[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 15 (Thursday, January 23, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 3757-3774]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-01369]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 52 and 81

[EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0893; FRL-9905-11-Region 4]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation 
of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia; Redesignation of 
the Rome, Georgia 1997 Annual Fine Particulate Matter Nonattainment 
Area to Attainment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: On June 21, 2012, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 
through Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), submitted a 
request to redesignate the Rome, Georgia, fine particulate matter 
(PM2.5) nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the 
``Rome Area'' or ``Area'') to attainment for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and to 
approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision containing a 
maintenance plan for the Rome Area. The Rome Area is comprised of Floyd 
County in Georgia. EPA is proposing to approve the redesignation 
request and the related SIP revision for the Rome Area, including GA 
EPD's plan for maintaining attainment of the PM2.5 standard 
in the Area. EPA is also proposing to approve into the Georgia SIP, the 
motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides 
(NOx) and PM2.5 for the year 2023 for the Rome 
Area that are included as part of Georgia's maintenance plan for the 
1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 24, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-
OAR-2012-0893, by one of the following methods:
    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    2. Email: R4-RDS@epa.gov.
    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.
    4. Mail: EPA-R04-OAR-2012-0893, Regulatory Development Section, Air 
Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.
    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, 
Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides 
and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours 
of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are 
Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding federal holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-
2012-0893. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or 
email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. 
The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, 
which

[[Page 3758]]

means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you 
provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email comment 
directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the 
Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you 
include your name and other contact information in the body of your 
comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your 
comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket 
materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or 
in hard copy at the Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning 
Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you 
contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official 
hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding 
federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joydeb Majumder or Joel Huey 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. Joydeb Majumder may be reached by phone at (404) 562-9121, 
or via electronic mail at majumder.joydeb@epa.gov. Joel Huey may be 
reached by phone at (404) 562-9104.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. What are the actions EPA is proposing to take?
II. What is the background for EPA's proposed actions?
III. What are the criteria for redesignation?
IV. Why is EPA proposing these actions?
V. What is EPA's analysis of the request?
VI. What is the effect of January 4, 2013, DC Circuit decision 
regarding PM2.5 implementation under Subpart 4?
VII. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's proposed NOx and 
PM2.5 MVEBs for the Rome area?
VIII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOx and PM2.5 MVEBs for 2023 for the 
Rome area?
IX. Proposed actions on the redesignation request and maintenance 
plan SIP revisions including approval of the NOX and 
PM2.5 MVEBs for 2023 for the Rome Area.
X. What is the effect of EPA's proposed actions?
XI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

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

    In this action, EPA is proposing to make a determination that Rome 
Area is continuing to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS \1\ 
and to take additional actions related to Georgia's request to 
redesignate the Rome Area, which are summarized as follows and 
described in greater detail throughout this notice of proposed 
rulemaking: (1) to redesignate the Rome Area to attainment for the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS; and (2) to approve, under section 175A 
of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), Georgia's 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS maintenance plan, including the associated 
MVEBs, for the Rome Area into the Georgia SIP.
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    \1\ In notices published on April 5, 2011, at 76 FR 18650, and 
on September 8, 2011, at 76 FR 55776, EPA determined that the Rome 
Area had attained the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS and that 
the Area had done so by its applicable attainment date of April 5, 
2010.
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    First, EPA proposes to determine that the Rome Area has met the 
requirements for redesignation under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA. 
In this action, EPA is proposing to approve a request to change the 
legal designation of Floyd County from nonattainment to attainment for 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.
    Second, EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS maintenance plan for the Rome Area (such 
approval being one of the CAA criteria for redesignation to attainment 
status). The maintenance plan is designed to help keep the Rome Area in 
attainment of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS through 2023. As 
explained in Section V, EPA is also proposing to approve that 
attainment can be maintained through 2024. The maintenance plan that 
EPA is proposing to approve today includes on-road MVEBs for the mobile 
source contribution of direct PM2.5 and NOX to 
the air quality problem in the Rome Area for transportation conformity 
purposes. EPA is proposing to approve (into the Georgia SIP) the 2023 
MVEBs that are included as part of Georgia's maintenance plan for the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.
    Further, EPA proposes to make the determination that the Rome Area 
is continuing to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and that 
all other redesignation criteria have been met for the Rome Area. The 
bases for EPA's determination for the Area are discussed in greater 
detail below.
    EPA is also notifying the public of an update of the status of 
EPA's adequacy process for the 2023 direct MVEBs for PM2.5 
and NOX for the Rome Area. Please see section VIII of this 
proposed rulemaking for further explanation of this process and for 
more details.
    Today's notice of proposed rulemaking is in response to Georgia's 
June 21, 2012, SIP submittal, which requests redesignation of the Rome 
Area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and 
addresses the specific issues summarized above and the necessary 
elements for redesignation described in section 107(d)(3)(E) of the 
CAA.

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

    Fine particle pollution can be emitted directly or formed 
secondarily in the atmosphere. The main precursors of secondary 
PM2.5 are sulfur dioxide (SO2), NOX, 
ammonia, and volatile organic compounds (VOC). See, e.g., 72 FR 20586 
at 20589. Sulfates are a type of secondary particle formed from 
SO2 emissions of power plants and industrial facilities. 
Nitrates, another common type of secondary particle, are formed from 
NOX emissions of power plants, automobiles, and other 
combustion sources.
    On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated the first air quality standards 
for PM2.5. EPA promulgated an annual standard at a level of 
15 micrograms per cubic meter ([mu]g/m\3\), based on a 3-year average 
of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations. In the same rulemaking, 
EPA promulgated a 24-hour standard of 65 [mu]g/m\3\, based on a 3-year 
average of the 98th percentile of 24-hour concentrations. On October 
17, 2006, at 71 FR 61144, EPA retained the annual average NAAQS at 15 
[mu]g/m\3\ but revised the 24-hour NAAQS to 35 [mu]g/m\3\, based again 
on the 3-year average of the 98th percentile of

[[Page 3759]]

24-hour concentrations.\2\ Under EPA regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 
primary and secondary 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS are attained 
when the annual arithmetic mean concentration, as determined in 
accordance with 40 CFR part 50, Appendix N, is less than or equal to 
15.0 [mu]g/m\3\ at all relevant monitoring sites in the subject area 
over a 3-year period.
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    \2\ In response to legal challenges of the annual standard 
promulgated in 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the 
District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Cir.) remanded that NAAQS to EPA 
for further consideration. See American Farm Bureau Federation and 
National Pork Producers Council, et al. v. EPA, 559 F.3d 512 (D.C. 
Cir. 2009). However, given that the 1997 and 2006 annual NAAQS are 
essentially identical, attainment of the 1997 annual NAAQS would 
also indicate attainment of he remanded 2006 annual NAAQS.
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    On January 5, 2005, at 70 FR 944, and supplemented on April 14, 
2005, at 70 FR 19844, EPA designated the Rome Area as nonattainment for 
the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. In that action, EPA defined the 1997 
PM2.5 Rome Area to include Floyd County in Georgia. On 
November 13, 2009, at 74 FR 58688, EPA promulgated designations for the 
24-hour standard established in 2006, designating the Rome Area as 
attainment for that NAAQS. That action clarified that the Rome Area was 
classified unclassifiable/attainment for the 1997 24-hour 
PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA did not promulgate designations for the 
2006 annual PM2.5 NAAQS because that NAAQS was essentially 
identical to the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and today's action 
only addresses this designation.
    All 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS areas were designated under subpart 
1 of title I, part D, of the CAA. Subpart 1 contains the general 
requirements for nonattainment areas for any pollutant governed by a 
NAAQS and is less prescriptive than the other subparts of title I, part 
D. On April 25, 2007, at 72 FR 20586, EPA promulgated its Clean Air 
Fine Particle Implementation Rule, codified at 40 CFR part 51, subpart 
Z, in which the Agency provided guidance for state and tribal plans to 
implement the 1997 PM2.5 annual NAAQS. This rule, at 40 CFR 
51.1004(c), specifies some of the regulatory results of attaining the 
NAAQS, as discussed below. The DC Circuit remanded the Clean Air Fine 
Particle Implementation Rule and the ``Implementation of the New Source 
Review (NSR) Program for Particulate Matter Less than 2.5 Micrometers 
(PM2.5)'' final rule (73 FR 28321, May 16, 2008) 
(collectively, ``1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule'') to EPA on 
January 4, 2013, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 706 F.3d 
428 (D.C. Cir. 2013). The court found that EPA erred in implementing 
the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS pursuant to the general implementation 
provisions of subpart 1 of Part D of Title I of the CAA, rather than 
the particulate-matter-specific provisions of subpart 4 of Part D of 
Title I. The effect of the court's ruling on this proposed 
redesignation action is discussed in detail in Section VI of this 
notice.
    The 3-year ambient air quality data for 2007-2009 indicated no 
violations of the 1997 PM2.5 annual NAAQS for the Rome Area. 
As a result, on June 21, 2012, Georgia requested redesignation of the 
Rome Area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The 
redesignation request includes three years of complete, quality-assured 
ambient air quality data for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS for 
2007-2009, indicating that the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS had been 
achieved for the entire Rome Area. Under the CAA, nonattainment areas 
may be redesignated to attainment if sufficient, complete, quality-
assured data is available for the Administrator to determine that the 
area has attained the standard and the area meets the other CAA 
redesignation requirements in section 107(d)(3)(E). The Rome Area 
design value based on data from 2007 through 2009 is 13.3 [micro]g/
m\3\, which demonstrates attainment of the standard. While annual 
PM2.5 concentrations are dependent on a variety of 
conditions, the overall improvement in annual PM2.5 
concentrations in the Rome Area can be attributed to the reduction of 
pollutant emissions, as discussed in more detail in section V of this 
proposed rulemaking.

III. What are the criteria for redesignation?

    The CAA provides the requirements for redesignating a nonattainment 
area to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA 
allows for redesignation provided the following criteria are met: (1) 
The Administrator determines that the area has attained the applicable 
NAAQS; (2) the Administrator has fully approved the applicable 
implementation plan for the area under section 110(k); (3) the 
Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to 
permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from 
implementation of the applicable SIP and applicable federal air 
pollutant control regulations and other permanent and enforceable 
reductions; (4) the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan 
for the area as meeting the requirements of section 175A; and (5) the 
state containing such area has met all requirements applicable to the 
area under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA.
    EPA has provided guidance on redesignation in the General Preamble 
for the Implementation of title I of the CAA Amendments of 1990 (April 
16, 1992, 57 FR 13498, and supplemented on April 28, 1992, 57 FR 18070) 
and has provided further guidance on processing redesignation requests 
in the following documents:
    1. ``Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to 
Attainment,'' Memorandum from John Calcagni, Director, Air Quality 
Management Division, September 4, 1992 (hereafter referred to as the 
``Calcagni Memorandum'');
    2. ``State Implementation Plan (SIP) Actions Submitted in Response 
to Clean Air Act (CAA) Deadlines,'' Memorandum from John Calcagni, 
Director, Air Quality Management Division, October 28, 1992;
    3. ``Part D New Source Review (Part D NSR) Requirements for Areas 
Requesting Redesignation to Attainment,'' Memorandum from Mary D. 
Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation, October 14, 
1994; and
    4. ``Next Steps for Pending Redesignation Requests and State 
Implementation Plan Actions Affected by the Recent Court Decision 
Vacating the 2011 Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,'' Memorandum from 
Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator, November 19, 2012.

IV. Why is EPA proposing these actions?

    On June 21, 2012, GA EPD requested the redesignation of the Rome 
Area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. The Rome 
Area has attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and EPA's 
preliminary evaluation indicates that the Area has met the requirements 
for redesignation set forth in section 107(d)(3)(E), including the 
maintenance plan requirements under section 175A of the CAA. EPA is 
also announcing the status of its adequacy determination for the direct 
PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for the Rome Area.

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

    As stated above, in accordance with the CAA, EPA proposes in 
today's action to: (1) Redesignate the Rome Area to attainment for the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS; and (2) approve into the Georgia 
SIP the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS maintenance plan, including 
the associated MVEBs, for the Rome Area. Further, EPA proposes to make 
the determination that the Rome Area

[[Page 3760]]

continues to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and that all 
other redesignation criteria have been met for the Rome Area. The five 
redesignation criteria provided under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) are 
discussed in greater detail for the Area in the following paragraphs of 
this section.

