[Federal Register: October 4, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 194)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281
Alabama; Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of tentative determination on application of State of
Alabama for final approval, public hearing and public comment period.
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 made the tentative decision that Alabama's
underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous substances
satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for approval.
Alabama's application for approval is available for public review and
comment. A public hearing will be held to solicit comments on the
application, unless insufficient public interest is expressed.
DATES: A public hearing is scheduled for November 14, 1996, unless
insufficient public interest is expressed in holding a hearing. EPA
reserves the right to cancel the public hearing if sufficient public
interest is not communicated to EPA in writing by November 4, 1996. EPA
will determine by November 8, 1996, whether there is significant
interest to hold the public hearing. The State of Alabama will
participate in the public hearing held by EPA on this subject. Written
comments on Alabama's approval application, as well as requests to
present oral testimony, must be received by the close of business on
November 4, 1996.
ADDRESSES: Copies of Alabama's approval application are available
during the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the following addresses for
inspection and copying:
Alabama Department of Environmental Management, Ground Water Branch,
1751 W. L. Dickinson Drive, Montgomery, AL 36130, phone: (334) 270-
U.S. EPA Docket Clerk, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, 1235
Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA 22202, phone: (703) 603-9231;
U.S. EPA Region 4, Underground Storage Tank Section, Atlanta Federal
Center, 15th Floor, 100 Alabama Street SW., Atlanta, GA 30303, phone:
Written comments should be sent to Mr. John K. Mason, Chief of
Underground Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA Region 4, 100 Alabama Street
S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, telephone (404) 562-9438.
Unless insufficient public interest is expressed, EPA will hold a
public hearing on the State of Alabama's application for program
approval on November 14, 1996, at 7:00 pm at the Alabama Department of
Environmental Management Hearing Room, 1751 W.L. Dickinson Drive,
Montgomery, Alabama 36109-2608. Anyone who wishes to learn whether or
not the public hearing on the State's application has been cancelled
should telephone the following contacts after November 8, 1996:
Mr. John K. Mason, Chief, Underground Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA
Region 4, 100 Alabama Street SW., Atlanta, GA 30303, phone: (404) 562-
Ms. Sonja Massey, Chief, Ground Water Branch, Alabama Department of
Environmental Management, 1751 Congressman W.L. Dickinson Drive,
Montgomery, AL 36130, phone: (334) 270-5655.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John K. Mason, Chief, Underground
Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA Region 4, 100 Alabama Street SW.,
Atlanta, GA 30303, phone: (404) 562-9438.
Section 9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
authorizes 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 may be granted by EPA pursuant to RCRA
Section 9004(b), if the Agency finds that the State program is ``no
less stringent'' than the Federal program for the seven elements set
forth at RCRA Section
9004(a)(1) through (7); includes the notification requirements of RCRA
Section 9004(a)(8); and provides for adequate enforcement of compliance
with UST standards of RCRA Section 9004(a).
The State of Alabama submitted their draft state program approval
application to EPA by letter dated April 29, 1992. After reviewing the
package, EPA submitted comments to the state for review. Alabama
submitted their complete state program approval application for EPA's
tentative approval on July 26, 1994.
On April 5, 1989, Alabama adopted UST program regulations. Prior to
the adoption of the regulations, Alabama solicited public comment and
held a public hearing on the draft UST program regulations. EPA has
reviewed Alabama's application, and has tentatively determined that the
State's UST program for petroleum and hazardous substances meets all of
the requirements necessary to qualify for final approval.
EPA will hold a public hearing on its tentative decision on
November 14, 1996, unless insufficient public interest is expressed.
The public may also submit written comments on EPA's tentative
determination until November 4, 1996. Copies of Alabama's application
are available for inspection and copying at the location indicated in
the ADDRESSES section of this notice.
EPA will consider all public comments on its tentative
determination received at the hearing, or received in writing during
the public comment period. Issues raised by those comments may be the
basis for a decision to deny final approval to Alabama. EPA expects to
make a final decision on whether or not to approve Alabama's program by
January 14, 1996, and will give notice of it in the Federal Register.
The notice will include a summary of the reasons for the final
determination and a response to all major comments.
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.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Pub.
L. 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal
governments and the private sector. Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA
generally must prepare a written statement, including a cost-benefit
analysis, for proposed and final rules with ``Federal mandates'' 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. Before promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement
is needed, section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify
and consider a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt
the least costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative
that achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205
do not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover,
section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the
Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that
alternative was not adopted. Before EPA establishes any regulatory
requirements that may significantly or uniquely affect small
governments, including tribal governments, it must have developed under
section 203 of the UMRA a small government agency plan. The plan must
provide for notifying potentially affected small governments, enabling
officials of affected small governments to have meaningful and timely
input in the development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant
Federal intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and
advising small governments on compliance with the regulatory
Todays's rule contains no Federal mandates for State, local or
tribal governments or the private sector. The Act excludes from the
definition of a ``Federal mandate'' duties that arise from
participation in a voluntary Federal program, except in certain cases
where a ``federal intergovernmental mandate'' affects an annual federal
entitlement program of $500 million or more that are not applicable
here. Alabama's request for approval of an underground storage tank
(UST) program is voluntary and imposes no Federal mandate within the
meaning of the Act. Rather, by having its UST program approved, the
State will gain the authority to implement the federally approved
program within its jurisdiction, in lieu of EPA, thereby eliminating
duplicative State and Federal requirements. If a State chooses not to
seek authorization for administration of an UST program under RCRA
Subtitle I, RCRA underground storage tank regulation is left to EPA.
In any event, EPA has determined that this rule does not contain a
Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more
for State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate, or the
private sector in any one year. EPA does not anticipate that the
approval of Alabama's UST program referenced in today's notice will
result in annual costs of $100 million or more. EPA's approval of state
programs generally may reduce, not increase, compliance costs for the
private sector since the State, by virtue of the approval, may now
administer the program in lieu of EPA and exercise primary enforcement
responsibility. Hence, owners and operators of underground storage
tanks (USTs) generally no longer face dual Federal and State compliance
requirements, thereby reducing overall compliance costs. Thus, today's
rule is not subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the
EPA has determined that this rule contains no regulatory
requirements that might significantly or uniquely affect small
governments. The Agency recognizes that small governments may own and/
or operate USTs that will become subject to the requirements of an
approved State UST tank program. However, such small governments which
own and/or operate USTs are already subject to the requirements in 40
CFR part 280 and are not subject to any additional significant or
unique requirements by virtue of this program approval. Once EPA
authorizes a State to administer its own UST program and any revisions
to that program, these same small governments will be able to own and
operate their USTs under the approved State program, in lieu of the
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.
EPA recognizes that small entities may own and/or operate USTs that
will become subject to the requirements of an approved state UST
program. However, since such small entities which own and/or operate
USTs are already subject to the requirements in 40 CFR Part 280, this
authorization does not impose any additional burdens on these small
entities. This is because EPA's authorization would result in an
administrative change (i.e., whether EPA or the state administers the
UST program in that state, rather than result in a change in the
substantive requirements imposed on small
entities). Once EPA authorizes a state to administer its own UST
program and any revisions to that program, these same small entities
will be able to own and operate their USTs under the approved state
program, in lieu of the federal program. Moreover, this authorization,
in approving a state program to operate in lieu of the federal program,
eliminates duplicative requirements for owners and operators of USTs in
that particular state.
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 the Alabama program to operate in
lieu of the federal program, thereby eliminating duplicative
requirements for owners and operators of USTs 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, and Underground storage
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),
Dated: September 23, 1996.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 96-25107 Filed 10-3-96; 8:45 am]
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