Federal Presumed To Conform Actions Under General Conformity, 41565-41580 [07-3695]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES thereunder,2 a proposed rule change to amend: (a) Rule 625, Training; (b) Equity Floor Procedure Advices and Order & Decorum Regulations, F–30 Training; and (c) Options Floor Procedure Advices and Order & Decorum Regulations, F–30 Options Trading Floor Training, to clarify and expand the Exchange’s training requirements. Specifically, the proposed rule change expanded the category of individuals who are required to attend the mandatory training sessions and the training topics covered. Further, the Exchange set forth mandatory training requirements, which would take place on at least a semi-annual basis, for floor members. The Exchange also proposed changes to the language in Rule 970, Floor Procedure Advices: Violations, Penalties and Procedures, to delete the reference to the now-obsolete Market Surveillance Department and to provide that any authorized official of the Exchange may sign a citation for a floor procedure advice violation. The proposal was published for comment in the Federal Register on June 19, 2007.3 The Commission received no comments on the proposal. This order approves the proposed rule change. After careful review of the proposal, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.4 In particular, the Commission finds that the proposal is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act,5 which requires, among other things that the rules of an exchange be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Expanding the Exchange’s current mandatory training program should provide a means for keeping members and persons employed by or associated with such members or member organizations, and Participant Authorized Users, informed of and educated about, among other things, current rules and regulations and trading-related Exchange systems, which should enhance member 2 17 CFR 240.19b–4. 3 See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55729 (June 12, 2007), 72 FR 33797. 4 In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule’s impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f). 5 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5). VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 compliance with the federal securities law and Exchange rules. Additionally, updating the language in Exchange Rule 970 should promote efficiency in connection with the issuance of citations. It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act,6 that the proposed rule change (SR–Phlx–2007– 16) be, and hereby is, approved. For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.7 Florence E. Harmon, Deputy Secretary. [FR Doc. E7–14606 Filed 7–27–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8010–01–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 41565 4. Report of the Human Resources Committee. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please call TVA Media Relations at (865) 632–6000, Knoxville, Tennessee. Information is also available at TVA’s Washington Office (202) 898–2999. People who plan to attend the meeting and have special needs should call (865) 632–6000. Anyone who wishes to comment on any of the agenda in writing may send their comments to: TVA Board of Directors, Board Agenda Comments, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. Dated: July 25, 2007. Maureen H. Dunn, General Counsel and Secretary. [FR Doc. 07–3717 Filed 7–26–07; 12:44 pm] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P [Meeting No. 07–04] Sunshine Act Meeting DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Time and Date: 9 a.m. (EDT), August 1, 2007, TVA West Tower Auditorium, 400 West Summit Hill Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902. Status: Open. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final Notice. Old Business Approval of minutes of May 31, 2007, Board Meeting. New Business 1. President’s Report. 2. Report of the Finance, Strategy, and Rates Committee. A. Annual budget. B. Customer Items. i. Time-of-use power supply arrangements with a directly-served customer. ii. Real time energy arrangements. iii. Implementation of 5-Minute Response program. iv. Interconnection agreements with the cities of Princeton and Paducah, Kentucky. v. Limited interruptible power/ Limited firm power. C. PURPA determinations. D. Financial trading program modifications. 3. Report of the Operations, Environment, and Safety Committee. A. Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 construction and startup. B. Authorization to purchase a combined cycle generating facility. C. Amended Board Practice on Fuel, Power Purchases or Sales, and Related Contract Approvals. PO 00000 7 17 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2). CFR 200.30–3(a)(12). Frm 00074 Federal Presumed To Conform Actions Under General Conformity AGENCY: Agenda 6 15 Federal Aviation Administration Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: The Clean Air Act (CAA) section 176(c), 42 U.S.C. 7506(c) and Amendments of 1990 1 require that all Federal actions conform to an applicable State Implementation Plan (SIP). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established criteria and procedures for Federal agencies to use in demonstrating conformity with an applicable SIP that can be found at 40 CFR 93.150 et seq. (‘‘The Rule’’). The Rule allows Federal agencies to develop a list of actions that are presumed to conform to a SIP 2 for the criteria pollutants and their precursors that are identified in 40 CFR 93.153(b)(1) and (b)(2) and in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under 40 CFR 50.4–50.12.3 The criteria pollutants of concern for local airport air quality are ozone (O3) and its two major precursors (volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides (NOX)), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide 1 Clean Air Act Title I Air Pollution Prevention and Control, Part D, Subpart 1, Section 176 Limitation on Certain Federal Assistance. 2 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(f). 3 NAAQS established by the EPA represent maximum concentration standards for criteria pollutants to protect human health (primary standards) and to protect property and aesthetics (secondary standards). E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41566 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices (SO2) 4, and particulate matter consisting of small particulates with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) and larger particulates with a diameter of up to 10 micrometers (PM10).5 According to the Rule 6, Federal agencies must meet the criteria for establishing activities that are presumed to conform by either: (1) Clearly demonstrating that the total of direct and indirect emissions from the type of activities that would be presumed to conform would not: (i) Cause or contribute to any new violation of any standard in any area; (ii) Interfere with provisions in the applicable SIP for maintenance of any standard; (iii) Increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation of any standard in any area; or (iv) Delay timely attainment of any standard or any required interim emission reductions or other milestones in any area including emission levels specified in the applicable SIP 7; or (2) Providing documentation that emissions from the types of actions that would be presumed to conform are below the applicable de minimis levels established in 40 CFR § 93.153(b)(1) and (b)(2).8 This documentation may be based on similar actions that the agency has taken over recent years.9 Besides documenting the basis for presumed to conform activities, Federal agencies must fulfill procedural requirements under the Rule relating to publication in the Federal Register, notification to Federal/State/local agencies, opportunity for public comment, and availability of responses to public comments.10 In this Notice, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is identifying a list of actions involving agency approval and financial assistance for airport projects that are presumed to conform. The benefits of this list include the elimination of unnecessary agency costs associated with evaluating actions with few if any emissions. As a result, the agency will be able to streamline the environmental process by applying more of its resources to actions that have the potential to reach regulated emission levels or adversely impact air quality. Addressing the need for efficiency and streamlining, the EPA states that the mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 4 FAA calculated SOX is considered equal to SO2 is a subset of PM10 with separate standards for each. 6 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(g). 7 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(g)(1). 8 Title 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(g)(2). 9 Ibid. 10 Title 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(h). 5 PM 2.5 VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 provisions allowing Federal agencies to establish categories of actions that are presumed to conform are ‘‘intended to assure that these Rules are not overly burdensome and Federal agencies would not spend undue time assessing actions that have little or no impact on air quality.’’ 11 Furthermore, the EPA states that ‘‘Federal actions which are de minimis should not be required by this Rule to make an applicability analysis. A different interpretation could result in an extremely wasteful process which generates vast numbers of useless conformity statements.’’ 12 Consequently, the Rule allows individual Federal agencies to present categories of actions that have been documented to be de minimis and, therefore should be ‘‘presumed to conform’’ to the Rule under 40 CFR 93.153(f). This Notice contains a summary of documentation and analysis which demonstrates that actions described below will not exceed the applicable de minimis emission levels for nonattainment and maintenance areas, as specified under 40 CFR 93.153(b). In relation to the agency’s demonstration of presumed to conform actions, the EPA has defined broad categories of actions in 40 CFR 93.153(c)(2) that are exempt from the Rule because the actions result in no emissions increase or an increase in emissions that is clearly de minimis. In this Notice, the FAA distinguishes various airportrelated actions that are exempt under the Rule from those that are presumed to conform. Notification Process for Presumed To Conform The notification requirements in the Rule are as follows: 13 (1) The Federal agency must identify through publication in the Federal Register its list of proposed activities that are presumed to conform and the basis for the presumptions; (2) The Federal agency must notify the appropriate EPA Regional Office(s), State and local air quality agencies and, where applicable, the agency designated under section 174 of the Act and the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and provide at least 30 days for the public to comment on the list of proposed activities presumed to conform; (3) The Federal agency must document its response to all the comments received and make the comments, response, and final list of PO 00000 11 58 FR 63228 (Nov. 30, 1993). FR 63229 (Nov. 30, 1993). 13 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(h)(1–4). 12 58 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 activities available to the public upon request; and (4) The Federal agency must publish the list of such activities in the Federal Register. In meeting the requirements above, the FAA issued the Draft Notice, entitled Federal Presumed to Conform Actions Under General Conformity, in the Federal Register of Monday, February 12, 2007 (Vol. 72, No. 28, pp. 6641–6656). All of the appropriate organizations were notified and encouraged to comment, including EPA Regions, State and local air quality agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations. A 45-day public comment period was provided for the Draft Federal Notice, allowing a few additional weeks for comment beyond the minimum 30-day notice period. Seven (7) letters were submitted to the FAA. From these letters, the FAA identified twenty-nine (29) separate comments to which the agency prepared individual written responses. All of the letters, comments, and responses are publicly available for review on the FAA Office of Airports Web site for environmental programs. Based on comments received and follow-up discussions with the EPA, the FAA made appropriate revisions to the Federal Register Notice. The FAA is completing its notification requirements by publishing the completed list of presumed to conform actions in this Final Federal Register Notice. The public may obtain further program information or review project documentation by contacting the office and person listed under ‘‘For Further Information Contact.’’ FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jake A. Plante, Planning and Environmental Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, APP–400, SW., Room 616, Office of Airports, Washington, DC 20591, jake.plante@faa.gov, phone (202) 493– 4875, fax (202) 267–5257. Table of Contents The major sections of this document are as follows: I. Background II. Existing Exemptions III. Presumed To Conform Project Descriptions and Justifications IV. How To Apply Presumed To Conform Actions I. Background Under the Rule (40 CFR 93.153(g)(h)), the FAA and other agencies are entitled to develop a list of proposed actions that are presumed to conform. The process of establishing presumed to conform classifications is predicated on the E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES concept of conformity. Conformity assures that an activity that is presumed to conform does not cause or contribute to any new violation of the NAAQS or interfere with provisions contained in applicable SIPS. The administration and enforcement of conformity regulations are delegated by the EPA to the individual States through provisions in each SIP. A SIP is the written plan submitted to the EPA detailing each State’s strategy to control air emissions to meet and maintain the NAAQS in geographic areas that are designated as nonattainment areas. The EPA requires each State to devise such a plan for each criteria pollutant causing violations or the EPA will impose a Federal implementation plan (‘‘FIP’’) for the State. When a nonattainment area achieves compliance with the NAAQS, it becomes a maintenance area for at least 10 years with ongoing State responsibility to ensure continued attainment.14 General Conformity General conformity refers to the process of demonstrating that a general Federal action conforms to the applicable SIP. A general Federal action is defined more by what it is not, rather than by what it is. A general Federal action is any Federal action that is not a Federal ‘‘transportation’’ action and consequently not subject to the conformity requirements established for Federal highway or transit actions, referred to as ‘‘transportation conformity.’’ A Federal transportation action is an action related to transportation plans, programs, and projects that are developed, funded, or approved under Title 23 United States Code (USC) or the Federal Transit Act (FTA).15 Since FAA actions do not meet the definition of a transportation action, they are general actions by default and thus subject to the General Conformity Rule. The FAA and other Federal agencies subject to general conformity must make a determination that the Federal action conforms to the SIP’s purpose to meet and maintain the NAAQS before the action is taken. If the proposed actions are not specifically exempt or classified as presumed to conform, it is necessary to conduct an emissions inventory as part of the applicability analysis to determine if emissions are likely to equal or exceed the established screening criteria emission rates known as the de minimis thresholds. A general conformity determination is required for each pollutant identified as 14 CAA, Section 175A, 42 U.S.C. 7505a. 15 49 U.S.C. 1601 et seq. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 nonattainment or maintenance when the total of direct and indirect emissions caused by a Federal action equals or exceeds any of the applicable de minimis thresholds.16 FAA Airport Development Actions Subject to General Conformity The FAA is responsible for deciding whether its actions involving an airport located in a nonattainment or maintenance area require a general conformity evaluation.17 FAA actions that require a conformity evaluation include unconditional approval of any or all parts of an airport layout plan (ALP), final Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant approvals, and approvals for use of Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs). Other FAA actions that may require a conformity evaluation include proposed actions for which an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) is prepared under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. II. Existing Exemptions For the FAA to provide the proper context and baseline for identifying and proposing a list of presumed to conform Federal actions, it is important to consider the extent to which FAA airport-related actions and activities may qualify for exemption from general conformity requirements. The EPA has defined broad categories of exempt actions under 40 CFR 93.153(c)(2) that result in no emissions increase or increases in emissions that are clearly de minimis. These actions are not subject to further analysis for applicability, conformity, or regional significance under the Rule. As part of this Federal Register Notice, the FAA has interpreted how the exemptions in the Rule apply to FAA actions associated with airport facilities and aviation planning. The following discussion addresses the most relevant examples of these exemptions regarding FAA actions for airport development. 1. Rulemaking and Policy Development [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(iii)] The FAA develops rules and policies to address issues of safety, aviation noise abatement, and systematic improvements to efficiency. This includes issuance of airport policy and planning documents for the National CFR Part 93, § 93.153(b). evaluation’’ refers to the overall process of assessing whether an action/project is subject to general conformity requirements, which may include an applicability analysis needed to make a conformity determination. See Question #1, EPA and FAA General Conformity Guidance for Airports: Questions and Answers, September 25, 2002. PO 00000 16 40 17 ‘‘Conformity Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41567 Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), the Airport Capital Improvement Program (ACIP), and Advisory Circulars on planning, design, and development programs. These documents provide administrative and technical guidance to the airport community and the public and are not intended for direct implementation. The actual process of rulemaking or policy development is typically administrative in nature and does not cause an increase in air emissions. 2. Routine Maintenance and Repair Activities [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(iv)] In conformance with FAA standards and regulations, the airport sponsor must maintain airport facilities and the airfield in a manner that ensures the safe operation of the airport. These activities constitute Federal actions when Federal funding from the FAA is involved. Airport maintenance, repair, removal, replacement, and installation work that matches the characteristics, size, and function of a facility as it existed before the replacement or repair activity typically qualifies as routine maintenance and repair for purposes of general conformity. Such activity does not increase the capacity of the airport or change the operational environment of the airport. The FAA does not consider major runway reconstruction to qualify as exempt under the Rule if the reconstruction results in a runway that is hardened, lengthened, or widened to support a larger class of aircraft. Proposed funding for such a project would require analysis of emission levels to determine the applicability of general conformity requirements. Routine maintenance for existing runways, taxiways, aprons, ramps, fillets, and airport roadways includes in-kind resurfacing,18 re-marking of existing runways, taxiways, apron areas, etc., and runway grooving and rubber removal projects. Other areas of routine replacement, maintenance, and repair work that may be considered exempt from the Rule include: • Existing signage. • Existing lighting systems. • Existing pavement markings. • Wind or landing direction indicators. • Existing airport security access control. • Existing buildings and structures. • Existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. • Existing infrastructure such as sanitary sewer or electrical systems. 18 Depending on numerous factors affecting surface conditions, airports will generally resurface asphalt runways every 7–10 years. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41568 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices • General landscaping, erosion control, and grading. 3. Planning, Studies, and Provisions of Technical Assistance [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(xii)] Planning and information-related actions do not represent implementation of operational changes at the airport and therefore do not result in emission increases. Consequently, actions such as those listed below may be considered exempt from the Rule: • FAA funding and acceptance of Master Plans and Updates. • FAA funding of System Planning Studies. • FAA acceptance of noise exposure maps and approval of noise compatibility programs pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 47501 et seq., as implemented by 14 CFR Part 150. • FAA approval of noise and access restrictions on operations by Stage 3 aircraft under 49 U.S.C. 47524, as implemented by 14 CFR Part 161. 4. Transfers of Ownership, Interests, and Titles in Land, Facilities, and Real and Personal Properties, Regardless of the Form or Method of the Transfer [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(xiv)] mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 5. Actions (or Portions Thereof) Associated With Transfers of Land, Facilities, Title, and Real Properties Through an Enforceable Contract or Lease Agreement Where the Delivery of the Deed Is Required To Occur Promptly After a Specific, Reasonable Condition Is Met, Such as Promptly After the Land Is Certified as Meeting the Requirements of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and Where the Federal Agency Does Not Retain Continuing Authority To Control Emissions Associated With the Lands, Facilities, Title, or Real Properties [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(xix)] Actions by the FAA to transfer or acquire land or equipment that do not increase the capacity of the airport or change the operational environment affecting air emissions. Such actions include funding or approving transfers, acquisitions, or releases by airport sponsors,19 or preparing and executing related contracts or written agreements. Related actions that may be considered exempt from the Rule are: • Facilities and equipment purchases. • Land acquisition and relocation assistance. 19 Airport ‘‘sponsors’’ are planning agencies, public agencies, or private airport owners/operators that have the legal and financial ability to carry out the program requirements for FAA financial assistance. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 • Land releases for which there is no reasonable expectation of a change in land use. • Avigation easement acquisition. • Acquisition of an existing privately owned airport involving only change of ownership. 6. Alterations and Additions of Existing Structures as Specifically Required by New or Existing Applicable Environmental Legislation or Environmental Regulations (e.g., Hush Houses for Aircraft Engines * * *) [40 CFR 93.153(d)(4)] Actions that are initiated in response to specific environmental laws and regulations (e.g., energy efficiency, noise abatement structures and equipment) may be considered exempt from the Rule. These actions include: • Equipment purchases. • Protective noise barriers. • Required noise mitigation actions including the installation and operation of hush houses for aircraft and engine maintenance. 7. Federal Actions Which Are Part of a Continuing Response to an Emergency or Disaster [40 CFR 93.153(d)(2) and (e)] Actions in response to emergencies, natural disasters, etc., that involve overriding concerns for public health and welfare, national security interests, or foreign policy commitments may be exempt from general conformity requirements for six months and possibly longer if justified in writing by the agency.20 III. Presumed To Conform Project Descriptions and Justifications The FAA began the process of developing and documenting presumed to conform actions with a detailed environmental survey of airport projects. The survey was conducted by all FAA regional offices, which identified approved airport projects over a recent two-year period that received a categorical exclusion (CATEX) or Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI).21 This information was requested only for airports included in areas designated as nonattainment or maintenance by the EPA. Information compiled from these surveys described about 600 completed projects at over 100 airports. The survey information was processed by assigning each airport 20 Airports located in nonattainment or maintenance areas with small regional emission budgets may need to check whether a proposed exempt action might be regionally significant under 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(i). 21 FAA Order 1050.1E, chapter 3 (CATEX) and Chapter 4, § 406 (FONSI), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 planning and development project into one of two categories: (1) Projects that are exempt from the requirements of the Rule as defined by 40 CFR 93.153(e); or (2) projects that require an applicability analysis before being defined as de minimis (i.e., presumed to conform), according to 40 CFR 93.153(c)(1). Specific information on the application of these two project categories is presented in Section II and Section III of this document, respectively. In the analysis of the survey results, any airport project that exceeded de minimis levels even once was considered ineligible for the presumed to conform list. Follow-up communications with airports and FAA regional representatives helped to clarify terminology and confirm the reliability of the presumptions. In addition, the FAA performed detailed worst-case analyses where practicable in areas where project size and implementation could conceivably result in the exceedance of de minimis levels. The airport project survey data and other agency experience in implementing similar actions taken over recent years provide the fundamental basis for all of the presumed to conform classifications. The FAA conducted additional quantitative analyses for specific project areas, as practicable. These analyses are summarized in Section III, and include the following: pavement markings; terminal upgrades; commercial vehicle staging areas; nonrunway paving; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and low-emission technology and alternative fuel vehicles. Based on the survey of airport projects, the additional evaluations, and quantitative analyses, only those project categories that were proven to be reliably and consistently de minimis were classified as presumed to conform. In general, FAA presumed to conform actions involve maintenance, navigation, construction, safety, security activities, and new technology and vehicle systems that do not modify or increase airport capacity or change the operational environment of the airport in such a way as to increase air emissions above de minimis thresholds. Presented below are the airport project descriptions and justifications for FAA actions that are presumed to conform. There are fifteen project categories, which are discussed in the following order: 1. Pavement Markings. 2. Pavement Monitoring Systems. 3. Non-Runway Pavement Work. 4. Aircraft Gate Areas on Airside. 5. Lighting Systems. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices 6. Terminal and Concourse Upgrades. 7. New HVAC Systems, Upgrades, and Expansions. 8. Airport Security. 9. Airport Safety. 10. Airport Maintenance Facilities. 11. Airport Signage. 12. Commercial Vehicle Staging Areas. 13. Low-Emission Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles. 14. Air Traffic Control Activities and Adopting Approach, Departure and Enroute Procedures for Air Operations. 15. Routine Installation and Operation of Aviation Navigation Aids. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 1. Pavement Markings Airport sponsors apply paint on paved surfaces, such as runways, taxiways, apron areas, cargo areas, and parking lots to ensure the safe operation of aircraft during approach and landing and to provide safe direction for surface vehicles. Most pavement marking projects are considered routine maintenance activities, qualifying as exempt from the Rule (see Section II, number 2 of this Notice). These actions are designed to restore and improve painted surfaces that have deteriorated due to time, use, and weather. Federal actions that alter airport use through new pavement markings are not routine maintenance but are presumed to conform if such actions do not increase airport capacity or introduce a larger class of aircraft at the airport. For example, new runway markings for improved flight procedures from visual flight rules (VFR) to instrument flight rules (IFR) are presumed to conform if normal traffic flow is maintained. Pollutant emissions due to the paint application process are primarily composed of VOC from the paint, and NOX emitted from the trucks and application compressors required to prepare the surface and apply the paint. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 Emissions of both VOC and NOX are considered precursors to the development of ozone in the atmosphere. Therefore, emissions from the application of painted pavement markings pertain most importantly to ozone nonattainment and maintenance areas. A worst-case calculation of emissions was performed based on equipment and types of paint required to mark a Category III 13,000-foot runway with an instrument lighting system (ILS) to FAA specifications. The calculation of emissions included the removal of existing markings using water pressure through a compressor mounted on a diesel truck, a pavement sweeper truck to remove debris, the application of the paint using an air compressor mounted on a diesel truck, and a small hand sprayer for detailed markings, such as squared corners. A total of 2,492 gallons of paint (a combination of white, yellow, and black) were applied to the representative runway at a rate of 115 square feet per gallon of paint. The trucks transporting the paint and compressors were assumed to be similar to a single axle, Class 7 diesel pickup truck.22 The sweeper was assumed to be a regenerative diesel air power model, using a chassis engine and an auxiliary engine to power the brushes. Manufacturers’ Material Safety Data Sheets were referenced for the VOC emissions factors for the three colors of latex paint. Emissions factors for the criteria and precursor pollutants were obtained from the EPA Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study-Report.23 22 The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) system defines a Class 7 diesel truck as one that can carry 26,001 to 33,000 pounds of weight on two axles. 23 EPA Report 460/3–91–02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study— Report. PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41569 Load factors and horsepower ratings were obtained from the EPA Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission StudyReport and Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.24 The maximum volume of paint that could be applied without equaling or exceeding the de minimis thresholds for any nonattainment and maintenance classification was calculated.25 For instance, an airport located within an extreme nonattainment area for ozone is limited to net project emissions of 10 tons of VOC per year. This translates into an annual application of 21,890 gallons of paint, which also causes 0.21 tons 26 of NOX emissions. For example, this volume of paint would mark eight Category III 13,000-foot ILS runways. A volume of paint on the order of one million gallons is required to cause emissions of NOX to equal 10 tons per year. Likewise, a volume of paint on the order of five million to 176 million gallons is required in order to be sufficient to exceed the de minimis thresholds for CO, SO2, or PM10. Therefore, VOCs are the limiting pollutant 27 for the application of paint at airports and emissions of NOX, CO, SO2, and PM10 are considerably less. Table III–1 provides the gallon application limits, which include the use of construction equipment for pavement markings in nonattainment and maintenance areas. BILLING CODE 4910–13–P 24 EPA Report NR–005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 1998, Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling. 25 Calculations of maximum paint volume include consideration of construction equipment. 26 Short tons, where one ton equals 2,000 lbs. 27 The limiting pollutant is defined as the criteria pollutant that first exceeds de minimis levels for a given project. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices BILLING CODE 4910–13–C 2. Pavement Monitoring Systems Airports have the option of installing a pavement monitoring system to VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 indicate when the durability and strength of the pavement needs to be reinforced. These systems are E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 EN30JY07.003</GPH> mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 41570 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES implemented for safety reasons to ensure that an airport’s runway, taxiway, and apron network are sufficiently able to support the weight of aircraft. Minor construction work is required for the installation of the monitoring system. Assuming the installation requires the use of a pickup truck, a utility truck, an excavator, an asphalt paver, a compactor, and a small generator, construction would have to proceed continuously (eight hours per day, 20 days per month) for more than a year (1.1 years) in order to produce emissions near the level of 10 tons of NOX. For the remaining criteria pollutants and precursors, construction on the order of several years would be required to approach the de minimis thresholds. Pavement monitoring systems are installed in less than a week; therefore, project construction emissions are well below de minimis and presumed to conform. 3. Non-Runway Pavement Work Airfield pavement must be constructed to withstand the weight of aircraft and to produce a firm, stable, smooth, year-round, all-weather surface. The pavement must be of such quality and thickness that it will not fail under the weight of aircraft and it must possess sufficient inherent stability to withstand, without damage, the abrasive action of aircraft traffic and adverse weather conditions.28 These pavement specifications apply to non-runway areas of the airfield where aircraft operate, including taxiways, apron areas, and gate areas. The specific pavement requirements are satisfied by applying rigid pavement consisting of layers of crushed stone bound and pressed into a smooth surface. Most airfield construction projects that are presumed to conform involve areas of the airfield, generally referred to as apron areas, that accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refueling, or aircraft parking. These types of airfield projects do not include projects intended to increase airport capacity or those that are otherwise defined as routine maintenance for existing apron areas. Taxiway construction projects are limited to improvements of existing taxiways that will not affect runway use, increase capacity, enable new aircraft types, or change existing airfield operations when complete (e.g., new high speed exits would represent such a change). Construction projects in this category do not include blasting or substantial ‘‘cut 28 FAA AC 150/5320–6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement Design and Evaluation. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 and fill’’ activity to level the terrain or prepare the surface area. If an apron area or taxiway project does not meet the conditions as described above, a project emissions inventory of direct and indirect emissions is required to determine the further applicability of general conformity. Pollutant emissions due to airfield construction are solely from the use of construction equipment and are primarily comprised of NOX, a precursor to ozone development, and CO resulting from the trucks operated to haul the large amounts of stone and gravel that must be used to form the support layers for the paving material. The evaluation of emissions from airfield paving was based on a representative project in the FAA Eastern Region. The project required equipment and materials to construct approximately 600,000 square feet of airfield and concrete shoulder area with an assumed surface design life of 20 years.29 The conservative calculation of emissions included the preparation of the site allowing for a four-inch geotextile layer of subgrade soil, a fourinch frost protection layer of crushed stone, a four-inch sub base layer of finely crushed stone, an eight-inch base layer of gravel mixed with a stabilizer such as cement,30 and the application of a six-inch layer of Portland cement concrete.31 This type of construction design allows for a total pavement thickness of 26 inches; the minimum total pavement thickness for the accommodation of jet aircraft weighing 100,000 pounds or more is 20 inches.32 Also included in the construction emissions inventory is the installation of a drainage system. Emissions factors for construction equipment were obtained from the EPA’s 1991 Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study—Report.33 Load factors and horsepower ratings for the construction equipment were obtained from the EPA’s 1991 Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study—Report and the EPA’s 1997 Median Life, Annual 29 As recommended under FAA AC 150/5320–16, October 22, 1995, Airport Pavement Design for the Boeing 777 Airplane. 30 Stabilized base layers as necessary for new pavements designed to accommodate jet aircraft weighting 100,000 pounds or more. FAA AC 150/ 5320–6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement Design and Evaluation. 31 Portland cement is a hydraulic cement made by heating a mixture of limestone and clay in a kiln and pulverizing the resulting material. 32 FAA AC 150/5320–6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement Design and Evaluation. 33 EPA Report 460/3–91–02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study— Report. Table 2–07 Emission Factors. PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41571 Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.34 The maximum allowable square footage of airfield construction was calculated for each nonattainment and maintenance category. The analysis showed that NOX was the limiting pollutant for airfield paving projects and that emissions of VOC, CO, SO2, and PM10 are considerably less in comparison with NOX. Table III–1 provides the area limits for non-runway airfield construction in nonattainment and maintenance areas. For instance, an airport located within an area designed as extreme nonattainment for ozone, which limits net project emissions to the rate of 10 tons per year of NOX, is limited to constructing 219,368 square feet (5.04 acres) of apron area, which also causes 0.93 tons of VOC emissions. As a reference, four acres is generally sufficient to provide remote or ‘‘hardstand’’ (non-gate) parking for three narrow-body aircraft. Construction of an airfield/apron area on the order of 2.38 million square feet (54.7 acres) causes emissions of VOC up to 10 tons per project, creating emissions of NOX of approximately 109 tons. New airfield construction on the order of 150 to 600 acres would be required to exceed the de minimis thresholds for CO, SO2 and PM10. Generally speaking, emissions of NOX are on the order of three times the emissions of CO for these types of projects and are more than 10 times the emissions of the remaining criteria pollutants. 4. Aircraft Gate Areas on Airside Aircraft gate areas refer to the area outside of the terminals and concourses where jetways are used to link parked aircraft to the terminal building. Federal actions to improve aircraft gate areas (e.g., gate electrification) can be part of airport modernization efforts involving new airline tenants or the introduction of newer and more efficient technology. Aircraft gate areas involve a wide range of activities from aircraft loading and unloading of passengers and cargo to the servicing of aircraft by lavatory, food supply, and maintenance vehicles. Upgrades to the aircraft gate area are often needed to accommodate changing flight schedules and daily activity. The addition or modification of jetways to existing terminal buildings is typically done to adjust to changes in air travel demand and airline requirements. Such projects are intended to improve 34 EPA Report NR–005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 1998, Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41572 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices passenger terminal service by reducing passenger queuing and waiting times. Actions to approve or fund the upgrading of aircraft gate areas are presumed to conform provided such actions do not increase aircraft operations or introduce a larger class of aircraft at the airport. 