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Approval of Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Gasoline Standard for the Baton Rouge Area

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Approval of Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Gasoline Standard for the Baton Rouge Area

Andrew R. Wheeler
Environmental Protection Agency
24 October 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 206 (Wednesday, October 24, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53584-53588]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23247]


=======================================================================
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 80

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0172; FRL 9985-76-OAR]
RIN 2060-AT91


Approval of Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Reid Vapor 
Pressure (RVP) Gasoline Standard for the Baton Rouge Area

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final 
action to approve a request from Louisiana for EPA to relax the federal 
Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard applicable to gasoline introduced 
into commerce from June 1 to September 15 of each year for the 
Louisiana parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, 
Ascension, and Iberville (the Baton Rouge Area). Specifically, EPA is 
approving amendments to the regulations to allow the gasoline RVP

[[Page 53585]]

standard for the Baton Rouge Area to change from 7.8 pounds per square 
inch (psi) to 9.0 psi. EPA has determined that this change to the 
federal RVP regulation is consistent with the applicable provisions of 
the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES: This final rule is effective on November 23, 2018.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0172. All documents in the docket are listed on the 
https://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some 
information may not be publicly available, e.g., Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is 
not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard 
copy form. Publicly available docket materials are available 
electronically through https://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Dickinson, Office of 
Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-
9256; email address: dickinson.david@epa.gov, or Rudolph Kapichak, 
Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection 
Agency, 2000 Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105; telephone number: 
(734) 214-4574; email address: kapichak.rudolph@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The contents of this preamble are listed in 
the following outline:

I. General Information
II. Action Being Taken
III. History of the Gasoline Volatility Requirement
IV. EPA's Policy Regarding Relaxation of Gasoline Volatility 
Standards in Ozone Nonattainment Areas That Are Redesignated as 
Attainment Areas
V. Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Gasoline RVP Requirement 
for the Baton Rouge Area
VI. Response to Comments
VII. Final Action
VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this rule are fuel producers and 
distributors involved in supplying gasoline to the Baton Rouge Area.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               NAICS \1\
          Examples of potentially regulated entities             codes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum Refineries.........................................     324110
Gasoline Marketers and Distributors..........................     424710
                                                                  424720
Gasoline Retail Stations.....................................     447110
Gasoline Transporters........................................     484220
                                                                  484230
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The above table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather 
provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated 
by this action. The table lists the types of entities of which EPA is 
aware that potentially could be affected by this rule. Other types of 
entities not listed on the table could also be affected. To determine 
whether your organization could be affected by this rule, you should 
carefully examine the regulations in 40 CFR 80.27. If you have 
questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular 
entity, call the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section of this preamble.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ North American Industry Classification System.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. What is EPA's authority for taking this action?

    The statutory authority for this action is granted to EPA by 
sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as amended; 42 
U.S.C. 7545(h) and 7601(a).

II. Action Being Taken

    This final rule approves a request from the state of Louisiana to 
change the federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) summertime fuel standard 
for the parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, 
Ascension, and Iberville (the Baton Rouge Area) from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi 
by amending EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). This action 
finalizes EPA's June 14, 2018 proposal (83 FR 27740) which was subject 
to public notice and comment.
    The preamble for this rulemaking is organized as follows: Section 
III provides the history of the federal gasoline volatility regulation; 
Section IV describes the policy regarding relaxation of volatility 
standards in ozone nonattainment areas that are redesignated as 
attainment areas; Section V provides information specific to 
Louisiana's request for the five parishes addressed by this action; 
Section VI provides a response to the comments EPA received; and 
Section VII presents the final action in response to Louisiana's 
request.

