[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 225 (Tuesday, November 22, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 83701-83704]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-28097]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 63

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492; FRL-9955-50-OAR]
RIN 2060-AR97


Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification 
Training

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing 
revisions to better define the requirements associated with conducting 
Method 303 training courses. Method 303 is an air pollution test method 
used to determine the presence of visible emissions (VE) from coke 
ovens. This action adds language that clarifies the criteria used by 
the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training providers, 
but does not change the requirements for conducting the test method. 
These revisions will help entities interested in conducting the 
required training courses by clearly defining the requirements 
necessary to do so.

DATES: The final rule is effective on December 22, 2016.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0492. All documents in the docket are 
listed on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in 
the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 
Confidential Business Information (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 electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Kim Garnett, U.S. EPA, Office of 
Air Quality Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division, 
Measurement Technology Group (Mail Code: E143-02), Research Triangle 
Park, NC 27711; telephone number: (919) 541-1158; fax number: (919) 
541-0516; email address: [email protected].


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. General Information
    A. Does this action apply to me?
    B. What action is the agency taking?
    C. Judicial Review
II. Background
III. Changes Included in the Final Method 303 Clarification
IV. Summary of Major Comments and Responses
    A. Technology Improvement
    B. Training Requirements
V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks
    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    This action applies to you if you are a potential provider of 
Method 303 training services, someone seeking training to conduct 
Method 303, or a facility subject to Method 303.

B. What action is the agency taking?

    This final action adds language that further clarifies the criteria 
used by the EPA to determine the competency of Method 303 training 
providers, but does not change the requirements for conducting the test 
method.

C. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), judicial review 
of this final rule is available by filing a petition for review in the 
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by 
January 23, 2017. Under section 307(d)(7)(B) of the CAA, only an 
objection to this final rule that was raised with reasonable 
specificity during the period for public comment can be raised during 
judicial review. Moreover, under section 307(b)(2) of the CAA, the 
requirements that are the subject of this final rule may not be 
challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings brought by the EPA to 
enforce these requirements.

II. Background

    On October 27, 1993, we published Method 303 for determining VE 
from

[[Page 83702]]

coke ovens (58 FR 57898). Method 303 is applicable for the 
determination of VE from the following by-product coke oven battery 
sources: Charging systems during charging; doors, topside port lids and 
offtake systems on operating coke ovens; and collecting mains. Method 
303 is also applicable to qualifying observers for visually determining 
the presence of VE from by-product coke ovens. The EPA received 
inquiries from state/local agencies seeking the specifics of the 
procedures used to qualify observers. The EPA proposed these 
clarifications on February 25, 2016 (81 FR 9407). We received public 
comments from two individuals.

III. Changes Included in the Final Method 303 Clarification

    Method 303 section 10.1 (40 CFR part 63, appendix B) presently 
states that ``The Method 303 course shall be conducted by or under the 
sanction of the EPA and shall consist of classroom instruction, field 
observation, and a proficiency test. . . .'' We are amending this 
language by removing the statement indicating that these courses be 
conducted by or under the sanction of the EPA. Instead, Administrator-
approved training providers will be allowed to conduct Method 303 
training and certification. We are, therefore, revising Method 303 to 
define the administrative and recordkeeping requirements that must be 
followed by Method 303 training providers. This action: (1) Defines 
Administrator approval of Method 303 training providers, clarifies the 
minimum training course requirements, and details the recordkeeping 
requirements that the training provider must follow in order to attain 
Administrator approval (section 10.1); (2) adds language to clarify 
that VE readers must demonstrate a perfect score on the recertification 
exam (section 10.1.2); (3) updates and expands the criteria used to 
determine who is qualified to participate on the proficiency test panel 
(section 10.1.3); (4) adds criteria for training certificates, 
submittal of this information, and recordkeeping (sections 10.1.4-
10.1.6); and (5) defines conditions for suspension of the training 
provider's approval by the Administrator (section 10.1.7). There are no 
changes to the requirements for conducting the test method.

IV. Comments and Responses

A. Technology Improvement

    The first commenter suggested that the EPA should require the 
inspector to utilize digital imagery to document the visible emission 
observation. This comment is beyond the scope of the present action. 
This action does not involve the merits of Method 303, but rather 
training requirements in order for observers to be qualified to conduct 
Method 303 testing. No change to the rule was made in response to this 
comment.

