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63 FR 40683-40685 July 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 146) 40 CFR Part 281 [FRL-6130-6] Virginia; Approval of Underground Storage Tank Program

[Federal Register: July 30, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 146)]
[Proposed Rules]               
[Page 40683-40685]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30jy98-30]

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 281

[FRL-6130-6]

 
Virginia; Approval of Underground Storage Tank Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of tentative determination on Virginia's application for 
approval of underground storage tank program, public hearing and public 
comment period.

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SUMMARY: The Commonwealth of Virginia (State) 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 State's application and has 
made the tentative decision that the State's underground storage tank 
program satisfies all of the requirements necessary to qualify for 
approval. The State'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 September 11, 1998. 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 
September 4, 1998. EPA will determine by September 9, 1998, whether 
there is sufficient interest to hold the public hearing. The State will 
participate in any public hearing held by EPA on this subject. All 
written comments on the State's application for

[[Page 40684]]

program approval must be received by 4:30 p.m. on September 4, 1998.

ADDRESSEES: Copies of the State's application for program approval are 
available between 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the following locations for 
inspection and copying:
    Location: Department of Environmental Quality, Commonwealth of 
Virginia, Office of Spill Response and Remediation, 629 East Main 
Street, Richmond, Virginia 23240-0009.
    Contact: Mary Ellen Kendall, Environmental Technical Services 
Administrator.
    Telephone: 804-698-4499.

    Location: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Docket 
Clerk, Office of Underground Storage Tanks, 1235 Jefferson Davis 
Highway, 1st Floor, Arlington, VA 22202.
    Telephone: (703) 603-9231.

    Location: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region III 
Library, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2029.
    Telephone: (215) 814-5254.
    Written comments should be sent to Rosemarie Nino, Program Manager, 
State Programs Branch, Waste & Chemicals Management Division (3WC21), 
U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
19103-2029, (215) 814-3377.
    Unless insufficient public interest is expressed, EPA will hold a 
public hearing on the State's application for program approval on 
September 11, 1998, at 7:00 p.m. at the Department of Environmental 
Quality, Office of Spill Response and Remediation, Underground Storage 
Tank Program, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060.
    Anyone who wishes to learn whether or not the public hearing on the 
State's application has been cancelled should telephone after September 
9, 1998, the EPA Program Manager listed above or Mary Ellen Kendall, 
Environmental Technical Services Administrator, Department of 
Environmental Quality, Office of Spill Response and Remediation, 
Underground Storage Tank Program, (804) 698-4499.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemarie Nino, State Programs Branch 
(3WC21), U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania 19103-2029, (215) 814-3377. Also, a copy of the fact sheet 
is available on the EPA Web Site at (www.epa.gov/reg3 wcmd/ 
public__notices.htm).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    Section 9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 
authorizes EPA to approve the Commonwealth 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's 
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. Virginia

    The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VADEQ) is the 
implementing agency for UST activities in the State. The Underground 
Storage Tank Program, Office of Spill Response and Remediation of VADEQ 
is dedicating a substantial effort to prevent, control and remediate 
UST-related groundwater contamination. The Underground Storage Tank 
Program, Office of Spill Response and Remediation of VADEQ maintains a 
strong field presence and works closely with the regulated community to 
ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
    Virginia's requirements which exceed the stringency or scope of the 
Federal regulations include the following subject matter:
    (1) Virginia's regulations do not allow for the installation of an 
UST system without corrosion protection under any circumstances, 
whereas EPA allows the installation of an UST system without corrosion 
protection if a corrosion expert determines that the site is not 
corrosive enough to cause the system to have a release due to corrosion 
during its operating life;
    (2) Virginia's regulations require that owners and operators obtain 
a permit, undergo a State inspection, and/or obtain a certificate of 
use in accordance with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code for 
the following circumstances: tank installation, tank repairs and 
release detection, and temporary closure, permanent tank closure, and 
changes-in-service. EPA's technical standards do not require permits or 
inspections of this nature, nor do they require conformance with State 
building codes;
    (3) The Federal requirements at 40 CFR 280.20(e) allow six options 
for an owner/operator to demonstrate compliance with the installation 
requirements of section 280.20(d). The State's regulations do not allow 
two of these options: certification by the installer or inspection and 
approval of the installation by the implementing agency;
    (4) Virginia's regulations require that UST systems with impressed 
current corrosion protection systems must be installed so that they 
cannot be inadvertently shut off. EPA technical standards only require 
that the cathodic protection systems continuously provide corrosion 
protection;
    (5) Virginia's regulations set forth the requirement that owners/
operators file an application for and obtain a Corrective Action Permit 
(CAP) when corrective action is needed. The EPA's technical standards 
do not include such a requirement;
    (6) Virginia's requirements for assessing the site at closure or 
change-in-service mirror the federal requirements with additional 
requirements for the testing of samples and submittal of test results, 
a description of the area sampled, and a site map;
    (7) Virginia's state fund has been created to assist owners and 
operators in demonstrating financial responsibility; and
    (8) Virginia's definition of ``regulated substance'' is more 
inclusive and therefore, broader in scope than the Federal definition.
    The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality submitted to EPA a 
final application for approval on July 15, 1998. Prior to its 
submission, the State 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 State's application, 
and has tentatively determined that the State's program meets all of 
the requirements necessary to qualify for final approval. However, EPA 
intends to review all timely public comments prior to making a final 
decision on whether to grant approval to the State to operate its 
program in lieu of the Federal program. Virginia's Petroleum 
Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Requirements will 
become effective on or before August 30, 1998. EPA will not make a 
final decision on Virginia's Underground Storage Tank Program until 
after that date.
    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 September 11, 1998, at 7:00 p.m. at the

[[Page 40685]]

Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Spill Response and 
Remediation, Underground Storage Tank Program, 4949-A Cox Road, Glen 
Allen, Virginia 23060, unless insufficient public interest is 
expressed. The public may also submit written comments on EPA's 
tentative determination until September 4, 1998. Copies of the State's 
application are available for inspection and copying at the locations 
indicated in the Addressees section of this document.
    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 State. 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.

C. 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.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Pub. 
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 Virginia 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. Virginia 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 Virginia 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.

E. 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.

F. 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.

G. 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.
    The Agency has determined that the proposed rule is not a covered 
regulatory action as defined in the Executive Order because it is not 
economically significant and does not address environmental health and 
safety risks. As such, the proposed rule is not subject to the 
requirements of Executive Order 13045.

    Authority: This notice is issued under the authority of Section 
9004 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act as amended 42 
U.S.C. 6991c.

    Dated: July 17, 1998.
Thomas Voltaggio,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 3.
[FR Doc. 98-20412 Filed 7-29-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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