[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 16792-16795]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06208]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 81

[EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0135; FRL-9791-6]


Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; State of 
California; Imperial Valley Planning Area for PM10; Clarification of 
Nonattainment Area Boundary

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: EPA is clarifying the description of the Imperial Valley 
planning area, an area designated as nonattainment for the national 
ambient air quality standard for particulate matter with an aerodynamic 
diameter of a nominal 10 microns or less (PM10). EPA is not 
changing the boundaries of the PM10 area or the status of 
the area as a ``serious'' PM10 nonattainment area but is 
clarifying the description of this partial county area in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

DATES: This direct final rule is effective May 20, 2013, unless EPA 
receives adverse comment by April 18, 2013. If adverse comments are 
received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule 
in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not 
take effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final 
rule based on the proposed rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-
OAR-2013-0135 by one of the following methods:
    1. Federal eRulemaking Portal, at www.regulations.gov, please 
follow the on-line instructions;
    2. Email to ward.laweeda@epa.gov; or
    3. Mail or delivery to La Weeda Ward, Air Division (AIR-1), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 
1460, Los Angeles, CA 90017.
    Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and 
should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. 
www.regulations.gov is an ``anonymous access'' system, and EPA will not 
know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the 
body of your comment. If you send an email directly to EPA, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
public comment. 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.
    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available 
electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 
IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents 
in the docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly 
available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), 
and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI). 
To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment 
during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: La Weeda Ward, Air Division (AIR-1), 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, 600 Wilshire Blvd., 
Suite 1460, Los Angeles, CA 90017, telephone number (213) 244-1812, or 
email ward.laweeda@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, wherever ``we'', 
``us'' or ``our'' are used, we mean EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. EPA's Final Action
III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background

    EPA sets the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for 
certain ambient air pollutants at levels required to protect public 
health and welfare. Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter 
less than or equal to a nominal ten micrometers, or PM10, is 
one of these ambient air pollutants for which EPA has established 
health-based standards.
    EPA revised the NAAQS for particulate matter on July 1, 1987 (52 FR 
24633), replacing standards for total

[[Page 16793]]

