Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Throughout this document, wherever “we,” “us,” or “our,” is used, we mean the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
For the purpose of this document, we are giving meaning to certain words or initials as follows:
(1) The words or initials
(2) The initials
(3) The initials
(4) The initials
(5) The initials
(6) The initials
(7) The term
(8) The initials
(9) The words
(10) The initials
(11) The term
(12) The initials
(13) The initials
(14) The initials
(15) The term
(16) The term
(17) The term
(18) The initials
(19) The term
(20) The initials
(21) The initials
(22) The initials
(23) The words
(24) The initials
(25) The initials
(26) The initials
(27) The initials
(28) The initials
(29) The initials
(30) The initials
(31) The initials
(32) The initials
(33) The initials
(34) The initials
(35) The initials
(36) The initials
(37) The initials
(38) The initials
(39) The initials
(40) The initials
(41) The initials
(42) The initials
(43) The initials
(44) The initials
(45) The initials
(46) The initials
(47) The initials
(48) The initials
(49) The initials
(50) The initials
(51) The initials
(52) The initials
(53) The initials
(54) The initials
(55) The initials
(56) The initials
(57) The initials
(58) The initials
(59) The initials
(60) The initials
(61) The initials
(62) The initials
(63) The initials
(64) The initials
(65) The initials
(66) The initials
(67) The initials
(68) The initials
(69) The initials
(70) The initials
(71) The initials
(72) The initials
(73) The initials
(74) The initials
Our notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) was signed on July 2, 2012, and was published in the
Our action is based on an evaluation of Arizona's Regional Haze SIP submitted on February 28, 2011, to meet the requirements of Section 308 of the RHR. We evaluated the SIP against the requirements of the RHR and Clean Air Act (CAA) sections 169A and 169B. We also applied the general SIP requirements in CAA section 110. Our authority for action on Arizona's Regional Haze SIP is based on CAA section 110(k). Our authority to promulgate a FIP is based on CAA section 110(c).
EPA is taking final action to approve in part and disapprove in part a portion of Arizona's SIP for Regional Haze, and to promulgate a FIP for the disapproved elements of the SIP. This final rule only addresses the BART requirements for the eight BART units identified above.
EPA takes very seriously a decision to disapprove any state plan. To approve a state plan, EPA must be able to find that the state plan is consistent with the requirements of the CAA and EPA's regulations. Further, EPA's oversight role requires us to ensure fair implementation of CAA requirements by states across the country, even while acknowledging that individual decisions from source to source or state to state may not have identical outcomes. In this instance, for the reasons described in our proposal and in this document, we find that the State's NO
We encourage the State to submit a revised SIP to replace all portions of our FIP, and are ready to work with the State to develop a revised plan. The CAA requires states to prevent any future and remedy any existing man-made impairment of visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas designated as Class I areas. Arizona has a wealth of such areas. The three power plants affect visibility at 18 national parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and the Petrified Forest. The State and EPA must work together to ensure that plans are in place to make progress toward natural visibility conditions at these national treasures.
This section is a summary of EPA's final action on the BART determinations for the BART units at Apache, Cholla and Coronado electric generating stations. Please refer to Table 1 that compares this final rule to the proposal that was published on July 20, 2012. Where EPA has modified our proposal to respond to comments or additional information, we explain our analysis in the next section titled “EPA's Responses to Comments.” We have fully considered all comments on our proposal, and have concluded that some changes are warranted based on public comments and additional information we received in response to questions raised in the proposal.
We have revised certain elements of our proposed FIP based on public comments and additional information as follows:
We are responding to comments on our proposed rule published on July 20, 2012.
We also received a number of written comments, including extensive comments from stakeholders and government agencies who offered policy and technical analyses addressing the details of our proposed rule. These stakeholders included AEPCO, APS, SRP, PacifiCorp, Arizona Utilities Group (AUG), National Park Service (NPS), Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), and a consortium of conservation organizations (National Parks Conservation Association, Sierra Club, Physicians for Social Responsibility—Arizona Chapter, Dine' Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Grand Canyon Trust, and San Juan Citizens Alliance) represented by Earthjustice. All of the comments we received along with attached technical reports and analyses are available for review in the docket.
