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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County: Motor Vehicle Inspection

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; Albuquerque/Bernalillo County: Motor Vehicle Inspection

Ron Curry
October 31, 2012

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 211 (Wednesday, October 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65821-65823]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26677]



40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0695; FRL-9747-2]

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; New Mexico; 
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County: Motor Vehicle Inspection

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: EPA is finalizing approval of revisions from the Governor of 
New Mexico to the State Implementation Plan for Air Quality for the 
City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County area pursuant to the Clean Air 
Act. The revision includes addition of emissions inspections for 1998 
and newer diesel vehicles less than 10,001 pounds and all gasoline/
electric hybrid vehicles; changes test frequency for some model year 
vehicles; allows motorists that are financially incapable of paying for 
certain repairs to apply for a time extension; makes minor test 
procedure changes; codifies certain regulatory language from the VPMD 
Procedures Manual; reorganizes 20.11.100 NMAC; and makes numerous non-
substantive changes to clarify and improve readability of these rules. 
This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act (the Act).

DATES: This rule is effective on December 5, 2012.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket 
Identification No. EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0695. All documents in the docket 
are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in 
the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., 
Confidential Business Information or other information the disclosure 
of which is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as 
copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Planning 
Section (6PD-L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, 
Suite 700, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733. EPA requests that if at all 
possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT paragraph below to make an appointment. The Region Office's 
official hours of business are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays except 
for Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions concerning 
today's final action, please contact Ms. Sandra Rennie (6PD-L), Air 
Planning Section, Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross 
Avenue (6PD-L), Suite 1200, Dallas, Texas 75202-2733, telephone (214) 
665-7367; fax number (214) 665-6762; email address 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document the following terms 
have the meanings described below:
    ``We'', ``us'' and ``our'' refer to EPA.

Table of Contents

I. What is the background for this rule?
II. What comments did we receive on the proposed rule?
III. What action is EPA taking?
IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. What is the background for this rule?

    The State of New Mexico on behalf of the City of Albuquerque 
submitted revisions to the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/
M) program in Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque on July 28, 
2011. We proposed approval of these revisions on August 1, 2012 (77 FR 
45530). For EPA's full analysis of these revisions, the reader is 
referred to that proposal and the Technical Support Document for this 
rulemaking, which is available on line at http://www.regulations.gov, 
Docket number EPA-R06-OAR-2011-0695. Among the revisions to the I/M 
rules at 20.11.100 NMAC are: expanding the vehicle I/M program to cover 
model year 1998 and newer diesel motor vehicles greater than 1,000 and 
less than 10,001 pounds; including all hybrid vehicle gasoline engines; 
changing the test frequency for some model year vehicles; revising an 
exemption for certain low income vehicle owners from the $300 repair or 
repair estimate threshold; and revising some test procedures. 
Regulatory language from the VPMD (Vehicle Pollution Management 
Division) Procedures Manual is now codified in the I/M rules. Numerous 
non-substantive ministerial revisions were also proposed for approval 
because they add clarity and improve readability of the rules.
    Although not required by Federal rule, model year 1998 and newer 
compression ignition powered (diesel)

[[Page 65822]]

