[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 186 (Wednesday, September 25, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 58987-58988]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23246]



40 CFR Part 49

[EPA-R09-OAR-2013-0009; FRL-9901-28-Region9]

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 three-month period to accept public comments that was 
scheduled to close on May 6, 2013. At the request of interested 
stakeholders, EPA extended the comment period on two occasions, first 
on March 19, 2013, and again on July 9, 2013. The comment period was 
scheduled to close October 4, 2013. Additionally, on June 19, 2013, EPA 
announced our intention to hold five public hearings to accept written 
and oral comment on our proposed BART determination for NGS. On July 
26, 2013, a group of stakeholders, known as the Technical Work Group 
(TWG), submitted its recommendation for an additional BART Alternative 
to EPA for consideration (TWG Alternative). EPA is in the process of 
evaluating this alternative. Because EPA has not yet announced the 
schedule for the public hearings, and because EPA is still evaluating 
the TWG Alternative and may supplement our February 5, 2013 proposal, 
EPA is extending the comment period an additional three months. EPA 
intends to hold the public hearings prior to the close of this extended 
comment period and to announce the schedule shortly.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rulemaking for NGS must be postmarked 
no later than January 6, 2014.

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-
line instructions.
    (2) Email: [email protected].
    (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 

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 
designated as Class I federal areas (Class I areas), mandated by 
Congress to receive heightened protection. NGS is subject to the BART 
requirement of the CAA and the Regional Haze Rule (RHR) 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. As discussed in 
more detail in our proposed rulemaking, EPA proposed to exercise its 
authority and discretion under section 301(d)(4) of the CAA (42 U.S.C. 
Sec.  7601(d)(4)), and the Tribal Authority Rule (40 CFR 49.11(a)), to 
credit NGS for its early and voluntary installation of new combustion 
controls and to propose an extended timeframe for NGS for alternative 
measures to BART under the RHR.
    In recognition that there may be other approaches that could result 
in better visibility benefits than BART, as well as the importance of 
NGS to the Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, the Gila River Indian Community, 
and numerous other

[[Page 58988]]

tribes located in Arizona, EPA also outlined a framework for evaluating 
other BART alternatives (``better than BART'' alternatives) that 
provide greater emission reductions than EPA's proposed BART 
alternative in exchange for greater flexibility.
    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 
approaches developed by other parties are identified as 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 (Gila 
River, or the Community), Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement 
and Power District (SRP), and the Central Arizona Water Conservation 
District (CAWCD), 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).
    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. On July 9, 2013, EPA extended the close of the public comment 
period to October 4, 2013 (78 FR 41012).
    On July 26, 2013, a group of stakeholders known as the Technical 
Work Group (TWG) and consisting of the CAWCD, the Environmental Defense 
Fund (EDF), Gila River, Navajo Nation, SRP, on behalf of itself and the 
other non-federal Participants, Interior, and Western Resource 
Advocates, submitted a document to EPA memorializing a multi-party 
agreement (the TWG Agreement).\1\ The TWG Alternative to BART was 
included as Appendix B to the TWG Agreement. EPA is currently 
evaluating the TWG Alternative to determine if it is consistent with 
the RHR and the framework for ``better than BART'' Alternatives put 
forth in our February 5, 2013 proposed rulemaking.

    \1\ See ``Technical Work Group Agreement Related to Navajo 
Generating Station (NGS)'' dated July 25, 2013, and submitted to EPA 
on July 26, 2013, in the docket for this proposed rulemaking at EPA-

    Because EPA has not yet scheduled the public hearings for NGS and 
because we are still evaluating the TWG Alternative, EPA is extending 
the close of the comment period to accept written and oral comment on 
our proposed rulemaking for NGS.

II. Today's Action

    In today's action, EPA is extending the close of the comment period 
for our proposed rulemaking for NGS by three months, to January 6, 
2014. EPA intends to announce the schedule for public hearings in a 
forthcoming notice in the Federal Register.

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: September 16, 2013.
Elizabeth Adams,
Acting Air Division Director, Region 9.
[FR Doc. 2013-23246 Filed 9-24-13; 8:45 am]