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Adequacy Status of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas Reasonable Further Progress and Attainment Demonstration Implementation Plan for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets for Transportation Conformity Purposes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Adequacy Status of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas Reasonable Further Progress and Attainment Demonstration Implementation Plan for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets for Transportation Conformity Purposes

Ron Curry
Environmental Protection Agency
August 2, 2013


[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 149 (Friday, August 2, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46947-46948]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18545]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

 [FRL-9841-2]


Adequacy Status of the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas 
Reasonable Further Progress and Attainment Demonstration Implementation 
Plan for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone Standard; Motor Vehicle Emission Budgets 
for Transportation Conformity Purposes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of adequacy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EPA is notifying the public that it has found that the motor 
vehicle emissions budgets (MVEBs) in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, 
Texas (HGB) 1997 8-hour ozone standard Reasonable Further Progress 
(RFP) and Attainment Demonstration (AD) State Implementation Plan (SIP) 
revisions, submitted on May 6, 2013 by the Texas Commission on 
Environmental Quality (TCEQ), are adequate for transportation 
conformity purposes. As a result of EPA's finding, the HGB area must 
use these budgets for future conformity determinations.

DATES: These budgets are effective August 19, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The essential information in this 
notice will be available at EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm. You may also 
contact Mr. Jeffrey Riley, Air Planning Section (6PD-L), U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6, 1445 Ross Avenue, Dallas, 
Texas 75202-2733, telephone (214) 665-8542, Email address: 
Riley.Jeffrey@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document ``we,'' ``us,'' and 
``our'' refers to EPA. The word ``budget(s)'' refers to the mobile 
source emissions budget for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the 
mobile source emissions budget for nitrogen oxides (NOX).

[[Page 46948]]

    On May 6, 2013, TCEQ submitted as a SIP revision updated MVEBs for 
the HGB area. The MVEBs updated the March 2010 HGB 1997 8-hour ozone 
RFP and AD SIP revisions to replace the on-road mobile source emissions 
inventories for NOX and VOCs based on EPA's MOBILE model 
with those based on EPA's MOVES model. This submittal established MVEBs 
for the HGB area for the years 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2018. The 
MVEB is the amount of emissions allowed in the state implementation 
plan for on-road motor vehicles; it establishes an emissions ceiling 
for the regional transportation network. The MVEBs are provided in 
Tables 1 and 2:

      Table 1-- Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 1997 8-Hour Ozone Reasonable Further Progress NOX and VOC MVEBs
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Pollutant                             2008       2011       2014       2017       2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX......................................................     261.95     234.92     171.63     130.00     120.99
VOC......................................................     102.50      93.56      71.56      59.76      57.02
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Table 2--Houston-Galveston-Brazoria 1997 8-Hour Ozone Attainment
                     Demonstration NOX and VOC MVEBs
                      [Summer season tons per day]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Pollutant                               2018
------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOX..........................................................     103.34
VOC..........................................................      50.13
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On May 14, 2013, EPA posted the availability of the HGB area MVEBs 
on EPA's Web site for the purpose of soliciting public comments, as 
part of the adequacy process. The comment period closed on June 13, 
2013, and we received no comments.
    Today's notice is simply an announcement of a finding that EPA has 
already made. EPA Region 6 sent a letter to TCEQ on July 17, 2013, 
finding that the MVEBs in the HGB 1997 8-hour ozone RFP and AD SIPs, 
submitted on May 6, 2013 are adequate and must be used for 
transportation conformity determinations in the HGB area. This finding 
has also been announced on EPA's conformity Web site: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/stateresources/transconf/adequacy.htm.
    Transportation conformity is required by section 176(c) of the 
Clean Air Act. EPA's conformity rule, 40 Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) part 93, requires that transportation plans, programs and 
projects conform to state air quality implementation plans and 
establishes the criteria and procedures for determining whether or not 
they do so. Conformity to a SIP means that transportation activities 
will not produce new air quality violations, worsen existing 
violations, or delay timely attainment of the national ambient air 
quality standards.
    The criteria by which EPA determines whether a SIP's MVEB is 
adequate for transportation conformity purposes are outlined in 40 CFR 
93.118(e)(4). We have also described the process for determining the 
adequacy of submitted SIP budgets in our July 1, 2004, final rulemaking 
entitled, ``Transportation Conformity Rule Amendments for the New 8-
hour Ozone and PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards 
and Miscellaneous Revisions for Existing Areas; Transportation 
Conformity Rule Amendments: Response to Court Decision and Additional 
Rule Changes'' (69 FR 40004). Please note that an adequacy review is 
separate from EPA's completeness review, and it should not be used to 
prejudge EPA's ultimate approval of the HGB 1997 8-hour ozone RFP and 
AD SIP revision submittals. Even if EPA finds the budgets adequate, the 
HGB RFP and AD SIP revision submittals could later be disapproved.
    Within 24 months from the effective date of this notice, the HGB-
area transportation partners, such as the Houston-Galveston Area 
Council, will need to demonstrate conformity to the new MVEBs if the 
demonstration has not already been made, pursuant to 40 CFR 93.104(e). 
See 73 FR 4419 (January 24, 2008).

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

    Dated: July 19, 2013.
Ron Curry,
Regional Administrator, Region 6.
[FR Doc. 2013-18545 Filed 8-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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