[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 2 (Thursday, January 3, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 277-278]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31091]



40 CFR Parts 9, 63, 80, 85, 122, 123, and 412

[EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0813, FRL-9764-8]

Section 610 Review of NPDES Permit Regulation and Effluent 
Limitations Guidelines Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding 
Operations (CAFOs); Extension of Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Extension of public comment period.


SUMMARY: On October 31, 2012 the EPA published a request for comments 
on a Regulatory Flexibility Act section 610 review titled, Section 610 
Review of NPDES Permit Regulation and Effluent Limitations Guidelines 
Standards for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). As 
initially published in the Federal Register, written comments were to 
be submitted to the EPA on or before December 31, 2012 (a 60-day public 
comment period). Since publication, the EPA has received a request for 
additional time to submit comments. Therefore, the EPA is extending the 
public comment period for 60 days until March 1, 2013.

DATES: The public comment period for the review published October 31, 
2012 (77 FR 65840) is being extended for 60 days to March 1, 2013 in 
order to provide the public additional time to submit comments and 
supporting information.

    Comments: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OW-2012-0813, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: rfa-sbrefa@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
     Fax: (202) 566-9744.
     Mail: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mailcode: 28221T, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2012-0813, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 

[[Page 278]]

Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-
HQ-OW-2012-0813. Such deliveries are accepted only during the Docket 
Center'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-OW-2012-
0813. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and could 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 information that you consider to 
be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means that 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 because of technical difficulties and 
cannot contact you for clarification, the EPA might 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. For additional instructions on submitting comments, go to 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Water Docket, EPA/DC, EPA 
West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004. The 
Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding federal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water 
Docket is (202) 566-2426.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information contact, 
Hema Subramanian, Office of Wastewater Management (4203M), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-5041; fax number: 
(202) 564-6384; email address: subramanian.hema@epa.gov.


I. General Information

    Section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that an 
agency review, within 10 years of promulgation, each rule that has or 
will have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities (SISNOSE). The EPA undertakes section 610 reviews to 
decide whether the agency should continue a rule unchanged, amend it, 
or withdraw it. We encourage small entities to provide comments on the 
need to change these rules, and in particular, how the rules could be 
made clearer, more effective, or if there is need to remove conflicting 
or overlapping requirements with other Federal or State regulations.
    The EPA promulgated revised regulations for CAFOs on February 12, 
2003 (68 FR 7175). The ``2003 CAFO Rule'' expanded the number of 
operations covered by the CAFO regulations and included requirements to 
address the land application of manure from CAFOs. The 2003 CAFO Rule 
required all CAFOs to seek NPDES permit coverage. The EPA developed a 
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) for the 2003 CAFO Rule. In 
the 2003 CAFO Rule, the EPA took several steps to minimize its impacts 
on small businesses, including regulatory revisions designed to focus 
on the largest producers, eliminating the ``mixed'' animal calculation 
for operations with more than a single animal type for determining 
which AFOs are CAFOs, raising the duck threshold for dry manure 
handling duck operations, and adopting a dry-litter chicken threshold 
higher than proposed.
    Subsequently, a series of court decisions based on legal challenges 
to the rulemaking have limited the requirement for NPDES permit 
coverage specifically to CAFOs that discharge. In response to these 
court decisions, the EPA made revisions to the CAFO regulations in 2008 
(73 FR 70418) and 2012 (77 FR 44494). In promulgating the 2008 
regulatory revision, the EPA certified that the 2008 rule would not 
have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities. In promulgating the 2012 regulatory revision, the 2012 
rule was not subject to the RFA because the RFA applies only to rules 
subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the 
Administrative Procedure Act (APA) or any other statute, and the 2012 
rule was not subject to notice and comment requirements. Both rules 
reduced the potential impact of the EPA's CAFO regulations on small 
entities by reducing the universe of CAFOs that must apply for NPDES 
permits. Although the EPA has made these subsequent revisions to the 
CAFO regulations, the scope of this 610 review is limited to the 
impacts on small entities of the 2003 CAFO Rule as amended.

II. Extension of Comment Period for the Section 610 Review of the 2003 

    The EPA is extending the deadline for submitting comments on the 
section 610 review of the CAFO Rule to March 1, 2013. The original 
deadline for comments, based on a 60-day comment period, was December 
31, 2012. The EPA's decision responds to a request to extend the 
comment deadline. The EPA believes that this 60-day extension will 
assist in providing an adequate amount of additional time for the 
public to review the action and to provide written comments.

    Dated: December 19, 2012.
Alexander Cristofaro,
Director, Office of Regulatory Policy and Management.
[FR Doc. 2012-31091 Filed 1-2-13; 8:45 am]