Revision to the Near-road NO2, 96381-96388 [2016-31645]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations in Table 1 below. This regulation was 96381 published in the Federal Register on November 9, 2011 (76 FR 69614). TABLE 1 1. Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts, NYE, Liberty Island Safety Zone, 33 CFR 165.160 (2.1). Under the provisions of 33 CFR 165.160, vessels may not enter the safety zone unless given permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Spectator vessels may transit outside the safety zones but may not anchor, block, loiter in, or impede the transit of other vessels. The Coast Guard may be assisted by other Federal, State, or local law enforcement agencies in enforcing this regulation. This notice is issued under authority of 33 CFR 165.160(a) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a). In addition to this notice in the Federal Register, the Coast Guard will provide mariners with advanced notification of enforcement periods via the Local Notice to Mariners and marine information broadcasts. If the COTP determines that a safety zone need not be enforced for the full duration stated in this notice, a Broadcast Notice to Mariners may be used to grant general permission to enter the safety zone. Dated: December 7, 2016. M. H. Day, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port New York. BILLING CODE 9110–04–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 58 [EPA–HQ–OAR–2015–0486; FRL–9957–78– OAR] RIN 2060–AS71 Revision to the Near-road NO2 Minimum Monitoring Requirements Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES AGENCY: This action finalizes revisions to the minimum monitoring requirements for near-road nitrogen dioxide (NO2) monitoring by removing the existing requirements for near-road NO2 monitoring stations in Core Based VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 Statistical Areas (CBSAs) having populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons, that are due by January 1, 2017. DATES: This final rule is effective December 30, 2016. ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2015–0486. All documents in the docket are listed at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available electronically through www.regulations.gov. In addition to being available in the docket, an electronic copy of the rule will also be available at https:// www.epa.gov/no2-pollution/ambientnitrogen-dioxide-monitoringrequirements. Mr. Nealson Watkins, Air Quality Assessment Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code C304–06, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711; telephone: (919) 541–5522; fax: (919) 541–1903; email: watkins.nealson@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Administrative Procedure Act: Section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. Chapter 5, generally provides that rules may not take effect earlier than 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing this final rule under section 307(d)(1) of the Clean Air Act, which states: ‘‘The provisions of section 553 through 557 . . . of Title 5 shall not, except as expressly provided in this section, apply to actions to which this subsection applies.’’ Thus, section 553(d) of the APA does not apply to this rule. The EPA is nevertheless acting FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [FR Doc. 2016–31531 Filed 12–29–16; 8:45 am] SUMMARY: • Launch site: A barge located in approximate position 40°41′16.5″ N, 074°02′23″ W (NAD 1983), approximately 360 yards east of Liberty Island. This Safety Zone is a 240-yard radius from the barge. • Date: December 31, 2016 • Time: 11:55 p.m.–12:10 a.m. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 consistently with the purposes underlying APA section 553(d) in making this rule effective no later than January 1, 2017. Section 553(d) allows an effective date less than 30 days after publication for a rule that ‘‘grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction’’ or ‘‘as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule.’’ The EPA finds that there is good cause for this rule to become effective immediately, because this rule removes a restriction. Specifically, this final rule removes the requirement for states to install air quality monitors in certain areas by January 1, 2017. Judicial Review: This is a nationally applicable rulemaking because it revises generally applicable monitoring network requirements. Even if this rulemaking were not considered nationally applicable, EPA has determined that this action is of nationwide scope and effect because the monitors that will no longer be required under this rulemaking are located in 28 states, which fall within the jurisdiction of all 10 federal courts of appeals. Therefore, under CAA section 307(b)(1), judicial review of this final rule is available only by filing a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit by February 28, 2017. Table of Contents The following topics are discussed in this preamble: I. Background II. Proposed Revisions to the Near-Road NO2 Minimum Monitoring Requirements III. Public Comments IV. Conclusion and Final Action V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 96382 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations K. Congressional Review Act I. Background On February 9, 2010, the EPA promulgated minimum monitoring requirements for the ambient NO2 monitoring network in support of the revised NO2 NAAQS (75 FR 6474; February 9, 2010). The 2010 NO2 NAAQS revision introduced a 1-hour standard with a 98th percentile form averaged over 3 years and a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb), reflecting the maximum allowable NO2 concentration anywhere in an area, while retaining the annual standard of 53 ppb. As part of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the EPA promulgated revisions to requirements for minimum numbers of ambient NO2 monitors which included new monitoring near major roads in larger urban areas, requirements to characterize NO2 concentrations representative of wider spatial scales in larger urban areas (areawide monitors), and monitors intended to characterize NO2 exposures of susceptible and vulnerable populations. Specifically, the requirements for these minimum monitoring requirements that were promulgated in 2010 were as follows: (a) The first tier of the ambient NO2 monitoring network required near-road monitoring.1 The requirements included the placement of one near-road NO2 monitoring station in each CBSA with a population of 500,000 or more persons to monitor a location of expected maximum hourly concentrations sited near a major road. An additional nearroad NO2 monitoring station was required at a second location of expected maximum hourly concentrations for any CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 or more persons, or in any CBSA with a population of 500,000 or more persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT) counts. Based upon 2010 census data and data maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration on the most heavily trafficked roads in the U.S. (http:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/ tables/02.cfm), approximately 126 nearroad NO2 sites were required within 103 CBSAs nationwide at the time of rule promulgation. (b) The second tier of the NO2 network required area-wide NO2 monitoring,2 where area-wide means that the monitor is representative of a spatial scale of representativeness of neighborhood scale (0.5 to 4 km in dimension) or larger, as defined in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 58, appendix D, section 1.2. Requirements included the placement of one monitor in each CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons to monitor a location of expected highest NO2 concentrations representing the neighborhood or larger spatial scales. Based on 2010 census data, approximately 52 area-wide NO2 sites were required within 52 CBSAs at the time of rule promulgation. (c) The third tier of the NO2 minimum monitoring requirements was for the characterization of NO2 exposure for susceptible and vulnerable populations.3 The EPA Regional Administrators, in collaboration with states, required 40 NO2 monitoring stations nationwide in any area, inside or outside of CBSAs, in addition to the minimum monitoring requirements for near-road and area-wide monitors, with a primary focus on monitoring in locations with susceptible and vulnerable populations. Monitoring sites intended to satisfy these NO2 minimum monitoring requirements were required to be submitted to the EPA for approval. Per 40 CFR 58.10 and 58.13, states were required to submit a plan to the EPA for establishing required area-wide NO2 monitoring sites and those NO2 monitoring sites intended to represent areas with susceptible and vulnerable populations by July 1, 2012, and ensure that the monitoring stations were operational by January 1, 2013. State and local air monitoring agencies fulfilled the requirements for area-wide monitors and those sites representing areas with susceptible and vulnerable populations on schedule. The near-road component of the ambient NO2 monitoring network was also originally required to be completely operational by January 1, 2013. However, in 2012, the EPA proposed (77 FR 64244; October 19, 2012) and then finalized in 2013 (78 FR 16184; March 14, 2013), through a public notice and comment rulemaking, a requirement 2 See 1 See 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.2. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 3 See PO 00000 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.3. 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.4. Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 that the near-road NO2 monitoring stations be installed in three phases. The revised installation schedule allowed more time for states to establish the near-road NO2 network on a schedule consistent with available resources. The revised installation schedule for the near-road NO2 monitoring network was modified to reflect the following: Phase 1: In CBSAs with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons, one nearroad NO2 monitor shall be reflected in the state Annual Monitoring Network Plan submitted July 1, 2013, and that monitor shall be operational by January 1, 2014. Phase 2: In CBSAs where two nearroad NO2 monitors are required (either because the CBSA has a population of 2,500,000 or more persons, or has a population of 500,000 or more persons plus one or more roadway segments having AADT counts of 250,000 or more), the second near-road NO2 monitor shall be reflected in the state Annual Monitoring Network Plan submitted July 1, 2014, and that monitor shall be operational by January 1, 2015. Phase 3: In CBSAs with a population of at least 500,000 persons, but less than 1,000,000 persons, one near-road NO2 monitor shall be reflected in the state Annual Monitoring Network Plan submitted July 1, 2016, and the monitor shall be operational by January 1, 2017. As of November of 2016, the EPA estimates that 69 near-road NO2 monitors are in operation. At the time of this rulemaking, the EPA notes that a handful of near-road sites (4 from Phase 1 and 6 from Phase 2) are still in the process of being installed due to various delays at the state and local level. A review of near-road site metadata indicate that state and local air monitoring agencies have successfully installed these new monitors in the appropriate locations, collectively placing monitors adjacent to highly trafficked roads in their respective CBSAs. The latest available near-road NO2 monitoring site meta-data can be found at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/ amtic/nearroad.html. II. Proposed Revisions to Near-Road NO2 Minimum Monitoring Requirements We proposed revisions to the nearroad NO2 minimum monitoring requirements (81 FR 30224) on May 16, 2016, to remove the requirement for near-road NO2 monitoring stations in CBSAs having populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons, also known as Phase 3 of the near-road NO2 network. The proposal also included a revision to the requirement for a second E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES near-road NO2 monitor in any CBSA having 500,000 or more persons that also had one or more road segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts to only apply to CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons, which was intended to align all near-road NO2 monitoring requirement language to only apply to those CBSAs having 1,000,000 persons or more. The proposed removal of Phase 3 of the required near-road NO2 network was based on empirical data and technical rationale, which were discussed in detail in the preamble to the proposed rule and supported by the Near-road NO2 Network and Data Analysis memo to the docket (docket memo) located at https://www.regulations.gov/ docket?