Jump to main content.


FEDERAL REGISTER
VOL. 58, No. 134
Proposed Rules

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)

40 CFR Parts 52 and 81
[Region II Docket No. NY-7-1-5910; FRL-4679-1]

Approval and Promulgation of Maintenance Plan and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes for Carbon Monoxide, State of New York

58 FR 38108

DATE: Thursday, July 15, 1993
ACTION: Proposed rule.

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its intent to redesignate Onondaga County in New York State to attainment of the air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO) and to approve a maintenance plan that will insure that the area remains in attainment.

On November 13, 1992, New York State submitted a maintenance plan and a request to redesignate the Onondaga County CO nonattainment area from nonattainment to attainment. In this action EPA is proposing to approve New York's submittals because they meet the requirements set forth in sections 175A and 107(d)(3)(E) of the Clean Air Act, for maintenance plans and redesignations, respectively. Upon final approval of the maintenance plan, it will become a federally enforceable part of the CO State Implementation Plan for Onondaga County.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 16, 1993.

ADDRESSES: All comments should be addressed to: William J. Muszynski, P.E., Acting Regional Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, Region II Office, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278.

Copies of the state submittals are available at the following addresses for inspection during normal business hours:

Environmental Protection Agency, Region II Office, Air Programs Branch, 26 Federal Plaza, Room 1034A, New York, New York 10278

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air Resources, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, New York 12233

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William S. Baker, Chief, Air Programs Branch, Environmental Protection Agency, 26 Federal Plaza, room 1034A, New York, New York 10278, (212) 264-2517.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Sections 110(a)(1) and 172 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1977 (1977 Act), required each area that was designated nonattainment based on a failure to meet the carbon monoxide (CO) national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) to develop a State Implementation Plan (SIP). These SIPs must have sufficient control measures to attain the standard expeditiously and to maintain the standard. The plans were to provide for attainment by December 31, 1982.

On March 3, 1978 and January 25, 1979 parts of the City of Syracuse, in Onondaga County, New York were designated under section 107 of the 1977 Act as nonattainment with respect to the CO NAAQS. (43 FR 8962 and 44 FR 5119.) In accordance with section 110 of the 1977 Act, New York State submitted a CO SIP for the nonattainment area in 1979. EPA fully approved this SIP as meeting the requirements of section 110 and Part D of the 1977 Act. (See 40 CFR 52.1673, 50 FR 25073.) In its SIP, New York State projected that Onondaga County would attain the CO standard by December 31, 1982. Subsequently, on March 3, 1984, EPA reduced the size of the nonattainment area to the CO hot-spot at the intersection of Almond and East Adams Streets in the City of Syracuse. (49 FR 8439) The hot-spot monitor recorded violations of the standard from 1983 to 1986, and in 1989.

On November 15, 1990, the Clean Air Act (the Act) was amended. (Pub. L. 101-549, 104 Stat. 2399, codified at 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.) Because the City of Syracuse nonattainment area violated the CO standard in 1989, the Act continued the nonattainment designation of the area and expanded its boundaries to include all of Onondaga County (section 107(d)(1)(C)(i)). Furthermore, it was classified by operation of law as a low moderate CO nonattainment area, which is defined as an area experiencing CO concentrations above the eight-hour standard, but less than 12.7 parts per million (ppm). (See 56 FR 56694 (November 6, 1991), to be codified at 40 CFR 81.333.)

More recently, air quality data collected by the State's air monitoring network indicates that Onondaga County has attained the CO NAAQS. The air quality monitor in downtown Syracuse has not violated the CO standard from 1990 to the present. Therefore, in an effort to comply with the amended Act and to ensure that the standard will continue to be attained, New York submitted a CO maintenance SIP for Onondaga County on November 13, 1992 and requested redesignation of the area to attainment for the CO NAAQS. On January 12, 1993, New York State submitted the report from its public comment period and its response to comments. All four comments supported the redesignation. The comment period was open from November 25 to December 31, 1992 and New York State held a public hearing on December 21, 1992. n1

n1 For purposes of determining what requirements are applicable for redesignation purposes, EPA believes it is necessary to identify when New York submitted a complete redesignation request. EPA noted in a previous policy memorandum that parallel processing requests for submittals under the amended Act, including redesignation submittals, would not be determined complete. See "State Implementation Plan (SIP) Actions Submitted in Response to Clean Air Act (Act) Deadlines" Memorandum 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 Act, 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 Agency decides to revise that exception. Therefore, New York State had submitted a complete redesignation request on November 13, 1992. In the November 13 submittal, the State submitted the maintenance plan, thereby including the final element to make the October 30, 1992 request for parallel processing complete under the parallel processing exception to the completeness criteria. On January 12, 1993, New York State submitted evidence that it held a public hearing on the maintenance plan portion of the request and at that time parallel processing was no longer applicable; therefore, EPA determined the submittal to be complete under the general completeness criteria of 40 CFR part 51, appendix V, sections 2.1 and 2.2.

