Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Throughout this document, the terms “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to EPA.
On June 28, 2012 (77 FR 38557), under section 110(k) of the Clean Air Act (CAA or “Act”), EPA proposed a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Nevada State Implementation Plan (SIP). The revisions, which were submitted by the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) on January 24, 2011, include certain new or amended State rules [i.e., certain sections of Nevada Administrative Code (NAC)] that govern applications for, and issuance of, permits for stationary sources [a process referred to herein as “New Source Review” (NSR) and rules referred to herein as “NSR rules”].
As described in our June 28, 2012 proposed rule (77 FR at 38557), on November 9, 2011, NDEP amended the January 24, 2011 submittal by replacing an NSR rule (NAC 445B.3457) that had been submitted on January 24, 2011 as a temporary regulation with the version of the rule that had been adopted by the State Environmental Commission (SEC) as a permanent regulation. On May 21, 2012, NDEP further amended the January 24, 2011 submittal by submitting a small set of additional NSR-related rules (and one statutory definition), certain clarifications concerning the previously-submitted NSR rules, and documentation supporting the selection of emissions-based thresholds for triggering the public notice requirements for draft permits for certain source modifications.
Table 1 below lists the rules (and one statutory definition) that were submitted by NDEP on January 24, 2011, November 9, 2011, and May 21, 2012 and on which EPA is taking final limited approval and limited disapproval action in this document.
In our proposed rule (77 FR 38557, at 38559), we discussed the regulatory history of the Nevada SIP and identified the existing Nevada SIP rules governing NSR for stationary sources under NDEP jurisdiction (see table 2).
We also described the previous version of the State's NSR rules that we disapproved. See 73 FR 20536; (April 16, 2008). Our 2008 final disapproval of the previous version of the NSR rules provides the context for this rulemaking in that our evaluation of the re-submitted NSR rules focused on changes the State had made in response to the findings in our 2008 final rule.
As discussed further below, in our proposed rule, we found that the State had adequately addressed all of the previously-identified deficiencies in the NSR rules but new deficiencies related to the new or revised PM
In our June 28, 2012 proposed rule, we found that State had adopted rule revisions or provided sufficient explanation and documentation to fully address the 10 specific deficiencies that we found in the rules as set forth in our April 2008 final rule.
First, we concluded that new or amended rules submitted for approval, including NAC 445B.0423 (“Commence” defined), NAC 445B.069 (“Federally enforceable” defined), NAC 445B.287, subsection (2) (Provision addressing the operating permit requirements for certain types of Class I sources), NRS 485.050 (“Motor vehicle” defined), and NAC 445B.083 (“Good engineering practice stack height” defined) adequately addressed the deficiencies related to the use of undefined terms or incorrect citations, the reliance on rules or statutory provisions that had not been submitted for approval as part of the SIP, or the confusion caused by submittal of multiple versions of the same rule.
Second, we concluded that NAC 445B.138 (“Potential to emit” defined), as amended, adequately addressed the deficiency in this definition related to the limits that qualify for treatment as part of a stationary source's design for the purposes of determining its potential to emit.
Third, by amending NAC 445B.187 (“Stationary source” defined) to delete the exclusion for “special mobile equipment,” the State Environmental Commission (SEC) adequately addressed the deficiency related to the necessary breadth of the definition of “stationary source” for NSR purposes.
Fourth, we concluded that amendments to NAC 445B.313 (Method for determining heat input: Class I sources
Fifth, we concluded, based on NDEP's explanation, that NAC 445B.331 (“Request for change of location of emission unit”) need not be amended to address the deficiency that we had identified previously.
Sixth, we concluded that amendments to NAC 445B.3477 (“Class II general permit”) were adequate to resolve the deficiency related to public participation requirements for issuing such permits, and that, based on NDEP's explanation, no further amendments in the rule were necessary.
Seventh, we concluded that amendments to NAC 445B.311 (“Environmental evaluation: Required information”) adequately addressed the deficiency related to EPA approval for the use of a modification of, or substitution for, an EPA-approved model specified in appendix W of 40 CFR part 51.
