[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 231 (Monday, December 2, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 72040-72055]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-28105]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 52 and 81

[EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986; FRL-9903-32-Region 4]


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

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: EPA is taking final action to approve a request submitted on 
April 4, 2012, from the State of Georgia, through the Georgia 
Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), to redesignate the Atlanta, 
Georgia, ozone nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the 
``Atlanta Area,'' or ``Area'') to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Atlanta Area 
consists of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, 
DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, 
Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton Counties in their 
entireties. EPA's approval of the redesignation request is based on the 
determination that Georgia has met the criteria for redesignation to 
attainment set forth in the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act). Additionally, 
EPA is approving, as a revision to the Georgia State Implementation 
Plan (SIP) a maintenance plan for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard for 
the Atlanta Area, including new 2024 motor vehicle emission budgets 
(MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic 
compounds (VOC). In this final notice, EPA also responds to comments 
received on EPA's February 4, 2013, proposed rulemaking.

DATES: This rule will be effective on January 2, 2014.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket 
Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0986. All documents in the docket 
are listed on the www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the 
index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential 
Business Information 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 through www.regulations.gov or in hard 
copy at the Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, 
Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 
30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the 
person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to 
schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of 
business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding Federal 
holidays.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. What is the background for these final actions?
II. What are the actions EPA is taking?
III. What are EPA's responses to comments?
IV. Why is EPA taking these actions?
V. What are the effects of these actions?

[[Page 72041]]

VI. Final Actions
VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What is the background for these final actions?

    On April 4, 2012, Georgia submitted to EPA a request to redesignate 
the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and to 
approve Georgia's SIP revision containing a maintenance plan for the 
Atlanta Area. In an action published on February 4, 2013 (78 FR 7705), 
EPA proposed approval of Georgia's maintenance plan for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS, including the NOX and VOC MVEBs contained 
therein. At that time, EPA also proposed to approve the redesignation 
of the Atlanta Area to attainment. Additional background for today's 
action is set forth in EPA's February 4, 2013, proposal. See 78 FR 
7705.
    As stated in the February 4, 2013, proposal, this redesignation 
addresses the Atlanta Area's status solely with respect to the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS, for which designations were finalized on April 30, 
2004.\1\ See 69 FR 23857. On March 7, 2012, at 77 FR 13491, EPA 
determined that the Atlanta Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
by its June 15, 2011, applicable attainment date,\2\ and that the Area 
was continuing to attain the ozone NAAQS based on quality-assured 
monitoring data that was currently available.
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    \1\ On March 6, 2008, the Atlanta Area was reclassified to 
moderate nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 73 FR 
12013.
    \2\ On November 30, 2010, EPA published a final rule extending 
the attainment date for the Atlanta Area until June 15, 2011. See 75 
FR 73969.
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    EPA reviewed quality-assured ozone monitoring data from ambient 
ozone monitoring stations in the Atlanta Area from 2008-2011, as 
recorded in Air Quality System (AQS), and summarized the 3-year average 
of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average (i.e., design 
value) for 2008-2010 and 2009-2011 in Tables 1 and 2. The data for 2012 
were certified on May 1, 2013, and the design value for 2010-2012 is in 
Table 3. The 2008-2010 design value establishes that the Area attained 
by its attainment date and the 2009-2011, and the 2010-2012 design 
values establish that the Atlanta Area continues to meet the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. Preliminary data provided by GA EPD for 2013 indicate 
that the Atlanta Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS 
and further indicate that in 2013 no monitors in the Area recorded a 
fourth-high ozone value above the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See Response 
1 below for more detail on the 2013 preliminary data.

                        Table 1--2008-2010 Design Value Concentration for the Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (ppm)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  4th highest 8-hour ozone value           3-Year design
                                                                                         ------------------------------------------------     values
                 Location                              County               Monitor ID                                                   ---------------
                                                                                               2008            2009            2010          2008-2010
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GA National Guard McCollum Pkwy...........  Cobb........................     13-067-0003           0.075           0.076           0.079           0.076
University of West Georgia at Newnan......  Coweta......................     13-077-0002           0.075           0.065           0.065           0.068
2390-B Wildcat Road Decatur...............  Dekalb......................     13-089-0002           0.087           0.077           0.075           0.079
Douglasville W. Strickland St.............  Douglas.....................     13-097-0004           0.080           0.072           0.074           0.075
Gwinnett Tech 1250 Atkinson Rd............  Gwinnett....................     13-135-0002           0.079           0.073           0.072           0.074
Henry County Extension Office.............  Henry.......................     13-151-0002           0.086           0.074           0.078           0.079
Yorkville.................................  Paulding....................     13-223-0003           0.072           0.067           0.071           0.070
Conyers Monastery.........................  Rockdale....................     13-247-0001           0.089           0.070           0.076           0.078
Confederate Ave...........................  Fulton......................     13-121-0055           0.084           0.077           0.080           0.080
Fayetteville-GDOT.........................  Fayette.....................     13-113-0001           0.086               *               *               *
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* The Fayetteville-GDOT monitor was temporarily discontinued on October 31, 2008.


                        Table 2--2009-2011 Design Value Concentration for the Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (ppm)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                           4th highest 8-hour ozone value                3-Year design
                                                                             ---------------------------------------------------------       values
             Location                       County             Monitor ID                                                             ------------------
                                                                                     2009               2010               2011            2009-2011
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GA National Guard McCollum Pkwy...  Cobb.................        13-067-0003              0.076              0.079              0.079              0.078
University of West Georgia at       Coweta...............        13-077-0002              0.065              0.065              0.072              0.067
 Newnan.
2390-B Wildcat Road Decatur.......  Dekalb...............        13-089-0002              0.077              0.075              0.080              0.077
Douglasville W. Strickland St.....  Douglas..............        13-097-0004              0.072              0.074              0.078              0.074
Gwinnett Tech 1250 Atkinson Rd....  Gwinnett.............        13-135-0002              0.073              0.072              0.082              0.075
Henry County Extension Office.....  Henry................        13-151-0002              0.074              0.078              0.082              0.078
Yorkville.........................  Paulding.............        13-223-0003              0.067              0.071              0.075              0.071
Conyers Monastery.................  Rockdale.............        13-247-0001              0.070              0.076              0.081              0.075
Confederate Ave...................  Fulton...............        13-121-0055              0.077              0.080              0.084              0.080
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[[Page 72042]]


                        Table 3--2010-2012 Design Value Concentration for the Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (ppm)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                  4th highest 8-hour ozone value           3-Year design
                                                                                         ------------------------------------------------     values
                 Location                              County               Monitor ID                                                   ---------------
                                                                                               2010            2011            2012          2010-2012
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
GA National Guard McCollum Pkwy...........  Cobb........................     13-067-0003           0.079           0.079           0.075           0.077
University of West Georgia at Newnan......  Coweta......................     13-077-0002           0.065           0.072           0.062           0.066
2390-B Wildcat Road Decatur...............  Dekalb......................     13-089-0002           0.075           0.080           0.085           0.080
Douglasville W. Strickland St.............  Douglas.....................     13-097-0004           0.074           0.078           0.073           0.075
Gwinnett Tech 1250 Atkinson Rd............  Gwinnett....................     13-135-0002           0.072           0.082           0.080           0.078
Henry County Extension Office.............  Henry.......................     13-151-0002           0.078           0.082           0.088           0.082
Yorkville.................................  Paulding....................     13-223-0003           0.071           0.075           0.072           0.072
Conyers Monastery.........................  Rockdale....................     13-247-0001           0.076           0.081           0.081           0.079
Confederate Ave...........................  Fulton......................     13-121-0055           0.080           0.084           0.087           0.083
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    Effective July 20, 2012, EPA designated a portion of the Atlanta 
Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as nonattainment for the 2008 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. This rulemaking does not address requirements for the 
2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Requirements for the Area for the 2008 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS will be addressed in the future.

II. What are the actions EPA is taking?

    In today's rulemaking, EPA is approving: (1) Georgia's 1997 8-hour 
ozone maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area, including the MVEBs 
contained therein (such approval being one of the CAA criteria for 
redesignation to attainment status); and (2) Georgia's redesignation 
request to change the legal designation of the Atlanta Area from 
nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The 
maintenance plan is designed to demonstrate that the Atlanta Area will 
continue to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS through 2024. EPA's 
approval of the redesignation request is based on EPA's determination 
that Georgia has shown that the Atlanta Area meets the criteria for 
redesignation set forth in CAA, sections 107(d)(3)(E) and 175A, 
including the determination that the Atlanta Area has attained the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA's analyses of Georgia's redesignation request 
and maintenance plan are described in detail in the February 4, 2013, 
proposed rule (see 78 FR 7705), and in responses to comments in this 
final rulemaking. As stated above, since the publication of EPA's 
proposed rule, preliminary data available for 2013 show the Area 
continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    Consistent with the CAA, the maintenance plan that EPA is approving 
includes the 2024 MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the Atlanta 
Area. In this action, EPA is approving these NOX and VOC 
MVEBs for the purposes of transportation conformity. For required 
regional emissions analysis for 2024 and beyond, the applicable budgets 
will be the new 2024 MVEBs.
    Georgia has chosen to allocate a portion of the available safety 
margin to the NOX and VOC MVEBs for 2024 for the Atlanta 
Area. This allocation is 26.9 tons per day (tpd) and 29.4 tpd for 
NOX and VOC, respectively. The remaining safety margins for 
2024 are 276.69 tpd and 28.87 tpd NOX and VOC, 
respectively.\3\
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    \3\ The remaining safety margins for NOX and VOC were 
inadvertently listed in reverse order in the February 4, 2013, 
proposal. See 78 FR 7716. The remaining safety margins for 
NOX are 276.69 tpd and 28.87 tpd for VOC as correctly 
stated in section vi of the proposed rulemaking notice.
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    The MVEBs, specified in tpd, included in the maintenance plan are 
as follows:

           Table 4--2024 Atlanta Area NOX and VOC MVEBs (tpd)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              NOX Emissions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Emissions................................................     99.43
Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB \4\...........................     26.9
NOX Conformity MVEB...........................................    126
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              VOC Emissions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Base Emissions................................................     62.56
Safety Margin Allocated to MVEB...............................     29.4
VOC Conformity MVEB...........................................     92
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In its February 4, 2013, proposed action, EPA noted that the public 
comment period on the adequacy of the Atlanta Area MVEBs for the year 
2024 (as contained in Georgia's submittal) began on February 29, 2012, 
and closed on March 30, 2012. No comments were received during the 
public comment period.

