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60 FR 4586-4587 January 24, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 15) 40 CFR Part 281 [FRL-5142-9] The State of Texas; Final Approval of State Underground Storage Tank Program

[Federal Register: January 24, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 15)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 4586-4587]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr24ja95-27]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281

[FRL-5142-9]

 
The State of Texas; Final Approval of State Underground Storage 
Tank Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

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

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SUMMARY: The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC, 
Texas or the State) 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 Texas' application and has made the tentative decision that 
its underground storage tank program satisfies all of the requirements 
necessary to qualify for final approval. Thus, EPA intends to grant 
final approval to the State to operate its program in lieu of the 
Federal program. Texas' application for final approval is available for 
public review and comment, and a public hearing will be scheduled to 
solicit comments on the application, if requested.
DATES: A public hearing will be scheduled. Interested parties may call 
the US EPA, Region 6, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, at (214) 
665-6756 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Central Standard 
Time, from February 23, 1995 through February 28, 1995 to learn the 
date and time of the scheduled public hearing. If it is held, Texas 
will participate in the public hearing scheduled by EPA on this 
subject. All comments on Texas' final approval application and all 
requests to present oral testimony must be received by the close of 
business on February 23, 1995. EPA reserves the right to cancel the 
scheduled hearing should there be no significant public interest. Those 
informing EPA of their intention to testify will be notified of the 
cancellation.

ADDRESSES: Copies of Texas' final approval application are available 
for inspection and copying, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., at the following 
addresses: Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Records and 
Copy Center, Park 35 Building ``D'', Room 190, 12118 North IH-35, 
Austin, Texas 78753, Phone: (512) 239-2920; US EPA Headquarters, Office 
of Underground Storage Tanks Docket Clerk, 401 M Street, SW, Room 2616, 
Washington, DC 20460, Phone: (202) 260-9720; and US EPA, Region 6 
Library, 12th Floor, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202, Phone: 
(214) 665-6424. The location for the scheduled hearing can be obtained 
by calling the US EPA, Region 6, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, 
Phone: (214) 665-6756, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Central Standard 
Time from February 23, 1995 through February 28, 1995. Written comments 
and requests to present oral testimony should be sent to Joe Womack, 
Texas Program Officer, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, US EPA, 
Region 6, Mailcode: 6H-A, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202, Phone: 
(214) 665-6586.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Texas Program Officer, Underground 
Storage Tank Program, Attention: Joe Womack, US EPA, Region 6, 
Mailcode: 6H-A, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75202, Phone: (214) 
665-6586. [[Page 4587]] 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    Section 9004 of 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 the following seven elements: 
Corrective action; financial responsibility; new tank standards; 
release detection; release detection recordkeeping; reporting of 
releases (section 9004(b)(2), 42 U.S.C. 6991(c)(b)(2); and notification 
requirements of section 9004(a)(8), 42 U.S.C. 6991(c)(a)(8); and (2) 
provides for adequate enforcement of compliance with UST standards 
(section 9004(a), 42 U.S.C. 6991(c)(a).

B. Texas

    On April 28, 1994, Texas submitted an official application for 
final approval. Prior to its submission, Texas provided an opportunity 
for public notice and comment in the development of its underground 
storage tank program. This is required under 40 CFR 281.50(b). EPA 
reviewed Texas' application, and determined that there were apparent 
differences between Texas' regulations and the Federal regulations. The 
differences were in various sections of the Texas UST regulations and 
involved minor aspects of corrosion protection, exceptions, and 
discretionary powers of the Executive Director of the TNRCC.
    EPA and the State of Texas have discussed these differences and the 
State agreed, pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), to amend its 
current regulations to address each instance of the differences noted 
above. The revised regulations were submitted to the Texas Register as 
proposed rule amendments July 1, 1994, and became effective on January 
3, 1995. The specific differences and Texas' proposed regulatory 
changes are documented in the MOA. The MOA is available for review as a 
part of the State Program Approval Application.
    EPA proposes that Texas' program substantially meets all of the 
requirements necessary to qualify for final approval. Therefore, 
following mutual agreement on the terms and provisions of the MOA and 
the completion of the revisions to the Texas UST regulations, EPA 
proposes to grant final approval to the State of Texas to operate its 
program in lieu of the Federal program.
    In accordance with section 9004 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6991(c), and 40 
CFR 281.50(e), the Agency will schedule a public hearing on its 
proposal. Interested parties can learn the date, time, and place of the 
scheduled hearing by calling the US EPA, Region 6, Office of 
Underground Storage Tanks, at (214)665-6756 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 
p.m. Central Standard Time from February 23, 1995 through February 28, 
1995. The public may also submit written comments on EPA's proposal 
until February 23, 1995. Copies of Texas' application are available at 
the ADDRESSES indicated in this notice.
    EPA will consider all public comments on its proposal received at 
the hearing, if held, or during the public comment period. Issues 
raised by those comments may be the basis for a decision to deny final 
approval to Texas. EPA expects to make a final decision regarding 
approval of Texas' program by April 24, 1995 and will give notice of it 
in the Federal Register. The notice will include a summary of the 
reasons for final determination and a response to all major comments.
    The State of Texas is not authorized to operate the UST program on 
Indian lands and this authority will remain with EPA.
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 hearby 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 Texas' 
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 RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6991(c).

    Dated: January 13, 1995.
Barbara J. Goetz,
Acting Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 95-1667 Filed 1-23-95; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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