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0486. The three key foundations of the proposal were that: • The Phase 1 and Phase 2 near-road sites that have been installed to date are located at maximum concentration locations consistent with the guidance in the Near-road NO2 Monitoring Technical Assistance Document (TAD) (http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/files/ nearroad/NearRoadTAD.pdf) as demonstrated by a detailed examination of site meta-data. • The higher populated CBSAs that contain these near-road NO2 sites have higher mobile source emissions and associated indicators, such as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs), than lesser populated CBSAs. • Ambient concentrations collected at all existing near-road monitoring sites are well below both the annual and 1-hour daily maximum NAAQS levels of 53 ppb and 100 ppb, respectively. III. Public Comments The EPA received 22 individual submissions on the proposal during the public comment period from public health and environmental groups, industry groups, state and local air monitoring agencies and multi-agency groups, and one anonymous public commenter.4 Overall, 18 of the 22 commenters supported the proposal. This included all 14 state or multi-state groups: Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA); Akron Regional Air Quality Management District (ARAQMD); Central States Air Resource Agencies Association (CENSARA); Colorado; Georgia; Iowa; Kentucky; 4 The single anonymous public commenter provided comments that were not within the scope of this rule action, as they requested a revision of the NO2 NAAQS. That comment is not within the scope of today’s action because the EPA did not propose any revisions relating to the level of the NAAQS. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 Michigan; National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA); Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM); North Carolina; Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, Dayton, OH (RAPCA); South Carolina; and Wisconsin. In addition, all 4 of the industry commenters voiced support of the proposal, including: American Petroleum Institute (API); American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA); NAAQS Implementation Coalition; and the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG). Those commenters who supported the proposal primarily reiterated that the use of existing network data and metadata, plus other supporting data, provide the rationale necessary to finalize the proposed changes to remove requirements for Phase 3 monitors from the near-road NO2 network requirements. For example, AAPCA stated that the ‘‘. . . [proposed] revision is based on clear evidence from Phases 1 and 2 of the near-road network . . .’’ and ultimately that the data ‘‘. . . demonstrate the need to remove the monitoring requirements for Phase 3.’’ The API noted that ‘‘the Agency’s phased monitoring approach has provided EPA the time to collect and analyze early monitoring data, and therefore develop a more accurate view of NO2 concentrations near roads.’’ The API went on to state that ‘‘near-road NO2 levels in 1,000,000 resident cities represent current high end exposures which are expected to decrease due to improving fleet fuel efficiency and turnover, the same is true for smaller cities addressed by Phase 3.’’ Other commenters also noted Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel standards,5 which the EPA expects to reduce onroad emissions that directly contribute to near-road NO2 concentrations going into the future. For example, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated that ‘‘NOx emissions from mobile sources are expected to decrease with implementation of the Tier 3 engine and fuel standards. . . .’’ Finally, NACAA commented that its ‘‘. . . monitoring experts agree with EPA’s conclusion that data collected from Phase 3 monitors, which would be located in relatively smaller CBSAs, would almost certainly measure lower or similar NO2 concentrations [than those measured in the larger CBSAs].’’ Those commenters who opposed the proposed rule included all 3 submissions from public health and 5 More information on the Tier 3 standards can be found at https://www.epa.gov/regulationsemissions-vehicles-and-engines/regulations-smogsoot-and-other-air-pollution-passenger. PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 96383 environmental groups. The first of the three adverse comment submissions was collectively from the following entities: Asthma and Allergy Network, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, American Thoracic Society, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Children’s Environmental Health Network, and Health Care Trust for America’s Health. For convenience, through the remainder of this preamble, this group will be referred to as the ‘‘Public Health Organizations.’’ The second submission with adverse comments was collectively from the following entities: Earth Justice, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Defense Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Valley Improvement Projects, and We Act for Environmental Justice. For convenience through the remainder of this preamble, this second group will be referred to as the ‘‘Environmental Groups.’’ The third submission with adverse comment to the proposed rule was from Clean Air Watch. The key issues raised in those adverse comments include: (1) Arguments that the proposal is inconsistent with the original reasoning behind the establishment of the near-road network requirements in the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking; (2) issues related to the near-road NO2 network design and its installation; and (3) the empirical data relied on in the rationale for the proposed rule, which commenters criticized as being of relatively limited duration and representation. In regard to the assertion that the proposal is inconsistent with the original reasoning behind the establishment of the near-road network, the Environmental Groups and Clean Air Watch both cited rationale provided in the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking that was used to establish the original requirements for the near-road NO2 network. They stated that the reasoning behind needing the network as it was originally required has presently not changed. The Environmental Groups stated that ‘‘EPA’s proposal to eliminate the requirement to install near-road monitors in areas below 1 million people is fundamentally inconsistent with EPA’s prior conclusion, and with the facts EPA found to support it.’’ The Clean Air Watch noted that after the 2010 NO2 NAAQS revision the Administrator had highlighted that there would be many new roadside monitors going into place. The EPA disagrees that the rationale for this action is inconsistent with the E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES 96384 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 2010 rule. Rather, the revision to the 2010 rule’s near-road monitoring provisions is based on the EPA’s evaluation of monitoring data generated after issuance of the 2010 rule. The EPA notes that the key objective of the 2010 revision to the NO2 NAAQS was to limit exposure to peak NO2 concentrations that occur anywhere in an area. In recognition of the fact that the majority of exposure risks were found to be tied to mobile sources and the lack of specific information concerning the concentrations of NO2 in the near-road environment that was available at the time, the near-road NO2 monitoring network was required to address this lack of characterization. In the 2009 NO2 NAAQS proposal, the agency noted that the NO2 monitoring network at that time was ‘‘. . .not oriented to address peak concentrations, such as the on-road and near-road environment. . .’’ (74 FR 34440). At the time of that proposal and the promulgation of the 2010 final rule, there was a limited amount of near-road monitored data, which consisted mostly of integrated and continuous concentration data from research studies as opposed to compliance-quality data suitable for comparison to the NAAQS. The agency used those limited data in conjunction with information collected and presented in the Integrated Science Assessment (https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPAHQ-OAR-2006-0922-0048) and the Risk and Exposure Assessment (https:// www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPAHQ-OAR-2006-0922-0047) to finalize the network design that originally required at least one monitor in all CBSAs having populations of 500,000 persons or more. As was noted by several commenters on the May 2016 proposal for this rule, the final 2010 network design was described as a nearroad network that would provide ‘‘. . . data from a geographically and spatially diverse set of CBSAs that supports the intent of the revised NAAQS . . .’’ (75 FR 6508). Subsequent to the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the EPA has received and evaluated data from near-road NO2 monitors installed in response to the requirements of the rule. As of November 2016, there are 69 operating near-road NO2 sites, with an ever increasing data record. Due to the establishment and operation of these near-road NO2 monitors, the EPA and the public now have a significantly better understanding of what ambient, near-road concentrations look like across a geographically diverse set of urban areas of differing population sizes, including several CBSAs with VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 populations under 1,000,000 persons, than we did in 2010. It is the evaluation of these new data, not a change in the EPA’s view that the near-road network reflects areas of peak NO2 concentration, which led to the EPA’s conclusion that the requirement to operate additional near-road NO2 sites required by Phase 3 of the network is no longer necessary to provide adequate characterization on a national basis. These new data, which were not available during the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking provide the EPA with a different and improved understanding of near-road NO2 concentrations compared to the time when the network was originally required. In particular, these new data show that NO2 concentrations from sites adjacent to some of the nation’s highest trafficked roads in the most populated CBSAs (i.e., expected maximum concentrations sites in the near-road environment) are not exceeding or even threatening to approach the level of the NAAQS. It is, therefore, evident that the degree of geographic and spatial diversity required of the near-road network is less than originally thought. Accordingly, the agency believes it is appropriate to reconsider the necessity of Phase 3 of the near-road NO2 network by leveraging empirical evidence and targeted assessments and analyses of available near-road NO2 network information, as explained in more detail in the docket memo associated with this action. The second issue raised by the Environmental Groups and Public Health Organizations was in regard to the network design and physical characteristics of the existing near-road NO2 network. The Public Health Organizations stated that ‘‘limiting the required monitoring to only one or two locations in cities with millions of people severely limits the information available on near-road exposure in metropolitan areas.’’ The Environmental Groups stated that ‘‘the information relied upon by EPA does not show that the near-road monitors installed to date have been located to detect maximum [NO2] levels.’’ Finally, the Public Health Organizations also stated that ‘‘new research examining the early results of some of these near-road monitors warn that the assumptions made in the initial siting decisions may not adequately reflect the wors[t] sources of highway emissions, even in major urban areas like Los Angeles.’’ With regard to the Public Health Organizations’ comment that the amount of near-road monitoring in a given urban area is limited, the EPA disagrees that additional monitors are needed. The network design targets PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 expected maximum concentrations in the near-road environment. In the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the near-road NO2 network was required to be installed with consideration of six key factors: AADT, fleet mix, congestion patterns, roadway design, terrain, and meteorology. These factors varied by CBSA, where quantitative data was variable in availability and quality. The consideration of these six factors was required so that near-road monitors would be placed at locations in nearroad environments where peak NO2 concentrations, derived from on-road mobile sources, would be most likely to be observed within that CBSA. Because of this specific objective of the network, the need for multiple other near-road monitoring sites, above what is already required within a given CBSA to ascertain compliance with the NAAQS, is minimized. The EPA strongly disagrees with the assertion that the near-road monitors installed to date have not been located to detect maximum NO2 levels. The agency handled this issue through siting requirements in the CFR and through additional support via the production of the TAD. The TAD was created through collaboration amongst multiple offices across the agency, state and local air quality management agencies, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and several state departments of transportation. Further, the TAD was reviewed by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee’s Air Monitoring and Methods Subcommittee. The state and local air agencies’ adherence to the siting requirements in the CFR and their use of the TAD is evidenced by metadata presented and discussed in the proposal and the associated docket memo. As a result of the diligence of state and local air agencies, and the support and oversight of the agency, the near-road network meets all siting requirements and the selection of sites for the current near-road network was carried out with a high degree of success. For example, as was noted in the proposal, 55 percent of the near-road sites are adjacent to one of the top five highest trafficked road segments in their respective CBSA, 71 percent are adjacent