A more 
detailed rationale for this view is described in a memorandum from Mary 
Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, dated October 
14, 1994, entitled, ``Part D New Source Review Requirements for Areas 
Requesting Redesignation to Attainment.'' Georgia has demonstrated that 
the Atlanta Area will be able to maintain the NAAQS without part D NSR 
in effect, and therefore Georgia need not have fully approved part D 
NSR programs prior to approval of the redesignation request. 
Nonetheless, Georgia currently has a fully-approved part D NSR program 
in place. Georgia's PSD program will become applicable in the Atlanta 
Area upon redesignation to attainment. Section 172(c)(6) requires the 
SIP to contain control measures necessary to provide for attainment of 
the NAAQS. Because attainment has been reached, no additional measures 
are needed to provide for attainment.
    Section 172(c)(7) requires the SIP to meet the applicable 
provisions of section 110(a)(2). As noted above, EPA believes the 
Georgia SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2) applicable for 
purposes of redesignation.
    Section 182(b) references, in part, section 182(a)(3), which 
requires states to submit periodic inventories and emissions 
statements. Section 182(a)(3)(A) of the CAA requires states to submit a 
periodic inventory every 3 years. The periodic emissions inventory is 
discussed in more detail in Criteria (4)(e), Verification of Continued 
Attainment.
    Section 182(a)(3)(B) of the CAA requires states with areas 
designated nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS to submit a SIP revision 
to require emissions statements to be submitted to the state by sources 
within that nonattainment area. EPA approved Georgia's emissions 
statements requirement, which is part of the attainment plan submittal, 
on November 27, 2009. See 74 FR 62249. EPA believes the Georgia SIP 
meets the requirements of section 182(a)(3)(B) applicable for purposes 
of redesignation.
    Section 182(b)(2) of the CAA requires states with areas designated 
nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS to submit a SIP revision to require 
reasonably available control technology (RACT) for all major VOC and 
NOX sources and for each category of VOC sources in the Area 
covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document.
    The CTGs established by EPA are guidance to the states and provide 
recommendations only. A state can develop its own strategy for what 
constitutes RACT for the various CTG categories, and EPA will review 
that strategy in the context of the SIP process and determine whether 
it meets the RACT requirements of the CAA and its implementing 
regulations. If no major sources of VOC or NOX emissions 
(which should be considered separately) or no sources in a particular 
source category exist in an applicable nonattainment area, a state may 
submit a negative declaration for that category.
    EPA approved Georgia's RACT submittals on September 28, 2012. See 
77 FR 59554. EPA believes the Georgia SIP meets the requirements of 
section 182(b)(2) applicable for purposes of redesignation.
    Originally, the section 182(b)(3) Stage II requirement also applied 
in all moderate ozone nonattainment areas. However, under section 
202(a)(6) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7521(a)(6), the requirements of section 
182(b)(3) no longer apply in moderate ozone nonattainment areas after 
EPA promulgated the onboard refueling vapor recovery standards on April 
6, 1994, 59 FR 16262, codified at 40 CFR parts 86 (including 86.098-8), 
88 and 600. Under implementation rules issued in 2002 for the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS, EPA retained the Stage II-related requirements under 
section 182(b)(3) as they applied for the now-revoked 1-hour ozone 
NAAQS. See 40 CFR 51.900(f)(5) and 40 CFR 51.916(a). As a previous 1-
hour ozone nonattainment area, Georgia currently has Stage II 
requirements approved in its SIP for 13 counties in the Atlanta Area. 
This proposed rulemaking does not relate to those requirements and is 
not proposing any action to remove those requirements from Georgia's 
SIP.
    Section 182(b)(4) of the CAA requires states with areas designated 
nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS to submit SIPs requiring inspection 
and maintenance of vehicles (I/M). Section 182(c)(3)requires enhanced 
vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) in ozone nonattainment areas 
classified as serious or worse. Georgia's enhanced I/M rule for the 13 
county nonattainment area under the 1990 1-hr ozone standard was 
submitted to EPA on August 9, 1999, and approved on April 19, 2002 (67 
FR 19335), effective June 18, 2002. Even though the Atlanta Area was 
designated as part of the moderate Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS, applicability of the I/M regulations to areas outside the 
Ozone Transport Region is based on the population of the urbanized area 
as defined by the 1990 census. In 1990, the Atlanta urbanized area was 
totally contained within Georgia and did not touch the State line. 
Therefore, the applicability level of a 1990 census population of 
200,000 or more in an urbanized area (40 CFR 51.350(a)(1)) applies to 
the Atlanta urbanized area. EPA believes the Georgia SIP meets the 
requirements of section 182(b)(3) and 182(b)(4) applicable for purposes 
of redesignation.
    Section 182(b)(5) of the CAA requires that for purposes of 
satisfying the general emission offset requirement, the ratio of total 
emission reductions to total increase emissions shall be at least 1.15

[[Page 7711]]

to 1. Georgia currently requires these offsets. EPA believes the 
Georgia SIP meets the requirements of section 182(b)(5) applicable for 
purposes of redesignation.
    Section 176 Conformity Requirements. Section 176(c) of the CAA 
requires states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that 
federally supported or funded projects conform to the air quality 
planning goals in the applicable SIP. The requirement to determine 
conformity applies to transportation plans, programs and projects that 
are developed, funded or approved under title 23 of the United States 
Code (U.S.C.) and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity) 
as well as to all other federally supported or funded projects (general 
conformity). State transportation conformity SIP revisions must be 
consistent with federal conformity regulations relating to 
consultation, enforcement and enforceability that EPA promulgated 
pursuant to its authority under the CAA.
    EPA interprets the conformity SIP requirements \6\ as not applying 
for purposes of evaluating a redesignation request under section 107(d) 
because state conformity rules are still required after redesignation 
and federal conformity rules apply where state rules have not been 
approved. See Wall v. EPA, 265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001) (upholding this 
interpretation); see also 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995) (redesignation 
of Tampa, Florida). Nonetheless, Georgia has an approved conformity SIP 
for the Atlanta Area. See 77 FR 35866, June 15, 2012. Thus, the Atlanta 
Area has satisfied all applicable requirements for purposes of 
redesignation under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ CAA section 176(c)(4)(E) requires states to submit revisions 
to their SIPs to reflect certain federal criteria and procedures for 
determining transportation conformity. Transportation conformity 
SIPs are different from the MVEBs that are established in control 
strategy SIPs and maintenance plans.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

