[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 32 (Friday, February 15, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11124-11126]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-03593]



40 CFR Part 81

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0233; FRL-9781-3]

EPA Responses to State and Tribal 2010 Sulfur Dioxide Designation 
Recommendations: Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability and public comment period.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the EPA has posted its responses 
to certain state and tribal designation recommendations for the 2010 
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
(NAAQS) on its Internet Web site. The EPA invites the public to review 
and provide input on its responses during the comment period specified 
in the DATES section. The EPA sent its responses directly to the states 
and tribes on or about February 7, 2013. These responses focus on 
designating as ``nonattainment'' certain areas of the country where air 
monitoring data from 2009-2011 indicate violations of the 2010 
SO2 NAAQS. The EPA intends to make final the designation 
determinations for the areas of the country addressed by these 
responses in June 2013.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 18, 2013. Please 
refer to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION for additional information on the 
comment period.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2012-0233, by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions 
for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected]. Attention Docket ID No. 
     Fax: 202-566-9744. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
     Mail: Air Docket, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-
0233, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 6102T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, 1301 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Room 3334, Washington, DC. 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-2012-
0233. 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 information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to 
be confidential business information or otherwise protected through 
www.regulations.gov or email. 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

[[Page 11125]]

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 is unable to 
read your comment and cannot contact you for clarification due to 
technical difficulties, the EPA may not be able to consider your input. 
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 Section II of 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, 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 EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Avenue 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) 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general questions concerning this 
action, please contact Rhonda Wright, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality 
Planning and Standards, Air Quality Planning Division, C539-04, 
Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, telephone (919) 541-1087, email at 
[email protected]. For questions regarding areas in EPA Region 1, 
please contact Donald Dahl, U.S. EPA, telephone (617) 918-1657, email 
at [email protected]. For questions regarding areas in EPA Region 2, 
please contact Kenneth Fradkin, U.S. EPA, telephone (212) 637-3702, 
email at [email protected]. For questions regarding areas in EPA 
Region 3, please contact Irene Shandruk, U.S. EPA, telephone (215) 814-
2166, email at [email protected]. For questions regarding areas in 
EPA Region 4, please contact Lynorae Benjamin, U.S. EPA, telephone 
(404) 562-9040, email at [email protected]. For questions 
regarding areas in EPA Region 5, please contact John Summerhays, U.S. 
EPA, telephone (312) 886-6067, email at [email protected]. For 
questions regarding areas in EPA Region 6, please contact Dayana 
Medina, U.S. EPA, telephone (214) 665-7241, email at 
[email protected]. For questions regarding areas in EPA Region 7, 
please contact Larry Gonzalez, U.S. EPA, telephone (913) 551-7041, 
email at [email protected]. For questions regarding areas in EPA 
Region 8, please contact Crystal Ostigaard, U.S. EPA, telephone (303) 
312-6602, email at [email protected]. For questions regarding 
areas in EPA Region 9, please contact John Kelly, U.S. EPA, telephone 
(415) 947-4151, email at [email protected]. For questions regarding 
areas in EPA Region 10, please contact Steve Body, U.S. EPA, telephone 
(206) 553-0782, email at [email protected].