The commenter (Earthjustice) requested that EPA properly analyze the BART-eligibility of Cholla Unit 1. Specifically, the commenter requested that EPA identify which “aspects of the process by which ADEQ identified its eligible-for-BART and subject-to-BART sources” it disagrees with, the basis of each disagreement, and whether any such disagreement implicates Cholla Unit 1. In addition, the commenter stated that EPA's independent analysis of this issue must be supported by the following information, which is needed to verify the actual date that Cholla Unit 1 began operating:
• The document entitled “Operating Notes for May 1962” referenced in ADEQ's SIP;
• All available 1962 operating records for Cholla Unit 1;
• All initial CAA construction and operating permits issued to Cholla Unit 1;
• All emissions data from the year 1962 for Cholla Unit 1;
• Notes of the meeting between ADEQ and APS in August 2007 or any other time ADEQ and APS discussed the BART-eligibility of Cholla Unit 1; and
• Any other documentation that either supports or contradicts whether Cholla Unit 1 was placed into
Contrary to the commenter's assertion, the WRAP did not find Cholla Unit 1 subject to BART. The WRAP document cited by the commenter merely indicates that ADEQ notified APS on July 13, 2007 that Cholla Units 1-4 were “Potentially Subject to BART.”
[Cholla] Unit 1 is listed as potentially date eligible as information shows that the emissions unit was in service only 2 months prior to the cut-off date. Recommend requesting additional supporting documentation for final determination.
Following the close of the public comment period, we requested and received from APS a copy of the “Operating Notes For May 1962” along with additional information concerning the operation of Cholla Unit 1.
The commenter (NPS) noted that the BART Guidelines recommend use of the Manual if vendor data are not available. The commenter conducted detailed cost analyses of SCR using an approach that the commenter believes is similar to that used by EPA in its evaluation of SCR on the Colstrip power plant—using the cost methodologies of the Manual and relying on EPA's Integrated Planning Model (IPM) to reflect the most recent cost levels. The commenter observed that most of the ADEQ SCR cost estimates were based on TCI costs that were relatively high ratios of the reported direct capital costs (DCC). The commenter indicated that according to the Manual, the ratio of TCI to DCC is 141 percent, while ADEQ's estimates were as follows:
• At Apache, TCI is 179 percent of DCC for both units and included $6 million in costs for each unit not typically allowed by EPA.
• At Cholla, TCI is 258 percent of DCC for all three units and included $11 million in costs for Units 2 and 3 (each) and $15 million for Unit 4 that are not typically allowed by EPA.
• At Coronado, data were not sufficient to calculate these values.
Arizona has expressly stated that it has considered each of the BART factors. EPA plainly cannot—and does not—demonstrate that Arizona failed to take the costs of compliance with BART emission limits into consideration. The state is required to do no more than that, and EPA cannot lawfully disapprove the state's determinations on the basis that the Agency would prefer a different form of, or format for, explanation of those determinations.
Second, we disagree with the commenter's characterization of our disapproval as based on a “preference” for a different format or form of explanation for ADEQ's BART determinations. As discussed in the previous paragraph, ADEQ has not discussed its BART determination rationale, particularly with regard to costs of compliance, in
With regard to PM
With regard to SO
We consider the use of the broader costing methodology used by the CCM, the overnight method, as crucial to our ability to assess the reasonableness of the costs of compliance. Evaluation of the cost of compliance factor requires an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness associated with the various control options considered for the facility. A proper evaluation of cost-effectiveness allows for a reasoned comparison not only of different control options for a given facility, but also of the relative costs of controls for similar facilities. If the cost-effectiveness of a control technology for a particular facility is outside the range for other similar facilities, the control technology may be rejected as not cost-effective.