Criteria (1)--The Rome Area Has Attained the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the area has attained the applicable 
NAAQS (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(i)). EPA is proposing to determine that 
the Rome Area continues to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 
NAAQS since the September 8, 2011, attainment determination. For 
PM2.5, an area may be considered to be attaining the 1997 
annual PM2.5 if it meets the 1997 annual PM2.5 
NAAQS, as determined in accordance with 40 CFR 50.13 and Appendix N of 
part 50, based on three complete, consecutive calendar years of 
quality-assured air quality monitoring data. To attain these NAAQS, the 
3-year average of the annual arithmetic mean concentration, as 
determined in accordance with 40 CFR part 50, Appendix N, must be less 
than or equal to 15.0 [micro]g/m\3\ at all relevant monitoring sites in 
the subject area over a 3-year period. The relevant data must be 
collected and quality-assured in accordance with 40 CFR part 58 and 
recorded in the EPA Air Quality System (AQS) database. The monitors 
generally should have remained at the same location for the duration of 
the monitoring period required for demonstrating attainment.
    On April 5, 2011, at 76 FR 18650, EPA determined that the Rome Area 
was attaining the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. For that action 
EPA reviewed PM2.5 monitoring data from monitoring station 
in the Rome Area for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS for 2007-
2009. These data have been quality-assured and are recorded in AQS. On 
September 8, 2011, at 76 FR 55774, EPA also finalized a determination 
that the Rome Area attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS by 
the applicable attainment date of April 5, 2010. EPA has reviewed more 
recent data, which indicates that the Rome Area continues to attain the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS beyond the submitted 3-year 
attainment period of 2007-2009. The most recent year available with 
complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring is 2012, 
during which the Area recorded an annual average PM2.5 
concentration of 10.6 [mu]g/m\3\. EPA has also reviewed the available 
data in AQS for 2013 which, although not yet complete or certified, 
indicates the Area continues to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 
NAAQS. As summarized in Table 1 below, the 3-year average of annual 
arithmetic mean concentrations (i.e., design values) for the years 
2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 for the Rome Area are below the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS.

                           Table 1--Design Value Concentrations for the Rome Area for the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS ([mu]g/m\3\)
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                                                                                                               3-Year design values
                 Location                              County                 Site ID    ---------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                             2007-2009       2008-2010       2009-2011       2010-2012
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Rome-Coosa Elementary School.............  Floyd........................     13-115-0003            13.3            12.5            12.4            12.1
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    As discussed above, the design value for an area is the highest 3-
year average annual mean concentration recorded at any monitor in the 
area for a 3-year period. Therefore, the 3-year design value for the 
period on which Georgia based its redesignation request (2007-2009) for 
the Rome Area is 13.3 [mu]g/m\3\, which meets the NAAQS as described 
above. Additional details can be found in EPA's final clean data 
determination for the Rome Area (76 FR 18650, April 5, 2011). EPA has 
reviewed more recent data which indicate that the Rome Area continues 
to attain the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS beyond the submitted 3-year 
attainment period of 2007-2009. If the Area does not continue to attain 
before EPA finalizes the redesignation, EPA will not go forward with 
the redesignation. As discussed in more detail below, GA EPD has 
committed to continue monitoring in this Area in accordance with 40 CFR 
part 58.

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

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the state has met all applicable 
requirements under section 110 and part D of title I of the CAA (CAA 
section 107(d)(3)(E)(v)) and that the state has a fully approved SIP 
under section 110(k) for the area (CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii)). EPA 
proposes to find that Georgia has met all applicable SIP requirements 
for the Rome Area under section 110 of the CAA (general SIP 
requirements) for purposes of redesignation. Additionally, EPA proposes 
to find that the Georgia SIP satisfies the criterion that it meet 
applicable SIP requirements for purposes of redesignation under part D 
of title I of the CAA (requirements specific to 1997 annual 
PM2.5 nonattainment areas) in accordance with section 
107(d)(3)(E)(v). Further, EPA proposes to determine that the SIP is 
fully approved with respect to all requirements applicable for purposes 
of redesignation in accordance with section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii). In making 
these determinations, EPA ascertained which requirements are applicable 
to the Area and, if applicable, that they are fully approved under 
section 110(k). SIPs must be fully approved only with respect to 
requirements that were applicable prior to submittal of the complete 
redesignation request.
a. The Rome Area Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 
and Part D of the CAA
    General SIP requirements. Section 110(a)(2) of title I of the CAA 
delineates the general requirements for a SIP, which include 
enforceable emissions limitations and other control measures, means, or 
techniques; provisions for the establishment and operation of 
appropriate devices necessary to collect data on ambient air quality; 
and programs to enforce the limitations. General SIP elements and 
requirements are delineated in section 110(a)(2) of title I, part A of 
the CAA. These requirements include, but are not limited to, the 
following: submittal of a SIP that has been adopted by the state after 
reasonable public notice and hearing; provisions for establishment and 
operation of appropriate procedures needed to monitor ambient air 
quality; implementation of a source permit program; provisions for the 
implementation of part C requirements (Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD)) and provisions for the implementation of part D 
requirements (Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR) permit programs); 
provisions for air pollution modeling; and provisions for public and 
local agency participation

[[Page 3761]]

in planning and emission control rule development.
    Section 110(a)(2)(D) requires that SIPs contain certain measures to 
prevent sources in a state from significantly contributing to air 
quality problems in another state. To implement this provision, EPA has 
required certain states to establish programs to address the interstate 
transport of air pollutants. The section 110(a)(2)(D) requirements for 
a state are not linked with a particular nonattainment area's 
designation and classification in that state. EPA believes that the 
requirements linked with a particular nonattainment area's designation 
and classifications are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing 
a redesignation request. The transport SIP submittal requirements, 
where applicable, continue to apply to a state regardless of the 
designation of any one particular area in the state. Thus, EPA does not 
believe that the CAA's interstate transport requirements should be 
construed to be applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation. 
However, as discussed later in this notice, addressing pollutant 
transport from other states is an important part of an area's 
maintenance demonstration.
    In addition, EPA believes other section 110 elements that are 
neither connected with nonattainment plan submissions nor linked with 
an area's attainment status are not applicable requirements for 
purposes of redesignation. The area will still be subject to these 
requirements after the area is redesignated. The section 110 and part D 
requirements which are linked with a particular area's designation and 
classification are the relevant measures to evaluate in reviewing a 
redesignation request. This approach is consistent with EPA's existing 
policy on applicability (i.e., for redesignations) of conformity and 
oxygenated fuels requirements, as well as with section 184 ozone 
transport requirements. See Reading, Pennsylvania, proposed and final 
rulemakings (61 FR 53174-53176, October 10, 1996), (62 FR 24826, May 7, 
1997); Cleveland-Akron-Loraine, Ohio, final rulemaking (61 FR 20458, 
May 7, 1996); and Tampa, Florida, final rulemaking at (60 FR 62748, 
December 7, 1995). See also the discussion on this issue in the 
Cincinnati, Ohio, redesignation (65 FR 37890, June 19, 2000), and in 
the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, redesignation (66 FR 50399, October 19, 
2001).
    On June 15, 2012 (77 FR 35909) and February 20, 2013 (78 FR 11805), 
EPA proposed approval on a submittal from Georgia, addressing 
``infrastructure SIP'' elements required under the CAA section 
110(a)(2) for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.\3\ However, these 
are statewide requirements that are not a consequence of the 
nonattainment status of the Rome Area. As stated above, EPA believes 
that section 110 elements not linked to an area's nonattainment status 
are not applicable for purposes of redesignation. Therefore, 
notwithstanding the fact that EPA has not yet completed rulemaking on 
Georgia's submittal for the PM2.5 infrastructure SIP 
elements of section 110(a)(2), EPA believes that it has approved all 
SIP elements that must be approved as a prerequisite for redesignating 
the Rome Area to attainment.
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    \3\ The June 15, 2012 proposed approval (77 FR 35909) addressed 
all infrastructure SIP elements required under section 110(a)(2) for 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS with the exception of the 
visibility element under section 110(a)(2)(D)(i)(II) (also known as 
``prong 4''). EPA finalized the June 15, 2012 proposed action on 
October 25, 2012 (77 FR 65125). EPA proposed approval of prong 4 for 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS on February 20, 2013 (78 FR 
11805) but has not yet taken final action on this element.
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    Title I, Part D, subpart 1 applicable SIP requirements. EPA 
proposes to determine that the Georgia SIP meets the applicable SIP 
requirements for the Rome Area for purposes of redesignation under part 
D of the CAA. Subpart 1 of part D, found in sections 172-176 of the 
CAA, sets for the basic nonattainment requirements applicable to all 
nonattainment areas. All areas that were designated nonattainment for 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS were designated under subpart 1 
of the CAA. For purposes of evaluating this redesignation request, the 
applicable part D, subpart 1 SIP requirements for all nonattainment 
areas are contained in sections 172(c)(1)-(9) and in section 176. A 
thorough discussion of the requirements contained in section 172 can be 
found in the General Preamble for Implementation of title I (57 FR 
13498, April 16, 1992). Section VI of this proposed rulemaking notice 
discusses the relationship between this proposed redesignation action 
and subpart 4 of Part D.
    Subpart 1 Section 172 Requirements. Section 172(c)(1) requires the 
plans for all nonattainment areas to provide for the implementation of 
all reasonably available control measures (RACM) as expeditiously as 
practicable and to provide for attainment of the NAAQS. EPA interprets 
this requirement to impose a duty on all nonattainment areas to 
consider all available control measures and to adopt and implement such 
measures as are reasonably available for implementation in each area as 
components of the area's attainment demonstration. Under section 172, 
states with nonattainment areas must submit plans providing for timely 
attainment and meeting a variety of other requirements. However, 
pursuant to 40 CFR 51.1004(c), EPA's final determination that the Rome 
Area is attaining the annual PM2.5 standard suspended 
Georgia's obligation to submit most of the attainment planning 
requirements that would otherwise apply. Specifically, the 
determination of attainment suspended Georgia's obligation to submit an 
attainment demonstration and planning SIPs to provide for reasonable 
further progress (RFP), RACM, and contingency measures under section 
172(c)(9).
    The General Preamble for Implementation of Title I (57 FR 13498, 
April 16, 1992) also discusses the evaluation of the section 172 
requirements in the context of EPA's consideration of a redesignation 
request. The General Preamble sets forth EPA's view of applicable 
requirements for purposes of evaluating redesignation requests when an 
area is attaining a standard.
    Because attainment has been reached in the Rome Area, no additional 
measures are needed to provide for attainment, and section 172(c)(1) 
requirements for an attainment demonstration and RACM are no longer 
considered to be applicable for purposes of redesignation as long as 
the Area continues to attain the standard until redesignation. See also 
40 CFR 51.1004(c).
    Pursuant to section 172(c)(2), nonattainment plans must contain 
provisions that require reasonable further progress toward attainment. 
This requirement is not relevant for purposes of redesignation because 
EPA has determined that the Rome Area has monitored attainment of the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. See General Preamble, 57 FR 13564. 
See also 40 CFR 51.1004(c). In addition, because the Rome Area has 
attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and is no longer 
subject to a RFP requirement, the requirement to submit the section 
172(c)(9) contingency measures is not applicable for purposes of 
redesignation. Id.
    Section 172(c)(3) requires submission and approval of a 
comprehensive, accurate, and current inventory of actual emissions. On 
January 12, 2012, EPA approved Georgia's 2002 base-year emissions 
inventory for the Rome Area as part of the SIP revision submitted by GA 
EPD to provide for attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS in the 
Area. See 77 FR 1873. No comments, adverse or otherwise, were received 
on EPA's

