Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Transportation Conformity Memorandum of Agreement Update, 78266-78272 [2013-30542]

Download as PDF 78266 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations Applicable geographic area Year Lancaster 1997 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Area ......................................................................................... Lancaster 1997 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Area ......................................................................................... 4. Section 52.2052 is added to read as follows: ■ § 52.2052 Motor vehicle emissions budgets for Pennsylvania ozone areas. As of December 26, 2013, EPA approves the following revised 2009 and 2018 Motor Vehicle Emissions Budgets (MVEBs) for nitrogen oxides (NOX) and 2009 2018 Year Lancaster 1997 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Area ......................................................................................... Lancaster 1997 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Area ......................................................................................... BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R04–OAR–2013–0629; FRL–9904–43– Region–4] Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North Carolina; Transportation Conformity Memorandum of Agreement Update Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Direct final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the North Carolina State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted on July 12, 2013, through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR). This submission consists of memorandum of agreements (MOAs) establishing transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, conflict resolution, public participation and enforceability of certain transportationrelated control measures and mitigation measures. This action streamlines the conformity process to allow direct consultation among agencies at the Federal, state and local levels. This action is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act). DATES: This direct final rule is effective on February 24, 2014 without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by January 27, 2014. If EPA receives such comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register and inform sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 the public that the rule will not take effect. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID Number EPA– R04–OAR–2013–0629 by one of the following methods: 1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. 2. E-Mail: R4-RDS@epa.gov. 3. Fax: (404) 562–9019. 4. Mail: EPA–R04–OAR–2013–0629, Regulatory Development 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. 5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, Regulatory Development 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA–R04–OAR–2013– 0629. 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 email, information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected. The PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3.2 3.6 Tons per day VOCs 5.5 7.7 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for the Lancaster 1997 8-Hour Ozone Maintenance Area submitted by the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: Applicable geographic area [FR Doc. 2013–30714 Filed 12–24–13; 8:45 am] Tons per day NOX 2009 2018 Tons per day NOX 35.18 20.57 Tons per day VOCs 14.29 10.14 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 email comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your email 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 E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations requests that if at all possible, you 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: Kelly Sheckler, 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. Ms. Sheckler’s telephone number is 404– 562–9222. She can also be reached via electronic mail at Sheckler.kelly@ epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. What action is EPA taking? II. Background for this Action III. EPA’s Analysis of North Carolina’s Submittal IV. Final Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What action is EPA taking? EPA is taking direct final action to approve NC DENR’s July 12, 2013 SIP submission, which consists of MOAs establishing transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, conflict resolution, public participation and enforceability of certain transportationrelated control measures and mitigation measures in the State of North Carolina and its SIP pursuant to the sections 110 and 176 of the CAA. Pursuant to section 110 of the CAA, EPA is approving into the North Carolina SIP the July 12, 2013, transportation conformity MOAs. II. Background for This Action sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES A. What is transportation conformity? Transportation conformity is required under section 176(c) of the CAA to ensure that federally supported highway projects, transit projects, and other activities are consistent with (conform to) the purpose of the SIP. Conformity 1 currently applies to areas that are designated nonattainment and to areas that have been redesignated to attainment after 1990 (maintenance areas) with plans developed under section 175A of the Act, for transportation-related criteria pollutants 1 Conformity first appeared as a requirement in the CAA in the 1977 amendments (Pub. L. 95–95). Although the Act did not define conformity, it stated that no Federal department could engage in, support in any way or provide financial assistance for, license or permit, or approve any activity which did not conform to a SIP which has been approved or promulgated. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 including ozone, particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5 and PM10), carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The 1990 Amendments to the CAA expanded the scope and content of the conformity concept by defining conformity to a SIP. Section 176(c) of the Act defines conformity as conformity to the SIP’s purpose of eliminating or reducing the severity and number of violations of the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and achieving expeditious attainment of such standards. Also, the CAA provides that no Federal activity will: (1) Cause or contribute to any new violation of any NAAQS in any area, (2) increase the frequency or severity of any existing violation of any standard in any area, or (3) delay timely attainment of any standard or any required interim emission reductions or other milestones in any area. The requirements of section 176(c) of the CAA apply to all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the Federal government. Transportation conformity refers only to the conformity of transportation plans, programs and projects that are funded or approved under title 23 U.S.C. or the Federal Transit Act (49 U.S.C. Chapter 53). EPA was required to issue criteria and procedures for determining conformity of transportation plans, programs, and projects to a SIP pursuant to section 176(c) of the CAA. The CAA also required the procedures to include a requirement that each state submit a revision to its SIP to include conformity criteria and procedures. B. Why are states required to submit a transportation conformity SIP? EPA promulgated the first federal transportation conformity criteria and procedures (‘‘Conformity Rule’’) on November 24, 1993 (58 FR 62188) which was codified at 40 CFR part 51, subpart T and 40 CFR part 93. Among other things, the rule required states to address all provisions of the conformity rule in their SIPs, frequently referred to as ‘‘conformity SIPs.’’ Under 40 CFR 51.390, most sections of the conformity rule were required to be copied verbatim into the SIP. The rule has been subsequently revised on August 7, 1995 (60 FR 40098), August 15, 1997 (62 FR 43780) November 14, 1995 (60 FR 57179), April 10, 2000 (65 FR 18911), and August 6, 2002 (67 FR 50808). On August 10, 2005, the ‘‘Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users’’ (SAFETEA–LU) was signed into law. SAFETEA–LU revised section 176(c) of the CAA transportation conformity provisions by streamlining PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78267 the requirements for conformity SIPs. Under SAFETEA–LU, states are required to address and tailor only three sections of the rule in their conformity SIPs: 40 CFR 93.105, 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 40 CFR 93.125(c). In general, states are no longer required to submit conformity SIP revisions that address the other sections of the conformity rule. These changes took effect on August 10, 2005, when SAFETEA–LU was signed into law. States may also choose to develop, in place of adopting federal regulations, a MOA which establishes the roles and procedures for transportation conformity. The MOA must include the detailed consultation procedures developed for that particular area. The MOAs are enforceable through the signature of all the transportation and air quality agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and EPA. C. How does transportation conformity work? The Federal or state transportation conformity rule applies to applicable NAAQS nonattainment and maintenance areas in the state. The Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the state department of transportation (DOT) (in absence of a MPO), State and local air quality agencies, EPA and the USDOT are involved in the process of making conformity determinations. Conformity determinations are made on programs and plans such as transportation improvement programs (TIP), transportation plans, and transportation projects. The projected emissions that will result from implementation of the transportation plans and programs are calculated and compared to the motor vehicle emissions budget (MVEB) established in the SIP. The calculated emissions must be equal to or smaller than the federally approved MVEB in order for the USDOT to make a positive conformity determination with respect to the SIP. Pursuant to Federal regulations, when an area is designated nonattainment for a transportation-related NAAQS, the state is required to submit a transportation conformity SIP one year after the effective date of the nonattainment area (NAA) designations. See Section 40 CFR 51.390(c). Previously, North Carolina established, and EPA subsequently approved, a transportation conformity