Additional Air Quality Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards-San Antonio, Texas Area, 35136-35141 [2018-15919]

Download as PDF 35136 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 10. Add table 2 to subpart LLL of part 63 to read as follows: ■ TABLE 2 TO SUBPART LLL OF PART 63—1989 TOXIC EQUIVALENCY FACTORS (TEFS) Dioxins/Furans TEFs 1989 2,3,7,8–TCDD ....................... 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDD .................. 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDD ............... 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDD ............... 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDD ............... 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDD ............ OCDD ................................... 2,3,7,8–TCDF ....................... 1,2,3,7,8-PeCDF ................... 2,3,4,7,8-PeCDF ................... 1,2,3,4,7,8-HxCDF ................ 1,2,3,6,7,8-HxCDF ................ 1,2,3,7,8,9-HxCDF ................ 2,3,4,6,7,8-HxCDF ................ 1,2,3,4,6,7,8-HpCDF ............. 1,2,3,4,7,8,9-HpCDF ............. OCDF .................................... 1 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.01 0.001 0.1 0.05 0.5 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.01 0.01 0.001 [FR Doc. 2018–15718 Filed 7–24–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 81 [EPA–HQ–OAR–2017–0548; FRL–9981–17– OAR] RIN 2060–AU13 Additional Air Quality Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards—San Antonio, Texas Area Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is establishing initial air quality designations for the eight counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) for the 2015 primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone. The EPA is designating Bexar County as the San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area and the remaining seven counties as attainment/unclassifiable areas. The San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area is also being classified as Marginal by operation of law according to the severity of its air quality problem. Of the five classification categories, Marginal nonattainment areas have ozone levels that are closest to the ozone NAAQS at the time of designation. This action completes the initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The EPA designated all other areas of the country daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 for the 2015 ozone NAAQS in actions signed by the Administrator on November 6, 2017, and April 30, 2018. DATES: The effective date of this rule is September 24, 2018. ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2017–0548. All documents in the docket are listed in the index at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically in the docket or in hard copy at the EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the Office of Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566–1742. In addition, the EPA has established a website for rulemakings for the initial area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS at https://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations. The website includes the EPA’s final designations, as well as designation recommendation letters from states and tribes, the EPA’s 120letters notifying the states whether the EPA intends to modify the state’s recommendation, technical support documents, responses to comments and other related technical information. The public may also inspect this rule and state-specific technical support information in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202–2733. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Scott, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code C539–01, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, phone number (919) 541– 4280, email: scott.denise@epa.gov or Carrie Paige, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, Mail Code: 6MM–AB, 445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX 75202, telephone (214) 665–6521, email: paige.carrie@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents The following is an outline of the preamble. I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 II. What is the purpose of this action? III. What is ozone and how is it formed? IV. What are the 2015 ozone NAAQS and the health and welfare concerns they address? V. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations? VI. What is the chronology for this designations rule and what guidance did the EPA provide? VII. What air quality data has the EPA used to designate the counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA for the 2015 ozone NAAQS? VIII. What are the ozone air quality classifications? IX. Where can I find information forming the basis for this rule and exchanges between the EPA and the state? X. Environmental Justice Concerns XI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks I. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution or Use J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations L. Congressional Review Act (CRA) M. Judicial Review I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms The following are abbreviations of terms used in the preamble. APA Administrative Procedure Act CAA Clean Air Act CFR Code of Federal Regulations CBSA Core Based Statistical Area DC District of Columbia EPA Environmental Protection Agency FR Federal Register NAAQS National Ambient Air Quality Standards NOX Nitrogen Oxides NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act PPM Parts per million RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act UMRA Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 TAR Tribal Authority Rule U.S. United States U.S.C. United States Code VOC Volatile Organic Compounds E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM 25JYR1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations II. What is the purpose of this action? The purpose of this action is to announce and promulgate initial area designations for the eight counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA with respect to the 2015 primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone, in accordance with the requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) section 107(d). The EPA is designating Bexar County as the San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area and the remaining seven counties as attainment/unclassifiable areas. With this designation action, the EPA has completed the initial designations for all areas of the country for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. In addition, this action announces the classification for the San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area as Marginal. The classification occurs by operation of law at the time of designation based on the severity of the area’s ozone air quality problem. The classification categories are Marginal, Moderate, Serious, Severe and Extreme. The EPA established the air quality thresholds that define the classifications in a separate rule titled, ‘‘Implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Nonattainment Area Classifications Approach’’ (Classifications Rule) (83 FR 10376; March 9, 2018). The list of the areas being designated in this action appears in the regulatory table for Texas included at the end of this final rule. This table, which will amend 40 CFR part 81, identifies the designation for each area and the classification for the nonattainment area. The EPA is basing the designations on the most recent 3 years of certified ozone air quality monitoring data (2015–2017) and on an evaluation of factors to assess contributions to nonattainment in nearby areas. State areas designated as nonattainment are subject to planning and emission reduction requirements as specified in CAA part D. Requirements vary according to an area’s classification. On November 17, 2016, the EPA proposed an implementation rule for the 2015 ozone NAAQS (81 FR 81276). The EPA anticipates issuing the final implementation rule in 2018. This final implementation rule, along with additional forthcoming tools and guidance documents related to provisions for regulatory relief to address background and international ozone concentrations, should help nonattainment areas to address these emissions in state plans. In particular, the EPA recognizes that the information provided by Texas regarding likely VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 future ozone trends and the role of international transport may provide an avenue to help the state demonstrate this area attains the 2015 ozone NAAQS by the attainment date or is otherwise entitled to regulatory relief. III. What is ozone and how is it formed? Ground-level ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. These precursor emissions are emitted by many types of pollution sources, including power plants and industrial emissions sources, on-road and off-road motor