5. Lighting Systems Airport sponsors may need to install new lighting systems to maintain proper illumination of roadways, taxiways, runways, and parking areas. The data from the FAA surveys indicated that airport upgrading and installing of new lighting systems is done on an asneeded basis. Minor mechanical work is required for the installation effort, followed by electrical work that does not require large off-road construction equipment. Assuming the installation requires the use of a pickup truck, a utility truck, an excavator, and a small generator, the construction will have to proceed continuously (eight hours a day, 20 days a month) for more than 17 months (1.4 years) in order to produce emissions near the level of 10 tons of NOX. For the remaining criteria pollutants and precursors, construction on the order of several years would be required to approach the de minimis thresholds. Runway and other lighting systems can be installed in less than two weeks; therefore, project construction emissions are well below de minimis and presumed to conform. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 6. Terminal and Concourse Upgrades The opportunity to expand or upgrade terminals and concourses for improving passenger convenience or administrative use typically involves increasing or renovating the interior terminal space, including offices, hold rooms, concessions, restrooms, and gate areas. Terminal and concourse upgrades do not include new or upgraded heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, which are covered under a separate presumed to conform action (#7) because of their additional operating emissions. Qualifying projects in this category do not include terminal replacement projects or have the effect of attracting more passengers. Nor do they have the effect of increasing the airport’s ability to accommodate additional numbers or VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 types of aircraft or to increase passenger loading on scheduled flights. Major terminal and/or concourse expansion projects that are designed to increase passenger usage or to support increased airfield capacity through new aircraft gates, runways, taxiways, etc. require an inventory of direct and indirect emissions to determine the further applicability of general conformity. Construction vehicles and equipment are the dominant source of emissions when expanding or upgrading terminals. A conservative approach to quantifying construction emissions was used to determine the appropriate limits for this type of activity. The emission limits are presented in Table III–1 under ‘‘Terminal Upgrades’’ according to the de minimis thresholds. A proposed terminal expansion project located in the FAA’s Southern Region was used as the representative project. The terminal was proposed to have an additional footprint of 381,000 square feet. This proposed project was purposely selected to provide a conservative estimate of construction emissions normally released from this type airport improvement activity, even though this presumed to conform activity is limited to non-capacity enhancing projects. Emissions were quantified in this case from construction activities, including soil cement preparation, subgrade preparation, light and heavy demolition, cement base treatment, installation of the grade aggregate base, construction of the terminal, light and heavy utility work, and light and heavy earthwork. In addition, the proposed terminal expansion was assumed to occur within the same calendar year instead of the proposed schedule of seven years. Construction emissions were calculated using prescribed EPA methodology incorporating the projected construction activity level, the number of construction vehicles and equipment, and industry-wide utilization rates. Emission factors for construction vehicles and equipment were taken from EPA databases for nonroad vehicles and engines,35 and their updates.36 35 EPA Report 460/3–91–02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study— Report. 36 EPA Report NR–005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 1998, Median Life, Annual PO 00000 Frm 00081 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 A proposed terminal/concourse expansion project is presumed to conform up to the square foot additions (footprint) of the project as determined by the most limiting pollutant (see Table III–1). The prescribed build-out limits per calendar year apply to all components of the terminal/concourse upgrade project according to the air quality status of the area in which the project is located. 7. New HVAC Systems, Upgrades, and Expansions Upgrading and expanding heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are presumed to conform because any emission increases associated with improvements to airport heating and cooling systems are generally minor and well below de minimis thresholds. Heating for airport terminal buildings is typically provided through a boiler system.37 Boilers may be fueled by natural gas, coal (bituminous, subbituminous, or anthracite), No. 5 and No. 6 fuel oil (residual), No. 2 fuel oil (diesel), culm fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas (propane or butane). Pollutant emissions due to the operation of boilers vary with the fuel used. The emission factors for the various fuels are presented in Table III–2 below. A new, upgraded, or expanded boiler system involves the installation of new equipment to replace or expand the capacity of existing boiler systems. Boilers can be very large and are sometimes delivered on flatbed semitractor trailer trucks and set in place by a crane. Table III–3 presents the construction emissions, primarily NOX and CO, associated with the installation of a large boiler as described. BILLING CODE 4910–13–P Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling. 37 A boiler is an encased vessel that provides a means for combustion heat to be transferred into water until it becomes steam. The steam is then used to heat the building through a network of pipes. When water is boiled into steam its volume increases about 1,600 times, which is an efficient means for transferring heat for a process. HVACWebTech, Inc. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices 41573 VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 EN30JY07.004</GPH> mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES BILLING CODE 4910–13–C 41574 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices Airport terminals consume energy for heat at a higher rate than most public buildings. The reasons for this include the open areas surrounding many airports, heat loss from the movement of people and baggage in and out of buildings, and the usual 24-hour operation of facilities. The consumption of energy to generate heat is also dependent upon the design of the terminal building. For instance, many airport terminals are designed with exterior glass walls or incorporate design, art, and architectural treatments that reflect local customs and community history.38 The many variations of airport terminal design, including geographical location, make it impractical to identify the ‘‘typical terminal building’’ for purposes of determining total emissions. Therefore, the presumption of conformity could not be based on the characteristics of the building, but rather on the volume of fuel consumed. As discussed, emissions resulting from the operation of boilers depend on the type of fuel powering the boiler system. Emissions from the use of propane, butane, and natural gas are of concern in ozone nonattainment and mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 38 FAA AC 150/5360–13, April 22, 1988, Planning and Design Guidelines for Airport Terminal Facilities. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 maintenance areas since the primary pollutant from combustion of these fuels is NOX, a precursor to ozone formation. Hydrocarbons (HCs) are another precursor to ozone but they are relatively low for these fuel types in comparison to NOX emissions. The primary pollutant from the combustion of fuel oil (No. 2 diesel, and No. 5 and No. 6 residual) is SO2, while particulate matter is the primary pollutant from the combustion of coal, including culm fuel. Therefore, NOX, SO2, PM2.5, and PM10 are the most likely limiting pollutants for the operation of boiler systems at airports. Table III–4 below presents maximum annual fuel throughput for heating systems and boilers by fuel type at levels that do not equal or exceed the de minimis thresholds. The FAA Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS) was used to perform the calculations. EDMS emission factors are conservatively based on EPA’s AP–42 emissions quantification methodology.39 The analysis shows, for example, that an airport located in a severe nonattainment area for ozone, with a de minimis NOX threshold of 25 tons per year, could operate new or improved 39 FAA, 2007, Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System EDMS Version 5.0. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 boilers using up to 5.05 million cubic meters of natural gas annually, which is sufficient to heat a building of approximately 210,000 square feet.40 NOX emissions in a severe ozone nonattainment area would be limited to 907,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil (residual), 2,065,000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil (diesel), 2,603,000 gallons of propane, 1,515 short tons of bituminous coal, or 2,777 short tons of anthracite coal on an annual basis. The installation, upgrade, or expansion of an airport HVAC system that requires a permit under new source review (NSR) or prevention of significant deterioration programs is exempt from a general conformity determination.41 The inclusion of airport boiler installations/ modifications as a presumed to conform activity does not affect existing or future requirements of Federal, State or local air quality operating permit programs. Proper compliance with all applicable environmental regulations must be maintained. BILLING CODE 4910–13–P 40 Assuming a 100,000 sq. ft. one-floor building would require approximately 2.4 million cubic meters of natural gas to heat the building, annually; based on the industry standard heat value, 1,000 BTU per cubic foot of natural gas, annually [Airtron Heating and Air Conditioning, Columbus, Ohio]. 41 40 CFR part 93, § 93.153(d)(1). E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41575 EN30JY07.005</GPH> mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices BILLING CODE 4910–13–C 8. Airport Security Based on collected project information and additional agency experience with airport security actions VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 following the events of September 11, 2001, the FAA has determined that dedicated security-related airport projects qualify as presumed to conform actions, including modification of existing terminals with luggage and PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 passenger scanning devices, addition of camera surveillance, bolstering of airport security fencing, and reinforcement of airport access control. In most cases, the installation of security equipment and upgraded E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 EN30JY07.006</GPH> mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 41576 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices operations in existing facilities will not result in the generation of air emissions. If the construction and installation of some dedicated security projects do cause emissions, these emissions will be minor and well below the de minimis thresholds. Security requirements also may dictate that parking spaces close to terminal buildings be eliminated.42 As a result, FAA actions associated with the expansion of parking facilities to compensate for lost close-in parking are presumed to conform provided these actions are limited to a one-for-one replacement of parking capacity. Generally, the relocation of parking spaces away from the terminal building will reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on airport property, resulting in an emissions decrease. It is important to note that this category of presumed to conform actions is separate from exempt Federal actions under the Rule that are part of a continuing response to an emergency or disaster.43 Agency use of the emergency exemption is limited in time and must involve overriding concerns for public health and welfare, national security interests, and foreign policy commitments.44 9. Airport Safety mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES Airport projects relating to airport safety include actions specific to the Runway Safety Area (RSA). FAA regulations specify the requirements for a RSA, which is defined as the surface area that surrounds and extends beyond the runway ends that is required for reducing the risk of damage to airplanes in the event of an undershoot, overshoot, or excursion from the runway.45 RSA improvements are presumed to conform unless a new road or the relocation of a road is required. In addition to a safe airfield, airport projects to build, expand, replace, upgrade, or equip a required Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility (ARFF) are presumed to conform. These facilities are relatively small airport projects and must be provided by the airport to ensure airport and passenger safety. Airports must meet ARFF requirements as specified under 14 CFR 139.317, and are responsible for upgrading an ARFF if there is an increase in the average daily departures or the length of an air carrier aircraft.46 42 FAA Aviation Security Directive issued February 2002. 43 40 CFR Part 93, § 93.153(e). 44 Ibid. 45 FAA AC 150/5300–13, September 29, 1989, Airport Design. 46 Per index under 14 CFR Part 139, § 139.319(a) VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 10. Airport Maintenance Facilities Airport maintenance facilities house the equipment necessary to run, service, and maintain the airport environs. These facilities can include vehicle service centers, fueling stations, and storage areas for snow removal and maintenance equipment. FAA actions associated with upgrading airportowned maintenance facilities are presumed to conform based on the fact that these facilities typically require only minor construction. However, the installation or upgrading of aircraft maintenance facilities (typically owned by an airline or charter company) that are used to paint or maintain aircraft at an airport are not considered presumed to conform because aircraft maintenance facilities may cause an increase in flights to meet maintenance schedules. 11. Airport Signage Airport sponsors place signs throughout the airport property to direct passengers, employees, and vendors to terminals, parking lots, rental car areas, maintenance areas, etc. In addition, airports provide a network of signs to direct aircraft and vehicles on the airfield. Airport signage is often electrified for illumination at night and for other times of limited visibility. In general, airport signage installation can be completed in a matter of days or weeks. It would require more than a year of continuous installation to exceed the 25-ton threshold for NOX. Therefore, airport signage installation projects are presumed to conformed. 12. Commercial Vehicle Staging Areas Commercial vehicle staging areas at airports serve as temporary holding areas for taxicabs, limousines, and other commercial vehicles. Such areas reduce the need to idle at the terminal curb front and help to decongest the terminal roadways. Airports that employ commercial vehicle staging areas may enforce specific idling restrictions or engine-off mandates to further reduce air quality impacts. Generally, the use of commercial vehicle staging areas is an emissions reduction strategy because the alternative inherently creates more emissions from increased traffic and congestion at the terminal. A Federal action to develop a commercial vehicle staging area for purposes of relieving airport traffic congestion is presumed to conform based on the criteria provided in Table III–1 for a ‘‘Commercial Vehicle Staging Area.’’ Providing a commercial vehicle staging area does not cause an increase in the volume of vehicles on regional roadways and impacts air quality only PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41577 through the use of construction equipment to pave the staging area. Construction emissions are primarily comprised of NOX and CO. The quantity of emissions associated with the construction of an asphalt taxicab staging area was based on a construction design for a regional asphalt roadway. The calculation of emissions included activities such as excavation, preparation of the subgrade, adding a base layer of stone, fine grading, and paving. The paving process included the application of a tack coat, wearing course, and the final seal coat. The type and use of construction equipment was determined based on information obtained from the R.S. Means’ Means Building Construction Cost Data, and the State of Ohio Department of Transportation’s Manual of Procedures for Flexible Pavement Construction and Pavement Design and Rehabilitation Manual. Rated horsepower and load factors for each construction unit was obtained from the EPA’s Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study-Report and Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling, and the Caterpillar Performance Handbook. Emission factors were obtained from the EPA’s Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study-Report. The acreage that could be paved without equaling or exceeding the de minimis thresholds for each applicable nonattainment or maintenance category was calculated and summarized in Table III–1. For instance, an airport located within an area designated as severe nonattainment for ozone, which limits net project emissions to an annual rate of 25 tons of NOX, is limited to a commercial vehicle staging area of about 13 acres, or 561,584 square feet, which results in 2.35 tons of VOC emissions. Paving of approximately 137 acres is required to cause emissions of VOC of nearly 25 tons, as established for a severe nonattainment area for ozone. In order to approach the 100 ton de minimis thresholds for other criteria pollutants, paving areas of approximately 140 acres would be required for CO, 556 acres for SO2, and more than 595 acres for PM10. Therefore, NOX is the limiting pollutant for paving projects at airports and emissions of VOC, CO, SO2, and PM10 are considerably less in comparison to NOX. 13. Low-Emission Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles A growing number of airports are interested in new technology and vehicle systems to reduce stationary and mobile emissions. Based on agency and E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41578 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES airport low-emission programs over the past several years, which provide extensive data and documentation to verify the emission reduction benefits of new low-emission technology, these activities are presumed to conform. Activities that are presumed to conform include the replacement, substitution, or conversion of conventional fuel vehicles (gasoline, diesel) to vehicles using alternative or clean conventional fuel technology. Qualified activities also encompass airport low-emission infrastructure improvements and the use of refueling or recharging stations needed to service airport low-emission vehicles. All low-emission activities funded through the FAA Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program (VALE) or that are required as part of environmental mitigation are presumed to conform.47 The VALE program requires that vehicles purchased under the program meet specific low-emission standards and that these vehicles and other program equipment remain at the airport for their useful life. 14. Air Traffic Control Activities and Adopting Approach, Departure and Enroute Procedures for Air Operations The preamble to the General Conformity Rule 48 states that: ‘‘In order to illustrate and clarify that the de minimis levels exempt certain types of Federal actions, several de minimis exemptions are listed in 51.853(c)(2). There are too many Federal actions that are de minimis to completely list in either the rule or this preamble.’’ As an illustration of exempt actions, EPA states in the preamble that ‘‘Air traffic control activities and adopting approach, departure and enroute procedures for air operations’’ are among other actions that are de minimis (preamble, p. 63229, I(2)) and should be exempt from the Rule. Because air traffic control activities are cited in the preamble but not in the Rule itself, the FAA believes that it is prudent to document these activities as presumed to conform. Air traffic control activities are defined as actions that promote the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of aircraft traffic, including airport, approach, departure, and enroute air traffic control. Airspace and air traffic actions (e.g., changes in routes, flight patterns, and arrival and departure procedures) are implemented to enhance safety and increase the efficient use of airspace by 47 FAA Order 5100.38C, Airport Improvement Program Handbook, June 2005, §§ 580, 585. 