Issuance of an NPDES General Permit for Oil and Gas Geotechnical Surveys and Related Activities in Federal Waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas
The Director, Office of Water and Watersheds, EPA Region 10, is publishing notice of availability of the final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Oil and Gas Geotechnical Surveys and Related Activities in Federal Waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (Geotechnical General Permit; Permit No. AKG- 28-4300). The Geotechnical General Permit authorizes twelve types of discharges from facilities engaged in oil and gas geotechnical surveys to evaluate the subsurface characteristics of the seafloor and related activities in federal waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Geotechnical borings are collected to assess the structural properties of subsurface soil conditions for potential placement of oil and gas installations, which may include production and drilling platforms, ice islands, anchor structures for floating exploration drilling vessels, and potential buried pipeline corridors. Geotechnical surveys result in a disturbance of the seafloor and produce discharges consisting of soil, rock and cuttings materials, in addition to facility-specific waste streams authorized under this General Permit. Geotechnical related activities also result in a disturbance of the seafloor and produce similar discharges. These activities may include feasibility testing of equipment that disturbs the seafloor, and testing and evaluation of trenching technologies. The Geotechnical General Permit contains effluent limitations and requirements that ensure the discharges will not cause an unreasonable degradation of the marine environment, as required by Section 403(c) of the Clean Water Act (i.e. Ocean Discharge Criteria Evaluation). 33 U.S.C. 1342(c).
Notice of Status Update on the Proposed Determination for the Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska
On July 21, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Determination, under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act, to restrict the use of certain waters in the South Fork Koktuli River, North Fork Koktuli River, and Upper Talarik Creek watersheds in Southwest Alaska as disposal sites for dredged or fill material associated with mining the Pebble deposit, a copper-, gold-, and molybdenum-bearing ore body. On September 19, 2014, EPA published in the Federal Register a notice extending the time period to either withdraw the Proposed Determination or to prepare the Recommended Determination until no later than February 4, 2015. As part of ongoing litigation brought by the Pebble Limited Partnership, on November 25, 2014, a Federal District Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction that requires EPA to stop all work connected to the 404(c) proceeding, including reviewing and considering public comments. EPA is complying with the court's order and as such is not taking any steps to withdraw the Proposed Determination or to prepare a Recommended Determination while the preliminary injunction is in place.
Agency Information Collection Activities OMB Responses
This document announces the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) responses to Agency Clearance requests, in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR chapter 15.
Promulgation of State Implementation Plan Revisions; Infrastructure Requirements for the 1997 and 2006 PM2.5
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving elements of State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions from the State of South Dakota to demonstrate the State meets infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) promulgated for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on July 18, 1997 and October 17, 2006; lead (Pb) on October 15, 2008; ozone on March 12, 2008; and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) on January 22, 2010. EPA is also approving SIP revisions the State submitted updating the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program and provisions regarding state boards. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires that each state submit a SIP for the implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of each NAAQS promulgated by EPA.
Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; State of California; Sacramento Metro Area; Attainment Plan for 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve state implementation plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of California that provide for attainment of the 1997 8- hour ozone national ambient air quality standard (``standard'' or NAAQS) in the Sacramento Metro nonattainment area. The EPA is approving the emissions inventories, air quality modeling, reasonably available control measures, provisions for transportation control strategies and measures, rate of progress and reasonable further progress (RFP) demonstrations, attainment demonstration, transportation conformity motor vehicle emissions budgets, and contingency measures for failure to make RFP or attain. The EPA is also approving commitments for measures by the Sacramento Metro nonattainment area air districts.
Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Partial Update of the TSCA Sec. 8(b) Inventory Data Base, Production and Site Reports (Chemical Data Reporting)
The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), ``Partial Update of the TSCA Sec. 8(b) Inventory Data Base, Production and Site Reports (Chemical Data Reporting)'' (EPA ICR No. 1884.08, OMB Control No. 2070-0162) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed revision of the ICR, which is currently approved through January 31, 2015. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register (79 FR 29442) on May 22, 2014, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Montana; Revisions to Administrative Rules of Montana-Prevention of Significant Deterioration
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final action to approve State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions submitted by the State of Montana on June 4, 2013. This submission revises the Administrative Rules of Montana that pertain to the issuance of Montana air quality permits. The June 4, 2013 revisions contain amended and renumbered rules that, among other things, address the proper treatment of air pollutants under the State's prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) program. In this rulemaking, we are taking final action on all of the June 4, 2013 submittal, with the exception of one small portion. This action is being taken under section 110 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).