vehicles and engines and smaller sources, collectively referred to as area sources. Ozone is predominately a summertime air pollutant. However, high ozone concentrations have also been observed in cold months, where a few areas in the western United States (U.S.) have experienced high levels of local VOC and NOX emissions that have formed ozone when snow is on the ground and temperatures are near or below freezing. Ozone and ozone precursors can be transported to an area from sources in nearby areas or from sources located hundreds of miles away. For purposes of determining ozone nonattainment area boundaries, the CAA requires the EPA to include areas that contribute to nearby violations of the NAAQS. IV. What are the 2015 ozone NAAQS and the health and welfare concerns they address? On October 1, 2015, the EPA revised both the primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone to a level of 0.070 parts per million (ppm) (annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration, averaged over 3 years).1 The level of both the primary and secondary ozone NAAQS previously set in 2008 is 0.075 ppm. The 2015 ozone NAAQS retain the same general form and averaging time as the 2008 ozone NAAQS. The primary ozone standards provide protection for children, older adults, people with asthma or other lung diseases and other at-risk populations against an array of adverse health effects that include reduced lung function, increased respiratory symptoms and pulmonary inflammation; effects that contribute to emergency department visits or hospital admissions; and mortality. The secondary ozone standards protect against adverse effects 1 See 80 FR 65296; October 26, 2015, for a detailed explanation of the calculation of the 3-year 8-hour average and 40 CFR part 50, Appendix U. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 35137 to the public welfare, including those related to impacts on sensitive vegetation and forested ecosystems. V. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations? When the EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the EPA is required to designate all areas in the country as nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable, pursuant to section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. Section 107(d)(1)(A)(i) of the CAA defines a nonattainment area as, ‘‘any area that does not meet (or that contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for the pollutant.’’ If an area meets either prong of this definition, states should recommend and the EPA is obligated to designate the area as ‘‘nonattainment.’’ CAA section 107(d)(1)(A)(ii) defines an attainment area as any area that does not meet the definition of nonattainment and that meets the NAAQS. CAA section 107(d)(1)(A)(iii) provides that any area that the EPA cannot designate on the basis of available information as meeting or not meeting the standards should be designated as ‘‘unclassifiable.’’ Historically for ozone, the EPA has designated most areas that do not meet the definition of nonattainment as ‘‘unclassifiable/ attainment.’’ This category includes areas that have air quality monitoring data meeting the NAAQS and areas that do not have monitors but for which the EPA has no evidence that the areas may be violating the NAAQS or contributing to a nearby violation. In the designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS, the EPA has reversed the order of the label to be attainment/ unclassifiable to better convey the definition of the designation category and so that the category is more easily distinguished from the separate unclassifiable category. In a few instances, based on circumstances where some monitoring data are available but are not sufficient for a determination that an area is or is not attaining the NAAQS, the EPA has designated an area as ‘‘unclassifiable.’’ Section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA requires the EPA to issue initial area designations within 2 years of promulgating a new or revised NAAQS. However, if the Administrator has insufficient information to make these designations within that time frame, the EPA has the authority to extend the deadline for designation decisions by up to 1 additional year. By not later than 1 year after the promulgation of a new or revised E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM 25JYR1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES 35138 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations NAAQS, each state governor is required to recommend air quality designations, including the appropriate boundaries for areas, to the EPA. (See CAA section 107(d)(1)(A).) The EPA reviews those state recommendations and is authorized to make any modifications the Administrator deems necessary. The statute does not define the term ‘‘necessary,’’ but the EPA interprets this to authorize the Administrator to modify designation recommendations that are inconsistent with the statutory language, including modification of recommended boundaries for nonattainment areas that are not supported by the facts or analysis. If the EPA intends to modify a state’s recommendation, section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA requires the EPA to notify the state of any such intended modifications not less than 120 days prior to the EPA’s promulgation of the final designation. These notifications are commonly known as the ‘‘120-day letters.’’ If the state does not agree with the EPA’s intended modification, the 120-day period provides an opportunity for the state to demonstrate to the EPA why it believes any modification proposed by the EPA is inappropriate. If a state fails to provide any recommendation for an area, in whole or in part, the EPA must promulgate a designation that the Administrator deems appropriate. The terms ‘‘contributes to’’ and ‘‘nearby’’ in the definition of a nonattainment area are not defined in the statute and the EPA has discretion to interpret these ambiguous terms, based on considerations such as the nature of a specific pollutant, the types of sources that may contribute to violations, the form of the relevant NAAQS and any other relevant information. The EPA does not interpret the statute to require the agency to establish bright line tests or thresholds for what constitutes ‘‘contribution’’ or ‘‘nearby’’ for purposes of designations.2 Section 301(d) of the CAA authorizes the EPA to approve eligible Indian tribes to implement provisions of the CAA on Indian reservations and other areas within the tribes’ jurisdiction. The Tribal Authority Rule (TAR) (40 CFR part 49), which implements section 301(d) of the CAA, sets forth the criteria and process for tribes to apply to the EPA for eligibility to administer CAA programs. The designations process contained in section 107(d) of the CAA is included among those provisions determined to be appropriate by the EPA for treatment of tribes in the same manner as states. Under the TAR, tribes 2 This view was confirmed in Catawba County v. EPA, 571 F.3d 20 (D.C. Cir. 2009). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 generally are not subject to the same submission schedules imposed by the CAA on states. As authorized by the TAR, tribes may seek eligibility to submit designation recommendations to the EPA. VI. What is the chronology for this designations rule and what guidance did the EPA provide? On February 25, 2016, the EPA issued guidance for states and tribal agencies to use for purposes of making designation recommendations as required by CAA section 107(d)(1)(A). (See February 25, 2016, memorandum from Janet G. McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, to Regional Administrators, Regions 1–10, titled, ‘‘Area Designations for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards’’ (Designations Guidance)). The Designations Guidance provided the anticipated timeline for designations and identified important factors that the EPA recommended states and tribes consider in making their recommendations and that the EPA intended to consider in promulgating designations. These factors include air quality data, emissions and emissionsrelated data, meteorological data, geography/topography and jurisdictional boundaries. In the Designations Guidance, the EPA asked that states and tribes submit their designation recommendations, including appropriate area boundaries, to the EPA by October 1, 2016.3 In the guidance, the EPA indicated the agency expected to complete the initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on a 2-year schedule, by October 1, 2017, consistent with CAA 107(d)(1)(B)(i). On November 6, 2017, the EPA designated about 85 percent of the counties in the U.S., including tribal lands within those counties.4 Consistent 3 The EPA previously issued two guidance memoranda related to designating areas of Indian country that also apply for designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. (See December 20, 2011, memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to Regional Air Directors, Regions I–X, titled, ‘‘Policy for Establishing Separate Air Quality Designations for Areas of Indian Country’’ and December 20, 2011, memorandum from Stephen D. Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to Regional Air Directors, Regions I–X, titled, ‘‘Guidance to Regions for Working with Tribes during the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) Designations Process.’’) 4 Although the EPA commonly uses the term ‘‘counties’’ when speaking of designations, we note that the reference to ‘‘counties’’ also includes noncounty administrative or statistical areas that are comparable to counties. For example, Louisiana parishes; the organized boroughs of Alaska; the District of Columbia and the independent cities of the states of Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 with the EPA’s Tribal Designation Guidance, the EPA designated two areas of Indian country as separate areas. On December 4, 2017, a coalition of environmental and health organizations filed suit against the EPA claiming that the EPA failed to meet its mandatory obligation to designate all areas of the U.S. for the 2015 ozone NAAQS by October 1, 2017. American Lung Association, et al v. Pruitt (N.D. Cal. No. 4:17–cv–06900). A coalition of 15 states also filed a similar suit on December 5, 2017. State of California v. Pruitt (N.D. Cal. No. 4:17–cv–06936). In a March 12, 2018, order, the court granted the motions in part and ordered the EPA ‘‘to promulgate final designations for all areas of the country except for the eight undesignated counties composing the San Antonio area no later than April 30, 2018’’ and ‘‘to promulgate final designations for the San Antonio area no later than 127 days from the date of this order.’’ Thus, the designation deadline for the San Antonio area was set to July 17, 2018. On March 19, 2018, the EPA sent a 120-day letter to the Governor of Texas notifying the state of the EPA’s preliminary response to the state’s recommendations for the eight counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA. The EPA requested that Texas submit by May 11, 2018, any additional information the state wanted the EPA to consider in making final designation decisions for the area. Although not required by section 107(d)(2)(B) of the CAA, the EPA also provided a 30-day public comment period specific to this area (83 FR 13719; March 30, 2018). The comment period closed on April 30, 2018. On April 30, 2018, the EPA designated all remaining undesignated areas except the eight counties in the San Antonio area (83 FR 25776; June 4, 2018). This action designating the eight counties in the San Antonio area completes the initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The ADDRESSES section earlier in this preamble provides detail on where to find the information supporting this designation action and the prior two actions. VII. What air quality data has the EPA used to designate the counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA for the 2015 ozone NAAQS? The final ozone designations for the counties in the San Antonio-New Nevada are equivalent to counties for administrative purposes. In addition, Alaska’s Unorganized Borough is divided into 10 census areas that are statistically equivalent to counties. E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM 25JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Braunfels, Texas CBSA are based on air quality monitoring data from the 3 most recent years of certified data, which are 2015–2017. Under 40 CFR 58.16, states are required to report all monitored ozone air quality data and associated quality assurance data within 90 days after the end of each quarterly reporting period, and under 40 CFR part 58.15(a)(2) states are required to submit annual summary reports and a data certification letter to the EPA by May 1 for ozone air quality data collected in the previous calendar year. On March 19, 2018, when the EPA notified Texas of the EPA’s intended designations for the San Antonio area, the most recent certification obligation was for air quality data from 2016. On May 1, 2018, Texas submitted certified air quality monitoring data for 2017. The violating monitors for the 2015–2017 period are the same monitors that showed violations for the 2014–2016 period. VIII. What are the ozone air quality classifications? In accordance with CAA section 181(a)(1), each area designated as nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS is classified by operation of law at the same time as the area is designated by the EPA. Under subpart D of title I of the CAA, state planning and emissions control requirements for ozone are determined, in part, by a nonattainment area’s classification. The ozone nonattainment areas are classified based on the severity of their ozone levels (as determined based on the area’s ‘‘design value,’’ which represents air quality in the area for the most recent 3 years).5 35139 The five classification categories are Marginal, Moderate, Serious, Severe and Extreme. Nonattainment areas with a ‘‘lower’’ classification have ozone levels that are closer to the standard than areas with a ‘‘higher’’ classification. Areas in the lower classification levels have fewer and/or less stringent mandatory air quality planning and control requirements than those in higher classifications. On March 9, 2018 (83 FR 10376), the EPA published the Classifications Rule that establishes the ozone level threshold for each classification for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. Each nonattainment area’s design value, based on the most recent 3 years of certified air quality monitoring data, is used to establish the classification for the area. See Table 1. TABLE 1—CLASSIFICATION THRESHOLDS FOR THE 2015 OZONE NAAQS (0.070 ppm) 8-Hour ozone design value (ppm) a Nonattainment area classification Marginal ...................................................................................... Moderate ..................................................................................... Serious ........................................................................................ Severe-15 .................................................................................... Severe-17 .................................................................................... Extreme ....................................................................................... a b 0.071 0.081 0.081 0.093 0.093 0.105 0.105 0.111 0.111 0.163 0.163 parts per million. but not including. The most recent 3 years of certified air quality monitoring data for Bexar County, Texas are from the period 2015–2017. The ozone design value is 0.074 ppm. Therefore, in accordance with Table 1 above, the San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area is classified by operation of law as a Marginal area for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The regulatory table for Texas included at the end of this action provides the classification for the nonattainment area. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES from ............................................................................................ up to b ......................................................................................... from ............................................................................................ up to b ......................................................................................... from ............................................................................................ up to b ......................................................................................... from ............................................................................................ up to b ......................................................................................... from ............................................................................................ up to b ......................................................................................... equal to or above ....................................................................... the EPA Docket Center listed above in the addresses section of this document, and on the EPA’s ozone designation website at https://www.epa.gov/ozonedesignations. State-specific information is also available from the EPA Region 6 office at the address at the beginning of this Preamble. IX. Where can I find information forming the basis for this rule and exchanges between the EPA and the state? Information providing the basis for this action is provided in the docket for this rulemaking. The applicable EPA guidance memoranda and copies of correspondence regarding this process between the EPA and the state and other parties are also available for review at X. Environmental Justice Concerns When the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires the EPA to designate all areas of the U.S. as either nonattainment, attainment or unclassifiable. This final action addresses designation determinations for eight counties in Texas for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. Seven counties are being designated as attainment/unclassifiable and one county is being designated as nonattainment. In addition, the nonattainment area is being classified as Marginal according to the severity of its ozone air quality problem. Area designations address environmental 5 The air quality design value for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS is the 3-year average of the annual justice concerns by ensuring that the public is properly informed about the air quality in an area. In locations where air quality does not meet the NAAQS, the CAA requires relevant state authorities to initiate appropriate air quality management actions to ensure that all those residing, working, attending school or otherwise present in those areas are protected, regardless of minority and economic status. 