motor vehicles of a certain size are now included in the vehicle I/M 
program. Diesel vehicles that are greater than 1,000 pounds gross 
vehicle weight (GVW) but less than 10,001 pounds GVW are covered by On-
Board Diagnostics second generation (OBDII) testing. Testing for this 
fuel type will start on January 1, 2013, as adopted in the rule. 
Gasoline/electric hybrids are no longer exempt from testing. Technology 
improvements have made testing the small gasoline engines found in 
hybrids now possible.
    A clarification is made about the newest model years that are 
exempt from testing. The term ``two registration periods'' is clarified 
to mean four (4) years. Model year 1975-1985 vehicles are now required 
to get tested on a biennial schedule. Previously, these vehicles were 
on an annual testing schedule. Other provisions in the rule require 
vehicles in this age group to have annual inspections if their HC 
(hydrocarbon) or CO (carbon monoxide) emissions are more than 75% of 
the standard for those pollutants. Motor vehicles 35 years old or older 
are now exempt from testing.
    Minor changes to test procedures include requiring a visual 
inspection for a catalytic converter on all OBDII-equipped vehicles. 
The program is also limiting the gas cap pressure check to 1975-2005 
    The requirement for spending at least $300 for repairs to apply for 
a time extension has been revised to require a repair estimate of $300 
or more from a licensed repair facility and proof that the individual 
is financially incapable of paying for the needed repairs.
    Prior to the rule revision before us, many program procedures were 
contained in the VPMD Procedures Manual. The Program determined that 
this manual was out of date but some of the regulatory language needed 
to be retained. Portions of the manual were codified in the rules 
verbatim. Non-regulatory procedure information is now contained in 
technical guidance that is not part of the SIP.
    As a result of the codification process, some additional terms were 
added to the definitions section. These include Audit, Clean piping, 
Clean scanning, Covert audit, Covert surveillance, Emissions analyzer, 
Emissions inspection system or EIS, Fleet, Gas cap test, Overt audit, 
Pretesting, and Vehicle information database or VID. Definitions 
adopted for these terms are those that are commonly used in the 
industry or similar to terms defined in the federal regulations.
    In the process of codifying language from the Procedures Manual, 
the I/M rules were reorganized with some sections being moved from one 
numbered section to another. Useless and/or anachronistic references 
were removed or revised to be more meaningful.

II. What comments did we receive on the proposed rule?

    We received no comments on the proposed rule during the 30 day 
comment period that ended on August 31, 2012.

III. What action is EPA taking?

    EPA is finalizing approval of revisions to the New Mexico SIP for 
the City of Albuquerque/Bernalillo County submitted on July 28, 2011. 
These include revisions to the fuel type subject to testing, the model 
years subject to testing, certain test procedures, an opportunity for a 
time extension for motorists that are financially incapable of paying 
for repairs of $300 or more, codification of procedures from the 
Procedures Manual, addition of definitions, and other non-substantive 
revisions. We believe these revisions enhance the SIP and improve the 
effectiveness of the I/M program. This action is being taken under 
section 110 of the Act.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP 
submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable 
Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in 
reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, 
provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, 
this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal requirements 
and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by 
state law. For that reason, this action:
     Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     Does not impose an information collection burden under the 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
     Is certified as not having a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
     Does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. .L. 104-4);
     Does not have Federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);
     Is not an economically significant regulatory action based 
on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 
19885, April 23, 1997);
     Is not a significant regulatory action subject to 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);
     Is not subject to requirements of section 12(d) of the 
National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent 
with the Clean Air Act; and
     Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to 
address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental 
effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under 
Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
    In addition, this rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in 
the state, and EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct 
costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this action and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for 
judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by December 20, 2010. Filing a 
petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule 
does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of 
judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for 
judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness 
of such rule or action. This action may not be challenged later in 
proceedings to

[[Page 65823]]

enforce its requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, 
Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen 
dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: October 17, 2012.
Ron Curry,
Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    Therefore, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart GG--New Mexico

2. Amend the second table in Sec.  52.1620(c) entitled ``EPA Approved 
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, NM Regulations'' by revising the entry 
for ``Part 100 (20.11.100 NMAC), Motor Vehicle Inspection--
Decentralized,'' to read as follows:

Sec.  52.1620  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
* * * * *

                           EPA-Approved Albuquerque/Bernalillo County, NM Regulations
                                                     State approval/
         State citation            Title/subject      effective date   EPA approval date        Explanation
   New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) Title 20--Environment Protection, Chapter 11--Albuquerque/Bernalillo
                                        County Air Quality Control Board
                                                  * * * * * * *
Part 100 (20.11.100 NMAC)......  Motor Vehicle              5/11/2011  11/5/12, [Insert
                                  Inspection--Dece                      FR page number
                                  ntralized.                            where document
                                                  * * * * * * *

[FR Doc. 2012-26677 Filed 10-30-12; 8:45 am]

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