[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 131 (Tuesday, July 9, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-16491]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 49
Approval of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Navajo Nation;
Regional Haze Requirements for Navajo Generating Station; Extension of
Public Comment Period
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of extended comment period.
SUMMARY: On February 5, 2013, EPA proposed a Best Available Retrofit
Technology (BART) determination for oxides of nitrogen (NOX)
for the Navajo Generating Station (NGS), located on the Navajo Nation,
and provided a 3-month period for public comments, to close on May 6,
2013. The Navajo Nation, Gila River Indian Community, and other
affected stakeholders requested a 90-day extension of the comment
period to allow time for stakeholders to develop an alternative to
EPA's proposed BART determination that achieves greater reasonable
progress. On March 19, 2013, EPA extended the close of the public
comment period to August 5, 2013. On June 10, 2013, EPA signed a
notice, published in the Federal Register on June 19, 2013, of our
intent to hold five public hearings in the state of Arizona. On June
20, 2013, Salt River Project (SRP), the operator and co-owner of NGS,
submitted a letter on behalf of six stakeholders, including the Navajo
Nation and Gila River Indian Community, describing the development of a
stakeholder alternative, and requesting another extension of the
comment period to allow the stakeholders additional time to finalize
their alternative and submit it to EPA for consideration in the
rulemaking process. EPA is extending the comment period for this
proposed rulemaking by 60 days to October 4, 2013.
DATES: The comment period for the proposed rule published February 5,
2013, at 78 FR 8274, extended March 19, 2013, at 78 FR 16825, is
further extended. Comments on the proposed BART determination for NGS
must be postmarked no later than October 4, 2013.
ADDRESSES: Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-
2013-0009, by one of the following methods:
(1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-
(2) Email: email@example.com.
(3) Mail or deliver: Anita Lee (Air-2), U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA
For more detailed instructions concerning how to submit comments on
this proposed rule, and for more information on our proposed rule,
please see the notice of proposed rulemaking, published in the Federal
Register on February 5, 2013 (78 FR 8274).
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 schedule five public hearings to accept
oral and written comments on the proposed rulemaking. EPA intends to
hold the public hearings at locations on the Navajo Nation and the Hopi
Tribe, as well as in Page, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona. 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
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
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anita Lee, EPA Region 9, (415) 972-
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, ``we'', ``us'',
and ``our'' refer to EPA.
Table of Contents
II. Today's Action
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
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.
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. EPA, therefore, proposed to find that this
alternative 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, the Gila
River Indian Community, and numerous other 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 encouraged a robust public discussion of our proposed BART
determination and alternative, as well as other possible alternatives,
and recognized the potential need for a supplemental proposal if other
approaches developed by other parties are identified as meeting the
needs of stakeholders and meeting the requirements of the CAA.
EPA received requests for a 90-day extension of the public comment
period from the Navajo Nation, the Gila River Indian Community, and
other stakeholders, in order to allow stakeholders time to develop
alternatives to BART for EPA's consideration. On March 19, 2013, EPA
extended the close of the public comment period to August 5, 2013 (78
FR 16825). EPA recognized 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, would require a significant
amount of time. EPA also recognized the critical importance of active
participation by affected tribes located in Arizona in the development
of alternatives to BART.
On June 10, 2013, EPA signed a notice, published on June 19, 2013,
of our intent to hold five public hearings throughout the state of
Arizona (78 FR 36716). EPA intends to hold hearings at one location
each on reservation lands of the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe, and in
Page, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona.
On June 20, 2013, SRP submitted a letter, on behalf of six
stakeholders, requesting another extension of the comment period for
NGS.\1\ SRP describes working over the past several months with
representatives from the Central Arizona Water Conservation District,
the Environmental Defense Fund, the Gila River Indian Community, the
Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department
of the Interior to develop a BART alternative. SRP states that although
significant progress has been made on the development of an
alternative, additional time is needed to finalize their alternative
and submit it to EPA for consideration in the rulemaking process.
\1\ See letter dated June 20, 2013 from Kelly J. Barr, SRP, to
Jared Blumenfeld, EPA, re: Request for Extension of the Public
Comment Period, Proposed Rule--Regional Haze Requirements for Navajo
Generating Station Docket No. EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0009.
II. Today's Action
In today's action, EPA is extending the comment period for our
proposed BART determination for NGS by 60 days, to October 4, 2013. EPA
is granting a 60-day extension to allow time for the stakeholders to
finalize their alternative and submit it to EPA for consideration in
the rulemaking process.
List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 49
Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Indians,
Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide.
Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.
Dated: June 26, 2013.
Air Division Director, Region 9.
[FR Doc. 2013-16491 Filed 7-8-13; 8:45 am]
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