4th highest daily maximum 8-hour average ozone concentration. See 40 CFR part 50, Appendix U. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 XI. 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 exempt from review by the Office of Management and Budget because it responds to the CAA requirement to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS. E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM 25JYR1 35140 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs This action is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action because actions such as air quality designations after promulgating a new revised NAAQS are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) This action does not impose an information collection burden under the PRA. This action fulfills the nondiscretionary duty for the EPA to promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS and does not contain any information collection activities. D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) This designation action under CAA section 107(d) is not subject to the RFA. The RFA applies only to rules subject to notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other statute. Section 107(d)(2)(B) of the CAA explicitly provides that designations are exempt from the notice-and-comment provisions of the APA. In addition, designations under CAA section 107(d) are not among the list of actions that are subject to the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements of CAA section 307(d). E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531–1538 and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES F. 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. The division of responsibility between the federal government and the states for purposes of implementing the NAAQS is established under the CAA. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments This action does not have tribal implications. It will neither impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. There are no tribes affected by this action. H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health and Safety Risks The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying 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 establish an environmental standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks. I. Executive Order 13211: Actions 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. J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) This rulemaking does not involve technical standards. K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority populations, lowincome populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). The documentation for this determination is contained in Section X of this preamble, ‘‘Environmental Justice Concerns.’’ L. Congressional Review Act (CRA) This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the U.S. This action is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 M. Judicial Review Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by September 24, 2018. Under section 307(b)(2) of the Act, the requirements of this final action may not be challenged later in civil or criminal proceedings for enforcement. List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81 Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas. Dated: July 17, 2018. Andrew R. Wheeler, Acting Administrator. For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 81 is amended as follows: PART 81—DESIGNATIONS OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES 1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401, et seq. Subpart C—Section 107 Attainment Status Designations 2. In § 81.344, the table titled ‘‘Texas—2015 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS (Primary and Secondary)’’ is amended by: ■ a. Adding an entry for San Antonio, TX before the entry for Rest of State; ■ b. Adding an entry for Atascosa County before the entry for Austin County; ■ c. Adding an entry for Bandera County before the entry for Bastrop County; ■ d. Adding an entry for Comal County before the entry for Comanche County; ■ e. Adding an entry for Guadalupe County before the entry for Hale County; ■ f. Adding an entry for Kendall County before the entry for Kenedy County; ■ g. Adding an entry for Medina County before the entry for Menard County; and ■ h. Adding an entry for Wilson County before the entry for Winkler County. The additions read as follows: ■ § 81.344 * E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM * Texas. * 25JYR1 * * 35141 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 143 / Wednesday, July 25, 2018 / Rules and Regulations TEXAS—2015 8-HOUR OZONE NAAQS [Primary and Secondary] Designation Classification Designated area 1 Date 2 * * * * San Antonio, TX ................................................................................................. Bexar County. * Rest of State: * * * 9/24/2018 * 9/24/2018 * * * * Bandera County .......................................................................................... 9/24/2018 * * * * Comal County ............................................................................................. 9/24/2018 * * * * Guadalupe County ...................................................................................... 9/24/2018 * * * * Kendall County ............................................................................................ 9/24/2018 * * * * Medina County ............................................................................................ 9/24/2018 * * * * Wilson County ............................................................................................. 9/24/2018 * * * * Nonattainment .. * * * * * Atascosa County ......................................................................................... * Date 2 Type 9/24/2018 Type * Marginal. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * Attainment/ Unclassifiable. * 1 Includes any Indian country in each county or area, unless otherwise specified. EPA is not determining the boundaries of any area of Indian country in this table, including any area of Indian country located in the larger designation area. The inclusion of any Indian country in the designation area is not a determination that the state has regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act for such Indian country. 2 This date is August 3, 2018, unless otherwise noted. 40 CFR Part 180 This regulation is effective July 25, 2018. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before September 24, 2018, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION). [EPA–HQ–OPP–2017–0226; FRL–9979–81] ADDRESSES: DATES: [FR Doc. 2018–15919 Filed 7–24–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Florasulam; Pesticide Tolerances Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with RULES AGENCY: This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of florasulam in or on teff forage, teff grain, teff hay, and teff straw. Interregional Research Project Number 4 (IR–4) requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:20 Jul 24, 2018 Jkt 244001 The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA–HQ–OPP–2017–0226, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460–0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Public Reading Room is (202) 566–1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305–5805. Please review the visitor instructions and additional information about the docket available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Goodis, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460–0001; main telephone number: (703) 305–7090; email address: RDFRNotices@epa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following E:\FR\FM\25JYR1.SGM 25JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 143 (Wednesday, July 25, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 35136-35141]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15919]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 81