III. What are EPA's responses to comments?

    EPA received one set of comments on the February 4, 2013, proposed 
actions associated with the redesignation of the Atlanta Area for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These comments were submitted by GreenLaw on 
behalf of Mothers & Others for Clean Air, Sierra Club, and its members. 
A summary of the comments and EPA's responses to them are provided 
below.
    Comment 1: The Commenter contends that EPA cannot redesignate the 
Atlanta Area because the Agency relied on ambient air quality data from 
2008-2011 to determine that the area has attained the NAAQS and did not 
consider data from 2012. The Commenter states that the fourth-highest 
ozone value at two monitors in the Atlanta Area exceeded 0.084 ppm in 
2012. The Commenter claims that this shows that the Area ``has not 
solved its ozone problem,'' and that EPA should require GA EPD to 
certify the 2012 data before approving the final redesignation to 
attainment.
    Response 1: EPA disagrees with the Commenter's claim that the 
monitored air quality in the Atlanta Area precludes EPA from approving 
Georgia's request to redesignate the area to attainment. The quality-
assured monitoring data show that the Area continues to qualify for 
redesignation. First, EPA has considered complete, quality-assured and 
certified data for all monitors through 2012. These data have been 
certified and show that the Area continues to attain the standard. In 
accordance with 40 CFR Part 50, Appendix I, the determination as to 
whether the Area meets the NAAQS is based on the three-year average of 
the annual fourth-highest readings at a monitor, and not a monitor's 
fourth-highest ozone value in a single year. No monitored value in a 
single year can itself be a violation. A violation of the 1997 8-hour 
ozone

[[Page 72043]]

NAAQS occurs when the three-year average of the annual fourth-highest 
daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentrations measured at a monitor 
in an area exceeds 0.084 ppm (i.e., a violation occurs when the three-
year average exceeds 0.084 ppm at any one monitor in the area). This 
three-year average is called the monitor's ``design value.'' Even if 
the fourth-highest daily maximum at one monitor in one year exceeds 
0.084 ppm, this does not constitute a violation. Only a three-year 
average of monitor readings can establish that a violation has 
occurred. Data must be quality-assured according to the data handling 
and reporting convention described in 40 CFR Part 50, Appendix I before 
it can be used to determine whether a violation has occurred. An 
ambient air monitor reading that exceeds 0.084 ppm in any one year is 
not determinative of a violation.
    The certified data in Tables 1, 2, and 3 show that the Atlanta Area 
is attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone standard. The 2012 data are now 
certified, and the Area remains in attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS because the 3-year design value is below 0.084 ppm. The 
Commenter's reference to the East Confederate Avenue Site (AQS ID 
131210055) and the Henry County Extension Office Site (AQS ID 
131510002) do not call into question the Area's attainment status, 
because the three-year 2010-2012 design values for these two monitors 
remain below the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Moreover, GA EPD provided 
preliminary data through October 2013 indicating that the Atlanta Area 
continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and further indicate 
that in 2013 no monitors in the Area recorded a fourth-high ozone value 
above the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ These preliminary data are included in the docket and are 
provided for the purpose of indicating continued attainment of the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The data have not yet been quality-assured 
or certified, and therefore may be subject to change.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment 2: The Commenter contends that Georgia's redesignation 
submittal is flawed because it ``fails to demonstrate that past 
reductions in levels of harmful ozone were not due to temporary factors 
such as the Great Recession and weather'' and that EPA cannot approve 
the redesignation request without a weather adjusted analysis. The 
Commenter specifically contends that it would be arbitrary for EPA to 
rely on ambient monitoring data from 2008-2011 to satisfy the section 
107(d)(3)(E)(i) requirement that the Area attain the NAAQS because the 
emissions and air quality from these years were influenced by temporary 
economic conditions (the ``Great Recession'') and that EPA has failed 
to provide any analysis to the contrary. According to the Commenter, 
``[c]ertain monitors in the Atlanta nonattainment area have higher 
values in 2012 than in 2008-2011--the years referenced by EPA in its 
Proposed Rule--and the readings have been increasing as the economy 
rebounds.'' The Commenter also contends that it is inappropriate to use 
data from 2008-2010 to determine if the improvement in air quality is 
due to permanent and enforceable reductions under section 
107(d)(3)(E)(iii) because the data ``does not take into account 
economic conditions and other considerations'' such as weather.
    Response 2: As noted above, EPA, pursuant to established 
regulations, uses a three-year cycle to determine attainment of the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The averaging of values over three years 
serves to account for variations in meteorology and the economy from 
year to year. See 40 CFR 50.10 and Appendix I to CFR part 50. Although 
EPA's proposal referred to 2008-2010 data, EPA has shown that 
additional monitoring data establish that the Atlanta Area has 
continued to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS beyond the attainment 
period of 2008-2010. EPA's review of all data currently available, 
including certified 2009-2011 data and now-certified 2010-2012 data, 
establishes that the Area continued to attain the standard with 2009-
2011 and now-certified 2010-2012 data. This is the case despite the 
fact that conditions in the 2012 ozone season were more conducive to 
ozone formation than in many other previous years. EPA disagrees with 
the Commenter's assertion that that two individual monitor readings in 
2012 cast doubt on the Atlanta Area's attainment status. Nor does the 
Commenter provide information to support its contention that the 
improvement in air quality during this period was due to the economy 
and favorable meteorological conditions rather than to measures the 
State and EPA have undertaken to reduce emissions of ozone precursors. 
To the contrary, the certified data show that the Area remained 
continuously in attainment throughout three sets of three-year period, 
during varying meteorological and economic conditions.
    Regarding the Commenter's contention that economic conditions 
influenced the 2008-2010 ambient ozone concentrations, annual 
NOX emissions data for Georgia electric generating units 
(EGUs) in 2008, emissions in the first year of the ``Great Recession,'' 
were in fact similar to emissions from these units for 2003-2007. See 
Table 5 below.

                                                 Table 5--Georgia EGU Summer Season NOX Emission Data *
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                       Power plant                             2003            2004            2005            2006            2007            2008
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bowen...................................................         5068.67         4689.08         5510.13         5671.34         4531.89         4824.60
Hammond.................................................         2377.06         2039.56         2756.03         2560.85         2327.03         2439.41
Harllee Branch..........................................         7603.69         7708.01        10369.23        11298.11        10456.83        10274.67
Jack McDonough..........................................         1982.57         2100.07         2241.88         2108.11         2204.02         1760.46
Kraft...................................................         2156.75         1783.23         1914.35         2024.73         2292.75         1685.40
McIntosh................................................         1438.09         1404.47         1246.55         1635.37         1260.17         1184.90
Mitchell................................................         1117.94          904.84         1472.60         1037.79         1028.78         1145.54
Scherer.................................................         9695.31         9763.72         9289.08         8854.13         9311.99         9627.62
Wansley.................................................         2523.59         2709.45         3411.88         3063.36         3303.27         3052.20
Yates...................................................         4935.43         4961.97         5706.27         5917.75         5894.25         5984.46
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................        38899.10        38064.41        43917.99        44171.54        42610.97        41979.24
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* From EPA Clean Air Markets Division Web site.


[[Page 72044]]

    Furthermore, NOx emission data for the 10 state VISTAS region from 
2002-2009 demonstrate that mobile and non-road NOx emissions have 
decreased substantially in Georgia and region-wide and to a much 
greater extent than can be attributed to economic fluctuations during 
this period. These reductions are attributable to permanent and 
enforceable reductions from the numerous Federal and state mobile and 
non-road measures implemented during this period. See Tables 6 and 7.

                                   Table 6--2002 VISTAS Base Inventory for NOX
                                                     [Tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                    Point         Non-road          Area           Mobile           Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AL..............................         244,348          65,366          34,900         158,212         502,826
FL..............................         302,833         180,627          48,664         465,640         997,764
GA..............................         196,731          97,961          49,987         307,732         652,411
KY..............................         237,209         104,571          40,966         156,417         539,163
MS..............................         104,661          88,787           7,528         111,914         312,890
NC..............................         196,731          84,284          41,517         327,329         649,861
SC..............................         130,394          50,249          24,602         140,489         345,734
TN..............................         221,638          96,827          20,063         238,577         577,105
VA..............................         147,301          63,219          52,396         222,374         485,290
WV..............................         277,589          33,239          13,631          58,999         383,458
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................       2,059,435         865,130         334,254       2,187,683       5,446,502
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* From GA Regional Haze Plan Appendix C.3 Table 4 (page 15).


                                   Table 7--2009 VISTAS Base Inventory for NOX
                                                     [Tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                    Point         Non-road          Area           Mobile           Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
AL..............................         151,714          56,862          35,831         101,831         346,238
FL..............................         132,185         163,794          47,979         315,840         659,798
GA..............................         148,809          85,733          51,925         209,349         495,816
KY..............................         129,779          94,752          43,548         101,182         369,261
MS..............................          92,409          80,567           8,048          70,743         251,767
NC..............................         101,236          70,997          45,382         201,609         419,224
SC..............................          86,934          43,235          25,259          92,499         247,927
TN..............................         124,274          86,641          20,717         151,912         383,544
VA..............................         288,213          54,993          53,596         134,232         531,034
WV..............................         124,359          30,133          14,384          35,635         204,511
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.......................       1,379,912         767,707         346,669       1,414,832       3,909,120
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* From GA Regional Haze Plan Appendix C.3 Table 5 (page 15).