[[Page 3762]]

proposed approval of the emissions inventory for the Rome Area.
    Section 172(c)(4) requires the identification and quantification of 
allowable emissions for major new and modified stationary sources to be 
allowed in an area, and section 172(c)(5) requires source permits for 
the construction and operation of new and modified major stationary 
sources anywhere in the nonattainment area. EPA has determined that, 
since PSD requirements will apply after redesignation, areas being 
redesignated need not comply with the requirement that a NSR program be 
approved prior to redesignation, provided that the area demonstrates 
maintenance of the NAAQS without part D NSR. A more detailed rationale 
for this view is described in a memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant 
Administrator for Air and Radiation, dated October 14, 1994, entitled 
``Part D New Source Review Requirements for Areas Requesting 
Redesignation to Attainment.'' Georgia has demonstrated that the Rome 
Area will be able to maintain the NAAQS without part D NSR in effect, 
and therefore, Georgia need not have fully approved part D NSR programs 
prior to approval of the redesignation request. Georgia's PSD program 
will become effective in the Rome Area upon redesignation to 
attainment.
    Section 172(c)(6) requires the SIP to contain control measures 
necessary to provide for attainment of the NAAQS. Because attainment 
has been reached, no additional measures are needed to provide for 
attainment.
    Section 172(c)(7) requires the SIP to meet the applicable 
provisions of section 110(a)(2). As noted above, EPA believes the 
Georgia SIP meets the requirements of section 110(a)(2) applicable for 
purposes of redesignation.
    176 Conformity Requirements. Section 176(c) of the CAA requires 
states to establish criteria and procedures to ensure that federally-
supported or funded projects conform to the air quality planning goals 
in the applicable SIP. The requirement to determine conformity applies 
to transportation plans, programs and projects that are developed, 
funded or approved under title 23 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) 
and the Federal Transit Act (transportation conformity) as well as to 
all other federally-supported or funded projects (general conformity). 
State transportation conformity SIP revisions must be consistent with 
federal conformity regulations relating to consultation, enforcement 
and enforceability that EPA promulgated pursuant to its authority under 
the CAA.
    EPA believes that it is reasonable to interpret the conformity SIP 
requirements \4\ as not applying for purposes of evaluating the 
redesignation request under section 107(d) because state conformity 
rules are still required after redesignation and federal conformity 
rules apply where state rules have not been approved. See Wall v. EPA, 
265 F.3d 426 (upholding this interpretation) (6th Cir. 2001); see also 
60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995, Tampa, Florida). Thus, the Rome Area has 
satisfied all applicable requirements for purposes of redesignation 
under section 110 and part D of the CAA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

b. The Rome Area Has a Fully Approved Applicable SIP Under Section 
110(k) of the CAA
    EPA has fully approved the applicable Georgia SIP for the Rome Area 
for the 1997 annual PM2.5 nonattainment area under section 
110(k) of the CAA for all requirements applicable for purposes of 
redesignation. EPA may rely on prior SIP approvals in approving a 
redesignation request (see Calcagni Memorandum at p. 3; Southwestern 
Pennsylvania Growth Alliance v. Browner, 144 F.3d 984, 989-90 (6th Cir. 
1998); Wall, 265 F.3d 426) plus any additional measures it may approve 
in conjunction with a redesignation action (see 68 FR 25426 (May 12, 
2003) and citations therein). Following passage of the CAA of 1970, 
Georgia has adopted and submitted, and EPA has fully approved at 
various times, provisions addressing the various SIP elements 
applicable for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS in the Rome Area 
(e.g., 77 FR 35909, June 15, 2012).
    As indicated above, EPA believes that the section 110 elements not 
connected with nonattainment plan submissions and not linked to the 
area's nonattainment status are not applicable requirements for 
purposes of redesignation. In addition, EPA believes that since the 
part D subpart 1 requirements did not become due prior to submission of 
the redesignation request, they are also not applicable requirements 
for purposes of redesignation. Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 537 (7th 
Cir. 2004); 68 FR 25424, 25427 (May 12, 2003) (redesignation of the St. 
Louis-East St. Louis Area to attainment of the 1-hour ozone NAAQS). EPA 
has previously approved all part D subpart 1 requirements applicable 
for purposes of this redesignation. See Section VI of this notice for a 
discussion of the relationship between part D subpart 4 and this 
action.

Criteria (3)--The Air Quality Improvement in the Rome Area 1997 Annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS Nonattainment Area Is Due to Permanent and 
Enforceable Reductions in Emissions Resulting From Implementation of 
the SIP and Applicable Federal Air Pollution Control Regulations and 
Other Permanent and Enforceable Reductions

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the air quality improvement in the area 
is due to permanentF and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting 
from implementation of the SIP and applicable federal air pollution 
control regulations and other permanent and enforceable reductions (CAA 
section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii)). EPA believes that Georgia has demonstrated 
that the observed air quality improvement in the Rome Area is due to 
permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from 
implementation of the SIP, federal measures, and other state adopted 
measures.
    Fine particulate matter, or PM2.5, refers to airborne 
particles less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Although 
treated as a single pollutant, fine particles come from many different 
sources and are composed of many different compounds. In the Rome Area, 
one of the largest components of PM2.5 is sulfate, which is 
formed through various chemical reactions from the precursor 
SO2. The other major component of PM2.5 is 
organic carbon, which originates predominantly from biogenic emission 
sources. Nitrate, which is formed from the precursor NOX, is 
also a component of PM2.5. Crustal materials from windblown 
dust and elemental carbon from combustion sources are less significant 
contributors to total PM2.5.
    State and federal measures enacted in recent years have resulted in 
permanent emission reductions in particulate matter and its precursors. 
Most of these emission reductions are enforceable through regulations. 
A few non-regulatory measures also result in emission reductions. The 
federal measures that have been implemented include:
    Tier 2 vehicle standards and low-sulfur gasoline. In addition to 
requiring NOX controls, the Tier 2 rule reduced the 
allowable sulfur content of gasoline

[[Page 3763]]

to 30 parts per million (ppm) starting in January of 2006. Most 
gasoline sold prior to this had a sulfur content of approximately 300 
ppm.
    Heavy-duty gasoline and diesel highway vehicle standards & Ultra 
Low-Sulfur Diesel Rule. On October 6, 2000, the U.S. EPA promulgated a 
rule to reduce NOX and VOC emissions from heavy-duty 
gasoline and diesel highway vehicles that began to take effect in 2004. 
65 FR 59896. A second phase of standards and testing procedures began 
in 2007 to reduce particulate matter from heavy-duty highway engines, 
and reduce highway diesel fuel sulfur content to 15 ppm since the 
sulfur in fuel damages high efficiency catalytic exhaust emission 
control devices. The total program should achieve a 90 percent 
reduction PM emissions and a 95 percent reduction in NOX 
emission for new engines using low-sulfur diesel, compared to existing 
engines using higher-content sulfur diesel.
    Nonroad Large spark-ignition engines and recreational engines 
standards. The nonroad spark-ignition and recreational engine 
standards, effective in July 2003, regulate NOX, 
hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide from groups of previously unregulated 
nonroad engines. These engine standards apply to large spark-ignition 
engines (e.g., forklifts and airport ground service equipment), 
recreational vehicles (e.g., off-highway motorcycles and all-terrain-
vehicles), and recreational marine diesel engines sold in the United 
States and imported after the effective date of these standards.
    When all of the nonroad spark-ignition and recreational engine 
standards are fully implemented, an overall 72 percent reduction in 
hydrocarbons, 80 percent reduction in NOX, and 56 percent 
reduction in carbon monoxide emissions are expected by 2020. These 
controls will help reduce ambient concentrations of ozone, carbon 
monoxide, and fine particulate matter.
    Large nonroad diesel engine standards. Promulgated in 2004, this 
rule is being phased in between 2008 and 2014. This rule will reduce 
sulfur content in nonroad diesel fuel and, when fully implemented, will 
reduce NOX and direct PM2.5 emissions by over 90 
percent from these engines.
    Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engine Standard. Promulgated in 
2010, this rule regulates emissions of air toxics from existing diesel 
powered stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines that meet 
specific site rating, age, and size criteria. When all of the 
reciprocating internal combustion engine standards are fully 
implemented in 2013, EPA estimates that PM2.5 emissions from 
these engines will be reduced by approximately 2,800 tons per year 
(tpy).
    Category 3 Marine Diesel Engine Standards. Promulgated in 2010, 
this rule establishes more stringent exhaust emission standards for new 
large marine diesel engines with per cylinder displacement at or above 
30 liters (commonly referred to as Category 3 compression-ignition 
marine engines) as part of a coordinated strategy to address emissions 
from all ships that effect U.S. air quality. Near-term standards for 
newly built engines will apply beginning in 2011, and long-term 
standards requiring an 80 percent reduction in NOX emissions 
will begin in 2016.
    NOX SIP Call. On October 27, 1998 (63 FR 57356), EPA 
issued a NOX SIP Call requiring the District of Columbia and 
22 states to reduce emissions of NOX. Affected states were 
required to comply with Phase I of the SIP Call beginning in 2004, and 
Phase II beginning in 2007. Emission reductions resulting from 
regulations developed in response to the NOX SIP Call are 
permanent and enforceable.
    CAIR and CSAPR. EPA recently promulgated CSAPR (76 FR 48208, August 
8, 2011) to replace the Clean Air Interstate (CAIR), which has been in 
place since 2005. See 76 FR 59517. CAIR requires significant reductions 
in emissions of SO2 and NOX from electric 
generating units (EGUs) to limit the interstate transport of these 
pollutants and the ozone and fine particulate matter they form in the 
atmosphere. See 76 FR 70093. The DC Circuit initially vacated CAIR, 
North Carolina v. EPA, 531 F.3d 896 (D.C. Cir. 2008), but ultimately 
remanded the rule to EPA without vacatur to preserve the environmental 
benefits provided by CAIR, North Carolina v. EPA, 550 F.3d 1176, 1178 
(D.C. Cir. 2008).
    On December 30, 2011, the DC Circuit issued an order addressing the 
status of CSAPR and CAIR in response to motions filed by numerous 
parties seeking a stay of CSAPR pending judicial review. In that order, 
the Court stayed CSAPR pending resolution of the petitions for review 
of that rule in EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA (No. 11-1302 and 
consolidated cases). The Court also indicated that EPA was expected to 
continue to administer CAIR in the interim until judicial review of 
CSAPR was completed.
    On August 21, 2012, the DC Circuit issued a decision to vacate 
CSAPR. In that decision, it also ordered EPA to continue administering 
CAIR ``pending . . . development of a valid replacement.'' EME Homer 
City, 696 F.3d at 38. The DC Circuit denied all petitions for rehearing 
on January 24, 2013. EPA and other parties filed petitions for 
certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on March 29, 2013, to review the 
DC Circuit's decision in EME Homer City, and on June 24, 2013, the U.S. 
Supreme Court granted the United States' petition asking the Court to 
review the DC Circuit's decision on CSAPR. Nonetheless, EPA intends to 
continue to act in accordance with the EME Homer City opinion.
    In light of these unique circumstances and for the reasons 
explained below, EPA proposes to approve the redesignation request and 
the related SIP revision for Floyd County in Georgia, including 
Georgia's plan for maintaining attainment of the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS in the Rome Area. To the extent that attainment 
is due to emission reductions associated with CAIR, EPA is here 
determining that those reductions are sufficiently permanent and 
enforceable for purposes of CAA sections 107(d)(3)(E)(iii) and 175A. 
The air quality modeling analysis conducted for CSAPR demonstrates that 
the Rome Area would be able to maintain the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS even in the absence of either CAIR or CSAPR. See 
``Air Quality Modeling Final Rule Technical Support Document,'' App. B, 
B-39. This modeling is available in the docket for this proposed 
redesignation action. Nothing in the DC Circuit's August 2012 decision 
disturbs or calls into question that conclusion or the validity of the 
air quality analysis on which it is based.
    In addition, as directed by the DC Circuit, CAIR remains in place 
and enforceable until substituted by a valid replacement rule. EPA 
approved a modification to Georgia's SIP on October 9, 2007, that 
addressed the requirements of CAIR for the purpose of reducing 
SO2 and NOX emissions (see 72 FR 57202), and 
Georgia's SIP redesignation request lists CAIR as a control measure. 
CAIR was thus in place and getting emission reductions when the Rome 
area began monitoring attainment of the 1997 Annual PM2.5 
NAAQS. The quality-assured, certified monitoring data used to 
demonstrate the area's attainment of the 1997 Annual PM2.5 
NAAQS by the April 5, 2010 attainment deadline was also impacted by 
CAIR.
    To the extent that Georgia is relying on CAIR in its maintenance 
plan, the recent directive from the DC Circuit in EME Homer City 
ensures that the reductions associated with CAIR will be permanent and 
enforceable for the necessary time period. EPA has been