B. Training Requirements

    The first commenter, also, stated that the quality of third-party 
Method 9 lectures is simply not good enough to ensure that any level of 
training is achieved, and seems to suggest that the Method 9 lecture is 
the only training involved. While attending the lecture portion of 
Method 9 is a prerequisite to receiving Method 303 certification, this 
requirement is to ensure individuals have a basic understanding of 
opacity measurement. It is not the sole training requirement. For 
example, the trainee must successfully complete the Method 303 training 
course, satisfy the field observation requirement, and demonstrate 
adequate performance and sufficient knowledge of Method 303 (see 
section 10.1). A trainee must also verify completion of at least 12 
hours of field observation prior to attending the Method 303 
certification course (see section 10.1.1). There are numerous other 
requirements as well. Therefore, the EPA believes an approved Method 
303 training course will be comprehensive enough to assure that 
individuals who receive certification to determine VE from coke oven 
battery sources are proficient regardless of any perceived inadequacy 
of Method 9 lectures. No change to the rule was made in response to 
this comment.
    The second commenter expressed concerns over the possible use of ad 
hoc panel members, stating these panel members may have inconsistent 
interpretations of Method 303 and different inspection practices at the 
plants. The EPA agrees with the comment regarding the make-up of the 
certification panel, and is amending the Method 303 rule language in 
section 10.1.3 to specify that the composition of the panel will be 
approved by the Administrator as part of the training course approval 
process. During this approval process, the experience of each panel 
member will be reviewed in order to ensure consistency.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, 
therefore, not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under 
the PRA. This action better defines the requirements associated with 
conducting Method 303 training courses and does not impose additional 
regulatory requirements on sources.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. This 
action will not impose any requirements on small entities. This action 
better defines the requirements associated with conducting Method 303 
training courses and does not impose additional regulatory requirements 
on sources.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or 
more for as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes 
no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the 
private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. This action clarifies the criteria used by the 
EPA to determine the competency of training providers, but does not 
change the requirements for conducting the test method. Thus, Executive 
Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

[[Page 83703]]

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those 
regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks 
that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect 
children, per the definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in 
section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to 
Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental 
health risk or safety risk.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes that this action is not subject to Executive Order 
12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994) because it does not establish an 
environmental health or safety standard. This action would make 
corrections and updates to an existing protocol for assessing the 
precision and accuracy of alternative test methods to ensure they are 
comparable to the methods otherwise required; thus, it does not modify 
or affect the impacts to human health or the environment of any 
standards for which it may be used.

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will be effective January 23, 2017.

Clarification of Requirements for Method 303 Certification Training

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 63

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Test methods.

    Dated: November 8, 2016.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.
    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the EPA is amending title 
40, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 63--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 63 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.


0
2. In Appendix A, amend Method 303:
0
a. In section 5.0 by revising paragraph 5.2; and
0
b. In section 10.0 by:
0
i. Revising paragraphs 10.1, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, and 10.1.3;
0
ii. Adding paragraphs 10.1.4, 10.1.5, 10.1.6, and 10.1.7; and
0
iii. Revising paragraph 10.2.
    The revisions and additions read as follows.

Appendix A to Part 63--Test Methods

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Method 303--Determination of Visible Emissions From By-Product Coke 
Oven Batteries

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5.0 Safety

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    5.2 Safety Training. Because coke oven batteries have hazardous 
environments, the training materials and the field training (section 
10.0) shall cover the precautions required to address health and 
safety hazards.
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10.0 Calibration and Standardization

* * * * *
    10.1 Certification Procedures. This method requires only the 
determination of whether VE occur and does not require the 
determination of opacity levels; therefore, observer certification 
according to Method 9 in appendix A to part 60 of this chapter is 
not required to obtain certification under this method. However, in 
order to receive Method 303 observer certification, the first-time 
observer (trainee) shall have attended the lecture portion of the 
Method 9 certification course. In addition, the trainee shall 
successfully complete the Method 303 training course, satisfy the 
field observation requirement, and demonstrate adequate performance 
and sufficient knowledge of Method 303. The Method 303 training 
provider and course shall be approved by the Administrator and shall 
consist of classroom instruction, field training, and a proficiency 
test. In order to apply for approval as a Method 303 training 
provider, an applicant must submit their credentials and the details 
of their Method 303 training course to Group Leader, Measurement 
Technology Group (E143-02), Office of Air Quality Planning and 
Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle 
Park, NC 27711. Those details should include, at a minimum:
    (a) A detailed list of the provider's credentials.
    (b) An outline of the classroom and the field portions of the 
class.
    (c) Copies of the written training and lecture materials, to 
include:
    (1) The classroom audio-visual presentation(s).
    (2) A classroom course manual with instructional text, practice 
questions and problems for each of the elements of the Method 303 
inspection (i.e., charging, doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting 
mains). A copy of Method 303 and any related guidance documents 
should be included as appendices.
    (3) A copy of the Method 303 demonstration video, if not using 
the one available at: http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/emc/methods/method303trainingvideo.mp4.
    (4) Multiple-choice certification tests, with questions 
sufficient to demonstrate knowledge of the method, as follows: One 
(1) Initial certification test and three (3) third-year 
recertification tests (the questions on any one recertification test 
must be at least 25 percent different from those on the other 
recertification tests).
    (5) A field certification checklist and inspection forms for 
each of the elements of the Method 303 inspection (i.e., charging, 
doors, lids and offtakes, and collecting mains).
    (6) The criteria used to determine proficiency.
    (7) The panel members to be utilized (see Section 10.1.3) along 
with their qualifications.
    (8) An example certificate of successful course completion.
    10.1.1 A trainee must verify completion of at least 12 hours of 
field observation prior to attending the Method 303 certification 
course. Trainees shall observe the operation of a coke oven battery 
as it pertains to Method 303, including topside operations, and 
shall also practice conducting Method 303 or similar methods. During 
the field observations, trainees unfamiliar with coke battery 
operations shall receive instruction from an experienced coke oven 
observer who is familiar with Method 303 or similar methods and with 
the operation of coke batteries.
    10.1.2 The classroom instruction shall familiarize the trainees 
with Method 303 through lecture, written training materials, and a 
Method 303 demonstration video. Successful completion of the 
classroom portion of the Method 303 training course shall be 
demonstrated by a perfect score on the initial certification test. 
Those attending the course for third-year recertification must 
complete one of the recertification tests selected at random.
    10.1.3 All trainees must demonstrate proficiency in the 
application of Method 303 to a panel of three certified Method 303