    Regarding the Commenter's contention that weather influenced the 
2008-2010 ambient ozone concentrations, EPA agrees that weather 
conditions have an effect on ozone concentrations, both in terms of 
increasing ozone and decreasing ozone. However, weather effects are not 
controllable, and EPA determines compliance with the ozone NAAQS using 
a three-year average to account for changes in meteorology. In the case 
of Atlanta, the Area has continuously attained for three three-year 
averaging periods, thereby reinforcing the conclusion that attainment 
is due to permanent and enforceable reductions rather than variable 
economic conditions or favorable meteorology.
    Ozone season temperatures and precipitation are two readily 
available parameters that can be used to evaluate the potential weather 
impacts on ozone concentrations. Ozone is more readily formed on warm, 
sunny days when the air is stagnant. Conversely, ozone production is 
generally more limited when it is cloudy, cool, rainy, or windy.\6\ 
Table 8 provides temperature and precipitation data for Georgia for the 
ozone seasons (March-October) from 2008-2012 obtained from the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center 
(NOAA NCDC). The data in Table 8 show that both average temperature and 
precipitation varied significantly from 2008-2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ http://www.epa.gov/airtrends/weather.html.
    \7\ Data obtained from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) 
Web site: http://gis.ncdc.noaa.gov/map/cag/#app=cdo.

              Table 8--Georgia Temperature and Precipitation Ozone Season (March-October) Data \7\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Average March-October
                                     temperature [degrees   Rank  [since       Precipitation       Rank  [since
               Year                 F]  (anomaly [degrees   1895,  scale     [inches] (anomaly,    1895,  scale
                                             F])             of  1-118]           inches)           of  1-118]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2008..............................  70.2 (-0.7)..........              30  30.22 (-4.07)........              29
2009..............................  70.5 (-0.4)..........              41  43.91 (+9.62)........             112

[[Page 72045]]

 
2010..............................  72.0 (+1.1)..........             101  29.40 (-4.89)........              24
2011..............................  71.9 (+1.0)..........              98  26.25 (-4.0).........               9
2012..............................  72.2 (+1.3)..........             108  29.04 (-5.25)........              22
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 8 provides the following data: Average ozone season (March-
October) temperature and precipitation; deviation from the 118 year 
average ozone season temperature and precipitation (termed the 
``anomaly''); and the rank of the given year on the 118 year (1895-
2012) recorded history list. A rank of 118 is given to the hottest or 
wettest year. The rank and anomaly data in Table 8 show that average 
ozone season temperatures were below normal in 2008 and 2009 with 
precipitation below normal in 2008 and much above normal in 2009. 
Temperatures were much above normal and precipitation was much below 
normal for the years 2010, 2011, and 2012. If weather was the 
controlling factor for ozone concentrations, the levels of 2008-2010 
ozone design values would be expected to be lower than the 2009-2011 
design values. However, for six out of the nine monitoring sites listed 
in Tables 1 and 2 above, the 2008-2010 design values are higher than 
the 2009-2011 design values. Therefore, factors other than weather 
appear to be controlling the ozone concentrations. Further, there was 
nothing about the weather during the 2008-2010 three-year period that 
would indicate that EPA cannot go forward with the proposed approval of 
the Atlanta redesignation.
    Additionally, 2012 was one of the hottest and driest years in the 
recent past. See Table 8, above. In fact, a record-setting heat wave 
occurred in late June through early July 2012, which resulted in high 
ozone levels measured across the southeast, and yet (as indicated in 
the Response to Comment 1 above), data for the 2010-2012 ozone season 
show that the Atlanta Area continues to be in attainment of the 1997 
ozone standard. This fact further supports EPA's position that weather 
is not the controlling factor in the Area's attainment.
    The analysis of meteorological conditions and emissions trends 
discussed above, along with the analysis of permanent and enforceable 
emissions reduction measures described in the proposed rulemaking and 
in the Responses to Comment 3, below, demonstrate that the improvement 
in air quality in the Atlanta Area is independent of weather or 
economic factors.
    Comment 3(a): The Commenter states that EPA relied on a number of 
state-only Georgia rules as permanent and enforceable measures and 
specifically refers to the Georgia Multipollutant Rule and the Smoke 
Management Plan. The Commenter further states that ``[u]nless Georgia 
submits these rules, and EPA adopts them into the enforceable 
implementation plan, they cannot be relied upon for redesignation as 
they are not enforceable by EPA or the public and they are not 
permanent.''
    Response 3(a): EPA did not rely on any state-only Georgia rules as 
permanent and enforceable measures under section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii). The 
Commenter correctly states that Georgia's Smoke Management Plan and 
Georgia Rule (sss)--Multipollutant Rule are not incorporated into the 
Georgia SIP and thus, EPA is not relying on emissions associated with 
those rules as part of this redesignation. As noted in the proposed 
rule, ``Georgia's smoke management plan is a state-only requirement and 
is therefore not federally enforceable. This measure is not necessary 
for the continued maintenance of the Atlanta nonattainment area.'' The 
proposed rule also states that ``Georgia Rule (sss) has not been 
submitted to EPA for approval into the SIP and is therefore not 
federally enforceable.'' See 78 FR 7705.
    While Georgia Rule (sss) may contribute to future NOX 
reductions, which may help continue to assure maintenance, it did not 
contribute to NOX reductions that resulted in the Atlanta 
Area becoming attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This is 
demonstrated by the fact that EGUs contributed 63.62 tpd of the 606.78 
tpd NOX emissions for 2008, or only about 10.5 percent of 
the NOX emissions, based on the Atlanta attainment year 
inventory.
    Comment 3(b): The Commenter contends that reductions associated 
with the NOX SIP Call are not permanent and enforceable 
because the NOX SIP Call ``has been replaced and therefore 
effectively no longer exists.'' The Commenter further states that the 
NOX SIP Call ``is a cap and trade program, which means that 
there are no actual reductions required from the emission sources in 
the Metro-Atlanta nonattainment area. Rather, to the extent that any 
reductions were once required, they could have happened only in areas 
downwind that have little to no impact on the Metro-Atlanta area 
nonattainment.'' The Commenter cites to the United States Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) decision in 
NRDC v. EPA, 571 F.3d 1245 (D.C. Cir. 2009) to support its position 
that ``EPA cannot use cap-and-trade programs to satisfy an area-
specific statutory mandate.''
    Response 3(b): EPA disagrees that the emission reductions resulting 
from the NOX SIP Call are not permanent and enforceable 
under section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii). The Commenter's contention that 
reductions associated with the NOX SIP Call cannot be 
considered permanent and enforceable because the rule ``has been 
replaced and therefore effectively no longer exists'' is erroneous. As 
noted in the proposal, even though EPA discontinued the NOX 
Budget Trading Program when it promulgated CAIR, ``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.'' See 78 FR 7712. Participation in the CAIR ozone 
season trading program is one acceptable way for states to meet their 
NOX SIP Call obligations, but obligations under the 
NOX SIP Call exist independent of CAIR and are independently 
permanent and enforceable. EPA further explained in the proposal that 
the anti-backsliding provisions of 40 CFR 51.905(f) specifically 
provide that the provisions of the NOX SIP Call, including 
the statewide NOX emission budgets, continue to apply after 
revocation of the 1-hour NAAQS. EPA therefore does not agree with the 
Commenter that reductions associated with the NOX SIP Call 
are not permanent and enforceable because of the status of the rule.

[[Page 72046]]

