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Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Environmental Speed Limit Revision for the Dallas/Fort Worth 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Texas; Environmental Speed Limit Revision for the Dallas/Fort Worth 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area

Samuel Coleman
Environmental Protection Agency
January 9, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 6 (Thursday, January 9, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1596-1599]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00047]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R06-OAR-2010-0819; FRL-9905-16-Region 6]


Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; 
Texas; Environmental Speed Limit Revision for the Dallas/Fort Worth 8-
Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a 
revision to the Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Dallas/
Fort Worth (DFW) ozone nonattainment area to recategorize a local 
environmental speed limit (ESL) control measure as a transportation 
control measure (TCM). The EPA is approving this SIP revision because 
it satisfies the requirements of sections 110 and part D of the Clean 
Air Act (CAA), and EPA's policy and guidance.

DATES: This rule is effective on March 10, 2014 without further notice, 
unless EPA receives relevant adverse comment by February 10, 2014. If 
EPA receives such comment, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that this rule will not take 
effect.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R06-
OAR-2010-0819, by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions.
     Email: Ms. Carrie Paige at paige.carrie@epa.gov.
     Mail: Mr. Guy Donaldson, Chief, Air Planning Section (6PD-
L), Environmental Protection Agency, 1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200, 
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R06-OAR-
2010-0819. The EPA's policy is that all comments received will be 
included in the public docket without change and may be made available 
online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed 
to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the 
disclosure of which is restricted by statute. Do not submit information 
through http://www.regulations.gov or email, if you believe that it is 
CBI or otherwise protected from disclosure. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which 
means that EPA will not know your identity or contact information 
unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an email 
comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured 
and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket 
and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic 
comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact 
information in the body of your comment along with any disk or CD-ROM 
submitted. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical 
difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be 
able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of 
special characters and any form of encryption and should be free of any 
defects or viruses. For additional information about the EPA's public 
docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: The index to the docket for this action is available 
electronically at www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region 6, 
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 700, Dallas, Texas. While all documents in the 
docket are listed in the index, some information may be publicly 
available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), 
and some may not be publicly available at either location (e.g., CBI). 
To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment with 
the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT paragraph 
below or Mr. Bill Deese at 214-665-7253.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Carrie Paige, Air Planning Section 
(6PD-L); telephone (214) 665-6521; email address paige.carrie@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, ``we,'' ``us,'' 
and ``our'' means EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. EPA's Evaluation
III. Final Action
IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background

a. General Background

    Section 110 of the CAA requires states to develop and submit to EPA 
a SIP to ensure that state air quality meets the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards (NAAQS). These ambient standards currently address 
six criteria pollutants: Carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, 
lead, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. The SIP protects air 
quality primarily by addressing air pollution at its point of origin; 
it is a set of air pollution regulations, control strategies, other 
means or techniques, and technical analyses developed by the state, to 
ensure that the state meets the NAAQS. When a state makes changes to 
the regulations and control strategies in its SIP, such revision(s) 
must be submitted to EPA for approval and incorporation into the 
federally-enforceable SIP. Such regulations and control strategies 
within the SIP must be specific, permanent, enforceable, and 
quantifiable.
    The SIP under revision in this rulemaking addresses ozone. Ground 
level ozone is created by a chemical reaction between nitrogen oxides 
(NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence 
of sunlight and high ambient temperatures.\1\ Motor vehicle exhaust and 
industrial emissions,

[[Page 1597]]

gasoline vapors, chemical solvents and natural sources emit 
NOX and VOCs.
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    \1\ NOX and VOC are known as ``precursors'' to ozone 
formation.
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    Areas that are designated nonattainment for ozone must develop SIPs 
under Title 1, Part D of the CAA, which includes section 172, 
``Nonattainment plan provisions,'' and subpart 2, ``Additional 
Provisions for Ozone Nonattainment Areas'' (sections 181-185). 
Requirements adopted into the SIP pursuant to Part D of the CAA must 
also be specific, permanent, enforceable and quantifiable. The DFW SIP 
includes a variety of NOX and VOC control strategies, 
including the ESL, which was adopted and submitted to EPA as a local 
emission reduction strategy in the DFW SIP. The ESL is a local control 
measure that reduced speed limits in the nine counties \2\ from 70 
miles per hour to 65 miles per hour and from 65 miles per hour to 60 
miles per hour. The technical analysis accompanying the submission of 
the ESL for approval into the SIP showed a reduction of over 5 tons per 
day (tpd) of NOX and 0.5 tpd of VOC. The ESL and associated 
emission reductions were approved into the DFW SIP as specific, 
permanent, enforceable and quantifiable on October 11, 2005 (70 FR 
58978). To date, TCEQ has not removed nor changed speed limits within 
the SIP-approved ESL measure.
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    \2\ The nine counties are Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, 
Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant.
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    The DFW SIP also includes TCMs, which were incorporated into the 
DFW SIP on September 27, 2005 as control strategies that are specific, 
permanent, enforceable, and quantifiable (70 FR 56374). EPA's 
regulations define a TCM as any measure that is specifically identified 
and committed to in the applicable implementation plan, including any 
substitute or additional TCMs that are incorporated into the applicable 
SIP through the process established in section 176(c)(8) of the CAA, 
that is either one of the types listed in section 108 of the CAA, or 
any other measure for the purpose of reducing emissions or 
concentrations of air pollutants from transportation sources by 
reducing vehicle use or changing traffic flow or congestion conditions. 
See 40 CFR 93.101.