[[Page 3764]]

ordered by the Court to develop a new rule to address interstate 
transport to replace CSAPR and the opinion makes clear that after 
promulgating that new rule, EPA must provide states an opportunity to 
draft and submit SIPs to implement that rule. Thus, CAIR will remain in 
place until EPA has promulgated a final rule through a notice-and-
comment rulemaking process, States have had an opportunity to draft and 
submit SIPs, EPA has reviewed the SIPs to determine if they can be 
approved, and EPA has taken action on the SIPs, including promulgating 
a FIP if appropriate. The Court's clear instruction to EPA that it must 
continue to administer CAIR until a valid replacement exists provides 
an additional backstop: By definition, any rule that replaces CAIR and 
meets the Court's direction would require upwind states to have SIPs 
that eliminate significant contributions to downwind nonattainment and 
prevent interference with maintenance in downwind areas.
    Further, in vacating CSAPR and requiring EPA to continue 
administering CAIR, the DC Circuit emphasized that the consequences of 
vacating CAIR ``might be more severe now in light of the reliance 
interests accumulated over the intervening four years.'' EME Homer 
City, 696 F.3d at 38. The accumulated reliance interests include the 
interests of states who reasonably assumed they could rely on 
reductions associated with CAIR which brought certain nonattainment 
areas into attainment with the NAAQS. If EPA were prevented from 
relying on reductions associated with CAIR in redesignation actions, 
states would be forced to impose additional, redundant reductions on 
top of those achieved by CAIR. EPA believes this is precisely the type 
of irrational result the court sought to avoid by ordering EPA to 
continue administering CAIR. For these reasons also, EPA believes it is 
appropriate to allow states to rely on CAIR, and the existing emissions 
reductions achieved by CAIR, as sufficiently permanent and enforceable 
for purposes such as redesignation. Following promulgation of the 
replacement rule, EPA will review SIPs as appropriate to identify 
whether there are any issues that need to be addressed.

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

    For redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment, the CAA 
requires EPA to determine that the area has a fully approved 
maintenance plan pursuant to section 175A of the CAA (CAA section 
107(d)(3)(E)(iv)). In conjunction with its request to redesignate the 
Rome Area to attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, GA 
EPD submitted a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS for at least 10 years after the effective 
date of redesignation to attainment. EPA believes this maintenance plan 
meets the requirements for approval under section 175A of the CAA.
a. What is required in a maintenance plan?
    Section 175A of the CAA sets forth the elements of a maintenance 
plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. 
Under section 175A, the plan must demonstrate continued attainment of 
the applicable NAAQS for at least 10 years after the Administrator 
approves a redesignation to attainment. Eight years after the 
redesignation, GA EPD must submit a revised maintenance plan 
demonstrating that attainment will continue to be maintained for the 10 
years following the initial 10-year period. To address the possibility 
of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain such 
contingency measures, as EPA deems necessary, to assure prompt 
correction of any future 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS violations. 
The Calcagni Memorandum provides further guidance on the content of a 
maintenance plan, explaining that a maintenance plan should address 
five requirements: The attainment emissions inventory, maintenance 
demonstration, monitoring, verification of continued attainment, and a 
contingency plan. As is discussed below, EPA finds that GA EPD's 
maintenance plan includes all the necessary components and is thus 
proposing to approve it as a revision to the Georgia SIP.
b. Attainment Emissions Inventory
    The Rome Area attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS based 
on monitoring data for the 3-year period from 2007-2009. GA EPD has 
selected 2007 as the attainment emission inventory year. The attainment 
inventory identifies a level of emissions in the Area that is 
sufficient to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. GA EPD 
began development of the attainment inventory by first generating a 
baseline emissions inventory for the Rome Area. As noted above, the 
year 2007 was chosen as the base year for developing a comprehensive 
emissions inventory for direct PM2.5 and the 
PM2.5 precursors SO2 and NOX. 
Emissions projections to support maintenance through 2023 have been 
prepared for the years 2017 and 2023. In addition, emissions have been 
calculated by interpolation for the years 2014 and 2020. The projected 
inventory included with the maintenance plan estimates emissions 
forward to 2023, which is at the 10-year interval required in section 
175(A) of the CAA.
    The emissions inventories are composed of four major types of 
sources: point, area, on-road mobile and non-road mobile. The 2007 
inventory, with the exception of on-road emissions, was prepared for 
Georgia by the contractor for the Southeastern Modeling, Analysis, and 
Planning (SEMAP) project. Under the SEMAP project, emissions estimates 
are reported by county and source classification code (SCC). The SEMAP 
emissions inventories were developed using data from a number of 
sources, including state and local agencies and EPA's National 
Emissions Inventory (NEI). GA EPD utilized the State's own resources to 
develop the 2007 inventory of on-road mobile emissions.
    The 2007 SO2, NOx and PM2.5 emissions for the 
Rome Area, as well as the emissions for other years, were developed 
consistent with EPA guidance and are summarized in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, 
and 6 of the following subsection discussing the maintenance 
demonstration.
    Section 175A requires a state seeking redesignation to attainment 
to submit a SIP revision to provide for the maintenance of the NAAQS in 
the Area ``for at least 10 years after the redesignation.'' EPA has 
interpreted this as a showing of maintenance ``for a period of ten 
years following redesignation.'' Calcagni Memorandum, p. 9. Where the 
emissions inventory method of showing maintenance is used, the purpose 
is to show that emissions during the maintenance period will not 
increase over the attainment year inventory. Calcagni Memorandum, pp. 
9-10.
    As discussed in detail in the subsection below, Georgia's 
maintenance plan submission expressly documents that the Area's 
emissions inventories will remain below the attainment year inventories 
through 2023. Projected emissions inventory levels in 2023 are well 
below the attainment year inventory levels, and it is highly improbable 
that they will suddenly increase and exceed attainment year inventory 
levels in 2024. In addition, for the reasons set forth below, EPA 
believes that the Georgia's submission, in conjunction with additional 
supporting information, further demonstrates that the Area will 
continue to maintain the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS at least 
through 2024.

[[Page 3765]]

Thus, if EPA finalizes its proposed approval of the redesignation 
request and maintenance plans in 2014, the approval will be based upon 
this showing, in accordance with section 175A, and EPA's analysis 
described herein, that the Georgia's maintenance plan provides for 
maintenance for at least ten years after redesignation.
c. Maintenance Demonstration
    The June 21, 2012, final submittal includes a maintenance plan for 
the Rome Area. This demonstration:
    (i) Shows compliance with and maintenance of the annual 
PM2.5 standard by providing information to support the 
demonstration that current and future emissions of SO2, 
NOX and PM2.5 remain at or below 2007 emissions 
levels.
    (ii) Uses 2007 as the attainment year and includes future emission 
inventory projections for 2017 and 2023.
    (iii) Identifies an ``out year'' at least 10 years after EPA review 
and potential approval of the maintenance plan. Per 40 CFR part 93, 
NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs were established for the last 
year (2023) of the maintenance plan.
    (iv) Provides, as shown in Tables 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 below, the 
actual and projected missions inventories, in tpy, for the Rome Area.

 Table 2--Actual (2007), Estimated (2014 and 2020) and Projected (2017 and 2023) Point Source Emissions for the
                                                    Rome Area
                                                     [tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Pollutant                  2007            2014            2017            2020            2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO2.............................          24,275          19,666           6,119           6,242           6,366
NOX.............................          10,165           8,267           7,453           7,660           7,866
PM2.5...........................             953             774             697             722             747
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 3--Actual (2007), Estimated (2014 and 2020) and Projected (2017 and 2023) Nonpoint Sources Emissions for
                                                  the Rome Area
                                                     [tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Pollutant                  2007            2014            2017            2020            2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO2.............................             758             784             794             807             819
NOX.............................             936           1,026           1,066           1,104           1,144
PM2.5...........................           1,855           2,072           2,164           2,249           2,333
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 4--Actual (2007), Estimated (2014 and 2020) and Projected (2017 and 2023) Onroad Mobile Sources Emissions
                                                for the Rome Area
                                                     [tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Pollutant                  2007            2014            2017            2020            2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO2.............................            14.1            11.6            10.5             9.4             8.3
NOX.............................         3,378.3         2,270.9         1,796.2         1,321.6           847.0
PM2.5...........................           117.3            79.9            63.9            47.8            31.8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


 Table 5--Actual (2007), Estimated (2014 and 2020) and Projected (2017 and 2023) Nonroad Mobile Source Emissions
                                                for the Rome Area
                                                     [tons]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Pollutant                  2007            2014            2017            2020            2023
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO2.............................              29               9               1               1               1
NOX.............................             996             728             613             546             479
PM2.5...........................              66              48              40              36              31
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


               Table 6--Actual (2007), Estimated (2014 and 2020) and Projected (2017 and 2023) Emissions for all sectors for the Rome Area
                                                                         [tons]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Pollutant                      2007            2014            2017            2020            2023               Change 2007-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SO2....................................        25,276.1        20,470.6         6,924.5         7,059.4         7,194.3  72% decrease.
NOX....................................        15,475.3        12,291.9        10,928.2        10,631.6        10,336.0  33% decrease.
PM2.5..................................         2,991.3         2,973.9         2,964.9         3,054.8         3,142.8  5% increase.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 3766]]