Regarding ADEQ's BART determination at Coronado in particular, one commenter (SRP) noted that ADEQ evaluated a visibility index derived from an average of modeled visibility improvements at the nine Class I areas closest to Coronado. The commenter asserted that this approach was well within the State's discretion to assess visibility under the BART rules. Another commenter (AUG) argued this consideration of an average visibility impacts index is an even more thorough type of evaluation than that required by the BART rules.
One commenter (AEPCO) added that EPA's proposal to disapprove ADEQ's NO
By contrast, another commenter asserted that since the facilities' modeling results indicated that controls would contribute to visibility improvements in multiple Class I areas, ADEQ should consider these benefits rather than looking at the benefits in only a single Class I area. The commenter believes that overlooking significant visibility benefits in this way considerably understates the overall benefit of controls to improved visibility. The commenter contended that the procedure followed by ADEQ is not a sufficient basis for making BART determinations for sources with substantial benefits across many Class I areas.
In its BART analyses for Apache and Cholla, ADEQ considered visibility improvements only at the single Class I area with the greatest modeled impact from a facility. This neglects improvements that would occur at other nearby Class I areas, and in general is not adequate for assessing the overall visibility benefit from candidate BART controls. As noted by commenters, the BART Guidelines provide that, “[i]f the highest modeled impacts are observed at the nearest Class I area, [a State] may choose not to analyze the other Class I areas any further and additional analyses might be unwarranted.”
While there may be no single prescribed method to consider and weigh visibility impacts, the BART Guidelines do require that certain visibility impacts be included in the considering and weighing. EPA disagrees that state flexibility extends to categorically excluding consideration of visibility improvements occurring at multiple Class I areas. Considering benefits at multiple areas does not necessarily require use of the “cumulative” improvement approach (i.e., the direct sum of improvements at all the areas), but does require that improvements at those areas be taken into account in some way. For example, one could simply list visibility improvements at the various areas, and qualitatively weigh the number of areas and the magnitudes of the improvements. However, ADEQ did not do this for any of the sources covered by this action.
With respect to ADEQ's consideration of visibility improvements for Coronado, EPA agrees that average visibility index used by ADEQ could be acceptable in itself as part of assessing multiple area impacts and improvements; indeed it is a variant of the cumulative improvement approach. However, without any consideration of particular area improvements, the averaging process causes especially large benefits at some individual areas to be diluted or lost, effectively discounting some of the more important effects of the controls. In addition, the approach is counter to ADEQ's emphasis elsewhere in the SIP on the importance of considering the visibility improvement at the single area having the largest impact from a given facility. Finally, ADEQ provided no discussion of how the results of the visibility index were weighed against the other BART factors.
In addition, ADEQ considered visibility improvements from controls on only a single emitting unit at a time, despite the fact that each of the three sources has multiple BART-eligible units. This neglects the full improvement that would result from controls on the facility, with the potential for dismissing emitting unit benefits that are individually small, but that collectively could have a significant visibility benefit. The RHR requires RH SIPs to include a “determination of BART for each BART-eligible source in the State that emits any air pollutant which may reasonably be anticipated to cause or contribute to any impairment of visibility in any mandatory Class I Federal area.”
The RHR and the Guidelines do not preclude consideration of visibility improvement from controls on individual units, but that would be in addition to considering the improvement from the whole facility. The BART Guidelines clearly allow for the consideration of technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness on a unit-by-unit basis where appropriate, but those considerations fall under different factors than the assessment of the degree of visibility improvement, and do not remove the obligation to consider visibility improvement from BART applied to the facility as a whole. In sum, while the State has some flexibility in choosing a specific procedure to consider these cumulative area and multiple unit benefits, when such benefits are significant, it is not reasonable to ignore them altogether as ADEQ did.
Other commenters (APS and AUG) state that the Interagency Workgroup on Air Quality Modeling (IWAQM) recommended value of 1ppb is outdated and should not be used now that better data have been gathered and since the CALPUFF model was updated to allow for monthly, rath