[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 19, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16825-16826]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-06196]



40 CFR Part 49

[EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0009; FRL-9791-8]

Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Navajo Nation; 
Regional Haze Requirements for Navajo Generating Station; Extension of 
Comment Period

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period.


SUMMARY: On February 5, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 
proposed a source-specific federal implementation plan (FIP) requiring 
the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on the Navajo Nation, to 
reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOX) under the Best 
Available Retrofit Technology (BART) provision of the Clean Air Act 
(CAA or Act) in order to reduce visibility impairment resulting from 
NGS at 11 National Parks and Wilderness Areas. EPA provided a 90-day 
public comment period for the proposed rule that is scheduled to close 
on May 6, 2013. The Navajo Nation and other stakeholders have submitted 
requests to extend the comment period an additional 90 days to allow 
time for interested parties to explore alternatives to BART that 
provide additional flexibility and also ensure greater reasonable 
progress than would be achieved under BART. In today's action, EPA is 
extending the comment period an additional 90 days.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rulemaking published on February 5, 
2013 (78 FR 8274) must be submitted no later than August 5, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-
2013-0009, by one of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line 
    Email: [email protected].
    Mail or deliver: Anita Lee (Air-2), U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.
    Instructions: All comments 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 Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you 
consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as 
such and should not be submitted through www.regulations.gov or email. 
www.regulations.gov is an ``anonymous access'' system, and EPA will not 
know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the 
body of your comment. If you send an email directly to EPA, your email 
address will be automatically captured and included as part of the 
public comment. 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.
    Hearings: EPA intends to hold public hearings, at least 30 days 
prior to the close of the comment period, to accept oral and written 
comments on the proposed rulemaking. EPA will provide notice and 
additional details related to the hearings in the Federal Register, on 
our Web site, and in the docket for this proposed rulemaking.
    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available 
electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 9, 
75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While documents in the 
docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly 
available only at EPA Region 9 (e.g., maps, voluminous reports, 
copyrighted material), and some may not be publicly available in either 
location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please 
schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anita Lee, EPA Region 9, (415) 972-
3958, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, ``we'', ``us'', 
and ``our'' refer to EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Today's Action

I. Background

    NGS is a coal-fired power plant located on the Navajo Nation Indian 
Reservation, just east of Page, Arizona, approximately 135 miles north 
of Flagstaff, Arizona. Emissions of NOX from NGS affect 
visibility at 11 National Parks and Wilderness Areas that are

[[Page 16826]]

designated as Class I federal areas, mandated by Congress to receive 
heightened protection. NGS is subject to the BART requirement of the 
CAA and the Regional Haze Rule based on its age and its effects on 
visibility in Class I areas.\1\

    \1\ Please refer to 78 FR 8274 (February 5, 2013) for additional 
background information related to NGS, regional haze and the 
protection of visibility at mandatory Class I federal areas, and the 
statutory and regulatory framework for addressing visibility 
impairment from sources located in Indian country.

    On February 5, 2013, EPA proposed a BART determination to require 
NGS to achieve a nearly 80 percent reduction of its current overall 
NOX emission rate. EPA also proposed an alternative to BART 
that would provide flexibility to NGS in the schedule for the 
installation of new post-combustion control equipment. EPA's proposed 
alternative to BART credits NGS for its early and voluntary 
installation of new combustion controls to reduce NOX 
emissions beginning in 2009 and therefore achieves greater reasonable 
progress than BART.
    In recognition that there may be other approaches that could result 
in equivalent or better visibility benefits than BART, as well as the 
singular importance of NGS to the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, and other 
numerous tribes located in Arizona, EPA also outlined a framework for 
evaluating other alternatives to provide greater flexibility than EPA's 
proposed alternative to BART. EPA requested comment on Alternatives 2 
and 3 that provide until 2025 or 2026 for compliance but would require 
the owners of NGS to implement additional emission reductions in order 
to assure greater reasonable progress than would otherwise be achieved 
under BART.
    EPA encouraged a robust public discussion of our proposed BART 
determination and alternative, as well as Alternatives 2 and 3, and 
recognized the potential need for a supplemental proposal if 
Alternatives 2 or 3, or other approaches developed by other parties, 
are identified as meeting the needs of stakeholders and meeting the 
requirements of the CAA.
    On February 15, 2013, Salt River Project (SRP), co-owner and 
operator of NGS, requested a 90-day extension of the public comment 
period. SRP stated that identifying and analyzing alternatives and 
discussing options with interested parties would require a significant 
amount of time. On February 21, 2013, the Central Arizona Water 
Conservation District (CAWCD) submitted a similar request for a 90-day 
extension of the comment period.\2\ On March 1, 2013, the Navajo Nation 
also requested a 90-day extension of the comment period in order to 
allow the Navajo Nation the time and opportunity to participate with 
NGS owners and other stakeholders in examining the feasibility of 
additional alternatives, including Alternatives 2 and 3.

    \2\ The CAWCD manages the Central Arizona Project, a water 
delivery system that relies on electricity from NGS to pump surface 
water from the Colorado River for use by numerous tribes in Arizona, 
as well as agricultural, municipal, and industrial water users. 
Please refer to 78 FR 8274 (February 5, 2013) for additional 
information about CAWCD and its relationship to NGS and tribes 
located in Arizona.

II. Today's Action

    EPA recognizes that the stakeholder process, to develop viable 
alternatives to BART that provide additional flexibility to the owners 
of NGS while achieving more emission reductions to assure greater 
reasonable progress than BART, will require a significant amount of 
time. EPA also recognizes the critical importance of active 
participation by the Navajo Nation, the Hopi Tribe, and other affected 
tribes located in Arizona in the development of alternatives to BART. 
Therefore, EPA is extending the comment period by an additional 90 

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 49

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Indians, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: March 8, 2013.
Jared Blumenfeld,
Regional Administrator, Region 9.
[FR Doc. 2013-06196 Filed 3-18-13; 8:45 am]