    The State's submittal credits Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(sss) as 
requiring flue gas desulfurization (FGD) and selective catalytic 
reduction (SCR) controls on the majority of coal-fired EGUs in the 
State. The submittal also credits Georgia Rule 391-3-1-.02(2)(uuu) as 
requiring a 95 percent reduction in SO2 emissions from the 
majority of Georgia's coal-fired EGUs, with the requirement being 
phased in from 2010 through 2016. Within the Rome Area, this rule 
requires a 95 percent reduction of SO2 emissions from all 
four EGUs at plant Hammond, which is being phased in on individual 
units between 2011 and 2015. The rule also requires SO2 
emission reductions from other coal-fired EGUs in north Georgia.
    EPA has not approved Georgia Rules 391-3-1-.02(2)(sss) and 391-3-
1-.02(2)(uuu) into Georgia's SIP, and therefore, these rules are not 
federally enforceable. However, CAIR was one measure that led to air 
quality improvement in the Rome Area. As discussed above, EPA is 
interpreting CAA section 107(d)(3)(E)(iii)'s requirement that emission 
reductions be due to permanent and federally enforceable measures to 
include CAIR, because of the D.C. Circuit's directive to leave CAIR in 
place until it is replaced by a new rule. Although modeling completed 
as part of the CSAPR rulemaking showed that the Area would continue to 
maintain the standard even in the absence of CAIR or CSAPR, to the 
extent that the Area's maintenance of the standard relies on CAIR, EPA 
is proposing to find CAIR may be relied upon under CAA section 175A as 
well. Unlike the state-only rules discussed above, CAIR was approved 
into Georgia's SIP. Although the state-only rules have more specific 
unit control requirements than the provisions of CAIR, the State 
implemented them in response to CAIR and they require emissions 
reductions in NOX and SO2 consistent with CAIR's 
original schedule starting in 2009. Since the controls are already in 
the process of being installed to comply with both CAIR and the state 
rules, EPA regards the emission estimates based on the installation and 
operation of these controls to be both an accurate projection of how 
CAIR will continue to be implemented in the Rome Area and an 
appropriate basis upon which to project the emission inventory.
    As reflected in Table 6, future emissions for the relevant 
pollutants and precursors are expected to be below the ``attainment 
level'' emissions in 2007, thus illustrating that the Macon Area is 
expected to continue to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS 
through 2023. In situations such as this where local emissions are the 
primary contributor to nonattainment, if the future projected emissions 
in the nonattainment area remain at or below the baseline emissions in 
the nonattainment area, then the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS 
should not be violated in the future.
    A maintenance plan requires the state to show that projected future 
year emissions will not exceed the level of emissions which led the 
Area to attain the NAAQS. Georgia has projected emissions as described 
previously and determined that emissions in the Macon Area will remain 
below those in the attainment year inventory for the duration of the 
maintenance plan.
    As noted above, EPA believes that several pertinent factors 
demonstrate that the Rome Area will continue to maintain the 1997 
Annual PM2.5 NAAQS at least through the year 2023. These 
include the circumstances that (1) all of the state and federal 
regulatory requirements that enabled the Area to attain the NAAQS will 
continue to be in effect and enforceable after the 10-year maintenance 
period; (2) the most recent complete, quality-assured and certified 
annual PM2.5 design value (for the period 2009 to 2011) for 
the Area of 13.3 [mu]g/m\3\ is well below the standard of 15.0 [mu]g/
m\3\; (3) as discussed in detail below, EPA is proposing in this action 
to approve Georgia's determination that the direct PM2.5 and 
NOX contribution from motor vehicle emissions for the Area 
and thus does not expect such emissions to contribute significantly to 
future ambient PM2.5 levels; and (4) as noted above, several 
of the largest sources in the Area have been required by permanent and 
enforceable consent decrees to install controls that achieve reductions 
in SO2 and NOX emissions as well as reductions in 
direct PM2.5 emissions. Therefore, EPA expects the projected 
downward trend in pollutant emissions in the Rome Area from the 2007 
attainment year through the 2023 maintenance year, as shown in Table 6 
above, to continue for at least the one additional year past 2024.
d. Monitoring Network
    There is currently one monitor measuring PM2.5 in the 
Rome Area (Rome-Coosa Elementary School in Floyd County). GA EPD has 
committed to continue operation of the monitor in the Rome Area in 
compliance with 40 CFR part 58 and have thus addressed the requirement 
for monitoring. EPA approved Georgia's 2012 monitoring plan on October 
16, 2012.
e. Verification of Continued Attainment
    GA EPD has the legal authority to enforce and implement the 
requirements of the Rome Area 1997 annual PM2.5 maintenance 
plan. This includes the authority to adopt, implement and enforce any 
subsequent emissions control contingency measures determined to be 
necessary to correct future PM2.5 attainment problems.
    GA EPD will track the progress of the maintenance plan by 
performing future reviews of triennial emission inventories for the 
Rome Area as required in the Air Emissions Reporting Rule (AERR) and 
Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule (CERR). For these periodic 
inventories, GA EPD will review the assumptions made for the purpose of 
the maintenance demonstration concerning projected growth of activity 
levels. If any of these assumptions appear to have changed 
substantially, then GA EPD will re-project emissions for the Rome Area.
f. Contingency Measures in the Maintenance Plan
    Section 175A of the CAA requires that a maintenance plan include 
such contingency measures as EPA deems necessary to assure that the 
state will promptly correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after 
redesignation. The maintenance plan should identify the contingency 
measures to be adopted, a schedule and procedure for adoption and 
implementation, and a time limit for action by GA EPD. A state should 
also identify specific indicators to be used to determine when the 
contingency measures need to be implemented. The maintenance plan must 
include a requirement that a state will implement all measures with 
respect to control of the pollutant that were contained in the SIP 
before redesignation of the area to attainment in accordance with 
section 175A(d).
    The contingency plan included in the submittal includes a 
triggering mechanism to determine when contingency measures are needed 
and a process of developing and implementing appropriate control 
measures. GA EPD will use actual ambient monitoring data as the 
triggering event to determine when contingency measures should be 
implemented.
    Georgia has identified a Tier I trigger as occurring when any of 
the following conditions occurs, as described in the State's submittal 
for the Rome Area.
     The previous calendar year's annual mean PM2.5 
concentration exceeds the standard by 1.5 [mu]g/m\3\ or more;
     The annual mean PM2.5 concentration in each of 
the previous

[[Page 3767]]

two consecutive calendar years exceeds the standard by 0.5 ug/m\3\ or 
more;
     The total maintenance area SO2 emissions in the 
most recent NEI exceeds the corresponding attainment-year inventory by 
more than 10.0 percent;
     The total maintenance area PM2.5 emissions in 
the most recent NEI exceeds the corresponding attainment-year inventory 
by more than 30.0 percent.
    GA EPD will evaluate a Tier I condition, if it occurs, as 
expeditiously as practicable to determine the causes of the ambient 
PM2.5 or emissions inventory increase and to determine if a 
Tier II condition is likely to occur. A Tier II trigger will be 
activated when any violation of the annual PM2.5 NAAQS at 
any federal reference method monitor in the Rome maintenance area is 
recorded, based on quality-assured monitoring data. In this event, GA 
EPD will conduct a comprehensive study to determine the cause of the 
ambient PM2.5 increase and to determine if the increase is 
likely to continue and will implement any required measures as 
expeditiously as practicable, taking into consideration the ease of 
implementation and the technical and economic feasibility of selected 
measures.
    The comprehensive study will be completed and submitted to EPA as 
expeditiously as practical but no later than nine months after the Tier 
I or Tier II trigger is activated, and the appropriate corrective 
measures will be adopted and implemented within 18 to 24 months after 
the trigger occurs. If the study determines that additional measures 
are required, the State will adopt rules no later than 18 months 
following the date that the trigger is activated.\5\ The comprehensive 
measures will be selected from the following types of measures or from 
any other measure deemed appropriate and effective at the time the 
selection is made by GA EPD:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ In a September 23, 2013, letter to EPA, the State reaffirmed 
its commitment to address and correct any violation of the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS as expeditiously as practicable, and 
no later than 24 months from the trigger activation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     RACM for sources of SO2 and PM2.5;
     Reasonably Available Control Technologies (RACT) for point 
sources of SO2 and PM2.5;
     Expansion of RACM/RACT to areas of transport within the 
State;
     Mobile source measures; and
     Additional SO2 and/or PM2.5 
reduction measures yet to be identified.
    In addition to the triggers indicated above, Georgia will monitor 
regional emissions through the CERR and AERR, and compare them to the 
projected inventories and the attainment year inventory. In the June 
21, 2012, submittal, the State acknowledges that the contingency plan 
requires the implementation of all measures contained in the SIP for 
the Area prior to redesignation. The State also notes that these 
measures are currently in effect and may be evaluated by the State to 
determine if they are adequate or up-to-date.
    EPA has concluded that the maintenance plan adequately addresses 
the five basic components of a maintenance plan: attainment emission 
inventory, maintenance demonstration, monitoring network, verification 
of continued attainment, and a contingency plan. Therefore, the 
maintenance plan SIP revision submitted by GA EPD for the Rome Area 
meets the requirements of section 175A of the CAA and is approvable.

VI. What is the effect of the January 4, 2013, D.C. Circuit decision 
regarding PM2.5 implementation under Subpart 4?

a. Background

    As discussed in Section I of this action, the D.C. Circuit remanded 
the 1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule to EPA on January 4, 
2013, in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 706 F.3d 428. The 
court found that EPA erred in implementing the 1997 PM2.5 
NAAQS pursuant to the general implementation provisions of subpart 1 of 
Part D of Title I of the CAA, rather than the particulate matter-
specific provisions of subpart 4 of Part D of Title I.

b. Proposal on This Issue

    In this portion of the proposed redesignation, EPA addresses the 
effect of the Court's January 4, 2013, ruling on the proposed 
redesignation. As explained below, EPA is proposing to determine that 
the Court's January 4, 2013, decision does not prevent EPA from 
redesignating the Rome Area to attainment. Even in light of the Court's 
decision, redesignation for this area is appropriate under the CAA and 
EPA's longstanding interpretations of the CAA's provisions regarding 
redesignation. EPA first explains its longstanding interpretation that 
requirements that are imposed, or that become due, after a complete 
redesignation request is submitted for an area that is attaining the 
standard, are not applicable for purposes of evaluating a redesignation 
request. Second, EPA then shows that, even if EPA applies the subpart 4 
requirements to the Rome Area redesignation request and disregards the 
provisions of its 1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule recently 
remanded by the Court, the State's request for redesignation of this 
area still qualifies for approval. EPA's discussion takes into account 
the effect of the Court's ruling on the area's maintenance plan, which 
EPA views as approvable when subpart 4 requirements are considered.

c. Applicable Requirements for the Purpose of Evaluating the 
Redesignation Request

    With respect to the 1997 PM2.5 Implementation Rule, the 
Court's January 4, 2013, ruling rejected EPA's reasons for implementing 
the PM2.5 NAAQS solely in accordance with the provisions of 
subpart 1, and remanded that matter to EPA, so that it could address 
implementation of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS under subpart 4 of 
Part D of the CAA, in addition to subpart 1. For the purposes of 
evaluating the Georgia's redesignation request for the area, to the 
extent that implementation under subpart 4 would impose additional 
requirements for areas designated nonattainment, EPA believes that 
those requirements are not ``applicable'' for the purposes of CAA 
section 107(d)(3)(E), and thus EPA is not required to consider subpart 
4 requirements with respect to the Rome Area of redesignation. Under 
its longstanding interpretation of the CAA, EPA has interpreted section 
107(d)(3)(E) to mean, as a threshold matter, that the part D provisions 
which are ``applicable'' and which must be approved in order for EPA to 
redesignate an area include only those which came due prior to a 
state's submittal of a complete redesignation request. See ``Procedures 
for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment,'' 
Memorandum from John Calcagni, Director, Air Quality Management 
Division, September 4, 1992 (Calcagni memorandum). See also ``State 
Implementation Plan (SIP) Requirements for Areas Submitting Requests 
for the plan and Redesignation to Attainment of the Ozone and Carbon 
Monoxide (CO) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) on or 
after November 15, 1992,'' Memorandum from Michael Shapiro, Acting 
Assistant Administrator, Air and Radiation, September 17, 1993 (Shapiro 
memorandum); Final Redesignation of Detroit-Ann Arbor, (60 FR 12459, 
12465-66, March 7, 1995); Final Redesignation of St. Louis, Missouri, 
(68 FR 25418, 25424-27, May 12, 2003); Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 
537, 541 (7th Cir. 2004) (upholding EPA's redesignation rulemaking 
applying this

[[Page 3768]]

