Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity Procedures

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 238 (Friday, December 11, 2015)

Federal Register Volume 80, Number 238 (Friday, December 11, 2015)

Rules and Regulations

Pages 76863-76865

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2015-31075

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

EPA-R05-OAR-2015-0563; FRL-9939-80-Region 5

Air Plan Approval; Minnesota; Transportation Conformity Procedures

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision for carbon monoxide (CO), submitted by the State of Minnesota on July 16, 2015. The purpose of this revision is to establish transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and enforceability of certain transportation related control and mitigation measures.

DATES: This direct final rule will be effective February 9, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by January 11, 2016. If adverse comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule in the Federal Register informing the public that the rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R05-

OAR-2015-0563, by one of the following methods:

  1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on line instructions for submitting comments.

  2. Email: blakley.pamela@epa.gov.

  3. Fax: (312) 692-2450.

  4. Mail: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

  5. Hand Delivery: Pamela Blakley, Chief, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Regional Office normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information. The Regional Office official hours of business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-R05-OAR-

    2015-0563. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The www.regulations.gov Web site is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means 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 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 and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. 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, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information whose disclosure 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 www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, Air and Radiation Division, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604. This facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays. We recommend that you telephone Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, at (312) 353-6680 before visiting the Region 5 office.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Leslie, Environmental Engineer, Control Strategies Section, Air Programs Branch (AR 18J), Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 353-6680, leslie.michael@epa.gov.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document whenever ``we,'' ``us,'' or ``our'' is used, we mean EPA. This SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section is arranged as follows:

    1. What is the background for this action?

    2. What is EPA's analysis of Minnesota's SIP revision?

    3. What action is EPA taking?

    4. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    5. What is the background for this action?

      Transportation conformity is required under section 176(c) of the Clean Air Act (Act) to ensure that transportation planning activities are consistent with (``conform to'') air quality planning goals in nonattainment/maintenance areas. The transportation conformity regulation is found in 40 CFR 93 and provisions related to transportation conformity SIPs are found in 40 CFR 51.390. Transportation conformity applies to areas that are designated nonattainment or maintenance for the following transportation related criteria pollutants: Ozone, particulate matter, CO, and nitrogen dioxide. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is currently maintenance for CO.

      Page 76864

      EPA originally promulgated the Federal transportation conformity criteria and procedures (``Transportation Conformity Rule'') on November 24, 1993 (58 FR 62188). On August 10, 2005, the ``Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users'' (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law. SAFETEA-LU revised section 176(c) of the Act transportation conformity provisions. SAFETEA-LU streamlined the requirements for conformity SIPs. Under SAFETEA-LU, States are required to address and tailor only three sections of the rules in their conformity SIPs: 40 CFR 93.105, 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii), and, 40 CFR 93.125(c). 40 CFR 93.105 addresses consultation procedures for conformity. 40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 40 CFR 93.125(c), addresses written commitments from project implementers of transportation control measures. In general, states are no longer required to submit conformity SIP revisions that address the other sections of the conformity rule.

    6. What is EPA's analysis of Minnesota's SIP revision?

      A conformity SIP can be adopted as a state rule, as a memorandum of understanding, or a memorandum of agreement (MOA). The appropriate form of the state conformity procedures depends upon the requirements of local or State law, as long as the selected form complies with all requirements used by the ACT for adoption, submission to EPA, and implementation of SIPs. EPA will accept state conformity SIPs in any form provided the state can demonstrate to EPA's satisfaction that, as a matter of state law, the state has adequate authority to compel compliance with the requirements of the conformity SIP.

      Minnesota concluded that this SIP revision in the form of a MOA will be enforceable through a number of Minnesota statutes. These statutes authorize state agencies to enter into legally binding cooperative contracts for the receipt or furnishing of services. In this case, these services relate to the transportation/air quality planning process in Minnesota. Minnesota collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), the EPA, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Metropolitan Council, and the Metropolitan Interstate Council, to develop the Transportation Conformity MOA. This MOA was agreed upon and signed by all of the above consultation parties.

      EPA has evaluated this SIP submission and finds that the state has addressed the requirements of the Federal transportation conformity rule as described in 40 CFR 51.390 and 40 CFR part 93, subpart A. The transportation conformity rule requires the states to develop their own processes and procedures for interagency consultation and resolution of conflicts meeting the criteria in 40 CFR 93.105. The SIP revision includes processes and procedures to be followed by the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT), the FHWA and the FTA, in consultation with the state and local air quality agencies and EPA before making transportation conformity determinations. Minnesota's transportation conformity SIP also included processes and procedures for the state and local air quality agencies and EPA to coordinate the development of applicable SIPs with the MPOs, the state Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. DOT, and requires written commitments to control measures and mitigation measures (40 CFR 93.122(a)(4)(ii) and 93.125(c)).

      EPA's review of the Minnesota SIP revision indicates that it is consistent with the Act as amended by SAFETEA-LU and EPA regulations (40 CFR part 93 subpart A and 40 CFR 51.390) governing state procedures for transportation conformity and interagency consultation and therefore EPA has concluded that the submittal is approvable.

    7. What action is EPA taking?

      EPA is approving a SIP revision submitted by the State of Minnesota, for the purpose of establishing transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and enforceable commitments to implement transportation related control and mitigation measures.

      We are publishing this action without prior proposal because we view this as a noncontroversial 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 state plan if relevant adverse written comments are filed. This rule will be effective February 9, 2016 without further notice unless we receive relevant adverse written comments by January 11, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will withdraw this action before the effective date by publishing a subsequent document that will withdraw the final action. All public comments received will then be addressed in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed action. EPA will not institute a second comment period. Any parties interested in commenting on this action should do so at this time. Please note that if EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment. If we do not receive any comments, this action will be effective February 9, 2016.

    8. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

      Under the Act, 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 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 Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

      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 Act; and

      Does not provide EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as

      Page 76865

      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, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

      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. 804(2).

      Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by February 9, 2016. 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. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the proposed rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. 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, Carbon monoxide, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations.

      Dated: November 23, 2015.

      Susan Hedman,

      Regional Administrator, Region 5.

      40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

      PART 52--APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

      0

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

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

    0

  7. Section 52.1237 is amended by adding paragraph (f) to read as follows:

    Sec. 52.1237 Control strategy: Carbon monoxide.

    * * * * *

    (f) Approval--On July 16, 2015, the State of Minnesota submitted a revision to their Particulate Matter State Implementation Plan. The submittal establishes transportation conformity criteria and procedures related to interagency consultation, and the enforceability of certain transportation related control and mitigation measures.

    FR Doc. 2015-31075 Filed 12-10-15; 8:45 am

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