ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
40 CFR Parts 52 and 81
Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; State of North Carolina
59 FR 18300
DATE: Monday, April 18, 1994
SUMMARY: On November 13, 1992, the State of North Carolina, through the North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources (NCDEHNR), submitted a maintenance plan and a request to redesignate the Raleigh/Durham area (classified as a moderate nonattainment area) from nonattainment to attainment for ozone. The ozone nonattainment area includes the following counties: Durham, Wake, and the Dutchville Township portion of Granville. Under the Clean Air Act, designations can be changed if sufficient data are available to warrant such changes. In this action, EPA is approving the State of North Carolina's submittal because it meets the maintenance plan and redesignation requirements. The approved maintenance plan will become a federally enforceable part of the SIP for the Raleigh/Durham area.
On January 15, 1993, in a letter from Patrick Tobin to Governor James Hunt, the EPA notified the State of North Carolina that the EPA had made a finding of failure to submit required programs for the nonattainment area. EPA's redesignation of the Raleigh/Durham area to attainment abrogates those requirements for this area. Therefore, the sanctions and federal implementation plan clocks begun by those findings are stopped at the time of the redesignation.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This final rule will be effective June 17, 1994, unless notice is received by May 18, 1994, that someone wishes to submit adverse or critical comments. If the effective date is delayed, timely notice will be published in the Federal Register.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to Bill Eckert at the EPA address in Atlanta, Georgia listed below. Copies of the redesignation request and the State of North Carolina's submittal are available for public review during normal business hours at the addresses listed below. EPA's technical support document (TSD) is available for public review during normal business hours at the EPA addresses listed below.
Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center (Air Docket 6102), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW., Washington, DC 20460
Environmental Protection Agency, Region IV, Air Programs Branch, 345 Courtland Street NE., Atlanta, GA 30365
North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, Division of Environmental Management, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27604
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Eckert of the EPA Region IV Air Programs Branch at (404) 347-2864 and at the Region IV address.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On November 15, 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAA) were enacted. (Pub. L. 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.) Under section 107(d)(1), in conjunction with the Governor of North Carolina, EPA designated the Raleigh/Durham area as nonattainment because the area violated the ozone standard during the period from 1987 through 1989. Furthermore, upon designation, the Raleigh/ Durham area was classified as moderate under section 181(a)(1). (See 56 FR 56694 (November 6, 1991) and 57 FR 56762 (November 30, 1992), codified at 40 CFR 81.334.)
The Raleigh/Durham area more recently has ambient monitoring data that show no violations of the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), during the period from 1989 through 1992. Therefore, in an effort to comply with the CAA and to ensure continued attainment of the NAAQS, on November 13, 1992, the State of North Carolina submitted for parallel processing an ozone maintenance SIP for the Raleigh/Durham area and requested redesignation of the area to attainment with respect to the ozone NAAQS. On January 13, 1993, the NCDEHNR submitted evidence that a public hearing was held on the maintenance plan and on July 8, 1993, the maintenance plan became State effective. In addition, there have been no violations reported for the 1993 ozone season.
On August 11, 1993, Region IV determined that the information received from the NCDEHNR constituted a complete redesignation request under the general completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, sections 2.1 and 2.2. However, for purposes of determining what requirements are applicable for redesignation purposes, EPA believes it is necessary to identify when NCDEHNR first submitted a redesignation request that meets the completeness criteria. EPA noted in a previous policy memorandum that parallel processing requests for submittals under the CAA, including redesignation submittals, would not be determined complete. See the memorandum entitled "State Implementation Plan (SIP) Actions Submitted in Response to Clean Air Act (Act) Deadlines" from John Calcagni to Air Programs Division Directors, Regions I-X, dated October 28, 1992 (Memorandum). The rationale for this conclusion was that the parallel processing exception to the completeness criteria (40 CFR part 51, appendix V, section 2.3) was not intended to extend statutory due dates for mandatory submittals. (See Memorandum at 3-4.) However, since requests for redesignation are not mandatory submittals under the CAA, EPA believes that it must change its policy with respect to redesignation submittals to conform to the existing completeness criteria. Therefore, EPA believes, the parallel processing exception to the completeness criteria may be applied to redesignation request submittals, at least until such time as the EPA decides to revise that exception. NCDEHNR submitted a redesignation request on November 13, 1992. In the November 13 submittal, NCDEHNR submitted the maintenance plan, thereby including the final element to make the November 13, 1992, request for parallel processing complete under the parallel processing exception to the completeness criteria. When the maintenance plan became state effective on July 8, 1993, the State of North Carolina no longer needed parallel processing for the redesignation request and maintenance plan. Therefore, the EPA informed the State of North Carolina on August 11, 1993, that the redesignation request and maintenance plan submittals were complete under the general completeness criteria.
The North Carolina redesignation request for the Raleigh/Durham area meets the five requirements of section 107(d)(3)(E) for redesignation to attainment. The following is a brief description of how the State of North Carolina has fulfilled each of these requirements. Because the maintenance plan is a critical element of the redesignation request, EPA will discuss its evaluation of the maintenance plan under its analysis of the redesignation request.