SIP to address areas that were designated nonattainment or previously designated nonattainment for the carbon monoxide E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 78268 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES (CO) and 1-hour ozone 2 NAAQS. See 67 FR 32549 (December 27, 2002) for EPA’s rulemaking related to approval on North Carolina’s transportation conformity SIP. North Carolina’s July 12, 2013, SIP revision updates and replaces North Carolina’s previously-approved transportation conformity SIP. Effective January 6, 1992 (59 FR 56694), EPA designated four counties in North Carolina as nonattainment for the CO NAAQS. Specifically, EPA designated the following areas as nonattainment for the CO NAAQS: (1) Durham and Wake Counties in the Raleigh-Durham Area; (2) Forsyth County in the Winston-Salem Area; and (3) Mecklenburg County in the Charlotte Area. Provided below in Section III(a), (c) and (e) are more details related to transportation conformity for the aforementioned areas for the CO NAAQS. On June 15, 2004 (69 FR 23858), EPA designated seven areas in North Carolina as nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Specifically, EPA designated the following areas as nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS: (1) the bi-state CharlotteGastonia-Rock Hill, NC–SC; (2) Fayetteville, NC; (3) GreensboroWinston Salem-High Point, NC; (4) Great Smoky National Park (North Carolina portion); (5) HickoryMorganton-Lenoir, NC; (6) RaleighDurham-Chapel Hill, NC; and (7) Rocky Mount, NC. Nonattainment designations became effective June 15, 2004, for the bi-state Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock-Hill, NC–SC; 3 Great Smoky National Park; 4 Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; 5 and 2 Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties in the Charlotte-Gastonia Area; Durham and Wake Counties, and a portion of Granville County in the Raleigh-Durham Area; and Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford Counties, and a portion of Davie County in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area were previously designated nonattainment for the 1-hour ozone standard and thus, implemented transportation conformity for the 1-hour ozone standard. However, EPA subsequently revoked the 1-hour ozone NAAQS for all these areas as part of the transition to the new 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and because these areas had long complied with the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, transportation conformity ceased to apply in these Areas for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS. 3 The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill 1997 8-hour ozone area consists of Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union Counties in their entireties, and a portion of Iredell County in North Carolina, and a portion of York County in South Carolina. 4 The Great Smoky National Park 1997 8-hour ozone area consists for a portion of Haywood and Swain Counties. 5 The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill 1997 8-hour ozone area consists of Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Johnston, Person and Wake Counties, in their entireties, and a portion of Chatham County. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 Rocky Mount, NC 6 areas. As Early Action Compact (EAC) Areas,7 nonattainment designations were deferred for the Fayetteville, NC; Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC; and Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir, NC areas and, because these areas met all the requirements for EAC Areas, they were never effectively nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As such, these EAC Areas were not required to meet transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8hour ozone NAAQS. Provided below in Section III(a)–(f) are more details related to transportation conformity for the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock-Hill, NC–SC; Great Smoky National Park, RaleighDurham-Chapel Hill, NC, and Rocky Mount, NC areas for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. Effective April 5, 2005, EPA designated two areas in North Carolina as nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA designated the following areas as nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS: (1) GreensboroWinston Salem-High Point, NC;8 and (2) Hickory, NC.9 See 70 FR 944. Provided below in Section III(c) and (d) are more details related to transportation conformity for the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC; and Hickory, NC areas for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. On April 30, 2012, EPA designated the bi-state Charlotte area nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088. Provided below in Section III(a) are more details related to transportation conformity for the bi-state Charlotte for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. before making conformity determinations. The conformity SIP revision must also include processes and procedures for the state and local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the development of applicable SIPs with MPOs, state DOTS, and the USDOT. Additionally, the SIP revision must include provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures. On July 12, 2013, the State of North Carolina, through NC DENR, submitted its ‘‘Conformity SIP’’ for the applicable transportation-related NAAQS. Specifically, North Carolina requested EPA approval of its Conformity SIP which included MOAs signed by the federal and state transportation and air quality partners, and all of the MPOs in the state subject to transportation conformity requirements. The North Carolina Conformity SIP establishes new procedures for interagency consultation, dispute resolution, public participation and enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures, and supersedes the MOA incorporated into the SIP on November 19, 2003. Prior to today, the MOAs in the SIP included procedures for interagency consultation and also incorporated EPA regulations in 40 CFR 93 Subpart A (July 1, 1997) and 62 FR 43780 (August 15, 1997) by reference. The MOAs that EPA is approving in this action no longer incorporate the federal conformity rules by reference. More details on the Areas that these MOAs relate to are provided below in this Section. III. EPA Analysis of North Carolina’s Submittal EPA’s Transportation Conformity rule requires the states to develop their own processes and procedures which meet the criteria in 40 CFR 93.105 for interagency consultation and resolution of conflicts among the federal, state, and local agencies. The SIP revision must include processes and procedures to be followed by the MPO, state DOT, and the USDOT in consulting with the state and local air quality agencies and EPA a. Bi-State Charlotte Area Counties (or portions of counties) in the bi-state Charlotte Area comprise the maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; the nonattainment area for the 1997 8hour ozone NAAQS; and the nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As indicated above, Mecklenburg County in the bi-state Charlotte Area for the CO NAAQS; and Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union Counties in their entireties, and a portion of Iredell County in North Carolina, and a portion of York County in South Carolina in the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Effective July 20, 2013, EPA revoked the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the purpose of transportation conformity as part of the transition between the implementation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 6 The Rocky Mount 1997 8-hour ozone area consists of Edgecombe and Nash Counties in their entireties. 7 EAC areas entered into compacts with EPA whereby the areas agreed to reduce ozone pollution earlier than required by the CAA and meet specific milestones, in exchange for a deferred effective date for nonattainment designations for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 69 FR 23858, 23864–23869. 8 The Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point 1997 annual PM2.5 area consists of Davidson and Guilford Counties in their entireties. 9 The Hickory 1997 annual PM 2.5 area consists of Catawba County in its entirety. PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations 30160. As such, the bi-state Charlotte Area is no longer required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. There are 3 MPOs within the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and a portion of the nonattainment area that is not within the jurisdiction of a MPO. The MPOs in the bi-state Charlotte Area include the Mecklenburg-Union MPO (MUMPO), the Cabarrus-Rowan Urban MPO, and Gaston Urban Area MPO. The areas that are not within the jurisdiction of a MPO are known as ‘‘donut’’ areas. The State DOT is responsible for implementation of transportation conformity requirements in donut areas. For the purposes of transportation conformity requirements related to the CO NAAQS, MUMPO serves as the lead agency for the preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity determinations. For the purpose of transportation conformity requirements related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, MUMPO, Cabarrus-Rowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO and NC DOT coordinate and serve as the lead agencies for the preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity determinations for their respective portions of the bi-state Charlotte Area. As such, the NC DENR worked with MUMPO, Cabarrus-Rowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO, NC DOT, and the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute MOAs to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity requirements for the Area. These MOAs are provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the MUMPO, CabarrusRowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO, and NC DOT into the North Carolina SIP. The State of South Carolina has established conformity procedures for the portion of York County which makes up the South Carolina portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area in its individual conformity SIP. EPA approved South Carolina’s Conformity SIP on July 28, 2009. See 74 FR 37168. North Carolina’s July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures, and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportationrelated control measures and mitigation measures for its portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 b. Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area Portions of Haywood and Swain Counties comprise the Great Smoky National Park maintenance area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As indicated above, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area was required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8hour ozone NAAQS as a maintenance area. As such, the NC DENR worked with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service, and the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute a MOA to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity requirements for the Area. This MOA is provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. EPA notes that effective July 20, 2013, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was revoked for the purpose of transportation conformity. See 77 FR 30160. Transportation conformity is, therefore, not currently required for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area under the CAA. Today, however, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area into the North Carolina SIP in the event that the Area will be required to implement transportation conformity requirements for a future transportation-related NAAQS. c. Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area Counties (or portions of counties) in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area comprise the maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; and the maintenance area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. As indicated above, Forsyth County in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area for the CO NAAQS; and Davidson and Guilford Counties in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS are required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Also, as mentioned above, the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area was an EAC area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This Area was designated nonattainment on June 15, 2004, for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, with a deferred effective date. The Area met all of the EAC milestones and was ultimately never effectively designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The Area was therefore never required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, but was required to continue to implement PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78269 transportation conformity requirements for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS in the Area until this requirement was removed as a result of the Area successfully meeting the EAC milestones for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. There is one MPO, Greensboro Urban Area MPO, within the GreensboroWinston Salem Area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The MPOs for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the GreensboroWinston Salem Area included the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, High Point Urban Area MPO, Winston Salem -Forsyth’s Urban Area MPO, and Burlington-Graham MPO. The areas that are not within the jurisdiction of a MPO are known as ‘‘donut’’ areas. The State DOT is responsible for implementation of transportation conformity requirements in donut areas. For the purposes of transportation conformity requirements related to the CO NAAQS, the Winston Salem-Forsyth Urban Area MPO serves as the lead agency for the preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity determinations. For the purpose of transportation conformity requirements related to the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, the Greensboro Urban Area MPO coordinates and serves as the lead agencies for the preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity determinations for the Greensboro Area. The NC DENR worked with the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, High Point Urban Area MPO, Winston SalemForsyth’s Urban Area MPO, BurlingtonGraham MPO, the NC DOT, and the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute MOAs to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. These MOAs are provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. North Carolina’s July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures, and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures for the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area. Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOAs for the Greensboro Area (i.e., for the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, and Winston Salem-Forsyth’s Urban Area MPO) in relation to PM2.5 and CO into the North Carolina SIP. While transportation conformity is not currently required for the remainder of this area under the CAA because these areas (i.e., the High Point Urban Area E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 78270 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations and Burlington-Graham Area) successfully met the EAC milestones for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, EPA is also proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOAs for these areas in the event that any of these areas will be required to implement transportation conformity requirements for a future transportationrelated NAAQS. d. Hickory Area The Hickory Area is a maintenance area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. As indicated above, the Hickory Area is required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS as a maintenance area. As such, the NC DENR worked with the Greater Hickory MPO, and other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute a MOA to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. This MOA is provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. North Carolina’s July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures for the Hickory Area. Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the Greater Hickory MPO into the North Carolina SIP. sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES e. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Area Counties (or portions of counties) in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill comprise a maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; and a maintenance area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Area. As indicated above, Durham and Wake Counties in the Raleigh-Durham Area for the CO NAAQS are required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Also mentioned above, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Johnston, Person and Wake Counties, in their entireties, and a portion of Chatham County in the RaleighDurham-Chapel Hill Area were included in the maintenance area for the 1997 8hour ozone NAAQS, and thus required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Effective July 20, 2013, EPA revoked the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the purpose of transportation conformity as part of the transition between the implementation of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 30160. As such, the Raleigh-DurhamChapel Hill Area is no longer required to implement transportation conformity VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. The NC DENR worked with the Burlington-Graham MPO, DurhamChapel Hill-Cabarrus MPO, the North Carolina Capital Area MPO, the NC DOT, and the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute MOAs to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. These MOAs are provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. North Carolina’s July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures, and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportationrelated control measures and mitigation measures for the Raleigh-DurhamChapel Hill Area. Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOAs for the Raleigh-Durham Area (i.e., for the Durham-Chapel HillCarrboro MPO, and the North Carolina Capital Area MPO) in relation to CO into the North Carolina SIP. While transportation conformity is not currently required for the remainder of this area (i.e., the Burlington-Graham Area) under the CAA, EPA is also proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the remainder of this area in the event that the area will be required to implement transportation conformity requirements for a future transportation-related NAAQS. f. Rocky Mount Area Edgecombe and Nash Counties comprise the Rocky Mount maintenance area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As indicated above, the Rocky Mount Area was required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as a maintenance area. As such, the NC DENR worked with the Rocky Mount Urban Area MPO, and other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and execute a MOA to address the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. This MOA is provided in the docket for today’s rulemaking. North Carolina’s July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportationrelated control measures and mitigation measures for the Rocky Mount Area. EPA notes that effective July 20, 2013, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was revoked for the purpose of PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 transportation conformity. See 77 FR 30160. Transportation conformity is, therefore, not required for the Rocky Mount Urban Area under the CAA. Today, however, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the Rocky Mount Urban Area MPO in the event that the Area will be required to implement transportation conformity requirements for a future transportationrelated NAAQS. g. Analysis of North Carolina’s MOAs and Conformity SIP The State of North Carolina developed its MOAs based on the elements contained in 40 CFR 93.105, 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 93.125(c) and included them in the SIP. As a first step, the State worked with the existing transportation planning organization’s interagency committees that included representatives from the NC DENR; NC DOT; the MPOs in the State; Federal Highway Administration—North Carolina Division; Federal Transit Administration; and the Region 4 office of EPA. The interagency committee met regularly and drafted the consultation procedures considering elements in 40 CFR part 93.105, 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 93.125(c), and integrated the local procedures and processes into the MOAs. The resulting