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0548; FRL-9981-17-OAR]
RIN 2060-AU13


Additional Air Quality Designations for the 2015 Ozone National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards--San Antonio, Texas Area

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is establishing 
initial air quality designations for the eight counties in the San 
Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) for the 
2015 primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards 
(NAAQS) for ozone. The EPA is designating Bexar County as the San 
Antonio, Texas nonattainment area and the remaining seven counties as 
attainment/unclassifiable areas. The San Antonio, Texas nonattainment 
area is also being classified as Marginal by operation of law according 
to the severity of its air quality problem. Of the five classification 
categories, Marginal nonattainment areas have ozone levels that are 
closest to the ozone NAAQS at the time of designation. This action 
completes the initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The EPA 
designated all other areas of the country for the 2015 ozone NAAQS in 
actions signed by the Administrator on November 6, 2017, and April 30, 
2018.

DATES: The effective date of this rule is September 24, 2018.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0548. All documents in the docket are 
listed in the index at http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in 
the index, some information is not publicly available, i.e., 
Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure 
is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted 
material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available 
only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials are 
available either electronically in the docket or in hard copy at the 
EPA Docket Center, EPA WJC West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Avenue NW, Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 
a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the 
telephone number for the Office of Air and Radiation Docket and 
Information Center is (202) 566-1742.
    In addition, the EPA has established a website for rulemakings for 
the initial area designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS at https://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations. The website includes the EPA's final 
designations, as well as designation recommendation letters from states 
and tribes, the EPA's 120-letters notifying the states whether the EPA 
intends to modify the state's recommendation, technical support 
documents, responses to comments and other related technical 
information.
    The public may also inspect this rule and state-specific technical 
support information in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, 
Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denise Scott, Office of Air Quality 
Planning and Standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 
C539-01, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, phone number (919) 541-4280, 
email: [email protected] or Carrie Paige, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, Region 6, Mail Code: 6MM-AB, 445 Ross Avenue, 
Dallas, TX 75202, telephone (214) 665-6521, email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

    The following is an outline of the preamble.

I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms
II. What is the purpose of this action?
III. What is ozone and how is it formed?
IV. What are the 2015 ozone NAAQS and the health and welfare 
concerns they address?
V. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations?
VI. What is the chronology for this designations rule and what 
guidance did the EPA provide?
VII. What air quality data has the EPA used to designate the 
counties in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA for the 2015 
ozone NAAQS?
VIII. What are the ozone air quality classifications?
IX. Where can I find information forming the basis for this rule and 
exchanges between the EPA and the state?
X. Environmental Justice Concerns
XI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review
    B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs
    C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
    D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
    F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health and Safety Risks
    I. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution or Use
    J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)
    K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
    L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)
    M. Judicial Review

I. Preamble Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

    The following are abbreviations of terms used in the preamble.

APA Administrative Procedure Act
CAA Clean Air Act
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CBSA Core Based Statistical Area
DC District of Columbia
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FR Federal Register
NAAQS National Ambient Air Quality Standards
NOX Nitrogen Oxides
NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
PPM Parts per million
RFA Regulatory Flexibility Act
UMRA Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995
TAR Tribal Authority Rule
U.S. United States
U.S.C. United States Code
VOC Volatile Organic Compounds

[[Page 35137]]

II. What is the purpose of this action?

    The purpose of this action is to announce and promulgate initial 
area designations for the eight counties in the San Antonio-New 
Braunfels, Texas CBSA with respect to the 2015 primary and secondary 
NAAQS for ozone, in accordance with the requirements of Clean Air Act 
(CAA) section 107(d). The EPA is designating Bexar County as the San 
Antonio, Texas nonattainment area and the remaining seven counties as 
attainment/unclassifiable areas. With this designation action, the EPA 
has completed the initial designations for all areas of the country for 
the 2015 ozone NAAQS.
    In addition, this action announces the classification for the San 
Antonio, Texas nonattainment area as Marginal. The classification 
occurs by operation of law at the time of designation based on the 
severity of the area's ozone air quality problem. The classification 
categories are Marginal, Moderate, Serious, Severe and Extreme. The EPA 
established the air quality thresholds that define the classifications 
in a separate rule titled, ``Implementation of the 2015 National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone: Nonattainment Area 
Classifications Approach'' (Classifications Rule) (83 FR 10376; March 
9, 2018).
    The list of the areas being designated in this action appears in 
the regulatory table for Texas included at the end of this final rule. 
This table, which will amend 40 CFR part 81, identifies the designation 
for each area and the classification for the nonattainment area.
    The EPA is basing the designations on the most recent 3 years of 
certified ozone air quality monitoring data (2015-2017) and on an 
evaluation of factors to assess contributions to nonattainment in 
nearby areas. State areas designated as nonattainment are subject to 
planning and emission reduction requirements as specified in CAA part 
D. Requirements vary according to an area's classification. On November 
17, 2016, the EPA proposed an implementation rule for the 2015 ozone 
NAAQS (81 FR 81276). The EPA anticipates issuing the final 
implementation rule in 2018. This final implementation rule, along with 
additional forthcoming tools and guidance documents related to 
provisions for regulatory relief to address background and 
international ozone concentrations, should help nonattainment areas to 
address these emissions in state plans. In particular, the EPA 
recognizes that the information provided by Texas regarding likely 
future ozone trends and the role of international transport may provide 
an avenue to help the state demonstrate this area attains the 2015 
ozone NAAQS by the attainment date or is otherwise entitled to 
regulatory relief.

III. What is ozone and how is it formed?

    Ground-level ozone is a gas that is formed by the reaction of 
volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen 
(NOX) in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. These 
precursor emissions are emitted by many types of pollution sources, 
including power plants and industrial emissions sources, on-road and 
off-road motor vehicles and engines and smaller sources, collectively 
referred to as area sources. Ozone is predominately a summertime air 
pollutant. However, high ozone concentrations have also been observed 
in cold months, where a few areas in the western United States (U.S.) 
have experienced high levels of local VOC and NOX emissions 
that have formed ozone when snow is on the ground and temperatures are 
near or below freezing. Ozone and ozone precursors can be transported 
to an area from sources in nearby areas or from sources located 
hundreds of miles away. For purposes of determining ozone nonattainment 
area boundaries, the CAA requires the EPA to include areas that 
contribute to nearby violations of the NAAQS.

