[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 190 (Wednesday, October 1, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59179-59182]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-23371]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0620; FRL-9914-86-OSWER]
RIN 2050-AG76


National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan 
(NCP); Amending the NCP for Public Notices for Specific Superfund 
Activities

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
amend the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency 
Plan (NCP) to add language to broaden the methods by which the EPA can 
notify the public about certain Superfund activities. Currently, the 
NCP requires that the public be notified of certain Superfund 
activities by publishing a notice in a major local newspaper of general 
circulation. By broadening the notification methods, the lead agency 
will be able to adopt a notification approach that is most effective at 
informing a community. The lead agency should assess the ways a 
community receives information and consider the notification approach 
which best suits a specific site and community.

DATES: Written comments must be received by October 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
SFUND-2014-0620, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: superfund.docket@epa.gov.
     Mail: Send two copies of your comments to: U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Superfund 
Docket, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 
20460-0002.
     Hand Delivery: Deliver two copies of your comments to: EPA 
Docket Center (EPA/DC), WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC. Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-
0620. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal 
hours of operation from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
excluding legal holidays. Special arrangements should be made for 
deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-
2014-0620. 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 CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 
www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means 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 EPA without going

[[Page 59180]]

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, 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 EPA cannot read your comment due to technical 
difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may 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 EPA's public docket, visit 
the EPA Docket Center homepage at www.epa.gov/dockets.
    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 Superfund Docket (Docket 
ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0620). This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the 
telephone number for the Superfund Docket is (202) 566-0276. The EPA 
Docket Center (EPA/DC) is located at WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    General information: Superfund, TRI, EPCRA, RMP and Oil Information 
Center at (800) 424-9346 or TDD (800) 553-7672 (hearing impaired). In 
the Washington, DC metropolitan area, call (703) 412-9810 or TDD (703) 
412-3323.
    Technical information: Jean Farrell at (703) 603-9055 
(farrell.jean@epa.gov), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460-0002, Mail Code 5204P.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Why is EPA issuing this proposed rule?

    This document proposes to amend the National Oil and Hazardous 
Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP) to expand the methods by 
which the EPA can notify the public about certain Superfund activities. 
The NCP requires the lead Agency to publish a notice ``in a major local 
newspaper of general circulation'' when certain Superfund site-related 
activities occur. Many of these requirements were established in 1990 
or earlier versions of the NCP, when it was common practice for 
government agencies to publish notices of planned actions in 
newspapers. Today, multiple ways are used to notify the public about 
Superfund site-related activities that may be as or more effective than 
publishing notices in newspapers. For example, the public may be 
notified of certain actions the lead agency takes by distributing 
flyers door-to-door, mailing notices to homes, sending email 
notifications, making telephone calls or posting on Web sites. In 
certain cases, publishing a notice in a major newspaper of general 
circulation may not be the most effective way of notifying a community 
about a specific Superfund action, and may be less cost effective than 
other notification methods.
    EPA is proposing to change the public notice language in the NCP. 
Instead of giving adequate notice to a community via a major local 
newspaper of general circulation, EPA is proposing that such notice be 
given via a major local newspaper of general circulation or by using 
one or more other mechanisms. As the Superfund community involvement 
program has gained experience working with communities around Superfund 
sites, EPA often has used additional communication approaches beyond 
publishing notices in major local newspapers of general circulation to 
ensure communities have an opportunity to be fully informed and 
involved in the Superfund process. Making this modification to the NCP 
will allow the lead agency to select an effective way or ways to inform 
the public.
    One way the lead agency may learn about community preferences on 
communications approaches is when conducting community interviews as 
part of the development of the Community Involvement Plan (CIP) (also 
known as a Community Relations Plan) at a site. A CIP is a site-
specific strategy to enable meaningful community involvement throughout 
the Superfund cleanup process. Consistent with the NCP 
[300.415(n)(3)(i); 300.415(n)(4)(i); and 300.430(c)(2)(i)], the lead 
agency conducts in those instances interviews with local officials, 
community residents, public interest groups, or other interested or 
affected parties, as appropriate, to solicit their concerns and 
information needs, and to learn how and when citizens would like to be 
involved in the Superfund process.
    Conducting community interviews is a particularly effective way to 
gather information about how a community receives information. The 
information and insights gained from community interviews will help the 
lead agency make a decision on which notification approach suits a 
specific site and best encourages the community's participation. When 
community interviews are not conducted, the lead agency can determine 
community preferences on communication approaches by conducting 
activities such as consulting local leaders or media outlets to learn 
how a community typically receives information.
    In addition to the above, Superfund has a long history of providing 
meaningful community involvement opportunities at critical junctures in 
the cleanup process, such as selection of remedial actions, five-year 
reviews of sites where waste is left in place, and deletions of sites 
from the National Priorities List (NPL). In addition to ensuring the 
basic requirements for community involvement are met, the lead agency 
may enlist additional community notification processes over and above 
the basic requirements to enhance the community's involvement, and 
tailor the communication approaches to meet the needs of the community.

