Deferment of Sanctions: California; San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District

This Rule document was issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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40 CFR Part 52
[EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0571; FRL-9444-7]

Interim Final Determination To Defer Sanctions, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, CA


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


Interim final rule.


EPA is making an interim final determination to defer imposition of sanctions based on a proposed determination, published elsewhere in this Federal Register, that the State of California has submitted a rule that satisfies the requirements of Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 185 fee program.


This interim final determination is effective on July 28, 2011. However, comments will be accepted until August 29, 2011.


Submit comments, identified by docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0571, by one of the following methods:

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the on-line instructions.

2. E-mail:

3. Mail or deliver: Andrew Steckel (Air-4), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-3901.

Instructions: All comments will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at , including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Information that you consider CBI or otherwise protected should be clearly identified as such and should not be submitted through or e-mail. is an “anonymous access” system, and EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send e-mail directly to EPA, your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the public comment. 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.

Docket: Generally, documents in the docket for this action are available electronically at and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket are listed at , some information may be publicly available only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material, large maps), and some may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., CBI). To inspect the hard copy materials, please schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

For Further Information Contact

Lily Wong, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4114, .

Supplementary Information

Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to EPA.

I. Background

On January 13, 2010 (75 FR 1716), EPA published a final limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). EPA's final action concerned SJVUAPCD Rule 3170, “Federally Mandated Ozone Nonattainment Fee,” a fee rule which applied to major sources of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NO X) emissions. SJVUAPCD submitted Rule 3170 pursuant to section 185 of the CAA. EPA determined that while Rule 3170 strengthened the SIP, it did not fully meet the requirements of section 185 of the CAA. EPA's final action started a sanctions clock for imposition of offset sanctions 18 months after February 12, 2010 and highway sanctions 6 months after offset sanctions, pursuant to section 179 of the CAA and our regulations at 40 CFR 52.31.

On May 19, 2011, SJVUAPCD amended Rule 3170 and on June 14, 2011, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) submitted amended Rule 3170. In the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, we have proposed approval of this submittal. Based on today's proposed approval, we are taking this final rulemaking action, effective on publication, to defer imposition of sanctions that were triggered by our January 13, 2010 limited approval and limited disapproval of Rule 3170, based on a finding that it is more likely than not that the SJVUAPCD has submitted a rule that meets the requirements of sections 172(e) and 185 of the CAA.

EPA is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on this deferral of sanctions. If comments are submitted that change our assessment described in this final determination and the proposed approval of Rule 3170, we would take final action proposing to partially or fully disapprove Rule 3170 and lifting this deferral of the sanctions. If no comments are submitted that change our assessment, then with regard to the failure to meet the requirements of section 185 of the CAA, any imposed sanctions would no longer apply and any sanction clocks would be permanently terminated on the effective date of a final approval of Rule 3170.

II. EPA Action

We are making an interim final determination to defer CAA section 179 sanctions associated with SJVUAPCD's 1-hour Ozone CAA section 185 obligation based on our concurrent proposal to fully approve Rule 3170 as meeting sections 172(e) and 185 of the CAA.

Because EPA has preliminarily determined that Rule 3170 meets the requirements of sections 172(e) and 185 of the CAA and is fully approvable, relief from sanctions should be provided as quickly as possible. Therefore, EPA is invoking the good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in not providing an opportunity for comment before this action takes effect (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)). However, by this action EPA is providing the public with a chance to comment on EPA's determination after the effective date, and EPA will consider any comments received in determining whether to reverse such action.

EPA believes that notice-and-comment rulemaking before the effective date of this action is impracticable and contrary to the public interest. EPA has reviewed the State's submittal and, through its proposed action, is indicating that it is more likely than not that the State has submitted a revision to the SIP that meets sections 172(e) and 185 of the CAA that was the basis for the action that started the sanctions clocks. Therefore, it is not in the public interest to impose sanctions. EPA believes that it is necessary to use the interim final rulemaking process to defer sanctions while EPA completes its rulemaking process on the approvability of the State's submittal. Moreover, with respect to the effective date of this action, EPA is invoking the good cause exception to the 30-day notice requirement of the APA because the purpose of this notice is to relieve a restriction (5 U.S.C. § 553(d)(1)).

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action defers Federal sanctions and imposes no additional requirements.

Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), this action is not a “significant regulatory action” and therefore is not subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget.

This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not a significant regulatory action.

The administrator certifies that this action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

This rule does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Public Law 104-4).

This rule does not have tribal implications because it will not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian tribes, as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

This action does not have Federalism implications because it does 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, as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999).

This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045, “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997), because it is not economically significant.

The requirements of section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272) do not apply to this rule because it imposes no standards.

This rule does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

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 to Congress and the Comptroller General. However, section 808 provides that any rule for which the issuing agency for good cause finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, shall take effect at such time as the agency promulgating the rule determines. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). EPA has made such a good cause finding, including the reasons therefore, and established an effective date of July 28, 2011. 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 rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 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 September 26, 2011. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule for the purpose of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which 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

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental regulations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Dated: July 19, 2011.
Jared Blumenfeld,
Regional Administrator, Region IX.
[FR Doc. 2011-18992 Filed 7-27-11; 8:45 am]
Comment Period Closed
Aug 29 2011, at 11:59 PM ET
ID: EPA-R09-OAR-2011-0571-0001
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Document Information

Date Posted: Jul 28, 2011
RIN: Not Assigned
CFR: 40 CFR Part 52
Federal Register Number: 2011-18992
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