[Federal Register: July 9, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 131)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281
District of Columbia; Final Approval of State Underground Storage
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of final determination on the District of Columbia's
application for program approval.
SUMMARY: The District of Columbia has applied for 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 District of Columbia's application and
has made a final determination that the District of Columbia's
underground storage tank program satisfies all of the requirements
necessary to qualify for approval. Thus, EPA is granting final approval
to the District of Columbia to operate its program.
EFFECTIVE DATES: Program approval for the District of Columbia shall be
effective on August 8, 1997.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen L. Bowen, State Programs Branch
(3HW60), U.S. EPA Region III, 841 Chestnut Building, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania 19107, (215) 566-3382.
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. To qualify for approval, a State's program must be ``no
less stringent'' than the Federal program in all seven elements set
forth at section 9004(a) (1) through (7) of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)
(1) through (7), as well as the notification requirements of section
9004(a)(8) of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)(8) and must provide for adequate
enforcement of compliance with UST standards (section 9004(a) of RCRA,
42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)).
On October 3, 1996, the District of Columbia submitted an official
application for approval to administer its underground storage tank
program. On April 28, 1997, EPA published a tentative determination
announcing its intent to approve the District's program. Further
background on the tentative decision to grant approval appears at 62 FR
22898 (April 28, 1997).
Along with the tentative determination, EPA announced the
availability of the application for public review and comment and the
date of a tentative public hearing on the application and EPA's
tentative determination. EPA requested advance notice for testimony and
reserved the right to cancel the public hearing in the event of
insufficient public interest. Since there were no requests to hold a
public hearing, it was cancelled. One person provided written comments
relating to the District of Columbia's regulations pertaining to
heating oil tanks. The commenter felt the District's regulations are
excessive for underground heating oil tanks and are not in conformance
with Federal law, or that of the surrounding states and suggested that
since the District of Columbia is predominantly a Federal city, it
should follow the Federal UST regulations.
The District of Columbia has identified in their application that
the regulation of heating oil tanks is an area where its program is
broader in scope than the Federal program. The Federal underground
storage tank program does not cover tanks used for storing heating oil
for consumptive use on the premises where stored, and, therefore, the
District of Columbia is free to regulate such tanks as it deems
appropriate. Since state programs which are broader in scope than the
Federal program may be approved, EPA is granting final approval to the
District of Columbia's Underground Storage Tank Program.
B. Final Decision
I conclude that the District of Columbia's application for program
approval meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirements
established by Subtitle I of RCRA and 40 CFR part 281. Accordingly, the
District of Columbia is granted approval to operate its underground
storage tank program in lieu of the Federal program.
Compliance With Executive Order 12866
The Office of Management and Budget has exempted this action 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 District of Columbia program are already
imposed by the District of Columbia and subject to the District of
Columbia law. Second, the Act also generally excludes from the
definition of a ``Federal mandate'' duties that arise from
participation in a voluntary Federal program. The District of
Columbia'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 District of Columbia 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
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 a change
in the substantive requirements imposed on these 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 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
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 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, as amended, 42
Dated: June 27, 1997.
Rene A. Henry,
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 97-17956 Filed 7-8-97; 8:45 am]
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