[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 144 (Friday, July 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45152-45167]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17834]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 52 and 81

[EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0129; FRL-9835-8]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation 
of Areas; North Carolina; Redesignation of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock 
Hill, 1997 8-Hour Ozone Moderate Nonattainment Area to Attainment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: On November 2, 2011, and supplemented on March 28, 2013, the 
State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of 
Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Air Quality (NC DAQ), 
submitted a request for EPA to redesignate the portion of North 
Carolina that is within the bi-state Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, 
North Carolina-South Carolina 8-hour ozone nonattainment area 
(hereafter referred to as the ``bi-state Charlotte Area,'' ``Area,'' or 
``Metrolina nonattainment area'') to attainment for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); and to approve a 
State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision containing a maintenance plan 
for the Area. EPA is proposing to approve the redesignation request for 
the Area, along with the related SIP revisions, including North 
Carolina's plan for maintaining attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
standard in the Area. EPA is also proposing to approve a supplemental 
SIP revision, submitted to EPA on March 28, 2013, extending the 
maintenance plan to the year 2025 and updating motor vehicle emission 
budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile 
organic compounds (VOC) for the years 2013 and 2025 for the North 
Carolina portion of the Area. These actions are being proposed pursuant 
to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and its implementing regulations. EPA 
finalized action to redesignate the South Carolina portion of the Area, 
including approval of South Carolina's maintenance plan for the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS, in a separate action.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 26, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-
OAR-2013-0129, 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-2013-0129, 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal 
holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-
2013-0129. 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
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, 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 North Carolina's proposed 
NOX and VOC MVEBs for the North Carolina portion of the 
area?
VII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2013 and 2025 for the 
North Carolina portion of the area?
VIII. Proposed Action on the Redesignation Request and Maintenance 
Plan SIP Revision Including Proposed Approval of the 2013 and 2025 
NOX and VOC MVEBs for the North Carolina Portion of the 
Area

[[Page 45153]]

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 North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to attainment 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; and (2) to approve into the North 
Carolina SIP, under section 175A of the CAA, North Carolina's plan for 
maintaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (1997 ozone NAAQS maintenance 
plan). EPA's proposed action for the maintenance plan also includes 
proposed approval of the associated MVEBs. Through today's rulemaking, 
EPA is also notifying the public of the status of EPA's adequacy 
determination for the MVEBs for the North Carolina portion of the bi-
state Charlotte Area. The bi-state Charlotte Area consists of Cabarrus, 
Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Union and a portion of Iredell 
County (Davidson and Coddle Creek Townships), North Carolina; and a 
portion of York County, South Carolina. These actions are summarized 
below and described in greater detail throughout this notice of 
proposed rulemaking.
    First, EPA proposes to determine that the North Carolina portion of 
the bi-state Charlotte Area has met the requirements for redesignation 
under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. Accordingly, in this action, EPA 
is proposing to approve a request to change the legal designation of 
Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union 
Counties in their entireties, and a portion of Iredell County (Davidson 
and Coddle Creek Townships) in North Carolina from nonattainment to 
attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    Second, EPA is proposing to approve North Carolina's November 2, 
2011, SIP revision (as supplemented by a March 28, 2013, SIP submittal) 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan for the North Carolina 
portion of the bi-state Charlotte 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 bi-state Charlotte Area in attainment of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS through 2025. Consistent with the CAA, EPA is 
proposing to take action to approve the 2013 and 2025 MVEBs in North 
Carolina's March 28, 2013, SIP revision.
    EPA is also notifying the public of the status of EPA's adequacy 
process for the newly-established NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2013 
and 2025 for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. 
The Adequacy comment period for the 2013 and 2025 MVEBs for the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area began on February 21, 
2013, with EPA's posting of the availability of North Carolina's 
submissions on EPA's Adequacy Web site (http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm#charlotte1111). The Adequacy 
comment period for these MVEBs closed on March 25, 2013. 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 North 
Carolina's November 2, 2011, SIP revision (as supplemented by a March 
28, 2013, SIP submission). These SIP revisions address the specific 
issues summarized above and the necessary elements described in section 
107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA for redesignation of the North Carolina portion 
of the bi-state Charlotte 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) (69 FR 23857, April 30, 2004). 
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.
    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 complete, quality assured, and 
certified ambient air quality data at the conclusion of the designation 
process. The bi-state Charlotte 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 bi-state Charlotte Area was classified 
as a moderate 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 six years after 
the June 15, 2004, effective date for areas classified as moderate 
areas for the 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment designations. 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. Therefore, the bi-state 
Charlotte Area's original attainment date was June 15, 2010. See 69 FR 
23951, April 30, 2004.
    On November 12, 2009,\1\ North Carolina submitted an attainment 
demonstration and associated reasonably available control measures 
(RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, \2\ contingency 
measures, a 2002 base year emissions inventory, and other planning SIP 
revisions related to attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the 
North Carolina portion of the Area. North Carolina submitted a 
supplement to the attainment demonstration on April 5, 2010, which 
provided supplemental information including the 2009 ambient air 
quality data (showing that the area qualified for a one-year extension 
to the attainment date).
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    \1\ North Carolina withdrew a June 15, 2007, attainment 
demonstration SIP for its portion of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock 
Hill 1997 8-hour ozone area on December 19, 2008, and committed to 
submit a revised SIP by November 30, 2009. On November 12, 2009, 
North Carolina resubmitted the attainment demonstration SIP for the 
North Carolina portion of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill 1997 8-
hour ozone area.
    \2\ A supplement to the RFP was submitted on November 30, 2009.
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    The bi-state Charlotte Area did not attain the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS by June 15, 2010 (the applicable attainment date for moderate 
nonattainment areas); however, the Area qualified for an extension of 
the attainment date. Under certain circumstances, the CAA allows for 
extensions of the attainment dates prescribed at the time of the 
original nonattainment designation. In accordance with CAA section 
181(a)(5), EPA may grant up to two one-year extensions of the 
attainment date under specified conditions. On May 31, 2011,

[[Page 45154]]

