[Federal Register: April 28, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 81)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 281
District of Columbia; Approval of Underground Storage Tank
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.
ACTION: Notice of tentative determination, public hearing, and public
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.
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 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
the regulated community to ensure compliance with regulatory
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
• A broad range of persons are required to report suspected
releases, not just owners and operators, as required by the Federal
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
• 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
• 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
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
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
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,
[FR Doc. 97-10885 Filed 4-25-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
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