consultation process developed is unique to the State of North Carolina. A public notice announcement was issued on July 20, 1012, indicating that the MOAs were available for public comment until August 24, 2012. No request for a public hearing was received. The NC DENR posted the MOAs on their Web site and provided access to the documents for review in person at the NC DENR central office in Raleigh and seven regional offices throughout the state. The final MOAs were issued by North Carolina on October 1, 2012, and subsequently submitted as a SIP revision to EPA on July 12, 2013, after signature from all signatories. EPA has evaluated this SIP revision and has determined that the State has met the requirements of federal transportation conformity rules as described in 40 CFR part 51, Subpart T and 40 CFR part 93, Subpart A. NC DENR has satisfied the public participation and comprehensive interagency consultation requirement during development and adoption of the MOA at the local level. Therefore, EPA is approving the MOAs as a revision to the North Carolina SIP. EPA’s rule requires the states to develop their own processes and procedures for interagency consultation among the Federal, state, and local agencies; resolution of conflicts; and public E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations participation meeting the criteria in 40 CFR 93.105. The SIP revision must include processes and procedures to be followed by the MPO, state DOT, and US DOT in consulting with the state and local air quality agencies and EPA before making conformity determinations. The conformity SIP revision must also include processes and procedures for the state and local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the development of applicable SIPs with MPOs, state DOTs, and the USDOT. In addition, the SIP revision must include provisions to address the enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures meeting the criteria of 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c). EPA has reviewed the submittal to assure consistency with the CAA as amended by SAFETEA–LU and EPA regulations (40 CFR part 93 and 40 CFR 51.390) governing applicable procedures for transportation conformity and interagency consultation and has concluded that the submittal is approvable. Details of our review are set forth in a technical support document (TSD), which has been included in the docket for this action. Specifically, in the TSD, we identify how the submitted procedures satisfy our requirements under 40 CFR 93.105 for interagency consultation with respect to the development of transportation plans and programs, SIPs, and conformity determinations, the resolution of conflicts, and the provision of adequate public consultation, and the requirements under 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c) for enforceability of control measures and mitigation measures. sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES IV. Final Action For the reasons set forth above, EPA is taking direct final action, pursuant to section 110 and 176 of the Act, to approve North Carolina’s July 12, 2013, transportation conformity SIP and MOAs to implement the conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures, and provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures in the State of North Carolina. This action also establishes consultation procedures for all counties in North Carolina. As a result of this action, North Carolina’s previously SIP-approved conformity procedures for North Carolina at 67 FR 32549 (December 27, 2002), will be replaced by the procedures submitted to EPA on July 12, 2013, and approved in this action. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 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 February 24, 2014 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments by January 27, 2014. 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 February 24, 2014 and no further action will be taken on the proposed rule. V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA’s role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action: • Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993); • Does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.); • Is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.); • Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–4); • Does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999); PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 78271 • Is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997); • Is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001); • Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the CAA; and • Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law. 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 action 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 CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 24, 2014. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today’s Federal Register; rather than file an immediate petition for judicial E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1 78272 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 248 / Thursday, December 26, 2013 / Rules and Regulations review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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, Carbon monoxide, Intergovernmental relations, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Incorporation by reference Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate Matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds. Dated: December 10, 2013. Beverly H. Banister, Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4. PART 52—APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS Authority: 42.U.S.C. 7401 et seq. Subpart II—North Carolina 2. Section 52.1770(e) is amended by adding a new entry at the end of the table for ‘‘North Carolina Transportation Conformity Air Quality Implementation Plan’’ to read as follows: ■ § 52.1770 * 1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows: ■ Identification of plan. * * (e) * * * * * EPA APPROVED NORTH CAROLINA NON-REGULATORY PROVISIONS Provision State effective date EPA approval date Explanation * * North Carolina Transportation Conformity Air Quality Implementation Plan. * * July 12, 2013 .......................................... * * December 26, 2013 [Insert citation of publication]. * ........................ [FR Doc. 2013–30542 Filed 12–24–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA–R01–OAR–2008–0117; A–1–FRL– 9904–45–Region 1] Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Connecticut; Ozone Attainment Demonstration for the Greater Connecticut Area Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving the ozone attainment demonstration submitted by Connecticut to meet Clean Air Act requirements for attaining the 1997 8hour ozone national ambient air quality standard. EPA is approving Connecticut’s demonstration of attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone standard as it relates to the Greater Connecticut 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area. EPA is also approving the reasonably available control measures (RACM) analysis for this same area. DATES: This rule is effective on January 27, 2014. ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA–R01–OAR– 2008–0117. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov. Web site. Although listed in the index, sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:15 Dec 24, 2013 Jkt 232001 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 through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Office of Ecosystem Protection, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, One Congress Street, Suite 1100, Boston, MA. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the contact 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 legal holidays. Copies of the documents relevant to this action are also available for public inspection during normal business hours, by appointment at the State Air Agency: the Bureau of Air Management, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, State Office Building, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106–1630. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard P. Burkhart, Air Quality Planning Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, One Congress Street, Suite 1100 (CAQ), Boston, MA 02114– 2023, telephone number (617) 918– 1664, fax number (617) 918–0664, email Burkhart.Richard@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, wherever ‘‘Agency,’’ ‘‘we,’’ ‘‘us,’’ or ‘‘our’’ is used, we mean the EPA. PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Table of Contents I. What actions is EPA taking? II. Response to Comments III. Final Action IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. What actions is EPA taking? EPA is approving Connecticut’s demonstration of attainment of the 1997 8-hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS or standard) for the Greater Connecticut moderate ozone nonattainment area, submitted on February 1, 2008. EPA is also approving the associated RACM analysis for this same area. On May 9, 2013 (78 FR 27161), EPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) which proposed approval of Connecticut’s ozone attainment demonstrations for the 1997 ozone standard for two different nonattainment areas: (1) The Greater Connecticut ozone nonattainment area, and (2) the Connecticut portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY–NJ–CT ozone nonattainment area (the New York City area). The NPR also proposed approval of the RACM analyses for these areas. Today’s action approves the ozone attainment demonstration and RACM analysis for the Greater Connecticut area only. EPA is not taking action on the ozone attainment demonstration and the RACM analysis for the Connecticut portion of the New York City ozone nonattainment area at this time. As stated in the NPR, the EPA is approving Connecticut’s 1997 8-hour ozone attainment demonstration and RACM analysis, for the Greater Connecticut ozone nonattainment area, E:\FR\FM\26DER1.SGM 26DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 248 (Thursday, December 26, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 78266-78272]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-30542]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0629; FRL-9904-43-Region-4]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; North 
Carolina; Transportation Conformity Memorandum of Agreement Update

