[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 126 (Friday, June 28, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 33676-33678]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-16156]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 52

[AK13-7101a; FRL-5523-7]


Clean Air Act Attainment Extension for the Municipality of 
Anchorage Area Carbon Monoxide Nonattainment Area: Alaska

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action grants a one (1) year attainment date extension 
for the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA), Alaska carbon monoxide (CO) 
nonattainment area. The MOA area failed to attain the National Ambient 
Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for CO by the December 31, 1995 deadline 
pursuant to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA). CO attainment is 
based on eight (8) consecutive quarters (two years) of clean air 
quality data. There were two (2) exceedances of the CO NAAQS recorded 
in the nonattainment area in 1994, and no exceedances in 1995. Due to 
no exceedances in 1995 and the State's compliance with all requirements 
and commitments pertaining to the MOA area in the Alaska State 
Implementation Plan (SIP), an extension to meet the standards by 
December 31, 1996 is granted. This action is based on 1994 and 1995 
monitored air quality data for the CO NAAQS.

DATES: This action is effective on August 27, 1996 unless adverse or 
critical comments are received by July 29, 1996. If the effective date 
is delayed, timely notice will be published in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to Tamara Langton, 
Environmental Protection Specialist, Office of Air Quality (OAQ-107), 
EPA, Seattle, Washington 98101.
    Copies of the State's request and other information supporting this 
action are available for inspection during normal business hours at the 
following locations: EPA, Office of Air Quality (OAQ-107), 1200 Sixth 
Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101; the Alaska Department of 
Environmental Conservation, 410 Willoughby, Suite 105, Juneau, Alaska, 
99801-1795.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tamara Langton, Environmental 
Protection Specialist, Office of Air Quality (OAQ-107), EPA, Seattle, 
Washington 98101, (206) 553-2709.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

A. CAAA Requirements and EPA Actions Concerning Designation and 
Classification

    The 1990 CAAA created a new classification structure for CO 
nonattainment areas which was based upon the severity of the 
nonattainment problem. For moderate CO nonattainment areas with a 
design value between 9.1-16.4 parts per million (ppm), the attainment 
date was to be as expeditious as practicable but no later than December 
31, 1995.
    The air quality planning requirements for moderate CO nonattainment 
areas are set out in sections 186-187 of the CAAA which pertain to the 
classification of CO nonattainment areas and submission of SIP 
requirements for these areas, respectively. The EPA issued a ``General 
Preamble'' which stated EPA's preliminary views concerning how EPA 
intended to review SIP's and SIP revisions submitted as required under 
Title I of the Act, [See generally 57 FR 13489 (April 16, 1992) and 57 
FR 18070 (April 28, 1992)]. States containing CO moderate nonattainment 
areas with design values of 9.1-16.4 ppm were required to submit SIP's 
for these areas on or before November 15, 1992 which would provide for 
attainment by December 31, 1995.

B. Attainment Determinations

    The EPA has the responsibility for determining whether a 
nonattainment area has attained the CO NAAQS by the applicable 
attainment date.\1\ The EPA has the responsibility of making attainment 
determinations for moderate CO nonattainment areas by no later than six 
(6) months after the December 31, 1995 attainment date for these areas.
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    \1\ See sections 179(c) and 186(b)(2) of the Act.
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    The EPA will be making attainment determinations for CO 
nonattainment areas based upon whether an area has 8 consecutive 
quarters (2 years) of clean air quality data. No special or additional 
SIP submittal is required from the State for this determination. 
Section 179(c)(1) of the Act provides that the attainment determination 
is to be based upon an area's ``air quality as of the attainment 
date.'' The EPA will make the determination of whether an area's air 
quality is meeting the CO NAAQS by the applicable attainment date based 
upon the most recent 2 years of data gathered from air quality 
monitoring sites which have been entered into the Aerometric 
Information Retrieval System (AIRS) data base.
    A CO nonattainment area's air quality status is determined in 
accordance with 40 CFR Part 50.8, and in accordance with EPA policy as 
stated in a memorandum from William G. Laxton, Director Technical 
Support Division, entitled ``Ozone and Carbon Monoxide Design Value 
Calculations'', June 18, 1990. CO design values are discussed in terms 
of the 8-hour CO NAAQS. The 1-hour CO design value should be computed 
in the same manner as the 8-hour NAAQS.
    The CO NAAQS requires that not more than 1, 8-hour average per year 
can exceed 9.0 ppm (9 greater than or equal to 9.5 ppm to adjust for 
rounding). CO attainment is evaluated by reviewing 8 quarters or a 
total of 2 consecutive and complete years of data. If an area has a 
design value greater than 9.0 ppm, this serves as an indication that a 
monitoring site in the area, where the second-highest (non-overlapping) 
8-hour average was measured, had CO concentrations measured at levels 
greater than 9.0 ppm in at least 1 of the 2 years. This indicates that 
there were at least 2 values above the standard (9.0 ppm) during 1 of 
the 2 years (1994) being reviewed at a particular monitoring site, thus 
the standard was not met.