to one of the top 10 most highly trafficked roads, and 91 percent are adjacent to one of the top 25 most highly trafficked roads. As there are thousands of road segments within each CBSA, this means that virtually all nearroad monitors are adjacent to one of the most heavily trafficked roads within their respective CBSAs. And, as noted in the EPA’s analysis of the existing near-road monitoring data, if the E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES measure of traffic is adjusted for the fleet mix to account for higher oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions from heavyduty diesel vehicles, an even greater percentage of near-road monitors are adjacent to the road segments where NO2 exposure is expected to be highest. Moreover, traffic volume was just one criterion out of a number of factors, plus logistical limitations, that all had bearing on site selection. These data, along with all the other data presented in the proposal and the docket memo, are indicative of a successful network deployment. The EPA notes that in general, ambient monitor placement is a balancing act of knowing where an ideal monitoring location might be versus the reality of actually being able to place and operate a monitor in a particular location. This concept applies to all ambient monitoring endeavors, as the physical process of siting a monitor is subject to a myriad of logistical influences including, but not limited to: Permissions for access; physical limitations on site placement including the immediate terrain, topography, or the roadway design of a target road in the specific case of near-road monitoring; safety considerations, which are particularly important and evident in near-road siting situations; and utilities availability. Considering the factors and influences involved in the near-road siting process and the known characteristics of the network, the EPA strongly asserts that the network is appropriately deployed and situated to provide measurements that are a good representation of maximum near-road NO2 concentrations that exist in a given CBSA, evidenced by metadata presented and discussed in both the proposal and the docket memo.6 In response to the Public Health Organizations’ statement that ‘‘new research examining the early results of some of these near-road monitors warn that the assumptions made in the initial siting decisions may not adequately reflect the wors[t] sources of highway emissions, even in major urban areas like Los Angeles,’’ the EPA would first like to point out that the research conducted for the referenced journal 6 In addition to the requirements for near-road monitors in state monitoring plans, the regulations also require the EPA Regional Administrators to identify locations for at least 40 additional NO2 monitoring stations nationwide beyond the minimum monitoring requirements for each state, with the primary focus on siting these additional monitors in locations to protect susceptible and vulnerable populations. Moreover, even beyond that requirement, each Regional Administrator has the discretion to require additional monitors in any area. 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.4(a) and (b). VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 article did not utilize any data from the near-road NO2 network, nor did it directly measure NO2 during their onroad experiments. The data behind the referenced multi-pollutant research study were collected as part of an onroad mobile source emissions study primarily focused on improving understanding of the variability and influences on fleet-wide emissions via alternative methods of calculating emission factors. As such, the study does not indicate that information utilized in network siting decisions may not adequately reflect the worst sources of highway emissions. In fact, it does not even address near-road monitoring data from monitors installed to measure NO2 levels. Instead, the EPA believes the study reinforces the fact that the required consideration of a number of previously mentioned factors including traffic volume and fleet mix, which were important to the cited literature, were appropriate and critical to the near-road site selection process. The third issue raised was the claim that empirical data relied on in the proposal were too limited. To initiate their argument, the Environmental Groups stated that the ‘‘. . . EPA has virtually no emissions data for CBSAs with populations under 1 million, so EPA’s claim that ‘higher populated CBSAs,’ i.e., CBSAs over 1 million people, will have ‘higher mobile source emissions’ is unfounded.’’ In response, the EPA notes that data presented and reviewed in the docket memo clearly show otherwise. The emissions data used in the docket memo analysis came from the 2011 National Emissions Inventory (NEI). The NEI mobile source data come from the EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES), which aggregates mobile source emissions data from the county level across the entire country. Therefore, the commenter’s statement that the EPA has ‘‘virtually no emissions data’’ from CBSAs with populations less than 1 million persons, and their subsequent argument, is incorrect. Still regarding emissions data and analysis, later in their arguments the Environmental Groups state that ‘‘. . . NOX emissions coming from on-road mobile sources in areas with 1 and 2.5 million persons is nearly the same in areas with 500,000 to 1 million people,’’ suggesting that NOX emissions are nearly the same in the smaller populated CBSAs as they are in the larger ones, with a difference of only 3.2 percentage points. In the docket memo, the EPA presents NOX emissions inventory data, broken down by the categories of on-road mobile, non-road mobile, and all non-mobile source PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 96385 categories. These data are subsequently sorted into bins based on CBSA populations corresponding to the three phases by which the near-road network has been installed, plus a bin for all CBSAs with populations having less than 500,000 persons. The Environmental Group’s comments are focused on the modest difference in percent contribution of on-road mobile sources to the total NOX emissions between the 500,000 to 1 million person CBSA bin (48.1 percent) and the larger CBSA bins (51.3 percent for CBSAs having between 1 million and 2.5 million persons and 55.3 percent for CBSAs having 2.5 million or more persons). However, the differences between these CBSA groups are significant when considering the actual amount of NOX in tons per year (tpy). The collective of CBSAs having 500,000 to 1 million persons have a NOX emissions profile where 48.1 percent of a total of 950,000 tpy are attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 456,950 tpy). Meanwhile, the collective of CBSAs having 1 million to 2.5 million persons have a NOX emissions profile where 51.3 percent of 2,000,000 tpy are attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 1,026,000 tpy) and the collective of CBSAs having 2.5 million persons or more have a NOX emissions profile where 55.3 percent of 7,500,000 tpy are attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 4,147,500 tpy). It is clear by these data, and the analysis provided in the docket memo, that the larger CBSAs do in fact have much more on-road mobile source emissions than CBSAs with less than 1 million persons. Specifically, CBSAs with over 2.5 million persons have approximately 9 times more onroad mobile source NOX emissions in tpy than CBSAs with populations between 500,000 and 1 million, while the CBSAs with populations between 1 million and 2.5 million have 2.2 times more. These data support the conclusion that the larger populated CBSAs have greater potential for exposure due to marked increases in coincidence between emissions and population. See Docket Memo at pp. 9–11. Concluding the Public Health Organizations’ and Environmental Groups’ arguments, they commented that the EPA relied on monitored nearroad NO2 data from too few sites, particularly from CBSAs with less than 1 million persons, to substantiate the proposed rulemaking. The Public Health Organizations stated that ‘‘. . . even if the preliminary data indicated compliance with the standards, the sparse number [of monitoring sites] E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES 96386 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations leaves open many questions. . . .’’ The Environmental Groups argued that only having near-road NO2 data from two CBSAs with populations under 1 million persons (Boise, Idaho and Des Moines, Iowa), ‘‘. . . are not sufficient data from which to conclude that any kind of trend exists or to make any prediction about what one-hour NO2 concentrations are likely to be reported in CBSAs with populations between 500,000 and 1 million; Boise and Des Moines alone are unlikely to be representative of all other CBSAs in this category.’’ The Environmental Groups go on to discuss an analysis of the available near-road data and state that variability in the collected data, particularly for the 98th percentile 1-hour daily maximum values (1-hour values), makes ‘‘. . . it exceedingly hard to predict whether an individual CBSA in either group [of different CBSA population sizes] would be likely to report high or low near-road NO2 concentrations based on its population alone,’’ and ultimately that ‘‘. . . EPA’s own data show that less-populated areas are not significantly less likely to have high near-road NO2 concentrations (98th percentile one-hour daily max).’’ Because Phases 1 and 2 of the network have nearly been fully deployed, there are sufficient data to analyze and to support a conclusion that the first two phases of the near-road monitoring network are sufficient to protect against risks associated with exposures to peak concentrations of NO2. Regarding the length of the data record, we must consider the fact that the agency has multiple years of complete data that have already been used to judge compliance against the annual standard. Between 2013 and 2015, there were 69 annual design value data points across 39 different CBSAs (some with two near-road sites) available for analysis and comparison to the NAAQS. Further, regarding hourly data during the same (2013–2015) time period, there were a similar number of 98th percentile 1-hour daily maximum concentration values available for review. There were four sites in four separate CBSAs (Boise, ID; Des Moines, IA; Detroit, MI; and St. Louis, MO) with 3 years’ worth of complete data that allowed the calculation of design values for the hourly standard. Although the remaining sites did not have enough data for the hourly design value calculation, the available data still provided evidence of what hourly nearroad NO2 concentrations look like across 1 or 2 years. All those data represent significant spatial representation nationally and across VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 CBSAs of various population sizes, and were presented and discussed in the docket memo. (See Docket Memo, Figures 9, 10, and 11.) The data were ample enough to detect patterns and trends that provide an indication of whether or not near-road concentrations are threatening the NAAQS. Those indications, coupled with the understanding of NOx emissions and anticipated future emissions profiles, provided a strong basis for the proposal. We disagree that there are insufficient data on which to base our conclusions regarding the sufficiency of the nearroad network. Commenters assert that the EPA has ‘‘virtually no emissions data’’ for CBSAs with populations under 1 million, which may have been intended to mean that the EPA has virtually no near-road NO2 air quality data for CBSAs with populations under 1 million. This is incorrect. As explained in the docket memo, EPA has complete data for a full year from two sites, one in Boise and one in Des Moines. The commenters did not provide any explanation to support their comment that there are not enough data. Regarding specific comments on variability of some of the data, particularly in the hourly data across different near-road sites in different CBSAs across a range of population sizes, the EPA notes that such variability is to be expected in more highly time-resolved data. Further, as explained above, each near-road site is influenced by a number of factors, which all can contribute to inter-site variability. The Environmental Groups believe that the Boise and Des Moines CBSAs would not likely be representative of all other CBSAs of the same CBSA size class, without explanation. The EPA notes that no single CBSA is expected to be totally representative of any other individual CBSA. However, as presented in the proposal and the docket memo, despite the expected variability, there are relationships within the data that are evident when analyzing emissions, traffic data, measured concentration data, and CBSA populations. Particularly, higher populated CBSAs correspondingly have more vehicles, which in turn increases the availability of mobile source derived emissions that lead to increased opportunity for higher NO2 concentrations, particularly in the near-road environment. It is these relationships that lend to the concept that higher near-road NO2 concentrations are expected in more PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 heavily populated CBSAs as compared to those with lesser populations.7 It is also critical to conduct an analysis of the available near-road data. The analysis of all these data, which include data from the most heavily populated CBSAs and two CBSAs