[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 236 (Thursday, December 8, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 76620-76622]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-30364]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R04-OAR-2010-0604-201160; FRL-9496-3]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and 
Designations of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Georgia: 
Atlanta; Determination of Attaining Data for the 1997 Annual Fine 
Particulate Matter National Ambient Air Quality Standards

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: EPA has determined that the Atlanta, Georgia, fine particulate 
(PM2.5) nonattainment area (hereafter referred to as the 
``Atlanta Area'' or ``Area'') has attained the 1997 annual average 
PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) and, 
additionally, that the Area has attained the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS by its applicable attainment date of April 5, 
2010. The Atlanta Area is comprised of Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, 
Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, 
Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Rockdale, Spalding and 
Walton Counties in their entireties, and portions of Heard and Putnam 
Counties. First, the determination that the Atlanta Area has attained 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS is based on upon quality-assured 
and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2008-2010 period 
showing that the Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS. The requirements for the Area to submit an 
attainment demonstration and associated reasonably available control 
measures (RACM), a reasonable further progress (RFP) plan, contingency 
measures, and other planning State Implementation Plan (SIP) revisions 
related to attainment of the standard shall be suspended so long as the 
Area continues to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. 
Second, the determination that the Atlanta Area has attained the 1997 
PM2.5 NAAQS by its applicable attainment date of April 5, 
2010, is based upon

[[Page 76621]]

quality-assured and certified ambient air monitoring data for the 2007-
2009 period showing that the Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS during that period. Additionally, in this 
action EPA is addressing a typographical error found in the proposed 
approval for these actions.

DATES: Effective Date: This final rule is effective on January 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
Number EPA-R04-OAR-2010-0604. All documents in the docket are listed in 
the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Although listed in the 
electronic docket, some information is not publicly available, i.e., 
confidential business information 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 either electronically through http://www.regulations.gov or 
in hard copy for public inspection during normal business hours at the 
Regulatory Development Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides 
and Toxics Management Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Madolyn Dominy, Regulatory Development 
Section, Air Planning Branch, Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management 
Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth 
Street, SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. Dominy may be reached by 
phone at (404) 562-9644 or via electronic mail at 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. What action is EPA taking?
II. What is the effect of this action?
III. What is EPA's final action?
IV. What are the statutory and executive order reviews?

I. What actions is EPA taking?

    EPA is determining that the Atlanta Area (comprised of Barrow, 
Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, 
Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Newton, Paulding, 
Rockdale, Spalding and Walton Counties in their entireties and portions 
of Heard and Putnam Counties) has attained the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination is based upon quality-
assured, quality-controlled and certified ambient air monitoring data 
that shows the Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS based on the 2008-2010 data. Preliminary 
monitoring data for the 2009-2011 period indicates that this area is 
continuing to attain the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. EPA is 
also determining, in accordance with EPA's PM2.5 
Implementation Rule of April 25, 2007 (72 FR 20664), that the Atlanta 
Area has attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS by its 
applicable attainment date of April 5, 2010.
    Other specific requirements of the determinations and the rationale 
for EPA's action are explained in the notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPR) published on September 14, 2011 (76 FR 56701) and will not be 
restated here. The comment period closed on October 14, 2011. No 
comments, adverse or otherwise, were received in response to the NPR.
    Finally, EPA also found a typographical error in the NPR. On page 
56702 of the NPR, EPA stated ``On November 13, 2009, EPA designated the 
Atlanta Area as nonattainment for the 2006 24-hour NAAQS (74 FR 58688). 
In that action, EPA also clarified the designations for the NAAQS 
promulgated in 1997, stating that the Atlanta Area was designated as 
nonattainment for the annual NAAQS but attainment for the 24-hour 
NAAQS.'' In EPA's November 13, 2009, action to designate areas for the 
2006 24-hour NAAQS, EPA actually designated the Atlanta Area as 
attainment/unclassifiable for the 2006 24-hour NAAQS. See 74 FR 58688. 
Additionally, EPA is taking the opportunity through this action to 
clarify that that only a portion of Heard and Putnam Counties are 
included in the 1997 annual PM2.5 nonattainment area for 
Atlanta.