1. The Area Must Have Attained the ozone NAAQS
The State of North Carolina's request is based on an analysis of quality assured ambient air quality monitoring data which is relevant to the maintenance plan and to the redesignation request. Most recent ambient air quality monitoring data for calendar year 1989 through calendar year 1992 show an expected exceedence rate of less than 1.0 per year of the ozone NAAQS in the Raleigh/Durham area. (See 40 CFR 50.9 and appendix H.) Because the Raleigh/Durham area has complete quality-assured data showing no violations of the standard over the most recent consecutive three calendar year period, the Raleigh/Durham area has met the first statutory criterion of attainment of the ozone NAAQS. In addition, there were no violations reported for the 1993 ozone season. The State of North Carolina has committed to continue monitoring in this area in accordance with 40 CFR part 58.
2. The Area Has Met All Applicable Requirements Under Section 110 and Part D of the Act
On April 17, 1980, and on September 10, 1980, EPA fully approved North Carolina's SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2) and part D of the 1977 CAA (45 FR 26038 and 45 FR 59578). The amended CAA, however, revised section 110(a)(2) and, under part D, revised section 172 and added new requirements for all nonattainment areas. Therefore, for purposes of redesignation, to meet the requirement that the SIP contain all applicable requirements under the CAA, EPA reviewed the North Carolina SIP to ensure that it contained all measures due under the amended CAA prior to or at the time the State of North Carolina submitted its redesignation request.
A. Section 110 Requirements
Although section 110 was amended, the Raleigh/Durham area SIP meets the requirements of amended section 110(a)(2). A number of the requirements did not change in substance and, therefore, EPA believes that the pre-amendment SIP met these requirements. As to those requirements that were amended, see 57 FR 27936 and 57 FR 27939 (June 23, 1992), many are duplicative of other requirements of the CAA. EPA has analyzed the SIP and determined that it is consistent with the requirements of amended section 110(a)(2).
B. Part D Requirements
Before the Raleigh/Durham area may be redesignated to attainment, it also must have fulfilled the applicable requirements of part D. Under part D, an area's classification indicates the requirements to which it will be subject. Subpart 1 of part D sets forth the basic nonattainment requirements applicable to all nonattainment areas, classified as well as nonclassifiable. Subpart 2 of part D establishes additional requirements for ozone nonattainment areas classified under table 1 of section 181(a). The Raleigh/Durham area is classified as moderate (See 56 FR 56694, codified at 40 CFR 81.334). The State of North Carolina submitted their request for redesignation of the Raleigh/Durham area prior to November 15, 1992. Therefore, in order to be redesignated to attainment, the State of North Carolina must meet the applicable requirements of subpart 1 of part D, specifically sections 172(c) and 176, and the requirements of subpart 2 of part D, which became due on or before November 13, 1992, the date the State submitted a complete redesignation request.
B1. Subpart 1 of Part D-Section 172
Section 172(c) sets forth general requirements applicable to all nonattainment areas. Under section 172(b), the section 172(c) requirements are applicable as determined by the Administrator but no later than three years after an area is designated as nonattainment. EPA had not determined that these requirements were applicable to classified ozone nonattainment areas on or before November 13, 1992, the date that the State of North Carolina submitted a complete redesignation request for the Raleigh/Durham area. Therefore, the State of North Carolina was not required to meet these requirements for purposes of redesignation.
Upon redesignation of this area to attainment, the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) provisions contained in part C of title I are applicable. On December 30, 1976, and on February 23, 1982, the EPA approved the State of North Carolina's PSD program (41 FR 56805 and 47 FR 78376).
B2. Subpart 1 of Part D-Section 176 Conformity Plan Provisions
Section 176 of the CAA requires States to develop transportation/air quality conformity procedures which are consistent with federal conformity regulations. Section 176 provides that EPA must develop federal conformity regulations, requiring states to submit these procedures as a SIP revision by November 15, 1992. EPA promulgated final conformity regulations on November 24, 1993 (transportation conformity) and November 30, 1993 (general conformity). Since it was impossible to establish a SIP revision date of November 15, 1992, in these regulations, EPA established a regulatory submittal date of one year after promulgation of the conformity regulations. The State of North Carolina has committed in their maintenance plan to revise the SIP to be consistent with the final federal regulations. In addition, the State Air Quality Section will work closely with the State Department of Transportation (DOT) and local transportation agencies to assure that Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) in the maintenance areas are consistent with and conform to the SIP and meet federal requirements on conformity. This review process is being extended to include all major projects regardless of source of funding, as well as all federally funded projects. A complete description of the conformity review process is included in the TSD prepared for this notice.
B3. Subpart 2 of Part D
Under section 182(a)(2)(A) areas that retained a designation of nonattainment for ozone under the amended CAA and that are classified as marginal or above were required to fix their pre-amendment VOC RACT SIPs. North Carolina was not required to submit VOC RACT fixups for purposes of redesignating the Raleigh/Durham area because the Raleigh/Durham area was not nonattainment before the 1990 amendments to the CAA.