having populations between 500,000 and 1 million persons, reveals that there are no design values for either the annual or hourly NAAQS, or even a single 98th percentile 1-hour daily maximum value, that are approaching or exceeding the NAAQS. The highest recorded values throughout the 2013– 2015 time period, analyzed and presented in the docket memo, were an annual average of 27 ppb in Los Angeles and an 98th percentile 1-hour value of 72 ppb from an incomplete year of data in New York City. In comparison, the NO2 annual standard level is 53 ppb and the 98th percentile 1-hour daily maximum standard level averaged over 3 years is 100 ppb. The fact that no data collected to date have exceeded or are threatening to the NAAQS is paramount to the reasoning behind the approach to revise network requirements. There are no compelling concentration data or meta-data that indicate that the smaller CBSAs would be expected to have nearroad NO2 concentrations at or above those measured in more heavily populated CBSAs that have sites proximate to more heavily trafficked roads. Further, the EPA expects a continuation in the reduction of on-road mobile source emissions on a per vehicle basis as a result of the implementation of mobile source standards such as the Tier 3 engine and fuel standards, which was echoed in the public comments. These continuing emission reductions should reduce the amount of measured NO2 in the nearroad environment, although other factors such as changes in traffic volume can impact those reductions. Finally, the EPA notes that EPA Regional Administrators have the authority to work with state and local air monitoring agencies to require monitoring above the minimum requirements as needed to address a 7 The commenters claim that the variability makes it difficult to predict NO2 levels in a particular CBSA based on population alone, pointing to 2015 data showing one-hour concentrations in certain CBSAs with population between 1 million and 2.5 million that were higher than concentrations in some CBSAs with more than 2.5 million people. While NO2 levels can vary from hour-to-hour, the EPA notes that the levels commenters refer to are all well below the level of the NO2 NAAQS. (e.g., the 98th percentile level in Providence, RI, is 67.4 ppb, which is well below the one-hour NAAQS of 100 ppb). See Docket Memo, Figure 11. E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations situation where near-road NO2 concentrations are suspected to be approaching or exceeding the NAAQS. Accordingly, near-road monitoring could subsequently be required in smaller CBSAs should circumstances indicate the need to provide additional characterization beyond the monitoring provided by Phases 1 and 2 of the network. This Regional Administrator authority serves as an effective backstop against any unusual situation that could occur where monitoring might be warranted in an area that is not subject to minimum monitoring requirements. Other comments received were outside the scope of this rule and not discussed in this preamble. IV. Conclusion and Final Action An analysis of available near-road NO2 monitoring data indicates that air quality levels in the near-road environment are well below the NO2 NAAQS. Based on the analysis of available concentration data, as well as related emissions, traffic, and network metadata, the EPA anticipates that measured near-road NO2 concentrations in relatively smaller CBSAs (i.e., CBSAs with populations less than 1,000,000 persons) would exhibit similar, and more likely, lower concentrations, than what is being measured at existing nearroad NO2 sites in larger urban areas. In consideration of the data presented and reviewed in the proposal and the public comments received on the proposal, the EPA is finalizing, as proposed, the removal of monitoring requirements for near-road NO2 monitors in CBSAs having populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons, also known as Phase 3 of the near-road NO2 network. The agency is also finalizing, as proposed, the removal of the requirement for a second near-road NO2 monitor in any CBSA having 500,000 or more persons that also had one or more road segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts. The revised requirement for a second near-road NO2 monitor will only apply to CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons with a road segment of 250,000 or greater AADT counts. srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, therefore, not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. The final revisions do not add any information collection requirements beyond those imposed by the existing NO2 monitoring requirements. C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) I certify that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small entities subject to the rule. This action will remove a sub-set of the current air monitoring requirements and, therefore, relieve state and local air monitoring agencies from having to provide evidence of compliance with the NO2 NAAQS in the near-road environment in CBSAs with less than 1,000,000 persons. We have, therefore, concluded that this action will relieve regulatory burden for all directly regulated small entities. D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531–1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. This action will reduce the number of required near-road NO2 monitors to be operated by state and local air monitoring agencies. E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in Executive Order 13175. This final rule imposes no requirements on tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action. PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 96387 G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks The EPA interprets EO 13045 as applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the definition of ‘‘covered regulatory action’’ in section 2–202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety risk. H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) This action does not involve technical standards. J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income or indigenous populations. The results of the network and data evaluation are contained in the Near-road NO2 Network and Data Analysis docket memo, which provides a review and analysis of the characteristics of the existing near-road NO2 monitoring network and the relationships between NO2 emissions, population, traffic, and NO2 concentration data. Further, this rule does not modify the existing requirements for near-road monitors required in CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons, area-wide NO2 monitors, or monitoring of NO2 in areas with susceptible and vulnerable populations. K. Congressional Review Act (CRA) This action is subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 58 Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1 96388 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 251 / Friday, December 30, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations. Dated: December 22, 2016. Gina McCarthy, Administrator. For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Environmental Protection Agency is amending title 40, chapter I of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 58—AMBIENT AIR QUALITY SURVEILLANCE 1. The authority citation for part 58 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7403, 7405, 7410, 7414, 7601, 7611, 7614, and 7619. 2. Amend § 58.10 by revising paragraph (a)(5)(iv) and removing paragraph (a)(5)(v) to read as follows: ■ § 58.10 Annual monitoring network plan and periodic network assessment. (a) * * * (5) * * * (iv) A plan for establishing a second near-road NO2 monitor in any CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 persons or more, or a second monitor in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts, in accordance with the requirements of appendix D, section 4.3.2 to this part, shall be submitted as part of the Annual Monitoring Network Plan to the EPA Regional Administrator by July 1, 2014. The plan shall provide for these required monitors to be operational by January 1, 2015. * * * * * ■ 3. Amend § 58.13 by revising paragraph (c)(4) and removing paragraph (c)(5) to read as follows: § 58.13 srobinson on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with RULES * * * * (c) * * * (4) January 1, 2015, for a second nearroad NO2 monitor in CBSAs that have a population of 2,500,000 or more persons or a second monitor in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts that is required in appendix D, section 4.3.2. * * * * * ■ 4. Appendix D to part 58 is amended by revising section 4.3.2 to read as follows: Appendix D to Part 58—Network Design Criteria for Ambient Air Quality Monitoring * * * * * * [FR Doc. 2016–31645 Filed 12–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P Monitoring network completion. * * 4.3.2 Requirement for Near-road NO2 Monitors (a) Within the NO2 network, there must be one microscale near-road NO2 monitoring station in each CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons to monitor a location of expected maximum hourly concentrations sited near a major road with high AADT counts as specified in paragraph 4.3.2(a)(1) of this appendix. An additional near-road NO2 monitoring station is required for any CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 persons or more, or in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts to monitor a second location of expected maximum hourly concentrations. CBSA populations shall be based on the latest available census figures. (1) The near-road NO2 monitoring sites shall be selected by ranking all road segments within a CBSA by AADT and then identifying a location or locations adjacent to those highest ranked road segments, considering fleet mix, roadway design, congestion patterns, terrain, and meteorology, where maximum hourly NO2 concentrations are expected to occur and siting criteria can be met in accordance with appendix E of this part. Where a state or local air monitoring agency identifies multiple acceptable candidate sites where maximum hourly NO2 concentrations are expected to occur, the monitoring agency shall consider the potential for population exposure in the criteria utilized to select the final site location. Where one CBSA is required to have two near-road NO2 monitoring stations, the sites shall be differentiated from each other by one or more of the following factors: fleet mix; congestion patterns; terrain; geographic area within the CBSA; or different route, interstate, or freeway designation. (b) Measurements at required near-road NO2 monitor sites utilizing chemiluminescence FRMs must include at a minimum: NO, NO2, and NOX. * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 18:11 Dec 29, 2016 Jkt 241001 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 622 [Docket No. 160302174–6999–02] RIN 0648–BF81 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery Off the Atlantic States; Regulatory Amendment 1 National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 NMFS issues regulations to implement Regulatory Amendment 1 for the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery off the Atlantic States (FMP), as prepared and submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for Atlantic dolphin for vessels with a Federal commercial permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo. The purpose of this final rule is to reduce the chance of an in-season closure of the dolphin commercial sector as a result of the annual catch limit (ACL) being reached during the fishing year, and to reduce the severity of economic or social impacts caused by these closures. DATES: This rule is effective January 30, 2017. ADDRESSES: Electronic copies of Regulatory Amendment 1, which includes an environmental assessment, an assessment under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), a regulatory impact review, and fishery impact statement, may be obtained from www.regulations.gov or the Southeast Regional Office Web site at http:// sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_ fisheries/s_atl/dw/2016/reg_am1/ documents/pdfs/dw_reg_am1.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karla Gore, NMFS SERO, telephone: 727–551–5753, or email: karla.gore@ noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The dolphin and wahoo fishery of the Atlantic is managed under the FMP. The FMP was prepared by the Council and implemented through regulations at 50 CFR part 622 under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Steven Act). On June 30, 2016, NMFS published a proposed rule for Regulatory Amendment 1 and requested public comment (81 FR 42625). The proposed rule and Regulatory Amendment 1 outline the rationale for the action contained in this final rule. A summary of the action implemented by Regulatory Amendment 1 and this final rule is provided below. SUMMARY: Management Measure Contained in This Final Rule This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for dolphin for vessels that have a Federal commercial permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo. Dolphin Commercial Trip Limit Currently, no commercial trip limit exists for vessels that possess a Federal commercial permit for Atlantic dolphin and wahoo. However, there is a E:\FR\FM\30DER1.SGM 30DER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 251 (Friday, December 30, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 96381-96388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-31645]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 58