48 58 Fed. Reg. 63229 (Nov. 30, 1993). VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 reducing congestion, balancing controller workload, and improving coordination between controllers handling existing air traffic, among other things. Project-related aircraft emissions released into the atmosphere above the inversion base for pollutant containment, commonly referred to as the ‘‘mixing height,’’ (generally 3,000 ft. above ground level) do not have an effect on pollution concentrations at ground level.49 50 Therefore, air traffic control actions above the mixing height are presumed to conform. In addition, the results of FAA research on mixing heights indicate that changes in air traffic procedures above 1,500 ft. AGL and below the mixing height would have little if any effect on emissions and ground concentrations.51 Such actions in the vicinity of the airport are tightly constrained by runway alignment, safety, aircraft performance, weather conditions, terrain, and vertical obstructions.52 Accordingly, air traffic actions below the mixing height are also presumed to conform when modifications to routes and procedures are designed to enhance operational efficiency (i.e., to reduce delay), increase fuel efficiency, or reduce community noise impacts by means of engine thrust reductions. Other air traffic procedures and system enhancements that are presumed to conform include actions that have no effect on air emissions or result in air quality improvements, such as gate hold procedures which reduce queuing, idling, and flight delays. In FAA’s experience, airport capacity improvements result from market forces in today’s deregulated environment that determine where airlines fly and how often. These forces lead, for example, to airport planning and development of new runway or terminal projects, which are large actions that are not presumed to conform and must be evaluated further. Limited refinements to terminal air traffic procedures below the mixing height typically reduce local emissions as a result of improved efficiencies, reduced ground delays, and noise mitigation. 49 EPA Report, Procedures for Emission Inventory Preparation, Volume IV: Mobile Sources [420R–92– 009], section 5.2.2., 1992. 50 Realistic Mixing Depths for Above Ground Aircraft Emissions, Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, Vol. 25, No. 10, Howard M. Segal, Boeing, 1975. 51 Report on ‘‘Consideration of Air Quality Impacts by Airplane Operations At or Above 3,000 feet AGL,’’ FAA–AEE–00–01, September 2000, p. 5. 52 FAA Advisory Circulars No. 25–13 and No. 91– 53A describe requirements that must be met when using reduced power for takeoff. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15. Routine Installation and Operation of Airport Navigation Aids Aviation navigation aids represent the facilities and equipment used for communications, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) systems.53 The use and maintenance of CNS systems is essential to safe air commerce and national security.54 Airports are required to establish adequate maintenance systems for navigational aid facilities to the level of performance achieved at original commission.55 Similar to the previous presumed to conform action for air traffic control activities, EPA states in the preamble that ‘‘routine installation and operation of aviation (and maritime) navigation aids’’ are below de minimis and should be considered exempt actions.56 Because these activities are cited in the preamble but not in the Rule itself, the FAA believes that it is prudent to document these activities as presumed to conform. The routine installation, in-kind replacement, and maintenance of navigational aids (e.g., Air Traffic Control Towers (ATCT), Instrument Landing Systems (ILS), Approach Light Systems (ALS)) are presumed to conform because these activities will not generate emissions that exceed de minimis levels. Moreover, emissions generated by construction equipment and maintenance vehicles used to transport workers and equipment to CNS system sites are negligible considering the temporary nature of construction and maintenance activities and the limited number of vehicles involved. If the installation of new or upgraded navigational aids for improved safety and efficiency also increases the capacity of the airport or changes the operational environment of the airport, these CNS activities are not presumed to conform.57 Also presumed to conform are CNS emergency or standby generators powered by natural gas or propane. These generators provide electric power in case of primary power failure and are operated intermittently, with an estimated total time of operation of less than 100 hours per year. Because of the infrequent use and small size (135 kilowatts or less) of the engine generators and the use of clean-burning 53 14 CFR 171.1–171.51. CFR 169.1(a) 55 14 CFR Part 171. 56 58 FR 63229, I(6) (Nov. 30, 1993). 57 Consistent with FAA Order 1050.1E, Section 401 ‘‘Actions Normally Requiring an Environmental Assessment’’. 54 14 E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices fuels, the engine generators produce negligible air emissions. mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES IV. How To Apply Presumed To Conform Actions The qualifying project categories discussed in the preceding section may be referred to as the FAA ‘‘presumed to conform list.’’ The analysis for presumed to conform actions is considered representative of the vast majority of possible airport projects within each category. However, FAA employees must consider the appropriateness of applying this list, particularly how the proposed project compares to the presumed to conform category of projects.58 As authorized under the CAA, the list provides an additional way for the FAA to improve its environmental program management while still ensuring that agency air quality goals and requirements are met. Use of the list will reduce review times, eliminate unnecessary paperwork, clarify analytical requirements for all project actions, and insure that the proper level of documentation is applied in each case. Moreover, in some instances, the presumed to conform list can provide another method that the FAA can use to demonstrate conformity with an applicable SIP. As part of the process of developing the list of actions presumed to conform under 40 CFR 93.153(f), the FAA, in close consultation with the EPA, has exercised its discretion to establish separate procedures.59 FAA established its own procedures for including presumed to conform actions in total emissions in determining applicability and conformity to avoid segmentation of projects for conformity analysis when emissions are reasonably foreseeable. When applying the presumed to conform list, the FAA determines whether it is dealing with proposed presumed to conform actions that represent one or more ‘‘single actions’’ or a ‘‘combined action.’’ The FAA also determines whether the combined action involves multiple connected presumed to conform actions or presumed to conform actions that are 58 The list must be used carefully because ‘‘[w]here an action otherwise presumed to conform under paragraph (f) of this section * * * does not in fact meet one of the criteria in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, that action shall not be presumed to conform and the requirements of § 93.150 and §§ 93. 155 through 93.160 shall apply for the Federal action.’’ See 40 CFR § 93.153(j). 59 It is a fair inference from EPA’s April 9, 2007 letter to FAA that the EPA interprets 40 CFR § 93.153(f) to permit the FAA to define total direct and indirect emissions to include presumed to conform actions in certain circumstances, notwithstanding 40 CFR § 93.152. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 part of a larger project being evaluated under the environmental review requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Below is a description of the different actions and procedures. Single Action. A single action is defined as a presumed to conform action that is not connected or dependent on other actions and which is determined to have independent utility.60 For such actions, no general conformity evaluation or applicability analysis is required and agency officials may simply document that the project action is considered presumed to conform on the basis of this Notice and the applicable project category. Using the analysis and documentation for this Notice meets a major intent of presumed to conform—namely to reduce the analysis burden for actions that have little or no direct or indirect emissions. By analyzing each project category in the presumed to conform list and reporting the findings in the preceding section, the FAA has shown that the resulting emissions from each presumed to conform action would typically be below the applicable de minimis thresholds. Combined Action. A combined action is defined as either: (1) Multiple presumed to conform actions that are connected to each other; or (2) one or more presumed to conform actions that are connected to one or more nonpresumed to conform actions being evaluated under the environmental review requirements of NEPA (e.g., EA or EIS). The Council on Environmental Quality defines ‘‘connected actions’’ as actions that are closely related involving, for example, interdependent parts of a larger action, dependence on a larger action for justification, or dependence on other actions taken previously or simultaneously.61 Where there is a combined action, then only one action specified on the presumed to conform list may be excluded in calculating total direct and indirect emissions. The emissions from all the other actions that are not otherwise exempt must be calculated to determine that total emissions from the remaining actions.62 For example, the FAA may undertake a project with several connected actions that must be analyzed under NEPA. Several of those actions may individually be listed on the presumed to conform list because those actions taken alone would 60 40 CFR 1506.1(c)(1) and 1508.25(a), Council on Environmental Quality, Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA. 61 40 CFR 1508.25(1). 62 An allowance to this provision is discussed in the following paragraph. PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 41579 typically have emissions below de minimis levels. To determine whether such a project requires a conformity determination, FAA excludes one presumed to conform action and then prepares an applicability analysis for the remaining actions. In other words, FAA determines whether the emissions from the combination of actions, less one presumed to conform action, equals or exceed de minimis levels or assists in demonstrating conformity. FAA procedures for combined actions permit FAA to exclude the emissions from one presumed to conform action and to prepare an applicability analysis, and a conformity determination if necessary, based upon the total direct and indirect emissions of the actions that are not otherwise exempt.63 Thus, in a combined action, the emissions from one presumed to conform action may be excluded from the calculation of total project emissions. The process could show that either the combined action (minus the one excluded presumed to conform action) would equal or exceed de minimis thresholds and thus trigger a conformity determination, or that the combined action (minus the one excluded presumed to conform action) is below de minimis thresholds with no further action required. Consequently, the allowance to exclude one presumed to conform action could make a difference as to whether a conformity determination is needed or whether conformity is demonstrated. FAA officials have the authority and responsibility to decide which presumed to conform action is excluded if more than one is present in a combined action.64 The FAA has determined as a matter of policy to implement the presumed to conform list with respect to combined actions by balancing considerations about project segmentation 65, connected actions under NEPA 66, and the permitted exclusion of emissions attributable to presumed to conform actions under the Rule. With regard to 63 Emissions from exempt actions are excluded in accordance with 40 CFR 93.152. 64 Requirements and allowances for combined actions are based on interagency communications with EPA. 65 In the preamble to the General Conformity Rule, EPA decided not to adopt its initial proposal to permit Federal agencies to use the NEPA concept of tiering and analyze actions in a staged manner in conducting conformity analyses. EPA explained, among other things: ‘‘[T]iering could cause the segmentation of projects for conformity analysis, which might provide an overall inaccurate estimate of emissions. The segmentation of projects for conformity analyses when emissions are reasonably foreseeable is not permitted by this rule.’’ (58 FR 63240). 66 40 CFR 1508.7. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1 41580 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 145 / Monday, July 30, 2007 / Notices the latter, the Rule states in 93.152 under Definitions: ‘‘The portion of emissions which are exempt or presumed to conform under Section 93.153(c), (d), (e), or (f) are not included in the ‘‘total of direct and indirect emissions.’’ Likewise, as stated in the preamble (58 FR 63233): ‘‘The final rule requires the inclusion of the total direct and indirect emissions in the applicability and conformity determinations, except the portion of emissions which are exempt or presumed to conform* * *’’ 67 The FAA applies this definition to exclude emissions for single and multiple presumed to conform actions that are not connected to one another. FAA procedures for combined actions offer a reasonable approach by placing a more conservative limit on the permitted exclusion of presumed to conform emissions than 40 CFR 93.152. Documentation. Documentation requirements for combined actions are greater typically than for single actions. On some combined actions, the FAA requires that presumed to conform actions be analyzed and documented by means of an emissions inventory using the FAA EDMS model and related procedures.68 This standard modeling methodology is project-specific and more refined than the quantification of emissions in this Notice and therefore offers greater confirmation in some cases that the applicable emissions will not equal or exceed the de minimis thresholds. Specifically, standard modeling methodology must be used if the project includes: (1) One or more presumed to conform actions that are connected to non-presumed to conform actions which are being evaluated under the environmental review requirements of NEPA; or (2) two or more presumed to conform actions are involved which are not supported by additional quantification in the Notice (see below). In these cases, each presumed to conform action must be modeled and inventoried in the same manner and to the same extent as non-presumed to conform actions. Moreover, presumed to mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with NOTICES 67 EPA gives as an example a Federal action that includes construction of a new industrial boiler project, that is exempt, and a separate office building. The emissions from the hypothetical boiler exceed de minimis levels however it is exempt and so the emissions are excluded. The emissions from the office building alone are below de minimis levels. As a result, the action as a whole does not need a conformity determination. (58 Fed. Reg. 63233). 68 The primary source of agency air quality procedures and analysis requirements is the FAA Air Quality Handbook entitled Air Quality Procedures for Civilian Airports and Air Force Bases, FAA and USAF, April 1997. VerDate Aug<31>2005 22:24 Jul 27, 2007 Jkt 211001 conform actions must be listed as a separate line item in the emissions inventory and clearly explained and presented in all related study documentation. Consistent with the goal of reducing the analysis burden for presumed to conform actions, the Notice may be used in some instances to document presumed to conform actions in lieu of the standard modeling methodology. Specifically, the Notice may be used if the project is a single action or if it is limited to multiple presumed to conform actions that are supported in the Notice by additional quantification. Presumed to conform actions or categories with additional quantification (e.g., data tables) are: Pavement markings; pavement monitoring systems; non-runway pavement work; lighting systems; terminal and concourse upgrades; new HVAC systems, upgrades, and expansions; airport signage; commercial vehicle staging areas; and low-emission technology and alternative fuel vehicles.69 Also, the Notice may be used if all but one of the project’s multiple presumed to conform actions are supported by additional quantification and the FAA excludes, as allowed, the emissions from the one presumed to conform action that is not supported by additional quantification. Regional Significance FAA employees must also reflect that they have considered potential regional significance, that is, whether the total direct and indirect emissions of the pollutants from each presumed to conform action represent 10 percent or more of a nonattainment or maintenance area’s total emissions of that pollutant under 40 CFR 93.153(i).70 If project emissions are regionally significant on this basis, the FAA would be required to prepare a conformity analysis and determination for a presumed to conform Federal action. As the FAA indicated in its Draft Notice, strong evidence indicates that presumed to conform actions are not likely to be regionally significant.71 69 Documentation for low-emission technology and alternative fuel vehicles may be based on the findings of the FAA VALE program and its preceding pilot program (ILEAV). 70 This section provides that actions specified by individual federal agencies that have met applicable criteria and procedures are presumed to conform ‘‘except as provided in paragraph (j) of this section.’’ Paragraph (j) states: ‘‘Where an action otherwise presumed to conform under paragraph (f) of this section is a regionally significant action * * * that action shall not be presumed to conform and the requirements [for a conformity analysis and determination] shall apply for the Federal action.’’ 71 The FAA Air Quality Handbook states that an airport project that is presumed to conform is PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 However, the FAA has decided to defer action on this aspect of its Draft Notice based upon consultation with the EPA. Issued in Washington, DC on July 24, 2007. Charles R. Everett, Jr., Manager, Planning and Environmental Division, Office of the Associate Administrator for Airports. [FR Doc. 07–3695 Filed 7–25–07; 12:19 pm] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration [Docket No. FHWA–2007–28797] Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Reinstatement of a Previously Approved Collection for Which Approval Has Expired Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FHWA has forwarded the information collection request described in this notice to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval of a reinstatement of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired. We published a Federal Register Notice with a 60-day public comment period on this information collection on May 11, 2007. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: Please submit comments by August 29, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may send comments within 30 days to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention DOT Desk Officer. You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FHWA’s performance; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for the FHWA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized, including the use of unlikely to have emission levels that are regionally significant (Air Quality Procedures for Civilian Airports and Air Force Bases, FAA and USAF, April 1997). This is because, based on the highest de minimis threshold level (100 tons per year), in order for an action’s net emissions to represent 10 percent or more of a maintenance or nonattainment area’s total emissions of a particular pollutant, the area’s total emissions inventory for any pollutant must be less than 1,000 tons, which is unlikely. E:\FR\FM\30JYN1.SGM 30JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 145 (Monday, July 30, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 41565-41580]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 07-3695]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration


Federal Presumed To Conform Actions Under General Conformity

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Clean Air Act (CAA) section 176(c), 42 U.S.C. 7506(c) and 
Amendments of 1990 \1\ require that all Federal actions conform to an 
applicable State Implementation Plan (SIP). The U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) has established criteria and procedures for 
Federal agencies to use in demonstrating conformity with an applicable 
SIP that can be found at 40 CFR 93.150 et seq. (``The Rule'').
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    \1\ Clean Air Act Title I Air Pollution Prevention and Control, 
Part D, Subpart 1, Section 176 Limitation on Certain Federal 
Assistance.
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    The Rule allows Federal agencies to develop a list of actions that 
are presumed to conform to a SIP \2\ for the criteria pollutants and 
their precursors that are identified in 40 CFR 93.153(b)(1) and (b)(2) 
and in the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under 40 CFR 
50.4-50.12.\3\ The criteria pollutants of concern for local airport air 
quality are ozone (O3) and its two major precursors 
(volatile organic compounds (VOC) and nitrogen oxides 
(NOX)), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide 
(NO2), sulfur dioxide

[[Page 41566]]

(SO2) \4\, and particulate matter consisting of small 
particulates with a diameter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometers 
(PM2.5) and larger particulates with a diameter of up to 10 
micrometers (PM10).\5\
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    \2\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(f).
    \3\ NAAQS established by the EPA represent maximum concentration 
standards for criteria pollutants to protect human health (primary 
standards) and to protect property and aesthetics (secondary 
standards).
    \4\ FAA calculated SOX is considered equal to 
SO2
    \5\ PM2.5 is a subset of PM10 with 
separate standards for each.
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    According to the Rule \6\, Federal agencies must meet the criteria 
for establishing activities that are presumed to conform by either:
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    \6\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(g).
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    (1) Clearly demonstrating that the total of direct and indirect 
emissions from the type of activities that would be presumed to conform 
would not:
    (i) Cause or contribute to any new violation of any standard in any 
area;
    (ii) Interfere with provisions in the applicable SIP for 
maintenance of any standard;
    (iii) Increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation 
of any standard in any area; or
    (iv) Delay timely attainment of any standard or any required 
interim emission reductions or other milestones in any area including 
emission levels specified in the applicable SIP \7\; or
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    \7\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(g)(1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Providing documentation that emissions from the types of 
actions that would be presumed to conform are below the applicable de 
minimis levels established in 40 CFR Sec.  93.153(b)(1) and (b)(2).\8\ 
This documentation may be based on similar actions that the agency has 
taken over recent years.\9\ Besides documenting the basis for presumed 
to conform activities, Federal agencies must fulfill procedural 
requirements under the Rule relating to publication in the Federal 
Register, notification to Federal/State/local agencies, opportunity for 
public comment, and availability of responses to public comments.\10\
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    \8\ Title 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(g)(2).
    \9\ Ibid.
    \10\ Title 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(h).
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    In this Notice, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is 
identifying a list of actions involving agency approval and financial 
assistance for airport projects that are presumed to conform. The 
benefits of this list include the elimination of unnecessary agency 
costs associated with evaluating actions with few if any emissions. As 
a result, the agency will be able to streamline the environmental 
process by applying more of its resources to actions that have the 
potential to reach regulated emission levels or adversely impact air 
quality.
    Addressing the need for efficiency and streamlining, the EPA states 
that the provisions allowing Federal agencies to establish categories 
of actions that are presumed to conform are ``intended to assure that 
these Rules are not overly burdensome and Federal agencies would not 
spend undue time assessing actions that have little or no impact on air 
quality.'' \11\ Furthermore, the EPA states that ``Federal actions 
which are de minimis should not be required by this Rule to make an 
applicability analysis. A different interpretation could result in an 
extremely wasteful process which generates vast numbers of useless 
conformity statements.'' \12\ Consequently, the Rule allows individual 
Federal agencies to present categories of actions that have been 
documented to be de minimis and, therefore should be ``presumed to 
conform'' to the Rule under 40 CFR 93.153(f).
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    \11\ 58 FR 63228 (Nov. 30, 1993).
    \12\ 58 FR 63229 (Nov. 30, 1993).
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    This Notice contains a summary of documentation and analysis which 
demonstrates that actions described below will not exceed the 
applicable de minimis emission levels for nonattainment and maintenance 
areas, as specified under 40 CFR 93.153(b). In relation to the agency's 
demonstration of presumed to conform actions, the EPA has defined broad 
categories of actions in 40 CFR 93.153(c)(2) that are exempt from the 
Rule because the actions result in no emissions increase or an increase 
in emissions that is clearly de minimis. In this Notice, the FAA 
distinguishes various airport-related actions that are exempt under the 
Rule from those that are presumed to conform.

Notification Process for Presumed To Conform

    The notification requirements in the Rule are as follows: \13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(h)(1-4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) The Federal agency must identify through publication in the 
Federal Register its list of proposed activities that are presumed to 
conform and the basis for the presumptions;
    (2) The Federal agency must notify the appropriate EPA Regional 
Office(s), State and local air quality agencies and, where applicable, 
the agency designated under section 174 of the Act and the metropolitan 
planning organization (MPO) and provide at least 30 days for the public 
to comment on the list of proposed activities presumed to conform;
    (3) The Federal agency must document its response to all the 
comments received and make the comments, response, and final list of 
activities available to the public upon request; and
    (4) The Federal agency must publish the list of such activities in 
the Federal Register.
    In meeting the requirements above, the FAA issued the Draft Notice, 
entitled Federal Presumed to Conform Actions Under General Conformity, 
in the Federal Register of Monday, February 12, 2007 (Vol. 72, No. 28, 
pp. 6641-6656). All of the appropriate organizations were notified and 
encouraged to comment, including EPA Regions, State and local air 
quality agencies, and metropolitan planning organizations.
    A 45-day public comment period was provided for the Draft Federal 
Notice, allowing a few additional weeks for comment beyond the minimum 
30-day notice period. Seven (7) letters were submitted to the FAA. From 
these letters, the FAA identified twenty-nine (29) separate comments to 
which the agency prepared individual written responses. All of the 
letters, comments, and responses are publicly available for review on 
the FAA Office of Airports Web site for environmental programs.
    Based on comments received and follow-up discussions with the EPA, 
the FAA made appropriate revisions to the Federal Register Notice. The 
FAA is completing its notification requirements by publishing the 
completed list of presumed to conform actions in this Final Federal 
Register Notice. The public may obtain further program information or 
review project documentation by contacting the office and person listed 
under ``For Further Information Contact.''

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jake A. Plante, Planning and 
Environmental Division, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue, APP-400, SW., Room 616, Office of Airports, 
Washington, DC 20591, jake.plante@faa.gov, phone (202) 493-4875, fax 
(202) 267-5257.