b. The Atlanta Area Has a Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 
110(k) of the CAA
    EPA has fully approved the applicable Georgia SIP for the Atlanta 
Area under section 110(k) of the CAA for all requirements applicable 
for purposes of redesignation. EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in 
approving a redesignation request (see Calcagni Memorandum at p. 3; 
Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 
989-90 (6th Cir. 1998); Wall, 265 F.3d 426) plus any additional 
measures it may approve in conjunction with a redesignation action (see 
68 FR 25426 (May 12, 2003) and citations therein). Following passage of 
the CAA of 1970, Georgia has adopted and submitted, and EPA has fully 
approved at various times, provisions addressing the various 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS SIP elements applicable in the Atlanta Area (March 2, 
1976, 41 FR 8956; 110(a)(1) and (2) for 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, 
February 6, 2012, 77 FR 5706; RACT, September 28, 2012, 77 FR 59554; 
emissions inventory, March 24, 2012, 77 FR 24399; emissions statement, 
November 27, 2009, 74 FR 62249).
    As indicated above, EPA believes that the section 110 elements that 
are neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked to 
an area's nonattainment status are not applicable requirements for 
purposes of redesignation. EPA has approved all part D subpart 1 
requirements applicable for purposes of this redesignation.

Criteria (3)--The Air Quality Improvement in the Atlanta 1997 8-Hour 
Ozone NAAQS Nonattainment Area Is Due to Permanent and Enforceable 
Reductions in Emissions Resulting From Implementation of the SIP and 
Applicable Federal Air Pollution Control Regulations and Other 
Permanent and Enforceable Reductions

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the air quality improvement in the area 
is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting 
from implementation of the SIP and applicable federal air pollution 
control regulations and other permanent and enforceable reductions (CAA 
section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii)). EPA has preliminarily determined that 
Georgia has demonstrated that the observed air quality improvement in 
its portion of the Atlanta Area is due to permanent and enforceable 
reductions in emissions resulting from implementation of the SIP, 
federal measures, and other state adopted measures. EPA does not have 
any information to suggest that the decrease in ozone concentrations in 
the Atlanta Area is due to unusually favorable meteorological 
conditions
    State, local and federal measures enacted in recent years have 
resulted in permanent emission reductions. Most of these emission 
reductions are enforceable through regulations. A few non-regulatory 
measures also result in emission reductions.
    The state measures, some of which implement federal requirements, 
that have been implemented to date and relied upon by Georgia to 
demonstrate attainment and/or maintenance include: Georgia Rule (yy)--
Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides, Georgia Rule (lll)--NOX from 
Fuel Burning Equipment, Georgia Rule (rrr)--NOX from Small 
Fuel Burning Equipment, and Georgia Rule (jjj)--NOX from 
EGUs. These rules have been approved in the federally-approved SIP.
    Georgia's smoke management plan is a state-only requirement and is 
therefore not federally enforceable. This measure is not necessary for 
the continued maintenance of the Atlanta nonattainment area, however 
the implementation of this plan will support the maintenance of the 
ozone NAAQS for the Atlanta area. Additionally, Georgia Rule (sss) has 
not been submitted to EPA for approval into the SIP and is therefore 
not federally enforceable. The rule requirements to install and operate 
the control equipment have been incorporated into the each facility's 
respective title V federal operating permit. The rule alone is not 
relied upon to meet continued maintenance; however, the rule was 
designed to meet the emission reductions and deadlines of CAIR. Without 
the operation of the equipment required by Rule (sss), it would be 
impossible for the coal-fired EGUs operating in the state of Georgia to 
meet the emission budgets of either CAIR. Rule (sss) is state-effective 
and currently being implemented in Georgia.
    The federal measures that have been implemented include the 
following:
    Tier 2 vehicle standards. Implementation began in 2004 and will 
require all passenger vehicles in any manufacturer's fleet to meet an 
average standard of 0.07 grams of NOX per mile. The Tier 2 
rule also reduced the sulfur content of gasoline to 30 ppm starting in 
January of 2006.
    Large Non-road Diesel Engines Rule and Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel 
Rule. EPA issued this rule in June 2004 (69 FR 38958), which applies to 
diesel engines used in industries, such as construction, agriculture, 
and mining. It is estimated that compliance with this rule will cut 
NOX emissions from non-road diesel engines by up to 90 
percent nationwide. The non-road diesel rule was fully implemented by 
2010.
    Control Technique Guidelines. Georgia listed CTGs under federal 
measures implemented in the Atlanta Area. CTGs are not federal control 
measures. CTGs are federal guidelines for states to use in order to 
meet a CAA requirement for states to control VOC emissions from 
specific source categories. The resulting state controls are considered 
state measures, not