EPA determined that the bi-state Charlotte Area met the CAA 
requirements to obtain a one-year extension of the attainment date for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 76 FR 31245. As a result, EPA extended 
the bi-state Charlotte Area's attainment date from June 15, 2010, to 
June 15, 2011, for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    On November 2, 2011, North Carolina requested redesignation of the 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to attainment for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The redesignation request included three 
years of complete, quality-assured ambient air quality data for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for 2008-2010, indicating that the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS had been achieved for the Area. Under the CAA, 
nonattainment areas may be redesignated to attainment if sufficient, 
complete, quality-assured data is available for the Administrator to 
determine that the area has attained the standard and the area meets 
the other CAA redesignation requirements in section 107(d)(3)(E).
    Subsequently, on November 15, 2011 (76 FR 70656), EPA determined 
that the bi-state Charlotte 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 
51.918 and 52.2125(a). The Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
with 2009-2011 data, and preliminary data indicate that the Area 
continues to attain with 2010-2012 data.
    On January 12, 2012, North Carolina withdrew the North Carolina 
portion of the Area's attainment demonstration (except RFP, emissions 
statements, and the emissions inventory) as allowed by 40 CFR 51.918. 
Therefore, EPA was not required to take action on the aforementioned 
portion of the attainment demonstration. EPA approved the emissions 
statements portion of the attainment demonstration SIP revision on 
April 24, 2012 (77 FR 24382). Additionally, EPA approved the baseline 
emissions inventory portion of the attainment demonstration SIP 
revision on May 4, 2012 (77 FR 26441). EPA approved the RFP portion on 
October 12, 2012 (77 FR 62159).
    The March 28, 2013, supplemental SIP revision extends the final 
year of the maintenance plan to 2025. Specifically, this revision 
updates emissions data, emissions projections, MVEBs, and safety 
margins to 2025. Additionally, it provides updated ozone design values 
for the bi-state Charlotte Area.

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;
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; and
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 November 2, 2011, and later supplemented on March 28, 2013, the 
State of North Carolina, through NC DAQ, requested the redesignation of 
the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to attainment 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA's evaluation indicates that the 
entire bi-state Charlotte Area has attained the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS, and that North Carolina meets the requirements for redesignation 
for its portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area as 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.

[[Page 45155]]

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 North Carolina portion of the 
bi-state Charlotte Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; 
and (2) approve the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 
Area's 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS maintenance plan, including the 
associated MVEBs, into the North Carolina SIP. These actions are based 
upon EPA's determination that the entire bi-state Charlotte Area 
continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and that all other 
redesignation criteria have been met for the North Carolina portion of 
the bi-state Charlotte Area. The five redesignation criteria provided 
under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are discussed in greater detail for the 
Area in the following paragraphs of this section.

Criteria (1)--The Bi-ustate Charlotte 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 standard, 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 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) database. The monitors generally should have 
remained at the same location for the duration of the monitoring period 
required for demonstrating attainment.
    As mentioned above, on November 15, 2011 (76 FR 70656), EPA 
determined that the bi-state Charlotte Area was attaining the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. For that action, EPA reviewed ozone monitoring data 
from monitoring stations in the bi-state Charlotte 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 certified and 
2010-2012 preliminary 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 and 2010, and the 3-year average of these values (i.e., 
design values), are summarized in the following Table 1 of this 
proposed rulemaking.

                           Table 1--2008-2010 Design Value Concentrations for the Bi-State Charlotte 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area *
                                                                   [Parts per million]
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                                                                                           Annual arithmetic mean concentrations  (ppm)    3-year design
                                                                                         ------------------------------------------------  values  (ppm)
                 Location                              County               Monitor ID                                                   ---------------
                                                                                               2008            2009            2010          2008-2010
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Lincoln County Replacing Iron Station.....  Lincoln.....................     37-109-0004           0.079           0.065           0.072           0.072
Garinger High School......................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-0041           0.085           0.069           0.082           0.078
Westinghouse Blvd.........................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1005           0.073           0.068           0.078           0.073
29 N at Mecklenburg Cab Co................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1009           0.093           0.071           0.082           0.082
Rockwell..................................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0021           0.084           0.071           0.077           0.077
Enochville School.........................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0022           0.082           0.073           0.078           0.077
Monroe Middle School......................  Union.......................     37-179-0003            0.08           0.067           0.071           0.072
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* An ozone monitor is located in York County, SC; however, it is outside of the nonattainment area. This monitor is monitoring attainment of the 1997 8-
  hour ozone NAAQS.


                           Table 2--2009-2011 Design Value Concentrations for the Bi-State Charlotte 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area *
                                                                   [Parts per million]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  4th Highest 8-hour ozone value           3-year design
                                                                                         ------------------------------------------------     values
                 Location                              County               Monitor ID                                                   ---------------
                                                                                               2009            2010            2011          2009-2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln County Replacing Iron Station.....  Lincoln.....................     37-109-0004           0.065           0.072           0.077           0.071
Garinger High School......................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-0041           0.069           0.082           0.088           0.079
Westinghouse Blvd.........................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1005           0.068           0.078           0.082           0.076
29 N at Mecklenburg Cab Co................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1009           0.071           0.082           0.083           0.078
Rockwell..................................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0021           0.071           0.077           0.077           0.075
Enochville School.........................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0022           0.073           0.078           0.078           0.076
Monroe Middle School......................  Union.......................     37-179-0003           0.067           0.071           0.073            0.07
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* An ozone monitor is located in York County, SC; however, it is outside of the nonattainment area. This monitor is monitoring attainment of the 1997 8-
  hour ozone NAAQS.


[[Page 45156]]


                           Table 3--2010-2012 Design Value Concentrations for the Bi-State Charlotte 1997 8-Hour Ozone Area *
                                                                   [Parts per million]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  4th Highest 8-hour ozone value           3-year design
                                                                                         ------------------------------------------------     values
                 Location                              County               Monitor ID                                                   ---------------
                                                                                               2010            2011            2012          2010-2012
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln County Replacing Iron Station.....  Lincoln.....................     37-109-0004           0.072           0.077           0.076           0.075
Garinger High School......................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-0041           0.082           0.088           0.080           0.083
Westinghouse Blvd.........................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1005           0.078           0.082           0.073           0.077
29 N at Mecklenburg Cab Co................  Mecklenburg.................     37-119-1009           0.082           0.083           0.085           0.083
Rockwell..................................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0021           0.077           0.077           0.080           0.078
Enochville School.........................  Rowan.......................     37-159-0022           0.078           0.078           0.077           0.077
Monroe Middle School......................  Union.......................     37-179-0003           0.071           0.073           0.075           0.073
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* An ozone monitor is located in York County, SC; however, it is outside of the nonattainment area. This monitor is monitoring attainment of the 1997 8-
  hour ozone NAAQS.