Table of Contents

    The major sections of this document are as follows:
I. Background
II. Existing Exemptions
III. Presumed To Conform Project Descriptions and Justifications
IV. How To Apply Presumed To Conform Actions

I. Background

    Under the Rule (40 CFR 93.153(g)(h)), the FAA and other agencies 
are entitled to develop a list of proposed actions that are presumed to 
conform. The process of establishing presumed to conform 
classifications is predicated on the

[[Page 41567]]

concept of conformity. Conformity assures that an activity that is 
presumed to conform does not cause or contribute to any new violation 
of the NAAQS or interfere with provisions contained in applicable SIPS.
    The administration and enforcement of conformity regulations are 
delegated by the EPA to the individual States through provisions in 
each SIP. A SIP is the written plan submitted to the EPA detailing each 
State's strategy to control air emissions to meet and maintain the 
NAAQS in geographic areas that are designated as nonattainment areas. 
The EPA requires each State to devise such a plan for each criteria 
pollutant causing violations or the EPA will impose a Federal 
implementation plan (``FIP'') for the State. When a nonattainment area 
achieves compliance with the NAAQS, it becomes a maintenance area for 
at least 10 years with ongoing State responsibility to ensure continued 
attainment.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ CAA, Section 175A, 42 U.S.C. 7505a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

General Conformity

    General conformity refers to the process of demonstrating that a 
general Federal action conforms to the applicable SIP. A general 
Federal action is defined more by what it is not, rather than by what 
it is. A general Federal action is any Federal action that is not a 
Federal ``transportation'' action and consequently not subject to the 
conformity requirements established for Federal highway or transit 
actions, referred to as ``transportation conformity.'' A Federal 
transportation action is an action related to transportation plans, 
programs, and projects that are developed, funded, or approved under 
Title 23 United States Code (USC) or the Federal Transit Act (FTA).\15\ 
Since FAA actions do not meet the definition of a transportation 
action, they are general actions by default and thus subject to the 
General Conformity Rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ 49 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA and other Federal agencies subject to general conformity 
must make a determination that the Federal action conforms to the SIP's 
purpose to meet and maintain the NAAQS before the action is taken. If 
the proposed actions are not specifically exempt or classified as 
presumed to conform, it is necessary to conduct an emissions inventory 
as part of the applicability analysis to determine if emissions are 
likely to equal or exceed the established screening criteria emission 
rates known as the de minimis thresholds. A general conformity 
determination is required for each pollutant identified as 
nonattainment or maintenance when the total of direct and indirect 
emissions caused by a Federal action equals or exceeds any of the 
applicable de minimis thresholds.\16\
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    \16\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAA Airport Development Actions Subject to General Conformity

    The FAA is responsible for deciding whether its actions involving 
an airport located in a nonattainment or maintenance area require a 
general conformity evaluation.\17\ FAA actions that require a 
conformity evaluation include unconditional approval of any or all 
parts of an airport layout plan (ALP), final Airport Improvement 
Program (AIP) grant approvals, and approvals for use of Passenger 
Facility Charges (PFCs). Other FAA actions that may require a 
conformity evaluation include proposed actions for which an 
environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS) 
is prepared under the requirements of the National Environmental Policy 
Act.
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    \17\ ``Conformity evaluation'' refers to the overall process of 
assessing whether an action/project is subject to general conformity 
requirements, which may include an applicability analysis needed to 
make a conformity determination. See Question 1, EPA and 
FAA General Conformity Guidance for Airports: Questions and Answers, 
September 25, 2002.
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II. Existing Exemptions

    For the FAA to provide the proper context and baseline for 
identifying and proposing a list of presumed to conform Federal 
actions, it is important to consider the extent to which FAA airport-
related actions and activities may qualify for exemption from general 
conformity requirements. The EPA has defined broad categories of exempt 
actions under 40 CFR 93.153(c)(2) that result in no emissions increase 
or increases in emissions that are clearly de minimis. These actions 
are not subject to further analysis for applicability, conformity, or 
regional significance under the Rule.
    As part of this Federal Register Notice, the FAA has interpreted 
how the exemptions in the Rule apply to FAA actions associated with 
airport facilities and aviation planning. The following discussion 
addresses the most relevant examples of these exemptions regarding FAA 
actions for airport development.

1. Rulemaking and Policy Development [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(iii)]

    The FAA develops rules and policies to address issues of safety, 
aviation noise abatement, and systematic improvements to efficiency. 
This includes issuance of airport policy and planning documents for the 
National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS), the Airport 
Capital Improvement Program (ACIP), and Advisory Circulars on planning, 
design, and development programs. These documents provide 
administrative and technical guidance to the airport community and the 
public and are not intended for direct implementation. The actual 
process of rulemaking or policy development is typically administrative 
in nature and does not cause an increase in air emissions.

2. Routine Maintenance and Repair Activities [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(iv)]

    In conformance with FAA standards and regulations, the airport 
sponsor must maintain airport facilities and the airfield in a manner 
that ensures the safe operation of the airport. These activities 
constitute Federal actions when Federal funding from the FAA is 
involved. Airport maintenance, repair, removal, replacement, and 
installation work that matches the characteristics, size, and function 
of a facility as it existed before the replacement or repair activity 
typically qualifies as routine maintenance and repair for purposes of 
general conformity. Such activity does not increase the capacity of the 
airport or change the operational environment of the airport.
    The FAA does not consider major runway reconstruction to qualify as 
exempt under the Rule if the reconstruction results in a runway that is 
hardened, lengthened, or widened to support a larger class of aircraft. 
Proposed funding for such a project would require analysis of emission 
levels to determine the applicability of general conformity 
requirements.
    Routine maintenance for existing runways, taxiways, aprons, ramps, 
fillets, and airport roadways includes in-kind resurfacing,\18\ re-
marking of existing runways, taxiways, apron areas, etc., and runway 
grooving and rubber removal projects. Other areas of routine 
replacement, maintenance, and repair work that may be considered exempt 
from the Rule include:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ Depending on numerous factors affecting surface conditions, 
airports will generally resurface asphalt runways every 7-10 years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Existing signage.
     Existing lighting systems.
     Existing pavement markings.
     Wind or landing direction indicators.
     Existing airport security access control.
     Existing buildings and structures.
     Existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) 
systems.
     Existing infrastructure such as sanitary sewer or 
electrical systems.

[[Page 41568]]

     General landscaping, erosion control, and grading.

3. Planning, Studies, and Provisions of Technical Assistance [40 CFR 
93.153(c)(2)(xii)]

    Planning and information-related actions do not represent 
implementation of operational changes at the airport and therefore do 
not result in emission increases. Consequently, actions such as those 
listed below may be considered exempt from the Rule:
     FAA funding and acceptance of Master Plans and Updates.
     FAA funding of System Planning Studies.
     FAA acceptance of noise exposure maps and approval of 
noise compatibility programs pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 47501 et seq., as 
implemented by 14 CFR Part 150.
     FAA approval of noise and access restrictions on 
operations by Stage 3 aircraft under 49 U.S.C. 47524, as implemented by 
14 CFR Part 161.

4. Transfers of Ownership, Interests, and Titles in Land, Facilities, 
and Real and Personal Properties, Regardless of the Form or Method of 
the Transfer [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(xiv)]

5. Actions (or Portions Thereof) Associated With Transfers of Land, 
Facilities, Title, and Real Properties Through an Enforceable Contract 
or Lease Agreement Where the Delivery of the Deed Is Required To Occur 
Promptly After a Specific, Reasonable Condition Is Met, Such as 
Promptly After the Land Is Certified as Meeting the Requirements of 
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act 
(CERCLA), and Where the Federal Agency Does Not Retain Continuing 
Authority To Control Emissions Associated With the Lands, Facilities, 
Title, or Real Properties [40 CFR 93.153(c)(2)(xix)]

    Actions by the FAA to transfer or acquire land or equipment that do 
not increase the capacity of the airport or change the operational 
environment affecting air emissions. Such actions include funding or 
approving transfers, acquisitions, or releases by airport sponsors,\19\ 
or preparing and executing related contracts or written agreements. 
Related actions that may be considered exempt from the Rule are:
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    \19\ Airport ``sponsors'' are planning agencies, public 
agencies, or private airport owners/operators that have the legal 
and financial ability to carry out the program requirements for FAA 
financial assistance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Facilities and equipment purchases.
     Land acquisition and relocation assistance.
     Land releases for which there is no reasonable expectation 
of a change in land use.
     Avigation easement acquisition.
     Acquisition of an existing privately owned airport 
involving only change of ownership.

6. Alterations and Additions of Existing Structures as Specifically 
Required by New or Existing Applicable Environmental Legislation or 
Environmental Regulations (e.g., Hush Houses for Aircraft Engines * * 
*) [40 CFR 93.153(d)(4)]

    Actions that are initiated in response to specific environmental 
laws and regulations (e.g., energy efficiency, noise abatement 
structures and equipment) may be considered exempt from the Rule. These 
actions include:
     Equipment purchases.
     Protective noise barriers.
     Required noise mitigation actions including the 
installation and operation of hush houses for aircraft and engine 
maintenance.

7. Federal Actions Which Are Part of a Continuing Response to an 
Emergency or Disaster [40 CFR 93.153(d)(2) and (e)]

    Actions in response to emergencies, natural disasters, etc., that 
involve overriding concerns for public health and welfare, national 
security interests, or foreign policy commitments may be exempt from 
general conformity requirements for six months and possibly longer if 
justified in writing by the agency.\20\
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    \20\ Airports located in nonattainment or maintenance areas with 
small regional emission budgets may need to check whether a proposed 
exempt action might be regionally significant under 40 CFR Part 93, 
Sec.  93.153(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Presumed To Conform Project Descriptions and Justifications

    The FAA began the process of developing and documenting presumed to 
conform actions with a detailed environmental survey of airport 
projects. The survey was conducted by all FAA regional offices, which 
identified approved airport projects over a recent two-year period that 
received a categorical exclusion (CATEX) or Finding of No Significant 
Impact (FONSI).\21\ This information was requested only for airports 
included in areas designated as nonattainment or maintenance by the 
EPA. Information compiled from these surveys described about 600 
completed projects at over 100 airports.
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    \21\ FAA Order 1050.1E, chapter 3 (CATEX) and Chapter 4, Sec.  
406 (FONSI), pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The survey information was processed by assigning each airport 
planning and development project into one of two categories: (1) 
Projects that are exempt from the requirements of the Rule as defined 
by 40 CFR 93.153(e); or (2) projects that require an applicability 
analysis before being defined as de minimis (i.e., presumed to 
conform), according to 40 CFR 93.153(c)(1). Specific information on the 
application of these two project categories is presented in Section II 
and Section III of this document, respectively.
    In the analysis of the survey results, any airport project that 
exceeded de minimis levels even once was considered ineligible for the 
presumed to conform list. Follow-up communications with airports and 
FAA regional representatives helped to clarify terminology and confirm 
the reliability of the presumptions. In addition, the FAA performed 
detailed worst-case analyses where practicable in areas where project 
size and implementation could conceivably result in the exceedance of 
de minimis levels.
    The airport project survey data and other agency experience in 
implementing similar actions taken over recent years provide the 
fundamental basis for all of the presumed to conform classifications. 
The FAA conducted additional quantitative analyses for specific project 
areas, as practicable. These analyses are summarized in Section III, 
and include the following: pavement markings; terminal upgrades; 
commercial vehicle staging areas; non-runway paving; heating, 
ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and low-emission 
technology and alternative fuel vehicles.
    Based on the survey of airport projects, the additional 
evaluations, and quantitative analyses, only those project categories 
that were proven to be reliably and consistently de minimis were 
classified as presumed to conform. In general, FAA presumed to conform 
actions involve maintenance, navigation, construction, safety, security 
activities, and new technology and vehicle systems that do not modify 
or increase airport capacity or change the operational environment of 
the airport in such a way as to increase air emissions above de minimis 
thresholds.
    Presented below are the airport project descriptions and 
justifications for FAA actions that are presumed to conform. There are 
fifteen project categories, which are discussed in the following order:
    1. Pavement Markings.
    2. Pavement Monitoring Systems.
    3. Non-Runway Pavement Work.
    4. Aircraft Gate Areas on Airside.
    5. Lighting Systems.

[[Page 41569]]

    6. Terminal and Concourse Upgrades.
    7. New HVAC Systems, Upgrades, and Expansions.
    8. Airport Security.
    9. Airport Safety.
    10. Airport Maintenance Facilities.
    11. Airport Signage.
    12. Commercial Vehicle Staging Areas.
    13. Low-Emission Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles.
    14. Air Traffic Control Activities and Adopting Approach, Departure 
and Enroute Procedures for Air Operations.
    15. Routine Installation and Operation of Aviation Navigation Aids.