[[Page 7712]]

federal measures. See criteria 2(a) of section V of this action for 
more information regarding CTGs.
    Heavy-duty gasoline and diesel highway vehicle standards and Ultra 
Low-Sulfur Diesel Rule. EPA issued this rule in January 2001 (66 FR 
5002). This rule includes standards limiting the sulfur content of 
diesel fuel, which went into effect in 2004. A second phase took effect 
in 2007, which further reduced the highway diesel fuel sulfur content 
to 15 ppm, leading to additional reductions in combustion 
NOX and VOC emissions. This rule is expected to achieve a 95 
percent reduction in NOX emissions from diesel trucks and 
buses.
    Nonroad spark-ignition engines and recreational engines standards. 
This rule was effective in 2003 and will reduce NOX and 
hydrocarbon emissions.
    NOX SIP Call in Surrounding States. The NOX SIP Call 
created the NOX Budget Trading Program designed to reduce 
the amount of ozone that crosses state lines.
    EPA has considered the relationship of the Atlanta Area's 
maintenance plan to the reductions currently required pursuant to CAIR. 
Although CAIR was remanded to EPA, the remand of CAIR does not alter 
the requirements of the NOX SIP Call and the State has 
demonstrated that the Atlanta Area can maintain the 1997 ozone NAAQS 
without any additional requirements (beyond those required by the 
NOX SIP Call in surrounding states). Therefore, EPA has made 
the preliminary determination that the State's demonstration of 
maintenance under sections 175A and 107(d)(3)(E) remains valid based on 
reductions from the NOX SIP Call.
    The NOX SIP Call required states to make NOX 
emissions reductions. It also provided a mechanism (the NOX 
Budget Trading Program) that states could use to achieve those 
reductions. When EPA promulgated CAIR, it discontinued (starting in 
2009) the NOX Budget Trading Program, 40 CFR 51.121(r), but 
established another mechanism--the CAIR ozone season trading program--
which states could use to meet their NOX SIP Call 
obligations, 70 FR 25289-90. EPA notes that a number of states, when 
submitting SIP revisions to require sources to participate in the CAIR 
ozone season trading program, removed the SIP provisions that required 
sources to participate in the NOX Budget Trading Program. In 
addition, because the provisions of CAIR including the ozone season 
NOX trading program have remained in place during the 
remand, EPA is not currently administering the NOX Budget 
Trading Program. Nonetheless, all states regardless of the current 
status of their regulations that previously required participation in 
the NOX Budget Trading Program, will remain subject to all 
of the requirements in the NOX SIP Call even if the existing 
CAIR ozone season trading program is withdrawn or altered. In addition, 
the anti-backsliding provisions of 40 CFR 51.905(f) specifically 
provide that the provisions of the NOX SIP Call, including 
the statewide NOX emission budgets, continue to apply after 
revocation of the 1-hour NAAQS. Thus, for purposes of today's action, 
emissions reductions associated with the NOX SIP Call are 
``permanent and enforceable.''
    All NOX SIP Call states have SIPs that currently satisfy 
their obligations under the NOX SIP Call; the NOX 
SIP Call reduction requirements are being met; and EPA will continue to 
enforce the requirements of the NOX SIP Call even after any 
response to the CAIR remand. For these reasons, EPA believes that 
regardless of the status of the CAIR program, the NOX SIP 
Call requirements can be relied upon in demonstrating maintenance. 
Here, the State has demonstrated maintenance based in part on those 
requirements.
    CAIR and CSAPR. CAIR remains in place and enforceable until 
substituted by a ``valid'' replacement rule. Regardless of the timing 
of the transition from CAIR to CSAPR, or a resulting court-ordered 
interstate transport remedy, emissions of NOX and 
SO2 have declined significantly and are expected to continue 
to decrease in the future due to the continuation of CAIR and Georgia's 
own EGU emissions rules.
    To the extent that the Georgia submittal relies on CAIR reductions 
that occurred through 2012, the recent directive from the D.C. Circuit 
in EME Homer City ensures that the reductions associated with CAIR will 
be permanent and enforceable for the necessary time period for purposes 
of CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii) and Georgia's request to redesignate 
the Atlanta Area and seek approval of its maintenance plan and other 
requirements associated with redesignation. EPA has been ordered by the 
court to develop a new rule, and the opinion makes clear that after 
promulgating that new rule EPA must provide states an opportunity to 
draft and submit SIPs to implement that rule. CAIR thus cannot be 
replaced until EPA has promulgated a final rule through a notice-and-
comment rulemaking process, states have had an opportunity to draft and 
submit SIPs, EPA has reviewed the SIPs to determine if they can be 
approved, and EPA has taken action on the SIPs, including promulgating 
a Federal Implementation Plan, if appropriate. The court's clear 
instruction to EPA is that it must continue to administer CAIR until a 
``valid replacement'' exists and thus CAIR reductions may be relied 
upon until the necessary actions are taken by EPA and states to 
administer CAIR's replacement. Furthermore, the court's instruction 
provides an additional backstop; by definition, any rule that replaces 
CAIR and meets the court's direction would require upwind states to 
have SIPs that eliminate significant contributions to downwind 
nonattainment and prevent interference with maintenance in downwind 
areas.
    Further, in vacating CSAPR and requiring EPA to continue 
administering CAIR, the D.C. Circuit emphasized that the consequences 
of vacating CAIR ``might be more severe now in light of the reliance 
interests accumulated over the intervening four years.'' EME Homer 
City, 696 F.3d at 38. The accumulated reliance interests include the 
interests of states who reasonably assumed they could rely on 
reductions associated with CAIR, which brought certain nonattainment 
areas into attainment with the NAAQS. If EPA were prevented from 
relying on reductions associated with CAIR in redesignation actions, 
states would be forced to impose additional, redundant reductions on 
top of those achieved by CAIR. EPA believes this is precisely the type 
of irrational result the court sought to avoid by ordering EPA to 
continue administering CAIR. For these reasons also, EPA believes it is 
appropriate to allow states to rely on CAIR, and the existing emissions 
reductions achieved by CAIR, as sufficiently permanent and enforceable 
for purposes such as redesignation. Following promulgation of the 
replacement rule, EPA will review SIPs as appropriate to identify 
whether there are any issues that need to be addressed. In light of 
these unique circumstances and for the reasons explained above, EPA is 
proposing to approve the redesignation request and related SIP 
revisions for the Atlanta Area. EPA continues to implement CAIR in 
accordance with current direction from the court, and thus CAIR is in 
place and enforceable and will remain so until substituted by a valid 
replacement rule. Georgia's SIP revision lists CAIR as a control 
measure, which became state-effective on February 28, 2007, and was 
approved by EPA on October 9, 2007, 72 FR 57202, for the purpose of 
reduction SO2 and NOX emissions. The monitoring 
data used to demonstrate the Area's attainment of the

[[Page 7713]]

1997 8-hour ozone standard was impacted by CAIR.