Although Georgia was not subject to the NOX SIP Call, 
reductions from the NOX SIP Call in upwind states helped the 
Atlanta Area achieve attainment.
    EPA also disagrees that the Atlanta Area cannot be redesignated for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS solely because the NOX SIP Call 
is a cap-and-trade program. The Commenter's reliance on NRDC v. EPA, 
571 F.3d 1245 (D.C. Cir. 2009) is inapposite. The D.C. Circuit's 
decision in that case does not support the Commenter's argument and is 
entirely consistent with EPA's position here. That case addressed a 
specific aspect of the cap-and-trade program, solely within the very 
different context of EPA's determination that the NOX SIP 
Call trading program presumptively satisfied the nonattainment 
Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirement. The Court's 
decision centered on whether the RACT requirement could be satisfied by 
reductions outside the nonattainment area. The Court simply held that 
because EPA had not shown the trading program would result in 
sufficient reductions in a nonattainment area, its determination that 
the program satisfied the nonattainment RACT requirement was not 
supported.\8\ Id. at 1256- 58. The Court did not hold, or address the 
issue, as Commenter suggests, of how emissions trading programs that 
require emissions reductions--either inside or outside a nonattainment 
area--and which result in air quality improvement, should be considered 
in evaluating redesignation requests. Trading programs require total 
mass emission reductions by establishing mandatory caps on total 
emissions to permanently reduce the total mass emissions allowed by 
sources subject to the programs, validated through rigorous continuous 
emission monitoring and reporting regimes. The emission caps and 
associated controls are enforced through associated SIP rules or 
Federal implementation plans (FIPs). Any purchase of allowances and 
increase in emissions by one source necessitates a corresponding sale 
of allowances and either reduction in emissions or use of allowances by 
another source. Given the regional nature of ozone, the corresponding 
NOX emission and/or allowance reduction in one affected area 
will have an air quality benefit that will compensate, at least in 
part, for the impact of any emission increase in another affected area. 
In this case, as shown in Tables 6 and 7 of this notice, the 
NOX SIP Call and other Federal mobile and non-road control 
regulations achieved measurable reductions in NOX emissions 
in the states upwind from and affecting the Atlanta Area. For the 
reasons explained above, reductions associated with the NOX 
SIP Call are permanent and enforceable because states remain subject to 
the requirements of that rule. EPA has therefore determined that with 
regard to the reductions associated with the NOX SIP Call, 
in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii), ``the improvement in air 
quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions 
resulting from implementation of . . . applicable Federal air pollutant 
control regulations.'' Thus, EPA disagrees that the Commenter has 
identified a basis on which EPA should disapprove Georgia's 
redesignation request.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ The Court specifically elected not to vacate the RACT 
provision and left open the possibility that EPA may be able to 
reinstate the provision for particular nonattainment areas if, upon 
conducting a technical analysis, it finds the NOX SIP 
Call results in greater emissions reductions in a nonattainment area 
than would be achieved if RACT-level controls were installed in that 
area. Id. at 1258.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment 3(c): The Commenter does not believe that EPA can rely on 
CAIR or CSAPR to provide permanent and enforceable emissions reductions 
under section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii). According to the Commenter, EPA cannot 
rely on CAIR because it has been remanded, and cites to two prior 
Federal Register notices in support of its position that EPA's proposed 
reliance on CAIR as a permanent and enforceable measure for 
redesignation is contrary to other EPA Region 4 actions. The Commenter 
reiterates its position that emissions reductions associated with CAIR 
cannot be considered permanent and enforceable because CAIR is a cap-
and-trade program (citing again to NRDC v. EPA for the proposition that 
``cap and trade programs cannot be used to satisfy area-specific 
mandates''). Specifically, the Commenter contends that, under CAIR, 
``[a]ny emissions reductions impacting the Metro-Atlanta nonattainment 
area achieved through CAIR could be lost through the purchase of 
emissions credits or trading of credits'' and that ``[a]ny source could 
decide at any time in the future to purchase emissions credits, 
increasing its emissions and thus impacts to the Atlanta Area.'' The 
Commenter contends that ``CAIR did not impose any reductions'' and that 
the use of modeling in developing CAIR is unreliable because it used 
assumptions about the economy, the weather, and international commodity 
prices like the price of coal and natural gas. Instead, the Commenter 
believes that EPA could impose unit specific emission limits for units 
in and impacting the Atlanta Area, and argues that such limits would 
not be redundant of reductions required by CAIR ``because CAIR did not 
impose any reductions on these units.'' The Commenter also states that 
``to the extent'' that EPA relies on reductions from CSAPR, that rule 
has been vacated and EPA may not rely on reductions associated with 
CSAPR for the purposes of this redesignation.
    Response 3(c): EPA does not agree that emission reductions 
associated with CAIR cannot be considered permanent and enforceable for 
purposes of meeting the requirements of section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii). 
Section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA sets out the requirements for 
redesignation, and states in relevant part that the Administrator must 
``determine[] that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent 
and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from implementation 
of the applicable implementation plan and applicable Federal air 
pollutant control regulations and other permanent and enforceable 
reductions.'' 42 U.S.C. 7407(d)(3)(E)(iii).
    EPA recognizes that the D.C. Circuit's remand of CAIR necessarily 
means that CAIR will at some point cease to be in effect. However, EPA 
disagrees that the Court's remand forecloses the Agency and states from 
relying on CAIR for purposes such as redesignating an area from 
nonattainment to attainment. Subsection (iii) of section 107(d)(3)(E) 
is a backwards looking requirement; it requires that the attainment air 
quality in the area is ``due to'' permanent and enforceable emission 
reductions. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that in 
redesignating areas from nonattainment to attainment, EPA does not rely 
on ephemeral, temporarily improved air quality that results from 
circumstances such as temporary shutdowns of plants or reduced emission 
rates because of slowed production. See Procedures for Processing 
Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment,'' Memorandum from John 
Calcagni, Director, Air Quality Management Division, September 4, 1992 
(Calcagni Memorandum) at page 4. The structure of section 
107(d)(3)(E)(iii) indicates that the Act generally considers reductions 
resulting from SIPs and Federal regulations as permanent and 
enforceable. It references ``other'' reductions that are comparable to 
measures adopted into SIPs or federally adopted regulations and can 
therefore also qualify as permanent and enforceable reductions, 
indicating that, in general, SIP reductions and

[[Page 72047]]

reductions from Federal regulations are the types of reductions that 
the Act views in the first instance as having the requisite permanence 
and enforceability for purposes of redesignation.
    Georgia's CAIR provisions can be found in Georgia Rule 391-3-
1-.02(12)--Clean Air Interstate Rule NOX Annual Trading 
Program. On October 9, 2007, at 72 FR 57202, EPA approved Georgia's 
CAIR provisions, including CAIR NOX allocations. These SIP 
provisions are in place and are federally enforceable. And, because 
CAIR has been in force since 2005, the monitoring data used to 
demonstrate the Area's attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by the 
June 2011 attainment deadline were impacted by CAIR. CAIR reductions 
began as early as 2005, with full program requirements beginning in 
2009. CAIR was thus in place and federally enforceable at the time the 
Atlanta Area began monitoring attainment, and it continues to remain in 
place under the instruction of the Court in EME Homer City Generation, 
L.P. v. EPA, 696 F.3d. 7 (D.C. Cir., 2012), which vacated CSAPR and 
explicitly left CAIR in place until EPA implements a replacement rule.
    With regard to the Federal Register notices cited by Commenter, 
those notices pre-date the D.C. Circuit's decision in EME Homer City. 
Thus, statements regarding CAIR in those notices would not be 
appropriately applied to the Atlanta action because of the 
significantly changed circumstances surrounding CAIR. It is not 
unreasonable for the Agency to reassess its position about whether the 
reductions of CAIR can be considered sufficiently permanent and 
enforceable for purposes of redesignation, in light of the D.C. 
Circuit's vacatur of CSAPR and its order that the Agency continue to 
implement CAIR in EME Homer City. That decision significantly altered 
the status of CAIR, particularly in the context of redesignations.
    As noted in the proposed rule (78 FR 7712), EPA believes that 
relying on CAIR emission reductions in order to redesignate the Atlanta 
Area, which has been attaining the NAAQS for many years and continues 
to maintain the standard, is precisely the type of ``reliance 
interest'' that the D.C. Circuit was concerned about in ordering the 
Agency to continue administering CAIR. EME Homer City, 696 F.3d at 38. 
In addition, in its substantive holdings, the D.C. Circuit in EME Homer 
City held that ``a SIP logically cannot be deemed to lack a `required 
submission' before EPA quantifies the good neighbor obligation.'' Id. 
at 32. Under this holding, states have no obligation to submit ``good 
neighbor'' SIPs until EPA has quantified their ``good neighbor'' 
obligations and EPA may not promulgate a FIP to address such 
obligations until the Agency first quantifies the state's obligations, 
and provides the state an opportunity to submit a plan consistent with 
that defined obligation. 696 F.3d at 28-37. The EME Homer City decision 
thus significantly lengthens the time it will take to get in place 
regulations to replace the remanded CAIR. Under the EME Homer City 
decision, SIP provisions to replace CAIR could not go into effect until 
EPA has undertaken analysis and rulemaking to define states' 
obligations in accordance with the other statutory requirements 
identified by the EME Homer City Court, provided states adequate time 
to develop implementation plans consistent with the defined 
obligations, and EPA has reviewed and approved the SIP submissions in 
notice-and-comment rulemakings. Similarly, no FIP to replace CAIR could 
go into effect unless EPA found a state failed to submit a SIP within 
the time given to develop such implementation plans or disapproved such 
a SIP submittal. It is not unreasonable for EPA to determine that in 
light of these circumstances, CAIR will be in place for a significant 
amount of time. EPA therefore disagrees with the Commenter that its 
prior statements regarding the status of CAIR before the EME Homer City 
decision dictate how the Agency must view CAIR after that decision.
    In addition, the modeling EPA conducted for the CSAPR rulemaking 
demonstrates that the Atlanta Area would have attained and will 
continue to maintain the standard even without CAIR. The air quality 
modeling analysis, which analyzed a base-case and future-year modeling 
scenario in which neither CAIR nor CSAPR was in place demonstrated that 
the Atlanta Area would have been able to attain and will be able to 
maintain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the absence of any transport 
rule. See ``Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support 
Document,'' Appendix B, B-8 to B-9. This modeling is available in the 
docket for this redesignation action. Nothing in the EME Homer City 
decision undermines that conclusion or suggests that the air quality 
modeling conducted during the rulemaking was flawed.
    EPA also disagrees with the Commenter that emission reductions 
occurring within the relevant nonattainment area cannot be relied upon 
for the purpose of redesignations simply because they are associated 
with the emissions trading programs established in CAIR. As discussed 
in Response to Comment 3(b), EPA does not agree that NRDC v. EPA 
supports the Commenter's position. Although framed in terms of the 
requirements of section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii), that is, the Act's 
requirement that an area's current attainment is a result of permanent 
and enforceable measures, the Commenter's concerns appear more focused 
on potential future problems in the Atlanta Area. For instance, the 
Commenter notes that reductions that were achieved through CAIR that 
impacted the Atlanta Area ``could be lost'' because of future emissions 
trading, and that sources could decide ``in the future'' to purchase 
emissions credit and therefore have a negative impact on the Atlanta 
Area. The Commenter's focus on future reductions under CAIR suggests 
concern not with EPA's approval under section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii), but 
rather the requirements for a fully approved maintenance plan in 
section 107(d)(3)(E)(iv) and section 175A that require the state to 
show that the area will maintain the standard for ten years following 
redesignation. In the proposal, EPA provided projected emissions of 
NOX and VOC, the precursors to ozone pollution, for the 
Atlanta Area for the relevant maintenance period. See 78 FR 7714, tbls. 
2-4. Under its existing suite of control measures, including CAIR, 
Atlanta is attaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Over the maintenance 
period, emissions for each precursor are expected to further decrease 
in the Atlanta Area. If violations of the standard after redesignation 
nevertheless occur, EPA has approved the contingency measures in the 
maintenance plan to account for such events.
    Further, evaluations have been made to see whether trading has 
created emissions ``hot spots.'' For example, since the beginning of 
the Acid Rain Program, there have been no emissions hot spots 
identified or created as a result of the program (see ``The Acid Rain 
Program Experience: Should We Be Concerned About SO2 
Emissions Hotspots?'' at http://epa.gov/airmarkets/resource/acidrain-resource.html).
    Additionally, states and localities may impose stricter limits on 
sources to address specific local air quality concerns. For example, 
Georgia has adopted a multipollutant rule for Electricity Generating 
Units that control emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and 
NOX, and North Carolina has adopted its Clean Smokestacks 
Act. Florida recently revised its Regional Haze Plan which imposed 
additional restrictions on a number of facilities in the State.

