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Ozone Implementation

Rescinding Findings That the 1-Hour Ozone Standard No Longer Applies in Certain Areas

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Federal Register Document

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[Federal Register: December 8, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 235)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 68659-68661]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



40 CFR Parts 50 and 81


Rescinding Findings That the 1-Hour Ozone Standard No Longer
Applies in Certain Areas

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice to Reopen Comment Period.


SUMMARY: The EPA is reopening the comment period for the notice of
proposed rulemaking (NPR) that was published on October 25, 1999 (64 FR
57424) regarding the rescinding of findings made by EPA that the 1-hour
national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS) for ozone no longer
applies in certain areas and which was further clarified on November
18, 1999 (64 FR 63002). The October 25 proposal established a 30-day
comment period, which ended on December 1. The EPA believes this
provided an adequate opportunity to comment on the specific issues
identified in the proposal. However, in response to requests from the
public, EPA is reopening the comment period to January 3, 2000.

[[Page 68660]]

DATES: The EPA is reopening the comment period to end on January 3,
2000, which is 30 days after the date today's notice was signed and
made available on EPA's web site at https://www.epa.gov/airlinks.
Comments must be postmarked by the last day of the comment period and
sent directly to the Docket Office listed in ADDRESSES (in duplicate
form if possible). Please refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
section for additional information on the comment period.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted to the Office of Air and Radiation
Docket and Information Center (6102), Attention: Docket No. A-99-22,
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 401 M Street SW, room M-1500,
Washington, DC 20460, telephone (202) 260-7548. Comments and data may
also be submitted electronically by following the instructions under
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION of this document. No confidential business
information (CBI) should be submitted through e-mail.
    Documents relevant to this action are available for inspection at
the Docket Office, at the above address, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.,
Monday though Friday, excluding legal holidays. A reasonable copying
fee may be charged for copying.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning today's action
should be addressed to Annie Nikbakht, Office of Air Quality Planning
and Standards, Air Quality Strategies and Standards Division, MD-15,
Research Triangle Park, NC, 27711, telephone (919) 541-5246.


Availability of Related Information

    The official record for this rulemaking, as well as the public
version, has been established under docket number A-99-22 (including
comments and data submitted electronically as described below). A
public version of this record, including printed, paper versions of
electronic comments, which does not include any information claimed as
CBI, is available for inspection from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday
through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The official rulemaking
record is located at the address in ADDRESSES at the beginning of this
document. Electronic comments can be sent directly to EPA at: A-and-R-
Docket@epamail.epa.gov. Electronic comments must be submitted as an
ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of
encryption. Comments and data will also be accepted on disks in
WordPerfect in 5.1/6.1 file format or ASCII file format. All comments
and data in electronic form must be identified by the docket number A-
99-22. Electronic comments on this NPR rule may be filed online at many
Federal Depository Libraries.
    Additional information relevant to this proposed rulemaking is
available on the Agency's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards'
(OAQPS) Technology Transfer Network (TTN) via the web at http://
www.epa.gov/ttn/. If assistance is needed in accessing the system, call
the help desk at (919) 541-5384 in Research Triangle Park, NC.

I. Re-opening of Comment Period

    The EPA has received requests to reopen the comment period on the
proposal that the 1-hour NAAQS no longer applies in certain areas. See
Docket A-99-22, nos. IV-D-34 (Hunton & Williams, representing the
Utility Air Regulatory Group) and nos. IV-D-36 The Chamber of Commerce
of the United States, William L. Kovacs. This notice responds to those
requests. The commenters identified an administrative error in
docketing the list of areas affected by the proposed rule. The EPA
acknowledges that the list of areas was inadvertently not placed in the
proper docket at the time the proposed rule was published in the
Federal Register. The EPA has corrected this docketing problem and the
list of affected areas is now available in the docket. The EPA is
providing an additional 30 days for the public to comment on the
proposed rule now that the list of affected areas is available in the
    One commenter also requested that EPA reopen the comment period to
allow comments on issues identified in a Stipulation to Stay
Proceedings in a legal challenge to EPA's revocation of the 1-hour
ozone standard in certain areas. Environmental Defense Fund v. Browner,
No. 98-1363, D.C. Cir., filed August 3, 1998. The issues identified in
the Stipulation were as follows: (1) The proposal to modify 40 C.F.R.
Sec. 50.9(b) to provide that after the 8-hour ozone standard
``become[s] fully enforceable under part D of title 1 of the Clean Air
Act (CAA) and subject to no further legal challenge,'' the 1-hour
standard will no longer apply to an area once EPA determines that the
area has air quality meeting the 1-hour standard; (2) Whether a ``fully
enforceable'' 8-hour standard means that CAA section 107(d)
designations for ozone under the 8-hour standard will have been
promulgated by the Administrator prior to any determination that the 1-
hour ozone standard no longer applies to an area; (3) Whether the motor
vehicle emission budget approved or found adequate for the purpose of
implementing the 1-hour ozone standard in a nonattainment area will
remain in effect for transportation conformity purposes during the
period after the 1-hour ozone standard no longer applies to the area
but before a motor vehicle emission budget is approved or found
adequate for the purpose of implementing the 8-hour ozone standard; (4)
Whether the rescission of the nonapplicability determinations for
certain areas should apply retroactively as well as prospectively; and
(5) In the event EPA determines that the rescission will not apply
retroactively, whether EPA will provide other relief to remedy any
additional air pollution that may result from stationary sources and/or
highway projects approved during the regulatory hiatus when the area's
section 107(d) designation was not ``nonattainment.'' The EPA believes
that all of these issues were within the scope of the original
proposal. The EPA included this list of issues in the Stipulation at
the request of the litigants. The EPA agrees that all of these issues
are within the scope of this rulemaking and thus are open for public
comment during the reopened comment period.

II. Public Hearing

    One commenter also requested that EPA hold a public hearing in
connection with this proposed rule because the rule was allegedly
subject to the public hearing requirements of section 307(d) of the CAA
as a revision to a NAAQS under section 109 of the CAA. The EPA does not
agree with the commenter. As EPA stated in the proposed rule, EPA was
merely changing a rule that indicated when standards would be
applicable, and was not revising the standards themselves. For this
reason, EPA believes that the proposal is not subject to the public
hearing requirements of section 307(d) and is not providing a public
hearing on the proposal.

List of Subjects

40 CFR Part 50

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide,
Lead, Nitrogen dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Sulfur oxides.

40 CFR Part 81

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks,
Wilderness areas.

[[Page 68661]]

    Dated: December 1, 1999.
Robert Brenner,
Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 99-31757 Filed 12-7-99; 8:45 am]

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