III. History of the Gasoline Volatility Requirement

    On August 19, 1987 (52 FR 31274), EPA determined that gasoline 
nationwide was becoming increasingly volatile, causing an increase in 
evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. 
Evaporative emissions from gasoline, referred to as volatile organic 
compounds (VOC), are precursors to the formation of tropospheric ozone 
and contribute to the nation's ground-level ozone problem. Exposure to 
ground-level ozone can reduce lung function (thereby aggravating asthma 
and other respiratory conditions) and increase susceptibility to 
respiratory infection, and may contribute to premature death in people 
with heart and lung disease.
    The most common measure of fuel volatility that is useful in 
evaluating gasoline evaporative emissions is RVP. Under CAA section 
211(c), EPA promulgated regulations on March 22, 1989 (54 FR 11868) 
that set maximum limits for the RVP of gasoline sold during the 
regulatory control periods that were established on a state-by-state 
basis in that final rule. The regulatory control periods addressed the 
portion of the year when peak ozone concentrations were expected. These 
regulations constituted Phase I of a two-phase nationwide program, 
which was designed to reduce the volatility of gasoline during the high 
ozone season. On June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), EPA promulgated more 
stringent volatility controls as Phase II of the volatility control 
program. These requirements established maximum RVP standards of 9.0 
psi or 7.8 psi (depending on the state, the month, and the area's 
initial ozone attainment designation with respect to the 1-hour ozone 
National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)).
    The 1990 CAA Amendments established a new CAA section 211(h) to 
address fuel volatility. CAA section 211(h) requires EPA to promulgate 
regulations making it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, dispense, 
supply, offer for supply, transport, or introduce into commerce 
gasoline with an RVP level in excess of 9.0 psi during the high ozone 
season. CAA section 211(h) also prohibits EPA from establishing a 
volatility standard more stringent than 9.0 psi in an attainment area, 
except that EPA may impose a lower (more stringent) standard in any 
former ozone nonattainment area redesignated to attainment.
    On December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64704), EPA modified the Phase II 
volatility regulations to be consistent with CAA

[[Page 53586]]

section 211(h). The modified regulations prohibited the sale of 
gasoline with an RVP above 9.0 psi in all areas designated attainment 
for ozone, effective January 13, 1992. For areas designated as 
nonattainment, the regulations retained the original Phase II standards 
published on June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), which included the 7.8 psi 
ozone season limitation for certain areas. As stated in the preamble to 
the Phase II volatility controls and reiterated in the proposed change 
to the volatility standards published in 1991, EPA will rely on states 
to initiate changes to their respective volatility programs. EPA's 
policy for approving such changes is described below in Section IV of 
this preamble.
    The state of Louisiana initiated the change being finalized in this 
action by requesting that EPA relax the 7.8 psi RVP standard to 9.0 psi 
for the parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, 
Ascension, and Iberville. See Section V of this preamble for 
information specific to Louisiana's request.

IV. EPA's Policy Regarding Relaxation of Gasoline Volatility Standards 
in Ozone Nonattainment Areas That Are Redesignated as Attainment Areas

    As stated in the preamble for EPA's amended Phase II volatility 
standards (56 FR 64706, December 12, 1991), any change in the gasoline 
volatility standard for a nonattainment area that was subsequently 
redesignated as an attainment area must be accomplished through a 
separate rulemaking that revises the applicable standard for that area. 
Thus, for former 1-hour ozone nonattainment areas where EPA mandated a 
Phase II volatility standard of 7.8 psi RVP in the December 12, 1991 
rulemaking, the federal 7.8 psi gasoline RVP requirement remains in 
effect, even after such an area is redesignated to attainment, until a 
separate rulemaking is completed that relaxes the federal gasoline RVP 
standard in that area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.
    As explained in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, EPA believes that 
relaxation of an applicable gasoline RVP standard is best accomplished 
in conjunction with the redesignation process. In order for an ozone 
nonattainment area to be redesignated as an attainment area, CAA 
section 107(d)(3) requires the state to make a showing, pursuant to CAA 
section 175A, that the area is capable of maintaining attainment for 
the ozone NAAQS for ten years. Depending on the area's circumstances, 
this maintenance plan will either demonstrate that the area is capable 
of maintaining attainment for ten years without the more stringent 
volatility standard or that the more stringent volatility standard may 
be necessary for the area to maintain its attainment with the ozone 
NAAQS. Therefore, in the context of a request for redesignation, EPA 
will not relax the gasoline volatility standard unless the state 
requests a relaxation and the maintenance plan demonstrates that the 
area will maintain attainment for ten years without the need for the 
more stringent volatility standard. Similarly, a maintenance plan may 
be revised to relax the gasoline volatility standard if the state 
requests a relaxation and the maintenance plan demonstrates that the 
area will maintain attainment for its duration.

V. Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Gasoline RVP Requirement 
for the Baton Rouge Area

    On April 10, 2017, the Louisiana Department of Environmental 
Quality (LDEQ) submitted a request to relax the federal gasoline RVP 
requirement in 16 parishes throughout the State, including the five 
parishes making up the Baton Rouge Area.\2\ Louisiana did not request 
relaxation of the federal RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi when 
LDEQ originally submitted the CAA section 175A maintenance plan for the 
Baton Rouge Area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that was approved on December 
27, 2016 (81 FR 95051). Therefore, LDEQ was required to revise the 
approved maintenance plan and to submit a CAA section 110(l) non-
interference demonstration for the Baton Rouge Area to support the 
request to relax the federal RVP standard. Because of this, action on 
the Baton Rouge Area was deferred until LDEQ submitted (and EPA 
approved) a maintenance plan revision and CAA section 110(l) non-
interference demonstration showing that the relaxation would not 
interfere with maintenance of the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS or with any 
other applicable CAA requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ EPA approved the State's request to relax the federal RVP 
standard for 11 of the parishes on December 26, 2017 (82 FR 60886).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On January 30, 2018, Louisiana submitted a CAA section 175A 
maintenance plan revision and section 110(l) non-interference 
demonstration to EPA. EPA finalized its approval of the maintenance 
plan revision and demonstration on May 25, 2018 (83 FR 24226). The 
final approval was effective on June 25, 2018. As part of the 
rulemaking on Louisiana's submission, EPA included a detailed 
evaluation of the CAA section 175A maintenance plan revision and the 
CAA section 110(l) demonstration.

VI. Response to Comments

    EPA received three comments on its June 14, 2018 proposal to relax 
the federal RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi for the Baton Rouge 
Area. Two of these comments were related to the proposal, and EPA has 
responded to them below. EPA also received an anonymous comment that 
was not related to any of the issues addressed in the proposal.
    Comment: An organization representing the Louisiana oil and gas 
industry provided comments in support of the proposed relaxation of 
federal RVP standard in the Baron Rouge Area from 7.8 to 9.0 psi.
    Response: EPA acknowledges that the commenter supported the 
proposal.
    Comment: A commenter questioned the Agency's use of the statement 
that EPA ``preliminarily determined'' that relaxing RVP in Baton Rouge 
is appropriate.
    Response: EPA qualified the word ``determined'' with the word 
``preliminarily'' in order to indicate that we were proposing to relax 
the federal RVP standard in the Baton Rouge Area based on the findings 
associated with May 25, 2018 final rule, which approved Louisiana's 
maintenance plan revision and CAA section 110(l) non-interference 
demonstration. However, the June 14, 2018 notice of proposed rulemaking 
solicited public comments on whether relaxing the federal RVP standard 
should be approved. As such, EPA indicated in its proposal that a final 
determination that relaxing RVP in Baton Rouge is appropriate would not 
be made until EPA had accepted and responded to any relevant comments 
in the context of a final decision on the record. EPA is now making 
that final determination in this final rule and is relaxing the federal 
RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.

VII. Final Action

    EPA is taking final action to approve Louisiana's request for the 
Agency to relax the federal RVP standard applicable to gasoline 
introduced into commerce from June 1 to September 15 of each year for 
the parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, 
Ascension, and Iberville. Specifically, this action revises the 
applicable federal RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi provided at 40 
CFR 80.27(a)(2) for the Baton Rouge Area. This approval is based on 
Louisiana's April 10, 2017 request and EPA's final determination in its 
May 25, 2018 final rule, that the State, as required by CAA

[[Page 53587]]

section 110(l), made an adequate demonstration to show that removal of 
this federal requirement would not interfere with maintenance of the 
2008 ozone NAAQS in the Baton Rouge Area and is consistent with other 
CAA requirements including attainment of the 2015 ozone NAAQS.

VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
therefore was not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review.