    The 3-year design value for 2008-2010 submitted by North Carolina 
for redesignation of its portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area is 
0.082 ppm at the 29 N at Mecklenburg Cab Co. monitor,\3\ which meets 
the NAAQS as described above. As mentioned above, on November 15, 2011 
(76 FR 70656), EPA published a clean data determination for the bi-
state Charlotte Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The 2009-2011 
certified data show that the bi-state Charlotte Area continues to 
attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS with a design value of 0.079 ppm at 
the Garinger High School monitor. After review of the certified 2010-
2012 data, the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
with a design value of 0.083 ppm at the Garinger High School and 29 N 
at Mecklenburg Cab Co. monitors. In today's action, EPA is proposing to 
determine that the bi-state Charlotte Area is attaining the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. EPA will not go forward with the redesignation if the bi-
state Charlotte Area does not continue to attain the NAAQS until the 
time that EPA finalizes the redesignation. As discussed in more detail 
below, the State of North Carolina has committed to continue monitoring 
in this Area in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The monitor with the highest 3 year design value is 
considered the design value for the area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Criteria (2)--North Carolina Has a Fully Approved SIP Under Section 
110(k) for the North Carolina Portion of the Charlotte Area; and 
Criteria (5)--North Carolina 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 North Carolina has met all applicable SIP 
requirements for the North Carolina portion of the Area under section 
110 of the CAA (general SIP requirements) for purposes of 
redesignation. Additionally, EPA proposes to find that the North 
Carolina 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 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 North Carolina Portion of the Charlotte Area Has Met All 
Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D of the CAA
    General SIP requirements. 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.
    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 \4\ and the 
Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) \5\). The section

[[Page 45157]]

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 the maintenance demonstration for the bi-state Charlotte Area.
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    \4\ 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. In compliance with EPA's 
NOX SIP Call, North Carolina developed rules governing 
the control of NOX emissions from electric generating 
units (EGUs), major non-EGU industrial boilers, major cement kilns, 
and internal combustion engines. On October 5, 2007, EPA approved 
North Carolina's rules as fulfilling Phase I of the NOX 
SIP Call (72 FR 56914).
    \5\ On May 12, 2005, EPA published the Clean Air Interstate Rule 
(CAIR), which requires significant reductions in emissions of sulfur 
dioxide (SO2) and NOX from certain electric 
generating units in the eastern United States 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 
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit 
(D.C. Circuit) initially vacated CAIR in North Carolina v. EPA, 531 
F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008), but ultimately remanded the rule to EPA 
without vacatur in North Carolina v. EPA, 550 F.3d 1176, 1178 (D.C. 
Cir. 2008) to preserve the environmental benefits provided by CAIR. 
In response to the court's decision, EPA issued the 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. EME Homer City Generation, L.P. 
v. EPA, 696 F.3d. 7 (D.C. Cir., 2012). In that decision, the court 
also ordered EPA to continue administering CAIR ``pending the 
promulgation of a valid replacement.'' EPA filed a petition for a 
writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 29, 2013, to 
review the D.C. Circuit's decision in EME Homer City. On June 24, 
2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the United States' petition 
asking the Court to review the D.C. Circuit Court's decision on 
CSAPR. However,the Agency will continue to act in accordance with 
EME Homer City pending final resolution of the CSAPR litigation.
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    In addition, EPA believes that other section 110 elements that are 
neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked with 
an area's attainment status are not 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 that 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 December 12, 2007, submittal and a 
clarification in a June 20, 2008, submission addressing 
``infrastructure SIP'' elements required under CAA section 110(a)(2) on 
February 6, 2012. See 77 FR 5703. However, these are statewide 
requirements that are not a consequence of the nonattainment status of 
the North Carolina portion of the 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 North Carolina 
portion of the Area to attainment.
    Title I, Part D, subpart 1 applicable SIP requirements. Sections 
172(c)(1) through (9) and section 176 of subpart 1, part D of the CAA, 
set 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 November 15, 2011, determination that 
the bi-state Charlotte Area was attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
suspended North Carolina's obligation to submit most of the attainment 
planning requirements that would otherwise apply. Specifically, the 
determination of attainment suspended North Carolina's obligation to 
submit an attainment demonstration and planning SIPs to provide for 
RACM under section 172(c)(1), contingency measures under section 
172(c)(9) and RFP under section 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 the section 172 and 
182 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 bi-state Charlotte Area, 
no additional measures are needed to provide for attainment, and 
section 172(c)(1) requirements for an attainment demonstration and RACM 
are no longer considered to be applicable for purposes of redesignation 
as long as the Area continues to attain the standard until 
redesignation. See also 40 CFR 51.918.
    Pursuant to sections 172(c)(2) and 182(b)(1), nonattainment plans 
for areas classified as moderate and above for ozone must contain 
provisions that require reasonable further progress toward attainment. 
These requirements are not relevant for purposes of redesignation 
because EPA has determined that the bi-state Charlotte Area has 
monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See General 
Preamble, 57 FR 13564. See also 40 CFR 51.918. While it is not a 
requirement for redesignation, EPA took action to approve North 
Carolina's RFP for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the State's portion 
of the bi-state Charlotte Area on October 12, 2012. See 77 FR 62159.
    Section 172(c)(3) and section 182(b) require 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 North Carolina's attainment 
demonstration for the North Carolina portion of the Area, NC DAQ 
submitted a 2002 base year emissions inventory. EPA approved the 2002 
base year inventory submitted with the attainment demonstration on May 
4, 2012, as meeting the section 172(c)(3) and section 182(b) 
(182(a)(1))

[[Page 45158]]