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct 
final action to approve a revision to the North Carolina State 
Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted on July 12, 2013, through the North 
Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NC DENR). 
This submission consists of memorandum of agreements (MOAs) 
establishing transportation conformity criteria and procedures related 
to interagency consultation, conflict resolution, public participation 
and enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures 
and mitigation measures. This action streamlines the conformity process 
to allow direct consultation among agencies at the Federal, state and 
local levels. This action is being taken pursuant to section 110 of the 
Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).

DATES: This direct final rule is effective on February 24, 2014 without 
further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment by January 27, 
2014. 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 Number EPA-
R04-OAR-2013-0629 by one of the following methods:
    1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
    2. E-Mail: R4-RDS@epa.gov.
    3. Fax: (404) 562-9019.
    4. Mail: EPA-R04-OAR-2013-0629, Regulatory Development 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.
    5. Hand Delivery or Courier: Ms. Lynorae Benjamin, Chief, 
Regulatory Development 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 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal 
holidays.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R04-OAR-
2013-0629. 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 
email, 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 email 
comment directly to EPA without going through www.regulations.gov, your 
email 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

[[Page 78267]]

requests that if at all possible, you 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: Kelly Sheckler, 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. Ms. 
Sheckler's telephone number is 404-562-9222. She can also be reached 
via electronic mail at Sheckler.kelly@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. What action is EPA taking?
II. Background for this Action
III. EPA's Analysis of North Carolina's Submittal
IV. Final Action
V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is taking direct final action to approve NC DENR's July 12, 
2013 SIP submission, which consists of MOAs establishing transportation 
conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, 
conflict resolution, public participation and enforceability of certain 
transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures in the 
State of North Carolina and its SIP pursuant to the sections 110 and 
176 of the CAA. Pursuant to section 110 of the CAA, EPA is approving 
into the North Carolina SIP the July 12, 2013, transportation 
conformity MOAs.

II. Background for This Action

A. What is transportation conformity?

    Transportation conformity is required under section 176(c) of the 
CAA to ensure that federally supported highway projects, transit 
projects, and other activities are consistent with (conform to) the 
purpose of the SIP. Conformity \1\ currently applies to areas that are 
designated nonattainment and to areas that have been redesignated to 
attainment after 1990 (maintenance areas) with plans developed under 
section 175A of the Act, for transportation-related criteria pollutants 
including ozone, particulate matter (e.g., PM2.5 and 
PM10), carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
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    \1\ Conformity first appeared as a requirement in the CAA in the 
1977 amendments (Pub. L. 95-95). Although the Act did not define 
conformity, it stated that no Federal department could engage in, 
support in any way or provide financial assistance for, license or 
permit, or approve any activity which did not conform to a SIP which 
has been approved or promulgated.
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    The 1990 Amendments to the CAA expanded the scope and content of 
the conformity concept by defining conformity to a SIP. Section 176(c) 
of the Act defines conformity as conformity to the SIP's purpose of 
eliminating or reducing the severity and number of violations of the 
national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and achieving 
expeditious attainment of such standards. Also, the CAA provides that 
no Federal activity will: (1) Cause or contribute to any new violation 
of any NAAQS in any area, (2) increase the frequency or severity of any 
existing violation of any standard in any area, or (3) delay timely 
attainment of any standard or any required interim emission reductions 
or other milestones in any area. The requirements of section 176(c) of 
the CAA apply to all departments, agencies and instrumentalities of the 
Federal government. Transportation conformity refers only to the 
conformity of transportation plans, programs and projects that are 
funded or approved under title 23 U.S.C. or the Federal Transit Act (49 
U.S.C. Chapter 53). EPA was required to issue criteria and procedures 
for determining conformity of transportation plans, programs, and 
projects to a SIP pursuant to section 176(c) of the CAA. The CAA also 
required the procedures to include a requirement that each state submit 
a revision to its SIP to include conformity criteria and procedures.

B. Why are states required to submit a transportation conformity SIP?

    EPA promulgated the first federal transportation conformity 
criteria and procedures (``Conformity Rule'') on November 24, 1993 (58 
FR 62188) which was codified at 40 CFR part 51, subpart T and 40 CFR 
part 93. Among other things, the rule required states to address all 
provisions of the conformity rule in their SIPs, frequently referred to 
as ``conformity SIPs.'' Under 40 CFR 51.390, most sections of the 
conformity rule were required to be copied verbatim into the SIP. The 
rule has been subsequently revised on August 7, 1995 (60 FR 40098), 
August 15, 1997 (62 FR 43780) November 14, 1995 (60 FR 57179), April 
10, 2000 (65 FR 18911), and August 6, 2002 (67 FR 50808).
    On August 10, 2005, the ``Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient 
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users'' (SAFETEA-LU) was signed 
into law. SAFETEA-LU revised section 176(c) of the CAA transportation 
conformity provisions by streamlining the requirements for conformity 
SIPs. Under SAFETEA-LU, states are required to address and tailor only 
three sections of the rule in their conformity SIPs: 40 CFR 93.105, 40 
CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 40 CFR 93.125(c). In general, states are no 
longer required to submit conformity SIP revisions that address the 
other sections of the conformity rule. These changes took effect on 
August 10, 2005, when SAFETEA-LU was signed into law.
    States may also choose to develop, in place of adopting federal 
regulations, a MOA which establishes the roles and procedures for 
transportation conformity. The MOA must include the detailed 
consultation procedures developed for that particular area. The MOAs 
are enforceable through the signature of all the transportation and air 
quality agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation 
(USDOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA) and EPA.

C. How does transportation conformity work?

    The Federal or state transportation conformity rule applies to 
applicable NAAQS nonattainment and maintenance areas in the state. The 
Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), the state department of 
transportation (DOT) (in absence of a MPO), State and local air quality 
agencies, EPA and the USDOT are involved in the process of making 
conformity determinations. Conformity determinations are made on 
programs and plans such as transportation improvement programs (TIP), 
transportation plans, and transportation projects. The projected 
emissions that will result from implementation of the transportation 
plans and programs are calculated and compared to the motor vehicle 
emissions budget (MVEB) established in the SIP. The calculated 
emissions must be equal to or smaller than the federally approved MVEB 
in order for the USDOT to make a positive conformity determination with 
respect to the SIP.
    Pursuant to Federal regulations, when an area is designated 
nonattainment for a transportation-related NAAQS, the state is required 
to submit a transportation conformity SIP one year after the effective 
date of the nonattainment area (NAA) designations. See Section 40 CFR 
51.390(c). Previously, North Carolina established, and EPA subsequently 
approved, a transportation conformity SIP to address areas that were 
designated nonattainment or previously designated nonattainment for the 
carbon monoxide

[[Page 78268]]

