Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
EPA is approving revisions to the North Carolina SIP, submitted by the State of North Carolina through NC DENR, on June 15, 2007, as updated on November 30, 2009, to meet RFP requirements of the CAA for the North
EPA is also describing the status of its transportation conformity adequacy determination for the 2008 MVEB.
On July 18, 1997, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour ozone NAAQS of 0.08 parts per million (ppm). Under EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 50, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS is attained when the 3-year average of the annual fourth highest daily maximum 8-hour average ambient air quality ozone concentrations is less than or equal to 0.08 ppm (i.e., 0.084 ppm when rounding is considered) (69 FR 23857, April 30, 2004). Ambient air quality monitoring data for the 3-year period must meet the data completeness requirement as determined in 40 CFR part 50, appendix I. The ambient air quality monitoring data completeness requirement is met when the average percent of days with valid ambient monitoring data is greater than 90 percent, and no single year has less than 75 percent data completeness.
Upon promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires EPA to designate as nonattainment any area that is violating the NAAQS, based on the three most recent years of ambient air quality data at the conclusion of the designation process. The bi-state Charlotte Area was designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS on April 30, 2004 (effective June 15, 2004) using 2001-2003 ambient air quality data (69 FR 23857, April 30, 2004). At the time of designation the bi-state Charlotte Area was classified as a moderate nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. In the April 30, 2004, Phase I Ozone Implementation Rule, EPA established ozone nonattainment area attainment dates based on Table 1 of section 181(a) of the CAA. This established an attainment date six years after the June 15, 2004, effective date for areas classified as moderate areas for the 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment designations. Section 181 of the CAA explains that the attainment date for moderate nonattainment areas shall be as expeditiously as practicable, but no later than six years after designation, or June 15, 2010. Therefore, the bi-state Charlotte Area's original attainment date was June 15, 2010.
The bi-state Charlotte Area did not attain the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by June 15, 2010 (the applicable attainment date for moderate nonattainment areas); however, the Area qualified for an extension of the attainment date. Under certain circumstances, the CAA allows for extensions of the attainment dates prescribed at the time of the original nonattainment designation. In accordance with CAA section 181(a)(5), EPA may grant up to 2 one-year extensions of the attainment date under specified conditions. On May 31, 2011, EPA determined that North Carolina and South Carolina met the CAA requirements to obtain a one-year extension of the attainment date for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the bi-state Charlotte Area.
On November 15, 2011 (76 FR 70656), EPA determined the bi-state Charlotte Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; and subsequently, on March 7, 2012 (77 FR 13493), EPA determined that the bi-state Charlotte Area attained the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS by the applicable attainment date. The determination of attaining data was based upon complete, quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2008-2010 period, showing that the bi-state Charlotte Area had monitored attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The requirements for the bi-state Charlotte Area to submit an attainment demonstration and associated reasonably available control measures (RACM), RFP plan, contingency measures, and other planning SIP revisions related to attainment of the standard were suspended as a result of the determination of attainment, so long as the bi-state Charlotte Area continues to attain the 1997 8-hour ozone
On December 21, 2011, North Carolina withdrew the attainment demonstration submissions (except RFP, emissions statements, and the emissions inventory) as allowed by 40 CFR 51.918 for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.
On November 29, 2005 (70 FR 71612), as revised on June 8, 2007 (72 FR
The bi-state Charlotte Area had an attainment date of June 15, 2010 (i.e., that is beyond five years after designation), that was later extended to June 15, 2011.
Pursuant to CAA section 172(c)(9), RFP plans must include contingency measures that will take effect without further action by the state or EPA, which includes additional controls that would be implemented if the area fails to reach the RFP milestones. While the CAA does not specify the type of measures or quantity of emissions reductions required, EPA provided guidance interpreting the CAA that implementation of these contingency measures would provide additional emissions reductions of up to 3 percent of the adjusted base year inventory in the year following the RFP milestone year (i.e., in this case 2008). For more information on contingency measures please see the April 16, 1992 General Preamble (57 FR 13498, 13510) and the November 29, 2005 Phase 2 8-hour ozone standard implementation rule (70 FR 71612, 71650). Finally, RFP plans must also include a MVEB for the precursors for which the plan is developed. The State also had the option of developing MVEB for other precursors. See Section V of this rulemaking for more information on MVEB requirements.
On June 15, 2007, and later updated on November 30, 2009, North Carolina submitted the RFP plan for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to address the CAA's requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The June 15, 2007, SIP revision (as updated on November 30, 2009) included an attainment demonstration plan, RFP plan for 2008, contingency measures, RACT, RACM requirements, on-road VOC and NOx MVEB, and the 2002 base year emissions inventory. These revisions to the SIP were subject to notice and comment by the public and the State addressed the comments received on the proposed SIP revisions. Today's rulemaking is approving only the RFP plan, including the associated MVEB. The remainder of North Carolina's June 15, 2007, submittal was addressed by previous EPA actions, or by the State's withdrawal of submissions that were no longer necessary.