emissions inventory requirement. See 77 FR 26441.
    Section 172(c)(4) requires the identification and quantification of 
allowed emissions from major new and modified stationary sources in an 
area, and section 172(c)(5) and section 182(b) that require permits for 
the construction and operation of new and modified major stationary 
sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. EPA has determined that, 
because 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.'' North Carolina has demonstrated that the 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area will be able to 
maintain the NAAQS without part D NSR in effect, and therefore North 
Carolina need not have fully approved part D NSR programs prior to 
approval of the redesignation request. Nonetheless, North Carolina 
currently has an approved part D NSR program in place. North Carolina's 
PSD program will become applicable in the North Carolina portion of the 
bi-state Charlotte 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 North 
Carolina 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 three 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 North Carolina's emissions 
statements requirement on August 1, 1997, and approved the updated 
counties on April 24, 2012. See 64 FR 41277 and 77 FR 24382, 
respectively. EPA believes the North Carolina 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.\6\
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    \6\ 40 CFR 51.912 identifies the requirements that apply for 
RACT under the 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    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.
    North Carolina did a RACT analysis for major VOC and NOX 
sources in the Area and determined that these sources in the bi-state 
Charlotte Area meet RACT. In addition, EPA did a NOX RACT 
analysis of the North Carolina portion of the Charlotte Area major 
sources and determined that these sources meet RACT. North Carolina 
also made a negative declaration for CTG category sources in the June 
15, 2007, SIP submittal. On May 9, 2013, EPA approved a number of North 
Carolina NOX RACT SIP revisions and approved in part and 
conditionally approved in part a number of VOC RACT SIP revisions. See 
78 FR 27065.
    North Carolina submitted a SIP revision on May 1, 2013, to EPA to 
address the requirements of the conditional approval to correct the 
deficiencies for which EPA proposed conditional approval related to 
North Carolina's RACT submission. On June 7, 2013, EPA proposed to 
approve portions of North Carolina's May 1, 2013, SIP revision which 
included changes to the State's RACT rules to correct deficiencies and 
add new changes. See 78 FR 34306. EPA did not receive any comments, 
adverse or otherwise, on the June 7, 2013, proposed rulemaking related 
to North Carolina's May 1, 2013, SIP revision. On July 12, 2013, the 
Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 4 signed a final 
rulemaking approving North Carolina's May 1, 2013, SIP revision to 
correct deficiencies for North Carolina RACT requirements. EPA has 
preliminarily determined that North Carolina's SIP meets the section 
182(b)(2) requirements applicable for purposes of redesignation.\7\
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    \7\ EPA approved South Carolina's RACT SIP revisions and 
concluded that the South Carolina portion of the Area has met all 
the statutory and regulatory requirements for making a negative 
declaration regarding Groups I, II, III, and IV CTG and meets the 
requirements of section 182(b)(2) applicable for purposes of 
redesignation. See 76 FR 72844.
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    Under section 202(a)(6) of the CAA, 42 U.S.C. 7521(a)(6), the 
requirements of section 182(b)(3) do not apply in moderate ozone 
nonattainment areas after EPA promulgated the onboard refueling vapor 
recovery (ORVR) standards on April 6, 1994 (59 FR 16262), codified at 
40 CFR parts 86 (including 86.098-8), 88 and 600. As mentioned above, 
the bi-state Charlotte Area was designated as a moderate area for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and therefore was not subject to the Stage II 
requirements as set forth in section 182(b)(3).
    Section 182(b)(4) of the CAA requires states with areas designated 
nonattainment with moderate or above classification for the ozone NAAQS 
to submit SIPs requiring inspection and maintenance of vehicles (I/M). 
North Carolina's I/M rule for the North Carolina portion of the 
nonattainment area, called the Clean Air Bill, was submitted to EPA on 
August 7, 2002, and approved by EPA on October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66056), 
effective December 30, 2002. EPA believes that the North Carolina SIP 
meets the requirements of section 182(b)(4) applicable for purposes of 
redesignation.
    Section 182(b)(5) of the CAA requires that for purposes of 
satisfying the emission offset requirements of Part D, the ratio of 
total emission reductions of VOCs to total increase emissions of VOCs 
must be at least 1.15 to 1. North Carolina currently requires these 
offsets. See 40 CFR 52.1770. EPA therefore believes that the North 
Carolina 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

[[Page 45159]]

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 \8\ 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).
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    \8\ 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.
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    For all of the reasons discussed above, the North Carolina portion 
of the bi-state Charlotte Area has satisfied all applicable 
requirements for purposes of redesignation under section 110 and part D 
of title I of the CAA.
b. The North Carolina Portion of the Bi-State Charlotte Area Has a 
Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 110(k) of the CAA
    EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a redesignation 
request (see Calcagni Memorandum at p. 3; Northwestern Pennsylvania 
Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984 (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, North 
Carolina has adopted and submitted, and EPA has fully approved at 
various times, provisions addressing various 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
SIP elements applicable in the North Carolina portion of the Area (May 
31, 1972, 37 FR 10842; July 13, 2011, 76 FR 41111). For example, EPA 
approved the emissions statements portion of the attainment 
demonstration SIP revision on April 24, 2012 (77 FR 24382), and the 
baseline emissions inventory portion of the attainment demonstration 
SIP revision on May 4, 2012 (77 FR 26441).
    On April 29, 2013, EPA signed a Federal Register notice approving 
in-part and conditionally approving in-part the RACT demonstration for 
the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. See 78 FR 
27065 (May 9, 2013). On May 1, 2013, North Carolina submitted a SIP 
revision to meet the aforementioned conditional approval. EPA proposed 
to approve North Carolina's May 1, 2013, RACT SIP revision that 
fulfills the conditional approval on June 7, 2013. See 78 FR 34306. EPA 
did not receive any comments, adverse or otherwise, on the June 7, 
2013, proposed rulemaking related to North Carolina's May 1, 2013, SIP 
revision. On July 12, 2013, the Acting Regional Administrator for EPA 
Region 4 signed a final rulemaking approving North Carolina's May 1, 
2013, SIP revision to correct deficiencies for North Carolina RACT 
requirements.
    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. Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 537 (7th Cir. 
2004); 68 FR 25424, 25427 (May 12, 2003) (redesignation of the St. 
Louis-East St. Louis Area to attainment of the 1-hour ozone NAAQS).

Criteria (3)--The Air Quality Improvement in the Bi-State Charlotte 
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 believes that North Carolina has 
demonstrated that the observed air quality improvement in the bi-state 
Charlotte Area is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in 
emissions resulting from implementation of the SIP, Federal measures, 
and other state adopted measures.
    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 and local measures that have been implemented to date and 
relied upon by North Carolina to demonstrate attainment and/or 
maintenance include the Clean Air Bill I/M program; open burning ban; 
NOX SIP Call; Clean Smokestacks Act; and Diesel Emissions 
Reduction Act (DERA) grants for repower or replacement of existing 
diesel engines. Local measures implemented by Mecklenburg County Air 
Quality (MCAQ) include prohibition of open burning of any kind and 
diesel engine emission reductions. Of these measures, the Clean Air 
Bill I/M program, open burning ban, NOX SIP Call and Clean 
Smokestacks Act are permanent and enforceable. 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. 
Additionally, in January 2006 the sulfur content of gasoline was 
required to be on average 30 ppm which assists in lowering the 
NOX emissions. Most gasoline sold in North Carolina prior to 
January 2006 had a sulfur content of about 300 ppm. These emission 
reductions are federally enforceable.
    Large Non-road Diesel Engines Rule. This rule was promulgated in 
2004, and is being phased in between 2008 through 2014. This rule will 
also reduce the sulfur content in the nonroad diesel fuel. When fully 
implemented, this rule will reduce NOX, VOC, particulate 
matter, and carbon monoxide. These emission reductions are federally 
enforceable.
    Heavy-duty gasoline and diesel highway vehicle standards. These 
standards began to take effect in 2004 and are designed to reduce 
NOX and VOC emissions. These emission reductions are 
federally enforceable.
    Nonroad spark-ignition engines and recreational engines standards. 
The nonroad spark-ignition and recreational engine standards, effective 
in July 2003, regulate NOX, hydrocarbons, and carbon 
monoxide from groups of previously unregulated nonroad engines. These 
engine standards apply to large spark-ignition engines (e.g., forklifts 
and airport ground service equipment), recreational vehicles (e.g., 
off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain-vehicles), and recreational 
marine diesel engines