[[Page 72048]]

These limits must be met regardless of a source's accumulated 
allowances.
    The Commenter's statement that ``CAIR did not impose any 
reductions'' is simply incorrect, and indicates a lack of understanding 
of cap-and-trade programs. In general, cap-and-trade programs provide 
economic incentives for early reductions in emissions and encourage 
sources to install controls earlier than required for compliance with 
future caps on emissions. The flexibility under a cap and trade system 
is not about whether to reduce emissions; rather, it is about how to 
reduce them at the lowest possible cost. As explained above in Response 
to Comment 3(b), trading programs require total mass emission 
reductions by establishing mandatory caps on total emissions to 
permanently reduce the total mass emissions allowed by sources subject 
to the programs, validated through rigorous continuous emission 
monitoring and reporting regimens. The emission caps and associated 
controls are enforced through the associated SIP rules or FIPs. Any 
purchase of allowances and increase in emissions by one source 
necessitates a corresponding sale of allowances and either reduction in 
emissions or use of banked allowances by another covered source. Given 
the regional nature of ozone, the corresponding NOX emission 
and/or allowance reduction in one affected area will have an air 
quality benefit that will compensate, at least in part, for the impact 
of any emission increase in another affected area. EPA disagrees with 
the Commenter's suggestion that only specific emission limits on units 
can be considered ``reductions.''
    In fact, the actual data that EPA has evaluated in order to 
conclude that the Atlanta Area has met the criteria for redesignation 
shows that power plant emissions in both Atlanta and the surrounding 
region have substantially decreased as a result of cap-and-trade 
programs, including CAIR. The facts contradict the theoretical concerns 
raised by the Commenter, and show that the emission trading programs, 
combined with other controls, in fact worked to improve air quality in 
the Area. Moreover, the NOX SIP Call and CAIR have 
successfully reduced transported emissions contributing to ozone 
nonattainment in areas across the country. Data collected from long-
term national air quality monitoring networks demonstrate that these 
regional cap-and-trade programs have resulted in substantial 
achievements in air quality caused by emission reductions from power 
sector sources.\9\ In 2004, EPA designated 91 areas in the Eastern half 
of the United States as nonattainment for the 8-hour ozone standard 
adopted in 1997, using data from 2001-2003. Based on data gathered from 
2009--2011, 90 of these original Eastern nonattainment areas show 
concentrations below the 1997 ozone standard. Id. at 12. Many states 
have sought and continue to seek redesignation of their nonattainment 
areas, relying in part on the reductions attributable to these cap-and-
trade programs. See, e.g., 76 FR at 59607 (proposing to redesignate a 
portion of the Chicago area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS), finalized 
at 76 FR 76302, and 74 FR 63995 (redesignation of Great Smoky Mountain 
National Park for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS). The Commenter's 
contention that EPA and Georgia may not rely on the substantial 
emission reductions that have already occurred from these rules based 
on a faulty and rigid interpretation of the CAA would impose a major 
obstacle for nonattainment areas across the country that have achieved 
attainment air quality because of the reductions required by the rules. 
This would unnecessarily undermine a reasonable, proven, and cost-
effective approach to combating regional pollution problems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 2011 Environmental and Health Results Report, CAIR, Acid 
Rain Program, and former NOX Budget Trading Program 
Progress Report 2011 (March 2013), http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/progress/ARPCAIR11_downloads/ARPCAIR11_environmental_health.pdf 
(``2011 Environmental and Health Results Report'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Of the federally-enforceable rules relied upon by Georgia in its 
redesignation request, the Commenter singles out cap-and-trade programs 
as insufficiently permanent and enforceable to meet the requirements 
for redesignation. Measures that have been approved into Georgia's SIP 
that have helped contribute to the Area's attainment of the 1997 8-hour 
ozone standard include: Georgia Rule (yy)--Emissions of Nitrogen 
Oxides, Georgia Rule (lll)--NOX from Fuel Burning Equipment, 
Georgia Rule (rrr)--NOX from Small Fuel Burning Equipment, 
and Georgia Rule (jjj)--NOX from EGUs. Federal rules relied 
upon by Georgia in its redesignation request include Tier 2 vehicle 
standards, Large Non-road Diesel Engines Rule, and nonroad spark-
ignition engines and recreational engines standards. See 78 FR 7705. 
There is inherent flexibility in nearly all of these requirements 
relied upon in Georgia's redesignation request, including Federal 
transportation control measures and SIP emission rate limits, also 
known as ``command-and-control'' regulations. For example, the rules do 
not and cannot account for when and where people drive their cars, nor 
do they dictate that consumers in a certain area invest in newer, 
lower-emitting cars. Similarly, emission rate limits limit the rate of 
emissions per unit of fuel consumed, or parts per million of emissions 
in the exhaust but do not regulate throughput or hours of operation of 
the regulated sources. It would be unworkable for EPA to disqualify a 
requirement as ``permanent and enforceable'' for the purposes of 
redesignation simply because the requirement did not require the exact 
same pollutant emission reduction every hour of every day of every 
year. The Atlanta Area relied on a suite of requirements that, while 
inherently allowing for some flexibility, has collectively served to 
bring the Area into, and to maintain, attainment of the NAAQS.
    Moreover, the Commenter's concerns about modeling with regard to 
the CAIR rulemaking are not germane to this redesignation; it is the 
Atlanta Area's monitored attainment and continued monitored attainment 
that EPA is relying on in finalizing redesignation for this area, as 
opposed to modeling that EPA conducted for the CAIR rulemaking and any 
assumptions about commodity prices and the economy that necessarily 
went into that rulemaking.
    Finally, EPA is not relying on CSAPR for continued maintenance of 
the Area and in approving this redesignation of Atlanta. As such, there 
is no basis to conclude that it would be improper to redesignate the 
Area even in the absence of CSAPR.
    Comment 4(a): The Commenter states that EPA cannot approve the 
emissions inventory under CAA section 182(a)(1) because ``portions of 
the emissions inventory were estimated, as opposed to being based on 
actual emissions.''
    Response 4(a): In a prior, separate rulemaking, EPA has already 
taken final action to approve the emissions inventory for the Atlanta 
Area under section 182(a)(1). See 77 FR 24399. It is settled law that, 
in evaluating redesignations, EPA is not required to review already-
approved SIP revisions. EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in 
approving a redesignation request (Southwestern Pennsylvania Growth 
Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 989-90 (6th Cir. 1998), Wall v. EPA, 
265 F.3d 426 (6th Cir. 2001)), plus any additional measures it may 
approve in conjunction with a redesignation action (see Calcagni 
Memorandum at page 3; 68 FR 25426 (May 12, 2003) and citations 
therein). In EPA's prior rulemaking action on Atlanta's emissions 
inventory,

[[Page 72049]]

EPA provided an opportunity for public notice and comment; and no 
comments were submitted. EPA approved the emissions inventory as 
consistent with the requirements of section 182(a)(1), the CAA 
implementing regulations, and EPA guidance for emission inventories. 
Thus, any comments regarding EPA's approval of the emissions inventory 
are untimely and unfounded. EPA notes that the maintenance 
demonstration accompanying the redesignation request includes an 
attainment year inventory that serves as the base year for projecting 
emissions over the maintenance period. The State has shown, and EPA 
agrees, that this inventory is accurate and comprehensive. Since EPA 
has already approved the inventory under section 182(b)(1), no 
additional approval is necessary.
    Comment 4(b): The Commenter further disputes the approvability of 
the emissions inventory because ``[t]here is no indication that EPA 
accounted for the increase in NOX and VOC emissions that 
will result from use of E15 when it approved GA EPD's estimate of on-
road emissions as satisfying the section 182(a)(1) comprehensive 
emissions inventory requirement.''
    Response 4(b): EPA does not believe that the Commenter's concerns 
regarding E15 use in the Atlanta Area and increases in VOC and NOx 
emissions are supported. The Commenter's concerns appear to derive not 
from the emissions inventories that EPA approved, but rather from the 
possibility that the future increases in NOX and VOC that 
the Commenter believes might result from the use of E15. Therefore, 
this appears to be a concern regarding future maintenance of the 
standard rather than a concern about the approvability of the prior 
emissions inventories. In any event, EPA believes that the Commenter's 
concerns regarding E15 use in that Atlanta Area and potential resulting 
increases in VOC and NOX emissions are unfounded. Georgia 
has a state fuel rule that covers 45 counties that is inclusive of the 
20-county Atlanta Area that was designated nonattainment for the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS. Regardless of the allowance for increased ethanol 
in conventional fuel (i.e., E15), Georgia must comply with the 
requirements of its state fuel rule which was put in place specifically 
to reduce fuel-related VOC and NOX emissions for the Atlanta 
Area. EPA approved Georgia's fuel rule into the Georgia SIP for the 
purposes of meeting 1-hour ozone NAAQS (see 67 FR 8200 (February 20, 
2002)), and this rule remains in Georgia's federally-enforceable SIP. 
GA EPD modeled the Georgia fuel rule requirements in developing the 
emissions inventory for the maintenance plan.
    In 2010 and 2011, EPA granted partial waivers for use of E15 in 
model year (MY) 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles (75 FR 68094 
and 76 FR 4662). As discussed in the partial waiver decisions, there 
may be some small emission impacts from the use of E15. E15 is expected 
to cause a small immediate emissions increase in NOX 
emissions. However, due to its lower volatility than the E10 currently 
in-use, its use is also expected to result in lower evaporative 
emissions. Other possible emissions impacts may be from the misfueling 
of E15 in vehicles or engines for which its use is not approved, i.e. 
MY2000 and older motor vehicles, heavy-duty engines and vehicles, 
motorcycles and all nonroad engines, vehicles and equipment. EPA 
promulgated a separate rule dealing specifically with the mitigation of 
misfueling to reduce the potential emissions impacts from misfueling 
(76 FR 44406).
    However, the E15 partial waivers do not require that E15 be made or 
sold and it is unclear if and to what extent E15 may even be used in 
Georgia. Even if E15 is introduced into commerce in Georgia, 
considering the likely small and offsetting direction of the emission 
impacts, the limited set of motor vehicles approved for its use, and 
the measures required to mitigate misfueling, EPA believes that any 
potential emission impacts of E15 will be less than the maintenance 
plan safety margin by which Georgia shows maintenance of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. As shown in Tables 9 and 10, total VOC and 
NOX emissions decrease significantly from 2008 through 2024, 
the last year of the maintenance plan. During this period, total 
NOX emissions decrease 50 percent (by 303 tpd) and VOC 
emissions decrease 12 percent (by 58 tpd). It should be noted that EPA 
recently proposed the Tier 3 vehicle emissions and fuel standards 
program. The proposal calls for more stringent limits on emissions of 
NOX and VOCs from new motor vehicles beginning with the 2017 
model year resulting in emissions reductions as these vehicles enter 
the fleet. The proposal also calls for reducing the annual average 
sulfur content of gasoline from 30 ppm to 10 ppm beginning on January 
1, 2017. Reductions in the sulfur content of gasoline would enable 
automobile manufacturers to comply with the proposed vehicle emissions 
standards, and would also achieve significant immediate benefits by 
reducing emissions from existing vehicles. The maintenance plan does 
not include emissions reductions from these proposed regulatory 
changes. If the Tier 3 vehicle emissions and fuel standards program is 
finalized as proposed, it would result in additional reductions in on-
road emissions of NOX and VOC that go beyond those which are 
consistent with maintenance of the 1997 ozone NAAQS in the Atlanta 
Area.

