[Federal Register: September 22, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 184)]
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 Tentative Determination on Application of State of
Montana for Final Approval, Public Hearing and Public Comment Period.
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 made the
tentative decision that Montana's underground storage tank (UST)
program satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for
final approval. Notably, the State of Montana's statute authorizes the
issuance of regulations that are broader in scope than the Federal
regulations. EPA intends to grant final approval to the State to
operate its program in lieu of the Federal program. The State of
Montana's application for final approval is available for public review
DATES: All comments on Montana's final approval application must be
received by the close of business on October 23, 1995. The public
hearing is tentatively scheduled for November 13, 1995.
ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to U.S. EPA, Attention:
Kristine Knutson, DWR 10096, 301 South Park, Helena, Montana 59626-
If the public hearing is held it will be at the Department of
Health and Environmental Sciences, 2209 Phoenix Avenue, Helena,
Montana, at 1 p.m.
Copies of Montana's final approval application are available during
normal working days at the following addresses for inspection and
copying: from 8 a.m.--5 p.m. at the Montana Department of Health and
Environmental Sciences, 2209 Phoenix Avenue, Helena, Montana 59620-
0901, phone: (406) 444-5970; and from 12 p.m.--4 p.m. at the U.S. EPA
Region 8, Library, Suite 144, 999 18th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202,
phone: (303) 294-7616.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristine Knutson, U.S. EPA, Region 8,
Montana Office, DWR 10096, 301 South Park, Helena, Montana 59626-0096,
phone: (406) 449-5414, extension 225.
PUBLIC HEARING: EPA has tentatively scheduled a public hearing on this
determination. If a sufficient number of people express interest in
participating in a hearing by writing to EPA or calling the contact
within 30 days of the date of publication of this notice, EPA will hold
a hearing on the date given above in the DATES section. EPA will notify
all persons who submit comments on this notice if it decides to hold
the hearing. In addition, anyone who wishes to learn whether the
hearing will be held may call the person listed in the FOR FURTHER
INFORMATION CONTACT section.
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)).
B. State of Montana
In April 1985, 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 1989, 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.
The State submitted a draft application for state program approval
in December 1992. Supplemental information was provided in January
1993. EPA reviewed and commented on the draft application and requested
additional information to be included in the final application.
On February 22, 1995, Montana submitted an official application for
final approval. Prior to its submission, Montana provided an
opportunity for public notice and comment in the development of its
underground storage tank program as required under Sec. 281.50(b). EPA
has reviewed Montana's application, and has tentatively determined that
the State's program meets all of the requirements necessary to qualify
for final approval. Consequently, EPA intends to grant final approval
to Montana to operate its program in lieu of the Federal program.
This tentative determination to approve the Montana UST program
applies to all activities in Montana outside of ``Indian Country,'' as
defined in 18 U.S.C. section 1151, including 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 Montana.
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 judgment 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).
In accordance with Section 9004 of RCRA 42 U.S.C. 6991c and 40 CFR
281.50(e), the Agency will accept written comments on EPA's tentative
determination until October 23, 1995. Copies of Montana's application
are available for inspection and copying at the locations indicated in
the ``Addresses'' section of this notice.
EPA will consider all public comments on its tentative
determination received during the public comment period. Issues raised
by those comments may be the basis for a decision to deny final
approval to Montana. EPA expects to make a final decision on whether or
not to approve Montana's program by December 21, 1995, 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
The Office of Management and Budget has exempted this rule from the
requirements of Section 6 of Executive Order 12866.
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 Section
9004 of the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended 42 U.S.C. 6991c.
Dated: August 1, 1995.
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 95-23574 Filed 9-21-95; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
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