Eighth, we concluded that amendments to NAC 445B.3457 (“Action by Director on application; notice; public comment and hearing; expiration of permit”) adequately addressed the deficiencies related to public review of new or modified class II sources, notification to the air pollution control agencies for Washoe County or Clark County for class II sources proposed to be constructed or modified in Washoe County or Clark County, respectively, and public participation for new or modified sources of lead with potentials to emit 5 tons per year or more. In so concluding, we found that the emission-based thresholds that the SEC has established in NAC 445B.3457 to identify class II permit revisions that are subject to the public participation requirement were acceptable under 40 CFR 51.161 (“Public availability of information”) because we believed that the emissions-based thresholds represented well-defined objective criteria and because we found that the thresholds established in NAC 445B.3457 were reasonably calculated to exclude from mandatory public participation only less environmentally significant sources and modifications.
In addition, with respect to public participation associated with permits for new class II sources and for class II modifications, we noted that the SEC also revised NAC 445B.3457 to provide for notification to the public through means (a state Web site and mailing list) other than through the traditional newspaper notice. We concluded that the requirement to provide the required notice by “prominent advertisement” in 40 CFR 51.161(b)(3) for new or modified minor sources (other than synthetic minor sources) is media neutral and can be met by means other than, or in combination with, the traditional newspaper notice.
We believed that notification of proposed permit actions for one category of sources, synthetic minor sources, i.e., sources that have taken enforceable limitations to restrict their potential to emit below major source thresholds, must be made through traditional means of notification (i.e., newspaper notice) and preferably, should be made through traditional and electronic means on the grounds that
While NAC 445B.3457 does not provide for traditional newspaper notice of class II sources that constitute synthetic minor sources, we concluded that the deficiency in Nevada's public notice requirements with respect to synthetic minor sources was not significant due to the limited potential number of synthetic minor sources that might not be subject to traditional (newspaper) notice under the State's NSR rules. Nonetheless, we recommended that the SEC amend the public notice regulations to ensure that the general public is notified of new synthetic minor sources by traditional (newspaper) means, at a minimum, or, preferably, in combination with electronic means.
Ninth, we concluded that the deficiencies in the affirmative defense provision in NAC 445B.326 (“Operating permits: Assertion of emergency as affirmative defense to action for noncompliance”) were moot for the purposes of this rulemaking because NDEP did not include NAC 445B.326 in the revise sets of NSR rules submitted to EPA for action as a SIP revision.
Lastly, we concluded that the amendments to NAC 445B.308 (“Prerequisites and conditions for issuance of certain operating permits; compliance with applicable state implementation plan”) adequately addressed the deficiencies by appropriately limiting the Director's discretion to approve any permit for any source where the degree of emission limitation required is affected by that amount of the stack height as exceeds good engineering practice stack height or any other dispersion technique.
In conclusion, based on our point-by-point evaluation of the previous deficiencies in the previously-submitted NSR rules, we found that Nevada had adequately addressed all of the previously-identified deficiencies by submittal of appropriately amended rules and supporting documentation. Please see our June 28, 2012 proposed rule at pages 38560 to 38563 for additional discussion of our evaluation and conclusions concerning the resolution of the previously-identified deficiencies in the NSR rules.
While we believed that Nevada had adequately addressed the previously-identified deficiencies in the NSR rules, we found in our June 28, 2012 proposed rule that the State's NSR rules fail to address certain new requirements that were not in effect in 2008 when EPA last took action on them.
Under 40 CFR 51.160, in connection with NSR, each SIP must set forth legally enforceable procedures that enable the State or local agency to determine whether the construction or modification of a facility, building, structure or installation or combination of these will result in, among other impacts, interference with attainment or maintenance of a national standard in the state in which the proposed source (or modification) is located or in a neighboring State. In our June 28, 2012 proposed rule, we concluded that the NSR rules did not meet the requirements of 40 CFR 51.160 with respect to the PM
With respect to PM
We also recognized that we did not take timely action on the PM
With respect to lead (Pb), we recognized that NDEP submitted an infrastructure SIP on October 12, 2011 to address the 2008 Pb NAAQS and that we have not yet taken action on it. Furthermore, we recognize that, at the time NDEP submitted the Pb “infrastructure” SIP, the deadline for States to submit the necessary NSR-related changes to address the 2008 Pb NAAQS had not yet passed. Now, however, with the passage of time, the deadline for such NSR-related changes has passed, and we must evaluate the submitted NSR requirements against the now-current NSR requirements. Thus, similar to the approach we are taking for PM
Lastly, we concluded in our proposed rule that the State Environmental Commission must revise the NSR rules to ensure protection of the PM
For more information about our evaluation concerning the new deficiencies, please see the June 28, 2012 proposed rule at pages 38563-38564.