(CO) and 1-hour ozone \2\ NAAQS. See 67 FR 32549 (December 27, 2002) 
for EPA's rulemaking related to approval on North Carolina's 
transportation conformity SIP. North Carolina's July 12, 2013, SIP 
revision updates and replaces North Carolina's previously-approved 
transportation conformity SIP.
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    \2\ Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties in the Charlotte-Gastonia 
Area; Durham and Wake Counties, and a portion of Granville County in 
the Raleigh-Durham Area; and Davidson, Forsyth and Guilford 
Counties, and a portion of Davie County in the Greensboro-Winston 
Salem-High Point Area were previously designated nonattainment for 
the 1-hour ozone standard and thus, implemented transportation 
conformity for the 1-hour ozone standard. However, EPA subsequently 
revoked the 1-hour ozone NAAQS for all these areas as part of the 
transition to the new 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and because these 
areas had long complied with the 1-hour ozone NAAQS, transportation 
conformity ceased to apply in these Areas for the 1-hour ozone 
NAAQS.
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    Effective January 6, 1992 (59 FR 56694), EPA designated four 
counties in North Carolina as nonattainment for the CO NAAQS. 
Specifically, EPA designated the following areas as nonattainment for 
the CO NAAQS: (1) Durham and Wake Counties in the Raleigh-Durham Area; 
(2) Forsyth County in the Winston-Salem Area; and (3) Mecklenburg 
County in the Charlotte Area. Provided below in Section III(a), (c) and 
(e) are more details related to transportation conformity for the 
aforementioned areas for the CO NAAQS.
    On June 15, 2004 (69 FR 23858), EPA designated seven areas in North 
Carolina as nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
Specifically, EPA designated the following areas as nonattainment for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS: (1) the bi-state Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock 
Hill, NC-SC; (2) Fayetteville, NC; (3) Greensboro-Winston Salem-High 
Point, NC; (4) Great Smoky National Park (North Carolina portion); (5) 
Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir, NC; (6) Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; and 
(7) Rocky Mount, NC. Nonattainment designations became effective June 
15, 2004, for the bi-state Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock-Hill, NC-SC; \3\ 
Great Smoky National Park; \4\ Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC; \5\ and 
Rocky Mount, NC \6\ areas. As Early Action Compact (EAC) Areas,\7\ 
nonattainment designations were deferred for the Fayetteville, NC; 
Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC; and Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir, 
NC areas and, because these areas met all the requirements for EAC 
Areas, they were never effectively nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. As such, these EAC Areas were not required to meet 
transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
Provided below in Section III(a)-(f) are more details related to 
transportation conformity for the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock-Hill, NC-SC; 
Great Smoky National Park, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, and Rocky 
Mount, NC areas for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
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    \3\ The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill 1997 8-hour ozone area 
consists of Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union 
Counties in their entireties, and a portion of Iredell County in 
North Carolina, and a portion of York County in South Carolina.
    \4\ The Great Smoky National Park 1997 8-hour ozone area 
consists for a portion of Haywood and Swain Counties.
    \5\ The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill 1997 8-hour ozone area 
consists of Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Johnston, Person 
and Wake Counties, in their entireties, and a portion of Chatham 
County.
    \6\ The Rocky Mount 1997 8-hour ozone area consists of Edgecombe 
and Nash Counties in their entireties.
    \7\ EAC areas entered into compacts with EPA whereby the areas 
agreed to reduce ozone pollution earlier than required by the CAA 
and meet specific milestones, in exchange for a deferred effective 
date for nonattainment designations for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
See 69 FR 23858, 23864-23869.
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    Effective April 5, 2005, EPA designated two areas in North Carolina 
as nonattainment for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. Specifically, EPA 
designated the following areas as nonattainment for the 1997 
PM2.5 NAAQS: (1) Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC;\8\ 
and (2) Hickory, NC.\9\ See 70 FR 944. Provided below in Section III(c) 
and (d) are more details related to transportation conformity for the 
Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, NC; and Hickory, NC areas for the 
1997 PM2.5 NAAQS.
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    \8\ The Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point 1997 annual 
PM2.5 area consists of Davidson and Guilford Counties in 
their entireties.
    \9\ The Hickory 1997 annual PM2.5 area consists of 
Catawba County in its entirety.
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    On April 30, 2012, EPA designated the bi-state Charlotte area 
nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 30088. 
Provided below in Section III(a) are more details related to 
transportation conformity for the bi-state Charlotte for the 2008 8-
hour ozone NAAQS.

III. EPA Analysis of North Carolina's Submittal

    EPA's Transportation Conformity rule requires the states to develop 
their own processes and procedures which meet the criteria in 40 CFR 
93.105 for interagency consultation and resolution of conflicts among 
the federal, state, and local agencies. The SIP revision must include 
processes and procedures to be followed by the MPO, state DOT, and the 
USDOT in consulting with the state and local air quality agencies and 
EPA before making conformity determinations. The conformity SIP 
revision must also include processes and procedures for the state and 
local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the development of 
applicable SIPs with MPOs, state DOTS, and the USDOT. Additionally, the 
SIP revision must include provisions addressing the enforceability of 
certain transportation-related control measures and mitigation 
measures.
    On July 12, 2013, the State of North Carolina, through NC DENR, 
submitted its ``Conformity SIP'' for the applicable transportation-
related NAAQS. Specifically, North Carolina requested EPA approval of 
its Conformity SIP which included MOAs signed by the federal and state 
transportation and air quality partners, and all of the MPOs in the 
state subject to transportation conformity requirements. The North 
Carolina Conformity SIP establishes new procedures for interagency 
consultation, dispute resolution, public participation and 
enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and 
mitigation measures, and supersedes the MOA incorporated into the SIP 
on November 19, 2003. Prior to today, the MOAs in the SIP included 
procedures for interagency consultation and also incorporated EPA 
regulations in 40 CFR 93 Subpart A (July 1, 1997) and 62 FR 43780 
(August 15, 1997) by reference. The MOAs that EPA is approving in this 
action no longer incorporate the federal conformity rules by reference. 
More details on the Areas that these MOAs relate to are provided below 
in this Section.

a. Bi-State Charlotte Area

    Counties (or portions of counties) in the bi-state Charlotte Area 
comprise the maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; the nonattainment area 
for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS; and the nonattainment area for the 
2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As indicated above, Mecklenburg County in the 
bi-state Charlotte Area for the CO NAAQS; and Cabarrus, Gaston, 
Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union Counties in their entireties, 
and a portion of Iredell County in North Carolina, and a portion of 
York County in South Carolina in the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 
2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS are required to implement transportation 
conformity requirements. Effective July 20, 2013, EPA revoked the 1997 
8-hour ozone NAAQS for the purpose of transportation conformity as part 
of the transition between the implementation of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR

[[Page 78269]]