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0486; FRL-9957-78-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS71


Revision to the Near-road NO2 Minimum Monitoring 
Requirements

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action finalizes revisions to the minimum monitoring 
requirements for near-road nitrogen dioxide (NO2) monitoring 
by removing the existing requirements for near-road NO2 
monitoring stations in Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) having 
populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons, that are due by 
January 1, 2017.

DATES: This final rule is effective December 30, 2016.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0486. All documents in the docket are 
listed at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, 
some information may not be publicly available, e.g., Confidential 
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is 
restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted 
material, is not placed on the Internet and will be publicly available 
only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are 
available electronically through www.regulations.gov. In addition to 
being available in the docket, an electronic copy of the rule will also 
be available at https://www.epa.gov/no2-pollution/ambient-nitrogen-dioxide-monitoring-requirements.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Nealson Watkins, Air Quality 
Assessment Division, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code C304-06, Research Triangle 
Park, NC 27711; telephone: (919) 541-5522; fax: (919) 541-1903; email: 
watkins.nealson@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Administrative Procedure Act: Section 553(d) 
of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. Chapter 5, 
generally provides that rules may not take effect earlier than 30 days 
after they are published in the Federal Register. The Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing this final rule under section 
307(d)(1) of the Clean Air Act, which states: ``The provisions of 
section 553 through 557 . . . of Title 5 shall not, except as expressly 
provided in this section, apply to actions to which this subsection 
applies.'' Thus, section 553(d) of the APA does not apply to this rule. 
The EPA is nevertheless acting consistently with the purposes 
underlying APA section 553(d) in making this rule effective no later 
than January 1, 2017. Section 553(d) allows an effective date less than 
30 days after publication for a rule that ``grants or recognizes an 
exemption or relieves a restriction'' or ``as otherwise provided by the 
agency for good cause found and published with the rule.'' The EPA 
finds that there is good cause for this rule to become effective 
immediately, because this rule removes a restriction. Specifically, 
this final rule removes the requirement for states to install air 
quality monitors in certain areas by January 1, 2017.
    Judicial Review: This is a nationally applicable rulemaking because 
it revises generally applicable monitoring network requirements. Even 
if this rulemaking were not considered nationally applicable, EPA has 
determined that this action is of nationwide scope and effect because 
the monitors that will no longer be required under this rulemaking are 
located in 28 states, which fall within the jurisdiction of all 10 
federal courts of appeals. Therefore, under CAA section 307(b)(1), 
judicial review of this final rule is available only by filing a 
petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit 
by February 28, 2017.

Table of Contents

    The following topics are discussed in this preamble:

I. Background
II. Proposed Revisions to the Near-Road NO2 Minimum 
Monitoring Requirements
III. Public Comments
IV. Conclusion and Final Action
V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments

[[Page 96382]]

    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks
    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
    K. Congressional Review Act

I. Background

    On February 9, 2010, the EPA promulgated minimum monitoring 
requirements for the ambient NO2 monitoring network in 
support of the revised NO2 NAAQS (75 FR 6474; February 9, 
2010). The 2010 NO2 NAAQS revision introduced a 1-hour 
standard with a 98th percentile form averaged over 3 years and a level 
of 100 parts per billion (ppb), reflecting the maximum allowable 
NO2 concentration anywhere in an area, while retaining the 
annual standard of 53 ppb.
    As part of the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the EPA 
promulgated revisions to requirements for minimum numbers of ambient 
NO2 monitors which included new monitoring near major roads 
in larger urban areas, requirements to characterize NO2 
concentrations representative of wider spatial scales in larger urban 
areas (area-wide monitors), and monitors intended to characterize 
NO2 exposures of susceptible and vulnerable populations. 
Specifically, the requirements for these minimum monitoring 
requirements that were promulgated in 2010 were as follows:
    (a) The first tier of the ambient NO2 monitoring network 
required near-road monitoring.\1\ The requirements included the 
placement of one near-road NO2 monitoring station in each 
CBSA with a population of 500,000 or more persons to monitor a location 
of expected maximum hourly concentrations sited near a major road. An 
additional near-road NO2 monitoring station was required at 
a second location of expected maximum hourly concentrations for any 
CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 or more persons, or in any CBSA 
with a population of 500,000 or more persons that has one or more 
roadway segments with 250,000 or greater Annual Average Daily Traffic 
(AADT) counts. Based upon 2010 census data and data maintained by the 
U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration on 
the most heavily trafficked roads in the U.S. (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/tables/02.cfm), approximately 126 near-road 
NO2 sites were required within 103 CBSAs nationwide at the 
time of rule promulgation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.2.
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    (b) The second tier of the NO2 network required area-
wide NO2 monitoring,\2\ where area-wide means that the 
monitor is representative of a spatial scale of representativeness of 
neighborhood scale (0.5 to 4 km in dimension) or larger, as defined in 
40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 58, appendix D, section 1.2. 
Requirements included the placement of one monitor in each CBSA with a 
population of 1,000,000 or more persons to monitor a location of 
expected highest NO2 concentrations representing the 
neighborhood or larger spatial scales. Based on 2010 census data, 
approximately 52 area-wide NO2 sites were required within 52 
CBSAs at the time of rule promulgation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) The third tier of the NO2 minimum monitoring 
requirements was for the characterization of NO2 exposure 
for susceptible and vulnerable populations.\3\ The EPA Regional 
Administrators, in collaboration with states, required 40 
NO2 monitoring stations nationwide in any area, inside or 
outside of CBSAs, in addition to the minimum monitoring requirements 
for near-road and area-wide monitors, with a primary focus on 
monitoring in locations with susceptible and vulnerable populations. 
Monitoring sites intended to satisfy these NO2 minimum 
monitoring requirements were required to be submitted to the EPA for 
approval. Per 40 CFR 58.10 and 58.13, states were required to submit a 
plan to the EPA for establishing required area-wide NO2 
monitoring sites and those NO2 monitoring sites intended to 
represent areas with susceptible and vulnerable populations by July 1, 
2012, and ensure that the monitoring stations were operational by 
January 1, 2013. State and local air monitoring agencies fulfilled the 
requirements for area-wide monitors and those sites representing areas 
with susceptible and vulnerable populations on schedule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ See 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, section 4.3.4.
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    The near-road component of the ambient NO2 monitoring 
network was also originally required to be completely operational by 
January 1, 2013. However, in 2012, the EPA proposed (77 FR 64244; 
October 19, 2012) and then finalized in 2013 (78 FR 16184; March 14, 
2013), through a public notice and comment rulemaking, a requirement 
that the near-road NO2 monitoring stations be installed in 
three phases. The revised installation schedule allowed more time for 
states to establish the near-road NO2 network on a schedule 
consistent with available resources. The revised installation schedule 
for the near-road NO2 monitoring network was modified to 
reflect the following:
    Phase 1: In CBSAs with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons, 
one near-road NO2 monitor shall be reflected in the state 
Annual Monitoring Network Plan submitted July 1, 2013, and that monitor 
shall be operational by January 1, 2014.
    Phase 2: In CBSAs where two near-road NO2 monitors are 
required (either because the CBSA has a population of 2,500,000 or more 
persons, or has a population of 500,000 or more persons plus one or 
more roadway segments having AADT counts of 250,000 or more), the 
second near-road NO2 monitor shall be reflected in the state 
Annual Monitoring Network Plan submitted July 1, 2014, and that monitor 
shall be operational by January 1, 2015.
    Phase 3: In CBSAs with a population of at least 500,000 persons, 
but less than 1,000,000 persons, one near-road NO2 monitor 
shall be reflected in the state Annual Monitoring Network Plan 
submitted July 1, 2016, and the monitor shall be operational by January 
1, 2017.
    As of November of 2016, the EPA estimates that 69 near-road 
NO2 monitors are in operation. At the time of this 
rulemaking, the EPA notes that a handful of near-road sites (4 from 
Phase 1 and 6 from Phase 2) are still in the process of being installed 
due to various delays at the state and local level. A review of near-
road site meta-data indicate that state and local air monitoring 
agencies have successfully installed these new monitors in the 
appropriate locations, collectively placing monitors adjacent to highly 
trafficked roads in their respective CBSAs. The latest available near-
road NO2 monitoring site meta-data can be found at http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/nearroad.html.

II. Proposed Revisions to Near-Road NO2 Minimum Monitoring Requirements

    We proposed revisions to the near-road NO2 minimum 
monitoring requirements (81 FR 30224) on May 16, 2016, to remove the 
requirement for near-road NO2 monitoring stations in CBSAs 
having populations between 500,000 and 1,000,000 persons, also known as 
Phase 3 of the near-road NO2 network. The proposal also 
included a revision to the requirement for a second

[[Page 96383]]

near-road NO2 monitor in any CBSA having 500,000 or more 
persons that also had one or more road segments with 250,000 or greater 
AADT counts to only apply to CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons, 
which was intended to align all near-road NO2 monitoring 
requirement language to only apply to those CBSAs having 1,000,000 
persons or more.
    The proposed removal of Phase 3 of the required near-road 
NO2 network was based on empirical data and technical 
rationale, which were discussed in detail in the preamble to the 
proposed rule and supported by the Near-road NO2 Network and 
Data Analysis memo to the docket (docket memo) located at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0486. The three key 
foundations of the proposal were that:
     The Phase 1 and Phase 2 near-road sites that have been 
installed to date are located at maximum concentration locations 
consistent with the guidance in the Near-road NO2 Monitoring 
Technical Assistance Document (TAD) (http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/amtic/files/nearroad/NearRoadTAD.pdf) as demonstrated by a detailed 
examination of site meta-data.
     The higher populated CBSAs that contain these near-road 
NO2 sites have higher mobile source emissions and associated 
indicators, such as Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMTs), than lesser 
populated CBSAs.
     Ambient concentrations collected at all existing near-road 
monitoring sites are well below both the annual and 1-hour daily 
maximum NAAQS levels of 53 ppb and 100 ppb, respectively.