[[Page 45160]]

sold in the United States and imported after the effective date of 
these standards.
    When all of the nonroad spark-ignition and recreational engine 
standards are fully implemented, an overall 72 percent reduction in 
hydrocarbons, 80 percent reduction in NOX, and 56 percent 
reduction in carbon monoxide emissions are expected by 2020. These 
controls will help reduce ambient concentrations of ozone, carbon 
monoxide, and fine particulate matter.
    NOX SIP Call. The NOX SIP Call created the 
NOX Budget Trading Program designed to reduce the amount of 
ozone that crosses state lines. By the end of 2008, ozone season 
emissions dropped by 62 percent from 2000 at all sources subject to the 
NOX SIP Call (EPA, NOX Budget Trading Program: 
2008 Highlights, October 2009, page 3, available at http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/NBP_4/NBP_2008_Highlights.pdf). It follows that 
the bi-state Charlotte Area benefited from these overall reductions, 
since it is part of the larger NOX SIP Call area. North 
Carolina provided the NOX emission reductions, as the result 
of the NOX SIP Call rule, from North Carolina power plants 
in the bi-state Charlotte Area, as well as the power plants located 
directly north and west of the Metrolina region \9\ that may impact the 
Area in the March 28, 2013, submittal. There are four facilities 
located within the North Carolina portion of the Area located in 
Gaston, Lincoln and Rowan Counties. The facility west of the Metrolina 
region is Cliffside, located in Cleveland County, and the facility 
north of the Metrolina region is Marshall, located in Catawba County. 
This data is also from the EPA Clean Air Markets Division's database 
and represents the second and third quarters of the year (April through 
September), the period during which ozone levels are the highest. Two 
coal-fired power plants (Buck and Riverbend) were retired on April 1, 
2013, and will result in additional emissions reductions.
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    \9\ For the purposes of this document, the Metrolina region 
refers to the Charlotte metropolitan area and is inclusive of the 
bi-state Charlotte nonattainment area.
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    EPA has considered the relationship of the North Carolina portion 
of the bi-state Charlotte Area's maintenance plan to the reductions 
currently required pursuant to CAIR. CAIR was remanded to EPA, and the 
process of developing a replacement rule is ongoing. However, the 
remand of CAIR does not alter the requirements of the NOX 
SIP Call, and the State has now demonstrated that the bi-state 
Charlotte Area can maintain without CAIR. Therefore, EPA believes that 
the State's demonstration of maintenance under sections 175A and 
107(d)(3)(E) remains valid.
    The NOX SIP Call requires states to make significant, 
specific emissions reductions. It also provides 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 created another mechanism--the CAIR ozone season trading program--
which states could use to meet their 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 remain 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 ozone NAAQS.
    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 North 
Carolina's own EGU emissions rules.
    To the extent that the North Carolina submittal relies on CAIR 
reductions that occurred through 2012, the recent directive from the 
D.C. Circuit in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d. 7 
(D.C. Cir., 2012) 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 North Carolina's request to 
redesignate the Charlotte 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

[[Page 45161]]

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 North Carolina portion of the bi-
state Charlotte 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. North Carolina's SIP revision lists CAIR as a control measure, 
which was approved by EPA on October 5, 2007, 72 FR 56914, for the 
purpose of reduction SO2 and NOX emissions.

Criteria (4)--The North Carolina Portion of the 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 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to attainment for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, NC DAQ 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 
believes 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 
demonstrating that attainment will continue to be maintained for the 10 
years 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 finds that North Carolina's 
maintenance plan includes all the necessary components and is thus 
proposing to approve it as a revision to the North Carolina SIP.
b. Attainment Emissions Inventory
    The bi-state Charlotte Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
based on quality-assured monitoring data for the 3-year period from 
2008-2010. North Carolina selected 2010 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. North Carolina began development of the attainment 
inventory by first generating a baseline emissions inventory for the 
State's portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. As noted above, the 
year 2010 was chosen as the base year for developing a comprehensive 
emissions inventory for NOX and VOC, for which projected 
emissions could be developed for 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2025. The 
projected summer day emission inventories have been estimated using 
projected rates of growth in population, traffic, economic activity, 
and other parameters. Naturally occurring, or biogenic, emissions are 
not included in the emissions inventory comparison, as these emissions 
are outside the State's span of control. In addition to comparing the 
final year of the plan (2025) to the base year (2010) North Carolina 
compared interim years to the baseline to demonstrate that these years 
are also expected to show continued maintenance of the 8-hour ozone 
standard.
    The emissions inventory is composed of four major types of sources: 
point, area, on-road mobile, and non-road mobile. The complete 
descriptions of how the inventories were developed are discussed in the 
Appendix B of the March 28, 2013, submittal, which can be found in the 
docket for this action. Point source emissions are tabulated from data 
collected by direct on-site measurements of emissions or from mass 
balance calculations utilizing emission factors from EPA's AP-42 or 
stack test results. For each projected year's inventory, point sources 
are adjusted by growth factors based on Standard Industrial 
Classification codes generated using growth patterns obtained from 
County Business Patterns. For the electric generating utility sources, 
the estimated projected future year emissions were based on information 
provided by the utility company. For the sources that report to the 
USEPA's Clean Air Markets Division, the actual 2010 average summer day 
emissions were used. For the other Title V sources, the 2009 data was 
used which was the latest data available. For the small sources that 
only report emissions every 5 years, the most recently reported data 
was used and assumed to be equivalent to 2009 emissions since these 
sources do not vary much from year to year. The 2009 emissions data was 
grown to 2010 using the USEPA's EGAS model.
    For area sources, emissions are estimated by multiplying an 
emission factor by some known indicator of collective activity such as 
production, number of employees, or population. For each projected 
year's inventory, area source emissions are changed by population 
growth, projected production growth, or estimated employment growth.
    The non-road mobile sources emissions are calculated using EPA's 
NONROAD2008a model, with the exception of the railroad locomotives and 
aircraft engine. For each projected year's inventory, the emissions are 
estimated using EPA's NONROAD2008a model with activity input such as 
projected landing and takeoff data for aircraft and national fuel use 
from the Energy Information Administration for locomotives.
    For highway mobile sources, EPA's Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator 
(MOVES) mobile model is run to generate emissions. The MOVES model 
includes the road class vehicle miles traveled (VMT) as an input file 
and can directly output the estimated emissions. For each projected 
year's inventory, the highway mobile sources emissions are calculated 
by running the MOVES mobile model for the future year with the 
projected VMT to generate emissions that take into consideration 
expected Federal tailpipe standards, fleet turnover, and new fuels.
    The 2010 NOX and VOC emissions for the North Carolina 
portion of the bi-state Charlotte 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.