                  Table 9--Actual and Projected Annual NOX Emissions (tpd) for the Atlanta Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Sector                    2008            2014            2017            2020            2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point...........................           75.99           60.69           53.05           54.43           56.27
Area *..........................           49.30           54.92           57.73           60.62           64.48
Nonroad.........................          117.47           99.18           90.04           87.03           83.01
On-road.........................          364.02          264.80          215.19          165.58           99.43
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total **....................          606.78          479.59          416.01          367.66          303.19
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For nonpoint emissions, excluding fire.
** Numbers may be slightly different than the April 4, 2012, submittal based on rounding conventions.


                 Table 10--Actual and Projected Annual VOC Emissions (tpd) for the Atlanta Area
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Sector                    2008            2014            2017            2020            2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point...........................           13.79           15.80           16.81           17.80           19.13
Area*...........................          216.46          243.28          256.69          270.61          289.16

[[Page 72050]]

 
Nonroad.........................           96.03           74.75           64.11           63.50           62.69
On-road.........................          165.53          126.92          107.61           88.30           62.56
                                 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total **....................          491.82          460.75          445.22          440.21          433.55
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For nonpoint emissions, excluding fire.
** Numbers may be slightly different than the April 4, 2012, submittal based on rounding conventions.

    Georgia used EPA's approved motor vehicle emissions factor model, 
MOVES2010, to prepare the on-road inventory. Additionally, EPA has 
concluded that GA EPD used the appropriate parameters for modeling the 
Georgia fuel rule and that the emissions inventories are approvable.
    Comment 5(a): The Commenter claims that EPA cannot approve the 
maintenance plan because it ``would need to show, at a minimum, [that] 
the 2014, 2017, 2020, and 2024 emissions will be significantly below 
the 2012 emissions'' given that ``2012 emission levels result in 
ambient concentrations over the NAAQS.''
    Response 5(a): The Commenter's contention that maintenance can be 
shown only by emissions that are ``significantly below the 2012'' 
emissions is based solely on the same misguided premise as its argument 
in Comment 1: that two monitor readings in 2012 showed concentrations 
above the level of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As EPA explained in 
Reponses to Comments 1 and 2 above, these readings did not establish 
violations or alter the Area's attainment status, and the Area 
continued to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in 2012. These readings 
also in no way undermine the validity of the attainment year emissions 
inventory, which remains the benchmark for showing the levels of 
emissions that are needed to maintain the NAAQS. Consequently, the Area 
need not, as the Commenter claims, show that emissions levels in the 
future will be significantly lower in order to demonstrate continued 
attainment. Therefore, the State met the criteria for demonstrating 
maintenance by establishing its attainment inventories at the time of 
the development of the maintenance plan and showing that future 
projected emissions remain at or below the attainment emissions levels. 
See Wall v. EPA, supra.
    For its maintenance demonstration, Georgia used the 2008 National 
Emissions Inventory (NEI) as base year emissions inventory reflecting 
one of the years in a three-year period (2008 -2011) when attainment 
was reached. Georgia's maintenance plan projected that total emissions 
during the 10-year maintenance period after redesignation will stay 
below attainment year levels. The 2008 inventory, one of the years in 
the three-year period in which the Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS, is an appropriate inventory to be used to demonstrate 
maintenance of the NAAQS.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ As explained in the Calcagni Memorandum, ``[w]here a state 
has made an adequate demonstration that air quality has improved as 
a result of the SIP, the attainment inventory will generally be the 
actual inventory at the time the area attained the standard.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commenter asserts that ``2012 emissions levels result in 
ambient concentrations above the NAAQS.'' Again, as set forth in 
Response 1 above, a violation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS is based 
on a three-year average, and does not, as the Commenter claims, result 
from a one-year fourth high value. The 2010-2012 ozone season data 
established that the Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. Preliminary data for 2013 indicate continued attainment. 
Moreover, the maintenance plan also provides a mechanism for 
anticipating and preventing violations. For example, the maintenance 
plan's Tier I contingency measures are triggered when ``the periodic 
emission inventory updates reveal excessive or unanticipated growth 
greater than 10 percent in emissions of either ozone precursor over the 
attainment or intermediate emissions inventories for the Atlanta 
maintenance area (as determined by the triennial emission reporting 
required by AERR).'' See 78 FR 7705.
    Comment 5(b): The Commenter states its view that the maintenance 
plan is not approvable because it is missing contingency provisions 
that provide for the prompt correction of violations. According to the 
Commenter, neither the Tier I nor the Tier II response ``occurs on a 
prompt schedule, and several of the potential contingency measures 
listed are inappropriate, inadequate, or vague.'' The Commenter goes on 
to state that the Tier I response to prepare a comprehensive study to 
develop corrective measures ``is not a corrective measure at all.'' The 
Commenter states its belief that a period of 18 to 24 months, or more, 
to adopt and implement corrective measures does not satisfy the 
statutory requirement for prompt correction of violations under either 
the Tier I or Tier II response, that the contingency measures listed in 
the maintenance plan are ``too vague,'' and that the procedure for 
selecting contingency measures has not been provided.
    Response 5(b): EPA, consistent with its views set forth in many 
other redesignation rulemakings, believes that the contingency measures 
in the maintenance plan are adequate under section 175A(d). EPA 
therefore disagrees with the Commenter's contention that the 
contingency measures are vague and do not provide for prompt correction 
of a NAAQS violation. Section 175A(d) of the CAA requires that a 
maintenance plan include such contingency provisions, ``as the 
Administrator deems necessary,'' to assure that the state will promptly 
correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation of the 
area. See 42 U.S.C. 7505A(d). Unlike section 172(c)(9), which governs 
contingency measures for nonattainment areas, section 175A does not 
require the adoption of specific contingency measures that must take 
effect without further action by the State or EPA. Instead, Congress 
provided EPA with the discretion to determine the form and timing of 
the contingency that are required. Section 175A(d) provides leeway for 
EPA to take into account the need of a state to assess, adopt, and 
implement contingency measures if and when a violation occurs after an 
area's redesignation to attainment. Therefore, in accordance with the 
discretion accorded it by statute, EPA may allow reasonable time for 
states to analyze data and address the causes and appropriate means of 
remedying a violation. In assessing what ``promptly'' means in this 
context, EPA also may take into account time for adopting and 
implementation of the appropriate measure. In the case of the Atlanta 
Area, EPA reasonably concluded that 18-24 months constitutes a timeline 
consistent

[[Page 72051]]