[[Page 83704]]

observers, including an ability to differentiate coke oven emissions 
from condensing water vapor and smoldering coal. The composition of 
the panel must be approved by the Administrator as part of the 
training course approval process. The panel members will be EPA, 
state or local agency personnel, or industry contractors listed in 
59 FR 11960 (March 15, 1994) or qualified as part of the training 
provider approval process of section 10.1 of this method.
    Each panel member shall have at least 120 days experience in 
reading visible emissions from coke ovens. The visible emissions 
inspections that will satisfy the experience requirement must be 
inspections of coke oven battery fugitive emissions from the 
emission points subject to emission standards under subpart L of 
this part (i.e., coke oven doors, topside port lids, offtake 
system(s), and charging operations), using either Method 303 or 
predecessor state or local test methods. A ``day's experience'' for 
a particular inspection is a day on which one complete inspection 
was performed for that emission point under Method 303 or a 
predecessor state or local method. A ``day's experience'' does not 
mean 8 or 10 hours performing inspections, or any particular time 
expressed in minutes or hours that may have been spent performing 
them. Thus, it would be possible for an individual to qualify as a 
Method 303 panel member for some emission points, but not others 
(e.g., an individual might satisfy the experience requirement for 
coke oven doors, but not topside port lids). Until November 15, 
1994, the EPA may waive the certification requirement (but not the 
experience requirement) for panel members. The composition of the 
panel shall be approved by the EPA.
    The panel shall observe the trainee in a series of training runs 
and a series of certification runs. There shall be a minimum of 1 
training run for doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and 
a minimum of 5 training runs (i.e., 5 charges) for charging. During 
training runs, the panel can advise the trainee on proper 
procedures. There shall be a minimum of 3 certification runs for 
doors, topside port lids, and offtake systems, and a minimum of 15 
certification runs for charging (i.e., 15 charges). The 
certification runs shall be unassisted. Following the certification 
test runs, the panel shall approve or disapprove certification based 
on the trainee's performance during the certification runs. To 
obtain certification, the trainee shall demonstrate, to the 
satisfaction of the panel, a high degree of proficiency in 
performing Method 303. To aid in evaluating the trainee's 
performance, a checklist, approved by the EPA, will be used by the 
panel members.
    10.1.4 Those successfully completing the initial certification 
or third-year recertification requirements shall receive a 
certificate showing certification as a Method 303 observer and the 
beginning and ending dates of the certification period.
    10.1.5 The training provider will submit to the EPA or its 
designee the following information for each trainee successfully 
completing initial certification or third-year recertification 
training: Name, employer, address, telephone, cell and/or fax 
numbers, email address, beginning and ending dates of certification, 
and whether training was for 3-year certification or 1-year 
recertification. This information must be submitted within 30 days 
of the course completion.
    10.1.6 The training provider will maintain the following 
records, to be made available to EPA or its designee on request 
(within 30 days of a request):
    (a) A file for each Method 303 observer containing the signed 
certification checklists, certification forms and test results for 
their initial certification, and any subsequent third-year 
recertifications. Initial certification records must also include 
documentation showing successful completion of the training 
prerequisites. Testing results from any interim recertifications 
must also be included, along with any relevant communications.
    (b) A searchable master electronic database of all persons for 
whom initial certification, third-year recertification or interim 
recertification. Information contained therein must include: The 
observer's name, employer, address, telephone, cell and fax numbers 
and email address, along with the beginning and ending dates for 
each successfully completed initial, third-year and interim 
recertification.
    10.1.7 Failure by the training provider to submit example 
training course materials and/or requested training records to the 
Administrator may result in suspension of the approval of the 
provider and course.
    10.2 Observer Certification/Recertification. The coke oven 
observer certification is valid for 1 year. The observer shall 
recertify annually by reviewing the training material, viewing the 
training video and answering all of the questions on the 
recertification test correctly. Every 3 years, an observer shall be 
required to pass the proficiency test in section 10.1.3 in order to 
be certified. The years between proficiency tests are referred to as 
interim years.
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[FR Doc. 2016-28097 Filed 11-21-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P