[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 61 (Monday, March 31, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 17966-17971]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06861]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 80

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0787; FRL-9908-12-OAR]


Approval of States' Requests To Relax the Federal Reid Vapor 
Pressure Volatility Standard in Florida, and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel 
Hill and Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point Areas in North Carolina

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve requests from Florida and North Carolina for the EPA to relax 
the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Standard applicable to gasoline 
introduced into commerce from June 1 to September 15 of each year in 
six counties in Florida, and in counties in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel 
Hill Area (also referred to as the ``Triangle Area'') and the 
Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point Area (also referred to as the 
``Triad Area'') in North Carolina. Specifically, the EPA is proposing 
to amend the regulations to change the RVP standard for six counties in 
Florida and for the counties in the Triangle and Triad Areas from 7.8 
pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi for gasoline in the 
aforementioned areas. The EPA has preliminarily determined that these 
changes to the federal RVP regulation are consistent with the 
applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before April 30, 2014. 
Request for a public hearing must be received by April 15, 2014. If the 
EPA receives a request for a public hearing, the Agency will publish 
information related to the timing and location of the hearing and the 
timing of a new deadline for public comments.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2013-0787, by one of the following methods:
    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    2. Email: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
    3. Fax: 202-566-9744.
    4. Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 2822T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include two 
copies.
    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
EPA Headquarters Library, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only 
accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special 
arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2013-0787. The 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

[[Page 17967]]

Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or email, 
information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means the 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 the 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, the 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 the 
EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot 
contact you for clarification, the Agency 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 the 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 through 
www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket, EPA/DC, EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air 
Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rudolph Kapichak, Office of 
Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 
Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: 734-214-4574; 
fax number 734-214-4052; email address: kapichak.rudolph@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Organization of this document. The following 
outline is provided to aid in locating information in this preamble.

Table of Contents

I. General Information
II. Does this action apply to me?
III. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?
IV. Details of the Proposal
V. Legal Authority
VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
VII. Legal Authority

I. General Information

    Throughout this document, ``the Agency'' is used to mean the EPA.
    In the ``Rules and Regulations'' section of this Federal Register, 
the EPA is making these revisions as a direct final rule without prior 
proposal, because the Agency views these revisions as noncontroversial 
and anticipates no adverse comment. The rationale for this rulemaking 
is described both in this proposal and in the direct final rule.
    The regulatory text for this proposed rule is included in the 
direct final rule and parties should review that rule for the 
regulatory text. If the EPA receives no adverse comment, the Agency 
will not take further action on this proposed rule. If the EPA receives 
adverse comment on the rule or any portion of the rule, the Agency will 
withdraw the direct final rule or the portion of the rule that received 
adverse comment. All public comments received will then be addressed in 
a subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. The EPA will not 
institute a second comment period on this rulemaking. Any parties 
interested in commenting must do so at this time.

II. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this rule are fuel producers and 
distributors who do business in Florida and in North Carolina. 
Regulated entities include:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            NAICS codes
       Examples of potentially  regulated entities              \a\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum refineries....................................          324110
Gasoline Marketers and Distributors.....................          424710
                                                                  424720
Gasoline Retail Stations................................          447110
Gasoline Transporters...................................          484220
                                                                  484230
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

    This table provides only a guide for readers regarding entities 
likely to be regulated by this action. You should carefully examine the 
regulations in 40 CFR 80.27 to determine whether your facility is 
impacted. If you have further questions, call the person listed in the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

III. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    A. Submitting CBI. Do not submit this information to the EPA 
through www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part or all of 
the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI information in a disk 
or CD ROM that you mail to the EPA, mark the outside of the disk or CD 
ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM 
the specific information that is claimed as CBI. In addition to one 
complete version of the comment that includes information claimed as 
CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information 
claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket. 
Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with 
procedures set forth in 40 CFR Part 2.
    B. Tips for Preparing Your Comments. When submitting comments, 
remember to:
     Identify the rulemaking by docket number and other 
identifying information (subject heading, Federal Register date and 
page number).
     Follow directions--The Agency may ask you to respond to 
specific questions or organize comments by referencing a Code of 
Federal Regulations (CFR) part or section number.
     Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives 
and substitute language for your requested changes.
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     If you estimate potential costs or burdens, explain how 
you arrived at your estimate in sufficient detail to allow for it to be 
reproduced.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible, avoiding the 
use of profanity or personal threats.
     Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period 
deadline identified.