Criteria (4)--The Atlanta Area Has a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan 
Pursuant to Section 175A of the CAA

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the area has a fully approved 
maintenance plan pursuant to section 175A of the CAA (CAA section 
107(d)(3)(E)(iv)). In conjunction with its request to redesignate the 
Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, GA EPD 
submitted a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS for at least 10 years after the effective date of 
redesignation to attainment. EPA has made the preliminary determination 
that this maintenance plan meets the requirements for approval under 
section 175A of the CAA.
a. What is required in a maintenance plan?
    Section 175A of the CAA sets forth the elements of a maintenance 
plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. 
Under section 175A, the plan must demonstrate continued attainment of 
the applicable NAAQS for at least 10 years after the Administrator 
approves a redesignation to attainment. Eight years after the 
redesignation, the state must submit a revised maintenance plan which 
demonstrates that attainment will continue to be maintained for the 
remainder of the 20-year period following the initial 10-year period. 
To address the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance 
plan must contain contingency measures as EPA deems necessary to assure 
prompt correction of any future 1997 8-hour ozone violations. The 
Calcagni Memorandum provides further guidance on the content of a 
maintenance plan, explaining that a maintenance plan should address 
five requirements: the attainment emissions inventory, maintenance 
demonstration, monitoring, verification of continued attainment, and a 
contingency plan. As is discussed more fully below, EPA proposes to 
find that Georgia's maintenance plan includes all the necessary 
components and is thus proposing to approve it as a revision to the 
Georgia SIP.
b. Attainment Emissions Inventory
    The Atlanta Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on 
monitoring data for the 3-year period from 2008-2010. Georgia selected 
2008 as the attainment emissions inventory year. The attainment 
inventory identifies a level of emissions in the Area that is 
sufficient to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Georgia began 
development of the attainment inventory by first generating a baseline 
emissions inventory for the Atlanta Area. As noted above, the year 2008 
was chosen as the base year for developing a comprehensive emissions 
inventory for NOX and VOC, for which projected emissions 
could be developed for 2017 and 2024.
    The attainment year emissions were projected to future years 
separately using different methods by seven source categories, 
including: EGU point sources; non-EGU point sources; area sources; 
fires; nonroad mobile sources; nonroad mobile sources--marine, aircraft 
and railroad; and onroad mobile sources. Point sources captured in the 
inventory include stationary sources whose actual emissions equal or 
exceed 25 tons per year (tpy) of VOC or NOX in the 13 
counties in the Atlanta area that were previously nonattainment for the 
1-hour ozone NAAQS and are currently nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS (Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, 
Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale), and 100 tpy 
of VOC or NOX in the seven remaining counties that make up 
the Atlanta nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (Barrow, 
Bartow, Carroll, Hall, Newton, Spalding, and Walton).
    The emissions inventory is composed of four major types of sources: 
point, area, on-road mobile and non-road mobile. Process-level 
emissions estimates for three EGU facilities in the Atlanta Area during 
2008 were obtained from NEI2008 Version 1.5. The emissions were 
projected to year 2017 and 2024 using corresponding growth and control 
factors.
    Ozone season daily emissions for EGU point sources were calculated 
by multiplying the annual total emissions with daily emissions 
fractions during June, July and August. The fractions for 
NOX and VOC emissions during June, July and August were 
estimated, respectively, using hourly 2008 CAMD CEM NOX 
emissions and heat input data, and then were divided by the number of 
days in these three months (92) to get ozone season daily emissions 
fractions. The same daily fractions have been used for both attainment 
year and future years. For future year emissions from Plant McDonough-
Atkinson, the fraction of NOX emissions during the months of 
June through August was calculated as the product of the NOX 
ozone-season limit and three months divided by the sum of the ozone-
season limit times five months and the non-ozone season limit times 
seven months.
    Emissions estimates for non-EGU point sources in 2008 were obtained 
from NEI2008 Version 1.5. Emissions in future years 2017 and 2024 were 
estimated using SCC- and county-specific growth factors generated with 
the U.S. EPA's Economic Growth Analysis System Version 5.0 (EGAS 5.0) 
with ``Default REMI 6.0 SCC Configuration.'' Appendix B-2 contains a 
summary of the SCC specific growth factors for Atlanta ozone 
nonattainment area. These emissions are not subject to additional 
controls in the future years 2017 and 2024. Ozone season daily 
emissions for non-EGU point sources were estimated by multiplying the 
annual total emissions with ozone season daily emissions fractions, 
which were calculated using the same temporal allocation method used in 
Sparse Matrix Operator Kernel Emissions (SMOKE, http://www.smoke-model.org/index.cfm). The SMOKE temporal profiles and reference files 
were obtained from EPA's 2005 Modeling Platform Web site (ftp://ftp.epa.gov/EmisInventory/2005v4_2/ancillary_smoke). The SMOKE 
temporal profiles gave monthly emissions fractions, and were linked to 
each emission record by SCC according to the SMOKE temporal reference 
file. The total of the monthly fractions of June, July and August were 
divided by the number of days in these three months (92) to get ozone 
season daily emissions fractions.
    Nonpoint sources captured in the inventory include stationary 
sources whose emissions levels of NOX, SO2, and 
particulate matter are each less than 25 tons per year. Emissions from 
nonpoint sources in 2008 were obtained from NEI2008 version 1.5. Ozone 
season daily emissions for area sources were calculated using the SMOKE 
temporal profiles as described for non-EGU point sources.
    Emissions from fires in 2008 were obtained from NEI2008 version 
1.5. These estimates were provided by Georgia Environmental Protection 
Division as part of AERR2008 submission (Georgia Air Protection Branch, 
2011). This inventory was developed using 2008 burned area data and 
burning permit data provided by Georgia Forestry Commission and the 
same method as used for the VISTAS2002 fire inventory (www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/conference/ei13/rpo/barnard_pres.pdf). Emissions in future 
years 2017 and 2024 were assumed to be the same as attainment year 
2008. Ozone season daily emissions for fires were calculated by

