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64 FR 43336-43338 August 10, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 153) 40 CFR Part 281 [FRL-6414-6] North Carolina; Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program

[Federal Register: August 10, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 153)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 43336-43338]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10au99-31]                         

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 281

[FRL-6414-6]

 
North Carolina; Approval of State Underground Storage Tank 
Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of tentative determination on application of state of 
North Carolina for final approval, public hearing and public comment 
period.

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SUMMARY: The State of North Carolina 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 the North 
Carolina application and has made the tentative decision that the North 
Carolina underground storage tank program for petroleum and hazardous 
substances satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for 
approval. North Carolina'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: Written comments on the North Carolina approval application, as 
well as requests to present oral testimony, must be received by the 
close of business on September 9, 1999. A public hearing is scheduled 
for September 13, 1999, 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 September 9, 1999. EPA will determine by September 14, 
1999, whether there is significant interest to hold the public hearing. 
The State of North Carolina will participate in the public hearing held 
by EPA on this subject.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the North Carolina approval application are 
available during the hours of 9 am to 5 pm at the following addresses 
for inspection and copying:

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 
Underground Storage Tank Section, 2728 Capital Boulevard, Parker-
Lincoln Building, Raleigh, North Carolina 27604, Phone: (919) 733-8486;
U.S. EPA Docket Clerk, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, 1235 
Jefferson Davis Highway--1st Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22202, Phone: 
(703) 603-9231; and,
U.S. EPA Region 4, Underground Storage Tank Section, Atlanta Federal 
Center, 15th Floor, 61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, 
Phone: (404) 562-9277.

    Written comments should be sent to Mr. John K. Mason, Chief of 
Underground Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street 
S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, telephone (404) 562-9277.
    Unless insufficient public interest is expressed, EPA will hold a 
public hearing on the State of North Carolina's application for program 
approval on September 13, 1999, at 7 pm at the North Carolina 
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Archadale Building, 
Ground Floor Hearing Room, 512 North Salisbury Street, Raleigh, North 
Carolina 27604-1148. Anyone who wishes to learn whether or not the 
public hearing on the State's application has been canceled should 
telephone the following contacts after September 14, 1999.

Mr. John K. Mason, Chief, Underground Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA 
Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303, Phone: (404) 
562-9277, or
Mr. Burrie Boshoff, Chief, Underground Storage Tank Section, North 
Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Post Office 
Box 29578, Raleigh, North Carolina 27626-0578, Phone: (919) 733-8486.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. John K. Mason, Chief, Underground 
Storage Tank Section, U.S. EPA Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street S.W., 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303, phone: (404) 562-9277.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    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).

[[Page 43337]]

B. North Carolina

    The State of North Carolina submitted their draft state program 
approval application to EPA by letter dated December 8, 1992. After 
reviewing the package and coordinating with the State, EPA submitted 
final comments to the state for review. North Carolina submitted their 
complete state program approval application for EPA's tentative 
approval on January 16, 1998.
    North Carolina adopted UST program regulations that became 
effective on January 1, 1991. Prior to the adoption of the regulations, 
North Carolina solicited public comment and held a public hearing on 
the draft UST program regulations. EPA has reviewed the North Carolina 
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 
September 13, 1999, unless insufficient public interest is expressed. 
The public may also submit written comments on EPA's tentative 
determination until September 9, 1999. Copies of the North Carolina 
application are available for inspection and copying at the location 
indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this document.
    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 North Carolina. EPA 
expects to make a final decision on whether or not to approve the North 
Carolina UST program by October 12, 1999, 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), 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 North Carolina 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. North Carolina's 
participation in an approved 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 North Carolina 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 
approved 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 approval 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 
approved by EPA. EPA's approval does not impose any additional burdens 
on these small entities. This is because EPA's approval 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 approval will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule 
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.

Compliance With Executive Order 13045

    Executive Order 13045 applies to any rule that the Office of 
Management and Budget determines is ``economically significant'' as 
defined under Executive Order 12866, and that EPA determines that the 
environmental health or safety risk addressed by the rule has a 
disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action meets 
both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health or 
safety effects of the planned rule on children and explain why the 
planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and 
reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.

Compliance With Executive Order 12875

    Under Executive Order 12875, Enhancing the Intergovernmental 
Partnership, EPA may not issue a regulation that is not required by 
statute and that creates a mandate upon a State, local or tribal 
government, unless the Federal government provides the funds necessary 
to pay the direct compliance costs incurred by those governments, or 
EPA consults with those governments. If EPA complies by consulting, 
Executive Order 12875 requires EPA to provide to the Office of 
Management and Budget a description of the extent of EPA's prior 
consultation with representatives of affected State, local and tribal 
governments, the nature of their concerns, any written communications 
from the governments, and a statement supporting the need to issue the 
regulation. In addition, Executive Order 12875 requires EPA to develop 
an

[[Page 43338]]

effective process permitting elected officials and other 
representatives of State, local and tribal governments ``to provide 
meaningful and timely input in the development of regulatory proposals 
containing significant unfunded mandates.''
    Today's rule does not create a mandate on State, local or tribal 
governments. The rule does not impose any enforceable duties on these 
entities. The State administers its underground storage tank program 
voluntarily, and any duties on other State, local or tribal 
governmental entities arise from that program, not from today's action. 
Accordingly, the requirements of section 1(a) of Executive Order 12875 
do not apply to this rule.

Compliance With Executive Order 13084

    Under Executive Order 13084, Consultation and Coordination with 
Indian Tribal Governments, EPA may not issue a regulation that is not 
required by statute, that significantly or uniquely affects the 
communities of Indian tribal governments, and that imposes substantial 
direct compliance costs on those communities, unless the Federal 
government provides the funds necessary to pay the direct compliance 
costs incurred by the tribal governments, or EPA consults with those 
governments. If EPA complies by consulting, Executive Order 13084 
requires EPA to provide to the Office of Management and Budget, in a 
separately identified section of the preamble to the rule, a 
description of the extent of EPA's prior consultation with 
representatives of affected tribal governments, a summary of the nature 
of their concerns, and a statement supporting the need to issue the 
regulation. In addition, Executive Order 13084 requires EPA to develop 
an effective process permitting elected officials and other 
representatives of Indian tribal governments ``to provide meaningful 
and timely input in the development of regulatory policies on matters 
that significantly or uniquely affect their communities.''
    Today's rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the 
communities of Indian tribal governments. North Carolina is not 
approved to implement the underground storage tank program in Indian 
Country. This rule has no effect on the underground storage tank 
program that EPA implements in the Indian Country within the State. 
Accordingly, the requirements of section 3(b) of Executive Order 13084 
do not apply to this rule.

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Pub. L. No. 104-113, section 12(d) (15 U.S.C. 
272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in its 
regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with 
applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards 
are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, 
sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA 
to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides 
not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This action does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA 
did not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., Federal 
agencies must consider the paperwork burden imposed by an information 
request contained in a proposed rule or a final rule. This rule will 
not impose any information requirements upon the regulated community.

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), 
6926, 6974(b).

    Dated: July 29, 1999.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting, Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 99-20313 Filed 8-9-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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