On June 15, 2007, and later updated on November 30, 2009, North Carolina submitted the RFP plan for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to address the CAA's requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Below provides EPA's analysis of North Carolina's RFP submission.
An emissions inventory is a comprehensive, accurate, current inventory of actual emissions from all sources and is required by section 182(a)(1) of the CAA. Because the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area as part of the bi-state Charlotte Area did not implement the 15 percent VOC reductions for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, the requirement for North Carolina to meet RFP is a 15 percent VOC reduction between 2002 and 2008 with continued progress toward attainment through attainment.
As mentioned above, EPA has already approved this emissions inventory in a prior action.
The process for determining the emissions baseline from which the RFP reductions are calculated is described in section 182(b)(1) of the CAA and 40 CFR 51.910. This baseline value is the 2002 adjusted base year inventory. Sections 182(b)(1)(B) and (D) require the exclusion from the base year inventory of emissions benefits resulting from the Federal Motor Vehicle Control Program (FMVCP) regulations promulgated by January 1, 1990, and the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations promulgated June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23666). The FMVCP and RVP emissions reductions are determined by the State using EPA's on-road mobile source emissions modeling software, MOBILE6. The FMVCP and RVP emission reductions are then removed from the base year inventory by the State, resulting in an adjusted base year inventory. The emission reductions needed to satisfy the RFP requirement are then calculated from the adjusted base year inventory. These reductions are then subtracted from the adjusted base year inventory to establish the emissions target for the RFP milestone year (2008).
For moderate areas like the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area (as part of the bi-state Charlotte Area), the CAA specifies a 15 percent reduction in ozone precursor emissions over an initial six year period following the baseline inventory year. In the Phase 2 Rule, EPA interpreted this requirement for areas that were also designated nonattainment and classified as moderate or higher for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. In the Phase 2 Rule, EPA provided that an area classified as moderate or higher that has the same boundaries as an area, or is entirely composed of several areas or portions of areas, for which EPA fully approved a 15 percent plan for the 1-hour NAAQS, is considered to have met the requirements of section 182(b)(1) of the CAA for the 8-hour NAAQS. In this situation, a moderate nonattainment area is subject to RFP under section 172(c)(2) of the CAA and shall submit, no later than 3 years after designation for the 8-hour NAAQS, a SIP revision that meets the requirements of 40 CFR 51.910(b)(2). The RFP SIP revision must provide for a 15 percent emission reduction (either nitrogen oxides (NO
The portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area that was classified as moderate under the 1-hour ozone NAAQS contained the counties of Gaston and Mecklenburg in North Carolina. Gaston and Mecklenburg counties were also designated nonattainment as a part of the 1997 8-hour ozone moderate bi-state Charlotte Area. Although a portion of this bi-state Charlotte Area was classified as moderate for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, a 15 percent rate of progress (ROP)
As mentioned earlier and according to section 182(b)(1)(D) of the CAA, emission reductions that resulted from the FMVCP and RVP rules promulgated prior to 1990 are not creditable for achieving RFP emission reductions. Therefore, the 2002 base year inventory is adjusted by subtracting the VOC and NOx emission reductions that are expected to occur between 2002 and the future milestone years due to the FMVCP and RVP rules.
In the Phase 2 Rule, promulgated on November 29, 2005 (70 FR 71612), EPA outlines Method 1 as the process that states should use to show compliance with RFP for areas like the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. A summary of the steps for Method 1 is provided below.
• Step A is the actual anthropogenic base year VOC emissions inventory in 2002.
• Step B is to account for creditable emissions for RFP.
• Step C is to calculate non-creditable emissions for RFP. Non-creditable emissions include emissions from: (1) Motor vehicle exhaust or evaporative emissions regulations promulgated by January 1, 1990; (2) regulations concern RVP promulgated by November 15, 1990; (3) RACT corrections required prior to November 1990; and (4) corrective inspection and maintenance (I/M) plan required prior to November 1990.
• Step D is the 2002 base year emissions (Step A) minus the non-creditable emissions (Step C).
• Step E is to calculate the 2008 target level VOC emissions. This is calculated by reducing the emissions from Step D by 15 percent.
• The estimated 2008 VOC emissions are then compared to the 2008 target level VOC emissions (Step E).
As provided in North Carolina's RFP SIP revision, the State utilized the steps from Method 1 of the Phase 2 Rule. Specifically, North Carolina's November 30, 2009, SIP revision sets out the State's calculations.
North Carolina provided this emission inventory in Table 3-1 of the November 30, 2009, RFP plan for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area, and as shown in Table 3, below. As mentioned above, EPA has already approved this inventory.
For the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area, the RACT and I/M program corrections and the 1992 RVP requirements were completely in place by 1996 and therefore are already accounted for in the 2002 baseline. As a result, these measures would produce no additional reductions between 2002 and 2008 or later milestone years.
North Carolina calculated the non-creditable emission reductions between 2002 and 2008 by modeling its 2002 and 2008 motor vehicle emissions with all post-1990 CAA measures turned off, and calculating the difference. The table below (as present in Table 4-8 of North Carolina's November 30, 2009, SIP revision) shows that there is approximately a 10.0 tons per day (tpd) difference.
