Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia: Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area, 9206-9211 [E8-2706]

Download as PDF 9206 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 52.1031.—EPA-APPROVED RULES AND REGULATIONS State citation Title/subject * 141 ........... Date adopted by state Date approved by EPA Federal Register citation 52.1020 * 4/19/07 2/20/08 * * [Insert Federal Register page number where the document begins]. * (c)(63) ........... * Conformity of General Federal Actions. * * * Note.—1. The regulations are effective statewide unless stated otherwise in comments section. [FR Doc. E8–2884 Filed 2–19–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Parts 52 [EPA–R04–OAR–2007–0150–200711(a); FRL–8528–8] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia: Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Direct final rule. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: On December 31, 2006, the State of Georgia, through the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, submitted a voluntary State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision requesting approval of an Early Progress Plan for the sole purpose of establishing motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for the Atlanta 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. The Atlanta 8-hour ozone nonattainment area is comprised of the following twenty counties: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties in their entireties (hereafter referred to as the ‘‘Atlanta 8Hour Ozone Area’’). EPA is approving Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan, including the new regional MVEBs for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) for 2006. This approval of the Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area is based on EPA’s determination that Georgia has demonstrated that the SIP revision containing these MVEBs, when considered with the emissions from all VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 * * sources, shows some progress toward attainment from the base year (i.e., 2002) through an interim target year (i.e., 2006). DATES: This direct final rule is effective April 21, 2008 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by March 21, 2008. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public that the rule will not take effect. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–R04– OAR–2007–0150, by one of the following methods: a. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. b. E-mail: Benjamin.Lynorae@epa.gov. c. Fax: (404) 562–9019. d. Mail: EPA–R04–OAR–2007–0150, Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303–8960. e. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303–8960. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office’s normal hours of operation. The Regional Office’s official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding Federal holidays. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–R04–OAR–2007– 0150. EPA’s policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 * * Amendment to incorporate new fine particulate matter provisions. * whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or e-mail, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ‘‘anonymous access’’ system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD–ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA’s public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http:// www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm. Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303–8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office’s official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin of the Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section at the Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303–8960. Ms. Benjamin’s telephone number is (404) 562–9040. She can also be reached via electronic mail at Benjamin.Lynorae@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. What Action Is EPA Taking? II. What Is the Background for EPA’s Action? III. What Are the Regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area? IV. What Are the Criteria for Early Progress Plans? V. Why is EPA Taking This Action? VI. What is the Effect of EPA’s Action? VII. What is EPA’s Analysis of the Request? VIII. What Is the Status of EPA’s Adequacy Determination for MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area? IX. Final Actions on Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan Including Approval of the 2006 MVEBs X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES I. What Action Is EPA Taking? EPA is approving Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan, including the new regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for 2006. This approval of the Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area is based on EPA’s determination that Georgia has demonstrated that the MVEBs are consistent with emissions from all sources in the nonattainment area (when projected from the base to a future year) and are included in a SIP revision showing some progress toward attainment. These regional MVEBs apply to the entire Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. This direct final rulemaking is in response to Georgia’s January 12, 2007, SIP submittal, which supersedes Georgia’s October 26, 2006, submittal that included a request for parallel processing.1 This revision is a voluntary SIP revision provided by Georgia for the sole purpose of establishing MVEBs for the purpose of implementing 1 Georgia’s January 12, 2007, submittal was sent to EPA for approval with a December 31, 2006, cover letter but the SIP submittal is actually dated for January 12, 2007, and thus will be referred to throughout this rulemaking as Georgia’s January 12, 2007, SIP submittal. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 transportation conformity in the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. This submission is not being evaluated in terms of meeting SIP requirements for an attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan which may be required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. II. What Is the Background for EPA’s Action? Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly by sources. Rather, emissions of NOX and VOC from sources react in the presence of sunlight to form groundlevel ozone. NOX and VOC are referred to as precursors of ozone. The Clean Air Act (CAA) establishes a process for air quality management through the setting of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) to protect public health and welfare. Transportation conformity is a component of the air quality management process that must be implemented in areas that are designated nonattainment or were previously designated nonattainment and are required to develop a CAA section 175A maintenance plan for a NAAQS affected by emissions from motor vehicles. Ozone is one such NAAQS. On April 30, 2004, EPA designated the 20-county Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area as a ‘‘marginal’’ 8-hour ozone nonattainment area (see, 69 FR 23857, April 30, 2004). Thirteen counties 2 in the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area were previously designated nonattainment for the 1-hour ozone standard and have 1hour MVEBs for NOX and VOC established in the Georgia SIP. The remaining seven counties 3 of the 20county Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area were designated attainment for the 1-hour ozone standard and as such did not have 1-hour MVEBs for NOX and VOC. Consequently, the transportation partners in this Area used a combination of the budget test and the interim 2002 baseline test to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 8-hour ozone standard, as required by the transportation conformity rule at 40 CFR 93.109(e)(2)(iii). Specifically, for the 13county 1-hour ozone area, the MVEBs in the Georgia SIP for the 1-hour ozone standard were used to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 8-hour ozone standard. For the remaining seven 2 The Atlanta 1-hour ozone area was comprised of the following thirteen counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale counties in their entireties. 