with prompt correction of a potential monitored violation. This 
timeframe also conforms with EPA's many prior rulemakings on acceptable 
schedules for implementing section 175A contingency measures. EPA has 
long exercised this discretion in its rulemakings on section 175A 
contingency measures in redesignation maintenance plans, allowing as 
contingency measures commitments to adopt and implement in lieu of 
fully adopted contingency measures, and finding that implementation 
within 18 to 24 months of a violation complies with the requirements of 
section 175A. See recent redesignations such as Indianapolis Area 1997 
Annual PM2.5 standard (76 FR 59512, 59522 (Sept. 27, 2011)); 
Baton Rouge Area 1997 8-hour ozone standard (76 FR 74000 (Nov. 30, 
2011) (final); 76 FR 53853, 53869 (Aug. 30, 2011) (proposed)); 
Crittenden County, Arkansas portion of the Memphis Area 1997 8-hour 
ozone standard (75 FR 14077 (Mar. 24, 2010) (final); 75 FR 2091, 2100 
(Jan. 14, 2010) (proposal)); 76 FR 79579, 79590 (Dec. 22, 2011) 
(proposed)); Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir Area 1997 Annual PM2.5 
standard, 76 FR 71452 (Nov. 18, 2011) (final); 76 FR 58210, 58222 
(Sept. 20, 2011) (proposed)). Section 175A does not establish any 
deadlines for implementation of contingency measures after 
redesignation to attainment. It also provides far more latitude than 
does section 172(c)(9), which applies to a different set of contingency 
measures applicable to nonattainment areas. Section 172(c)(9) 
contingency measures must ``take effect . . . without further action by 
the State or [EPA].''
    EPA has consistently applied this interpretation of section 175A 
since its announcement in a September 4, 1992, Calcagni Memorandum 
(noting that a State is not required under 175A ``to have fully adopted 
contingency measures that will take effect without further action by 
the State in order for the maintenance plan to be approved''), and two 
U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal have agreed with the Agency. In Greenbaum 
v. EPA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit endorsed the 
Calcagni Memorandum's statements regarding contingency measures for 
175A maintenance plans and noted that EPA ``has been granted broad 
discretion by Congress in determining what is `necessary to assure' 
prompt correction'' under this section. 370 F.3d 527, 540 (6th Cir. 
2004). The Court also stated that ``no pre-determined schedule for 
adoption of the measures is necessary in each specific case.'' Id. In 
Sierra Club v. EPA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit 
agreed with Greenbaum on these issues and identified the rationale 
behind the discretion afforded to EPA and the states in the timing and 
development of contingency measures, noting that ``[i]ntelligent 
decisions may depend on the nature of future developments.'' 375 F.3d 
537, 540 (7th Cir. 2004) (also noting that the ``statute does not call 
for any particular degree of precision in the period after attainment . 
. . so again, the EPA (and the affected states) had choices to make, 
choices that may be gainsaid only if obviously misguided.''). The CAA 
does not specify the requisite nature, scope, specificity, or number of 
contingency measures to be included in a maintenance plan under section 
175A. It is for EPA to determine whether the state has given adequate 
assurance that it can promptly correct a violation. The State has 
committed to remedy a future violation,\11\ and included measures to 
address future violations and a timeline for promptly completing 
adoption and implementation. For example, Georgia included a 
consideration of expansion of RACT for point sources of VOC and NOx, 
specifically the adoption of new and revised RACT rules based on Groups 
II, III and IV control technique guidelines (CTGs) as a possible 
contingency measure to implement. This identification of measures is 
sufficiently specific while allowing for latitude in potential scope. 
This will enable the State to address a range of potential sources and 
differing degrees and types of violations. EPA believes that the 
contingency measures set forth in the submittal, combined with the 
State's commitment to an expeditious timeline and process for 
implementation, provide assurance that the State will promptly correct 
a future violation. Given the uncertainty as to timing, degree, and 
nature of any future violation, EPA believes that the contingency 
measures set forth adequately balance the need for flexibility in the 
scope and type of measure to be implemented with the need for 
expeditious state action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ In the context of this rulemaking, a future violation 
indicates that the Tier II trigger is activated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Given the discretion provided to EPA and the states under section 
175A(d), the need for flexibility in developing appropriate contingency 
measures in light of potential future developments, and the need for an 
appropriate amount of time to develop and adopt these measures, EPA has 
determined that Georgia's maintenance plan satisfies all applicable 
requirements.
    The maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area contains two different 
types of contingency measures. The ``Tier I'' response, is not required 
under section 175A, and therefore not subject to its criteria. The Tier 
I response is triggered before any violation has occurred. It is 
designed not to correct a violation, but to anticipate and evaluate 
circumstances that may prefigure a violation.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Specifically, the ``Tier I'' response in the Atlanta 
maintenance plan is triggered: (1) when any quality-assured 8-hour 
ozone monitoring reading exceeds 0.084 ppm at an ambient air 
monitoring station in the Atlanta maintenance area; or (2) if the 
periodic emission inventory updates reveal excessive or 
unanticipated growth greater than 10 percent in ozone precursors 
emissions in the Atlanta maintenance area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Georgia's Tier II contingency measures, by contrast, are triggered 
by a violation of the NAAQS. It compels the State to first conduct a 
comprehensive study to determine what contingency measures are required 
for the maintenance of the ozone NAAQS. Georgia must submit this study 
to EPA for review as expeditiously as practicable but no later than 
nine months after the trigger date. The State must adopt and implement 
measures within 18 to 24 months after the trigger occurs. In addition 
to setting these specific timing requirements, the maintenance plan 
(see page 37 of the narrative) also lists a number of measures (e.g., 
expansion of RACT for point sources of VOC and NOx, specifically the 
adoption of new and revised RACT rules based on Groups II, III and IV 
CTGs) that Georgia may select as a contingency measure (see the 
proposed rule for this action at 78 FR 7716 for a complete list). In a 
September 20, 2013 letter to EPA that has been placed in the docket for 
this action, GA EPD confirms that it commits to address and correct any 
violation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as expeditiously as 
practicable, and no later than 24 months from trigger activation. For 
additional details pertaining to the State's commitments regarding 
contingency measures, see the September 20, 2013 letter from GA EPD, 
included in the rulemaking docket. For all of the reasons set forth 
above, EPA finds that, pursuant to CAA section 175A(d), the contingency 
measures included in the maintenance plan and the schedule for the 
development and adoption of measures are adequate to assure that the 
State will promptly correct any future violation of the NAAQS that may 
occur after redesignation.
    Comment 6: The Commenter contends that EPA cannot approve the 
redesignation request or maintenance plan without considering the 
impacts

[[Page 72052]]

that climate change will have on ozone formation during the maintenance 
period. The Commenter states that ``climate change will make our ozone 
problems worse'' and cites to an April 2009 EPA document for support.
    Response 6: EPA agrees that climate change is a serious 
environmental issue; however, EPA does not agree that the redesignation 
and maintenance plan at issue in today's notice are flawed because they 
do not specifically consider the impacts of climate change on future 
ozone concentrations. Given the potential wide-ranging impacts of 
climate change on air quality planning, EPA is developing climate 
adaptation implementation plans to assess the key vulnerabilities to 
our programs (including how climate change might affect attainment of 
national ambient air quality standards) and to identify priority 
actions to minimize these vulnerabilities. With respect to climate 
impacts on future ozone levels, EPA's Office of Air and Radiation has 
identified as a priority action the need to adjust air quality modeling 
tools and guidance as necessary to account for climate-driven changes 
in meteorological conditions and meteorologically-dependent emissions. 
However, the broad range of potential future climate outcomes and 
variability of projected response to these outcomes limits EPA's 
ability, at this time, to translate a general expectation that average 
ozone levels will increase with rising temperatures to specific 
``actionable'' SIP policies at any specific location. Additionally, EPA 
believes that the natural variability in meteorological patterns will 
have a larger influence on ozone concentrations than climate influences 
over the relatively short-term SIP maintenance period. Thus, EPA 
believes it is appropriate to rely upon the existing air quality 
modeling tools and guidance and applicable CAA provisions to ensure 
that ozone maintenance areas do not violate the NAAQS (as a result of 
climate change or any other cause). In addition, in spite of the 
uncertainty associated with short-term climate change impacts on ozone 
concentrations, the projected emissions reductions of 50 percent for 
NOx and 12 percent for VOC in the Atlanta Area over the next 10 years 
are so large that they would overwhelm any potential climate change 
impacts on ozone. EPA therefore believes that climate change will not 
impact the ability of the Atlanta Area to maintain the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS.
    Comment 7: The Commenter asserts that EPA cannot redesignate the 
Atlanta Area or approve the maintenance plan because the Area ``does 
not have SIP approved contingency measures for VOCs and NOx, an 
attainment demonstration and reasonable further progress for VOC and 
NOx.'' According to the Commenter, ``the contingency measures should 
have already been triggered or at most may be triggered this year if 
Metro-Atlanta's design value exceeds 0.084 ppm'' which distinguishes 
the Atlanta Area from prior actions where ``EPA has claimed that these 
provisions do not matter because if any area is attaining, these 
requirements would not apply anyway.'' The Commenter believes that 
``all provisions that were in the nonattainment SIP would need to 
become applicable again'' if the Area violates the NAAQS in the future, 
and that ``under EPA's interpretation, there are no provisions that 
were in the SIP before redesignation that will become effective again 
if the area falls out of compliance with the NAAQS.''
    Response 7: On June 23, 2011 (76 FR 36873), EPA determined that the 
Atlanta Area had attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on 2008-
2010 monitoring data. Under 40 CFR 51.918, upon a finding that the area 
is attaining the standard, requirements for SIP submissions linked to 
attainment demonstrations, RFP, and attainment plan contingency 
measures are suspended for so long as the area is attaining the 
standard.\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ EPA described its interpretation in a May 10, 1995 
memorandum from John S. Seitz, Director, Office of Air Quality 
Planning and Standards, entitled ``Reasonable Further Progress, 
Attainment Demonstration, and Related Requirements for Ozone 
Nonattainment Areas Meeting the Ozone Ambient Air Quality Standard'' 
(hereafter referred to as the ``Seitz Memorandum''). See also the 
discussion and rulemakings cited in EPA's Final Rule to Implement 
the 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS--Phase 2, 70 FR 71612, 71644-71646 (November 
29, 2005). The Tenth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits have upheld EPA 
rulemakings applying the Clean Data Policy. See Sierra Club v. EPA, 
99 F. 3d 1551 (10th Cir. 1996); Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 537 
(7th Cir. 2004); and Our Children's Earth Foundation v. EPA, No. 04-
73032 (9th Cir. June 28, 2005) (memorandum opinion). As explained in 
the Seitz Memorandum, EPA believes it is appropriate to interpret 
the more specific attainment demonstration and related provisions of 
subpart 2 in the same manner. See Sierra Club v. EPA, 99 F.3d. 1551 
(10th Cir. 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, in the context of redesignations, EPA has long 
interpreted requirements related to attainment planning (e.g., 
attainment demonstrations, RFP, and attainment plan contingency 
measures) as not applicable for purposes of redesignation. In the 
General Preamble EPA stated that: [t]he section 172(c)(9) requirements 
are directed at ensuring reasonable further progress (RFP) and 
attainment by the applicable date. These requirements no longer apply 
when an area has attained the standard and is eligible for 
redesignation. Furthermore, section 175A for maintenance plans provides 
specific requirements for contingency measures that effectively 
supersede the requirements of section 172(c)(9) for these areas. 
``General Preamble for the Interpretation of Title I of the Clean Air 
Act Amendments of 1990,'' (General Preamble) 57 FR 13498, 13564 (April 
16, 1992). See also Calcagni Memorandum (dated 9/4/1992) at page 6. 
(``The requirements for reasonable further progress and other measures 
needed for attainment will not apply for redesignations because they 
only have meaning for areas not attaining the standard.'').
    In any event, EPA has previously determined that the Atlanta Area 
attained by its attainment date (77 FR 13491), and therefore, no 
contingency measures under the requirements of section 172(c)(9) can be 
triggered, since those ``contingency measures are directed at ensuring 
RFP and attainment by the applicable date.'' Id. at 13564.
    The State must continue to operate an appropriate monitoring 
network, in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, to verify the attainment 
status of the Area. The air quality data relied upon to determine that 
the Area is attaining the ozone standard must be consistent with 40 CFR 
part 58 requirements and other relevant EPA guidance and recorded in 
EPA's AQS.
    As stated in Response 1, the Area remains in attainment of the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS, and the 2010--2012 quality-assured three-year 
design value remains below 0.084 ppm. Preliminary data for 2013 show 
continued attainment; therefore, no additional measures have been 
triggered. Even if approved section 172(c)(9) contingency measures were 
contained in the SIP, these measures are undertaken solely to address a 
failure to attain by the Area's attainment date. For an area like the 
Atlanta Area that has attained by its attainment date, no 172(c)(9) 
contingency measures would be triggered by a violation that occurred 
subsequently. After attainment, section 172(c)(9) contingency measures 
are no longer deployed. Because the Area qualifies for redesignation, 
the 175A maintenance plan approved today ensures that GA EPD will adopt 
and implement any required measures in accordance with the schedule and 
procedure for adoption and implementation of contingency measures.'' 
See 78 FR 7705.
    Comment 8: The Commenter states that ``EPA has failed to conduct an 
adequate analysis with respect to the