interpretation and expressly rejecting Sierra Club's view that the 
meaning of ``applicable'' under the statute is ``whatever should have 
been in the plan at the time of attainment rather than whatever 
actually was in already implemented or due at the time of 
attainment'').\6\ In this case, at the time that Georgia submitted its 
redesignation request, requirements under subpart 4 were not due, and 
indeed, were not yet known to apply.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Applicable requirements of the CAA that come due subsequent 
to the area's submittal of a complete redesignation request remain 
applicable until a redesignation is approved, but are not required 
as a prerequisite to redesignation. Section 175A(c) of the CAA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA's view that, for purposes of evaluating the Rome Area 
redesignation, the subpart 4 requirements were not due at the time the 
State submitted the redesignation request is in keeping with the EPA's 
interpretation of subpart 2 requirements for subpart 1 ozone areas 
redesignated subsequent to the DC Circuit's decision in South Coast Air 
Quality Mgmt. Dist. v. EPA, 472 F.3d 882 (D.C. Cir. 2006). In South 
Coast, the Court found that EPA was not permitted to implement the 1997 
8-hour ozone standard solely under subpart 1, and held that EPA was 
required under the statute to implement the standard under the ozone-
specific requirements of subpart 2 as well. Subsequent to the South 
Coast decision, in evaluating and acting upon redesignation requests 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard that were submitted to EPA for areas 
under subpart 1, EPA applied its longstanding interpretation of the CAA 
that ``applicable requirements,'' for purposes of evaluating a 
redesignation, are those that had been due at the time the 
redesignation request was submitted. See, e.g., Proposed Redesignation 
of Manitowoc County and Door County Nonattainment Areas (75 FR 22047, 
22050, April 27, 2010). In those actions, EPA therefore did not 
consider subpart 2 requirements to be ``applicable'' for the purposes 
of evaluating whether the area should be redesignated under section 
107(d)(3)(E).
    EPA's interpretation derives from the provisions of CAA Section 
107(d)(3). Section 107(d)(3)(E)(v) states that, for an area to be 
redesignated, a state must meet ``all requirements `applicable' to the 
area under section 110 and part D.'' Section 107(d)(3)(E)(ii) provides 
that the EPA must have fully approved the ``applicable'' SIP for the 
area seeking redesignation. These two sections read together support 
EPA's interpretation of ``applicable'' as only those requirements that 
came due prior to submission of a complete redesignation request. 
First, holding states to an ongoing obligation to adopt new CAA 
requirements that arose after the state submitted its redesignation 
request, in order to be redesignated, would make it problematic or 
impossible for EPA to act on redesignation requests in accordance with 
the 18-month deadline Congress set for EPA action in section 
107(d)(3)(D). If ``applicable requirements'' were interpreted to be a 
continuing flow of requirements with no reasonable limitation, states, 
after submitting a redesignation request, would be forced continuously 
to make additional SIP submissions that in turn would require EPA to 
undertake further notice-and-comment rulemaking actions to act on those 
submissions. This would create a regime of unceasing rulemaking that 
would delay action on the redesignation request beyond the 18-month 
timeframe provided by the Act for this purpose.
    Second, a fundamental premise for redesignating a nonattainment 
area to attainment is that the area has attained the relevant NAAQS due 
to emission reductions from existing controls. Thus, an area for which 
a redesignation request has been submitted would have already attained 
the NAAQS as a result of satisfying statutory requirements that came 
due prior to the submission of the request. Absent a showing that 
unadopted and unimplemented requirements are necessary for future 
maintenance, it is reasonable to view the requirements applicable for 
purposes of evaluating the redesignation request as including only 
those SIP requirements that have already come due. These are the 
requirements that led to attainment of the NAAQS. To require, for 
redesignation approval, that a state also satisfy additional SIP 
requirements coming due after the state submits its complete 
redesignation request, and while EPA is reviewing it, would compel the 
state to do more than is necessary to attain the NAAQS, without a 
showing that the additional requirements are necessary for maintenance.
    In the context of this redesignation, the timing and nature of the 
Court's January 4, 2013, decision in NRDC v. EPA compound the 
consequences of imposing requirements that come due after the 
redesignation request is submitted. The State submitted its 
redesignation request on June 21, 2012, but the Court did not issue its 
decision remanding EPA's 1997 PM2.5 implementation rule 
concerning the applicability of the provisions of subpart 4 until 
January 2013.
    To require the State's fully-completed and pending redesignation 
request to comply now with requirements of subpart 4 that the Court 
announced only in January 2013 would be to give retroactive effect to 
such requirements when the State had no notice that it was required to 
meet them. The D.C. Circuit recognized the inequity of this type of 
retroactive impact in Sierra Club v. Whitman, 285 F.3d 63 (D.C. Cir. 
2002),\7\ where it upheld the District Court's ruling refusing to make 
retroactive EPA's determination that the St. Louis area did not meet 
its attainment deadline. In that case, petitioners urged the Court to 
make EPA's nonattainment determination effective as of the date that 
the statute required, rather than the later date on which EPA actually 
made the determination. The Court rejected this view, stating that 
applying it ``would likely impose large costs on States, which would 
face fines and suits for not implementing air pollution prevention 
plans . . . even though they were not on notice at the time.'' Id. at 
68. Similarly, it would be unreasonable to penalize the State of 
Georgia by rejecting its redesignation request for an area that is 
already attaining the 1997 PM2.5 standard and that met all 
applicable requirements known to be in effect at the time of the 
request. For EPA now to reject the redesignation request solely because 
the state did not expressly address subpart 4 requirements of which it 
had no notice would inflict the same unfairness condemned by the Court 
in Sierra Club v. Whitman.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Sierra Club v. Whitman was discussed and distinguished in a 
recent D.C. Circuit decision that addressed retroactivity in a quite 
different context, where, unlike the situation here, EPA sought to 
give its regulations retroactive effect. National Petrochemical and 
Refiners Ass'n v. EPA. 630 F.3d 145, 163 (D.C. Cir. 2010), rehearing 
denied 643 F.3d 958 (D.C. Cir. 2011), cert denied 132 S. Ct. 571 
(2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

d. Subpart 4 Requirements and the Rome Area Redesignation Request

    Even if EPA were to take the view that the Court's January 4, 2013, 
decision requires that, in the context of pending redesignations, 
subpart 4 requirements were due and in effect at the time the State 
submitted its redesignation request, EPA proposes to determine that the 
Rome Area still qualifies for redesignation to attainment. As explained 
below, EPA believes that the redesignation request for the Rome Area, 
though not expressed in terms of subpart 4 requirements, substantively 
meets the requirements of that subpart for purposes of redesignating 
the area to attainment.
    With respect to evaluating the relevant substantive requirements of

[[Page 3769]]

subpart 4 for purposes of redesignating the Rome Area, EPA notes that 
subpart 4 incorporates components of subpart 1 of part D, which 
contains general air quality planning requirements for areas designated 
as nonattainment. See Section 172(c). Subpart 4 itself contains 
specific planning and scheduling requirements for PM10 \8\ 
nonattainment areas, and under the Court's January 4, 2013, decision in 
NRDC v. EPA, these same statutory requirements also apply for 
PM2.5 nonattainment areas. EPA has longstanding general 
guidance that interprets the 1990 amendments to the CAA, making 
recommendations to states for meeting the statutory requirements for 
SIPs for nonattainment areas. See, ``State Implementation Plans; 
General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clear Air Act 
Amendments of 1990,'' 57 FR 13498 (April 16, 1992) (the ``General 
Preamble''). In the General Preamble, EPA discussed the relationship of 
subpart 1 and subpart 4 SIP requirements and pointed out that subpart 1 
requirements were to an extent ``subsumed by, or integrally related to, 
the more specific PM-10 requirements.'' 57 FR 13538 (April 16, 1992). 
The subpart 1 requirements include, among other things, provisions for 
attainment demonstrations, reasonably available control measures 
(RACM), reasonable further progress (RFP), emissions inventories, and 
contingency measures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ PM10 refers to particles nominally 10 micrometers 
in diameter or smaller.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the purposes of this redesignation, in order to identify any 
additional requirements which would apply under subpart 4, we are 
considering the Rome Area to be a ``moderate'' PM2.5 
nonattainment area. Under section 188 of the CAA, all areas designated 
nonattainment areas under subpart 4 would initially be classified by 
operation of law as ``moderate'' nonattainment areas and would remain 
moderate nonattainment areas unless and until EPA reclassifies the area 
as a ``serious'' nonattainment area. Accordingly, EPA believes that it 
is appropriate to limit the evaluation of the potential impact of 
subpart 4 requirements to those that would be applicable to moderate 
nonattainment areas. Sections 189(a) and (c) of subpart 4 apply to 
moderate nonattainment areas and include the following: (1) An approved 
permit program for construction of new and modified major stationary 
sources (section 189(a)(1)(A)); (2) an attainment demonstration 
(section 189(a)(1)(B)); (3) provisions for RACM (section 189(a)(1)(C)); 
and (4) quantitative milestones demonstrating RFP toward attainment by 
the applicable attainment date (section 189(c)).
    The permit requirements of subpart 4, as contained in section 
189(a)(1)(A), refer to and apply the subpart 1 permit provisions 
requirements of sections 172 and 173 to PM10, without adding 
to them. Consequently, EPA believes that section 189(a)(1)(A) does not 
itself impose for redesignation purposes any additional requirements 
for moderate areas beyond those contained in subpart 1.\9\ In any 
event, in the context of redesignation, EPA has long relied on the 
interpretation that a fully approved nonattainment new source review 
program is not considered an applicable requirement for redesignation, 
provided the area can maintain the standard with a PSD program after 
redesignation. A detailed rationale for this view is described in a 
memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant Administrator for Air and 
Radiation, dated October 14, 1994, entitled ``Part D New Source Review 
Requirements for Areas Requesting Redesignation to Attainment.'' See 
also rulemakings for Detroit, Michigan (60 FR 12467-12468, March 7, 
1995); Cleveland-Akron-Lorain, Ohio (61 FR 20458, 20469-20470, May 7, 
1996); Louisville, Kentucky (66 FR 53665, October 23, 2001); and Grand 
Rapids, Michigan (61 FR 31834-31837, June 21, 1996).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ The potential effect of section 189(e) on section 
189(a)(1)(A) for purposes of evaluating this redesignation is 
discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to the specific attainment planning requirements under 
subpart 4,\10\ when EPA evaluates a redesignation request under either 
subpart 1 and/or 4, any area that is attaining the PM2.5 
standard is viewed as having satisfied the attainment planning 
requirements for these subparts. For redesignations, EPA has for many 
years interpreted attainment-linked requirements as not applicable for 
areas attaining the standard. In the General Preamble for the 
Implementation of title I, EPA stated that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ I.e., attainment demonstration, RFP, RACM, milestone 
requirements, contingency measures.

    The requirements for RFP will not apply in evaluating a request 
for redesignation to attainment since, at a minimum, the air quality 
data for the area must show that the area has already attained. 
Showing that the State will make RFP towards attainment will, 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
therefore, have no meaning at that point.

``General Preamble for the Interpretation of Title I of the Clean Air 
Act Amendments of 1990''; (57 FR 13498, 13564, April 16, 1992).
    The General Preamble also explained that

[t]he section 172(c)(9) requirements are directed at ensuring 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.

Id.
    EPA similarly stated in its 1992 Calcagni memorandum that, ``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.''
    It is evident that even if we were to consider the Court's January 
4, 2013, decision in NRDC v. EPA to mean that attainment-related 
requirements specific to subpart 4 should be imposed retroactively \11\ 
and thus are now past due, those requirements do not apply to an area 
that is attaining the 1997 PM2.5 standard for the purpose of 
evaluating a pending request to redesignate the area to attainment. EPA 
has consistently enunciated this interpretation of applicable 
requirements under section 107(d)(3)(E) since the General Preamble was 
published more than twenty years ago. Courts have recognized the scope 
of EPA's authority to interpret ``applicable requirements'' in the 
redesignation context. See Sierra Club v. EPA, 375 F.3d 537 (7th Cir. 
2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ As explained above, EPA does not believe that the Court's 
January 4, 2013, decision should be interpreted so as to impose 
these requirements on the states retroactively. Sierra Club v. 
Whitman, supra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Moreover, even outside the context of redesignations, EPA has 
viewed the obligations to submit attainment-related SIP planning 
requirements of subpart 4 as inapplicable for areas that EPA determines 
are attaining the standard. EPA's prior ``Clean Data Policy'' 
rulemakings for the PM10 NAAQS, also governed by the 
requirements of subpart 4, explain EPA's reasoning. They describe the 
effects of a determination of attainment on the attainment-related SIP 
planning requirements of subpart 4. See ``Determination of Attainment 
for Coso Junction Nonattainment Area,'' (75 FR 27944, May 19, 2010). 
See also Coso Junction proposed PM10 redesignation, (75 FR 
36023, 36027, June 24, 2010); Proposed and Final Determinations of 
Attainment for San Joaquin Nonattainment Area (71 FR 40952, 40954-55, 
July 19, 2006; and 71 FR 63641, 63643-47 October 30, 2006). In short, 
EPA in this context has also long concluded that to require states to 
meet

[[Page 3770]]

superfluous SIP planning requirements is not necessary and not required 
by the CAA, so long as those areas continue to attain the relevant 
NAAQS.
    Elsewhere in this notice, EPA proposes to determine that the area 
has attained the 1997 PM2.5 standard. Under its longstanding 
interpretation, EPA is proposing to determine here that the area meets 
the attainment-related plan requirements of subparts 1 and 4.
    Thus, EPA is proposing to conclude that the requirements to submit 
an attainment demonstration under 189(a)(1)(B), a RACM determination 
under section 172(c)d section 189(a)(1)(c), a RFP demonstration under 
189(c)(1), and contingency measure requirements under section 172(c)(9) 
are satisfied for purposes of evaluating the redesignation request.

e. Subpart 4 and Control of PM2.5 Precursors

    The D.C. Circuit in NRDC v. EPA remanded to EPA the two rules at 
issue in the case with instructions to EPA to re-promulgate them 
consistent with the requirements of subpart 4. EPA in this section 
addresses the Court's opinion with respect to PM2.5 
precursors. While past implementation of subpart 4 for PM10 
has allowed for control of PM10 precursors such as 
NOX from major stationary, mobile, and area sources in order 
to attain the standard as expeditiously as practicable, CAA section 
189(e) specifically provides that control requirements for major 
stationary sources of direct PM10 shall also apply to 
PM10 precursors from those sources, except where EPA 
determines that major stationary sources of such precursors ``do not 
contribute significantly to PM10 levels which exceed the 
standard in the area.''
    EPA's 1997 PM2.5 implementation rule, remanded by the DC 
Circuit, contained rebuttable presumptions concerning certain 
PM2.5 precursors applicable to attainment plans and control 
measures related to those plans. Specifically, in 40 CFR 51.1002, EPA 
provided, among other things, that a state was ``not required to 
address VOC [and ammonia] as . . . PM2.5 attainment plan 
precursor[s] and to evaluate sources of VOC [and ammonia] emissions in 
the State for control measures.'' EPA intended these to be rebuttable 
presumptions. EPA established these presumptions at the time because of 
uncertainties regarding the emission inventories for these pollutants 
and the effectiveness of specific control measures in various regions 
of the country in reducing PM2.5 concentrations. EPA also 
left open the possibility for such regulation of VOC and ammonia in 
specific areas where that was necessary.
    The Court in its January 4, 2013, decision made reference to both 
section 189(e) and 40 CFR 51.1002, and stated that, ``In light of our 
disposition, we need not address the petitioners' challenge to the 
presumptions in [40 CFR 51.1002] that volatile organic compounds and 
ammonia are not PM2.5 precursors, as subpart 4 expressly 
governs precursor presumptions.'' NRDC v. EPA, at 27, n.10.
    Elsewhere in the Court's opinion, however, the Court observed:

    Ammonia is a precursor to fine particulate matter, making it a 
precursor to both PM2.5 and PM10. For a 
PM10 nonattainment area governed by subpart 4, a 
precursor is presumptively regulated. See 42 U.S.C. Sec.  7513a(e) 
[section 189(e)].