IV. Details of the Proposal

A. Summary of the Proposal

    The EPA is proposing to approve a request from Florida to change 
the summertime RVP standard for Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, 
Palm Beach and Pinellas counties in Florida from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi by 
amending the EPA's

[[Page 17968]]

regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). Additionally, the EPA is proposing 
to approve a request from North Carolina to change the summertime RVP 
standard for the Triangle and Triad Areas from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi by 
amending the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). The Triangle Area 
is comprised of Durham and Wake Counties, and the Dutchville Township 
portion of Granville County. The Triad Area is comprised of the 
counties of Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford in their entirety, and the 
portion of Davie County bounded by the Yadkin River, Dutchmans Creek, 
North Carolina Highway 801, Fulton Creek and back to Yadkin River.
    In previous rulemakings, the EPA approved state implementation plan 
(SIP) revisions from Florida and North Carolina which provided 
technical analyses that demonstrated that removal of the Federal RVP 
requirements of 7.8 psi for gasoline sold between June 1 and September 
15 of each year in the six counties in Florida, and the Triangle and 
Triad Areas in North Carolina would not interfere with maintenance of 
the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) in these areas. For 
more information on Florida's SIP revision for the six Florida counties 
and the EPA's analysis of Florida's SIP revision refer to the January 
6, 2014, final rule at 79 FR 573; on North Carolina's SIP revision for 
the Triangle Area refer to the January 2, 2014, final rule at 79 FR 47; 
and on North Carolina's SIP revision for the Triad Area refer to the 
January 24, 2014, final rule at 79 FR 4082.
    As mentioned above, the EPA is proposing to approve requests from 
Florida and North Carolina to change the summertime RVP standard for 
six Florida counties, and for the Triangle and Triad Areas from 7.8 psi 
to 9.0 psi by amending the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). The 
preamble for this rulemaking is organized as follows. Section IV.B 
provides the history of federal gasoline volatility regulation. Section 
IV.C describes the policy regarding relaxation of volatility standards 
in ozone nonattainment areas that are redesignated as attainment areas. 
Section IV.D provides information specific to Florida's request for the 
six counties currently subject to the 7.8 psi summertime RVP 
requirements. Section IV.E provides information specific to North 
Carolina's requests for the counties in the Triangle and Triad Areas 
that are currently subject to the 7.8 psi summertime RVP requirements. 
Finally, Section V briefly discusses the associated direct final rule.

B. History of the Gasoline Volatility Requirement

    On August 19, 1987 (52 FR 31274), the EPA determined that gasoline 
nationwide was becoming increasingly volatile, causing an increase in 
evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. 
Evaporative emissions from gasoline, referred to as volatile organic 
compounds (VOC), are precursors to the formation of tropospheric ozone 
and contribute to the nation's ground-level ozone problem. Exposure to 
ground-level ozone can reduce lung function (thereby aggravating asthma 
or other respiratory conditions), increase susceptibility to 
respiratory infection, and may contribute to premature death in people 
with heart and lung disease.
    The most common measure of fuel volatility that is useful in 
evaluating gasoline evaporative emissions is RVP. Under section 211(c) 
of the CAA, the EPA promulgated regulations on March 22, 1989 (54 FR 
11868) that set maximum limits for the RVP of gasoline sold during the 
regulatory control periods that were established on a state-by-state 
basis in the final rule. The regulatory control periods addressed the 
portion of the year when peak ozone concentrations were expected. These 
regulations constituted Phase I of a two-phase nationwide program, 
which was designed to reduce the volatility of commercial gasoline 
during the high ozone season. On June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), the EPA 
promulgated more stringent volatility controls as Phase II of the 
volatility control program. These requirements established maximum RVP 
standards of 9.0 psi or 7.8 psi (depending on the state, the month, and 
the area's initial ozone attainment designation with respect to the 1-
hour ozone NAAQS).
    The 1990 CAA Amendments established a new section, 211(h), to 
address fuel volatility. Section 211(h) requires the EPA to promulgate 
regulations making it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, dispense, 
supply, offer for supply, transport, or introduce into commerce 
gasoline with an RVP level in excess of 9.0 psi during the high ozone 
season. Section 211(h) prohibits the EPA from establishing a volatility 
standard more stringent than 9.0 psi in an attainment area, except that 
the Agency may impose a lower (more stringent) standard in any former 
ozone nonattainment area redesignated to attainment.
    On December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64704), the EPA modified the Phase II 
volatility regulations to be consistent with section 211(h) of the CAA. 
The modified regulations prohibited the sale of gasoline with an RVP 
above 9.0 psi in all areas designated attainment for ozone, beginning 
in 1992. For areas designated as nonattainment, the regulations 
retained the original Phase II standards published on June 11, 1990 (55 
FR 23658), which included the 7.8 psi ozone season limitation for 
certain areas. As stated in the preamble to the Phase II volatility 
controls and reiterated in the proposed change to the volatility 
standards published in 1991, the EPA will rely on states to initiate 
changes to the volatility program. The EPA's policy for approving such 
changes is described in Section III of this notice.
    Florida and North Carolina have initiated these changes by 
requesting that the EPA relax the 7.8 psi RVP standard for counties 
that are in ozone maintenance areas. Accordingly, the States revised 
their original modeling and maintenance demonstrations for these areas 
to reflect continued attainment under the relaxed 9.0 psi RVP standard 
that the states have requested.