[[Page 72053]]

1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 
NAAQS, the 1-hour NOX NAAQS, the 1-hour SO2 
NAAQS, and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS'' and that without such an 
analysis, ``EPA cannot ensure that redesignation will not interfere 
with attainment of these NAAQS and thus cannot approve the 
redesignation.'' The Commenter continues by stating ``EPA's 
redesignation of Metro-Atlanta will delay attainment of the 2008 ozone 
NAAQS because the 2012 ambient data proved that the current emission 
limits are not adequate to maintain the 1997 NAAQS much less the 2008 
NAAQS. Thus, if EPA does not approve the redesignation request, Georgia 
EPD will have to provide for additional emission reductions of ozone 
precursors. These emission reductions will assist in attaining the 2008 
ozone NAAQS as quickly as possible.''
    Response 8: First, as set forth earlier in other responses to 
comments, the 2012 data do not ``prove that the current emissions 
limits are not adequate to maintain the 1997 NAAQS . . . .'' The data 
for 2012 establish, and preliminary data for 2013 also indicate, that 
current emissions levels are consistent with continued attainment of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. EPA does not agree that additional 
emissions reductions are required in order for the Area to qualify for 
redesignation. EPA has also evaluated the redesignation in relation to 
the requirements of section 110(l) and believes that redesignation is 
consistent with the provisions of that section. Section 110(l) provides 
in part: ``[t]he Administrator shall not approve a revision of a plan 
if the revision would interfere with any applicable requirement 
concerning attainment and reasonable further progress . . ., or any 
other applicable requirement of this chapter.'' 42 U.S.C. 7410(l). EPA 
does not believe it is necessary to conduct an analysis with respect to 
the impact of the redesignation on the 1997 annual PM2.5 
NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1-hour 
NOX NAAQS, the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS, and the 2008 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. Although EPA does not interpret section 110(l) as 
requiring a full attainment demonstration for every SIP revision, the 
Agency does consider section 110(l) requirements when acting on each 
SIP revision. See, e.g., 70 FR 53, 57 (January 3, 2005); 70 FR 17029, 
17033 (April 4, 2005); 70 FR 28429, 28431 (May 18, 2005); and 70 FR 
58119, 58134 (October 5, 2005). In this instance, the redesignation 
does not relax any existing control requirements, nor does it alter any 
existing control requirements, and therefore, EPA concludes that this 
redesignation will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any 
of these air quality standards. The Commenter did not provide any 
information that would cause EPA to conclude that approval of Georgia's 
redesignation will have any impact on the Area's ability to comply with 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-hour 
PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1-hour NOX NAAQS, the 1-hour 
SO2 NAAQS, and the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    As set forth above, Georgia's April 4, 2012, redesignation request 
and maintenance plan for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS do not revise or 
remove any existing emissions limit for any NAAQS or remove any other 
existing substantive SIP provisions. In fact, the maintenance plan 
provided with the State's submission demonstrates a decline in the 
ozone precursors (e.g., NOX and VOC) emissions over the 
timeframe of the initial maintenance period.\14\ Furthermore, EPA 
designated 15 of the 20 counties in the 1997 8-hour ozone area as 
nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. With this nonattainment 
designation, EPA notes that, even after the redesignation of the 
Atlanta Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, 15 of these counties will 
continue to have to comply with nonattainment new source review 
requirements for ozone. For all of these reasons, EPA disagrees that 
the Commenter has identified a rationale on which EPA could disapprove 
of the SIP revision at issue.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ EPA notes that the Atlanta Area does not have violating 
monitors for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, the 2006 24-
hour PM2.5 NAAQS, the 1-hour NOX NAAQS, the 1-
hour SO2 NAAQS, and that this Area has never been 
designated nonattainment for 2006 24-hour PM2.5 NAAQS, 
the 1-hour NOX NAAQS, or the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Why is EPA taking these actions?

    EPA has determined that the Atlanta Area has attained the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS and has also determined that all other criteria for 
the redesignation of the Atlanta Area from nonattainment to attainment 
of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS have been met. See CAA section 
107(d)(3)(E). One of those requirements is that the Atlanta Area has an 
approved plan demonstrating maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
EPA is also taking final action to approve the maintenance plan for the 
Atlanta Area as meeting the requirements of sections 175A and 
107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. EPA is also approving the new NOX 
and VOC MVEBs for the year 2024 as contained in Georgia's maintenance 
plan for the Atlanta Area because these MVEBs are consistent with 
maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the Area. The detailed 
rationale for EPA's findings and actions is set forth in the February 
4, 2013, proposed rulemaking and in the Reponses to Comments and other 
discussion in this final rulemaking.

V. What are the effects of these actions?

    Approval of the redesignation request changes the legal designation 
of the Atlanta Area from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. EPA is modifying the regulatory table in 40 CFR 
81.341 to reflect a designation of attainment for the counties. EPA is 
also approving, as a revision to the Georgia SIP, the State's plan for 
maintaining the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the Atlanta Area through 
2024. The maintenance plan includes contingency measures to remedy 
possible future violations of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and 
establishes NOX and VOC MVEBs for the year 2024 for the 
Atlanta Area.

VI. Final Action

    EPA is taking final action to approve the State of Georgia's 
request for redesignation and change the legal designation the Atlanta 
Area from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
Through this action, EPA is also approving into the Georgia SIP the 
1997 8-hour ozone maintenance plan for the Atlanta Area, which includes 
for this Area the new NOX and VOC MVEB for 2024 for the 
Atlanta Area of 126 tpd and 92 tpd, respectively.

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the 
accompanying approval of the maintenance plan under CAA section 
107(d)(3)(E) are actions that affect the status of geographical area 
and do not impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources 
beyond those required by state law. A redesignation to attainment does 
not in and of itself impose any new requirements, but rather results in 
the application 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 actions merely approve state law as meeting Federal 
requirements and do not impose additional requirements beyond those

[[Page 72054]]

imposed by state or federal law. For these reasons, these actions:
     Are not a ``significant regulatory action'' 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 an economically significant regulatory action 
based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     are not significant regulatory action 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.
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for 
the appropriate circuit by January 31, 2014. Filing a petition for 
reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect 
the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor 
does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may 
be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or 
action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to 
enforce its requirements. See section 307(b)(2).

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.

40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.


    Dated: November 14, 2013.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
    40 CFR parts 52 and 81 are amended as follows:

PART 52--APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

0
1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart L--Georgia

0
2. Section 52.570(e) is amended by adding an entry for ``1997 8-hour 
ozone Maintenance Plan for the Atlanta Area'' at the end of the table 
to read as follows:


Sec.  52.570  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *

                                 EPA-Approved Georgia Non-Regulatory Provisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                       State
                                          Applicable geographic      submittal      EPA approval
  Name of nonregulatory SIP provision     or nonattainment area        date/           date         Explanation
                                                                  effective date
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
1997 8-hour ozone Maintenance Plan for  Atlanta 1997 8-Hour             4/4/2012       12/2/2013
 the Atlanta Area.                       Ozone Nonattainment
                                         Area.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

PART 81-DESIGNATION OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES

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

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


0
4. In Sec.  81.311, the table entitled ``Georgia-1997 8-Hour Ozone 
NAAQS (Primary and Secondary)'' is amended under ``Atlanta, GA'' by 
revising the entries for ``Barrow County,'' ``Bartow County,'' 
``Carroll County,'' ``Cherokee County,'' ``Clayton County,'' ``Cobb 
County,'' ``Coweta County,'' ``DeKalb County,'' ``Douglas County,'' 
``Fayette County,'' ``Forsyth County,'' ``Fulton County,'' ``Gwinnett 
County,'' ``Hall County,'' ``Henry County,'' ``Newton County,'' 
``Paulding County,'' ``Rockdale County,'' ``Spalding County'' and 
``Walton County'' to read as follows:


Sec.  81.311  Georgia.

* * * * *

[[Page 72055]]



                                         Georgia-1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS
                                             [Primary and secondary]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Designation \a\                    Category/classification
          Designated area          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Date \1\                 Type             Date \1\          Type
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Atlanta, GA:
Barrow County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Bartow County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Carroll County....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Cherokee County...................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Clayton County....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Cobb County.......................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Coweta County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
DeKalb County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Douglas County....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Fayette County....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Forsyth County....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Fulton County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Gwinnett County...................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Hall County.......................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Henry County......................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Newton County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Paulding County...................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Rockdale County...................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Spalding County...................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
Walton County.....................  This action is         Attainment.
                                     effective 12/2/13.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ Includes Indian Country located in each county or area, except as otherwise specified.
\1\ This date is June 15, 2004, unless otherwise noted.
\2\ Effective April 15, 2008.
\3\ The boundary change is effective October 13, 2006.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-28105 Filed 11-29-13; 8:45 am]
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