[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 52 (Monday, March 20, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 14325-14327]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05474]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 50

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0408; FRL-9958-29-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS89


Technical Correction to the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards for Particulate Matter

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final 
action to make a technical correction to equation 2 in appendix N to 
part 50, section 4.4(b) of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
(NAAQS) for Particulate Matter. Equation 2 in appendix N describes an 
intermediate step in the calculation of the design value for the annual 
PM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than or 
equal to a nominal 2.5 micrometers) NAAQS. This action corrects 
Equation 2 to properly account for cases where a site has quarters 
without daily values and passes the minimum quarterly value data 
substitution test. This change accurately reflects the intended 
calculation of the annual PM2.5 design value and is 
consistent with the text of section 4.1 in appendix N to part 50.

DATES: This final rule is effective on May 19, 2017.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2016-0408. 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 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

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publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket 
materials are available electronically through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Brett Gantt, Office of Air Quality 
Planning and Standards, Air Quality Assessment Division, Air Quality 
Analysis Group (Mail Code: C304-04), Environmental Protection Agency, 
109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone 
number: (919) 541-5274; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Background
    B. What action is the Agency taking?
    C. Does this action apply to me?
II. 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
    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. Background

    On December 14, 2012, the EPA revised the NAAQS for Particulate 
Matter (78 FR 3086). As part of that action, the EPA also made 
corresponding revisions in appendix N to 40 CFR part 50, which 
describes the data handling conventions and computations necessary for 
determining when the NAAQS for PM2.5 are met. Section 4.4 of 
appendix N describes the annual PM2.5 design value 
calculations, with equations 1, 2, and 3 used to calculate the 
quarterly, annual, and 3-year average concentrations. Equation 2 
erroneously describes the annual mean as the average of the four 
quarterly values despite the availability of a minimum quarterly value 
data substitution test that is applicable to cases with quarters that 
do not have any daily values.
    The minimum quarterly value data substitution test described in 
section 4.1(c)(i) allows for a valid annual PM2.5 design 
value to be calculated when a test design value is greater than the 
level of the standard. This test design value is calculated by 
substituting quarter-specific minimum values for quarters not meeting 
data completeness requirements. If the minimum quarterly value data 
substitution test is passed, the annual PM2.5 design value 
is calculated from annual means of the quarters with at least one daily 
value, which can range in number from one to four quarters for a 
specific year.
    As currently written, Equation 2 is not appropriate for use in 
cases where the data completeness requirements of section 4.1(b) of 
appendix N have not been met, and where the minimum quarterly value 
data substitution test has been used in lieu of meeting those 
requirements for quarters without any daily values. Specifically, 
Equation 2 assumes there are four quarters with data and does not 
accurately reflect the intended calculation of the annual mean 
PM2.5 concentration using only quarters with at least one 
daily value.
    On August 11, 2016, the EPA issued a direct final action (81 FR 
53006), along with a parallel proposal (81 FR 53097), to correct 
Equation 2. We received an adverse comment to the direct final rule 
suggesting a change in the definition of one of the parameters in the 
updated equation. Specifically, the commenter suggested that the 
variable nQ,y, which represents the number of quarters used 
in the calculation of the annual mean, be changed from defining Q as a 
complete quarter to a quarter containing at least one valid 24-hour 
value. On September 29, 2016, we withdrew the direct final action and 
indicated our intent to address the comment in a final action based on 
the parallel proposal. We agree with the commenter and are 
incorporating the suggested definition in this final action.

B. What action is the Agency taking?

    This action generalizes Equation 2 to account for cases where a 
site has quarters without daily values, but passes the minimum 
quarterly value data substitution test. This technical correction to 
Equation 2 is currently used by the EPA in the calculation of the 
annual PM2.5 design value, is consistent with the text of 
section 4.1 within appendix N to part 50, and does not affect the EPA's 
calculation of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations when four 
complete quarters of data are available. The annual PM2.5 
design values calculated by the EPA and available at https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-design-values are, therefore, not 
affected by this revision.

C. Does this action apply to me?

    This action applies to you if you are calculating the annual 
PM2.5 design value for a site which has quarters without 
daily values for a specific year and passes the minimum quarterly value 
data substitution test. If you have questions regarding the 
applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

II. 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 clarifies the calculation of the annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS design values and does not impose additional 
regulatory requirements on organizations monitoring air quality.

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 
corrects the calculation of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations 
and does not impose additional regulatory requirements on sources.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate of $100 million 
or more 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.

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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 regulatory action corrects the calculation 
of annual mean PM2.5 concentrations and imposes no 
requirements on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does 
not apply to this action.

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

    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 regulatory action is a 
technical correction to a previously promulgated regulatory action and 
does not have any impact on human health or the environment.

K. Congressional Review Act

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule 
report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of 
the United States. This action is not ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 50

    Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, 
Ozone, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

    Dated: March 14, 2017.
E. Scott Pruitt,
Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, title 40, chapter I of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 50--NATIONAL PRIMARY AND SECONDARY AMBIENT AIR QUALITY 
STANDARDS

0
1. The authority citation for part 50 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In appendix N to part 50, in section 4.4, paragraph (b), Equation 2 
is revised to read as follows:

Appendix N to Part 50--Interpretation of the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards for PM2.5

* * * * *

4.4 Equations for the Annual PM2.5 NAAQS

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    [GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR20MR17.000
    
Where:

Xy = the annual mean concentration for year y (y = 1, 2, or 3);
nQ,y = the number of quarters Q in year y with at least one daily 
value; and
Xq,y = the mean for quarter q of year y (result of equation 1).
* * * * *

[FR Doc. 2017-05474 Filed 3-17-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P