[[Page 45162]]

c. Maintenance Demonstration
    The March 28, 2013, submittal updates the maintenance plan included 
in the November 2, 2011, maintenance plan for the North Carolina 
portion of the Area. The maintenance plan:
    (i) Shows compliance with and maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS by providing information to support the demonstration that 
current and future emissions of NOX and VOC remain at or 
below 2010 emissions levels.
    (ii) Uses 2010 as the attainment year and includes future emissions 
inventory projections for 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2025.
    (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 (2025) of the maintenance plan (see section VI 
below). Additionally, NC DAQ opted to establish MVEBs for an interim 
year (2013).
    (iv) Provides actual and projected emissions inventories, in tons 
per day (tpd), for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 
Area, as shown in Tables 2 through 4 below.

                        Table 2--Actual and Projected Annual NOX Emissions (tpd) for the
                            North Carolina Portion \*\ of the Bi-State Charlotte Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Sector                    2010         2013         2016         2019         2022         2025
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point.............................        37.97        20.03        19.29        20.28        19.19        20.02
Area..............................         8.16         8.24         8.31         8.42         8.49         8.67
Nonroad...........................        41.31        35.90        30.64        26.89        24.50        23.09
Mobile............................       138.26       106.92        86.43        70.49        63.67        55.90
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total \**\....................       225.47       170.90       144.53       125.98       115.76       107.61
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\ Iredell County emissions for nonattainment area only.
\**\ Total taken directly from the March 28, 2013, submittal, which was calculated using county-by-county
  emissions values rather than the total sector emissions values.


                        Table 3--Actual and Projected Annual VOC Emissions (tpd) for the
                             North Carolina Portion * of the Bi-State Charlotte Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Sector                    2010         2013         2016         2019         2022         2025
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point.............................        14.78        15.78        17.04        18.32        19.5         20.87
Area..............................        57.67        56.61        56.36        57.78        59.06        63.26
Nonroad...........................        26.47        21.92        19.4         18.79        18.86        19.26
Mobile............................        66.70        51.32        41.58        34.47        30.21        28.67
                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total **......................       165.44       145.48       134.26       129.26       127.63       132.06
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\ Iredell County emissions for nonattainment area only.
\**\ Total taken directly from the March 28, 2013, submittal, which was calculated using county-by-county
  emissions values rather than the total sector emissions values.


  Table 4--Emission Estimates for the North Carolina Portion of the Bi-
                          State Charlotte Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Year                         VOC (tpd)   NOX (tpd)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2010............................................      165.44      225.47
2013............................................      145.48      170.90
2016............................................      134.26      144.53
2019............................................      129.26      125.98
2022............................................      127.63      115.76
2025............................................      132.06      107.61
Difference from 2010 to 2025....................      -33.38     -117.86
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tables 2 through 4 summarize the 2010 and future projected 
emissions of NOX and VOC from the North Carolina portion of 
the bi-state Charlotte Area. In situations where local emissions are 
the primary contributor to nonattainment, the NAAQS 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. North Carolina has projected emissions as 
described previously and determined that emissions in the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 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. North Carolina selected 2010 as the attainment emissions 
inventory year for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 
Area. North Carolina calculated safety margins in its submittal for 
years 2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, and 2025. The State has decided to 
allocate a safety margin to the 2013 and 2025 MVEB for the bi-state 
Charlotte Area. For the year 2013, the NOX and VOC safety 
margins were calculated as 54.57 tpd and 19.96 tpd, respectively. For 
the year 2025, the NOX and VOC safety margins were 
calculated as 117.86 tpd and 33.38 tpd, respectively.
    The State has decided to allocate a portion of the safety margin to 
the MVEBs to allow for unanticipated growth in VMT, changes and 
uncertainty in vehicle mix assumptions, etc, that will influence the 
emission estimations. NC DAQ developed and implemented a four-step 
approach for determining a factor to use to calculate the amount of 
safety margin to apply to the MVEBs. The MVEBs to be used for 
transportation conformity proposes is discussed in section VI. This 
allocation and the resulting available safety margin for the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area are discussed further 
in section VI of this proposed rulemaking.
d. Monitoring Network
    There are currently seven monitors measuring ozone in the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.\10\

[[Page 45163]]

NC DAQ operates four of the monitors in the Area, whereas the 
Mecklenburg County Air Quality (MCAQ) Office operates three of the 
monitors in Mecklenburg County. The State of North Carolina, through NC 
DAQ, has committed to continue operation of the monitors in the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area in compliance with 40 
CFR part 58 and have thus addressed the requirement for monitoring. EPA 
approved North Carolina's 2012 monitoring plan on September 21, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ While there is a monitor in York County that the South 
Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC DHEC) 
operates, this monitor is not located within the bi-state Charlotte 
Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