C. Application for a 1-year Extension of the Attainment Date

    If the State does not have the 2 consecutive clean years of data to 
show attainment of the NAAQS, a State may apply for an extension of the 
attainment date. Pursuant to section 186(a)(4) of the Act, a State may 
apply for and EPA may grant a 1-year extension of the attainment date 
if the State has: (1) complied with the requirements and commitments 
pertaining to the

[[Page 33677]]

applicable implementation plan for the area, and (2) the area has 
measured no more than 1 exceedance of CO NAAQS at any monitoring site 
in the nonattainment area in the year preceding the extension year. If 
the State does not have the requisite number of years of clean air 
quality data to show attainment and does not apply or does not qualify 
for an attainment date extension, the area will be reclassified as 
serious by operation of law.
    The authority delegated to the Administrator to extend attainment 
dates for moderate areas is discretionary. Section 186(a)(4) of the Act 
provides that the Administrator ``may'' extend the attainment date for 
areas that meet the minimum requirements specified above. The provision 
does not dictate or compel that EPA grant extensions to such areas. In 
exercising this discretionary authority for CO nonattainment areas, EPA 
will examine the air quality planning progress made in the moderate 
area. EPA will be disinclined to grant an attainment date extension 
unless a State has, in substantial part, addressed its moderate CO 
planning obligations for the area. In order to determine whether the 
State has substantially met these planning requirements the EPA will 
review the States application for the attainment date extension to 
determine whether the State has: (1) adopted and substantially 
implemented control measures to satisfy the requirement for the 
moderate CO nonattainment area; and (2) that reasonable further 
progress is being met for the area.
    If the State cannot make a sufficient demonstration that the area 
has complied with the extension criteria stated above, and EPA 
determines that the area has not timely demonstrated attainment of the 
CO NAAQS, the area will be reclassified as serious by operation of law 
pursuant to section 186(b)(2) of the Act. If an extension is granted, 
at the end of the extension year, EPA will again review the area's air 
quality data to determine whether the area has attained the CO NAAQS.

II. Summary of Today's Action

    EPA is, by today's action, granting the State of Alaska's request 
for a 1-year extension of the CO attainment date for the MOA area. The 
MOA area failed to meet the December 31, 1995 CO attainment date. This 
actions extends the attainment date from December 31, 1995, to December 
31, 1996.

A. Granting the CO Nonattainment Area Extension

    If a State containing a moderate CO nonattainment area does not 
have the 8 quarters (2 consecutive years) of clean air quality data to 
demonstrate that the area has attained the CO NAAQS, the State may 
apply for a 1-year extension of the attainment date. The EPA may extend 
the attainment date for 1 year only if the State submits an application 
for the affected nonattainment area satisfying all of the following 
requirements:
1. Air Quality Data
    Pursuant to section 186(a)(4)(B) of the CAAA, an area must have no 
more than 1 exceedance of the 8-hour CO NAAQS in the year proceeding 
the extension year at any 1 monitoring site in the nonattainment area.
    The MOA nonattainment area has four (4) CO Special Purpose 
Monitoring (SPM) sites: Benson/Spenard, Sand Lake, Garden and Seward/
Benson. Sampling at these sites is conducted every day. Data from these 
sites has been deemed valid by EPA and submitted by the State of Alaska 
for inclusion in the EPA's air quality data system, AIRS.
    A review of the data for calendar years 1994 through 1995 for the 
MOA CO nonattainment area shows 2 exceedances in 1994. These 
exceedances occurred on November 30 and December 7, 1994; both at the 
Seward/Benson SPM site. The 8-hour CO NAAQS average was 11.3 and 11.0 
ppm, respectively. There were no exceedances in 1995; therefore, this 
requirement has been met.
2. Compliance With Applicable SIP
    Pursuant to section 186(a)(4)(A) of the CAAA, a State must 
demonstrate that it has complied with all requirements and commitments 
pertaining to the ``affected nonattainment area'' in the applicable 
implementation plan. The State of Alaska is in compliance with this 
requirement.
    EPA has approved portions of the Alaska CO SIP (see 60 FR 17232 and 
60 FR 33727). The State of Alaska is currently amending the SIP 
regarding the biennial Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program 
mandated by the Alaska State legislature. Primary changes are 
modifications required to implement biennial I/M testing and modeling 
results which can demonstrate that the MOA can meet CAAA requirements.
3. Substantial Implementation of Control Measures
    The State of Alaska has developed and implemented substantial 
control measures for CO in the MOA nonattainment area. These control 
measures consist of the federal emission controls required for new 
vehicles, the ethanol-blended fuels program, the I/M program, and the 
rideshare program.
4. Emission Reduction Progress
    The historical trend in the MOA's air quality has been toward lower 
CO levels. CO concentrations have decreased from a second-high 8-hour 
average of 26.2 ppm and 40 violations in 1980, to a second-high 8-hour 
average of 8.4 ppm and zero violations in 1995. The continued 
improvement in CO concentrations in the MOA has been achieved mainly by 
emission reductions resulting from turnover of the vehicle fleet, 
required vehicle repairs and maintenance under the I/M program, and the 
mandatory wintertime use of ethanol blends. These control measures and 
emission reductions are permanent and enforceable.
    The continued implementation of the I/M and ethanol fuels program, 
combined with the Federal Motor Vehicle Control Program and the recent 
rideshare program is expected to result in further decreases in CO 
emissions and ambient concentrations in the MOA. Based on the above, 
EPA believes that reasonable further progress (RFP) toward attainment 
of the CO NAAQS has been demonstrated.
    In summary, for the reasons discussed above, EPA is granting the 
State's request for a 1-year extension of the attainment date for the 
MOA CO nonattainment area from December 31, 1995, to December 31, 1996.