IV. What are the 2015 ozone NAAQS and the health and welfare concerns 
they address?

    On October 1, 2015, the EPA revised both the primary and secondary 
NAAQS for ozone to a level of 0.070 parts per million (ppm) (annual 
fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average concentration, averaged 
over 3 years).\1\ The level of both the primary and secondary ozone 
NAAQS previously set in 2008 is 0.075 ppm. The 2015 ozone NAAQS retain 
the same general form and averaging time as the 2008 ozone NAAQS.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See 80 FR 65296; October 26, 2015, for a detailed 
explanation of the calculation of the 3-year 8-hour average and 40 
CFR part 50, Appendix U.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The primary ozone standards provide protection for children, older 
adults, people with asthma or other lung diseases and other at-risk 
populations against an array of adverse health effects that include 
reduced lung function, increased respiratory symptoms and pulmonary 
inflammation; effects that contribute to emergency department visits or 
hospital admissions; and mortality. The secondary ozone standards 
protect against adverse effects to the public welfare, including those 
related to impacts on sensitive vegetation and forested ecosystems.

V. What are the CAA requirements for air quality designations?

    When the EPA promulgates a new or revised NAAQS, the EPA is 
required to designate all areas in the country as nonattainment, 
attainment or unclassifiable, pursuant to section 107(d)(1) of the CAA. 
Section 107(d)(1)(A)(i) of the CAA defines a nonattainment area as, 
``any area that does not meet (or that contributes to ambient air 
quality in a nearby area that does not meet) the national primary or 
secondary ambient air quality standard for the pollutant.'' If an area 
meets either prong of this definition, states should recommend and the 
EPA is obligated to designate the area as ``nonattainment.'' CAA 
section 107(d)(1)(A)(ii) defines an attainment area as any area that 
does not meet the definition of nonattainment and that meets the NAAQS. 
CAA section 107(d)(1)(A)(iii) provides that any area that the EPA 
cannot designate on the basis of available information as meeting or 
not meeting the standards should be designated as ``unclassifiable.'' 
Historically for ozone, the EPA has designated most areas that do not 
meet the definition of nonattainment as ``unclassifiable/attainment.'' 
This category includes areas that have air quality monitoring data 
meeting the NAAQS and areas that do not have monitors but for which the 
EPA has no evidence that the areas may be violating the NAAQS or 
contributing to a nearby violation. In the designations for the 2015 
ozone NAAQS, the EPA has reversed the order of the label to be 
attainment/unclassifiable to better convey the definition of the 
designation category and so that the category is more easily 
distinguished from the separate unclassifiable category. In a few 
instances, based on circumstances where some monitoring data are 
available but are not sufficient for a determination that an area is or 
is not attaining the NAAQS, the EPA has designated an area as 
``unclassifiable.''
    Section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA requires the EPA to issue initial 
area designations within 2 years of promulgating a new or revised 
NAAQS. However, if the Administrator has insufficient information to 
make these designations within that time frame, the EPA has the 
authority to extend the deadline for designation decisions by up to 1 
additional year.
    By not later than 1 year after the promulgation of a new or revised

[[Page 35138]]

NAAQS, each state governor is required to recommend air quality 
designations, including the appropriate boundaries for areas, to the 
EPA. (See CAA section 107(d)(1)(A).) The EPA reviews those state 
recommendations and is authorized to make any modifications the 
Administrator deems necessary. The statute does not define the term 
``necessary,'' but the EPA interprets this to authorize the 
Administrator to modify designation recommendations that are 
inconsistent with the statutory language, including modification of 
recommended boundaries for nonattainment areas that are not supported 
by the facts or analysis. If the EPA intends to modify a state's 
recommendation, section 107(d)(1)(B) of the CAA requires the EPA to 
notify the state of any such intended modifications not less than 120 
days prior to the EPA's promulgation of the final designation. These 
notifications are commonly known as the ``120-day letters.'' If the 
state does not agree with the EPA's intended modification, the 120-day 
period provides an opportunity for the state to demonstrate to the EPA 
why it believes any modification proposed by the EPA is inappropriate. 
If a state fails to provide any recommendation for an area, in whole or 
in part, the EPA must promulgate a designation that the Administrator 
deems appropriate.
    The terms ``contributes to'' and ``nearby'' in the definition of a 
nonattainment area are not defined in the statute and the EPA has 
discretion to interpret these ambiguous terms, based on considerations 
such as the nature of a specific pollutant, the types of sources that 
may contribute to violations, the form of the relevant NAAQS and any 
other relevant information. The EPA does not interpret the statute to 
require the agency to establish bright line tests or thresholds for 
what constitutes ``contribution'' or ``nearby'' for purposes of 
designations.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ This view was confirmed in Catawba County v. EPA, 571 F.3d 
20 (D.C. Cir. 2009).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 301(d) of the CAA authorizes the EPA to approve eligible 
Indian tribes to implement provisions of the CAA on Indian reservations 
and other areas within the tribes' jurisdiction. The Tribal Authority 
Rule (TAR) (40 CFR part 49), which implements section 301(d) of the 
CAA, sets forth the criteria and process for tribes to apply to the EPA 
for eligibility to administer CAA programs. The designations process 
contained in section 107(d) of the CAA is included among those 
provisions determined to be appropriate by the EPA for treatment of 
tribes in the same manner as states. Under the TAR, tribes generally 
are not subject to the same submission schedules imposed by the CAA on 
states. As authorized by the TAR, tribes may seek eligibility to submit 
designation recommendations to the EPA.

