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62 FR 3611-3612 January 24, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 16) 40 CFR Part 281 [FRL-5677-5] Alabama; Final Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program

[Federal Register: January 24, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 16)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 3611-3612]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24ja97-12]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281
[FRL-5677-5]
Alabama; Final Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of final determination on the State of Alabama's 
application for final approval.
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SUMMARY: The State of Alabama has applied for approval of its 
underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous substances 
under subtitle I of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reviewed Alabama's 
application and has reached a final determination that Alabama's 
underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous substances 
satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for approval. 
Thus, EPA is granting final approval to the State of Alabama to operate 
its underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous 
substances.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Final approval for the State of Alabama shall be 
effective at 1:00 pm Eastern Standard Time on March 25, 1997.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John K. Mason, Chief, Underground Storage Tank Section, 
U.S. EPA, Region 4, Atlanta Federal Center, 100 
Alabama Street S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, phone number: (404) 562-
9441.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    Section 9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 
authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve State 
underground storage tank programs to operate in the State in lieu of 
the federal underground storage tank (UST) program. To qualify for 
final authorization, a state's program must: (1) be "no less 
stringent" than the federal program for the seven elements set forth 
at RCRA Section 9004(a) (1) through (7); and (2) provide for adequate 
enforcement of compliance with UST standards of RCRA Section 9004(a).
    On July 26, 1994, the State of Alabama submitted an official 
application to obtain final program approval to administer the 
underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous 
substances. On October 4, 1996, EPA published a tentative decision 
announcing its intent to grant Alabama final approval. Further 
background on the tentative decision to grant approval appears at 61 FR 
51875, October 4, 1996.
    Along with the tentative determination, EPA announced the 
availability of the application for public comment and the date of a 
public hearing on the application. EPA requested advance notice for 
testimony and reserved the right to cancel the public hearing for lack 
of public interest. Since there was no public request, the public 
hearing was

[[Page 3612]]

cancelled. No public comments were received regarding EPA's approval of 
Alabama's underground storage tank program.
    The following statutory and regulatory provisions are broader in 
scope than the federal program and are not part of the approved 
program: (1) Code of Alabama, 1975, Title 22, Chapter 36, Section 5, 
insofar as it refers to tank regulation fees; and, Section 7, insofar 
as it refers to rules and regulations to establish and protect wellhead 
areas from contaminants; and (2) Alabama Department of Environmental 
Management Administrative Code Section 335-6-15-.05, only insofar as it 
requires notification of all underground storage tank systems including 
those taken out of operation on or before January 1, 1974; Section 335-
16-15-.45, insofar as it requires underground storage tank regulation 
fees; and Section 335-6-15-.47, insofar as it refers to financial 
responsibility for hazardous substance underground storage tank 
systems.
    The State of Alabama is not approved to operate the underground storage tank 
program on Indian lands within the state's borders.

B. Decision

    I conclude that the State of Alabama's application for final 
program approval meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements 
established by Subtitle I of RCRA. Accordingly, Alabama is granted 
final approval to operate its underground storage tank program for 
petroleum and hazardous substances. The State of Alabama now has the 
responsibility for managing all regulated underground storage tank 
facilities within its border and carrying out all aspects of the 
underground storage tank program except with regard to Indian lands 
where EPA will have regulatory authority. Alabama also has primacy 
enforcement responsibility, although EPA retains the right to conduct 
enforcement actions under section 9006 of RCRA.

Compliance With Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget have exempted this rule from 
the requirements of Section 6 of Executive Order 12866.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), P.L. 
104-4, establishes requirements for federal agencies to assess the 
effects of certain regulatory actions on state, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector. Under sections 202 and 205 of the 
UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written statement of economic and 
regulatory alternatives analyses for proposed and final rules with 
federal mandates, as defined by the UMRA, that may result in 
expenditures to state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or to the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. The 
section 202 and 205 requirements do not apply to today's action because 
it is not a "federal mandate" and because it does not impose annual 
costs of $100 million or more.
    Today's rule contains no federal mandates for state, local or 
tribal governments or the private sector for two reasons. First, 
today's action does not impose new or additional enforceable duties on 
any state, local or tribal governments or the private sector because 
the requirements of the State of Alabama's program are already imposed 
by the State and subject to state law. Second, the Act also generally 
excludes from the definition of a "federal mandate" duties that arise 
from participation in a voluntary federal program. Alabama's 
participation in an authorized UST program is voluntary.
    Even if today's rule did contain a federal mandate, this rule will 
not result in annual expenditures of $100 million or more for state, 
local, and/or tribal governments in the aggregate, or the private 
sector. Costs to state, local and/or tribal governments already exist 
under the State of Alabama's program, and today's action does not 
impose any additional obligations on regulated entities. In fact, EPA's 
approval of state programs generally may reduce, not increase, 
compliance costs for the private sector.
    The requirements of section 203 of UMRA also do not apply to 
today's action. Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that 
may significantly or uniquely affect small governments, section 203 of 
the UMRA requires EPA to develop a small government agency plan. This 
rule contains no regulatory requirements that might significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. The Agency recognizes that although 
small governments may own and/or operate USTs, they are already subject 
to the regulatory requirements under existing State law which are being 
authorized by EPA, and, thus, are not subject to any additional 
significant or unique requirements by virtue of this program approval.

Certification Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act

    EPA has determined that this authorization will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Such small entities which own and/or operate USTs are already subject 
to the regulatory requirements under existing State law which are being 
authorized by EPA. EPA's authorization does not impose any additional 
burdens on these small entities. This is because EPA's authorization 
would simply result in an administrative change, rather than result in 
a change in the substantive requirements imposed on small entities.
    Therefore, EPA provides the following certification under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act. Pursuant to the provision at 5 U.S.C. 605(b), 
I hereby certify that this authorization will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This 
authorization effectively approves regulatory requirements under 
existing state law to which small entities are already subject. It does 
not impose any new burdens on small entities. This rule, therefore, 
does not require a regulatory flexibility analysis.

Submission to Congress and the General Accounting Office

    Under 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A) as added by the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, EPA submitted a report 
containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, 
the U.S. House of Representatives and the Comptroller General of the 
General Accounting Office prior to publication of the rule in today's 
Federal Register. This rule is not a "major rule" as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 281

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Hazardous materials, State program approval, Underground storage tanks.

Authority

    This notice is issued under the authority of Section 9004 of the 
Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6974(b), 6991c.

    Dated: January 8, 1997.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 97-1762 Filed 1-23-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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