e. Verification of Continued Attainment
    The State of North Carolina, through NC DAQ, has the legal 
authority to enforce and implement the requirements of the North 
Carolina portion of the Area 1997 8-hour ozone maintenance plan. 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.
    The large stationary sources are required to submit an emissions 
inventory annually to NC DAQ or MCAQ. NC DAQ will commit to review 
these emissions inventories to determine if any unexpected growth in 
NOX emissions in the Area may endanger the maintenance of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Additionally, as new VMT data are provided 
by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT), NC DAQ 
commits to review these data and determine if any unexpected growth in 
VMT may endanger the maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    Additionally, under the Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule 
(CERR) and Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR), NC DAQ is 
required to develop a comprehensive, annual, statewide emissions 
inventory every three years that is due twelve to eighteen months after 
the completion of the inventory year. The CERR and AERR inventory years 
are within a year of the baseline, interim, and final years of the 
maintenance plan. Therefore, NC DAQ commits to compare the CERR and 
AERR inventories as they are developed with the maintenance plan to 
determine if additional steps are necessary for continued maintenance 
of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in this Area.
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).
    In the November 2, 2011, and March 28, 2013, submittals, North 
Carolina affirms that all programs instituted by the State and EPA will 
remain enforceable and that sources are prohibited from reducing 
emissions controls following the redesignation of the Area. The 
contingency plan included in the submittal includes a triggering 
mechanism to determine when contingency measures are needed and a 
process of developing and implementing appropriate control measures. 
The primary trigger of the contingency plan will be a violation of the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (i.e., when the three-year average of the 4th 
highest values is equal to or greater than 0.085 ppm at a monitor in 
the Area). The trigger date will be 60 days from the date that the 
State observes a 4th highest value that, when averaged with the two 
previous ozone seasons' fourth highest values, would result in a three-
year average equal to or greater than 0.085 ppm.
    The secondary trigger will apply where no actual violation of the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS has occurred, but where the State finds 
monitored ozone levels indicating that an actual ozone NAAQS violation 
may be imminent. A pattern will be deemed to exist when there are two 
consecutive ozone seasons in which the 4th highest values are 0.085 ppm 
or greater at a single monitor within the Area. The trigger date will 
be 60 days from the date that the State observes a 4th highest value of 
0.085 ppm or greater at a monitor for which the previous season had a 
4th highest value of 0.085 ppm or greater.
    Once the primary or secondary trigger is activated, the Planning 
Section of the NC DAQ, in consultation with SC DHEC and MCAQ, shall 
commence analyses including trajectory analyses of high ozone days and 
an emissions inventory assessment to determine those emission control 
measures that will be required for attaining or maintaining the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. By May 1 of the year following the ozone season in 
which the primary or secondary trigger has been activated, North 
Carolina will complete sufficient analyses to begin adoption of 
necessary rules for ensuring attainment and maintenance of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. The rules would become State effective by the 
following January 1, unless legislative review is required.
    At least one of the following contingency measures will be adopted 
and implemented upon a primary triggering event:
     NOX RACT on stationary sources with a potential 
to emit less than 100 tons per year in the North Carolina portion of 
the Metrolina nonattainment area;
     diesel inspection and maintenance program;
     implementation of diesel retrofit programs, including 
incentives for performing retrofits;
     additional controls in upwind areas.

The NC DAQ commits to implement within 24 months of a primary or 
secondary trigger, or as expeditiously as practicable, at least one of 
the control measures listed above or other contingency measures that 
may be determined to be more appropriate based on the analyses 
performed.
    Similarly, the tertiary trigger will not be an actual violation of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This trigger will be a first alert as to a 
potential air quality problem on the horizon. The trigger will be 
activated when a monitor in the Area has a 4th highest value of 0.085 
ppm or greater, starting the first year after the maintenance plan has 
been approved. The trigger date will be 60 days from the date that the 
State observes a 4th highest value of 0.085 ppm or greater at any 
monitor.
    Once the tertiary trigger is activated, the Planning Section of the 
NC DAQ, in consultation with the SC DHEC and MCAQ, shall commence 
analyses including meteorological evaluation, trajectory analyses of 
high ozone days, and emissions inventory assessment to understand why a 
4th highest exceedance of the standard has occurred. Once the analyses 
are completed, the NC DAQ will work with SC DHEC, MCAQ and the local 
air awareness program to develop an outreach plan identifying any 
additional voluntary measures that can be

[[Page 45164]]

implemented. If the 4th highest exceedance occurs early in the season, 
the NC DAQ will work with entities identified in the outreach plan to 
determine if the measures can be implemented during the current season; 
otherwise, NC DAQ will work with SC DHEC, MCAQ, and the local air 
awareness coordinator to implement the plan for the following ozone 
season.
    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 North Carolina for the State's portion of the Area meets 
the requirements of section 175A of the CAA and is approvable.

VI. What is EPA's analysis of North Carolina's proposed NOX 
and VOC subarea MVEBs for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state 
Charlotte 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.
    As part of the consultation process on setting MVEBs, the NC DAQ 
discussed several options for setting the geographic extent of the 
MVEBs with the transportation partners. NC DAQ requested feedback on 
these options or other alternatives for consideration from the 
transportation partners. NC DAQ received feedback from only two of the 
transportation partners. As part of the public comment process, the NC 
DAQ provided several options for establishing the MVEBs.
    After considering the comments received, the NC DAQ chose to 
establish subarea MVEBs based on geographical areas that correspond to 
the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and/or Rural Planning 
Organization (RPO) boundaries. This option is consistent with the 
Cabarrus-Rowan MPO (CRMPO) request and takes into consideration two of 
the comments from Mecklenburg-Union MPO (MUMPO). NC DAQ believes that 
this option is a good compromise between how MVEBs have been 
established in the past, addressing NC DAQ's concern with Mecklenburg 
County's on-road mobile source emissions and the preferences of the 
transportation partners. Further, NC DAQ believes this approach 
provides additional flexibility to the transportation partners while 
providing adequate assurance that the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS will be 
maintained in the Metrolina nonattainment area. Accordingly, NC DAQ 
established MVEBs for the CRMPO (Cabarrus and Rowan Counties), for the 
Gaston Urban Area MPO and Lake Norman RPO (Gaston, Iredell, and Lincoln 
Counties), and for the MUMPO and Rocky River RPO (Mecklenburg and Union 
Counties) geographical areas. Tables 5 through 7 below provide the 
subarea NOX and VOC MVEBs in kilograms per day (kg/day),\11\ 
for 2013 and 2025.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ The conversion to kilograms used the actual emissions 
reported in the MOVES model. The conversion was done utilizing the 
``CONVERT'' function in an EXCEL spreadsheet.

                    Table 5--Cabarrus-Rowan MPO MVEB
                                [kg/day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          2013     2025
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................   19,838    9,961
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................    1,984    1,992
  NOX Conformity MVEB.................................   21,822   11,953
VOC Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................    9,863    5,425
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................      986    1,085
  VOC Conformity MVEB.................................   10,849    6,510
------------------------------------------------------------------------


           Table 6--Gaston Urban Area MPO/Lake Norman RPO MVEB
                                [kg/day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          2013     2025
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................   19,957   10,360
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................    2,211    2,181
  NOX Conformity MVEB.................................   22,168   12,541
VOC Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................   10,442    5,815
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................    1,168    1,232
  VOC Conformity MVEB.................................   11,610    7,047
------------------------------------------------------------------------


           Table 7--Mecklenburg-Union MPO/Rocky River RPO MVEB
                                [kg/day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          2013     2025
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................   57,198   30,391
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................    4,303    5,337
  NOX Conformity MVEB.................................   61,501   35,728
VOC Emissions:
  On-Road Mobile Emissions............................   26,250   14,769
  Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB.....................    2,002    2,609
  VOC Conformity MVEB.................................   28,252   17,378
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned above, the North Carolina portion of the Area has 
chosen to allocate a portion of the available safety margin to the 
NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2013 and 2025 (45.20 tpd and 107.38 
tpd of the NOX 2013 and 2025 safety margins remain, 
respectively, and 19.96 tpd and 27.95 tpd of the VOC 2013 and 2025 
safety margins remain, respectively).