VI. What is the chronology for this designations rule and what guidance 
did the EPA provide?

    On February 25, 2016, the EPA issued guidance for states and tribal 
agencies to use for purposes of making designation recommendations as 
required by CAA section 107(d)(1)(A). (See February 25, 2016, 
memorandum from Janet G. McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, to 
Regional Administrators, Regions 1-10, titled, ``Area Designations for 
the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards'' (Designations 
Guidance)). The Designations Guidance provided the anticipated timeline 
for designations and identified important factors that the EPA 
recommended states and tribes consider in making their recommendations 
and that the EPA intended to consider in promulgating designations. 
These factors include air quality data, emissions and emissions-related 
data, meteorological data, geography/topography and jurisdictional 
boundaries. In the Designations Guidance, the EPA asked that states and 
tribes submit their designation recommendations, including appropriate 
area boundaries, to the EPA by October 1, 2016.\3\ In the guidance, the 
EPA indicated the agency expected to complete the initial designations 
for the 2015 ozone NAAQS on a 2-year schedule, by October 1, 2017, 
consistent with CAA 107(d)(1)(B)(i).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The EPA previously issued two guidance memoranda related to 
designating areas of Indian country that also apply for designations 
for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. (See December 20, 2011, memorandum from 
Stephen D. Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and 
Standards, to Regional Air Directors, Regions I-X, titled, ``Policy 
for Establishing Separate Air Quality Designations for Areas of 
Indian Country'' and December 20, 2011, memorandum from Stephen D. 
Page, Director, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, to 
Regional Air Directors, Regions I-X, titled, ``Guidance to Regions 
for Working with Tribes during the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQS) Designations Process.'')
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On November 6, 2017, the EPA designated about 85 percent of the 
counties in the U.S., including tribal lands within those counties.\4\ 
Consistent with the EPA's Tribal Designation Guidance, the EPA 
designated two areas of Indian country as separate areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Although the EPA commonly uses the term ``counties'' when 
speaking of designations, we note that the reference to ``counties'' 
also includes non-county administrative or statistical areas that 
are comparable to counties. For example, Louisiana parishes; the 
organized boroughs of Alaska; the District of Columbia and the 
independent cities of the states of Virginia, Maryland, Missouri and 
Nevada are equivalent to counties for administrative purposes. In 
addition, Alaska's Unorganized Borough is divided into 10 census 
areas that are statistically equivalent to counties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On December 4, 2017, a coalition of environmental and health 
organizations filed suit against the EPA claiming that the EPA failed 
to meet its mandatory obligation to designate all areas of the U.S. for 
the 2015 ozone NAAQS by October 1, 2017. American Lung Association, et 
al v. Pruitt (N.D. Cal. No. 4:17-cv-06900). A coalition of 15 states 
also filed a similar suit on December 5, 2017. State of California v. 
Pruitt (N.D. Cal. No. 4:17-cv-06936). In a March 12, 2018, order, the 
court granted the motions in part and ordered the EPA ``to promulgate 
final designations for all areas of the country except for the eight 
undesignated counties composing the San Antonio area no later than 
April 30, 2018'' and ``to promulgate final designations for the San 
Antonio area no later than 127 days from the date of this order.'' 
Thus, the designation deadline for the San Antonio area was set to July 
17, 2018.
    On March 19, 2018, the EPA sent a 120-day letter to the Governor of 
Texas notifying the state of the EPA's preliminary response to the 
state's recommendations for the eight counties in the San Antonio-New 
Braunfels, Texas CBSA. The EPA requested that Texas submit by May 11, 
2018, any additional information the state wanted the EPA to consider 
in making final designation decisions for the area. Although not 
required by section 107(d)(2)(B) of the CAA, the EPA also provided a 
30-day public comment period specific to this area (83 FR 13719; March 
30, 2018). The comment period closed on April 30, 2018.
    On April 30, 2018, the EPA designated all remaining undesignated 
areas except the eight counties in the San Antonio area (83 FR 25776; 
June 4, 2018).
    This action designating the eight counties in the San Antonio area 
completes the initial designations for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The 
ADDRESSES section earlier in this preamble provides detail on where to 
find the information supporting this designation action and the prior 
two actions.

VII. What air quality data has the EPA used to designate the counties 
in the San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas CBSA for the 2015 ozone NAAQS?

    The final ozone designations for the counties in the San Antonio-
New

[[Page 35139]]

Braunfels, Texas CBSA are based on air quality monitoring data from the 
3 most recent years of certified data, which are 2015-2017. Under 40 
CFR 58.16, states are required to report all monitored ozone air 
quality data and associated quality assurance data within 90 days after 
the end of each quarterly reporting period, and under 40 CFR part 
58.15(a)(2) states are required to submit annual summary reports and a 
data certification letter to the EPA by May 1 for ozone air quality 
data collected in the previous calendar year. On March 19, 2018, when 
the EPA notified Texas of the EPA's intended designations for the San 
Antonio area, the most recent certification obligation was for air 
quality data from 2016. On May 1, 2018, Texas submitted certified air 
quality monitoring data for 2017. The violating monitors for the 2015-
2017 period are the same monitors that showed violations for the 2014-
2016 period.

VIII. What are the ozone air quality classifications?

    In accordance with CAA section 181(a)(1), each area designated as 
nonattainment for the ozone NAAQS is classified by operation of law at 
the same time as the area is designated by the EPA. Under subpart D of 
title I of the CAA, state planning and emissions control requirements 
for ozone are determined, in part, by a nonattainment area's 
classification. The ozone nonattainment areas are classified based on 
the severity of their ozone levels (as determined based on the area's 
``design value,'' which represents air quality in the area for the most 
recent 3 years).\5\ The five classification categories are Marginal, 
Moderate, Serious, Severe and Extreme. Nonattainment areas with a 
``lower'' classification have ozone levels that are closer to the 
standard than areas with a ``higher'' classification. Areas in the 
lower classification levels have fewer and/or less stringent mandatory 
air quality planning and control requirements than those in higher 
classifications. On March 9, 2018 (83 FR 10376), the EPA published the 
Classifications Rule that establishes the ozone level threshold for 
each classification for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. Each nonattainment area's 
design value, based on the most recent 3 years of certified air quality 
monitoring data, is used to establish the classification for the area. 
See Table 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ The air quality design value for the 8-hour ozone NAAQS is 
the 3-year average of the annual 4th highest daily maximum 8-hour 
average ozone concentration. See 40 CFR part 50, Appendix U.