3 The seven additional counties that are included in the 8-hour ozone nonattainment for Atlanta are: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Hall, Newton, Spalding and Walton counties in their entireties. PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9207 counties, the 2002 baseline test, as agreed to through interagency consultation, was used to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 8-hour ozone standard. Thirteen counties of the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area were within a 1-hour ozone attainment area subject to a CAA section 175A maintenance plan for the 1-hour ozone standard. On June 8, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (D.C. Circuit) issued a decision vacating portions of EPA’s Phase I 8-Hour Ozone Implementation Rule. This decision does not impact Georgia’s request for approval of the voluntary Early Progress Plan. In its June 8th decision, the Court clarified that for areas with 1-hour MVEBs, the transportation conformity rule’s requirement to use 1-hour MVEBs for 8-hour conformity determinations until they are replaced by 8-hour budgets fulfills the CAA’s antibacksliding requirements. Consistent with EPA’s conformity regulations at 40 CFR Part 93 and prior to EPA’s adequacy finding for the 8-hour ozone MVEBs in Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization were meeting the requirement to use the 1-hour ozone MVEBs as an interim test for conformity determinations. III. What Are the Regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area? Pursuant to the CAA, states are required to submit, at various times, control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans for ozone nonattainment areas. These control strategy SIPs (e.g., reasonable further progress SIPs and attainment demonstration SIPs) and maintenance plans create MVEBs for criteria pollutants and/or their precursors to address pollution from cars and trucks. Pursuant to 40 CFR part 93, an MVEB is required to be established for: (1) The attainment year for an attainment plan; (2) the last year of the maintenance plan; or (3) the target year for a reasonable further progress plan. Additionally, through an Early Progress Plan, a state may voluntarily establish MVEBs for an area so long as these MVEBs are consistent with a demonstration that shows some progress, between a base and future year, towards attainment. The MVEB is the portion of the total allowable emissions in a SIP that is allocated to highway and transit vehicle use and emissions. See, 40 CFR 93.101. The MVEB serves as a ceiling on emissions from an area’s planned transportation system. The MVEB concept is further explained in the preamble to the November 24, 1993, transportation E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1 9208 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations conformity rule (58 FR 62188). The preamble also describes how to establish the MVEB in the SIP and revise the MVEB. The State of Georgia, after interagency consultation with the transportation partners for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area, elected to develop regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for this entire area through an Early Progress Plan. The regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area are established for the year 2006, and are defined in the table below. TABLE 1.—ATLANTA 8-HOUR OZONE AREA MVEBS [Tons per day] 2006 NOX .............................................. VOC .............................................. 306.75 172.27 Through this rulemaking, EPA is approving the 2006 regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area because EPA has determined that the MVEBs contained in the Early Progress SIP revision are consistent with emissions from all sources within the nonattainment area (when projected from the base to a future year) in showing some progress toward attainment. In a previous action, EPA has already found these MVEBs adequate, so they must be used for future conformity determinations. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES IV. What Are the Criteria for Early Progress Plans? EPA allows for the establishment of MVEBs for the 8-hour ozone standard prior to a state submitting its first required 8-hour ozone SIP that would include new MVEBs. Although voluntary, these ‘‘early’’ MVEBs must be established through a plan that meets all the requirements of a SIP submittal. This plan is known as the ‘‘Early Progress Plan.’’ Specifically and in reference to Early Progress Plans, the preamble of the July 1, 2004, final transportation conformity rule (see, 69 FR 40019) reads as follows: ‘‘The first 8-hour ozone SIP could be a control strategy SIP required by the Clean Air Act (e.g., rate-of-progress SIP or attainment demonstration) or a maintenance plan. However, 8-hour ozone nonattainment areas ‘are free to establish, through the SIP process, a motor vehicle emissions budget or budgets that addresses the new NAAQS in advance of a complete SIP attainment demonstration. That is, a state could submit a motor vehicle emission budget that does not demonstrate attainment but is consistent with projections and commitments to control measures and achieves some progress toward attainment’ (August 15, 1997, 62 FR 43799). A SIP VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 submitted earlier than otherwise required can demonstrate a significant level of emissions reductions from current level of emissions, instead of a specific percentage required by the Clean Air Act for moderate and above ozone areas.’’ The Early Progress Plan must demonstrate that the SIP revision containing the MVEBs, when considered with emissions from all sources, and when projected from the base year to a future year, show some progress toward attainment. EPA has previously indicated that a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in emissions from all sources could represent a significant level of emissions reductions from current levels (69 FR 40019). This allowance is provided so that areas have an opportunity to use the budget test to demonstrate conformity as opposed to the interim conformity tests (i.e., 2002 baseline test and/or ‘‘build-no greaterthan-no build test’’) 4. The budget test with an adequate or approved SIP budget is generally more protective of air quality and provides a more relevant basis for conformity determinations than the interim emissions test. (69 FR 40026). It should also be noted that the Early Progress Plan is not a required plan and does not substitute for required submissions such as an attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan, if such plans become required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. V. Why Is EPA Taking This Action? On January 16, 2007, EPA received a request to approve the Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area for the sole purpose of establishing 8hour ozone MVEBs for the entire 20county 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. EPA’s evaluation indicates that Georgia has demonstrated that the MVEBs in the Early Progress Plan are consistent with a demonstration that shows some progress towards attainment of the 8-hour ozone standard. VI. What Is the Effect of EPA’s Action? Approval of Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan into the Georgia SIP would establish regional 8-hour ozone MVEBs for NOX and VOC for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. The regional MVEBs for the year 2006 are 306.75 tons per day (tpd) for NOX and 172.27 tpd for VOC. As of April 24, 2007, the effective date of EPA’s adequacy finding for these MVEBs, conformity determinations in Atlanta must meet the budget test using these 8-hour MVEBs, instead of the 14 See, EPA’s Transportation Conformity Rule at 40 CFR part 93 for more information on the interim tests. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 hour ozone MVEBs and 2002 baseline year test. The CAA requires that conformity of the transportation plans and transportation improvement programs be determined within two years of EPA’s adequacy finding for MVEBs, or within two years of EPA’s approval of the SIP that includes them if the MVEBs have not already been found adequate (see, CAA section 176(c)(2)(E)). Submittal (and consequently approval) of Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan does not satisfy the requirement for Georgia to provide a full 8-hour ozone attainment demonstration or rate-ofprogress plan, when these SIP revisions become required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. In its revision, Georgia indicated that they have included reductions from outside the nonattainment area towards the progress demonstration for the Atlanta Early Progress SIP. However, since the development of this SIP revision by Georgia, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded the policy provision of EPA’s Phase II Ozone Implementation Rule (70 FR 71612, November 11, 2005) that allowed rate of progress/reasonable further progress credit for reductions to come from outside the nonattainment area. See, NRDC v. EPA, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 25796 (November 2, 2007). EPA is now reconsidering its Phase II Rule. See, http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/ pdfs/20061211_reconsideration_fs.pdf, for more information. Even if EPA determines, after reconsideration, that it is not appropriate to allow credit for reductions from outside the nonattainment area, it is still appropriate to approve this voluntary Early Progress Plan because sufficient reductions occur within the nonattainment area. Additionally, the reductions from outside the nonattainment were not used by the State of Georgia to demonstrate the progress necessary for this nonattainment area to establish Early Progress MVEBs. VII. What Is EPA’s Analysis of the Request? On January 16, 2007, EPA received a request for approval of an Early Progress Plan for the sole purpose of establishing MVEBs for the 20-county Atlanta 8Hour Ozone Area. The submittal utilizes a base year of 2002 to establish NOX and VOC MVEBs for the year 2006. The planning assumptions used to develop the MVEBs were discussed and agreed to by the Atlanta interagency consultation group, which consists of the transportation and air quality partners in the Atlanta 8-hour ozone E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations nonattainment area. The total emissions in 2002 from point, area, nonroad and mobile sources for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area equaled 642.3 tpd of NOX and 713.7 tpd of VOC. The projected total emissions for the aforementioned source categories for 2006 for Atlanta equaled 525.4 tpd of NOX and 602.4 tpd of VOC. This represents an 18 percent reduction in NOX and a 16 percent reduction in VOC emissions from 2002 to 2006 from sources located within the 20-county nonattainment area, which is a greater reduction than necessary to represent a significant level of emissions reductions. Tables 2 and 3 below show the 2002 actual emissions and 2006 emission projections for point, area, nonroad and mobile source reductions. TABLE 2.—ATLANTA 8-HOUR OZONE AREA NOX EMISSIONS [Tons per day] Source category Point ...................... Area ...................... On-road Mobile* ... Nonroad ................ Total ** ........... 2002 2006 139.8 32.5 342.14 127.9 80.8 32.7 306.72 105.1 642.3 525.4 * Calculated using MOBILE 6.2. ** There may be a slight difference for this total due to various rounding conventions used by the State to generate the emissions for point, area, onroad mobile and nonroad sources. TABLE 3.—ATLANTA 8-HOUR OZONE AREA VOC EMISSIONS [Tons per day] Source category Point ...................... Area ...................... On-road Mobile* ... Nonroad ................ Total ** ........... 2002 2006 20.6 347.6 224.66 120.9 19.6 326.4 ***172.22 84.2 713.7 ***602.4 sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES * Calculated using MOBILE 6.2. ** There may be a slight difference for this total due to various rounding conventions used by the State to generate the emissions for point, area, onroad mobile and nonroad sources. *** Including the senior inspection & maintenance exemption, this total is 172.27 tpd, indicating a grand total of 602.45. The 2006 MVEBs, as discussed in Section III of this rulemaking, are consistent with Georgia’s 2002 emission baseline and 2006 projected inventories for on-road mobile sources. Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan, including the 2006 MVEBs, is approvable because the SIP revision meets all applicable requirements for a voluntary Early Progress Plan. In a separate action, EPA has already found these MVEBs VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 adequate for transportation conformity purposes. Please see Section VIII of this rulemaking for more details on the adequacy process. VIII. What Is the Status of EPA’s Adequacy Determination for MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area? Under section 176(c) of the CAA, new transportation projects, such as the construction of new highways, must ‘‘conform’’ to (i.e., be consistent with) the part of the state’s air quality plan (or SIP) that addresses pollution from cars and trucks. ‘‘Conformity’’ to the SIP means that transportation activities will not cause new air quality violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of the NAAQS. If a transportation plan does not ‘‘conform,’’ most new projects that would expand the capacity of roadways cannot go forward. Regulations at 40 CFR part 93 set forth EPA policy, criteria, and procedures for demonstrating and assuring conformity of such transportation activities to a SIP. The regional emissions analysis is one, but not the only, requirement for implementing transportation conformity. Transportation conformity is a requirement for nonattainment and maintenance areas. Maintenance areas are those that were previously nonattainment for a particular NAAQS but have since been redesignated to attainment with a maintenance plan for that NAAQS. When reviewing submitted ‘‘control strategy’’ SIPs or maintenance plans containing MVEBs, EPA must affirmatively find the MVEB contained therein ‘‘adequate’’ for use in determining transportation conformity. Once EPA affirmatively finds the submitted MVEB is adequate for transportation conformity purposes, that MVEB can be used by state and Federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation projects ‘‘conform’’ to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the CAA. EPA’s substantive criteria for determining ‘‘adequacy’’ of an MVEB are set out in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). The process for determining ‘‘adequacy’’ consists of three basic steps: Public notification of a SIP submission, a public comment period, and EPA’s adequacy finding. This process for determining the adequacy of submitted SIP MVEBs was initially outlined in EPA’s May 14, 1999, guidance, ‘‘Conformity Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, Conformity Court Decision.’’ This guidance was finalized in the Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for the ‘‘New 8-Hour PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 9209 Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Miscellaneous Revisions for Existing Areas; transportation conformity rule amendments—Response to Court Decision and Additional Rule Change,’’ on July 1, 2004 (69 FR 40004). EPA follows this guidance and rulemaking in making its adequacy determinations. Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan submission contained new regional NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area for the year 2006. The availability of the Georgia SIP submission with the Atlanta MVEBs was available for public comment on EPA’s adequacy Web page on October 30, 2006, at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/ stateresources/transconf/currsips.htm. The EPA public comment period on adequacy of the 2006 regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area closed on November 29, 2006. EPA did not receive any comments or requests for the submittal. EPA could not complete its adequacy process until the final submission of the Early Progress Plan was provided to EPA by the State of Georgia. EPA received the final submission on January 16, 2007. On January 24, 2007, EPA Region 4 sent a letter to Georgia informing them that EPA had found the MVEBs in Atlanta Early Progress Plan, dated January 12, 2007, to be adequate for transportation conformity purposes. In the January 24, 2007, letter, EPA explained that the MVEBs would be made available for use upon the effective date of EPA’s notice of adequacy for these MVEBs in the Federal Register. On April 9, 2007, EPA published a notice of adequacy in the Federal Register, and explained to the public that the notice was simply an announcement of a finding that EPA had already made. Further, the April 9, 2007, Federal Register notice explained that EPA Region 4 had sent a letter to Georgia on January 24, 2007, to inform the State that the MVEBs in the Atlanta Early Progress Plan, dated January 12, 2007, were adequate for the purposes of transportation conformity (72 FR 17550). In the April 9, 2007, Federal Register notice, EPA inadvertently mislabeled the Atlanta 8-hour ozone NOX MVEB as 172.27 tpd and the VOC MVEB as 306.75 tpd. As announced in EPA’s letter to Georgia on January 24, 2007, the 2006 MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area, as established by the Early Progress Plan for Atlanta are actually 306.75 tpd for NOX and 172.27 tpd for VOC. EPA corrected this error in a Federal Register notice published on August 24, 2007 (72 FR 48635). This E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1 9210 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations finding was also announced on EPA’s conformity Web site: http:// www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/ transconf/pastsips.htm. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES IX. Final Actions on Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan and the 2006 MVEBs EPA is now taking direct final action to approve the January 12, 2007, SIP revision containing Atlanta’s Early Progress Plan, which includes regional MVEBs for 2006 for the entire Atlanta 8Hour Ozone Area. EPA is approving the Early Progress Plan and the regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area because the plan meets all the requirements of a SIP submittal, and because the MVEBs, when considered with emissions from all sources, are contained in a SIP that shows some progress towards attainment from the base year of 2002 to the target year of 2006. EPA previously made these MVEBs available for use by the transportation partners through EPA’s adequacy process. These MVEBs are currently being used in this area to demonstrate transportation conformity. EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective April 21, 2008 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by March 21, 2008. If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public is advised that this rule will be effective on April 21, 2008 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, ‘‘Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 Jkt 214001 Distribution, or Use’’ (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because this rule approves pre-existing requirements under state law and does not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by state law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4). This rule also does not have tribal implications because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action also does not have Federalism implications because it does not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely approves a SIP revision implementing a Federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean Air Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 ‘‘Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks’’ (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant. In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA’s role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority to disapprove a SIP submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a SIP submission, to use VCS in place of a SIP submission that otherwise satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This rule does PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by April 21, 2008. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).) List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds. Dated: February 6, 2008. J.I. Palmer, Jr., Regional Administrator, Region 4. I 40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows: PART 52—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Subpart L—Georgia 2. Section 52.570 (e) is amended by adding a new entry at the end of the table for ‘‘27. Atlanta Early Progress Plan’’ to read as follows: I § 52.570 * Identification of plan. * * (e) * * * E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1 * * Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2008 / Rules and Regulations 9211 EPA-APPROVED GEORGIA NON-REGULATORY PROVISIONS Name of nonregulatory SIP provision * 27. Atlanta Early Progress Plan. Applicable geographic or nonattainment area * * * * Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties. [FR Doc. E8–2706 Filed 2–19–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 180 [EPA–HQ–OPP–2007–0223; FRL–8344–7] 1-Propanesulfonic acid, 2-methyl-2-[(1oxo-2-propenyl)amino]-, monosodium salt, polymer with ethenol and ethenyl acetate; Exemption from the Requirement of a Tolerance Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. sroberts on PROD1PC70 with RULES AGENCY: SUMMARY: This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of 1propanesulfonic acid, 2-methyl-2-[(1oxo-2-propenyl)amino]-, monosodium salt, polymer with ethenol and ethenyl acetate (CAS Reg. No. 107568–12–7) when used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide chemical formulation. Keller and Heckman, LLP submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) requesting an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of 1-propanesulfonic acid, 2-methyl-2-[(1-oxo-2-propenyl)amino]-, monosodium salt, polymer with ethenol and ethenyl acetate. DATES: This regulation is effective February 20, 2008. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before April 21, 2008, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under docket identification (ID) number EPA–HQ– OPP–2007–0223. To access the electronic docket, go to http:// www.regulations.gov, select ‘‘Advanced Search,’’ then ‘‘Docket Search.’’ Insert VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:54 Feb 19, 2008 State submittal date/effective date Jkt 214001 the docket ID number where indicated and select the ‘‘Submit’’ button. Follow the instructions on the regulations.gov website to view the docket index or access available documents. All documents in the docket are listed in the docket index available in regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available in the electronic docket at http://www.regulations.gov, or, if only available in hard copy, at the OPP Regulatory Public Docket in Rm. S– 4400, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA. The Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The Docket Facility telephone number is (703) 305– 5805. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Samek, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460–0001; telephone number: (703) 347–8825; e-mail address: samek.karen@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this Action Apply to Me? You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to: • Crop production (NAICS code 111). • Animal production (NAICS code 112). • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311). • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532). This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 EPA approval date * 1/12/07 * 2/20/08 [Insert first page of publication]. for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. To determine whether you or your business may be affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in Unit II. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. B. How Can I Access Electronic Copies of this Document? In addition to accessing an electronic copy of this Federal Register document through the electronic docket at http:// www.regulations.gov, you may access this ‘‘Federal Register’’ document electronically through the EPA Internet under the ‘‘Federal Register’’ listings at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr. You may also access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Printing Office’s pilot e-CFR site at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/ecfr. C. Can I File an Objection or Hearing Request? Under section 408(g) of FFDCA, as amended by FQPA, any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. The EPA procedural regulations which govern the submission of objections and requests for hearings appear in 40 CFR part 178. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA–HQ– OPP–2007–0223 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All requests must be in writing, and must be mailed or delivered to the Hearing Clerk on or before April 21, 2008. E:\FR\FM\20FER1.SGM 20FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 34 (Wednesday, February 20, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9206-9211]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-2706]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Parts 52

[EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0150-200711(a); FRL-8528-8]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans for Air Quality 
Planning Purposes; Georgia: Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour 
Ozone Nonattainment Area

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On December 31, 2006, the State of Georgia, through the 
Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of 
Natural Resources, submitted a voluntary State Implementation Plan 
(SIP) revision requesting approval of an Early Progress Plan for the 
sole purpose of establishing motor vehicle emission budgets (MVEBs) for 
the Atlanta 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. The Atlanta 8-hour ozone 
nonattainment area is comprised of the following twenty counties: 
Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, 
Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, 
Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties in their entireties 
(hereafter referred to as the ``Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area''). EPA is 
approving Atlanta's Early Progress Plan, including the new regional 
MVEBs for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and volatile organic 
compounds (VOC) for 2006. This approval of the Early Progress Plan for 
the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area is based on EPA's determination that 
Georgia has demonstrated that the SIP revision containing these MVEBs, 
when considered with the emissions from all sources, shows some 
progress toward attainment from the base year (i.e., 2002) through an 
interim target year (i.e., 2006).

DATES: This direct final rule is effective April 21, 2008 without 
further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by March 21, 2008. 
If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of 
the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform the public 
that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-
OAR-2007-0150, by one of the following methods:
    a. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    b. E-mail: Benjamin.Lynorae@epa.gov.
    c. Fax: (404) 562-9019.
    d. Mail: EPA-R04-OAR-2007-0150, Air Quality Modeling and 
Transportation Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics 
Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 
Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.
    e. Hand Delivery or Courier: Lynorae Benjamin, Air Quality Modeling 
and Transportation Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and 
Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office's normal hours 
of operation. The Regional Office's official hours of business are 
Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding Federal holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-
2007-0150. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Do not submit through www.regulations.gov or e-
mail, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. 
The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, 
which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-
mail comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, 
your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part 
of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available 
on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends 
that you include your name and other contact information in the body of 
your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read 
your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for 
clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic 
files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of 
encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the electronic docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, i.e., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket 
materials are available either electronically in www.regulations.gov or 
in hard copy at the Air Quality Modeling and Transportation Section, 
Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you

[[Page 9207]]

contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official 
hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30, excluding 
federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin of the Air 
Quality Modeling and Transportation Section at the Air Planning Branch, 
Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW., Atlanta, Georgia 
30303-8960. Ms. Benjamin's telephone number is (404) 562-9040. She can 
also be reached via electronic mail at Benjamin.Lynorae@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?
II. What Is the Background for EPA's Action?
III. What Are the Regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area?
IV. What Are the Criteria for Early Progress Plans?
V. Why is EPA Taking This Action?
VI. What is the Effect of EPA's Action?
VII. What is EPA's Analysis of the Request?
VIII. What Is the Status of EPA's Adequacy Determination for MVEBs 
for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area?
IX. Final Actions on Atlanta's Early Progress Plan Including 
Approval of the 2006 MVEBs
X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What Action Is EPA Taking?

    EPA is approving Atlanta's Early Progress Plan, including the new 
regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for 2006. This approval of 
the Early Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area is based on 
EPA's determination that Georgia has demonstrated that the MVEBs are 
consistent with emissions from all sources in the nonattainment area 
(when projected from the base to a future year) and are included in a 
SIP revision showing some progress toward attainment. These regional 
MVEBs apply to the entire Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area.
    This direct final rulemaking is in response to Georgia's January 
12, 2007, SIP submittal, which supersedes Georgia's October 26, 2006, 
submittal that included a request for parallel processing.\1\ This 
revision is a voluntary SIP revision provided by Georgia for the sole 
purpose of establishing MVEBs for the purpose of implementing 
transportation conformity in the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. This 
submission is not being evaluated in terms of meeting SIP requirements 
for an attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan which may be 
required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Georgia's January 12, 2007, submittal was sent to EPA for 
approval with a December 31, 2006, cover letter but the SIP 
submittal is actually dated for January 12, 2007, and thus will be 
referred to throughout this rulemaking as Georgia's January 12, 
2007, SIP submittal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. What Is the Background for EPA's Action?

    Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly by sources. Rather, 
emissions of NOX and VOC from sources react in the presence 
of sunlight to form ground-level ozone. NOX and VOC are 
referred to as precursors of ozone. The Clean Air Act (CAA) establishes 
a process for air quality management through the setting of the 
national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) to protect public health 
and welfare. Transportation conformity is a component of the air 
quality management process that must be implemented in areas that are 
designated nonattainment or were previously designated nonattainment 
and are required to develop a CAA section 175A maintenance plan for a 
NAAQS affected by emissions from motor vehicles. Ozone is one such 
NAAQS.
    On April 30, 2004, EPA designated the 20-county Atlanta 8-Hour 
Ozone Area as a ``marginal'' 8-hour ozone nonattainment area (see, 69 
FR 23857, April 30, 2004). Thirteen counties \2\ in the Atlanta 8-Hour 
Ozone Area were previously designated nonattainment for the 1-hour 
ozone standard and have 1-hour MVEBs for NOX and VOC 
established in the Georgia SIP. The remaining seven counties \3\ of the 
20-county Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area were designated attainment for the 
1-hour ozone standard and as such did not have 1-hour MVEBs for 
NOX and VOC. Consequently, the transportation partners in 
this Area used a combination of the budget test and the interim 2002 
baseline test to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 8-hour 
ozone standard, as required by the transportation conformity rule at 40 
CFR 93.109(e)(2)(iii). Specifically, for the 13-county 1-hour ozone 
area, the MVEBs in the Georgia SIP for the 1-hour ozone standard were 
used to demonstrate transportation conformity for the 8-hour ozone 
standard. For the remaining seven counties, the 2002 baseline test, as 
agreed to through interagency consultation, was used to demonstrate 
transportation conformity for the 8-hour ozone standard. Thirteen 
counties of the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area were within a 1-hour ozone 
attainment area subject to a CAA section 175A maintenance plan for the 
1-hour ozone standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The Atlanta 1-hour ozone area was comprised of the following 
thirteen counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, 
Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Paulding, and Rockdale 
counties in their entireties.
    \3\ The seven additional counties that are included in the 8-
hour ozone nonattainment for Atlanta are: Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, 
Hall, Newton, Spalding and Walton counties in their entireties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On June 8, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit 
(D.C. Circuit) issued a decision vacating portions of EPA's Phase I 8-
Hour Ozone Implementation Rule. This decision does not impact Georgia's 
request for approval of the voluntary Early Progress Plan. In its June 
8th decision, the Court clarified that for areas with 1-hour MVEBs, the 
transportation conformity rule's requirement to use 1-hour MVEBs for 8-
hour conformity determinations until they are replaced by 8-hour 
budgets fulfills the CAA's anti-backsliding requirements. Consistent 
with EPA's conformity regulations at 40 CFR Part 93 and prior to EPA's 
adequacy finding for the 8-hour ozone MVEBs in Atlanta's Early Progress 
Plan, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Gainesville-Hall 
Metropolitan Planning Organization were meeting the requirement to use 
the 1-hour ozone MVEBs as an interim test for conformity 
determinations.