C. EPA's Policy Regarding Relaxation of Volatility Standards in Ozone 
Nonattainment Areas That Are Redesignated as Attainment Areas

    As stated in the preamble for the EPA's amended Phase II volatility 
standards (56 FR 64706), any change in the volatility standard for a 
nonattainment area that was subsequently redesignated as an attainment 
area must be accomplished through a separate rulemaking that revises 
the applicable standard for that area. Thus, for former 1-hour ozone 
nonattainment areas where the EPA mandated a Phase II volatility 
standard of 7.8 psi RVP in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, the 7.8 
psi RVP will remain in effect, even after such an area is redesignated 
to attainment, until a separate rulemaking is completed that revises 
the RVP standard in that area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.
    As explained in the December 12, 1991, rulemaking, the EPA believes 
that relaxation of an applicable RVP standard is best accomplished in 
conjunction with the redesignation process. In order for an ozone 
nonattainment area to be redesignated as an attainment area, section 
107(d)(3) of the Act requires the state to make a showing, pursuant to 
section 175A of the Act, that the area is capable of maintaining 
attainment for the ozone NAAQS for ten years. Depending on the area's 
circumstances, this maintenance plan will either demonstrate that the 
area is capable of maintaining

[[Page 17969]]

attainment for ten years without the more stringent volatility standard 
or that the more stringent volatility standard may be necessary for the 
area to maintain its attainment with the ozone NAAQS. Therefore, in the 
context of a request for redesignation, the EPA will not relax the 
volatility standard unless the state requests a relaxation and the 
maintenance plan demonstrates, to the satisfaction of the EPA, that the 
area will maintain attainment for ten years without the need for the 
more stringent volatility standard.