b. What did the State submit?

    On September 16, 2010, the TCEQ submitted to EPA a revision to the 
DFW SIP narrative \3\ to recategorize the ESL measure from an 
individual control strategy to a TCM. Chapter 1 of the revised SIP 
narrative contains a background section detailing the process of 
collaboration between the NCTCOG, North Texas Tollway Authority, Texas 
Department of Transportation, EPA Region 6, and TCEQ to recategorize 
the ESL to a TCM in the SIP. Furthermore, on June 1, 2010, the EPA sent 
the TCEQ a letter supporting the recategorization of the ESL to a TCM 
in the DFW ozone nonattainment SIP.\4\ Finally, TCEQ provided notice of 
a public hearing on the SIP revision, giving the public reasonable 
opportunity to provide oral or written comment on the proposed 
recategorization during the public hearing.
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    \3\ The narrative provides an accounting and description of the 
TCM program components; the submittal did not include rule 
revisions.
    \4\ The June 1, 2010 letter from Guy Donaldson of the EPA to Ms. 
Kathy Singleton of the TCEQ is part of the TCEQ's submittal package 
and is included in the docket for this rulemaking.
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    The September 16, 2010 submittal addresses Chapter 4 of the DFW SIP 
narrative, which is titled, ``Required Control Strategy Elements'' and 
pertains to three specific areas within the chapter: TCMs, the motor 
vehicle emissions budget (MVEB), and the ESL control measure. The 
September 16, 2010 submittal specifically makes the following 
revisions:
     Chapter 4, section 4.2 addresses NOX and VOC 
control measures and subsection 4.2.3 is titled, ``Transportation 
Control Measures.'' Within subsection 4.2.3, a new paragraph is added 
titled, ``Transportation Control Measures Project.'' This new section 
adds the ESL control measure to the TCM ledger and contains narrative 
that describes the role of the North Central Texas Council of 
Governments (NCTCOG).
     Chapter 4, section 4.5 of the DFW SIP is titled, ``Motor 
Vehicle Emissions Budget'' and is clarified to reflect the 
recategorization of the ESL within the approved SIP.\5\
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    \5\ The MVEB is used to determine conformity of transportation 
plans and programs to the SIP, and is derived from the on-road 
emissions inventory. Emissions reductions associated with the ESLs 
to date have been accounted for in the SIP as part of on-road 
emissions inventories used to develop the MVEB. This 
recategorization from a local measure to a TCM does not increase or 
modify the MVEB because there is no net change in emissions 
reductions from this measure in the on-road emissions inventory the 
MVEBs are derived from, and TCEQ has thus clarified in Chapter 4, 
section 4.5 that the MVEB is consistent with the recategorization of 
the ESL to a TCM. See the DFW 1997 8-hour ozone attainment 
demonstration SIP (74 FR 1903, January 14, 2009).
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     Chapter 4, section 4.7 of the DFW SIP is titled, 
``Environmental Speed Limit (ESL) Control Measure Conversion to a 
Transportation Control Measure (TCM)'' and is revised to transfer the 
responsibility of maintaining emissions reductions associated with the 
ESL control measure from the TCEQ to the NCTCOG. Emissions reductions 
currently associated with the ESL would be maintained as TCMs 
implemented by the NCTCOG and therefore the associated reductions will 
remain accounted for within the DFW SIP. While the TCEQ has the 
ultimate responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of the 
SIP, the NCTCOG will be the entity responsible at the local level for 
implementing all TCMs, including the ESL TCM and ensuring alternative 
equivalent emission reduction measures are in place should changes to 
the ESL or other TCM be necessary.