[[Page 45165]]

    Through this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to approve the subarea 
MVEBs for NOX and VOC for 2013 and 2025 for the 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area because EPA has 
determined that the Area maintains the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS with the 
emissions at the levels of the budgets. Once the subarea MVEBs for the 
bi-state Charlotte Area are approved or found adequate (whichever is 
completed first), they must be used for future conformity 
determinations. After thorough review, EPA has 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 2025.

VII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOX and VOC Subarea MVEBs for 2013 and 2025 for the 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 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 
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, North Carolina's March 28, 2013, maintenance 
plan submission includes NOX and VOC subarea MVEBs for the 
North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area for 2013, an 
interim year of the maintenance plan, and 2025, the last year of the 
maintenance plan. EPA is reviewing the NOX and VOC subarea 
MVEBs through the adequacy process. The North Carolina SIP submission, 
including the bi-state Charlotte Area NOX and VOC subarea 
MVEBs, opened for public comment on EPA's adequacy Web site on February 
21, 2013, found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm. The EPA public comment period on adequacy for the MVEBs 
for 2013 and 2025 for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state 
Charlotte Area closed on March 25, 2013.
    EPA intends to make its determination on the adequacy of the 2013 
and 2025 subarea MVEBs for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state 
Charlotte Area for transportation conformity purposes in the near 
future by completing the adequacy process that was started on February 
21, 2013. After EPA finds the 2013 and 2025 MVEBs adequate or approves 
them, the new subarea MVEBs for NOX and VOC must be used for 
future transportation conformity determinations. For required regional 
emissions analysis years that involve 2013 through 2024, the applicable 
2013 MVEBs will be used and for 2025 and beyond, the applicable budgets 
will be the new 2025 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 2013 and 2025 
NOX and VOC Subarea MVEBs for the North Carolina Portion of 
the Area

    As discussed above, section 172(c)(3) of the CAA requires areas to 
submit a base year emissions inventory. EPA approved the 2002 base year 
emissions inventory for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state 
Charlotte Area (as submitted in North Carolina's November 12, 2009, 
1997 8-hour ozone attainment demonstration SIP revision) on May 4, 
2012. See 77 FR 26441. Emissions contained in the submittal cover the 
general source categories of point sources, area sources, on-road 
mobile sources, and non-road mobile sources. All emission summaries 
were accompanied by source-specific descriptions of emission 
calculation procedures and sources of input data. North Carolina's 
submittal documents 2002 emissions in the North Carolina portion of the 
Area in units of tons per summer day. Table 6, below, provides a 
summary of the 2002 emissions of NOX and VOC for the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.

          Table 6--North Carolina Portion of the Bi-state Charlotte Area 2002 Emissions for NOX and VOC
                                              [Tons per summer day]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Point             Area            Non-road           Mobile
                 County                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            NOX      VOC      NOX      VOC      NOX      VOC      NOX      VOC
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cabarrus................................      2.6      2.2      0.8      6.0      5.4      2.7     17.2     21.5
Gaston..................................     34.8      2.5      1.3      8.9      4.9      2.9     20.0     13.5
Iredell (partial) *.....................      8.5      0.9      0.3      1.9      1.4      0.9      5.6      5.1
Lincoln.................................      0.3      2.1      0.5      3.1      1.9      1.3      6.1      7.1
Mecklenburg.............................      2.1      5.7      7.0     29.4     32.1     24.1     78.7     68.0
Rowan...................................     11.0      6.3      0.8      5.6      4.1      2.3     19.7     14.8
Union...................................      0.2      1.0      1.0      6.4      7.7      4.7     11.3     13.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\*\ Only part of Iredell County is in the nonattainment area.


[[Page 45166]]

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 North Carolina's redesignation request would change the legal 
designation of Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan 
and Union Counties in their entireties, and a portion of Iredell County 
(Davidson and Coddle Creek Townships) in North Carolina, as found at 40 
CFR part 81, from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. Approval of North Carolina's request would also incorporate a 
plan for maintaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the North Carolina 
portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area through 2025 into the 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 subarea MVEBs for 2013 and 2025 for the North 
Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. The subarea MVEBs are 
listed in Tables 5 through 7 in Section VI. Additionally, EPA is 
notifying the public of the status of EPA's adequacy determination for 
the newly-established NOX and VOC subarea MVEBs for 2013 and 
2025 for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.

X. Proposed Actions on the Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan 
SIP Revisions Including Approval of the NOX and VOC Subarea 
MVEBs for 2013 and 2025 for the North Carolina Portion of the Bi-State 
Charlotte Area

    EPA previously determined that the entire bi-state Charlotte Area 
was attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS on November 15, 2011, at 76 
FR 70656. EPA is now taking two separate but related actions regarding 
the redesignation and maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for 
the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. Today's 
notice of proposed rulemaking is in response to North Carolina's 
November 2, 2011, SIP revision (as supplemented by a March 28, 2013, 
SIP revision).
    EPA is proposing to determine, based on complete, quality-assured, 
and certified monitoring data for the 2008-2010 monitoring period that 
the entire bi-state Charlotte Area is attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. Further, based on NC DAQ's November 2, 2011, SIP revision (as 
supplemented by a March 28, 2012, SIP revision), EPA is proposing to 
determine that the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte 
Area has met the criteria under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for 
redesignation from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. On this basis, EPA is proposing to approve North 
Carolina's redesignation request for the North Carolina portion of the 
bi-state Charlotte Area.
    EPA is also proposing to approve the maintenance plan for the North 
Carolina portion of the Area, including the NOX and VOC 
subarea MVEBs for 2013 and 2025, into the North Carolina SIP (under CAA 
section 175A). The maintenance plan demonstrates that the Area will 
continue to maintain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and that 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 
2013 and 2025 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 Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, 
Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union Counties in their entireties, and a 
portion of Iredell County (Davidson and Coddle Creek Townships) in 
North Carolina, as found at 40 CFR part 81, from nonattainment to 
attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.

XI. 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 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 rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in 
the State, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct 
costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

List of Subjects

 40 CFR Part 52

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

[[Page 45167]]

40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

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

    Dated: July 12, 2013.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2013-17834 Filed 7-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P