II. What does this amendment do?

    This document proposes to revise the NCP to expand the methods by 
which the EPA can notify the public about certain Superfund activities. 
This rule will revise six sections of the NCP to change the public 
notice language in the NCP to allow adequate notice to a community via 
a major local newspaper of general circulation or by using one or more 
other mechanisms. The intent of these sections is to ensure the lead 
agency informs the public of Superfund activities at defined stages 
within the Superfund process. Specifically, this amendment will add 
language to:

    Sec.  300.415(n)(2)(i) that requires a notice of the 
availability of the administrative record file for CERCLA actions 
where, based on a site evaluation, the lead agency determines that a 
removal is appropriate, and that less than six months exists before 
on-site removal action must begin.
    Sec.  300.415(n)(4)(ii) that requires notification of the 
engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) where the lead agency 
determines that a CERCLA removal action is appropriate and that a 
planning period of at least six months exists prior to initiation of 
the on-site removal activities.
    Sec.  300.425(e)(4)(ii) that requires notification of releases 
that may be deleted from the National Priorities List (NPL).

[[Page 59181]]

    Sec.  300.815(a) that requires notification of the availability 
of the administrative record file for the selection of a remedial 
action at the commencement of the remedial investigation.
    Sec.  300.820(a)(1) that requires notification of the 
availability of the administrative record file when an EE/CA is made 
available for public comment, if the lead agency determines that a 
removal action is appropriate and that a planning period of at least 
six months exists before on-site removal activities must be 
initiated.
    Sec.  300.820(b)(l) that requires notification of the 
availability of the administrative record file for all other removal 
actions not included in Sec.  300.820(a).

    This document does not propose changes to the publication 
requirements of Sec.  117 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, 
Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Section 117(d) of CERCLA 
states ``[f]or the purposes of this section, publication shall include, 
at a minimum, publication in a major local newspaper of general 
circulation.'' Activities included under section 117 of CERCLA include 
section 117(a) notification of the proposed plan, section 117(b) 
notification of the final remedial action plan adopted, and section 
117(c) notification of an explanation of differences after adoption of 
a final remedial action plan. Publication in a major local newspaper of 
general circulation will continue to be required for 1) notice of 
availability of the proposed plan (40 CFR 300.430(f)(3)(i)(A)), 2) 
notice of availability of the Record of Decision (40 CFR 
300.430(f)(6)(i)), 3) notice that briefly summarizes the explanation of 
significant differences (40 CFR 300.435(c)(2)(i)(B)), 4) notice of 
availability and a brief description of the proposed amendment to the 
Record of Decision (40 CFR 300.435(c)(2)(ii)(A)), and 5) notice of 
availability of the amended Record of Decision (40 CFR 
300.435(c)(2)(ii)(G)). This document also does not propose changes to 
the publication requirements of 40 CFR 35.4110 that requires 
publication of a notice in a local newspaper after EPA receives a 
letter of intent to apply for a Technical Assistance Grant.