[[Page 7714]]

dividing the total emissions during June, July and August by the number 
of days in these three months (92). The emissions during these three 
months were estimated using monthly emissions for nonpoint fires and 
event emissions records for wildfires occurred during this period in 
NEI2008.
    The 2008 NOX and VOC emissions for the Atlanta Area, as 
well as the emissions for other years, were developed consistent with 
EPA guidance and are summarized in Tables 2 through 4 of the following 
subsection discussing the maintenance demonstration.
c. Maintenance Demonstration
    The April 4, 2012, final SIP revision includes a maintenance plan 
for the Atlanta Area. The maintenance plan:
    (i) Shows compliance with and maintenance of the 8-hour ozone 
standard by providing information to support the demonstration that 
current and future emissions of NOX and VOC remain at or 
below 2008 emissions levels.
    (ii) Uses 2008 as the attainment year and includes future emissions 
inventory projections for 2017, 2020, and 2024.
    (iii) Identifies an ``out year'' at least 10 years (and beyond) 
after the time necessary for EPA to review and approve the maintenance 
plan. Per 40 CFR part 93, NOX and VOC MVEBs were established 
for the last year (2024) of the maintenance plan (see section VI 
below).
    (iv) Provides actual and projected emissions inventories, in tons 
per day (tpd), for the Atlanta Area, as shown in Tables 2 through 4 
below.

                  Table 2--Actual and Projected Annual NOX Emissions (tpd) for the Atlanta Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Sector                          2008         2014         2017         2020         2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point..........................................        75.99        60.69        53.05        54.43        56.27
Area *.........................................        49.30        54.92        57.73        60.62        64.48
Nonroad........................................       117.47        99.18        90.04        87.03        83.01
On-road........................................       364.02       264.80       215.19       165.58        99.43
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total **...................................       606.78       479.59       416.01       367.66      303.19
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For nonpoint emissions, excluding fire.
** Numbers may be slightly different than the April 4, 2012, submittal based on rounding conventions.


                  Table 3--Actual and Projected Annual VOC Emissions (tpd) for the Atlanta Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Sector                          2008         2014         2017         2020         2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point..........................................        13.79        15.80        16.81        17.80        19.13
Area *.........................................       216.46       243.28       256.69       270.61       289.16
Nonroad........................................        96.03        74.75        64.11        63.50        62.69
On-road........................................       165.53       126.92       107.61        88.30        62.56
                                                ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Total **...................................       491.82       460.75       445.22       440.21      433.55
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For nonpoint emissions, excluding fire.
** Numbers may be slightly different than the April 4, 2012, submittal based on rounding conventions.


            Table 4--Emission Estimates for the Atlanta Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Year                        VOC (tpd)    NOX (tpd)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2008..........................................       491.82       606.78
2024..........................................       433.55       303.19
Difference from 2008 to 2024..................       -58.27      -303.59
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tables 2 through 4 summarize the 2008 and future projected 
emissions of NOX and VOC from Atlanta. In situations where 
local emissions are the primary contributor to nonattainment, the 
ambient air quality standard should not be violated in the future as 
long as emissions from within the nonattainment area remain at or below 
the baseline with which attainment was achieved. Georgia has projected 
emissions as described previously and determined that emissions in the 
Atlanta Area will remain below those in the attainment year inventory 
for the duration of the maintenance plan.
    As discussed in section VI of this proposed rulemaking, a safety 
margin is the difference between the attainment level of emissions 
(from all sources) and the projected level of emissions (from all 
sources) in the maintenance plan. The attainment level of emissions is 
the level of emissions during one of the years in which the area met 
the NAAQS. Georgia selected 2008 as the attainment emissions inventory 
year for the Atlanta Area. The State has decided to allocate a safety 
margin to the 2024 MVEB for the Atlanta Area. The safety margin was 
calculated as 99.43 tpd for NOX and 62.56 tpd for VOC. A 
portion of the overall emissions reductions from 2008 to 2024 will be 
used as the safety margin for MVEB. The MVEB to be used for 
transportation conformity proposes is discussed in section VI. This 
allocation and the resulting available safety margin for the Atlanta 
Area are discussed further in section VI of this proposed rulemaking.
d. Monitoring Network
    There are currently nine monitors measuring ozone in Atlanta. The 
State of Georgia, through GA EPD, has committed to continue operation 
of the monitors in Atlanta Area in compliance with 40 CFR part 58 and 
have thus addressed the requirement for monitoring. EPA approved the 
ozone portion of Georgia's 2012 annual ambient air monitoring network 
plan on October 16, 2012.
e. Verification of Continued Attainment
    The State of Georgia, through GA EPD, has the legal authority to 
enforce and implement the requirements of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area. This includes the authority to 
adopt, implement and enforce any subsequent emissions control 
contingency measures determined to be necessary to correct future ozone 
attainment problems.
    Verification of continued attainment is accomplished through 
operation of the ambient ozone monitoring network and the periodic 
updates of the Area's emissions inventory. GA EPD will continue to 
operate the current monitors located in the metro Atlanta area. There 
are no plans to discontinue operation,