1. Pavement Markings

    Airport sponsors apply paint on paved surfaces, such as runways, 
taxiways, apron areas, cargo areas, and parking lots to ensure the safe 
operation of aircraft during approach and landing and to provide safe 
direction for surface vehicles. Most pavement marking projects are 
considered routine maintenance activities, qualifying as exempt from 
the Rule (see Section II, number 2 of this Notice). These actions are 
designed to restore and improve painted surfaces that have deteriorated 
due to time, use, and weather.
    Federal actions that alter airport use through new pavement 
markings are not routine maintenance but are presumed to conform if 
such actions do not increase airport capacity or introduce a larger 
class of aircraft at the airport. For example, new runway markings for 
improved flight procedures from visual flight rules (VFR) to instrument 
flight rules (IFR) are presumed to conform if normal traffic flow is 
maintained.
    Pollutant emissions due to the paint application process are 
primarily composed of VOC from the paint, and NOX emitted 
from the trucks and application compressors required to prepare the 
surface and apply the paint. Emissions of both VOC and NOX 
are considered precursors to the development of ozone in the 
atmosphere. Therefore, emissions from the application of painted 
pavement markings pertain most importantly to ozone nonattainment and 
maintenance areas.
    A worst-case calculation of emissions was performed based on 
equipment and types of paint required to mark a Category III 13,000-
foot runway with an instrument lighting system (ILS) to FAA 
specifications. The calculation of emissions included the removal of 
existing markings using water pressure through a compressor mounted on 
a diesel truck, a pavement sweeper truck to remove debris, the 
application of the paint using an air compressor mounted on a diesel 
truck, and a small hand sprayer for detailed markings, such as squared 
corners. A total of 2,492 gallons of paint (a combination of white, 
yellow, and black) were applied to the representative runway at a rate 
of 115 square feet per gallon of paint. The trucks transporting the 
paint and compressors were assumed to be similar to a single axle, 
Class 7 diesel pickup truck.\22\ The sweeper was assumed to be a 
regenerative diesel air power model, using a chassis engine and an 
auxiliary engine to power the brushes. Manufacturers' Material Safety 
Data Sheets were referenced for the VOC emissions factors for the three 
colors of latex paint. Emissions factors for the criteria and precursor 
pollutants were obtained from the EPA Nonroad Engine and Vehicle 
Emission Study-Report.\23\ Load factors and horsepower ratings were 
obtained from the EPA Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study-Report 
and Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad 
Engine Emissions Modeling.\24\
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    \22\ The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) system defines a 
Class 7 diesel truck as one that can carry 26,001 to 33,000 pounds 
of weight on two axles.
    \23\ EPA Report 460/3-91-02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and 
Vehicle Emission Study--Report.
    \24\ EPA Report NR-005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 
1998, Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for 
Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.
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    The maximum volume of paint that could be applied without equaling 
or exceeding the de minimis thresholds for any nonattainment and 
maintenance classification was calculated.\25\ For instance, an airport 
located within an extreme nonattainment area for ozone is limited to 
net project emissions of 10 tons of VOC per year. This translates into 
an annual application of 21,890 gallons of paint, which also causes 
0.21 tons \26\ of NOX emissions. For example, this volume of 
paint would mark eight Category III 13,000-foot ILS runways. A volume 
of paint on the order of one million gallons is required to cause 
emissions of NOX to equal 10 tons per year. Likewise, a 
volume of paint on the order of five million to 176 million gallons is 
required in order to be sufficient to exceed the de minimis thresholds 
for CO, SO2, or PM10. Therefore, VOCs are the 
limiting pollutant \27\ for the application of paint at airports and 
emissions of NOX, CO, SO2, and PM10 
are considerably less. Table III-1 provides the gallon application 
limits, which include the use of construction equipment for pavement 
markings in nonattainment and maintenance areas.
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    \25\ Calculations of maximum paint volume include consideration 
of construction equipment.
    \26\ Short tons, where one ton equals 2,000 lbs.
    \27\ The limiting pollutant is defined as the criteria pollutant 
that first exceeds de minimis levels for a given project.

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2. Pavement Monitoring Systems

    Airports have the option of installing a pavement monitoring system 
to indicate when the durability and strength of the pavement needs to 
be reinforced. These systems are

[[Page 41571]]

implemented for safety reasons to ensure that an airport's runway, 
taxiway, and apron network are sufficiently able to support the weight 
of aircraft. Minor construction work is required for the installation 
of the monitoring system. Assuming the installation requires the use of 
a pickup truck, a utility truck, an excavator, an asphalt paver, a 
compactor, and a small generator, construction would have to proceed 
continuously (eight hours per day, 20 days per month) for more than a 
year (1.1 years) in order to produce emissions near the level of 10 
tons of NOX. For the remaining criteria pollutants and 
precursors, construction on the order of several years would be 
required to approach the de minimis thresholds. Pavement monitoring 
systems are installed in less than a week; therefore, project 
construction emissions are well below de minimis and presumed to 
conform.

3. Non-Runway Pavement Work

    Airfield pavement must be constructed to withstand the weight of 
aircraft and to produce a firm, stable, smooth, year-round, all-weather 
surface. The pavement must be of such quality and thickness that it 
will not fail under the weight of aircraft and it must possess 
sufficient inherent stability to withstand, without damage, the 
abrasive action of aircraft traffic and adverse weather conditions.\28\ 
These pavement specifications apply to non-runway areas of the airfield 
where aircraft operate, including taxiways, apron areas, and gate 
areas. The specific pavement requirements are satisfied by applying 
rigid pavement consisting of layers of crushed stone bound and pressed 
into a smooth surface.
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    \28\ FAA AC 150/5320-6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement 
Design and Evaluation.
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    Most airfield construction projects that are presumed to conform 
involve areas of the airfield, generally referred to as apron areas, 
that accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading 
passengers or cargo, refueling, or aircraft parking. These types of 
airfield projects do not include projects intended to increase airport 
capacity or those that are otherwise defined as routine maintenance for 
existing apron areas. Taxiway construction projects are limited to 
improvements of existing taxiways that will not affect runway use, 
increase capacity, enable new aircraft types, or change existing 
airfield operations when complete (e.g., new high speed exits would 
represent such a change). Construction projects in this category do not 
include blasting or substantial ``cut and fill'' activity to level the 
terrain or prepare the surface area. If an apron area or taxiway 
project does not meet the conditions as described above, a project 
emissions inventory of direct and indirect emissions is required to 
determine the further applicability of general conformity.
    Pollutant emissions due to airfield construction are solely from 
the use of construction equipment and are primarily comprised of 
NOX, a precursor to ozone development, and CO resulting from 
the trucks operated to haul the large amounts of stone and gravel that 
must be used to form the support layers for the paving material.
    The evaluation of emissions from airfield paving was based on a 
representative project in the FAA Eastern Region. The project required 
equipment and materials to construct approximately 600,000 square feet 
of airfield and concrete shoulder area with an assumed surface design 
life of 20 years.\29\ The conservative calculation of emissions 
included the preparation of the site allowing for a four-inch 
geotextile layer of subgrade soil, a four-inch frost protection layer 
of crushed stone, a four-inch sub base layer of finely crushed stone, 
an eight-inch base layer of gravel mixed with a stabilizer such as 
cement,\30\ and the application of a six-inch layer of Portland cement 
concrete.\31\ This type of construction design allows for a total 
pavement thickness of 26 inches; the minimum total pavement thickness 
for the accommodation of jet aircraft weighing 100,000 pounds or more 
is 20 inches.\32\ Also included in the construction emissions inventory 
is the installation of a drainage system.
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    \29\ As recommended under FAA AC 150/5320-16, October 22, 1995, 
Airport Pavement Design for the Boeing 777 Airplane.
    \30\ Stabilized base layers as necessary for new pavements 
designed to accommodate jet aircraft weighting 100,000 pounds or 
more. FAA AC 150/5320-6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement Design 
and Evaluation.
    \31\ Portland cement is a hydraulic cement made by heating a 
mixture of limestone and clay in a kiln and pulverizing the 
resulting material.
    \32\ FAA AC 150/5320-6D, September 7, 1995, Airport Pavement 
Design and Evaluation.
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    Emissions factors for construction equipment were obtained from the 
EPA's 1991 Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study--Report.\33\ Load 
factors and horsepower ratings for the construction equipment were 
obtained from the EPA's 1991 Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission 
Study--Report and the EPA's 1997 Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load 
Factor Values for Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.\34\
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    \33\ EPA Report 460/3-91-02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and 
Vehicle Emission Study-- Report. Table 2-07 Emission Factors.
    \34\ EPA Report NR-005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 
1998, Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for 
Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The maximum allowable square footage of airfield construction was 
calculated for each nonattainment and maintenance category. The 
analysis showed that NOX was the limiting pollutant for 
airfield paving projects and that emissions of VOC, CO, SO2, 
and PM10 are considerably less in comparison with 
NOX.
    Table III-1 provides the area limits for non-runway airfield 
construction in nonattainment and maintenance areas. For instance, an 
airport located within an area designed as extreme nonattainment for 
ozone, which limits net project emissions to the rate of 10 tons per 
year of NOX, is limited to constructing 219,368 square feet 
(5.04 acres) of apron area, which also causes 0.93 tons of VOC 
emissions. As a reference, four acres is generally sufficient to 
provide remote or ``hardstand'' (non-gate) parking for three narrow-
body aircraft. Construction of an airfield/apron area on the order of 
2.38 million square feet (54.7 acres) causes emissions of VOC up to 10 
tons per project, creating emissions of NOX of approximately 
109 tons. New airfield construction on the order of 150 to 600 acres 
would be required to exceed the de minimis thresholds for CO, SO2 
and PM10. Generally speaking, emissions of NOX 
are on the order of three times the emissions of CO for these types of 
projects and are more than 10 times the emissions of the remaining 
criteria pollutants.

4. Aircraft Gate Areas on Airside

    Aircraft gate areas refer to the area outside of the terminals and 
concourses where jetways are used to link parked aircraft to the 
terminal building. Federal actions to improve aircraft gate areas 
(e.g., gate electrification) can be part of airport modernization 
efforts involving new airline tenants or the introduction of newer and 
more efficient technology. Aircraft gate areas involve a wide range of 
activities from aircraft loading and unloading of passengers and cargo 
to the servicing of aircraft by lavatory, food supply, and maintenance 
vehicles.
    Upgrades to the aircraft gate area are often needed to accommodate 
changing flight schedules and daily activity. The addition or 
modification of jetways to existing terminal buildings is typically 
done to adjust to changes in air travel demand and airline 
requirements. Such projects are intended to improve

[[Page 41572]]

passenger terminal service by reducing passenger queuing and waiting 
times. Actions to approve or fund the upgrading of aircraft gate areas 
are presumed to conform provided such actions do not increase aircraft 
operations or introduce a larger class of aircraft at the airport.

5. Lighting Systems

    Airport sponsors may need to install new lighting systems to 
maintain proper illumination of roadways, taxiways, runways, and 
parking areas. The data from the FAA surveys indicated that airport 
upgrading and installing of new lighting systems is done on an as-
needed basis.
    Minor mechanical work is required for the installation effort, 
followed by electrical work that does not require large off-road 
construction equipment. Assuming the installation requires the use of a 
pickup truck, a utility truck, an excavator, and a small generator, the 
construction will have to proceed continuously (eight hours a day, 20 
days a month) for more than 17 months (1.4 years) in order to produce 
emissions near the level of 10 tons of NOX. For the 
remaining criteria pollutants and precursors, construction on the order 
of several years would be required to approach the de minimis 
thresholds. Runway and other lighting systems can be installed in less 
than two weeks; therefore, project construction emissions are well 
below de minimis and presumed to conform.

6. Terminal and Concourse Upgrades

    The opportunity to expand or upgrade terminals and concourses for 
improving passenger convenience or administrative use typically 
involves increasing or renovating the interior terminal space, 
including offices, hold rooms, concessions, restrooms, and gate areas. 
Terminal and concourse upgrades do not include new or upgraded heating, 
ventilation, and air conditioning systems, which are covered under a 
separate presumed to conform action (7) because of their 
additional operating emissions.
    Qualifying projects in this category do not include terminal 
replacement projects or have the effect of attracting more passengers. 
Nor do they have the effect of increasing the airport's ability to 
accommodate additional numbers or types of aircraft or to increase 
passenger loading on scheduled flights. Major terminal and/or concourse 
expansion projects that are designed to increase passenger usage or to 
support increased airfield capacity through new aircraft gates, 
runways, taxiways, etc. require an inventory of direct and indirect 
emissions to determine the further applicability of general conformity.
    Construction vehicles and equipment are the dominant source of 
emissions when expanding or upgrading terminals. A conservative 
approach to quantifying construction emissions was used to determine 
the appropriate limits for this type of activity. The emission limits 
are presented in Table III-1 under ``Terminal Upgrades'' according to 
the de minimis thresholds.
    A proposed terminal expansion project located in the FAA's Southern 
Region was used as the representative project. The terminal was 
proposed to have an additional footprint of 381,000 square feet. This 
proposed project was purposely selected to provide a conservative 
estimate of construction emissions normally released from this type 
airport improvement activity, even though this presumed to conform 
activity is limited to non-capacity enhancing projects. Emissions were 
quantified in this case from construction activities, including soil 
cement preparation, subgrade preparation, light and heavy demolition, 
cement base treatment, installation of the grade aggregate base, 
construction of the terminal, light and heavy utility work, and light 
and heavy earthwork. In addition, the proposed terminal expansion was 
assumed to occur within the same calendar year instead of the proposed 
schedule of seven years.
    Construction emissions were calculated using prescribed EPA 
methodology incorporating the projected construction activity level, 
the number of construction vehicles and equipment, and industry-wide 
utilization rates. Emission factors for construction vehicles and 
equipment were taken from EPA databases for nonroad vehicles and 
engines,\35\ and their updates.\36\
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    \35\ EPA Report 460/3-91-02, November 1991, Nonroad Engine and 
Vehicle Emission Study--Report.
    \36\ EPA Report NR-005A, December 9, 1997, revised June 15, 
1998, Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for 
Nonroad Engine Emissions Modeling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A proposed terminal/concourse expansion project is presumed to 
conform up to the square foot additions (footprint) of the project as 
determined by the most limiting pollutant (see Table III-1). The 
prescribed build-out limits per calendar year apply to all components 
of the terminal/concourse upgrade project according to the air quality 
status of the area in which the project is located.

7. New HVAC Systems, Upgrades, and Expansions

    Upgrading and expanding heating, ventilation, and air conditioning 
(HVAC) systems are presumed to conform because any emission increases 
associated with improvements to airport heating and cooling systems are 
generally minor and well below de minimis thresholds.
    Heating for airport terminal buildings is typically provided 
through a boiler system.\37\ Boilers may be fueled by natural gas, coal 
(bituminous, sub-bituminous, or anthracite), No. 5 and No. 6 fuel oil 
(residual), No. 2 fuel oil (diesel), culm fuel, and liquefied petroleum 
gas (propane or butane). Pollutant emissions due to the operation of 
boilers vary with the fuel used. The emission factors for the various 
fuels are presented in Table III-2 below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ A boiler is an encased vessel that provides a means for 
combustion heat to be transferred into water until it becomes steam. 
The steam is then used to heat the building through a network of 
pipes. When water is boiled into steam its volume increases about 
1,600 times, which is an efficient means for transferring heat for a 
process. HVACWebTech, Inc.
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    A new, upgraded, or expanded boiler system involves the 
installation of new equipment to replace or expand the capacity of 
existing boiler systems. Boilers can be very large and are sometimes 
delivered on flatbed semi-tractor trailer trucks and set in place by a 
crane. Table III-3 presents the construction emissions, primarily 
NOX and CO, associated with the installation of a large 
boiler as described.