30160. As such, the bi-state Charlotte Area is no longer required to 
implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS.
    There are 3 MPOs within the bi-state Charlotte Area for the 2008 8-
hour ozone NAAQS, and a portion of the nonattainment area that is not 
within the jurisdiction of a MPO. The MPOs in the bi-state Charlotte 
Area include the Mecklenburg-Union MPO (MUMPO), the Cabarrus-Rowan 
Urban MPO, and Gaston Urban Area MPO. The areas that are not within the 
jurisdiction of a MPO are known as ``donut'' areas. The State DOT is 
responsible for implementation of transportation conformity 
requirements in donut areas. For the purposes of transportation 
conformity requirements related to the CO NAAQS, MUMPO serves as the 
lead agency for the preparation, consultation, and distribution of the 
conformity determinations. For the purpose of transportation conformity 
requirements related to the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS, MUMPO, Cabarrus-
Rowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO and NC DOT coordinate and serve 
as the lead agencies for the preparation, consultation, and 
distribution of the conformity determinations for their respective 
portions of the bi-state Charlotte Area. As such, the NC DENR worked 
with MUMPO, Cabarrus-Rowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO, NC DOT, 
and the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for 
the Area to develop and execute MOAs to address the consultation and 
other applicable transportation conformity requirements for the Area. 
These MOAs are provided in the docket for today's rulemaking. Today, 
EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the MUMPO, 
Cabarrus-Rowan Urban MPO, Gaston Urban Area MPO, and NC DOT into the 
North Carolina SIP.
    The State of South Carolina has established conformity procedures 
for the portion of York County which makes up the South Carolina 
portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area in its individual conformity 
SIP. EPA approved South Carolina's Conformity SIP on July 28, 2009. See 
74 FR 37168. North Carolina's July 2013 SIP revision updates the 
transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public 
participation procedures, and includes provisions addressing the 
enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and 
mitigation measures for its portion of the bi-state Charlotte Area.

b. Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area

    Portions of Haywood and Swain Counties comprise the Great Smoky 
National Park maintenance area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As 
indicated above, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area was 
required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as a maintenance area. As such, the NC DENR 
worked with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park Service, and the 
other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area 
to develop and execute a MOA to address the consultation and other 
applicable transportation conformity requirements for the Area. This 
MOA is provided in the docket for today's rulemaking. EPA notes that 
effective July 20, 2013, the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS was revoked for 
the purpose of transportation conformity. See 77 FR 30160. 
Transportation conformity is, therefore, not currently required for the 
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Area under the CAA. Today, however, 
EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the Great 
Smoky Mountain National Park Area into the North Carolina SIP in the 
event that the Area will be required to implement transportation 
conformity requirements for a future transportation-related NAAQS.

c. Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area

    Counties (or portions of counties) in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-
High Point Area comprise the maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; and the 
maintenance area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. As indicated 
above, Forsyth County in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area 
for the CO NAAQS; and Davidson and Guilford Counties in the Greensboro-
Winston Salem-High Point Area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS are 
required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Also, as 
mentioned above, the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area was an 
EAC area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This Area was designated 
nonattainment on June 15, 2004, for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, with a 
deferred effective date. The Area met all of the EAC milestones and was 
ultimately never effectively designated nonattainment for the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. The Area was therefore never required to implement 
transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, 
but was required to continue to implement transportation conformity 
requirements for the 1-hour ozone NAAQS in the Area until this 
requirement was removed as a result of the Area successfully meeting 
the EAC milestones for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.
    There is one MPO, Greensboro Urban Area MPO, within the Greensboro-
Winston Salem Area for the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS. The MPOs for 
the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Greensboro-Winston Salem Area 
included the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, High Point Urban Area MPO, 
Winston Salem -Forsyth's Urban Area MPO, and Burlington-Graham MPO. The 
areas that are not within the jurisdiction of a MPO are known as 
``donut'' areas. The State DOT is responsible for implementation of 
transportation conformity requirements in donut areas. For the purposes 
of transportation conformity requirements related to the CO NAAQS, the 
Winston Salem-Forsyth Urban Area MPO serves as the lead agency for the 
preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity 
determinations. For the purpose of transportation conformity 
requirements related to the 1997 PM2.5 NAAQS, the Greensboro 
Urban Area MPO coordinates and serves as the lead agencies for the 
preparation, consultation, and distribution of the conformity 
determinations for the Greensboro Area.
    The NC DENR worked with the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, High Point 
Urban Area MPO, Winston Salem-Forsyth's Urban Area MPO, Burlington-
Graham MPO, the NC DOT, and the other applicable transportation and air 
quality partners for the Area to develop and execute MOAs to address 
the consultation and other applicable transportation conformity SIP 
requirements for the Area. These MOAs are provided in the docket for 
today's rulemaking. North Carolina's July 2013 SIP revision updates the 
transportation conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public 
participation procedures, and includes provisions addressing the 
enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and 
mitigation measures for the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point Area. 
Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOAs for the 
Greensboro Area (i.e., for the Greensboro Urban Area MPO, and Winston 
Salem-Forsyth's Urban Area MPO) in relation to PM2.5 and CO 
into the North Carolina SIP. While transportation conformity is not 
currently required for the remainder of this area under the CAA because 
these areas (i.e., the High Point Urban Area

[[Page 78270]]

and Burlington-Graham Area) successfully met the EAC milestones for the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, EPA is also proposing to approve the inclusion 
of the MOAs for these areas in the event that any of these areas will 
be required to implement transportation conformity requirements for a 
future transportation-related NAAQS.

d. Hickory Area

    The Hickory Area is a maintenance area for the 1997 
PM2.5 NAAQS. As indicated above, the Hickory Area is 
required to implement transportation conformity requirements for the 
1997 PM2.5 NAAQS as a maintenance area. As such, the NC DENR 
worked with the Greater Hickory MPO, and other applicable 
transportation and air quality partners for the Area to develop and 
execute a MOA to address the consultation and other applicable 
transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. This MOA is 
provided in the docket for today's rulemaking. North Carolina's July 
2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity consultation, 
conflict resolution and public participation procedures and includes 
provisions addressing the enforceability of certain transportation-
related control measures and mitigation measures for the Hickory Area. 
Today, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the 
Greater Hickory MPO into the North Carolina SIP.

e. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Area

    Counties (or portions of counties) in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel 
Hill comprise a maintenance area for the CO NAAQS; and a maintenance 
area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Area. As indicated above, 
Durham and Wake Counties in the Raleigh-Durham Area for the CO NAAQS 
are required to implement transportation conformity requirements. Also 
mentioned above, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Johnston, Person 
and Wake Counties, in their entireties, and a portion of Chatham County 
in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Area were included in the maintenance 
area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, and thus required to implement 
transportation conformity requirements. Effective July 20, 2013, EPA 
revoked the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the purpose of transportation 
conformity as part of the transition between the implementation of the 
1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 77 FR 30160. 
As such, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Area is no longer required to 
implement transportation conformity requirements for the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS.
    The NC DENR worked with the Burlington-Graham MPO, Durham-Chapel 
Hill-Cabarrus MPO, the North Carolina Capital Area MPO, the NC DOT, and 
the other applicable transportation and air quality partners for the 
Area to develop and execute MOAs to address the consultation and other 
applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. 
These MOAs are provided in the docket for today's rulemaking. North 
Carolina's July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity 
consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures, 
and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain 
transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures for the 
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Area. Today, EPA is proposing to approve the 
inclusion of the MOAs for the Raleigh-Durham Area (i.e., for the 
Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO, and the North Carolina Capital Area 
MPO) in relation to CO into the North Carolina SIP. While 
transportation conformity is not currently required for the remainder 
of this area (i.e., the Burlington-Graham Area) under the CAA, EPA is 
also proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the remainder of 
this area in the event that the area will be required to implement 
transportation conformity requirements for a future transportation-
related NAAQS.