Id. at 21, n.7.
    For a number of reasons, EPA believes that its proposed 
redesignation of the Rome Area is consistent with the Court's decision 
on this aspect of subpart 4. First, while the Court, citing section 
189(e), stated that ``for a PM10 area governed by subpart 4, 
a precursor is `presumptively regulated,' '' the Court expressly 
declined to decide the specific challenge to EPA's 1997 
PM2.5 implementation rule provisions regarding ammonia and 
VOC as precursors. The Court had no occasion to reach whether and how 
it was substantively necessary to regulate any specific precursor in a 
particular PM2.5 nonattainment area, and did not address 
what might be necessary for purposes of acting upon a redesignation 
request.
    However, even if EPA takes the view that the requirements of 
subpart 4 were deemed applicable at the time the state submitted the 
redesignation request, and disregards the implementation rule's 
rebuttable presumptions regarding ammonia and VOC as PM2.5 
precursors, the regulatory consequence would be to consider the need 
for regulation of all precursors from any sources in the area to 
demonstrate attainment and to apply the section 189(e) provisions to 
major stationary sources of precursors. In the case of the Rome Area 
EPA, believes that doing so is consistent with proposing redesignation 
of the area for the 1997 PM2.5 standard. The Rome Area has 
attained the standard without any specific additional controls of VOC 
and ammonia emissions from any sources in the area.
    Precursors in subpart 4 are specifically regulated under the 
provisions of section 189(e), which requires, with important 
exceptions, control requirements for major stationary sources of 
PM10 precursors.\12\ Under subpart 1 and EPA's prior 
implementation rule, all major stationary sources of PM2.5 
precursors were subject to regulation, with the exception of ammonia 
and VOC. Thus we must address here whether additional controls of 
ammonia and VOC from major stationary sources are required under 
section 189(e) of subpart 4 in order to redesignate the area for the 
1997 PM2.5 standard. As explained below, we do not believe 
that any additional controls of ammonia and VOC are required in the 
context of this redesignation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Under either subpart 1 or subpart 4, for purposes of 
demonstrating attainment as expeditiously as practicable, a state is 
required to evaluate all economically and technologically feasible 
control measures for direct PM emissions and precursor emissions, 
and adopt those measures that are deemed reasonably available.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the General Preamble, EPA discusses its approach to implementing 
section 189(e). See 57 FR 13538-13542. With regard to precursor 
regulation under section 189(e), the General Preamble explicitly stated 
that control of VOCs under other Act requirements may suffice to 
relieve a state from the need to adopt precursor controls under section 
189(e). 57 FR 13542. EPA in this proposal proposes to determine that 
the SIP has met the provisions of section 189(e) with respect to 
ammonia and VOCs as precursors. This proposed determination is based on 
our findings that: (1) The Rome Area contains no major stationary 
sources of ammonia, and (2) existing major stationary sources of VOC 
are adequately controlled under other provisions of the CAA regulating 
the ozone NAAQS.\13\ In the alternative, EPA proposes to determine 
that, under the express exception provisions of section 189(e), and in 
the context of the redesignation of the area, which is attaining the 
1997 annual PM2.5 standard, at present ammonia and VOC 
precursors from major stationary sources do not contribute 
significantly to levels exceeding the 1997 PM2.5 standard in 
the Rome Area. See 57 FR 13539-42.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The Rome area has reduced VOC emissions through the 
implementation of various control programs including VOC Reasonably 
Available Control Technology regulations and various on-road and 
non-road motor vehicle control programs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA notes that its 1997 PM2.5 implementation rule 
provisions in 40 CFR 51.1002 were not directed at evaluation of 
PM2.5 precursors in the context of redesignation, but at SIP 
plans and control measures required to bring a nonattainment area into 
attainment of the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. By contrast, 
redesignation to attainment primarily requires the area to have

[[Page 3771]]

already attained due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions, 
and to demonstrate that controls in place can continue to maintain the 
standard. Thus, even if we regard the Court's January 4, 2013, decision 
as calling for ``presumptive regulation'' of ammonia and VOC for 
PM2.5 under the attainment planning provisions of subpart 4, 
those provisions in and of themselves do not require additional 
controls of these precursors for an area that already qualifies for 
redesignation. Nor does EPA believe that requiring the State to address 
precursors differently than they have already would result in a 
substantively different outcome.
    Although, as EPA has emphasized, its consideration here of 
precursor requirements under subpart 4 is in the context of a 
redesignation to attainment, EPA's existing interpretation of subpart 4 
requirements with respect to precursors in attainment plans for 
PM10 contemplates that states may develop attainment plans 
that regulate only those precursors that are necessary for purposes of 
attainment in the area in question, i.e., states may determine that 
only certain precursors need be regulated for attainment and control 
purposes.\14\ Courts have upheld this approach to the requirements of 
subpart 4 for PM10.\15\ EPA believes that application of 
this approach to PM2.5 precursors under subpart 4 is 
reasonable. Because the Rome Area has already attained the 1997 
PM2.5 NAAQS with its current approach to regulation of 
PM2.5 precursors, EPA believes that it is reasonable to 
conclude in the context of this redesignation that there is no need to 
revisit the attainment control strategy with respect to the treatment 
of precursors. Even if the court's decision is construed to impose an 
obligation, in evaluating this redesignation request, to consider 
additional precursors under subpart 4, it would not affect EPA's 
approval here of Georgia's request for redesignation of the Rome Area. 
In the context of a redesignation, the area has shown that it has 
attained the standard. Moreover, the state has shown and EPA has 
proposed to determine that attainment in this area is due to permanent 
and enforceable emissions reductions on all precursors necessary to 
provide for continued attainment. It follows logically that no further 
control of additional precursors is necessary. Accordingly, EPA does 
not view the January 4, 2013, decision of the court as precluding 
redesignation of the Rome Area to attainment for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS at this time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ See, e.g., ``Approval and Promulgation of Implementation 
Plans for California--San Joaquin Valley PM-10 Nonattainment Area; 
Serious Area Plan for Nonattainment of the 24-Hour and Annual PM-10 
Standards,'' 69 FR 30006 (May 26, 2004) (approving a PM10 
attainment plan that impose controls on direct PM10 and 
NOX emissions and did not impose controls on 
SO2, VOC, or ammonia emissions).
    \15\ See, e.g., Assoc. of Irritated Residents v. EPA et al., 423 
F.3d 989 (9th Cir. 2005).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In sum, even if Georgia were required to address precursors for the 
Rome Area under subpart 4 rather than under subpart 1, EPA would still 
conclude that the area had met all applicable requirements for purposes 
of redesignation in accordance with section 107(d)(3(E)(ii) and (v).

f. Maintenance Plan and Evaluation of Precursors

    With regard to the redesignation of the Rome Area, in evaluating 
the effect of the court's remand of EPA's implementation rule, which 
included presumptions against consideration of VOC and ammonia as 
PM2.5 precursors, EPA in this proposal is also considering 
the impact of the decision on the maintenance plan required under 
sections 175A and 107(d)(3)(E)(iv). To begin with, EPA notes that the 
Area has attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 standard and that 
the State has shown that attainment of that standard is due to 
permanent and enforceable emission reductions.
    EPA proposes to determine that the State's maintenance plan shows 
continued maintenance of the standard by tracking the levels of the 
precursors whose control brought about attainment of the 1997 
PM2.5 standard in the Rome Area. EPA therefore believes that 
the only additional consideration related to the maintenance plan 
requirements that results from the Court's January 4, 2013, decision is 
that of assessing the potential role of VOC and ammonia in 
demonstrating continued maintenance in this area. As explained below, 
based upon documentation provided by Georgia and supporting 
information, EPA believes that the maintenance plan for the Rome Area 
need not include any additional emission reductions of VOC or ammonia 
in order to provide for continued maintenance of the standard.
    First, as noted above in EPA's discussion of section 189(e), VOC 
emission levels in this Area have historically been well-controlled 
under SIP requirements related to ozone and other pollutants. Second, 
total ammonia emissions throughout the Rome area are very low, 
estimated to be less than 1,000 tons per year. See Table 7, below. This 
amount of ammonia emissions appears especially small in comparison to 
the total amounts of SO2, NOX, and even direct 
PM2.5 emissions from sources in the Area. Third, as 
described below, available information shows that no precursor, 
including VOC and ammonia, is expected to increase over the maintenance 
period so as to interfere with or undermine the State's maintenance 
demonstration.
    Georgia's maintenance plan shows that emissions of SO2 
and NOX are projected to decrease over the maintenance 
period in the Rome Area by 18,082 tpy and 5,139 tpy, respectively, 
while direct PM2.5 emissions are projected to increase by 
152 tpy. See Table 6, above. In addition, emissions inventories used in 
the regulatory impact analysis (RIA) for the 2012 PM2.5 
NAAQS show that VOC emissions are projected to decrease by 1,603 tpy 
and that ammonia emissions are projected to increase by 85 tpy between 
2007 and 2020. Although ammonia emissions are projected to increase 
slightly between 2007 and 2020, the large decrease in emissions of 
other precursors in comparison will keep the Area well below the 
standard. See Table 7, below. While the RIA emissions inventories are 
only projected out to 2020, there is no reason to believe that this 
overall downward trend would not continue through 2023. Given that the 
Rome Area is already attaining the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS 
even with the current level of emissions from sources in the area, the 
overall trend of emissions inventories would be consistent with 
continued attainment. Indeed, projected emissions reductions for the 
precursors that the State is addressing for purposes of the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS indicate that the area should continue to attain 
the NAAQS following the precursor control strategy that the State has 
already elected to pursue. Even if VOC and ammonia emissions were to 
increase unexpectedly between 2020 and 2023, the overall emission 
reductions projected in SO2 and NOX would be 
sufficient to offset any increases. For these reasons, EPA believes 
that local emissions of all of the potential PM2.5 
precursors will not increase to the extent that they will cause 
monitored PM2.5 levels to violate the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 standard during the maintenance period.
    In addition, available air quality data and modeling analyses show 
continued maintenance of the standard during the maintenance period. As 
noted in section V, above, the Rome Area recorded an annual average 
PM2.5 concentration of 10.6 [mu]g/m\3\ during 2012, the most 
recent year available with complete, quality-assured and certified 
ambient air monitoring data. This is well below the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS of 15 [micro]g/m\3\. Moreover, the modeling 
analysis

[[Page 3772]]

conducted for the RIA for the 2012 PM2.5 NAAQS indicates 
that the design value for this area is expected to continue to decline 
through 2020. In the RIA analysis, the 2020 modeled design value for 
the Rome Area is 9.5 [micro]g/m\3\. Given the significant decrease in 
overall precursor emissions projected through 2023, it is reasonable to 
conclude that monitored PM2.5 levels in this area will also 
continue to decrease through 2023.