Under section 182(b), several requirements were due for moderate ozone nonattainment areas on November 15, 1992, such as VOC RACT catch-ups, Gasoline Vapor Recovery, New Source Review, and Emission Statements. North Carolina failed to submit these measures for the Raleigh/Durham area. On January 15, 1993, EPA made a finding of failure to submit these measures by letter from Patrick M. Tobin, Acting Regional Administrator, to James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor of North Carolina. However these requirements are not applicable for purposes of considering the State's redesignation request. For purposes of redesignation, EPA must consider whether the State has met all requirements that were applicable prior to the time the state submitted the redesignation request. Since North Carolina submitted the redesignation request for Raleigh/Durham on November 13, 1992, these measures are not relevant for purposes of redesignation. Therefore, all subpart 2 requirements that were applicable at the time the State submitted its redesignation request have been met.
3. The Area Has a Fully Approved SIP Under Section 110(k) of the CAA
Based on the approval of provisions under the pre-amended CAA and EPA's prior approval of SIP revisions under the amended CAA, EPA has determined that the Raleigh/Durham area has a fully approved SIP under section 110(k), which also meets the applicable requirements of section 110 and part D as discussed above.
4. The Air Quality Improvement Must Be Permanent and Enforceable
Several control measures have come into place since the Raleigh/Durham area violated the ozone NAAQS. Of these control measures, two control measures produced the most significant decreases in VOC and NOx emissions. One control measure is a reduction of fuel volatility, as measured by the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), from 10.1 psi in 1988 to 9.0 psi in 1990 and then to 7.8 psi in the summer of 1992. As a result of the RVP reductions, there has been a reduction of emissions of VOCs of more than 25% from 1988 to 1992 from gasoline powered vehicles of all classes. The other control measure is the improvement in tailpipe emissions associated with the Federal Motor Vehicle Control Program (FMVCP). This program reduces VOC and NOx emissions as newer, cleaner vehicles replace older, high emitting vehicles. VOC emissions reductions are 20.9% from 1988 to 1990 and NOx emissions reductions are 2.7% from 1988 to 1990.
In association with its emission inventory discussed below, the State of North Carolina has demonstrated that actual enforceable emission reductions are responsible for the recent air quality improvement and that the VOC emissions in the base year are not artificially low due to local economic downturn.
5. The Area Must Have a Fully Approved Maintenance Plan Pursuant to Section 175A of the Act
Section 175A of the CAA sets forth the elements of a maintenance plan for areas seeking redesignation from nonattainment to attainment. The plan must demonstrate continued attainment of the applicable NAAQS for at least ten years after the Administrator approves a redesignation to attainment. Eight years after the redesignation, the state must submit a revised maintenance plan which demonstrates attainment for the ten years following the initial ten-year period. To provide for the possibility of future NAAQS violations, the maintenance plan must contain contingency measures, with a schedule for implementation, adequate to assure prompt correction of any air quality problems.
In this notice, EPA is approving the State of North Carolina's maintenance plan for the Raleigh/Durham area because EPA finds that the State of North Carolina's submittal meets the requirements of section 175A.
A. Emissions Inventory-Base Year Inventory
On November 13, 1992, the State of North Carolina submitted comprehensive inventories of VOC, NOx, and CO emissions from the Raleigh/Durham area. The inventories included biogenic, area, stationary, and mobile sources using 1990 as the base year for calculations to demonstrate maintenance. The 1990 inventory is considered representative of attainment conditions because the NAAQS was not violated during 1990. The 1990 Base Year Emission Inventory for the Raleigh/Durham area has been submitted to EPA in SIP Air Pollutant Inventory Management Subsystem (SAMS) format.
The State of North Carolina submittal contains the detailed inventory data and summaries by county and source category. This comprehensive base year emissions inventory was submitted in the SAMS format. Finally, this inventory was prepared in accordance with EPA guidance. A summary of the base year and projected maintenance year inventories are shown in the following three tables. Refer to the TSD prepared for this notice for more in-depth details regarding the base year inventory for the Raleigh/Durham area.
VOC Emission Inventory Summary [Tons per day] 1990 1993 1996 Point 12.46 10.05 10.15 Area 164.50 162.68 164.10 Mobile 85.03 65.37 68.40 Total 261.99 238.10 242.65 1999 2002 2004 Point 10.57 11.03 10.67 Area 165.37 167.86 169.74 Mobile 72.70 76.39 79.18 Total 248.64 255.28 259.59 NOx Emission Inventory Summary [Tons per day] 1990 1993 1996 Point 3.55 3.74 3.93 Area 0.18 0.18 0.18 Mobile 89.22 78.86 83.60 Total 92.95 82.78 87.71 1999 2002 2004 Point 4.15 4.28 4.39 Area 0.18 0.18 0.18 Mobile 83.83 81.35 82.24 Total 88.16 85.81 86.81 CO Emission Inventory Summary [Tons per day] 1990 1993 1996 Point 1.00 1.05 1.10 Area 32.54 32.58 32.61 Mobile 624.97 497.74 514.10 Total 658.51 531.37 547.81 1999 2002 2004 Point 1.15 1.20 1.22 Area 32.65 32.68 32.70 Mobile 531.51 560.27 583.27 Total 565.31 594.15 617.19