[[Page 7715]]

relocate, or otherwise change the existing ambient monitoring network. 
Georgia will continue to update its emissions inventory at least once 
every three years.
    The Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule (CERR) was promulgated by 
EPA on June 10, 2002. The CERR was replaced by the Annual Emissions 
Reporting Requirements (AERR) rule on December 17, 2008. The most 
recent triennial inventory for Georgia was compiled for 2008. The 
larger point sources of air pollution will continue to submit data on 
their emissions on an annual basis as required by the AERR. Emissions 
from the rest of the point sources, the nonpoint source portion, and 
the on-road and nonroad mobile sources continue to be quantified on a 
three-year cycle. The inventory will be updated and maintained on a 
three-year cycle. As required by the AERR, the next overall emissions 
inventory will be compiled for 2011.
f. Contingency Measures in the Maintenance Plan
    The contingency measures are designed to promptly correct a 
violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation. Section 175A of 
the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include such contingency 
measures as EPA deems necessary to assure that the state will promptly 
correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation. The 
maintenance plan should identify the contingency measures to be 
adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and implementation, and 
a time limit for action by the state. A state should also identify 
specific indicators to be used to determine when the contingency 
measures need to be implemented. The maintenance plan must include a 
requirement that a state will implement all measures with respect to 
control of the pollutant that were contained in the SIP before 
redesignation of the area to attainment in accordance with section 
175A(d).
    The contingency plan included in Georgia's April 4, 2012, SIP 
revision includes a triggering mechanism to determine when contingency 
measures are needed and a process of developing and implementing 
appropriate control measures. The State of Georgia will use actual 
ambient monitoring data and emissions inventory data as the indicators 
to determine whether contingency measures should be implemented.
    Georgia has identified a primary trigger (Tier I) for the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS when any quality-assured 8-hour ozone monitoring 
reading exceeds 0.084 ppm at an ambient monitoring station located in 
the Atlanta maintenance area or if the periodic emission inventory 
updates reveal excessive or unanticipated growth greater than 10 
percent in emissions of either ozone precursor over the attainment or 
intermediate emissions inventories for the Atlanta maintenance area (as 
determined by the triennial emission reporting required by AERR). GA 
EPD will conduct an evaluation as expeditiously as practicable to 
determine if the trend is likely to continue. If it is determined that 
additional emission reductions are necessary, GA EPD will adopt and 
implement any required measures in accordance with the schedule and 
procedure for adoption and implementation of contingency measures.
    The ozone trigger concentrations described above apply to each 
monitor in the maintenance area. GA EPD will evaluate a Tier I 
condition, if it occurs, as expeditiously as practicable to determine 
the cause(s) of the ambient ozone or emissions inventory increase and 
to determine if a Tier II condition (see below) is likely to occur.
    A secondary trigger (Tier II) is activated when any violation of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS at any of the metro Atlanta ambient 
monitoring stations in the Atlanta maintenance area is recorded, based 
on quality-assured monitoring data. In this event, GA EPD will conduct 
a comprehensive study to determine the cause(s) of the ambient ozone 
increase and will implement any required measures as expeditiously as 
practicable, taking into consideration the ease of implementation and 
the technical and economic feasibility of selected measures
    GA EPD will, in the event of 1) a Tier II trigger condition or 2) a 
Tier I condition in which GA EPD has determined that a Tier II 
condition is likely to occur, conduct a comprehensive study to 
determine what contingency measure(s) are required for the maintenance 
of the ozone standard. Since the metro Atlanta area may be influenced 
by emissions from outside the maintenance area, the study will attempt 
to determine whether the trigger condition is due to local emissions, 
emissions from elsewhere, or a combination of the previous. The 
comprehensive analysis, based on quality-assured ambient data, will 
examine:
     The severity of the trigger condition;
     the meteorological conditions (in the case of an ambient 
concentration trigger)
     associated with the trigger condition;
     potential contributing local emissions sources;
     potential contributing emissions resulting from regional 
or long-range transport;
     the geographic applicability of possible contingency 
measures;
     emission trends, including implementation timelines of 
potential control measures;
     timelines of ``on-the-books'' (adopted) measures that are 
not yet fully implemented (e.g., Georgia Rule (sss) NOX 
controls);
     current and recently identified control technologies.
    The comprehensive study will be completed and submitted to EPA for 
review as expeditiously as practical but no later than nine months 
after the Tier I or Tier II trigger is activated. When GA EPD 
determines, through the comprehensive study, what contingency 
measure(s) are required for the maintenance of the ozone standard, 
appropriate corrective measures will be adopted and implemented within 
18 to 24 months after the Tier I or II trigger occurs. EPA anticipates 
that control measures not relied upon for attainment but that are 
currently being implemented by GA EPD will continue to produce 
substantial reductions in ozone precursors in excess of what is relied 
upon in this maintenance plan. They include the Georgia Multipollutant 
Rule as well as diesel engine retrofit, replacement, and repowering 
programs and truck stop electrification programs. Contingency measures 
will be adopted no later than 18 months following the date on which the 
Tier I or Tier II trigger is activated. Selection of measures will take 
into consideration the ease of implementation as well as technical and 
economic feasibility. If it is determined that adoption and 
implementation of a rule will take longer than 24 months following the 
trigger date, GA EPD will submit for EPA's approval a revised schedule 
for the development and adoption of contingency measures.
    If the analysis required above determines emissions from the local 
area are contributing to the trigger condition, GA EPD will evaluate 
those measures as specified in Section 172 of the CAA for control 
options as well as other available measures. Section 175A(d) requires 
that state maintenance plans shall include a requirement that the state 
will implement all measures with respect to the control of the air 
pollutant concerned which were contained in the SIP for the area before 
redesignation of the area to attainment. Currently all such measures 
are in effect