III. What Are the Regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area?

    Pursuant to the CAA, states are required to submit, at various 
times, control strategy SIPs and maintenance plans for ozone 
nonattainment areas. These control strategy SIPs (e.g., reasonable 
further progress SIPs and attainment demonstration SIPs) and 
maintenance plans create MVEBs for criteria pollutants and/or their 
precursors to address pollution from cars and trucks. Pursuant to 40 
CFR part 93, an MVEB is required to be established for: (1) The 
attainment year for an attainment plan; (2) the last year of the 
maintenance plan; or (3) the target year for a reasonable further 
progress plan. Additionally, through an Early Progress Plan, a state 
may voluntarily establish MVEBs for an area so long as these MVEBs are 
consistent with a demonstration that shows some progress, between a 
base and future year, towards attainment. The MVEB is the portion of 
the total allowable emissions in a SIP that is allocated to highway and 
transit vehicle use and emissions. See, 40 CFR 93.101. The MVEB serves 
as a ceiling on emissions from an area's planned transportation system. 
The MVEB concept is further explained in the preamble to the November 
24, 1993, transportation

[[Page 9208]]

conformity rule (58 FR 62188). The preamble also describes how to 
establish the MVEB in the SIP and revise the MVEB.
    The State of Georgia, after interagency consultation with the 
transportation partners for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area, elected to 
develop regional MVEBs for NOX and VOC for this entire area 
through an Early Progress Plan. The regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-
Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area are established for the year 2006, and 
are defined in the table below.

                Table 1.--Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area MVEBs
                             [Tons per day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX..........................................................     306.75
VOC..........................................................     172.27
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Through this rulemaking, EPA is approving the 2006 regional MVEBs 
for NOX and VOC for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area because 
EPA has determined that the MVEBs contained in the Early Progress SIP 
revision are consistent with emissions from all sources within the 
nonattainment area (when projected from the base to a future year) in 
showing some progress toward attainment. In a previous action, EPA has 
already found these MVEBs adequate, so they must be used for future 
conformity determinations.

IV. What Are the Criteria for Early Progress Plans?

    EPA allows for the establishment of MVEBs for the 8-hour ozone 
standard prior to a state submitting its first required 8-hour ozone 
SIP that would include new MVEBs. Although voluntary, these ``early'' 
MVEBs must be established through a plan that meets all the 
requirements of a SIP submittal. This plan is known as the ``Early 
Progress Plan.'' Specifically and in reference to Early Progress Plans, 
the preamble of the July 1, 2004, final transportation conformity rule 
(see, 69 FR 40019) reads as follows:

    ``The first 8-hour ozone SIP could be a control strategy SIP 
required by the Clean Air Act (e.g., rate-of-progress SIP or 
attainment demonstration) or a maintenance plan. However, 8-hour 
ozone nonattainment areas `are free to establish, through the SIP 
process, a motor vehicle emissions budget or budgets that addresses 
the new NAAQS in advance of a complete SIP attainment demonstration. 
That is, a state could submit a motor vehicle emission budget that 
does not demonstrate attainment but is consistent with projections 
and commitments to control measures and achieves some progress 
toward attainment' (August 15, 1997, 62 FR 43799). A SIP submitted 
earlier than otherwise required can demonstrate a significant level 
of emissions reductions from current level of emissions, instead of 
a specific percentage required by the Clean Air Act for moderate and 
above ozone areas.''

    The Early Progress Plan must demonstrate that the SIP revision 
containing the MVEBs, when considered with emissions from all sources, 
and when projected from the base year to a future year, show some 
progress toward attainment. EPA has previously indicated that a 5 
percent to 10 percent reduction in emissions from all sources could 
represent a significant level of emissions reductions from current 
levels (69 FR 40019). This allowance is provided so that areas have an 
opportunity to use the budget test to demonstrate conformity as opposed 
to the interim conformity tests (i.e., 2002 baseline test and/or 
``build-no greater-than-no build test'') \4\. The budget test with an 
adequate or approved SIP budget is generally more protective of air 
quality and provides a more relevant basis for conformity 
determinations than the interim emissions test. (69 FR 40026).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See, EPA's Transportation Conformity Rule at 40 CFR part 93 
for more information on the interim tests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It should also be noted that the Early Progress Plan is not a 
required plan and does not substitute for required submissions such as 
an attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan, if such plans 
become required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area.

V. Why Is EPA Taking This Action?

    On January 16, 2007, EPA received a request to approve the Early 
Progress Plan for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area for the sole purpose of 
establishing 8-hour ozone MVEBs for the entire 20-county 8-hour ozone 
nonattainment area. EPA's evaluation indicates that Georgia has 
demonstrated that the MVEBs in the Early Progress Plan are consistent 
with a demonstration that shows some progress towards attainment of the 
8-hour ozone standard.