 Table 1--Classification Thresholds for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS (0.070 ppm)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           8-Hour ozone
       Nonattainment area                                  design value
         classification                                      (ppm) \a\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Marginal.......................  from...................           0.071
                                 up to \b\..............           0.081
Moderate.......................  from...................           0.081
                                 up to \b\..............           0.093
Serious........................  from...................           0.093
                                 up to \b\..............           0.105
Severe-15......................  from...................           0.105
                                 up to \b\..............           0.111
Severe-17......................  from...................           0.111
                                 up to \b\..............           0.163
Extreme........................  equal to or above......           0.163
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ parts per million.
\b\ but not including.

    The most recent 3 years of certified air quality monitoring data 
for Bexar County, Texas are from the period 2015-2017. The ozone design 
value is 0.074 ppm. Therefore, in accordance with Table 1 above, the 
San Antonio, Texas nonattainment area is classified by operation of law 
as a Marginal area for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. The regulatory table for 
Texas included at the end of this action provides the classification 
for the nonattainment area.

IX. Where can I find information forming the basis for this rule and 
exchanges between the EPA and the state?

    Information providing the basis for this action is provided in the 
docket for this rulemaking. The applicable EPA guidance memoranda and 
copies of correspondence regarding this process between the EPA and the 
state and other parties are also available for review at the EPA Docket 
Center listed above in the addresses section of this document, and on 
the EPA's ozone designation website at https://www.epa.gov/ozone-designations. State-specific information is also available from the EPA 
Region 6 office at the address at the beginning of this Preamble.

X. Environmental Justice Concerns

    When the EPA establishes a new or revised NAAQS, the CAA requires 
the EPA to designate all areas of the U.S. as either nonattainment, 
attainment or unclassifiable. This final action addresses designation 
determinations for eight counties in Texas for the 2015 ozone NAAQS. 
Seven counties are being designated as attainment/unclassifiable and 
one county is being designated as nonattainment. In addition, the 
nonattainment area is being classified as Marginal according to the 
severity of its ozone air quality problem. Area designations address 
environmental justice concerns by ensuring that the public is properly 
informed about the air quality in an area. In locations where air 
quality does not meet the NAAQS, the CAA requires relevant state 
authorities to initiate appropriate air quality management actions to 
ensure that all those residing, working, attending school or otherwise 
present in those areas are protected, regardless of minority and 
economic status.

XI. 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 exempt from review by the Office of Management and 
Budget because it responds to the CAA requirement to promulgate air 
quality designations after promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS.

[[Page 35140]]

B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This action is not an Executive Order 13771 regulatory action 
because actions such as air quality designations after promulgating a 
new revised NAAQS are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose an information collection burden under 
the PRA. This action fulfills the non-discretionary duty for the EPA to 
promulgate air quality designations after promulgation of a new or 
revised NAAQS and does not contain any information collection 
activities.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    This designation action under CAA section 107(d) is not subject to 
the RFA. The RFA applies only to rules subject to notice-and-comment 
rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 
U.S.C. 553, or any other statute. Section 107(d)(2)(B) of the CAA 
explicitly provides that designations are exempt from the notice-and-
comment provisions of the APA. In addition, designations under CAA 
section 107(d) are not among the list of actions that are subject to 
the notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements of CAA section 307(d).

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538 and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector.

F. 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. The 
division of responsibility between the federal government and the 
states for purposes of implementing the NAAQS is established under the 
CAA.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications. It will neither 
impose substantial direct compliance costs on federally recognized 
tribal governments, nor preempt tribal law. There are no tribes 
affected by this action.

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

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying 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 establish an environmental 
standard intended to mitigate health or safety risks.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions 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.

J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

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

    The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority 
populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as 
specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). The 
documentation for this determination is contained in Section X of this 
preamble, ``Environmental Justice Concerns.''

L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

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

M. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 
appropriate circuit by September 24, 2018. Under section 307(b)(2) of 
the Act, the requirements of this final action may not be challenged 
later in civil or criminal proceedings for enforcement.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, 
Wilderness areas.

    Dated: July 17, 2018.
Andrew R. Wheeler,
Acting Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 40 CFR part 81 is 
amended as follows:

PART 81--DESIGNATIONS OF AREAS FOR AIR QUALITY PLANNING PURPOSES

0
1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart C--Section 107 Attainment Status Designations

0
2. In Sec.  81.344, the table titled ``Texas--2015 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS 
(Primary and Secondary)'' is amended by:
0
a. Adding an entry for San Antonio, TX before the entry for Rest of 
State;
0
b. Adding an entry for Atascosa County before the entry for Austin 
County;
0
c. Adding an entry for Bandera County before the entry for Bastrop 
County;
0
d. Adding an entry for Comal County before the entry for Comanche 
County;
0
e. Adding an entry for Guadalupe County before the entry for Hale 
County;
0
f. Adding an entry for Kendall County before the entry for Kenedy 
County;
0
g. Adding an entry for Medina County before the entry for Menard 
County; and
0
h. Adding an entry for Wilson County before the entry for Winkler 
County.
    The additions read as follows:


Sec.  81.344  Texas.

* * * * *

[[Page 35141]]



                                         Texas--2015 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS
                                             [Primary and Secondary]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                 Designation                           Classification
       Designated area \1\        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Date \2\              Type              Date \2\             Type
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
San Antonio, TX..................    9/24/2018  Nonattainment............    9/24/2018  Marginal.
    Bexar County.................
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Rest of State:
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Atascosa County..............    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Bandera County...............    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Comal County.................    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Guadalupe County.............    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Kendall County...............    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Medina County................    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
    Wilson County................    9/24/2018  Attainment/Unclassifiable
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Includes any Indian country in each county or area, unless otherwise specified. EPA is not determining the
  boundaries of any area of Indian country in this table, including any area of Indian country located in the
  larger designation area. The inclusion of any Indian country in the designation area is not a determination
  that the state has regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act for such Indian country.
\2\ This date is August 3, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

[FR Doc. 2018-15919 Filed 7-24-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P