I. Background and Purpose

    On June 2, 2010, the EPA Administrator signed a notice of final 
rulemaking that revised the primary SO2 NAAQS (75 FR 35520, 
published on June 22, 2010) after review of the existing two primary 
SO2 standards promulgated on April 30, 1971 (36 FR 8187). 
The EPA established the revised primary SO2 NAAQS at 75 
parts per billion (ppb) which is attained when the 3-year average of 
the annual 99th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations does 
not exceed 75 ppb.
    The process for designating areas following promulgation of a new 
or revised NAAQS is contained in the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 107(d) 
(42 U.S.C. 7407). After promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, each 
governor or tribal leader has an opportunity to recommend air quality 
designations, including the appropriate boundaries for nonattainment 
areas, to the EPA. The EPA considers these recommendations as part of 
its duty to promulgate the formal area designations and boundaries for 
the new or revised NAAQS. By no later than 120 days prior to 
promulgating designations, the EPA is required to notify states and 
tribes of any intended modifications to an area designation or boundary 
recommendation that the EPA deems necessary.
    On or around February 7, 2013, the EPA notified states and tribes 
of its intended designation of certain specific areas as nonattainment 
for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. States and tribes now have an 
opportunity to demonstrate why they believe an intended modification by 
the EPA regarding those specified areas may be inappropriate. The EPA 
encouraged states and tribes to provide comments and additional 
information for consideration by the EPA in finalizing designations for 
these specified areas. The EPA plans to make final designation 
decisions for these areas for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS in June 
    The purpose of this notice is to solicit input from interested 
parties other than states and tribes on the EPA's recent responses 
regarding these areas to the state and tribal designation 
recommendations for the 2010 SO2 NAAQS. These responses, and 
their supporting technical analyses, can be found on the EPA's Internet 
Web site at http://www.epa.gov/so2designations and also in the public 
docket for SO2 designations at Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2012-0233. CAA section 107(d) provides a process for air quality 
designations that involves recommendations by states and tribes to the 
EPA and responses from the EPA to those parties, prior to the EPA 
promulgating final area designations and boundaries. The EPA is not 
required under CAA section 107(d) to seek public comment during the 
designation process, but is electing to do so for these areas under the 
2010 SO2 NAAQS in order to gather additional information for 
the EPA to consider before making final designations for the specific 
areas addressed in the EPA's recent responses to states and tribes. The 
EPA invites public input on its responses to states and tribes 
regarding these areas during the 30-day comment period provided in this 
notice. In order to receive full consideration, input from the public 
must be submitted by March 18, 2013. At this time, the EPA is not 
asking for public comments on other areas for which states and tribes 
have submitted designation recommendations, beyond those to which the 
EPA has provided the responses that are the subject of this proposed 
action. This notice and opportunity for public comment does not affect 
any rights or obligations of any state, tribe or the EPA which might 
otherwise exist pursuant to CAA section 107(d).
    Please refer to the ADDRESSES section above in this document for 
specific instructions on submitting comments and locating relevant 
public documents.
    In establishing nonattainment area boundaries, the EPA is required 
to identify the area that does not meet the 2010 SO2 NAAQS 
and any nearby area that is contributing to the area that does not meet 
that standard. We are particularly interested in receiving comments, 
supported by relevant

[[Page 11126]]

information, if you believe that a specific geographic area that the 
EPA is proposing to identify as a nonattainment area should not be 
categorized by the CAA section 107(d) criteria as nonattainment, or if 
you believe that a specific nearby area not proposed by the EPA to be 
identified as contributing to a nonattainment area should in fact be 
categorized as contributing to nonattainment using the CAA section 
107(d) criteria. Please be as specific as possible in supporting your 
     Describe any assumptions and provide any technical 
information and/or data that you used.
     Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns, and 
suggest alternatives.
     Explain your views as clearly as possible.
     Make sure to provide your input by the comment period 
deadline identified.
    At this point, the EPA is prepared to proceed with identifying as 
``nonattainment'' most areas in locations where available monitoring 
data from 2009-2011 indicate violations of the 1-hour SO2 
standard. The EPA intends to complete designations for these 
nonattainment areas in June 2013. The EPA is not yet prepared to 
respond to state and tribal area designation recommendations, or seek 
public input thereon, for other areas, and intends to address those 
areas in a subsequent round or multiple rounds of responses and 
designations. Additional information on the EPA's intended approach for 
addressing designations for all areas can be found on the EPA's 
SO2 implementation Web site at http://www.epa.gov//airquality/sulfurdioxide/implementation.html. Please be advised that, 
in this action, the EPA is not proposing as a regulatory action and is 
not soliciting public comments on the intended approach for these other 
areas, regarding either designations or implementation. The EPA expects 
its final designations regarding the specific areas addressed in this 
action to be limited to those areas and any areas that are found to be 
contributing to ambient air quality in those areas.
    To date, the EPA has identified 30 areas as not meeting the 2010 
SO2 NAAQS based on the most recent certified air quality 
monitoring data from 2009-2011, and is intending to designate most of 
these areas as nonattainment.

II. Instructions for Submitting Public Comments and Internet Web Site 
for Rulemaking Information

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

    1. 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 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. Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to 
the following address: Roberto Morales, U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality 
Planning and Standards, Mail Code C404-02, Research Triangle Park, NC 
27711, telephone (919) 541-0880, email at [email protected], 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0233.
    2. 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.
     Explain why you agree or disagree; suggest alternatives 
and substitute language for your requested changes.

B. Where can I find additional information for this rulemaking?

    The EPA has also established a Web site for this rulemaking at 
http://www.epa.gov/so2designations. The Web site includes the EPA's 
state and tribal designation recommendations, information supporting 
the EPA's preliminary designation decisions, as well as the rulemaking 
actions and other related information that the public may find useful.

    Dated: February 7, 2013.
Jennifer Noonan Edmonds,
Acting Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.
[FR Doc. 2013-03593 Filed 2-14-13; 8:45 am]