VI. What Is the Effect of EPA's Action?

    Approval of Atlanta's Early Progress Plan into the Georgia SIP 
would establish regional 8-hour ozone MVEBs for NOX and VOC 
for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. The regional MVEBs for the year 2006 
are 306.75 tons per day (tpd) for NOX and 172.27 tpd for 
VOC. As of April 24, 2007, the effective date of EPA's adequacy finding 
for these MVEBs, conformity determinations in Atlanta must meet the 
budget test using these 8-hour MVEBs, instead of the 1-hour ozone MVEBs 
and 2002 baseline year test. The CAA requires that conformity of the 
transportation plans and transportation improvement programs be 
determined within two years of EPA's adequacy finding for MVEBs, or 
within two years of EPA's approval of the SIP that includes them if the 
MVEBs have not already been found adequate (see, CAA section 
176(c)(2)(E)).
    Submittal (and consequently approval) of Atlanta's Early Progress 
Plan does not satisfy the requirement for Georgia to provide a full 8-
hour ozone attainment demonstration or rate-of-progress plan, when 
these SIP revisions become required for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. 
In its revision, Georgia indicated that they have included reductions 
from outside the nonattainment area towards the progress demonstration 
for the Atlanta Early Progress SIP. However, since the development of 
this SIP revision by Georgia, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated 
and remanded the policy provision of EPA's Phase II Ozone 
Implementation Rule (70 FR 71612, November 11, 2005) that allowed rate 
of progress/reasonable further progress credit for reductions to come 
from outside the nonattainment area. See, NRDC v. EPA, 2007 U.S. App. 
Lexis 25796 (November 2, 2007). EPA is now reconsidering its Phase II 
Rule. See, http://www.epa.gov/air/ozonepollution/pdfs/20061211_
reconsideration_fs.pdf, for more information. Even if EPA determines, 
after reconsideration, that it is not appropriate to allow credit for 
reductions from outside the nonattainment area, it is still appropriate 
to approve this voluntary Early Progress Plan because sufficient 
reductions occur within the nonattainment area. Additionally, the 
reductions from outside the nonattainment were not used by the State of 
Georgia to demonstrate the progress necessary for this nonattainment 
area to establish Early Progress MVEBs.

VII. What Is EPA's Analysis of the Request?

    On January 16, 2007, EPA received a request for approval of an 
Early Progress Plan for the sole purpose of establishing MVEBs for the 
20-county Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area. The submittal utilizes a base year 
of 2002 to establish NOX and VOC MVEBs for the year 2006. 
The planning assumptions used to develop the MVEBs were discussed and 
agreed to by the Atlanta interagency consultation group, which consists 
of the transportation and air quality partners in the Atlanta 8-hour 
ozone

[[Page 9209]]

nonattainment area. The total emissions in 2002 from point, area, 
nonroad and mobile sources for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area equaled 
642.3 tpd of NOX and 713.7 tpd of VOC. The projected total 
emissions for the aforementioned source categories for 2006 for Atlanta 
equaled 525.4 tpd of NOX and 602.4 tpd of VOC. This 
represents an 18 percent reduction in NOX and a 16 percent 
reduction in VOC emissions from 2002 to 2006 from sources located 
within the 20-county nonattainment area, which is a greater reduction 
than necessary to represent a significant level of emissions 
reductions. Tables 2 and 3 below show the 2002 actual emissions and 
2006 emission projections for point, area, nonroad and mobile source 
reductions.

            Table 2.--Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area NOX Emissions
                             [Tons per day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Source category                     2002        2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point...........................................      139.8        80.8
Area............................................       32.5        32.7
On-road Mobile*.................................      342.14      306.72
Nonroad.........................................      127.9       105.1
                                                 -----------------------
    Total **....................................      642.3       525.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Calculated using MOBILE 6.2.
** There may be a slight difference for this total due to various
  rounding conventions used by the State to generate the emissions for
  point, area, onroad mobile and nonroad sources.


            Table 3.--Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area VOC Emissions
                             [Tons per day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Source category                     2002        2006
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Point...........................................       20.6        19.6
Area............................................      347.6       326.4
On-road Mobile*.................................      224.66   ***172.22
Nonroad.........................................      120.9        84.2
                                                 -----------------------
    Total **....................................      713.7    ***602.4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Calculated using MOBILE 6.2.
** There may be a slight difference for this total due to various
  rounding conventions used by the State to generate the emissions for
  point, area, onroad mobile and nonroad sources.
*** Including the senior inspection & maintenance exemption, this total
  is 172.27 tpd, indicating a grand total of 602.45.

    The 2006 MVEBs, as discussed in Section III of this rulemaking, are 
consistent with Georgia's 2002 emission baseline and 2006 projected 
inventories for on-road mobile sources. Atlanta's Early Progress Plan, 
including the 2006 MVEBs, is approvable because the SIP revision meets 
all applicable requirements for a voluntary Early Progress Plan. In a 
separate action, EPA has already found these MVEBs adequate for 
transportation conformity purposes. Please see Section VIII of this 
rulemaking for more details on the adequacy process.

VIII. What Is the Status of EPA's Adequacy Determination for MVEBs for 
the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area?