III. Public Comments

    The EPA received 22 individual submissions on the proposal during 
the public comment period from public health and environmental groups, 
industry groups, state and local air monitoring agencies and multi-
agency groups, and one anonymous public commenter.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The single anonymous public commenter provided comments that 
were not within the scope of this rule action, as they requested a 
revision of the NO2 NAAQS. That comment is not within the 
scope of today's action because the EPA did not propose any 
revisions relating to the level of the NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Overall, 18 of the 22 commenters supported the proposal. This 
included all 14 state or multi-state groups: Association of Air 
Pollution Control Agencies (AAPCA); Akron Regional Air Quality 
Management District (ARAQMD); Central States Air Resource Agencies 
Association (CENSARA); Colorado; Georgia; Iowa; Kentucky; Michigan; 
National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA); Northeast States 
for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM); North Carolina; Regional 
Air Pollution Control Agency, Dayton, OH (RAPCA); South Carolina; and 
Wisconsin. In addition, all 4 of the industry commenters voiced support 
of the proposal, including: American Petroleum Institute (API); 
American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA); NAAQS 
Implementation Coalition; and the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG).
    Those commenters who supported the proposal primarily reiterated 
that the use of existing network data and meta-data, plus other 
supporting data, provide the rationale necessary to finalize the 
proposed changes to remove requirements for Phase 3 monitors from the 
near-road NO2 network requirements. For example, AAPCA 
stated that the ``. . . [proposed] revision is based on clear evidence 
from Phases 1 and 2 of the near-road network . . .'' and ultimately 
that the data ``. . . demonstrate the need to remove the monitoring 
requirements for Phase 3.'' The API noted that ``the Agency's phased 
monitoring approach has provided EPA the time to collect and analyze 
early monitoring data, and therefore develop a more accurate view of 
NO2 concentrations near roads.'' The API went on to state 
that ``near-road NO2 levels in 1,000,000 resident cities 
represent current high end exposures which are expected to decrease due 
to improving fleet fuel efficiency and turnover, the same is true for 
smaller cities addressed by Phase 3.'' Other commenters also noted Tier 
3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel standards,\5\ which the EPA expects 
to reduce on-road emissions that directly contribute to near-road 
NO2 concentrations going into the future. For example, the 
Iowa Department of Natural Resources stated that ``NOx emissions from 
mobile sources are expected to decrease with implementation of the Tier 
3 engine and fuel standards. . . .'' Finally, NACAA commented that its 
``. . . monitoring experts agree with EPA's conclusion that data 
collected from Phase 3 monitors, which would be located in relatively 
smaller CBSAs, would almost certainly measure lower or similar 
NO2 concentrations [than those measured in the larger 
CBSAs].''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ More information on the Tier 3 standards can be found at 
https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/regulations-smog-soot-and-other-air-pollution-passenger.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Those commenters who opposed the proposed rule included all 3 
submissions from public health and environmental groups. The first of 
the three adverse comment submissions was collectively from the 
following entities: Asthma and Allergy Network, Alliance of Nurses for 
Healthy Environments, American Lung Association, American Public Health 
Association, American Thoracic Society, Asthma and Allergy Foundation 
of America, Children's Environmental Health Network, and Health Care 
Trust for America's Health. For convenience, through the remainder of 
this preamble, this group will be referred to as the ``Public Health 
Organizations.'' The second submission with adverse comments was 
collectively from the following entities: Earth Justice, Catholic 
Charities of the Diocese of Stockton, Clean Air Council, Clean 
Wisconsin, Midwest Environmental Defense Center, Natural Resources 
Defense Council, Valley Improvement Projects, and We Act for 
Environmental Justice. For convenience through the remainder of this 
preamble, this second group will be referred to as the ``Environmental 
Groups.'' The third submission with adverse comment to the proposed 
rule was from Clean Air Watch.
    The key issues raised in those adverse comments include: (1) 
Arguments that the proposal is inconsistent with the original reasoning 
behind the establishment of the near-road network requirements in the 
2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking; (2) issues related to the near-
road NO2 network design and its installation; and (3) the 
empirical data relied on in the rationale for the proposed rule, which 
commenters criticized as being of relatively limited duration and 
representation.
    In regard to the assertion that the proposal is inconsistent with 
the original reasoning behind the establishment of the near-road 
network, the Environmental Groups and Clean Air Watch both cited 
rationale provided in the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking that was 
used to establish the original requirements for the near-road 
NO2 network. They stated that the reasoning behind needing 
the network as it was originally required has presently not changed. 
The Environmental Groups stated that ``EPA's proposal to eliminate the 
requirement to install near-road monitors in areas below 1 million 
people is fundamentally inconsistent with EPA's prior conclusion, and 
with the facts EPA found to support it.'' The Clean Air Watch noted 
that after the 2010 NO2 NAAQS revision the Administrator had 
highlighted that there would be many new roadside monitors going into 
place.
    The EPA disagrees that the rationale for this action is 
inconsistent with the

[[Page 96384]]

2010 rule. Rather, the revision to the 2010 rule's near-road monitoring 
provisions is based on the EPA's evaluation of monitoring data 
generated after issuance of the 2010 rule. The EPA notes that the key 
objective of the 2010 revision to the NO2 NAAQS was to limit 
exposure to peak NO2 concentrations that occur anywhere in 
an area. In recognition of the fact that the majority of exposure risks 
were found to be tied to mobile sources and the lack of specific 
information concerning the concentrations of NO2 in the 
near-road environment that was available at the time, the near-road 
NO2 monitoring network was required to address this lack of 
characterization. In the 2009 NO2 NAAQS proposal, the agency 
noted that the NO2 monitoring network at that time was ``. . 
.not oriented to address peak concentrations, such as the on-road and 
near-road environment. . .'' (74 FR 34440). At the time of that 
proposal and the promulgation of the 2010 final rule, there was a 
limited amount of near-road monitored data, which consisted mostly of 
integrated and continuous concentration data from research studies as 
opposed to compliance-quality data suitable for comparison to the 
NAAQS. The agency used those limited data in conjunction with 
information collected and presented in the Integrated Science 
Assessment (https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0922-0048) and the Risk and Exposure Assessment (https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0922-0047) to finalize 
the network design that originally required at least one monitor in all 
CBSAs having populations of 500,000 persons or more. As was noted by 
several commenters on the May 2016 proposal for this rule, the final 
2010 network design was described as a near-road network that would 
provide ``. . . data from a geographically and spatially diverse set of 
CBSAs that supports the intent of the revised NAAQS . . .'' (75 FR 
6508).
    Subsequent to the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the EPA has 
received and evaluated data from near-road NO2 monitors 
installed in response to the requirements of the rule. As of November 
2016, there are 69 operating near-road NO2 sites, with an 
ever increasing data record. Due to the establishment and operation of 
these near-road NO2 monitors, the EPA and the public now 
have a significantly better understanding of what ambient, near-road 
concentrations look like across a geographically diverse set of urban 
areas of differing population sizes, including several CBSAs with 
populations under 1,000,000 persons, than we did in 2010. It is the 
evaluation of these new data, not a change in the EPA's view that the 
near-road network reflects areas of peak NO2 concentration, 
which led to the EPA's conclusion that the requirement to operate 
additional near-road NO2 sites required by Phase 3 of the 
network is no longer necessary to provide adequate characterization on 
a national basis. These new data, which were not available during the 
2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking provide the EPA with a different 
and improved understanding of near-road NO2 concentrations 
compared to the time when the network was originally required. In 
particular, these new data show that NO2 concentrations from 
sites adjacent to some of the nation's highest trafficked roads in the 
most populated CBSAs (i.e., expected maximum concentrations sites in 
the near-road environment) are not exceeding or even threatening to 
approach the level of the NAAQS. It is, therefore, evident that the 
degree of geographic and spatial diversity required of the near-road 
network is less than originally thought. Accordingly, the agency 
believes it is appropriate to reconsider the necessity of Phase 3 of 
the near-road NO2 network by leveraging empirical evidence 
and targeted assessments and analyses of available near-road 
NO2 network information, as explained in more detail in the 
docket memo associated with this action.
    The second issue raised by the Environmental Groups and Public 
Health Organizations was in regard to the network design and physical 
characteristics of the existing near-road NO2 network. The 
Public Health Organizations stated that ``limiting the required 
monitoring to only one or two locations in cities with millions of 
people severely limits the information available on near-road exposure 
in metropolitan areas.'' The Environmental Groups stated that ``the 
information relied upon by EPA does not show that the near-road 
monitors installed to date have been located to detect maximum 
[NO2] levels.'' Finally, the Public Health Organizations 
also stated that ``new research examining the early results of some of 
these near-road monitors warn that the assumptions made in the initial 
siting decisions may not adequately reflect the wors[t] sources of 
highway emissions, even in major urban areas like Los Angeles.''
    With regard to the Public Health Organizations' comment that the 
amount of near-road monitoring in a given urban area is limited, the 
EPA disagrees that additional monitors are needed. The network design 
targets expected maximum concentrations in the near-road environment. 
In the 2010 NO2 NAAQS rulemaking, the near-road 
NO2 network was required to be installed with consideration 
of six key factors: AADT, fleet mix, congestion patterns, roadway 
design, terrain, and meteorology. These factors varied by CBSA, where 
quantitative data was variable in availability and quality. The 
consideration of these six factors was required so that near-road 
monitors would be placed at locations in near-road environments where 
peak NO2 concentrations, derived from on-road mobile 
sources, would be most likely to be observed within that CBSA. Because 
of this specific objective of the network, the need for multiple other 
near-road monitoring sites, above what is already required within a 
given CBSA to ascertain compliance with the NAAQS, is minimized.
    The EPA strongly disagrees with the assertion that the near-road 
monitors installed to date have not been located to detect maximum 
NO2 levels. The agency handled this issue through siting 
requirements in the CFR and through additional support via the 
production of the TAD. The TAD was created through collaboration 
amongst multiple offices across the agency, state and local air quality 
management agencies, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and several 
state departments of transportation. Further, the TAD was reviewed by 
the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee's Air Monitoring and 
Methods Subcommittee. The state and local air agencies' adherence to 
the siting requirements in the CFR and their use of the TAD is 
evidenced by meta-data presented and discussed in the proposal and the 
associated docket memo. As a result of the diligence of state and local 
air agencies, and the support and oversight of the agency, the near-
road network meets all siting requirements and the selection of sites 
for the current near-road network was carried out with a high degree of 
success. For example, as was noted in the proposal, 55 percent of the 
near-road sites are adjacent to one of the top five highest trafficked 
road segments in their respective CBSA, 71 percent are adjacent to one 
of the top 10 most highly trafficked roads, and 91 percent are adjacent 
to one of the top 25 most highly trafficked roads. As there are 
thousands of road segments within each CBSA, this means that virtually 
all near-road monitors are adjacent to one of the most heavily 
trafficked roads within their respective CBSAs. And, as noted in the 
EPA's analysis of the existing near-road monitoring data, if the