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011), this proposed 
action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' and is therefore not 
subject to OMB review. This action merely adds language to 40 CFR 
300.415(n)(2)(i), 300.415(n)(4)(ii), 300.425(e)(4)(ii), 300.815(a), 
300.820(a)(1), and 300.820(b)(l) to expand the methods by which the 
lead agency can notify the public about certain Superfund activities. 
This action will enable the lead agency to identify effective methods 
to notify the public. This action does not impose any requirements on 
any entity, including small entities. Therefore, pursuant to the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), after considering 
the economic impacts of this action on small entities, EPA certifies 
that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. This action does not contain any 
unfunded mandates or significantly or uniquely affect small governments 
as described in Sections 202 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act of 1999 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4). This action does not create new 
binding legal requirements that substantially and directly affect 
Tribes under Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). 
This action does not have significant Federalism implications under 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). Because this 
action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this 
proposed rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 
13045, entitled Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks 
and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not 
contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., nor does it 
require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, 
entitled Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority 
Populations and Low-Income Populations (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). 
This action does not involve technical standards; thus, the 
requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and 
Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272) do not apply.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous waste, Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water 
pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: September 19, 2014.
Mathy Stanislaus,
Assistant Administrator, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

    For the reasons set forth in this preamble, Title 40, chapter 1, of 
the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 300-NATIONAL OIL AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES POLLUTION 
CONTINGENCY PLAN

0
1. The authority citation for part 300 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(d); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 13626, 
77 FR 56749, 3 CFR, 2013 Comp., p. 306; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 
CFR, 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 2923, 3 CFR, 1987 Comp., 
p.193.

0
2. Section 300.415 is amended by revising paragraphs (n)(2)(i) and 
(n)(4)(ii) to read as follows:


Sec.  300.415  Removal action.

* * * * *
    (n) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Publish a notice of availability of the administrative record 
file established pursuant to Sec.  300.820 in a major local newspaper 
of general circulation or use one or more other mechanisms to give 
adequate notice to a community within 60 days of initiation of on-site 
removal activity;
* * * * *
    (4) * * *
    (ii) Publish a notice of availability and brief description of the 
EE/CA in a major local newspaper of general circulation or use one or 
more other mechanisms to give adequate notice to a community pursuant 
to Sec.  300.820;
* * * * *
0
3. Section 300.425 is amended by revising paragraph (e)(4)(ii) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  300.425  Establishing remedial priorities.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (4) * * *
    (ii) In a major local newspaper of general circulation at or near 
the release that is proposed for deletion, publish a notice of 
availability or use one or more other mechanisms to give adequate 
notice to a community of the intent to delete;
* * * * *
0
4. Section 300.815 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  300.815  Administrative record file for a remedial action.

    (a) The administrative record file for the selection of a remedial 
action shall be made available for public inspection

[[Page 59182]]

at the commencement of the remedial investigation phase. At such time, 
the lead agency shall publish in a major local newspaper of general 
circulation a notice or use one or more other mechanisms to give 
adequate notice to a community of the availability of the 
administrative record file.
* * * * *
0
5. Section 300.820 is amended by revising paragraphs (a)(1) and (b)(1) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  300.820  Administrative record file for a removal action.

    (a) * * *
    (1) The administrative record file shall be made available for 
public inspection when the engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EE/CA) 
is made available for public comment. At such time, the lead agency 
shall publish in a major local newspaper of general circulation a 
notice or use one or more other mechanisms to give adequate notice to a 
community of the availability of the administrative record file.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) Documents included in the administrative record file shall be 
made available for public inspection no later than 60 days after 
initiation of on-site removal activity. At such time, the lead agency 
shall publish in a major local newspaper of general circulation a 
notice or use one or more other mechanisms to give adequate notice to a 
community of the availability of the administrative record file.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-23371 Filed 9-30-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P