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62 FR 22898-22900 April 28, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 81) 40 CFR Part 281 [FRL-5815-7] District of Columbia; Approval of Underground Storage Tank Program

[Federal Register: April 28, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 81)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 22898-22900]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28ap97-21]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 281

[FRL-5815-7]

 
District of Columbia; Approval of Underground Storage Tank 
Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of tentative determination, public hearing, and public 
comment period.

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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 the tentative decision that the District of Columbia's 
underground storage tank program satisfies all of the requirements 
necessary to qualify for approval. The District of Columbia'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: Unless insufficient public interest is expressed in holding a 
hearing, a public hearing will be held on June 5, 1997. However, EPA 
reserves the right to cancel the public hearing if sufficient public 
interest in a hearing is not communicated to EPA in writing by May 29, 
1997. EPA will determine by June 2, 1997, whether there is sufficient 
interest to hold the public hearing. The District of Columbia will 
participate in any public hearing held by EPA on this subject. All 
written comments on the District of Columbia's application for program 
approval must be received by 4:30 p.m. on May 29, 1997.

ADDRESSEES: Copies of the District of Columbia's application for 
program approval are available between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the 
following locations for inspection and copying:

    Location: D. C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 
Environmental Regulation Administration Underground Storage Tank 
Branch, 2100 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, S.E., Suite 203, 
Washington, D.C. 20020-5732.
    Contact: Dr. V. Sreenivas, Program Manager.
    Telephone: 201-645-6080 ext. 3009.
    Contact: Laura Gilbert, Environmental Legislative Analyst.
    Telephone: 201-645-6080 ext. 3007.

    Location: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Docket 
Clerk, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, 1235 Jefferson Davis 
Highway,Arlington, VA 22202.
    Telephone: (703) 603-9231.

    Location: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III 
Library, 841 Chestnut Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania l9l07.
    Contact: Hazardous Waste Technical Information Center;
    Telephone: (215) 566-5534 or (215) 566-5364.
    Written comments should be sent to: Karen L. Bowen, Program 
Manager, State Programs Branch, (3HW60), U.S. EPA Region III, 841 
Chestnut Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, (215) 566-3382.
    Unless insufficient public interest is expressed, EPA will hold a 
public hearing on the District's application for program approval on 
June 5, 1997, at 7:00 p.m. at the Department of Consumer & Regulatory 
Affairs, Environmental Regulation Administration, 2100 Martin Luther 
King, Jr. Avenue, SE., Room 300, Washington, DC 20020.
    Anyone who wishes to learn whether or not the public hearing on the 
District's application has been cancelled should telephone after June 
2, 1997, the EPA Program Manager listed above or Dr. Venkataiah 
Sreenivas, Chief, UST Branch, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory 
Affairs, Environmental Regulation Administration, (202) 645-6080, ext. 
3009.

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.

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 lieu of the Federal underground storage tank (UST) program. 
EPA may approve a State program if the Agency finds pursuant to section 
9004(b), 42 U.S.C. 6991c(b), that the State program is ``no less 
stringent'' than the Federal program in all seven elements set forth at 
section 9004(a) (1) through (7), 42 U.S.C. 6991c(a) (1) through (7), 
and meets the notification requirements of section 9004(a)(8), 42 
U.S.C. 6991c(a)(8) and also provides for adequate enforcement of 
compliance with UST standards (section 9004(a), 42 U.S.C. 6991c(a)).

B. District of Columbia

    The District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory 
Affairs (DCRA), is the implementing agency for UST activities in the 
District, a jurisdiction recognized as a ``State'' pursuant to Section 
1004(31) of RCRA. The Underground Storage Tank Branch of DCRA is 
dedicating a substantial effort to prevent, control and remediate UST-
related groundwater contamination. The Underground Storage Tank Branch 
maintains a strong field presence and works closely with

[[Page 22899]]

the regulated community to ensure compliance with regulatory 
requirements.
    The scope of the District of Columbia UST Program extends beyond 
the scope of the Federal UST Program, for example:
    • In addition to the approximately 3,780 USTs covered by 
both the Federal and District programs, the District also regulates an 
estimated 2,250 USTs each containing 1100 gallons or more containing 
heating oil.
    • A broad range of persons are required to report suspected 
releases, not just owners and operators, as required by the Federal 
program.