                      Table 7--Comparison of 2007 and 2020 VOC and Ammonia Emission Totals by Source Sector (tpy) for the Area \16\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                VOC                                           Ammonia
                         Sector                          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               2007            2020         Net change         2007            2020         Net change
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonpoint................................................        1,607.57        1,643.06           35.49          734.23          837.46          103.23
Nonroad.................................................          772.31          430.25         -342.06            0.72            0.84            0.12
Onroad..................................................        1,971.44          672.57       -1,298.87           56.90           32.17          -24.73
Point...................................................        2,208.40        2,210.38            1.98           30.27           36.46            6.19
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................        6,559.72        4,956.26       -1,603.46          822.12          906.93           84.81
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thus, EPA believes that there is ample justification to conclude 
that the Rome Area should be redesignated, even taking into 
consideration the emissions of other precursors potentially relevant to 
PM2.5. After consideration of the DC Circuit's January 4, 
2013, decision, and for the reasons set forth in this notice, EPA 
continues to propose approval of the State's maintenance plan and its 
request to redesignate the Rome Area to attainment for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ These emissions estimates were taken from the emissions 
inventories developed for the RIA for the 2012 PM2.5 
NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VII. What is EPA's analysis of Georgia's proposed NOX and 
PM2.5 MVEBs for the Rome area?

    Under section 176(c) of the CAA, new transportation plans, 
programs, and projects, such as the construction of new highways, must 
``conform'' to (i.e., be consistent with) the part of the state's air 
quality plan that addresses pollution from cars and trucks. Conformity 
to the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause new air 
quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely 
attainment of the NAAQS or any interim milestones. If a transportation 
plan does not conform, most new projects that would expand the capacity 
of roadways cannot go forward. Regulations at 40 CFR part 93 set forth 
EPA policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating and assuring 
conformity of such transportation activities to a SIP. The regional 
emissions analysis is one, but not the only, requirement for 
implementing transportation conformity. Transportation conformity is a 
requirement for nonattainment and maintenance areas. Maintenance areas 
are areas that were previously nonattainment for a particular NAAQS but 
have since been redesignated to attainment with an approved maintenance 
plan for that NAAQS.
    Under the CAA, states are required to submit, at various times, 
control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans for nonattainment areas. 
These control strategy SIPs (including RFP and attainment 
demonstration) and maintenance plans create MVEB for criteria 
pollutants and/or their precursors to address pollution from cars and 
trucks. Per 40 CFR part 93, MVEBs must be established for the last year 
of the maintenance plan. A state may adopt MVEBs for other years as 
well. The MVEBs is the portion of the total allowable emissions in the 
maintenance demonstration that is allocated to highway and transit 
vehicle use and emissions. See 40 CFR 93.101. The MVEBs serves as a 
ceiling on emissions from an area's planned transportation system. The 
MVEBs concept is further explained in the preamble to the November 24, 
1993, Transportation Conformity Rule (58 FR 62188). The preamble also 
describes how to establish the MVEBs in the SIP and how to revise the 
MVEBs.
    After interagency consultation with the transportation partners for 
the Rome Area, Georgia has elected to develop MVEBs for NOx and 
PM2.5 for the entire nonattainment area. Georgia has 
developed these MVEBs, as required, for the last year of its 
maintenance plan, 2023. The MVEBs reflect the total on-road emissions 
for 2023, plus an allocation from the available NOx and 
PM2.5 safety margin. Under 40 CFR 93.101, the term ``safety 
margin'' is the difference between the attainment level (from all 
sources) and the projected level of emissions (from all sources) in the 
maintenance plan. The safety margin can be allocated to the 
transportation sector; however, the total emissions must remain below 
the attainment level. The NOx and PM2.5 MVEBs and allocation 
from the safety margin were developed in consultation with the 
transportation partners and were added to account for uncertainties in 
population growth, changes in model vehicle miles traveled, and new 
emission factor models. The NOx and PM2.5 MVEBs 
for the Rome Area are identified in Table 8, below.

                Table 8--Rome Area PM2.5 NOX MVEBs (tpy)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        PM2.5      NOX
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2023 Mobile Emissions................................     31.8     847
2023 Safety Margin Allocated.........................      6.2     147.4
  2023 Total Mobile Budget...........................     38.0     994.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In an effort to accommodate future variations in Travel Demand 
Models (TDM) and the vehicle miles traveled forecast when no change to 
the network is planned, GA EPD consulted with the interagency 
consultation group, including U.S. EPA Region 4, to determine a 
reasonable approach to address this variation. The projected 2023 on-
road motor vehicle emissions for direct PM2.5 and 
NOX are 31.8 and 847 tons, respectively. On-road emissions 
of SO2 are considered de-minimis (70 FR 24280, 24283, May 6, 
2005), therefore, no budget for SO2 is required.
    A safety margin is necessary to accommodate the variabilities, or 
worst-case scenarios that can occur due to future planning assumptions. 
The worst-case daily motor vehicle emissions projection for 
PM2.5 is 19.5 percent above the projected 2023 on-road 
emissions. In a worst-case scenario, the needed annual safety margin 
for the MVEB would be 6.2 tons resulting in an overall MVEB of 38 tons 
per year. The worst-case daily motor vehicle emissions projection for 
NOX is 17.4

[[Page 3773]]

percent above the projected 2023 on-road emissions. In a worst-case 
scenario, the needed annual safety margin for the MVEB would be 147.4 
tons resulting in an overall MVEB of 994.4 tpy.
    Through this rulemaking, EPA is proposing to approve the MVEBs for 
NOX and PM2.5 for 2023 for the Rome Area into the 
Georgia SIP because EPA has determined that the Area maintains the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS with the emissions at the levels of the 
budgets. Once the MVEBs for the Rome Area are approved or found 
adequate (whichever is completed first), they must be used for future 
conformity determinations. In addition, as discussed in Section V 
above, EPA is proposing that if this approval is finalized in 2014, the 
Area will continue to maintain the 1997 Annual PM2.5 NAAQS 
through at least 2024. After thorough review, EPA is proposing to 
approve the budgets because they are consistent with maintenance of the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS through 2023.

VIII. What is the status of EPA's adequacy determination for the 
proposed NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs for 2023 for the 
Rome area?

    When reviewing submitted ``control strategy'' SIPs or maintenance 
plans containing MVEB, EPA may affirmatively find the MVEB contained 
therein adequate for use in determining transportation conformity. Once 
EPA affirmatively finds that the submitted MVEBs are adequate for 
transportation conformity purposes, the MVEBs must be used by state and 
federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation 
projects conform to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the CAA.
    EPA's substantive criteria for determining adequacy of a MVEBs are 
set out in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). The process for determining adequacy 
consists of three basic steps: public notification of a SIP submission, 
a public comment period, and EPA's adequacy determination. This process 
for determining the adequacy of submitted MVEBs for transportation 
conformity purposes was initially outlined in EPA's May 14, 1999, 
guidance, ``Conformity Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, 
Conformity Court Decision.'' EPA adopted regulations to codify the 
adequacy process in the Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for 
the ``New 8-Hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards and Miscellaneous Revisions for Existing Areas; 
Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments--Response to Court Decision 
and Additional Rule Change,'' on July 1, 2004 (69 FR 40004). Additional 
information on the adequacy process for transportation conformity 
purposes is available in the proposed rule entitled ``Transportation 
Conformity Rule Amendments: Response to Court Decision and Additional 
Rule Changes'' 68 FR 38974, 38984 (June 30, 2003).
    As discussed earlier, Georgia's maintenance plan submission 
includes NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs for the Rome Area 
for 2023, the last year of the maintenance plan. EPA reviewed the 
NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs through the adequacy process, 
and the adequacy of the MVEBs was open for public comment on EPA's 
adequacy Web site on July 26, 2012, found at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm. The EPA public comment period on 
adequacy for the 2023 MVEBs for the Rome Area closed on August 27, 
2012. EPA did not receive any comments on the adequacy of the MVEBs, 
nor did EPA receive any requests for the SIP submittal.
    EPA intends to make its determination on the adequacy of the 2023 
MVEBs for the Rome Area for transportation conformity purposes in the 
near future by completing the adequacy process that was started on July 
26, 2012. After EPA finds the 2023 MVEBs adequate or takes final action 
to approve them into the Georgia's SIP, the new MVEBs for NOx and 
PM2.5 must be used for future transportation conformity 
determinations. For required regional emissions analysis years that 
involve 2023 or beyond, the applicable budgets will be the new 2023 
MVEBs established in the maintenance plan.

IX. Proposed Actions on the Redesignation Request and Maintenance Plan 
SIP Revisions Including Approval of the NOX and 
PM2.5 MVEBs for 2023 for the Rome Area

    On April 5, 2011, EPA determined that the Rome Area was attaining 
the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. See 76 FR 18650. EPA is now taking two 
separate but related actions regarding the Area's redesignation and 
maintenance of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS.
    First, EPA is proposing to determine, based on complete, quality-
assured and certified monitoring data for the 2007-2009 monitoring 
period, and after review of all available data in AQS, that the Rome 
Area continues to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is 
also proposing to determine that the Rome Area has met the criteria 
under CAA section 107(d)(3)(E) for redesignation from nonattainment to 
attainment for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. On this basis, 
EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's redesignation request for the 
Rome Area.
    Second, EPA is proposing to approve the maintenance plan for the 
Rome Area, including the PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for 
2023 submitted by Georgia into the State's SIP (under section 175A). 
The maintenance plan demonstrates that the Area will continue to 
maintain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, and the budgets meet 
all of the adequacy criteria contained in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4) and (5). 
Further, as part of today's action, EPA is describing the status of its 
adequacy determination for transportation conformity purposes for the 
PM2.5 and NOX MVEBs for 2023 under 40 CFR 
93.118(f)(1). Within 24 months from the effective date of EPA's 
adequacy determination for the MVEBs or the effective date for the 
final rule approving the MVEBs into the Georgia's SIP, whichever is 
earlier, the transportation partners will need to demonstrate 
conformity to the new NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs 
pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e).
    If finalized, approval of the redesignation request would change 
the official designation of Rome Area for the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS, found at 40 CFR part 81, from nonattainment to 
attainment.

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

    EPA's proposed actions establish the basis upon which EPA may take 
final action on the issues being proposed for approval today. Approval 
of Georgia's redesignation request would change the legal designation 
of the Rome Area for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS, found at 
40 CFR part 81, from nonattainment to attainment. Approval of GA EPD's 
request would also incorporate a plan for maintaining the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS in the Rome Area through 2023 into the Georgia 
SIP. This maintenance plan includes contingency measures to remedy any 
future violations of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and 
procedures for evaluation of potential violations. The maintenance plan 
also includes NOX and PM2.5 MVEBs for the Rome 
Area. Additionally, EPA is notifying the public of the status of its 
adequacy determination for the NOX and PM2.5 
pursuant to 40 CFR 93.118(f)(1).

XI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, redesignation of an area to attainment and the 
accompanying approval of a maintenance plan under section 107(d)(3)(E) 
are actions that affect the status of a geographical area and do not

[[Page 3774]]

impose any additional regulatory requirements on sources beyond those 
imposed by state law. A redesignation to attainment does not in and of 
itself create any new requirements, but rather results in the 
applicability of requirements contained in the CAA for areas that have 
been redesignated to attainment. Moreover, the Administrator is 
required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions 
of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 
CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to 
approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. 
Accordingly, these proposed actions merely approve state law as meeting 
federal requirements and do not impose additional requirements beyond 
those imposed by state law. For that reason, these proposed actions:
     Are not ``significant regulatory action[s]'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     do not impose an information collection burden under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
     are certified as not having a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
     do not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);
     do not have Federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
     are not economically significant regulatory actions based 
on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     are not significant regulatory actions subject to 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
     are not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the 
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent 
with the CAA; and
     do not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to 
address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental 
effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under 
Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, this proposed 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 
Georgia, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs 
on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by 
reference, Intergovernmental relations, Particulate matter, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic 
compounds.

40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control.

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

    Dated: December 19, 2013.
Beverly H. Banister,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2014-01369 Filed 1-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P