II. EPA's Evaluation

    As discussed previously in this rulemaking, a TCM is defined at 40 
CFR 93.101, in part, as any measure specifically identified and 
committed to in the applicable implementation plan and that is a 
measure for the purpose of reducing emissions or concentrations of air 
pollutants from transportation sources by reducing vehicle use or 
changing traffic flow or congestion conditions. The ESL measure was 
adopted into the SIP as a control measure in the DFW SIP on October 11, 
2005 (70 FR 58978) and remains in the SIP through the time of this 
rulemaking, and therefore is specifically identified and committed to 
in the DFW SIP. Furthermore, as previously discussed, the ESL measure 
was approved into the DFW SIP with associated projected reductions of 
over 5 tpd of NOX and 0.5 tpd of VOC. Therefore, the ESL is 
a measure for the purpose of reducing emissions of air pollutants from 
transportation sources by changing traffic flow or congestion 
conditions. The EPA thus finds the ESL meets the definition of a TCM as 
prescribed by 40 CFR 93.101.
    Additionally, TCMs used as a control strategy in a SIP must be 
specific, permanent, enforceable and quantifiable. As previously 
discussed, EPA approved the ESL measure and associated emissions 
reductions into the SIP as meeting these requirements (70 FR 58978). 
Therefore, because the ESL was previously approved into the SIP as 
meeting these requirements, we expect that upon the effective date of 
this rulemaking the recategorized ESLs will continue to meet these same 
requirements regardless of their new formal categorization. 
Furthermore, as previously discussed, while the TCEQ has the ultimate 
responsibility for ensuring adequate implementation of the SIP, the 
NCTCOG will be the entity responsible at the local level for 
implementing all TCMs, including the

[[Page 1598]]

newly recategorized ESL. Therefore, we expect that upon the effective 
date of this rulemaking, the recategorized ESL will be implemented by 
the NCTCOG as the TCEQ had been implementing the measure.
    Section 110(l) of the CAA prohibits EPA from approving any SIP 
revision that would interfere with any applicable requirement 
concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or any other 
applicable requirement of the CAA. The EPA finds the recategorization 
of the existing SIP-approved ESL within the approved SIP does not 
interfere with any applicable requirement of the CAA because the 
control strategy itself, including associated emission reductions, 
remain within the SIP and is only being moved from the category of 
local initiative measures to the category of TCMs. Therefore, because 
the State is not removing this control strategy from the SIP, nor 
substantively revising the strategy, we find that EPA's approval of the 
recategorization of the ESL to a TCM does not violate section 110(l) of 
the CAA.
    Based on these analyses, the EPA finds the ESL recategorization is 
approvable as a revision to the DFW SIP.

III. Final Action

    The EPA is taking direct final action to approve a revision to the 
DFW SIP that recategorizes the ESL control measure by moving it from 
its current location in the SIP to Chapter 4 subsection 4.2.3, which is 
a new paragraph titled, ``Transportation Control Measures Project.'' 
This recategorization adds the ESL to the SIP's ledger of TCMs. The EPA 
is approving these SIP revisions because they are consistent with the 
requirements of sections 110 and part D of the CAA and EPA's policy and 
guidance.
    The EPA is publishing this rule without prior proposal because we 
view this as a non-controversial amendment and anticipate no adverse 
comments. However, in the proposed rules section of this Federal 
Register publication, we are publishing a separate document that will 
serve as the proposal to approve the SIP revision if relevant adverse 
comments are received. This rule will be effective on March 10, 2014 
without further notice unless we receive adverse comment by February 
10, 2014. If we receive adverse comments, we will publish a timely 
withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule 
will not take effect. We will address all public comments in a 
subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not institute 
a second comment period on this action. Any parties interested in 
commenting must do so now. Please note that if we receive adverse 
comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that 
provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, we may adopt 
as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an 
adverse comment.

VI. 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 CAA. 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 CAA; 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. section 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 
rule 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. 
section 804(2).
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the CAA, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for 
the appropriate circuit by March 10, 2014. Filing a petition for 
reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect 
the finality of this rule 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 enforce its 
requirements. (See section 307(b)(2).)

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by 
reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: December 20, 2013.
Samuel Coleman,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 6.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

PART 52--APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

0
1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

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

[[Page 1599]]

Subpart SS--Texas

0
2. In Sec.  52.2270, the second table in paragraph (e) entitled ``EPA 
Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the 
Texas SIP'' is amended by revising the entry for ``Approval of the 
Speed Limits Local Initiative Measure in the DFW nine county area.''
    The revision reads as follows:


Sec.  52.2270  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *

                                  EPA Approved Nonregulatory Provisions and Quasi-Regulatory Measures in the Texas SIP
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Applicable geographic       State
       Name of SIP provision          or  nonattainment      submittal/               EPA approval date                           Comments
                                             area          effective date
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
Approval of the Speed Limits Local  Dallas-Fort Worth....       9/16/2010  1/9/2014 [Insert FR page number where   Recategorized as a Transportation
 Initiative Measure in the DFW                                              document begins].                       Control Measure.
 nine county area. Affected
 counties are Dallas, Tarrant,
 Collin, Denton, Parker, Johnson,
 Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall.
 
                                                                      * * * * * * *
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[FR Doc. 2014-00047 Filed 1-8-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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