D. EPA's Analysis of Florida's Request To Relax the Federal RVP 
Requirements in the State

    On November 6, 1991, the EPA designated and classified the 
Southeast Florida area (i.e., Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties) as 
Moderate; the Jacksonville area (i.e., Duval County) as Transitional; 
and the Tampa area (i.e., Hillsborough and Pinellas counties) as 
Marginal nonattainment areas for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 56 FR 
56694 (November 6, 1991). Among the requirements applicable to 
nonattainment areas for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS was the requirement to 
meet certain RVP standards for gasoline sold commercially during the 
high ozone season. See 55 FR 23658 (June 11, 1990). Thus, the RVP 
requirements for gasoline sold in these three 1-hour ozone 
nonattainment areas was 7.8 psi from June 1 through September 15 of 
each year. Subsequently, each area was redesignated to attainment for 
the 1-hour ozone NAAQS.\1\ Florida's redesignation requests did not 
include a request for relaxation of the gasoline volatility standard 
and thus, the requirement to use gasoline with a 7.8 psi RVP during the 
high ozone season remained in effect.2 3
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 60 FR 41, (January 3, 1995); 60 FR 10326 (February 24, 
1995); and 60 FR 62748 (December 7, 1995), respectively).
    \2\ Effective on June 15, 2004, Broward, Dade, Duval, 
Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas Counties were designated 
unclassifiable/attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 69 FR 
23857.
    \3\ Effective on July 20, 2012, the same counties were 
designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On August 15, 2013, the State of Florida, through the Florida 
Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), submitted a request for 
the EPA to relax the Federal RVP requirement of 7.8 psi in Broward, 
Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas Counties in Florida. 
The State also submitted a technical analysis which demonstrated that 
the less-stringent RVP in these counties would not interfere with 
continued maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS or any other 
applicable standard.\4\ Specifically, the State updated the 10-year 
maintenance plans that were submitted for the three 1-hour ozone 
maintenance areas under section 110(a)(1) of the CAA for the 1997 ozone 
NAAQS.\5\ As required, these section 110(a)(1) maintenance plans 
provided for continued attainment and maintenance of the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS for at least 10 years from the effective date of these 
areas' designation as attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. These 
plans also included components demonstrating how each area will 
continue to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and provided 
contingency measures should an area violate the NAAQS. Florida's 
previous ozone redesignation requests and maintenance plans for these 
areas did not remove the 7.8 psi RVP standard. See 75 FR 29671 (May 27, 
2010).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Maintenance areas for the 1-hour ozone standard designated 
attainment/unclassifiable for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard are 
required to submit a maintenance plan under section 110(a)(1) of the 
CAA demonstrating maintenance out to 10 years after designation. See 
69 FR 23996 (April 30, 2004).
    \5\ The EPA has determined that redesignated 1-hour ozone 
attainment areas that are designated 8-hour ozone attainment areas 
may rely on the section 110(a)(1) maintenance plan for purposes of 
requesting relaxation of the more stringent volatility standard. See 
73 FR 8202, 8205 (February 13, 2008).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned above, on August 15, 2013, FDEP submitted changes to 
the three section 110(a)(1) maintenance plans that collectively cover 
Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas Counties in 
Florida. Florida's August 15, 2013, SIP revision modifies the existing 
section 110(a)(1) maintenance plans to account for a less stringent 
applicable RVP gasoline requirement of 9.0 psi for these areas. 
Specifically, Florida's August 15, 2013, SIP revision included an 
evaluation of the impact that the removal of the 7.8 psi RVP 
requirement would have on maintenance of the 1997 and 2008 ozone 
standards, and on other applicable NAAQS. The EPA evaluated Florida's 
August 15, 2013, SIP revision in a previous rulemaking that was subject 
to public notice-and-comment and no comments were received. The EPA 
approved Florida's August 15, 2013, SIP revision on January 6, 2014. 
See 79 FR 573. In this action, based on the previous approval of 
Florida's August 15, 2013, SIP revision, and the fact that the areas 
are currently attaining all ozone NAAQS, the EPA is proposing to 
approve Florida's request to relax the high ozone season RVP standard 
for Broward, Dade, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Pinellas 
counties from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.

E. EPA's Analysis of North Carolina's Requests To Relax the Federal RVP 
Requirements in the Triangle and Triad Areas

    The following two sections provide the EPA's analysis of North 
Carolina's requests to relax the Federal RVP requirements in the 
Triangle and Triad Areas.
1. EPA's Analysis of North Carolina's Requests To Relax the Federal RVP 
Requirement in the Triangle Area
    On November 6, 1991, the EPA designated and classified Durham and 
Wake Counties, and the Dutchville Township portion of Granville County 
(also known as the Triangle Area at the time) as a Moderate 
nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 56 FR 56694 
(November 6, 1991). Among the requirements applicable to nonattainment 
areas for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS was the requirement to meet certain 
RVP standards for gasoline sold commercially during the high ozone 
season. See 55 FR 23658 (June 11, 1990). Thus, the RVP requirement for 
gasoline sold in the Triangle Area was 7.8 psi from June 1 through 
September 15 of each year. On April 18, 1994, the Triangle Area was 
redesignated to attainment for the 1-hour ozone standard. See 59 FR 
18300. North Carolina's redesignation request for the Triangle Area did 
not include a request for relaxation of the gasoline volatility 
standard.6 7 8
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Effective on June 15, 2004, the nonattainment area for the 
Triangle Area for the 1997 ozone NAAQS was expanded from Durham and 
Wake Counties, and the Dutchville Township portion of Granville 
County, to also include Franklin, Johnston, Orange, and Person 
Counties, and the remainder of Granville County and Baldwin, Center, 
New Hope and Williams Townships in Chatham County. See 69 FR 23857.
    \7\ On December 26, 2007 the Triangle Area was redesignated to 
attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 72 FR 72948.
    \8\ Effective on July 20, 2012, the same counties were 
designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On March 27, 2013, the State of North Carolina, through the North 
Carolina Department of Environment, and Natural Resources (NC DENR), 
submitted a request for the EPA to relax the Federal RVP requirement of 
7.8 psi in Wake and Durham Counties, and the Dutchville Township 
portion of Granville County that was originally included in the 1-hour 
ozone nonattainment area. The State also submitted a technical analysis 
which demonstrated that the less-stringent RVP in the aforementioned 
counties would not interfere with continued maintenance of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS or any other applicable