II. Evaluation Criteria

Section 107(d)(1)(E) of the Act lists specific requirements that an area must meet in order to be redesignated from nonattainment to attainment. They are:

1. The area must have attained the applicable NAAQS;

2. The area must have a fully approved SIP under section 110(k) of the Act and the area must have met all relevant requirements under section 110 and Part D of the Act;

3. The air quality improvement must be permanent and enforceable; and

4. The area must have a fully approved maintenance plan pursuant to section 175A of the Act.

Section 175A also defines the elements of an approvable maintenance plan. The elements are a base year inventory, a maintenance demonstration for ten years after EPA approves the redesignation request, and contingency measures. The Act requires the state to submit a revised maintenance plan eight years after redesignation. The revised plan must show continued maintenance of the standard for an additional ten years. In the following sections, EPA analyzes New York's submittal with respect to these four redesignation requirements.

III. Review of State Redesignation Submittal

EPA proposes to find that New York's redesignation request for Onondaga County for CO meets the requirements of section 107(d)(3)(E). The following is a brief description of how the State has addressed each of these requirements. A Technical Support Document, on file at the EPA Region II office, contains a more detailed analysis of the submittal.

1. Attainment of the CO NAAQS

New York, in its request for redesignation, used air quality data that show that the CO standard was not violated in 1990 or 1991. These data were collected by New York State in accordance with 40 CFR 50.8, following EPA guidance on quality assurance and quality control and are in the EPA Aerometric Information and Retrieval System (AIRS). These were the data presented by New York State at its public hearing on the redesignation. Since Onondaga County has quality-assured monitoring data showing attainment of the standard over the latest consecutive two-year period, the area has met the first statutory criterion for attainment of the CO NAAQS. In addition, after the State requested redesignation, the State submitted data from 1992 to AIRS. These data are in AIRS and also show no air quality violations.

2. Fully Approved SIP That Meets Applicable Requirements of Section 110 and Part D

2A. New York's 1979 CO SIP

In 1985, EPA fully approved New York's 1979 CO SIP for Onondaga County as meeting the requirements of section 110(a)(2) and Part D of the 1977 Act. The SIP was implemented by New York State and Onondaga County. Emission reductions from the SIP measures, the Federal Motor Vehicle Control Program and traffic flow improvements at the downtown Syracuse hot-spot, are responsible for the attainment of the CO NAAQS.

EPA approved the Onondaga County CO SIP as meeting all 1977 Act requirements. The 1990 Amendments to the Act modified section 110(a)(2) and, under Part D, revised section 172 and added new requirements for certain classes of nonattainment areas.

EPA requires that every state requesting redesignation have a SIP that contains all measures that were due under the 1990 Act before the date on which the State submitted its redesignation request. As noted earlier, Onondaga County was classified as a moderate CO nonattainment area with a design value under 12.7 ppm. The first CO SIP requirements for these areas (e.g., oxygenated fuels) were due for submittal on November 15, 1992. New York submitted its redesignation request on November 13, 1992. Therefore, New York does not have to include the 1990 Act control programs into its CO SIP for Onondaga County for the purposes of redesignation. n2 New York required the use of oxygenated fuels during the CO season of 1992-3 pending EPA approval of the redesignation request.

n2 Although these requirements were not due for

For the purposes of redesignation, to meet the requirement that the SIP contains all applicable requirements under the Act, EPA has reviewed the SIP and it contains all the measures that were due under the Act prior to the time New York submitted this redesignation request and maintenance plan.

2B. Section 110 Requirements

Although section 110 was amended by the 1990 amendments to the Act, the SIP for Onondaga County still 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 23939 (June 23, 1992), many are duplicative of other requirements of the Act. EPA has analyzed the SIP and determined that it is consistent with the requirements of amended section 110(a)(2). This analysis is contained in the Technical Support Document.