[[Page 96385]]

measure of traffic is adjusted for the fleet mix to account for higher 
oxides of nitrogen (NOX) emissions from heavy-duty diesel 
vehicles, an even greater percentage of near-road monitors are adjacent 
to the road segments where NO2 exposure is expected to be 
highest. Moreover, traffic volume was just one criterion out of a 
number of factors, plus logistical limitations, that all had bearing on 
site selection. These data, along with all the other data presented in 
the proposal and the docket memo, are indicative of a successful 
network deployment.
    The EPA notes that in general, ambient monitor placement is a 
balancing act of knowing where an ideal monitoring location might be 
versus the reality of actually being able to place and operate a 
monitor in a particular location. This concept applies to all ambient 
monitoring endeavors, as the physical process of siting a monitor is 
subject to a myriad of logistical influences including, but not limited 
to: Permissions for access; physical limitations on site placement 
including the immediate terrain, topography, or the roadway design of a 
target road in the specific case of near-road monitoring; safety 
considerations, which are particularly important and evident in near-
road siting situations; and utilities availability. Considering the 
factors and influences involved in the near-road siting process and the 
known characteristics of the network, the EPA strongly asserts that the 
network is appropriately deployed and situated to provide measurements 
that are a good representation of maximum near-road NO2 
concentrations that exist in a given CBSA, evidenced by meta-data 
presented and discussed in both the proposal and the docket memo.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ In addition to the requirements for near-road monitors in 
state monitoring plans, the regulations also require the EPA 
Regional Administrators to identify locations for at least 40 
additional NO2 monitoring stations nationwide beyond the 
minimum monitoring requirements for each state, with the primary 
focus on siting these additional monitors in locations to protect 
susceptible and vulnerable populations. Moreover, even beyond that 
requirement, each Regional Administrator has the discretion to 
require additional monitors in any area. 40 CFR part 58, appendix D, 
section 4.3.4(a) and (b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In response to the Public Health Organizations' statement that 
``new research examining the early results of some of these near-road 
monitors warn that the assumptions made in the initial siting decisions 
may not adequately reflect the wors[t] sources of highway emissions, 
even in major urban areas like Los Angeles,'' the EPA would first like 
to point out that the research conducted for the referenced journal 
article did not utilize any data from the near-road NO2 
network, nor did it directly measure NO2 during their on-
road experiments. The data behind the referenced multi-pollutant 
research study were collected as part of an on-road mobile source 
emissions study primarily focused on improving understanding of the 
variability and influences on fleet-wide emissions via alternative 
methods of calculating emission factors. As such, the study does not 
indicate that information utilized in network siting decisions may not 
adequately reflect the worst sources of highway emissions. In fact, it 
does not even address near-road monitoring data from monitors installed 
to measure NO2 levels. Instead, the EPA believes the study 
reinforces the fact that the required consideration of a number of 
previously mentioned factors including traffic volume and fleet mix, 
which were important to the cited literature, were appropriate and 
critical to the near-road site selection process.
    The third issue raised was the claim that empirical data relied on 
in the proposal were too limited. To initiate their argument, the 
Environmental Groups stated that the ``. . . EPA has virtually no 
emissions data for CBSAs with populations under 1 million, so EPA's 
claim that `higher populated CBSAs,' i.e., CBSAs over 1 million people, 
will have `higher mobile source emissions' is unfounded.''
    In response, the EPA notes that data presented and reviewed in the 
docket memo clearly show otherwise. The emissions data used in the 
docket memo analysis came from the 2011 National Emissions Inventory 
(NEI). The NEI mobile source data come from the EPA's Motor Vehicle 
Emissions Simulator (MOVES), which aggregates mobile source emissions 
data from the county level across the entire country. Therefore, the 
commenter's statement that the EPA has ``virtually no emissions data'' 
from CBSAs with populations less than 1 million persons, and their 
subsequent argument, is incorrect. Still regarding emissions data and 
analysis, later in their arguments the Environmental Groups state that 
``. . . NOX emissions coming from on-road mobile sources in 
areas with 1 and 2.5 million persons is nearly the same in areas with 
500,000 to 1 million people,'' suggesting that NOX emissions 
are nearly the same in the smaller populated CBSAs as they are in the 
larger ones, with a difference of only 3.2 percentage points. In the 
docket memo, the EPA presents NOX emissions inventory data, 
broken down by the categories of on-road mobile, non-road mobile, and 
all non-mobile source categories. These data are subsequently sorted 
into bins based on CBSA populations corresponding to the three phases 
by which the near-road network has been installed, plus a bin for all 
CBSAs with populations having less than 500,000 persons. The 
Environmental Group's comments are focused on the modest difference in 
percent contribution of on-road mobile sources to the total 
NOX emissions between the 500,000 to 1 million person CBSA 
bin (48.1 percent) and the larger CBSA bins (51.3 percent for CBSAs 
having between 1 million and 2.5 million persons and 55.3 percent for 
CBSAs having 2.5 million or more persons). However, the differences 
between these CBSA groups are significant when considering the actual 
amount of NOX in tons per year (tpy). The collective of 
CBSAs having 500,000 to 1 million persons have a NOX 
emissions profile where 48.1 percent of a total of 950,000 tpy are 
attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 456,950 tpy). Meanwhile, 
the collective of CBSAs having 1 million to 2.5 million persons have a 
NOX emissions profile where 51.3 percent of 2,000,000 tpy 
are attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 1,026,000 tpy) and 
the collective of CBSAs having 2.5 million persons or more have a 
NOX emissions profile where 55.3 percent of 7,500,000 tpy 
are attributable to on-road mobile sources (i.e., 4,147,500 tpy). It is 
clear by these data, and the analysis provided in the docket memo, that 
the larger CBSAs do in fact have much more on-road mobile source 
emissions than CBSAs with less than 1 million persons. Specifically, 
CBSAs with over 2.5 million persons have approximately 9 times more on-
road mobile source NOX emissions in tpy than CBSAs with 
populations between 500,000 and 1 million, while the CBSAs with 
populations between 1 million and 2.5 million have 2.2 times more. 
These data support the conclusion that the larger populated CBSAs have 
greater potential for exposure due to marked increases in coincidence 
between emissions and population. See Docket Memo at pp. 9-11.
    Concluding the Public Health Organizations' and Environmental 
Groups' arguments, they commented that the EPA relied on monitored 
near-road NO2 data from too few sites, particularly from 
CBSAs with less than 1 million persons, to substantiate the proposed 
rulemaking. The Public Health Organizations stated that ``. . . even if 
the preliminary data indicated compliance with the standards, the 
sparse number [of monitoring sites]

[[Page 96386]]