suspended particulates (TSP less than 30 microns in diameter) that were 
set in 1971 with new standards applying only to particulate matter up 
to 10 microns in diameter (PM10). Simultaneously, EPA 
published revised requirements for state implementation plans (SIPs) to 
attain and maintain the standards (52 FR 24672, July 1, 1987). To focus 
Federal and State resources on implementing the PM10 NAAQS 
first in those areas of the country believed to be violating the 
standards, EPA classified all areas of the Nation into one of three 
groups. Group I areas were those having a very high probability of 
violating the PM10 standards based on ambient air quality 
data available for 1984 through 1987 for PM10 and TSP. Group 
II areas had a moderate probability of violating the standards, and 
Group III areas were those believed to be currently attaining the 
standards.
    A list of Group I and II areas in each State was published on 
August 7, 1987 (52 FR 29383). Within Imperial County,\1\ EPA listed two 
areas, ``Imperial Valley planning area'' and ``Yuma planning area,'' 
\2\ among the Group I areas. The remaining portions of any State not 
listed as Group I or II were classified in Group III.
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    \1\ Imperial County is located in the southeastern corner of 
California. It borders Mexico to the south, Riverside County to the 
north, Arizona to the east, and San Diego County to the west. 
Imperial County lies within the Sonoran Desert.
    \2\ EPA also listed ``Yuma planning area'' as a Group I area 
within Yuma County, Arizona.
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    On October 31, 1990 (55 FR 45799), EPA clarified the descriptions 
of several Group I and II areas of concern. In so doing, EPA did not 
clarify the description of the ``Imperial Valley planning area'' but 
did eliminate ``Yuma planning area'' as a Group I or II area of concern 
within Imperial County, California.
    Under section 107(d)(4)(B) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or ``Act''), 
as amended in 1990, certain areas were designated as nonattainment for 
PM10 by operation of law upon enactment of the 1990 
Amendments (i.e., November 15, 1990). These areas included all areas 
included in Group I in EPA's 1987 list (unless changed by EPA prior to 
the 1990 Amended Act) as well as certain Group II and III areas. The 
Imperial Valley planning area, as a former ``Group I'' area, was one of 
the areas designated as a PM10 nonattainment area by 
operation of law effective November 15, 1990.
    On March 15, 1991 (56 FR 11101), EPA announced all of those areas 
that were designated nonattainment for PM10 by operation of 
law and announced that all of the nonattainment areas were classified 
as ``moderate,'' also effective November 15, 1990. The ``Imperial 
Valley planning area'' was one of the areas listed by EPA in March 1991 
as an ``initial'' PM10 nonattainment area. On November 6, 
1991 (56 FR 56694), EPA codified the PM10 nonattainment area 
designations, including the nonattainment area designation for 
``Imperial Valley planning area,'' in 40 CFR part 81.\3\
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    \3\ California area designations are codified at 40 CFR 81.305.
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    States with ``moderate'' PM10 nonattainment areas were 
required under the CAA as amended in 1990 to revise their SIPs to 
provide for attainment of the PM10 NAAQS no later than 
December 31, 1994. ``Moderate'' areas that failed to attain the 
PM10 NAAQS by December 31, 1994 were subject to 
reclassification to ``serious.'' Such reclassification would extend the 
applicable attainment date to December 31, 2001 but would require the 
SIP for the area to be further revised to meet more stringent 
requirements than had applied to ``moderate'' areas. On August 11, 2004 
(69 FR 48792), EPA determined that the Imperial Valley planning area 
failed to attain the PM10 NAAQS by December 31, 1994 and 
reclassified the area to ``serious.''
    The listing of the ``Imperial Valley planning area'' in the 
PM10 area designations table in 40 CFR 81.305 without 
further description has led to some confusion as to the precise 
boundaries of the designated nonattainment area, and the purpose of 
today's direct final rule is to clarify the description of the 
``Imperial Valley planning area'' to eliminate such confusion. 
Specifically, we are clarifying in this action that the ``Imperial 
Valley planning area'' PM10 nonattainment area is that 
portion of Imperial County that is defined as follows: Commencing at 
the southwest corner of Imperial County and extending north along the 
Imperial-San Diego County line to the northwest corner of Imperial 
County; then east along the Imperial-Riverside County line to the point 
of intersection of the eastern boundary line of Hydrologic Unit 
18100200; \4\ then southeasterly along the eastern boundary 
line of Hydrologic Unit 18100200 to the Imperial County-Mexico 
Border; then west along the Imperial County-Mexico Border to the point 
of the beginning.
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    \4\ Within Imperial County, the northeastern boundary of 
Hydrologic Unit 18100200 generally follows the crestline of 
the Chocolate Mountains.
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    For the purposes of this action, EPA reviewed the Federal Register 
documents listed above as well as EPA memoranda and State planning 
documents. Based on that review, EPA confirmed the accuracy of the 
above description. Specifically, EPA found that:
     EPA's 1987 listing of two Group I areas within Imperial 
County, i.e., the ``Imperial Valley planning area'' and the ``Yuma 
planning area,'' establishes that ``Imperial Valley planning area'' is 
a partial county area;
     The long-standing use of Hydrologic Units to describe 
other PM10 area designations in desert areas of California 
(see, e.g., the PM10 area designations in 40 CFR 81.305 for 
Coso Junction planning area, Owens Valley planning area, Trona planning 
area, and Indian Wells planning area) establishes precedent for the use 
of such units to describe the PM10 area designation for 
``Imperial Valley planning area,'' which is also a California desert 
area;
     EPA staff memorandum dated July 17, 1991 describes the 
``Imperial Valley Study Area'' boundary in terms of latitude and 
longitude that approximate the hydrologic unit boundary;
     EPA staff map, undated but believed to have been prepared 
in the early 1990s, illustrates the Imperial Valley planning area in 
terms of the northeastern boundary line for Hydrologic Unit 
18100200;
     EPA map (dated May 1992) of PM10 area 
designations within Region IX shows the Imperial Valley nonattainment 
area as covering that portion of the county east of a line that appears 
to approximate the northeastern boundary line for Hydrologic Unit 
18100200; and
     A SIP submittal dated January 11, 1994 for the Imperial 
Valley planning area from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to 
EPA includes a PM10 plan that describes the nonattainment 
area as containing ``most of Imperial County (approximately 80%) except 
for the portion east of the Chocolate Mountain Range'' and includes a 
figure that illustrates the nonattainment area showing a northeastern 
boundary line that approximates the boundary for Hydrologic Unit 
18100200.\5\
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    \5\ See pages 1-2 and 1-3 of the Imperial Valley PM10 
Plan submitted by CARB on January 11, 1994.
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    Through today's action, EPA is not changing the boundaries of the 
Imperial Valley planning area PM10 nonattainment area, but 
is simply clarifying the boundaries of the existing PM10 
nonattainment area by providing a more detailed description herein and 
in 40 CFR 81.305. EPA is also not changing the status or classification 
of the Imperial Valley planning area PM10 nonattainment 
area. As such, the area