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BILLING CODE 4910-13-C

[[Page 41574]]

    Airport terminals consume energy for heat at a higher rate than 
most public buildings. The reasons for this include the open areas 
surrounding many airports, heat loss from the movement of people and 
baggage in and out of buildings, and the usual 24-hour operation of 
facilities. The consumption of energy to generate heat is also 
dependent upon the design of the terminal building. For instance, many 
airport terminals are designed with exterior glass walls or incorporate 
design, art, and architectural treatments that reflect local customs 
and community history.\38\ The many variations of airport terminal 
design, including geographical location, make it impractical to 
identify the ``typical terminal building'' for purposes of determining 
total emissions. Therefore, the presumption of conformity could not be 
based on the characteristics of the building, but rather on the volume 
of fuel consumed.
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    \38\ FAA AC 150/5360-13, April 22, 1988, Planning and Design 
Guidelines for Airport Terminal Facilities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As discussed, emissions resulting from the operation of boilers 
depend on the type of fuel powering the boiler system. Emissions from 
the use of propane, butane, and natural gas are of concern in ozone 
nonattainment and maintenance areas since the primary pollutant from 
combustion of these fuels is NOX, a precursor to ozone 
formation. Hydrocarbons (HCs) are another precursor to ozone but they 
are relatively low for these fuel types in comparison to NOX 
emissions. The primary pollutant from the combustion of fuel oil (No. 2 
diesel, and No. 5 and No. 6 residual) is SO2, while 
particulate matter is the primary pollutant from the combustion of 
coal, including culm fuel. Therefore, NOX, SO2, 
PM2.5, and PM10 are the most likely limiting 
pollutants for the operation of boiler systems at airports.
    Table III-4 below presents maximum annual fuel throughput for 
heating systems and boilers by fuel type at levels that do not equal or 
exceed the de minimis thresholds. The FAA Emissions and Dispersion 
Modeling System (EDMS) was used to perform the calculations. EDMS 
emission factors are conservatively based on EPA's AP-42 emissions 
quantification methodology.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ FAA, 2007, Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System EDMS 
Version 5.0.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The analysis shows, for example, that an airport located in a 
severe nonattainment area for ozone, with a de minimis NOX 
threshold of 25 tons per year, could operate new or improved boilers 
using up to 5.05 million cubic meters of natural gas annually, which is 
sufficient to heat a building of approximately 210,000 square feet.\40\ 
NOX emissions in a severe ozone nonattainment area would be 
limited to 907,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil (residual), 2,065,000 
gallons of No. 2 fuel oil (diesel), 2,603,000 gallons of propane, 1,515 
short tons of bituminous coal, or 2,777 short tons of anthracite coal 
on an annual basis.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ Assuming a 100,000 sq. ft. one-floor building would require 
approximately 2.4 million cubic meters of natural gas to heat the 
building, annually; based on the industry standard heat value, 1,000 
BTU per cubic foot of natural gas, annually [Airtron Heating and Air 
Conditioning, Columbus, Ohio].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The installation, upgrade, or expansion of an airport HVAC system 
that requires a permit under new source review (NSR) or prevention of 
significant deterioration programs is exempt from a general conformity 
determination.\41\ The inclusion of airport boiler installations/
modifications as a presumed to conform activity does not affect 
existing or future requirements of Federal, State or local air quality 
operating permit programs. Proper compliance with all applicable 
environmental regulations must be maintained.
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    \41\ 40 CFR part 93, Sec.  93.153(d)(1).
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8. Airport Security

    Based on collected project information and additional agency 
experience with airport security actions following the events of 
September 11, 2001, the FAA has determined that dedicated security-
related airport projects qualify as presumed to conform actions, 
including modification of existing terminals with luggage and passenger 
scanning devices, addition of camera surveillance, bolstering of 
airport security fencing, and reinforcement of airport access control. 
In most cases, the installation of security equipment and upgraded

[[Page 41577]]

operations in existing facilities will not result in the generation of 
air emissions. If the construction and installation of some dedicated 
security projects do cause emissions, these emissions will be minor and 
well below the de minimis thresholds.
    Security requirements also may dictate that parking spaces close to 
terminal buildings be eliminated.\42\ As a result, FAA actions 
associated with the expansion of parking facilities to compensate for 
lost close-in parking are presumed to conform provided these actions 
are limited to a one-for-one replacement of parking capacity. 
Generally, the relocation of parking spaces away from the terminal 
building will reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on airport property, 
resulting in an emissions decrease.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ FAA Aviation Security Directive issued February 2002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is important to note that this category of presumed to conform 
actions is separate from exempt Federal actions under the Rule that are 
part of a continuing response to an emergency or disaster.\43\ Agency 
use of the emergency exemption is limited in time and must involve 
overriding concerns for public health and welfare, national security 
interests, and foreign policy commitments.\44\
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    \43\ 40 CFR Part 93, Sec.  93.153(e).
    \44\ Ibid.
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9. Airport Safety

    Airport projects relating to airport safety include actions 
specific to the Runway Safety Area (RSA). FAA regulations specify the 
requirements for a RSA, which is defined as the surface area that 
surrounds and extends beyond the runway ends that is required for 
reducing the risk of damage to airplanes in the event of an undershoot, 
overshoot, or excursion from the runway.\45\ RSA improvements are 
presumed to conform unless a new road or the relocation of a road is 
required.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ FAA AC 150/5300-13, September 29, 1989, Airport Design.
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    In addition to a safe airfield, airport projects to build, expand, 
replace, upgrade, or equip a required Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting 
Facility (ARFF) are presumed to conform. These facilities are 
relatively small airport projects and must be provided by the airport 
to ensure airport and passenger safety. Airports must meet ARFF 
requirements as specified under 14 CFR 139.317, and are responsible for 
upgrading an ARFF if there is an increase in the average daily 
departures or the length of an air carrier aircraft.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ Per index under 14 CFR Part 139, Sec.  139.319(a)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

10. Airport Maintenance Facilities

    Airport maintenance facilities house the equipment necessary to 
run, service, and maintain the airport environs. These facilities can 
include vehicle service centers, fueling stations, and storage areas 
for snow removal and maintenance equipment. FAA actions associated with 
upgrading airport-owned maintenance facilities are presumed to conform 
based on the fact that these facilities typically require only minor 
construction. However, the installation or upgrading of aircraft 
maintenance facilities (typically owned by an airline or charter 
company) that are used to paint or maintain aircraft at an airport are 
not considered presumed to conform because aircraft maintenance 
facilities may cause an increase in flights to meet maintenance 
schedules.

11. Airport Signage

    Airport sponsors place signs throughout the airport property to 
direct passengers, employees, and vendors to terminals, parking lots, 
rental car areas, maintenance areas, etc. In addition, airports provide 
a network of signs to direct aircraft and vehicles on the airfield. 
Airport signage is often electrified for illumination at night and for 
other times of limited visibility. In general, airport signage 
installation can be completed in a matter of days or weeks. It would 
require more than a year of continuous installation to exceed the 25-
ton threshold for NOX. Therefore, airport signage 
installation projects are presumed to conformed.

12. Commercial Vehicle Staging Areas

    Commercial vehicle staging areas at airports serve as temporary 
holding areas for taxicabs, limousines, and other commercial vehicles. 
Such areas reduce the need to idle at the terminal curb front and help 
to decongest the terminal roadways. Airports that employ commercial 
vehicle staging areas may enforce specific idling restrictions or 
engine-off mandates to further reduce air quality impacts. Generally, 
the use of commercial vehicle staging areas is an emissions reduction 
strategy because the alternative inherently creates more emissions from 
increased traffic and congestion at the terminal.
    A Federal action to develop a commercial vehicle staging area for 
purposes of relieving airport traffic congestion is presumed to conform 
based on the criteria provided in Table III-1 for a ``Commercial 
Vehicle Staging Area.'' Providing a commercial vehicle staging area 
does not cause an increase in the volume of vehicles on regional 
roadways and impacts air quality only through the use of construction 
equipment to pave the staging area. Construction emissions are 
primarily comprised of NOX and CO.
    The quantity of emissions associated with the construction of an 
asphalt taxicab staging area was based on a construction design for a 
regional asphalt roadway. The calculation of emissions included 
activities such as excavation, preparation of the subgrade, adding a 
base layer of stone, fine grading, and paving. The paving process 
included the application of a tack coat, wearing course, and the final 
seal coat. The type and use of construction equipment was determined 
based on information obtained from the R.S. Means' Means Building 
Construction Cost Data, and the State of Ohio Department of 
Transportation's Manual of Procedures for Flexible Pavement 
Construction and Pavement Design and Rehabilitation Manual. Rated 
horsepower and load factors for each construction unit was obtained 
from the EPA's Nonroad Engine and Vehicle Emission Study-Report and 
Median Life, Annual Activity, and Load Factor Values for Nonroad Engine 
Emissions Modeling, and the Caterpillar Performance Handbook.
    Emission factors were obtained from the EPA's Nonroad Engine and 
Vehicle Emission Study-Report.
    The acreage that could be paved without equaling or exceeding the 
de minimis thresholds for each applicable nonattainment or maintenance 
category was calculated and summarized in Table III-1. For instance, an 
airport located within an area designated as severe nonattainment for 
ozone, which limits net project emissions to an annual rate of 25 tons 
of NOX, is limited to a commercial vehicle staging area of 
about 13 acres, or 561,584 square feet, which results in 2.35 tons of 
VOC emissions. Paving of approximately 137 acres is required to cause 
emissions of VOC of nearly 25 tons, as established for a severe 
nonattainment area for ozone. In order to approach the 100 ton de 
minimis thresholds for other criteria pollutants, paving areas of 
approximately 140 acres would be required for CO, 556 acres for 
SO2, and more than 595 acres for PM10. Therefore, 
NOX is the limiting pollutant for paving projects at 
airports and emissions of VOC, CO, SO2, and PM10 
are considerably less in comparison to NOX.

13. Low-Emission Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles

    A growing number of airports are interested in new technology and 
vehicle systems to reduce stationary and mobile emissions. Based on 
agency and

[[Page 41578]]

airport low-emission programs over the past several years, which 
provide extensive data and documentation to verify the emission 
reduction benefits of new low-emission technology, these activities are 
presumed to conform.
    Activities that are presumed to conform include the replacement, 
substitution, or conversion of conventional fuel vehicles (gasoline, 
diesel) to vehicles using alternative or clean conventional fuel 
technology. Qualified activities also encompass airport low-emission 
infrastructure improvements and the use of refueling or recharging 
stations needed to service airport low-emission vehicles.
    All low-emission activities funded through the FAA Voluntary 
Airport Low Emission Program (VALE) or that are required as part of 
environmental mitigation are presumed to conform.\47\ The VALE program 
requires that vehicles purchased under the program meet specific low-
emission standards and that these vehicles and other program equipment 
remain at the airport for their useful life.
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    \47\ FAA Order 5100.38C, Airport Improvement Program Handbook, 
June 2005, Sec. Sec.  580, 585.
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14. Air Traffic Control Activities and Adopting Approach, Departure and 
Enroute Procedures for Air Operations

    The preamble to the General Conformity Rule \48\ states that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ 58 Fed. Reg. 63229 (Nov. 30, 1993).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ``In order to illustrate and clarify that the de minimis levels 
exempt certain types of Federal actions, several de minimis exemptions 
are listed in 51.853(c)(2). There are too many Federal actions that are 
de minimis to completely list in either the rule or this preamble.''
    As an illustration of exempt actions, EPA states in the preamble 
that ``Air traffic control activities and adopting approach, departure 
and enroute procedures for air operations'' are among other actions 
that are de minimis (preamble, p. 63229, I(2)) and should be exempt 
from the Rule. Because air traffic control activities are cited in the 
preamble but not in the Rule itself, the FAA believes that it is 
prudent to document these activities as presumed to conform.
    Air traffic control activities are defined as actions that promote 
the safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of aircraft traffic, including 
airport, approach, departure, and enroute air traffic control. Airspace 
and air traffic actions (e.g., changes in routes, flight patterns, and 
arrival and departure procedures) are implemented to enhance safety and 
increase the efficient use of airspace by reducing congestion, 
balancing controller workload, and improving coordination between 
controllers handling existing air traffic, among other things.
    Project-related aircraft emissions released into the atmosphere 
above the inversion base for pollutant containment, commonly referred 
to as the ``mixing height,'' (generally 3,000 ft. above ground level) 
do not have an effect on pollution concentrations at ground 
level.49 50 Therefore, air traffic control actions above the 
mixing height are presumed to conform.
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    \49\ EPA Report, Procedures for Emission Inventory Preparation, 
Volume IV: Mobile Sources [420R-92-009], section 5.2.2., 1992.
    \50\ Realistic Mixing Depths for Above Ground Aircraft 
Emissions, Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association, Vol. 
25, No. 10, Howard M. Segal, Boeing, 1975.
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    In addition, the results of FAA research on mixing heights indicate 
that changes in air traffic procedures above 1,500 ft. AGL and below 
the mixing height would have little if any effect on emissions and 
ground concentrations.\51