leaves open many questions. . . .'' The Environmental Groups argued 
that only having near-road NO2 data from two CBSAs with 
populations under 1 million persons (Boise, Idaho and Des Moines, 
Iowa), ``. . . are not sufficient data from which to conclude that any 
kind of trend exists or to make any prediction about what one-hour 
NO2 concentrations are likely to be reported in CBSAs with 
populations between 500,000 and 1 million; Boise and Des Moines alone 
are unlikely to be representative of all other CBSAs in this 
category.'' The Environmental Groups go on to discuss an analysis of 
the available near-road data and state that variability in the 
collected data, particularly for the 98th percentile 1-hour daily 
maximum values (1-hour values), makes ``. . . it exceedingly hard to 
predict whether an individual CBSA in either group [of different CBSA 
population sizes] would be likely to report high or low near-road 
NO2 concentrations based on its population alone,'' and 
ultimately that ``. . . EPA's own data show that less-populated areas 
are not significantly less likely to have high near-road NO2 
concentrations (98th percentile one-hour daily max).''
    Because Phases 1 and 2 of the network have nearly been fully 
deployed, there are sufficient data to analyze and to support a 
conclusion that the first two phases of the near-road monitoring 
network are sufficient to protect against risks associated with 
exposures to peak concentrations of NO2. Regarding the 
length of the data record, we must consider the fact that the agency 
has multiple years of complete data that have already been used to 
judge compliance against the annual standard. Between 2013 and 2015, 
there were 69 annual design value data points across 39 different CBSAs 
(some with two near-road sites) available for analysis and comparison 
to the NAAQS. Further, regarding hourly data during the same (2013-
2015) time period, there were a similar number of 98th percentile 1-
hour daily maximum concentration values available for review. There 
were four sites in four separate CBSAs (Boise, ID; Des Moines, IA; 
Detroit, MI; and St. Louis, MO) with 3 years' worth of complete data 
that allowed the calculation of design values for the hourly standard. 
Although the remaining sites did not have enough data for the hourly 
design value calculation, the available data still provided evidence of 
what hourly near-road NO2 concentrations look like across 1 
or 2 years. All those data represent significant spatial representation 
nationally and across CBSAs of various population sizes, and were 
presented and discussed in the docket memo. (See Docket Memo, Figures 
9, 10, and 11.) The data were ample enough to detect patterns and 
trends that provide an indication of whether or not near-road 
concentrations are threatening the NAAQS. Those indications, coupled 
with the understanding of NOx emissions and anticipated future 
emissions profiles, provided a strong basis for the proposal. We 
disagree that there are insufficient data on which to base our 
conclusions regarding the sufficiency of the near-road network. 
Commenters assert that the EPA has ``virtually no emissions data'' for 
CBSAs with populations under 1 million, which may have been intended to 
mean that the EPA has virtually no near-road NO2 air quality 
data for CBSAs with populations under 1 million. This is incorrect. As 
explained in the docket memo, EPA has complete data for a full year 
from two sites, one in Boise and one in Des Moines. The commenters did 
not provide any explanation to support their comment that there are not 
enough data.
    Regarding specific comments on variability of some of the data, 
particularly in the hourly data across different near-road sites in 
different CBSAs across a range of population sizes, the EPA notes that 
such variability is to be expected in more highly time-resolved data. 
Further, as explained above, each near-road site is influenced by a 
number of factors, which all can contribute to inter-site variability. 
The Environmental Groups believe that the Boise and Des Moines CBSAs 
would not likely be representative of all other CBSAs of the same CBSA 
size class, without explanation. The EPA notes that no single CBSA is 
expected to be totally representative of any other individual CBSA. 
However, as presented in the proposal and the docket memo, despite the 
expected variability, there are relationships within the data that are 
evident when analyzing emissions, traffic data, measured concentration 
data, and CBSA populations. Particularly, higher populated CBSAs 
correspondingly have more vehicles, which in turn increases the 
availability of mobile source derived emissions that lead to increased 
opportunity for higher NO2 concentrations, particularly in 
the near-road environment. It is these relationships that lend to the 
concept that higher near-road NO2 concentrations are 
expected in more heavily populated CBSAs as compared to those with 
lesser populations.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ The commenters claim that the variability makes it difficult 
to predict NO2 levels in a particular CBSA based on 
population alone, pointing to 2015 data showing one-hour 
concentrations in certain CBSAs with population between 1 million 
and 2.5 million that were higher than concentrations in some CBSAs 
with more than 2.5 million people. While NO2 levels can 
vary from hour-to-hour, the EPA notes that the levels commenters 
refer to are all well below the level of the NO2 NAAQS. 
(e.g., the 98th percentile level in Providence, RI, is 67.4 ppb, 
which is well below the one-hour NAAQS of 100 ppb). See Docket Memo, 
Figure 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is also critical to conduct an analysis of the available near-
road data. The analysis of all these data, which include data from the 
most heavily populated CBSAs and two CBSAs having populations between 
500,000 and 1 million persons, reveals that there are no design values 
for either the annual or hourly NAAQS, or even a single 98th percentile 
1-hour daily maximum value, that are approaching or exceeding the 
NAAQS. The highest recorded values throughout the 2013-2015 time 
period, analyzed and presented in the docket memo, were an annual 
average of 27 ppb in Los Angeles and an 98th percentile 1-hour value of 
72 ppb from an incomplete year of data in New York City. In comparison, 
the NO2 annual standard level is 53 ppb and the 98th 
percentile 1-hour daily maximum standard level averaged over 3 years is 
100 ppb. The fact that no data collected to date have exceeded or are 
threatening to the NAAQS is paramount to the reasoning behind the 
approach to revise network requirements. There are no compelling 
concentration data or meta-data that indicate that the smaller CBSAs 
would be expected to have near-road NO2 concentrations at or 
above those measured in more heavily populated CBSAs that have sites 
proximate to more heavily trafficked roads.
    Further, the EPA expects a continuation in the reduction of on-road 
mobile source emissions on a per vehicle basis as a result of the 
implementation of mobile source standards such as the Tier 3 engine and 
fuel standards, which was echoed in the public comments. These 
continuing emission reductions should reduce the amount of measured 
NO2 in the near-road environment, although other factors 
such as changes in traffic volume can impact those reductions.
    Finally, the EPA notes that EPA Regional Administrators have the 
authority to work with state and local air monitoring agencies to 
require monitoring above the minimum requirements as needed to address 
a

[[Page 96387]]

situation where near-road NO2 concentrations are suspected 
to be approaching or exceeding the NAAQS. Accordingly, near-road 
monitoring could subsequently be required in smaller CBSAs should 
circumstances indicate the need to provide additional characterization 
beyond the monitoring provided by Phases 1 and 2 of the network. This 
Regional Administrator authority serves as an effective backstop 
against any unusual situation that could occur where monitoring might 
be warranted in an area that is not subject to minimum monitoring 
requirements.
    Other comments received were outside the scope of this rule and not 
discussed in this preamble.

IV. Conclusion and Final Action

    An analysis of available near-road NO2 monitoring data 
indicates that air quality levels in the near-road environment are well 
below the NO2 NAAQS. Based on the analysis of available 
concentration data, as well as related emissions, traffic, and network 
metadata, the EPA anticipates that measured near-road NO2 
concentrations in relatively smaller CBSAs (i.e., CBSAs with 
populations less than 1,000,000 persons) would exhibit similar, and 
more likely, lower concentrations, than what is being measured at 
existing near-road NO2 sites in larger urban areas. In 
consideration of the data presented and reviewed in the proposal and 
the public comments received on the proposal, the EPA is finalizing, as 
proposed, the removal of monitoring requirements for near-road 
NO2 monitors in CBSAs having populations between 500,000 and 
1,000,000 persons, also known as Phase 3 of the near-road 
NO2 network. The agency is also finalizing, as proposed, the 
removal of the requirement for a second near-road NO2 
monitor in any CBSA having 500,000 or more persons that also had one or 
more road segments with 250,000 or greater AADT counts. The revised 
requirement for a second near-road NO2 monitor will only 
apply to CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons with a road segment of 
250,000 or greater AADT counts.

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was, 
therefore, not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under 
the PRA. The final revisions do not add any information collection 
requirements beyond those imposed by the existing NO2 
monitoring requirements.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In 
making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant 
adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no 
net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small 
entities subject to the rule. This action will remove a sub-set of the 
current air monitoring requirements and, therefore, relieve state and 
local air monitoring agencies from having to provide evidence of 
compliance with the NO2 NAAQS in the near-road environment 
in CBSAs with less than 1,000,000 persons. We have, therefore, 
concluded that this action will relieve regulatory burden for all 
directly regulated small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or 
more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This action imposes 
no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the 
private sector. This action will reduce the number of required near-
road NO2 monitors to be operated by state and local air 
monitoring agencies.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. This final rule imposes no requirements on 
tribal governments. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this 
action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets EO 13045 as applying only to those regulatory 
actions that concern environmental health or safety risks that the EPA 
has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, per the 
definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in section 2-202 of the 
Executive Order. This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 
because it does not concern an environmental health risk or safety 
risk.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This action does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed 
by this action will not have potential disproportionately high and 
adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income 
or indigenous populations. The results of the network and data 
evaluation are contained in the Near-road NO2 Network and 
Data Analysis docket memo, which provides a review and analysis of the 
characteristics of the existing near-road NO2 monitoring 
network and the relationships between NO2 emissions, 
population, traffic, and NO2 concentration data. Further, 
this rule does not modify the existing requirements for near-road 
monitors required in CBSAs having 1,000,000 or more persons, area-wide 
NO2 monitors, or monitoring of NO2 in areas with 
susceptible and vulnerable populations.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and 
the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of Congress and to the 
Comptroller General of the United States. This action is not a ``major 
rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 58

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure,

[[Page 96388]]

Air pollution control, Intergovernmental relations.

    Dated: December 22, 2016.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Environmental 
Protection Agency is amending title 40, chapter I of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 58--AMBIENT AIR QUALITY SURVEILLANCE

0
1. The authority citation for part 58 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7403, 7405, 7410, 7414, 7601, 7611, 7614, 
and 7619.


0
2. Amend Sec.  58.10 by revising paragraph (a)(5)(iv) and removing 
paragraph (a)(5)(v) to read as follows:


Sec.  58.10   Annual monitoring network plan and periodic network 
assessment.

    (a) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (iv) A plan for establishing a second near-road NO2 
monitor in any CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 persons or more, or 
a second monitor in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more 
persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater 
AADT counts, in accordance with the requirements of appendix D, section 
4.3.2 to this part, shall be submitted as part of the Annual Monitoring 
Network Plan to the EPA Regional Administrator by July 1, 2014. The 
plan shall provide for these required monitors to be operational by 
January 1, 2015.
* * * * *

0
3. Amend Sec.  58.13 by revising paragraph (c)(4) and removing 
paragraph (c)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  58.13  Monitoring network completion.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (4) January 1, 2015, for a second near-road NO2 monitor 
in CBSAs that have a population of 2,500,000 or more persons or a 
second monitor in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more 
persons that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater 
AADT counts that is required in appendix D, section 4.3.2.
* * * * *

0
4. Appendix D to part 58 is amended by revising section 4.3.2 to read 
as follows:

Appendix D to Part 58--Network Design Criteria for Ambient Air Quality 
Monitoring

* * * * *

4.3.2 Requirement for Near-road NO2 Monitors

    (a) Within the NO2 network, there must be one 
microscale near-road NO2 monitoring station in each CBSA 
with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons to monitor a location 
of expected maximum hourly concentrations sited near a major road 
with high AADT counts as specified in paragraph 4.3.2(a)(1) of this 
appendix. An additional near-road NO2 monitoring station 
is required for any CBSA with a population of 2,500,000 persons or 
more, or in any CBSA with a population of 1,000,000 or more persons 
that has one or more roadway segments with 250,000 or greater AADT 
counts to monitor a second location of expected maximum hourly 
concentrations. CBSA populations shall be based on the latest 
available census figures.
    (1) The near-road NO2 monitoring sites shall be 
selected by ranking all road segments within a CBSA by AADT and then 
identifying a location or locations adjacent to those highest ranked 
road segments, considering fleet mix, roadway design, congestion 
patterns, terrain, and meteorology, where maximum hourly 
NO2 concentrations are expected to occur and siting 
criteria can be met in accordance with appendix E of this part. 
Where a state or local air monitoring agency identifies multiple 
acceptable candidate sites where maximum hourly NO2 
concentrations are expected to occur, the monitoring agency shall 
consider the potential for population exposure in the criteria 
utilized to select the final site location. Where one CBSA is 
required to have two near-road NO2 monitoring stations, 
the sites shall be differentiated from each other by one or more of 
the following factors: fleet mix; congestion patterns; terrain; 
geographic area within the CBSA; or different route, interstate, or 
freeway designation.
    (b) Measurements at required near-road NO2 monitor 
sites utilizing chemiluminescence FRMs must include at a minimum: 
NO, NO2, and NOX.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2016-31645 Filed 12-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P