[[Page 17970]]

standard. Specifically, the State updated the 10-year maintenance plan 
that was submitted for the Triangle 1997 8-hour ozone maintenance area 
under section 175A of the CAA. As required, this section 175A 
maintenance plan provided for continued attainment and maintenance of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for at least 10 years from the EPA's 
redesignation of the area from nonattainment to attainment for the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS. This plan also included components demonstrating 
how the area will continue to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and 
provided contingency measures should the area violate the NAAQS. North 
Carolina's previous ozone redesignation requests and maintenance plans 
for this area did not remove the 7.8 psi RVP standard. See 72 FR 72948 
(December 26, 2007).
    As mentioned above, on March 27, 2013, NC DENR submitted changes to 
the 175A maintenance plan for the Triangle Area. North Carolina's March 
27, 2013, SIP revision modifies the existing section 175A maintenance 
plan to account for a less stringent applicable RVP gasoline 
requirement of 9.0 psi for the Triangle Area. Specifically, North 
Carolina's March 27, 2013, SIP revision included an evaluation of the 
impact that the removal of the 7.8 psi RVP requirement would have on 
maintenance of the 1997 and 2008 ozone standards, and on other 
applicable NAAQS. The EPA evaluated North Carolina's March 27, 2013, 
SIP revision in a previous rulemaking that was subject to public 
notice-and-comment, and no adverse comments and one supportive comment 
were received on that proposed action. The EPA approved North 
Carolina's March 27, 2013, SIP revision on January 2, 2014. See 79 FR 
47. In this action, based on the EPA's previous approval of North 
Carolina's March 27, 2013, SIP revision, and the fact that the Triangle 
Area is currently attaining all ozone NAAQS, the EPA is proposing to 
approve North Carolina's request to relax the high ozone season RVP 
standard for Wake and Durham Counties, and a portion of Granville 
County in North Carolina from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.
2. EPA's Analysis of North Carolina's Requests To Relax the Federal RVP 
Requirement in the Triad Area
    On November 6, 1991, the EPA designated Davidson, Forsyth and 
Guilford counties in their entirety and the portion of Davie County 
bounded by the Yadkin River, Dutchmans Creek, North Carolina Highway 
801, Fulton Creek and back to Yadkin River in the Triad Area as a 
Moderate nonattainment area for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. See 56 FR 56694 
(November 6, 1991). Among the requirements applicable to nonattainment 
areas for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS was the requirement to meet certain 
RVP standards for gasoline sold commercially during the ozone season. 
See 55 FR 23658 (June 11, 1990). Thus, the RVP requirement for gasoline 
sold in the Triad Area was 7.8 psi during the high ozone season. On 
April 18, 1994, the Triad Area was redesignated to attainment for the 
1-hour ozone standard. See 59 FR 18300. North Carolina's redesignation 
request for the Triad Area did not include a request for the relaxation 
of the gasoline volatility standard.9 10 11 12
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Effective June 15, 2004 for the 1997 ozone NAAQS, the Triad 
Area was designated as nonattainment with a deferred effective date 
as part of the Early Action Compact (EAC) program. As part of this 
action the Triad Area was expanded to include the entire county of 
Davie, and Alamance, Caswell, Randolph, and Rockingham Counties in 
their entirety. See 69 FR 23857.
    \10\ For more information on the EAC program, see, http://www.epa.gov/airquality/eac/fs20080331_eac.html.
    \11\ The Triad Area attained the 1997 ozone NAAQS and on 
February 2, 2008, the EPA finalized an action for 13 nonattainment 
areas with deferred effective dates, including the Triad Area, 
designating these areas attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
However, as a former 1-hour ozone maintenance area the Triad Area 
was required to submit a 10-year maintenance plan under section 
110(a)(1) of the CAA. See 73 FR 17897.
    \12\ Effective July 20, 2012, the Triad Area counties were 
designated as unclassifiable/attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On April 12, 2013, the State of North Carolina, through NC DENR, 
submitted a request for the EPA to relax the Federal RVP requirement of 
7.8 psi in Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford Counties and the relevant 
portion of Davie County. The State also submitted a technical analysis 
which demonstrated that the less-stringent RVP in the aforementioned 
counties would not interfere with continued maintenance of the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS or any other applicable standard. Specifically, the 
State updated the 10-year maintenance plan that was submitted for the 
Triad 1-hour ozone maintenance area under section 110(a)(1) of the CAA 
for the 1997 ozone NAAQS.\13\ As required, this section 110(a)(1) 
maintenance plan provided for continued attainment and maintenance of 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for at least 10 years from the effective 
date of the area's designation as attainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS. This plan also included components demonstrating how the area 
will continue to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and provided 
contingency measures should an area violate the NAAQS. North Carolina's 
previous ozone redesignation request and maintenance plan for this area 
did not remove the 7.8 psi RVP standard. See 77 FR 3611 (January 25, 
2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ The EPA has determined that redesignated 1-hour ozone 
attainment areas that are designated 8-hour ozone attainment areas 
may rely on the section 110(a)(1) maintenance plan for purposes of 
requesting relaxation of the more stringent volatility standard. 73 
FR 8202, 8205 (February 13, 2008).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As mentioned above, on April 12, 2013, NC DENR submitted changes to 
the section 110(a)(1) maintenance plan for the Triad Area. North 
Carolina's April 12, 2013, SIP revision modifies the existing section 
110(a)(1) maintenance plan to account for a less stringent applicable 
RVP gasoline requirement of 9.0 psi for the area. Specifically, North 
Carolina's April 12, 2013, SIP revision included an evaluation of the 
impact that the removal of the 7.8 psi RVP requirement would have on 
maintenance of the 1997 and 2008 ozone standards, and on other 
applicable NAAQS. The EPA evaluated North Carolina's April 12, 2013, 
SIP revision in a previous rulemaking that was subject to public 
notice-and-comment, and no adverse comments and one supportive comment 
were received on that proposed action. The EPA approved North 
Carolina's April 12, 2013, SIP revision on January 24, 2014. See 79 FR 
4082. In this action, based on the previous approval of North 
Carolina's April 12, 2013, SIP revision, and the fact that the Triad 
Area is currently attaining all ozone NAAQS, the EPA is proposing to 
approve North Carolina's request to relax the summertime RVP standard 
for Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford Counties and a portion of Davie 
County from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.