[[Page 7716]]

for the Atlanta Area. Contingency measure(s) will be selected from the 
following types of measures or from any other measure deemed 
appropriate and effective at the time the selection is made:
     RACM for sources of VOC and NOX.
     RACT for point sources of VOC and NOX, 
specifically the adoption of new and revised RACT rules based on Groups 
II, III, and IV CTGs.
     Expansion of RACM/RACT to area(s) of transport within the 
State.
     Mobile Source Measures.
     Implementation of a new measure/control that is already 
promulgated and scheduled to be implemented at the federal or state 
level.
     Additional NOX reduction measure(s) yet to be 
identified.
    EPA has concluded that the maintenance plan adequately addresses 
the five basic components of a maintenance plan: attainment inventory, 
monitoring network, verification of continued attainment, and a 
contingency plan. Therefore, the maintenance plan SIP revision 
submitted by the State of Georgia for the Atlanta Area meets the 
requirements of section 175A of the CAA, and thus EPA is proposing 
approval of the plan.

VI. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's proposed NOX and VOC 
MVEBs for the Atlanta area?

    Under section 176(c) of the CAA, new transportation plans, 
programs, and projects, such as the construction of new highways, must 
``conform'' to (i.e., be consistent with) the part of the state's air 
quality plan that addresses pollution from cars and trucks. Conformity 
to the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause new air 
quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely 
attainment of the NAAQS or any interim milestones. If a transportation 
plan does not conform, most new projects that would expand the capacity 
of roadways cannot go forward. Regulations at 40 CFR part 93 set forth 
EPA policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating and assuring 
conformity of such transportation activities to a SIP. The regional 
emissions analysis is one, but not the only, requirement for 
implementing transportation conformity. Transportation conformity is a 
requirement for nonattainment and maintenance areas. Maintenance areas 
are areas that were previously nonattainment for a particular NAAQS but 
have since been redesignated to attainment with an approved maintenance 
plan for that NAAQS.
    Under the CAA, states are required to submit, at various times, 
control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans for nonattainment areas. 
These control strategy SIPs (including RFP and attainment 
demonstration) and maintenance plans create MVEBs for criteria 
pollutants and/or their precursors to address pollution from cars and 
trucks. Per 40 CFR part 93, a MVEB must be established for the last 
year of the maintenance plan. A state may adopt MVEBs for other years 
as well. The MVEB is the portion of the total allowable emissions in 
the maintenance demonstration that is allocated to highway and transit 
vehicle use and emissions. See 40 CFR 93.101. The MVEB serves as a 
ceiling on emissions from an area's planned transportation system. The 
MVEB concept is further explained in the preamble to the November 24, 
1993, Transportation Conformity Rule (58 FR 62188). The preamble also 
describes how to establish the MVEB in the SIP and how to revise the 
MVEB.
    After interagency consultation with the transportation partners for 
the Atlanta Area, Georgia has developed MVEBs for NOX and 
VOC for the Atlanta Area. Georgia is developing these MVEBs, as 
required, for the last year of its maintenance plan, 2024. The MVEBs 
reflect the total on-road emissions for 2024, plus an allocation from 
the available NOX and VOC safety margin. Under 40 CFR 
93.101, the term ``safety margin'' is the difference between the 
attainment level (from all sources) and the projected level of 
emissions (from all sources) in the maintenance plan. The safety margin 
can be allocated to the transportation sector; however, the total 
emissions must remain below the attainment level. The NOX 
and VOC MVEBs and allocation from the safety margin were developed in 
consultation with the transportation partners and were added to account 
for uncertainties in population growth, changes in model vehicle miles 
traveled and new emission factor models. The NOX and VOC 
MVEBs for the Atlanta Area are defined in Table 5 below.

              Table 5--Atlanta Area NOX and VOC MVEBs (tpd)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX Emissions
    Base Emissions.........................................        99.43
    Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB........................         26.9
    NOX Conformity MVEB....................................          126
VOC Emissions
    Base Emissions.........................................        62.56
    Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB........................         29.4
    VOC Conformity MVEB....................................           92
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned above, Georgia has chosen to allocate a portion of the 
available safety margin to the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 
for the Atlanta Area. This allocation is 26.9 tpd and 29.4 tpd for 
NOX and VOC, respectively. Thus, the remaining safety 
margins for 2024 are 28.87 tpd and 276.69 tpd NOX and VOC, 
respectively.
    Through this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to approve the MVEBs for 
NOX and VOC for 2024 for the Atlanta Area because EPA has 
preliminarily determined that the Area maintains the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS with the emissions at the levels of the budgets. Once the MVEBs 
for the Atlanta Area are approved or found adequate (whichever is 
completed first), they must be used for future conformity 
determinations. After thorough review, EPA has preliminarily determined 
that the budgets meet the adequacy criteria, as outlined in 40 CFR 
93.118(e)(4), and is proposing to approve the budgets because they are 
consistent with maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS through 
2024.

VII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 for the Atlanta area?