[[Page 16794]]

remains designated as ``nonattainment'' for PM10 and 
classified as ``serious.''

II. EPA's Final Action

    EPA is clarifying that the Imperial Valley planning area 
PM10 nonattainment area is that portion of Imperial County 
that is defined as follows: Commencing at the southwest corner of 
Imperial County and extending north along the Imperial-San Diego County 
line to the northwest corner of Imperial County; then east along the 
Imperial-Riverside County line to the point of intersection of the 
eastern boundary line of Hydrologic Unit 18100200; then 
southeasterly along the eastern boundary line of Hydrologic Unit 
18100200 to the Imperial County-Mexico Border; then west along 
the Imperial County-Mexico Border to the point of the beginning. EPA is 
not changing the boundaries of the PM10 area or the status 
of the area as a ``serious'' PM10 nonattainment area but is 
simply clarifying the description of this partial county area and 
amending the applicable table in 40 CFR 81.305 accordingly.
    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we view 
this as a non-controversial action and anticipate no adverse comments. 
However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register 
publication, we are publishing a separate document that will serve as 
the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse comments 
are received. This rule will be effective on May 20, 2013 without 
further notice unless we receive adverse comments by April 18, 2013. If 
we receive adverse comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take 
effect. We will address all public comments in a subsequent final rule 
based on the proposed rule. We will not institute a second comment 
period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so 
now.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action simply clarifies the description of an existing air 
quality planning area and would not impose additional requirements 
beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:
     Is not ``significant regulatory actions'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     Does not impose an information collection burden under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
     Is certified as not having a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
     Does 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);
     Does not have Federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
     Is not economically significant regulatory actions based 
on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     Is not significant regulatory actions subject to Executive 
Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
     Is 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
     Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to 
address disproportionate human health or environmental effects with 
practical, appropriate, and legally permissible methods under Executive 
Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
    In addition, this action does not have Tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the action simply clarifies the description of existing air 
quality planning area and thus will not impose substantial direct costs 
on Tribal governments or preempt Tribal law.
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for 
the appropriate circuit by May 20, 2013. Filing a petition for 
reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect 
the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor 
does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may 
be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or 
action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are 
encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of 
proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules 
section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate 
petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can 
withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed 
rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to 
enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, 
Wilderness areas.

    Dated: March 6, 2013.
Jared Blumenfeld,
Regional Administrator, Region IX.

PART 81--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart C--[Section 107 Attainment Status Designations]

0
2. Section 81.305 is amended in the table for ``California-PM-10'' by 
revising the entry for ``Imperial County'' to read as follows:


Sec.  81.305  California.

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[[Page 16795]]



                                                California--PM10
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                                                  Designation                         Classification
           Designated Area            --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            Date             Type             Date                 Type
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                                                  * * * * * * *
Imperial County                              11/15/90     Nonattainment         9/10/04  Serious
Imperial Valley planning area: That
 portion of Imperial County that is
 defined as follows:
Commencing at the southwest corner of
 Imperial County and extending north
 along the Imperial-San Diego County
 line to the northwest corner of
 Imperial County; then east along the
 Imperial-Riverside County line to
 the point of intersection of the
 eastern boundary line of Hydrologic
 Unit 18100200; then
 southeasterly along the eastern
 boundary line of Hydrologic Unit
 18100200 to the Imperial
 County-Mexico Border; then west
 along the Imperial County-Mexico
 Border to the point of the beginning.
 
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[FR Doc. 2013-06208 Filed 3-18-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P