f. Rocky Mount Area

    Edgecombe and Nash Counties comprise the Rocky Mount maintenance 
area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. As indicated above, the Rocky 
Mount Area was required to implement transportation conformity 
requirements for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS as a maintenance area. As 
such, the NC DENR worked with the Rocky Mount Urban Area MPO, and other 
applicable transportation and air quality partners for the Area to 
develop and execute a MOA to address the consultation and other 
applicable transportation conformity SIP requirements for the Area. 
This MOA is provided in the docket for today's rulemaking. North 
Carolina's July 2013 SIP revision updates the transportation conformity 
consultation, conflict resolution and public participation procedures 
and includes provisions addressing the enforceability of certain 
transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures for the 
Rocky Mount Area. EPA notes that effective July 20, 2013, the 1997 8-
hour ozone NAAQS was revoked for the purpose of transportation 
conformity. See 77 FR 30160. Transportation conformity is, therefore, 
not required for the Rocky Mount Urban Area under the CAA. Today, 
however, EPA is proposing to approve the inclusion of the MOA for the 
Rocky Mount Urban Area MPO in the event that the Area will be required 
to implement transportation conformity requirements for a future 
transportation-related NAAQS.

g. Analysis of North Carolina's MOAs and Conformity SIP

    The State of North Carolina developed its MOAs based on the 
elements contained in 40 CFR 93.105, 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 93.125(c) 
and included them in the SIP. As a first step, the State worked with 
the existing transportation planning organization's interagency 
committees that included representatives from the NC DENR; NC DOT; the 
MPOs in the State; Federal Highway Administration--North Carolina 
Division; Federal Transit Administration; and the Region 4 office of 
EPA. The interagency committee met regularly and drafted the 
consultation procedures considering elements in 40 CFR part 93.105, 
93.122(a)(4)(ii), and 93.125(c), and integrated the local procedures 
and processes into the MOAs. The resulting consultation process 
developed is unique to the State of North Carolina. A public notice 
announcement was issued on July 20, 1012, indicating that the MOAs were 
available for public comment until August 24, 2012. No request for a 
public hearing was received. The NC DENR posted the MOAs on their Web 
site and provided access to the documents for review in person at the 
NC DENR central office in Raleigh and seven regional offices throughout 
the state. The final MOAs were issued by North Carolina on October 1, 
2012, and subsequently submitted as a SIP revision to EPA on July 12, 
2013, after signature from all signatories.
    EPA has evaluated this SIP revision and has determined that the 
State has met the requirements of federal transportation conformity 
rules as described in 40 CFR part 51, Subpart T and 40 CFR part 93, 
Subpart A. NC DENR has satisfied the public participation and 
comprehensive interagency consultation requirement during development 
and adoption of the MOA at the local level. Therefore, EPA is approving 
the MOAs as a revision to the North Carolina SIP. EPA's rule requires 
the states to develop their own processes and procedures for 
interagency consultation among the Federal, state, and local agencies; 
resolution of conflicts; and public

[[Page 78271]]

participation meeting the criteria in 40 CFR 93.105. The SIP revision 
must include processes and procedures to be followed by the MPO, state 
DOT, and US DOT in consulting with the state and local air quality 
agencies and EPA before making conformity determinations. The 
conformity SIP revision must also include processes and procedures for 
the state and local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the 
development of applicable SIPs with MPOs, state DOTs, and the USDOT. In 
addition, the SIP revision must include provisions to address the 
enforceability of certain transportation-related control measures and 
mitigation measures meeting the criteria of 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 
93.125(c).
    EPA has reviewed the submittal to assure consistency with the CAA 
as amended by SAFETEA-LU and EPA regulations (40 CFR part 93 and 40 CFR 
51.390) governing applicable procedures for transportation conformity 
and interagency consultation and has concluded that the submittal is 
approvable. Details of our review are set forth in a technical support 
document (TSD), which has been included in the docket for this action. 
Specifically, in the TSD, we identify how the submitted procedures 
satisfy our requirements under 40 CFR 93.105 for interagency 
consultation with respect to the development of transportation plans 
and programs, SIPs, and conformity determinations, the resolution of 
conflicts, and the provision of adequate public consultation, and the 
requirements under 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c) for 
enforceability of control measures and mitigation measures.

IV. Final Action

    For the reasons set forth above, EPA is taking direct final action, 
pursuant to section 110 and 176 of the Act, to approve North Carolina's 
July 12, 2013, transportation conformity SIP and MOAs to implement the 
conformity consultation, conflict resolution and public participation 
procedures, and provisions addressing the enforceability of certain 
transportation-related control measures and mitigation measures in the 
State of North Carolina. This action also establishes consultation 
procedures for all counties in North Carolina. As a result of this 
action, North Carolina's previously SIP-approved conformity procedures 
for North Carolina at 67 FR 32549 (December 27, 2002), will be replaced 
by the procedures submitted to EPA on July 12, 2013, and approved in 
this action.
    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 February 24, 
2014 without further notice unless the Agency receives adverse comments 
by January 27, 2014.
    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 February 24, 2014 and no 
further action will be taken on the proposed rule.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP 
submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable 
Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in 
reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, 
provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. Accordingly, this 
action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements and 
does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state 
law. For that reason, this action:
     Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     Does not impose an information collection burden under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
     Is certified as not having a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
     Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);
     Does not have Federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
     Is not an economically significant regulatory action based 
on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     Is not a significant regulatory action subject to 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
     Is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the 
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent 
with the CAA; and
     Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to 
address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental 
effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under 
Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in 
the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct 
costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.
    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 action 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 CAA, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for 
the appropriate circuit by February 24, 2014. Filing a petition for 
reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect 
the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor 
does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may 
be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or 
action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are 
encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of 
proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules 
section of today's Federal Register; rather than file an immediate 
petition for judicial

[[Page 78272]]

review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct 
final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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, Carbon monoxide, 
Intergovernmental relations, Incorporation by reference, 
Intergovernmental relations, Incorporation by reference Nitrogen 
dioxide, Ozone, Particulate Matter, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: December 10, 2013.
Beverly H. Banister,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

PART 52--APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

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

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

Subpart II--North Carolina

0
2. Section 52.1770(e) is amended by adding a new entry at the end of 
the table for ``North Carolina Transportation Conformity Air Quality 
Implementation Plan'' to read as follows:


Sec.  52.1770  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *

                              EPA Approved North Carolina Non-Regulatory Provisions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Provision                    State effective date          EPA approval date        Explanation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
North Carolina Transportation Conformity  July 12, 2013.............  December 26, 2013 [Insert   ..............
 Air Quality Implementation Plan.                                      citation of publication].
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2013-30542 Filed 12-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P