2C. Part D Requirements

Because New York submitted the redesignation request for Onondaga County prior to the time any Part D requirements became applicable, i.e., prior to November 15, 1992, these requirements are not due for purposes of redesignation. EPA does note that the State of New York has an EPA-promulgated prevention of significant deterioration program for sources located in attainment areas. (See 40 CFR 52.1689.) This program will apply to Onondaga County immediately upon redesignation to attainment.

Conformity is a process in which projects that affect transportation are approved on the basis of consistency with SIP provisions. Section 176 of the Act requires states to develop transportation/air quality conformity procedures which are consistent with federal conformity regulations and to submit these procedures as a SIP revision. EPA has not promulgated final conformity regulations. However, New York has committed to develop conformity procedures consistent with the final federal regulations. In the redesignation request, New York commits to submit, if necessary, an appropriate SIP revision according to the schedule set forth in the federal regulations. In addition, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) has resolved to follow EPA conformity guidelines when EPA releases them. The request also contains examples where SMTC has implemented procedures to insure that projects underway, including the 1992-97 Transportation Improvement Program, conform with the existing SIP.

3. Improvement in Air Quality is Due to Permanent and Enforceable Measures

Under the 1977 Act, EPA approved the New York CO SIP for Onondaga County. At that time and now, EPA is satisfied that the rules in the SIP are enforceable. Therefore, the emission reductions achieved as a result of those rules are enforceable. The SIP measures were: Federal Motor Vehicle Control Program (FMVCP), Traffic flow improvements at the downtown Syracuse hot-spot, and Air monitoring at the worst CO hot-spot.

In its redesignation request, New York shows that the SIP measures were implemented. The EPA-approved MOBILE4.1 model shows that the FMVCP and traffic improvements have decreased CO emissions in the downtown area by 57 percent from 1984 to 1991. The large decrease in emissions shows that the SIP is the reason that the CO SIP has caused attainment of the CO NAAQS. The FMVCP, in particular, continues to produce decreases in CO emissions as new, cleaner cars are bought to replace older cars. This continuing program accounts for much of the emission reductions in recent years that eliminated the violations in Onondaga County.

In the redesignation request and the maintenance plan, NYSDEC and SMTC commit to continue implementing the SIP. New York has continued to monitor at the worst CO hot-spot, where the monitor recorded the violations used to designate Onondaga County as nonattainment under the Act and where it now records the subsequent attainment of the CO standard.

4. Review of Maintenance Plan Submittal

In today's notice, EPA is proposing approval of the State's maintenance plan for Onondaga County because EPA finds that New York's submittal meets the requirements of section 175A. If EPA determines after notice and comment that it should give final approval to the maintenance plan, Onondaga County will be able to be redesignated to attainment.

Under section 175A of the Act, a maintenance plan must include an attainment emission inventory, contingency measures and a demonstration of attainment for at least ten years after the area is redesignated.

As for future years, section 175A of the Act requires the State to submit a revised maintenance SIP eight years after EPA takes final action redesignating the area to attainment. If, as EPA anticipates, final action is taken in 1993, the revised maintenance SIP will be due in 2001 and it will provide for maintenance of the CO air quality standard for an additional ten years.

4A. Emissions Inventory

New York submitted comprehensive inventories of CO emissions from point, area, stationary and mobile sources using 1991 as the base year for calculations to demonstrate that the CO standard will be maintained in Onondaga County. Since air monitoring recorded attainment in 1991, 1991 is an acceptable year for the attainment inventory. New York's submittal contains summaries by source category (reproduced in Table 1) and detailed inventory data (contained in the docket).

Table  1- Onondaga County CO Emissions 
[Tons per day] 

                          1991    1996   2003 

Stationary Point fn 1       0       0      0 
Stationary Area            31      32     31 
Non-road Mobile            38      38     39 
On-road Mobile            301     216    134 
   Total                  370     286    205 

(Some columns do not total due to independent rounding during unit conversion.)

fn1 This category includes only point sources that emit over 100 tons per year of CO. Point sources that emit less than 100 tons per year are included in the Stationary Area source category.

Stationary and mobile source inventories were compiled following EPA guidance. Mobile source emission estimates were prepared following the approach recommended by EPA. New York used the Highway Performance Monitor System to estimate vehicle miles traveled and used the MOBILE4.1 emission model for CO emission estimates.