B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This action is considered an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory 
action. This rule provides meaningful burden reduction because it 
relaxes the federal RVP standard for gasoline, and as a result, fuel 
suppliers will no longer be required to provide the lower, 7.8 psi RVP 
gasoline in the five parishes during the summer months. Relaxing the 
federal volatility requirements is also beneficial because this action 
can improve the fungibility of gasoline sold in Louisiana by allowing 
the gasoline sold in the Baton Rouge Area to be identical to the fuel 
sold in the remainder of the state.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq., and therefore is not subject to these requirements.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In 
making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant 
adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no 
net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small 
entities subject to the rule. The small entities subject to the 
requirements of this action are refiners, importers, or blenders of 
gasoline that choose to produce or import low RVP gasoline for sale in 
Louisiana, and gasoline distributers and retail stations in Louisiana. 
This action relaxes the federal RVP standard for gasoline sold in 
Louisiana's Baton Rouge Area during the summertime ozone season to 
allow the RVP for gasoline sold in these parishes to rise from 7.8 psi 
to 9.0 psi. This rule does not impose any requirements or create 
impacts on small entities beyond those, if any, already required by or 
resulting from the CAA section 211(h) RVP program. Therefore, this 
action will have no net regulatory burden for all directly regulated 
small entities.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This rule does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 million or 
more as described in the UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action 
implements mandates that are specifically and explicitly set forth in 
CAA section 211(h) without the exercise of any policy discretion by 
EPA.

F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This rule 
affects only those refiners, importers, or blenders of gasoline that 
choose to produce or import low RVP gasoline for sale in the Baton 
Rouge Area and gasoline distributers and retail stations in the Area. 
Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those 
regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks 
that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, 
per the definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in section 2-202 of 
the Executive Order. EPA has no reason to believe that this action may 
disproportionately affect children since Louisiana has provided 
evidence that a relaxation of the federal gasoline RVP standard will 
not interfere with its attainment of the ozone NAAQS for the Baton 
Rouge Area, or any other applicable CAA requirement. By separate 
action, EPA has finalized its approval of Louisiana's revised 
maintenance plan for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, including the state's non-
interference demonstration that relaxation of the gasoline RVP standard 
in the Baton Rouge Area to 9.0 RVP will not interfere with any other 
NAAQS or CAA requirement.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

J. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by 
this action will not have potential disproportionately high and adverse 
human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income, or 
indigenous populations because it does not affect the applicable ozone 
NAAQS which establish the level of protection provided to human health 
or the environment. Louisiana has demonstrated in its non-interference 
demonstration that this action will not interfere with maintenance of 
the ozone NAAQS in the Baton Rouge Area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS, or 
with any other applicable requirement of the CAA. Therefore, 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations are not an anticipated 
result. The results of this evaluation are contained in EPA's 
rulemaking for Louisiana's non-interference demonstration (83 FR 24226, 
May 25, 2018). A copy of Louisiana's April 10, 2017 letter requesting 
that EPA relax the gasoline RVP standard and the State's January 29, 
2018 technical analysis demonstrating that the less stringent gasoline 
RVP will not interfere with continued maintenance of the 2008 ozone 
NAAQS in the Baton Rouge Area, or with any other applicable CAA

[[Page 53588]]

requirement, have been placed in the public docket for this action.

L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule 
report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of 
the United States. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, 
Air pollution control, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Motor vehicle and 
motor vehicle engines, Motor vehicle pollution, Penalties, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: October 15, 2018.
Andrew R. Wheeler,
Acting Administrator.
    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 
80 as follows:

PART 80--REGULATION OF FUELS AND FUEL ADDITIVES

0
1. The authority citation for part 80 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7414, 7521, 7542, 7545, and 7601(a).


0
2. Section 80.27, paragraph (a)(2)(ii) is amended in the table by 
revising the entry for ``Louisiana'' and adding footnote 12 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  80.27  Controls and prohibitions on gasoline volatility.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *

                               Applicable Standards \1\ 1992 and Subsequent Years
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              State                     May            June            July           August         September
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Louisiana4 11 12................             9.0             9.0             9.0             9.0             9.0
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Standards are expressed in pounds per square inch (psi).
 * * * * * * *
\4\ The standard for Grant Parish from June 1 until September 15 in 1992 through 2007 was 7.8 psi.
 * * * * * * *
\11\ The standard for the Louisiana parishes of Beauregard, Calcasieu, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Orleans,
  Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, and St. Mary from June 1 until September 15 in 1992
  through 2017 was 7.8 psi.
\12\ The standard for the Louisiana parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, and
  Iberville from June 1 until September 15 in 1992 through 2018 was 7.8 psi.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2018-23247 Filed 10-23-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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