    Under section 176(c) of the CAA, new transportation projects, such 
as the construction of new highways, must ``conform'' to (i.e., be 
consistent with) the part of the state's air quality plan (or SIP) that 
addresses pollution from cars and trucks. ``Conformity'' to the SIP 
means that transportation activities will not cause new air quality 
violations, worsen existing violations, or delay timely attainment of 
the NAAQS. If a transportation plan does not ``conform,'' most new 
projects that would expand the capacity of roadways cannot go forward. 
Regulations at 40 CFR part 93 set forth EPA policy, criteria, and 
procedures for demonstrating and assuring conformity of such 
transportation activities to a SIP. The regional emissions analysis is 
one, but not the only, requirement for implementing transportation 
conformity. Transportation conformity is a requirement for 
nonattainment and maintenance areas. Maintenance areas are those that 
were previously nonattainment for a particular NAAQS but have since 
been redesignated to attainment with a maintenance plan for that NAAQS.
    When reviewing submitted ``control strategy'' SIPs or maintenance 
plans containing MVEBs, EPA must affirmatively find the MVEB contained 
therein ``adequate'' for use in determining transportation conformity. 
Once EPA affirmatively finds the submitted MVEB is adequate for 
transportation conformity purposes, that MVEB can be used by state and 
Federal agencies in determining whether proposed transportation 
projects ``conform'' to the SIP as required by section 176(c) of the 
CAA.
    EPA's substantive criteria for determining ``adequacy'' of an MVEB 
are set out in 40 CFR 93.118(e)(4). The process for determining 
``adequacy'' consists of three basic steps: Public notification of a 
SIP submission, a public comment period, and EPA's adequacy finding. 
This process for determining the adequacy of submitted SIP MVEBs was 
initially outlined in EPA's May 14, 1999, guidance, ``Conformity 
Guidance on Implementation of March 2, 1999, Conformity Court 
Decision.'' This guidance was finalized in the Transportation 
Conformity Rule Amendments for the ``New 8-Hour Ozone and PM2.5 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards and Miscellaneous Revisions for 
Existing Areas; transportation conformity rule amendments--Response to 
Court Decision and Additional Rule Change,'' on July 1, 2004 (69 FR 
40004). EPA follows this guidance and rulemaking in making its adequacy 
determinations.
    Atlanta's Early Progress Plan submission contained new regional 
NOX and VOC MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area for the 
year 2006. The availability of the Georgia SIP submission with the 
Atlanta MVEBs was available for public comment on EPA's adequacy Web 
page on October 30, 2006, at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/
transconf/currsips.htm. The EPA public comment period on adequacy of 
the 2006 regional MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area closed on 
November 29, 2006. EPA did not receive any comments or requests for the 
submittal.
    EPA could not complete its adequacy process until the final 
submission of the Early Progress Plan was provided to EPA by the State 
of Georgia. EPA received the final submission on January 16, 2007. On 
January 24, 2007, EPA Region 4 sent a letter to Georgia informing them 
that EPA had found the MVEBs in Atlanta Early Progress Plan, dated 
January 12, 2007, to be adequate for transportation conformity 
purposes. In the January 24, 2007, letter, EPA explained that the MVEBs 
would be made available for use upon the effective date of EPA's notice 
of adequacy for these MVEBs in the Federal Register.
    On April 9, 2007, EPA published a notice of adequacy in the Federal 
Register, and explained to the public that the notice was simply an 
announcement of a finding that EPA had already made. Further, the April 
9, 2007, Federal Register notice explained that EPA Region 4 had sent a 
letter to Georgia on January 24, 2007, to inform the State that the 
MVEBs in the Atlanta Early Progress Plan, dated January 12, 2007, were 
adequate for the purposes of transportation conformity (72 FR 17550).
    In the April 9, 2007, Federal Register notice, EPA inadvertently 
mislabeled the Atlanta 8-hour ozone NOX MVEB as 172.27 tpd 
and the VOC MVEB as 306.75 tpd. As announced in EPA's letter to Georgia 
on January 24, 2007, the 2006 MVEBs for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Area, 
as established by the Early Progress Plan for Atlanta are actually 
306.75 tpd for NOX and 172.27 tpd for VOC. EPA corrected 
this error in a Federal Register notice published on August 24, 2007 
(72 FR 48635). This

[[Page 9210]]

finding was also announced on EPA's conformity Web site: http://
www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/pastsips.htm.

IX. Final Actions on Atlanta's Early Progress Plan and the 2006 MVEBs

    EPA is now taking direct final action to approve the January 12, 
2007, SIP revision containing Atlanta's Early Progress Plan, which 
includes regional MVEBs for 2006 for the entire Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone 
Area. EPA is approving the Early Progress Plan and the regional MVEBs 
for the Atlanta 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area because the plan meets 
all the requirements of a SIP submittal, and because the MVEBs, when 
considered with emissions from all sources, are contained in a SIP that 
shows some progress towards attainment from the base year of 2002 to 
the target year of 2006. EPA previously made these MVEBs available for 
use by the transportation partners through EPA's adequacy process. 
These MVEBs are currently being used in this area to demonstrate 
transportation conformity.
    EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because the 
Agency views this as a noncontroversial submittal and anticipates no 
adverse comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this 
Federal Register publication, EPA is publishing a separate document 
that will serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision should 
adverse comments be filed. This rule will be effective April 21, 2008 
without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by 
March 21, 2008.
    If EPA receives such comments, then EPA will publish a document 
withdrawing the final rule and informing the public that the rule will 
not take effect. All public comments received will then be addressed in 
a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. EPA will not 
institute a second comment period. Parties interested in commenting 
should do so at this time. If no such comments are received, the public 
is advised that this rule will be effective on April 21, 2008 and no 
further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

X. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this 
action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' and therefore is not 
subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget. For this 
reason, this action is also not subject to Executive Order 13211, 
``Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001). This action 
merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and imposes 
no additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. 
Accordingly, the Administrator certifies that this will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). Because 
this rule approves pre-existing requirements under state law and does 
not impose any additional enforceable duty beyond that required by 
state law, it does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4).
    This rule also does not have tribal implications because it will 
not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on 
the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or 
on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 
FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This action also does not have Federalism 
implications because it does not have substantial direct effects on the 
states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 
FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action merely approves a SIP revision 
implementing a Federal standard, and does not alter the relationship or 
the distribution of power and responsibilities established in the Clean 
Air Act. This rule also is not subject to Executive Order 13045 
``Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks'' (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically 
significant.
    In reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state 
choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. In 
this context, in the absence of a prior existing requirement for the 
State to use voluntary consensus standards (VCS), EPA has no authority 
to disapprove a SIP submission for failure to use VCS. It would thus be 
inconsistent with applicable law for EPA, when it reviews a SIP 
submission, to use VCS in place of a SIP submission that otherwise 
satisfies the provisions of the Clean Air Act. Thus, the requirements 
of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) do not apply. This rule does not 
impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for 
judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by April 21, 2008. Filing a 
petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule 
does not affect the finality of this rule for the purposes of judicial 
review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial 
review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such 
rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings 
to enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by 
reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: February 6, 2008.
J.I. Palmer, Jr.,
Regional Administrator, Region 4.

0
40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

PART 52--[AMENDED]

0
1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart L--Georgia

0
2. Section 52.570 (e) is amended by adding a new entry at the end of 
the table for ``27. Atlanta Early Progress Plan'' to read as follows:


Sec.  52.570  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *

[[Page 9211]]



                                 EPA-Approved Georgia Non-regulatory Provisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      State submittal
  Name of nonregulatory SIP provision     Applicable geographic or    date/effective       EPA approval date
                                             nonattainment area            date
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
27. Atlanta Early Progress Plan........  Barrow, Bartow, Carroll,             1/12/07  2/20/08 [Insert first
                                          Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb,                      page of publication].
                                          Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas,
                                          Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton,
                                          Gwinnett, Hall, Henry,
                                          Newton, Paulding,
                                          Rockdale, Spalding and
                                          Walton counties.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 [FR Doc. E8-2706 Filed 2-19-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P