    When reviewing submitted ``control strategy'' SIPs or maintenance 
plans containing MVEBs, EPA may affirmatively find the MVEB contained 
therein adequate for use in determining transportation conformity. Once 
EPA affirmatively finds the submitted MVEB is adequate for 
transportation conformity purposes, that MVEB must be used by state and 
federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation 
projects conform to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the CAA.
    EPA's substantive criteria for determining adequacy of a MVEB are 
set out in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). The process for determining adequacy 
consists of three basic steps: public notification of a SIP submission, 
a public comment period, and EPA's adequacy determination. This process 
for determining the adequacy of submitted MVEBs for transportation 
conformity purposes was initially outlined in EPA's May 14, 1999, 
guidance, ``Conformity Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, 
Conformity Court Decision.'' EPA adopted regulations to codify the

[[Page 7717]]

adequacy process in the 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 Change,'' on July 1, 2004 (69 FR 40004). Additional 
information on the adequacy process for transportation conformity 
purposes is available in the proposed rule entitled, ``Transportation 
Conformity Rule Amendments: Response to Court Decision and Additional 
Rule Changes,'' 68 FR 38974, 38984 (June 30, 2003).
    As discussed earlier, Georgia's maintenance plan submission 
includes NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta Area for 2024, 
the last year of the maintenance plan. EPA reviewed the NOX 
and VOC MVEBs through the adequacy process. The Georgia SIP submission, 
including the Atlanta Area NOX and VOC MVEBs, was open for 
public comment on EPA's adequacy Web site on February 29, 2012, found 
at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm#atlanta2. The EPA public comment period on adequacy for 
the MVEBs for 2024 for the Atlanta Area closed on March 30, 2012. No 
comments, adverse or otherwise, were received during EPA's adequacy 
process for the MVEBs associated with Georgia's 1997 8-hour ozone 
maintenance plan.
    EPA intends to make its determination on the adequacy of the 2024 
MVEBs for the Atlanta Area for transportation conformity purposes in 
the near future by completing the adequacy process that was started on 
February 29, 2012. After EPA finds the 2024 MVEBs adequate or approves 
them, the new MVEBs for NOX and VOC must be used for future 
transportation conformity determinations. For required regional 
emissions analysis years for 2024 and beyond, the applicable budgets 
will be the new 2024 MVEBs established in the maintenance plan, as 
defined in section VI of this proposed rulemaking.

VIII. Proposed Action on the Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan 
SIP Revision Including Proposed Approval of the 2024 NOX and 
VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta Area

    EPA previously determined that the Atlanta Area was attaining the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS on June 23, 2011, at 76 FR 36873. EPA is now 
proposing to take two separate but related actions regarding the 
Atlanta Area's redesignation and maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS.
    First, EPA is proposing to determine, based on complete, quality-
assured and certified monitoring data for the 2009-2011 monitoring 
period that the Atlanta Area is attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
Based on 2010-2012 preliminary data in AQS, the Area is continuing to 
attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is proposing to determine that 
Georgia has met the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for the 
Atlanta Area for redesignation from nonattainment to attainment for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. On this basis, EPA is proposing to approve 
Georgia's redesignation request for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the 
Atlanta Area.
    Second, EPA is proposing to approve the maintenance plan for the 
Atlanta Area, including the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024, into 
the Georgia SIP (under CAA section 175A). The maintenance plan 
demonstrates that the Area will continue to maintain the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS, and the budgets meet all of the adequacy criteria 
contained in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5). Further, as part of today's 
action, EPA is describing the status of its adequacy determination for 
the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 in accordance with 40 CFR 
93.118(f)(1). Within 24 months from the effective date of EPA's 
adequacy determination for the MVEBs or the effective date for the 
final rule for this action, whichever is earlier, the transportation 
partners will need to demonstrate conformity to the new NOX 
and VOC MVEBs pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e).
    If finalized, approval of the redesignation request would change 
the official designation of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, 
Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, 
Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton Counties 
in Georgia from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS as found at 40 CFR part 81. This proposed action is does not 
relate to these same counties designation status under the 2008 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. Those counties in the Atlanta Area that were designated 
nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS would remain 
nonattainment for that NAAQS even if this action is finalized.

IX. What is the effect of EPA's proposed actions?

    EPA's proposed actions establish the basis upon which EPA may take 
final action on the issues being proposed for approval today. Approval 
of Georgia's redesignation request would change the legal designation 
of the designated portion of Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS, found at 40 CFR part 81, from nonattainment to attainment.\7\ 
Approval of Georgia's request would also incorporate a plan for 
maintaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the Atlanta Area through 
2024 into the Georgia SIP. This maintenance plan includes contingency 
measures to remedy any future violations of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
and procedures for evaluation of potential violations. The maintenance 
plan also establishes NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 for the 
Atlanta Area. The NOX MVEB is 126 tpd. The VOC MVEB is 92 
tpd. Additionally, EPA is notifying the public of the status of EPA's 
adequacy determination for the newly-established NOX and VOC 
MVEBs for 2024 for the Atlanta Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ This proposed action does not proposed to change the Area's 
designation for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the 
accompanying approval of a maintenance plan under section 107(d)(3)(E) 
are actions that affect the status of a geographical area and do not 
impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those 
imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of 
itself create any new requirements, but rather results in the 
applicability of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have 
been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is 
required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions 
of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 
CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to 
approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. 
Accordingly, these proposed actions merely approve state law as meeting 
federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond 
those imposed by state law. For this reason, these proposed actions:
     Are not ``significant regulatory action[s]'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     do not impose an information collection burden under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
     are certified as not having a significant economic impact 
on a

[[Page 7718]]

substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
     do 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);
     do not have Federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
     are not economically significant regulatory actions based 
on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     are not significant regulatory actions subject to 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
     are not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the 
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent 
with the CAA; and
     do not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to 
address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental 
effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under 
Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
In addition, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the determination does not have substantial direct effects on 
an Indian Tribe. There are no Indian Tribes located within the Atlanta 
nonattainment area.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Intergovernmental 
relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

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

    Dated: January 24, 2013.
Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming,
Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2013-02380 Filed 2-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P