The adjusted VOC inventory for calculating the target level of VOC emissions reductions for 2008 is 250.6 tpd (i.e., 260.6 tpd (i.e., result of Step A) and 10.0 tpd (i.e., the result of Step C)).
The targeted level of emissions reductions for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to meet RFP requirements is 37.6 tpd of VOC (i.e, 250.6 tpd multiplied by 15 percent). Thus the required targeted level of VOC emissions is 213.0 tpd for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.
As mentioned above, the required target level for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area to meet the initial RFP plan requirement is a 15 percent reduction in VOC emissions for 2008 from the VOC emissions in 2002 (as adjusted per CAA requirements). Specifically, to meet this requirement, North Carolina needed to demonstrate a reduction of at least 37.6 tpd. Table 5 below summarizes the results of North Carolina's calculations for this RFP analysis.
In its November 30, 2009, SIP revision, North Carolina calculated the 2008 VOC emissions inventory for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. This emissions inventory is provided in Table 6 below.
As discussed above, the required target for VOC emissions for the year 2008 for North Carolina to meet the RFP requirements for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area is 213.0 tpd (i.e., 15 percent reduction from the adjusted 2002 baseline). As revealed in Table 6, North Carolina calculated an emissions inventory of 187.9 tpd of VOC for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area in 2008, which is well below the 213.0 tpd required target. Thus, EPA is making the determination that North Carolina's SIP revision demonstrates the required progress towards attainment for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. In today's action, EPA is approving North Carolina's RFP SIP revision submitted on June 15, 2007 (as updated on November 30, 2009) as meeting the CAA and EPA's regulations regarding RFP.
In support of its development of a NOx MVEB for the 2008, North Carolina, in its November 30, 2009, SIP revision, developed the NOx emissions inventory for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. This inventory is not required for the RFP plan but is necessary for the development of the MVEB. This emissions inventory is provided in Table 7 below.
Under section 176(c) of the CAA, new transportation plans, programs, and projects, such as the construction of new highways, must “conform” to (i.e., be consistent with) the part of the state's air quality plan that addresses pollution from cars and trucks. Conformity to the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS or any interim milestones. If a transportation plan does not conform, most new projects that would expand the capacity of roadways cannot go forward. Regulations at 40 CFR part 93 set forth EPA policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating and assuring conformity of such transportation activities to a SIP. The regional emissions analysis is one, but not the only, requirement for implementing transportation conformity. Transportation conformity is a requirement for nonattainment and maintenance areas. Maintenance areas are areas that were previously nonattainment for a particular NAAQS but have since been redesignated to attainment with an approved maintenance plan for that NAAQS.
Under the CAA, states are required to submit, at various times, control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans for nonattainment areas. These control strategy SIPs (including RFP and attainment demonstrations) and maintenance plans create MVEB for criteria pollutants and/or their precursors to address pollution from cars and trucks. Per 40 CFR part 93, an MVEB must be established for the target year and precursor pollutant of the RFP (i.e., in this case, for the target year of 2008 and for VOC). A state may adopt MVEB for other precursors as well. North Carolina also opted to establish a MVEB for NO
After interagency consultation with the transportation partners for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area, North Carolina developed VOC and NO
Through this rulemaking, EPA is approving the 2008 VOC and NO
When reviewing a submitted “control strategy” SIP, RFP or maintenance plan containing a MVEB, EPA may affirmatively find the MVEB contained therein adequate for use in determining transportation conformity. Once EPA affirmatively finds the submitted MVEB is adequate for transportation conformity purposes, that MVEB must be used by state and federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation projects conform to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the CAA.
EPA's substantive criteria for determining adequacy of a MVEB are set out in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). The process for determining adequacy consists of three basic steps: public notification of a SIP submission, a public comment period, and EPA's adequacy determination. This process for determining the adequacy of submitted MVEB for transportation conformity purposes was initially outlined in EPA's May 14, 1999, guidance, “Conformity Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, Conformity Court Decision.” EPA adopted regulations to codify the adequacy process in the Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for the “New 8-Hour Ozone and PM
As discussed earlier, North Carolina's RFP plan submission includes VOC and NOx MVEB for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area for the year 2008. EPA reviewed the MVEB through the adequacy process. The North Carolina SIP submission, including the 2008 MVEB for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area, was open for public comment on EPA's adequacy Web site on December 3, 2009, found at:
EPA is taking direct final action to approve portions of a SIP revision, submitted on June 15, 2007 (as later updated on November 30, 2009), by the State of North Carolina, through the NC DENR to meet the RFP requirements for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Additionally, EPA is approving the VOC MVEB for the North Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area that were included in North Carolina's RFP plan. These actions are being taken pursuant to section 110 of the CAA.
EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this
Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by State law. For that reason, this final action:
• Is not a “significant regulatory action” subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
• Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501
• Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601
• Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);
• Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
• Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);
• Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
• Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and
• 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 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801
Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 11, 2012. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action 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. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's
Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Volatile organic compounds.
40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:
42 U.S.C. 7401
(e) * * *