[Federal Register: February 1, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 22)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281
Montana; Final Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of final determination on State of Montana application
for final approval.
SUMMARY: The State of Montana has applied for final approval of its
underground storage tank program under Subtitle I of the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) has reviewed the Montana application and has reached a
final determination that Montana's underground storage tank (UST)
program satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for
final approval. Thus, EPA is granting final approval to the State to
operate its program in lieu of the Federal program.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Final approval for Montana shall be effective at 1:00
pm Eastern Time on March 4, 1996.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kris Knutson, U.S. EPA, Region 8,
Montana Office, DWR 10096, 301 South Park, Helena, Montana 59626-0096,
phone: (406) 441-1130, extension 225.
Section 9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
enables EPA to approve state underground storage tank programs to
operate in the State in lieu of the Federal underground storage tank
(UST) program. Program approval is granted by EPA if the Agency finds
that the State program: (1) is ``no less stringent'' than the Federal
program in all seven elements, and includes notification requirements
of section 9004(a)(8), 42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)(8); and (2) provides for
adequate enforcement of compliance with UST standards (section 9004(a),
42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)).
On February 22, 1995, Montana submitted an application for
``complete'' program approval which includes regulation of both
petroleum and hazardous substance tanks. The State of Montana
established authority through an amendment to the 1981 Montana
Hazardous Waste Act to implement an underground storage tank program.
The State changed the title of the Act to the Montana Hazardous Waste
and Underground Storage Tank Act in April 1985, and further amended the
Act in 1989 to expand rulemaking authority. Another amendment in 1993
provided the State with rulemaking authority to assess civil penalties.
On September 22, 1995, EPA published a tentative decision
announcing its intent to grant Montana final approval. Further
background on the tentative decision to grant approval appears at 60 FR
49239, September 22, 1995. Along with the tentative determination, EPA
announced the availability of the application for public comment and
provided notice that a public hearing would be provided if significant
public interest was shown. EPA received only one comment on the
application and no request for a public hearing. Therefore, a hearing
was not held.
I conclude that Montana's application for final approval meets all
of the statutory and regulatory requirements established by Subtitle I
of RCRA. Accordingly, Montana is granted final approval to operate its
underground storage tank program in lieu of the Federal program.
Montana now has the responsibility for managing underground storage
tank facilities within its borders and carrying out all aspects of the
UST program except with regard to ``Indian Country,'' as defined in 18
U.S.C. 1151, where EPA will retain and otherwise exercise regulatory
authority. ``Indian Country'' includes the following Indian
reservations in the State of Montana:
4. Fort Belknap;
5. Fort Peck;
6. Northern Cheyenne; and
7. Rocky Boys.
The Environmental Protection Agency retains all underground storage
tank authority under RCRA which applies to ``Indian Country'' in
Before EPA would be able to approve the State of Montana UST
program for any portion of ``Indian Country,'' the State would have to
provide an appropriate analysis of the State's jurisdiction to enforce
in these areas. In order for a state to satisfy this requirement, it
must demonstrate to the EPA's satisfaction that it has authority
pursuant to applicable principles of Federal Indian Law to enforce its
laws against existing and potential pollution sources within any
geographical area for which it seeks program approval. EPA has reason
to believe that disagreement exists with regard to the State's
jurisdiction over ``Indian Country,'' and EPA is not satisfied that
Montana has, at this time, made the requisite showing of its authority
with respect to such lands.
In withholding program approval for these areas, EPA is not making
a determination that the State either has adequate jurisdiction or
lacks such jurisdiction. Should the State of Montana choose to submit
analysis with regard to its jurisdiction over all or part of ``Indian
Country'' in the State, it may do so without prejudice.
EPA's future evaluation of whether to approve the Montana program
for ``Indian Country,'' to include Indian reservation lands, will be
governed by EPA's judgement as to whether the State has demonstrated
adequate authority to
justify such approval, based upon its understanding of the relevant
principles of Federal Indian law and sound administrative practice. The
State may wish to consider EPA's discussion of the related issue of
tribal jurisdiction found in the preamble to the Indian Water Quality
Standards Regulation (see 56 FR 64876, December 12, 1991).
Montana also has primary enforcement responsibility, although EPA
retains the right to conduct inspections under section 9005 of RCRA 42
U.S.C. 6991d and to take enforcement actions under section 9006 of RCRA
42 U.S.C. 6991e.
Compliance with Executive Order 12866
The Office of Management and Budget has exempted this rule from the
requirements of Section 6 of Executive Order 12866.
Certification under the Regulatory Flexibility Act
Pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 605(b), I hereby certify
that this approval will not have a significant economic impact on a
substantial number of small entities. The approval effectively suspends
the applicability of certain Federal regulations in favor of Montana's
program, thereby eliminating duplicative requirements for owners and
operators of underground storage tanks in the State. It does not impose
any new burdens on small entities. This rule, therefore, does not
require a regulatory flexibility analysis.
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 sections
2002(a), 7004(b), and 9004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as
amended, 42 U.S.C. 6912(a), 6974(b), and 6991(c).
Dated: December 14, 1995.
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 96-2142 Filed 1-31-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
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