III. Administrative Review

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 600 et seq., EPA 
must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis assessing the impact of 
any proposed or final rule on small entities. 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. 
Alternatively, EPA may certify that the rule will not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small 
entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, 
and government entities with jurisdiction over populations of less than 
50,000.
    Attainment date extensions under section 186, as with SIP approvals 
under section 110 and subchapter I, Part D of the CAA, do not create 
any new requirements. Therefore, because the granting of the MOA 1-year 
CO attainment date extension does not

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impose any new requirements, I certify that it does not have a 
significant impact on any small entities. Moreover, due to the nature 
of the federal-state relationship under the CAA, preparation of a 
regulatory flexibility analysis would constitute federal inquiry into 
the economic reasonableness of state action. The CAA forbids EPA to 
base its actions concerning SIPs on such grounds. Union Electric Co. v. 
E.P.A., 427 U.S. 246, 256-66 (S.Ct. 1976); 42 U.S.C. 7410(a)(2).
    Under Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(``Unfunded Mandates Act''), signed into law on March 22, 1995, EPA 
must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or 
final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated 
costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; or to 
the private sector, of $100 million or more. Under Section 205, EPA 
must select the most cost-effective and least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with 
statutory requirements. Section 203 requires EPA to establish a plan 
for informing and advising any small governments that may be 
significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.
    EPA has determined that an attainment date extension does not 
include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 
million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the 
aggregate, or to the private sector. A finding that an area should be 
granted a 1-year extension of the attainment date consists of factual 
determinations based on air quality considerations and the area's 
compliance with certain prior requirements, and imposes no new Federal 
requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or 
tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.
    The EPA has reviewed this request for a 1-year extension of the CO 
attainment date for the MOA nonattainment area for conformance with the 
1990 CAAA enacted on November 15, 1990. The EPA has determined that 
this action conforms with those requirements.
    Nothing in this action should be construed as permitting or 
allowing or establishing a precedent for any future request for 
revision to any SIP. Each request for revision to the SIP shall be 
considered separately in light of specific technical, economic and 
environmental factors and in relation to relevant statutory and 
regulatory requirements.
    This action has been classified as a Table 3 action for signature 
by the Regional Administrator under the procedures published in the 
Federal Register on January 19, 1989 (54 FR 2214-2225), as revised by a 
July 10, 1995 memorandum from Mary Nichols, Assistant Administrator for 
Air and Radiation. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has 
exempted this regulatory action from E.O. 12866 review.
    The EPA is publishing this action without prior proposal because 
the Agency views this as a noncontroversial amendment and anticipates 
no adverse comments. However, in a separate document in this Federal 
Register publication, the EPA is proposing to approve the SIP revision 
should adverse or critical comments be filed. This action will be 
effective August 27, 1996 unless, by July 29, 1996, adverse or critical 
comments are received.
    If the EPA receives such comments, this action will be withdrawn 
before the effective date by publishing a subsequent notice that will 
withdraw the final action. All public comments received will be 
addressed in a subsequent final rule based on this action serving as a 
proposed rule. The EPA will not institute a second comment period on 
this action. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should 
do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is 
advised that this action will be effective August 27, 1996.
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for 
judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by August 27, 1996. Filing a 
petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule 
does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial 
review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial 
review may be filed and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such 
rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings 
to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2), 42 U.S.C. 
7607(b)(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, 
Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: June 3, 1996.
Jane S. Moore,
Regional Administrator.

    Part 52, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is 
amended as follows:

PART 52--[AMENDED]

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

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

Subpart C--Alaska

    2. Section 52.82 is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 52.82  Extensions.

    The Administrator, by authority delegated under section 186(a)(4) 
of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990, hereby extends for one year 
(until December 31, 1996) the attainment date for the MOA, Alaska CO 
nonattainment area.

[FR Doc. 96-16156 Filed 6-27-96; 8:45 am]
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