V. Direct Final Rule

    A direct final rule that would make the same changes as those 
proposed in this notice appears in the Rules and Regulations section of 
this Federal Register. The EPA is taking direct final action on these 
revisions, because the Agency views the revisions as noncontroversial 
and anticipates no adverse comment. The EPA has explained the reasons 
for the amendments in this proposal and in the direct final rule. If no 
adverse comments are received, no further action will be taken on the 
proposal, and the direct final rule will become effective as provided 
in that action.
    If the EPA receives adverse comments on the rule or any portion of 
the rule, the Agency will withdraw the direct final rule or the portion 
of the rule that received adverse comment. The EPA will publish a 
timely withdrawal in the

[[Page 17971]]

Federal Register indicating which provisions will become effective and 
which provisions are being withdrawn. All public comments received will 
then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this proposed 
rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on the 
subsequent final action. Any parties interested in commenting must do 
so at this time.
    The changes to the regulatory text proposed in this notice are 
identical to those for the direct final rule published in the Rules and 
Regulations section of this Federal Register. For further information, 
including the regulatory revisions, see the direct final rule published 
in a separate part of this Federal Register.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    For a complete discussion of all of the administrative requirements 
applicable to this action, see the direct final rule in the Rules and 
Regulations section of this Federal Register.

VII. Legal Authority

    Authority for this action is in sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the 
Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. 7545(h) and 7601(a).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, 
Air pollution control, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Incorporation by 
reference, Motor vehicle and motor vehicle engines, Motor vehicle 
pollution, Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 19, 2014.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-06861 Filed 3-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P