    In addition, certain requirements of the District's program are 
more stringent than the analogous requirements of the Federal UST 
Program. For example:
    •The District's new tank performance standards are more 
stringent than the Federal new tank performance standards, requiring 
all new petroleum USTs installed after the effective date of the 
regulations to be of double walled construction or to have other 
secondary containment.
    • Under the District's program hazardous substance USTs were 
required to have met the new tank performance standards or to have been 
upgraded by December 22, 1994. The federal regulations do not require 
this until December 22, 1998.
    • The District of Columbia's release detection requirements 
are more stringent than those of the Federal regulations in that the 
use of monthly inventory control combined with annual tightness testing 
was eliminated as an acceptable method of release detection effective 
December 22, 1994. The Federal regulations continue to allow monthly 
inventory control combined with annual tightness testing as an 
acceptable method of release detection until December 22, 1998.
    • The District of Columbia requires UST systems within 100 
feet of a subway to meet additional requirements.
    • The District of Columbia requires all piping for hazardous 
substance USTs and pressurized piping for petroleum USTs to be equipped 
with secondary containment. Federal regulations do not require such 
secondary containment.
    • The District of Columbia regulations go beyond the Federal 
regulations in that the District regulations on corrective action 
establish specific requirements for the disposal of contaminated soils, 
require preparation of a Quality Assurance/Quality Control Plan, 
include specific standards for water and soil quality and include 
special procedures for closure of contaminated sites.

    Any contaminated soils that are stockpiled on site are required to 
be treated or removed within 30 days. There is no Federal regulation 
requiring pile removal within 30 days.
    The District of Columbia requires sellers of real property to 
notify prospective purchasers in writing of tanks existing on the 
property or previously removed from the property. The Federal 
regulations do not have a similar requirement.
    The D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs submitted an 
official application for approval on October 4, 1996. Prior to its 
submission, the District of Columbia provided an opportunity for public 
notice and comment in the development of its underground storage tank 
program, as required by 40 CFR 281.50(b). EPA has reviewed the 
District's application, and has tentatively determined that the 
District's program meets all of the requirements necessary to qualify 
for final approval. However, EPA intends to review all timely received 
public comments prior to making a final decision on whether to grant 
approval to the District of Columbia to operate its program in lieu of 
the Federal program.
    EPA is aware that the District of Columbia intends to transfer its 
underground storage tank program from the Department of Consumer and 
Regulatory Affairs to the Department of Health. EPA invites comment on 
this planned transfer of functions.
    In accordance with Section 9004 of RCRA, 42 U.S.C. 6991c, and 40 
CFR 281.50(e), the Agency will hold a public hearing on its tentative 
decision on June 5,1997, at 7:00 p.m. at the Department of Consumer & 
Regulatory Affairs, Environmental Regulation Administration, 2100 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, S.E., Room 300, Washington, D.C. 20020, 
unless insufficient public interest is expressed. The public may also 
submit written comments on EPA's tentative determination until May 29, 
1997. Copies of The District's application are available for inspection 
and copying at the locations indicated in the ``Addressees'' section of 
this notice.
    EPA will consider all public comments on its tentative 
determination received at the public hearing, if a hearing is held, and 
during the public comment period. Issues raised by those comments may 
be the basis for a decision to deny approval to the District of 
Columbia. EPA will give notice of its final decision in the Federal 
Register; the document will include a summary of the reasons for the 
final determination and a response to all significant comments.

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 proposed 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 and subject to District 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 proposed 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 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

[[Page 22900]]

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 District 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 District 
law to which small entities are already subject. It does not impose any 
new burdens on small entities. This proposed 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 document is issued under the authority of 
Section 9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as 
amended 42 U.S.C. 6991c.

    Dated: April 3, 1997.
W. Michael McCabe,
Regional Administrator.
[FR Doc. 97-10885 Filed 4-25-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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