4B. Demonstration of Continued Attainment

SMTC projected CO emissions for Onondaga County, using New York's attainment year inventory, through 2003. EPA anticipates that this will be ten years from the date of the redesignation to attainment, as required by the Act. Table 1 shows that the CO emissions in Onondaga County will decrease throughout the period, so the future emissions estimates do not exceed the attainment year inventory. This shows that the present situation of attainment of the CO standard will be maintained. The decrease in emissions is from the FMVCP and traffic flow improvements at the downtown Syracuse hot-spot. These are programs in the State's 1979 CO SIP and no additional measures are needed to maintain attainment of the air quality standard.

In addition, air modeling for the four CO hot-spots with the greatest potential for violating the CO standard show that concentrations will decrease throughout the period due to the SIP measures. This modeling conforms with EPA guidance and is located in the docket.

4C. Verification of Continued Attainment

As required, the State will track continued attainment during the maintenance period. New York will continue to operate its hot-spot monitor located in downtown Syracuse in accordance with 40 CFR part 58. If the monitor records a concentration above the CO standard, New York will activate its contingency measure.

In addition, New York State will also prepare a revised CO emission inventory every three years. During the revision of the emission inventories, the State will reevaluate the growth factors and other assumptions that were used to develop the attainment and future year inventories.

4D. Contingency Plan

If, despite its best efforts to demonstrate continued compliance with the NAAQS, Onondaga County should exceed the NAAQS, New York has provided ways to detect and eliminate air quality problems. New York State has committed to respond to an exceedance of the CO standard in Onondaga County by implementing a contingency measure, oxygenated fuels, that should eliminate future CO air quality problems. This commitment was included in the redesignation request that was presented for public comment by the State during the comment period ending December 31, 1992.

The downtown Syracuse monitor is the monitor that recorded violations during the 1980s. Two analyses of intersections in Onondaga County, one in the 1980s and a more recent analysis included in the redesignation request, show that the monitor is located at the worst hot-spot in Onondaga County. If this monitor attains the CO standard, it can reasonably be assumed that all of Onondaga County is attaining the CO standard.

If the downtown Syracuse monitor records an exceedance of the CO air quality standard, New York will implement its oxygenated fuels program in the Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area as soon as possible, but no later than the beginning of the following CO season. To implement this commitment, the State could use its proposed oxygenated fuels rule, scheduled for adoption this year if it contains a provision to implement the program in the Syracuse Metropolitan Statistical Area if the State monitoring network records an exceedance of the CO standard in Onondaga County. Or the State can adopt an emergency rule to implement the program (as it did to implement oxygenated fuels during the 1992-3 CO season).

Conclusion

EPA is soliciting public comments on this notice and on issues relevant to EPA's proposed action. Comments will be considered before taking final action. Interested parties may participate in the federal rule making procedure by submitting written comments to the person and address listed in the ADDRESSES section at the beginning of this notice.

Proposed Action

In today's notice EPA proposes to approve the Onondaga County, New York CO maintenance plan because it meets the requirements of section 175A. In addition, EPA is proposing approval of New York's request to redesignate Onondaga County to attainment of the CO standard, subject to final approval of the maintenance plan. EPA is proposing approval because New York has demonstrated compliance with the requirements of section 107(d)(3)(E) for redesignation.

Nothing in this action should be construed as permitting or allowing or establishing a precedent for any future request for revision to any SIP or redesignation. Each request for revision to the SIP or redesignation shall be considered separately in light of specific technical, economic, and environmental factors and in relation to relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 600 et. seq., EPA must prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis assessing the impact of any proposed or final rule on small entities.

5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. Alternatively, EPA may certify that the rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and government entities with jurisdiction over populations of less than 50,000 people.

Redesignation of an area to attainment under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the Clean Air Act does not impose any new requirements on small entities. Redesignation is an action that affects the status of a geographical area and does not impose any regulatory requirements on sources. I certify that the approval of the redesignation request will not affect a substantial number of small entities.

This action has been classified as a Table 2 action by the Regional Administrator under the procedures published in the Federal Register on January 19, 1989 (54 FR 2214-2225). On January 6, 1989, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) waived Table 2 SIP revisions (54 FR 2222) from the requirements of section 3 of Executive Order 12291 for a period of two years. EPA has submitted a request for a permanent waiver for Table 2 SIP revisions from the requirements of section 3 of Executive Order 12291. OMB has agreed to continue the temporary waiver until such time as it rules on EPA's request.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 52

Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

40 CFR Part 81

Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

Authority: 42 U.S.C 7401-7671q.

Dated: June 29, 1993.

William J. Muszynski, Acting Regional Administrator.

[FR Doc. 93-16800 Filed 7-14-93; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.