EPA's proposed action provided a 30-day public comment period. During this period, we received one comment letter, a letter from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), dated July 27, 2012. In the July 27, 2012 letter, NDEP expresses general support for EPA's limited approval of the updated NSR rules noting that it results in a significant update of the permitting provisions in Nevada applicable SIP. EPA appreciates NDEP's significant efforts to fully address the deficiencies EPA identified in the previous submittals.
No comments were submitted that change our assessment of the rules as described in our proposed action. Therefore, pursuant to sections 110(k) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act, and for the reasons provided above and in our proposed rule, EPA is finalizing a limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the Nevada SIP that govern applications for, and issuance of, permits for stationary sources under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, excluding review and permitting of major sources and major modifications under parts C and D of title I of the Clean Air Act. Specifically, EPA is finalizing limited approval and limited disapproval of the new or amended sections of the Nevada Administrative Code (and one section of the Nevada Revised Statutes) listed in
EPA is taking this action because, although we find that the new or amended rules meet most of the applicable requirements for such NSR programs and that the SIP revisions improve the existing SIP, we have also found certain deficiencies that prevent full approval. Namely, the submitted NSR rules do not address the new or revised national ambient air quality standards for PM
The intended effect of this limited approval and limited disapproval action is to update the applicable state implementation plan with current State rules with respect to permitting,
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted this regulatory action from Executive Order 128665, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review.”
This action does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental jurisdictions.
This rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities because SIP approvals or disapprovals under section 110 of the Clean Air Act do not create any new requirements but simply approve or disapprove requirements that the State is already imposing. Therefore, because this limited approval/limited disapproval action does not create any new requirements, I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Moreover, due to the nature of the Federal-State relationship under the Clean Air Act, preparation of flexibility analysis would constitute Federal inquiry into the economic reasonableness of State action. The Clean Air Act forbids EPA to base its actions concerning SIPs on such grounds.
Under section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (“Unfunded Mandates Act”), signed into law on March 22, 1995, EPA must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; or to the private sector, of $100 million or more. Under section 205, EPA must select the most cost-effective and least burdensome alternative that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with statutory requirements. Section 203 requires EPA to establish a plan for informing and advising any small governments that may be significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.
EPA has determined that this limited approval/limited disapproval action does not include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate, or to the private sector. This Federal action takes a limited approval/limited disapproval action on pre-existing requirements under State or local law, and imposes no new requirements. Accordingly, no additional costs to State, local, or tribal governments, or to the private sector, result from this action.
This rule 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132, because it merely takes a limited approval/limited disapproval action on State rules implementing a Federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 6 of the Executive Order do not apply to this rule.
Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure “meaningful and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory policies that have tribal implications.” This rule does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the
EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern health or safety risks, such that the analysis required under section 5-501 of the Executive Order has the potential to influence the regulation. This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045, because it takes a limited approval/limited disapproval action on State rules implementing a Federal standard.
This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.
Section 12 of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 requires Federal agencies to evaluate existing technical standards when developing a new regulation. To comply with NTTAA, EPA must consider and use “voluntary consensus standards” (VCS) if available and applicable when developing programs and policies unless doing so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical.
EPA believes that VCS are inapplicable to this action. Today's action does not require the public to perform activities conducive to the use of VCS.
Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income populations in the United States.
EPA lacks the discretionary authority to address environmental justice in this rulemaking. In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve or disapprove state choices, based on the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely takes a limited approval/limited disapproval action on certain State requirements for inclusion into the SIP under section 110 of the Clean Air Act and will not in-and-of itself create any new requirements. Accordingly, it does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898.
The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801
Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 26, 2012. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).
Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur oxides.
Therefore, 40 CFR Chapter I is amended as follows:
42 U.S.C. 7401
The additions and revisions read as follows:
(c) * * *