II. What are the effects of these actions?

    The determination of attaining data action, in accordance with 40 
CFR 51.1004(c), suspends the requirements for this Area to submit 
attainment demonstrations, associated RACM, RFP plans, contingency 
measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 
annual PM2.5 NAAQS as long as this Area continues to meet 
the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. Finalizing this action does not 
constitute a redesignation of the Atlanta Area to attainment for the 
1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS under section 107(d)(3) of the Clean 
Air Act (CAA). Further, finalizing this action does not involve 
approving maintenance plans for the Area as required under section 175A 
of the CAA, nor does it involve a determination that the Area has met 
all requirements for a redesignation.
    In addition, EPA is making a separate and independent determination 
that the Area has attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 standard by 
its applicable attainment date (April 5, 2010), thereby satisfying 
EPA's requirement pursuant to section 179(c)(1) of the CAA to make such 
determination based on the Area's air quality data as of the attainment 
date.

III. What are EPA's final actions?

    EPA is determining that the Atlanta Area has data indicating it has 
attained the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS and, additionally, that 
the Area has attained the standard by its applicable attainment date 
(April 5, 2010). These determinations are based upon quality-assured, 
quality-controlled, and certified ambient air monitoring data showing 
that this Area has monitored attainment of the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS during the periods of 2008-2010, and 2007-2009. 
This final action, in accordance with 40 CFR 51.1004(c), will suspend 
the requirements for this Area to submit attainment demonstrations, 
associated RACM, RFP plans, contingency measures, and other planning 
SIPs related to attainment of the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS as 
long as the Area continues to meet the 1997 annual PM2.5 
NAAQS. These actions are being taken pursuant to section 179(c)(1) of 
the CAA and are consistent with the CAA and its implementing 
regulations.
    Further, EPA is correcting a typographical error in EPA's proposed 
approval for these actions where EPA stated that the Atlanta Area was 
previously designated nonattainment for the 2006 PM2.5 
NAAQS. EPA has determined that the correction in today's action falls 
under the ``good cause'' exemption in section 553(b)(3)(B) of the 
Administrative Procedure Act which, upon finding ``good cause,'' 
authorizes agencies to dispense with public participation where public 
notice and comment procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or 
contrary to the public interest. Public notice and comment for this 
correction is unnecessary because it is merely to correct a 
typographical error where EPA stated that in a previous action that the 
Atlanta Area was designated nonattainment for the 2006 PM2.5 
NAAQS, whereas the Area was actually designated as attainment/
unclassifiable for the 2006 PM2.5 NAAQS. This correction has 
no substantive impact on EPA's September 14, 2011, proposed action. In 
addition, EPA can identify no particular reason why the public would be 
interested in being notified of the correction, or in having the 
opportunity to comment on

[[Page 76622]]

the correction prior to this action being finalized, since this 
correction action does not change the determinations of attainment for 
the Atlanta Area.

IV. What are statutory and executive order reviews?

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP 
submission or state request that complies with the provisions of the 
CAA and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 
52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions or state request, 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 action does not have tribal implications as specified 
by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because the 
impacted area is not 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. 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 CAA, petitions for judicial review 
of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for 
the appropriate circuit by February 6, 2012. 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. This action, pertaining to the determination of attaining data 
for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter standard for the Atlanta 
Area, 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, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    Dated: November 10, 2011.
A. Stanley Meiburg,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    40 CFR part 52 is amended as follows:

PART 52--[AMENDED]

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

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

Subpart L--Georgia

0
2. Section 52.578 is amended by adding paragraph (e) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  52.578  Control strategy: Sulfur oxides and particulate matter.

* * * * *
    (e) Determination of Attaining Data. EPA has determined, as of 
April 5, 2011, the Atlanta, Georgia, nonattainment area has attaining 
data for the 1997 annual PM2.5 NAAQS. This determination, in 
accordance with 40 CFR 51.1004(c), suspends the requirements for this 
area to submit an attainment demonstration, associated reasonably 
available control measures, a reasonable further progress plan, 
contingency measures, and other planning SIPs related to attainment of 
the standard for as long as this area continues to meet the 1997 annual 
PM2.5 NAAQS.

 [FR Doc. 2011-30364 Filed 12-7-11; 8:45 am]
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