[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 188 (Monday, September 29, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 58302-58309]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-23101]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0586; FRL-9917-22-Region-9]


Approval and Promulgation of State Implementation Plans; 
California; Regional Haze Progress Report

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve a revision to the California Regional Haze (RH) State 
Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the California Air Resources 
Board (CARB) documenting that the State's existing plan is making 
adequate progress to achieve visibility goals by 2018. The California 
RH SIP revision addresses the Regional Haze Rule (RHR) requirements 
under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to submit a report describing progress in 
achieving reasonable progress goals (RPGs) to improve visibility in 
Federally designated Class I areas in California and in nearby states 
that may be affected by emissions from sources in California. EPA is 
proposing to approve California's determination that the existing RH 
SIP is adequate to meet the visibility goals, and requires no 
substantive revision at this time.

DATES: Comments must be received by the designated contact at the 
address listed below on or before October 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-
OAR-2014-0586, by one of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 415-947-3579 (Attention: Thomas Webb).
     Mail, Hand Delivery, or Courier: Thomas Webb, EPA Region 
9, Air Division (AIR-2), 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, California 
94105. Hand and courier deliveries are only accepted Monday through 
Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays. Special 
arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
    Instructions: EPA's policy is to include all comments received in 
the public docket without change. We may make comments available online 
at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
confidential business information (CBI) or other information for which 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or that is otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or email. The http://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 http://www.regulations.gov, we will include your email 
address 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 not include special characters or any 
form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.
    Docket: All documents for this proposed action are listed in the 
index for docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0586 on http://www.regulations.gov. Although listed in the index, some information is 
not publicly available, such as CBI or other information that is 
restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted 
material, is publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly 
available docket materials are available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy during normal business hours at the 
Planning Office of the Air Division, AIR-2, EPA Region 9, 75 Hawthorne 
Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. To view hard copies of documents 
listed in the docket index, EPA requests that you contact the 
individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas Webb, U.S. EPA, Region 9, 
Planning Office, Air Division, AIR-2, 75 Hawthorne Street, San 
Francisco, CA 94105. Thomas Webb may be reached at telephone number 
(415) 947-4139 and via electronic mail at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Overview of Proposed Action
II. Background on Regional Haze
III. Background on Regional Haze Plans
IV. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Reports

[[Page 58303]]

V. EPA's Evaluation of California's Progress Report
    A. Status of Control Strategies
    B. Emission Reductions and Progress
    C. Visibility Progress
    D. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visibility Progress
    E. Assessment of Current Strategy
    F. Review of Visibility Monitoring Strategy
    G. Determination of Adequacy
    H. Consultation with Federal Land Managers
VI. EPA's Proposed Action
VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Overview of Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve CARB's determination that the existing 
California RH SIP is adequate to achieve the established RPGs for Class 
I areas by 2018, and therefore requires no substantive revision at this 
time. The State's determination and EPA's proposed approval are based 
on the California Regional Haze Plan 2014 Progress Report (``Progress 
Report'' or ``Report'') submitted by CARB to EPA on June 16, 2014, that 
addresses 40 CFR 51.308(g) and (h) of the RHR. The Progress Report 
demonstrates that the emission control measures in the existing RH SIP 
are sufficient to enable California, as well as other states with Class 
I areas affected by emissions from sources in California, to meet all 
established RPGs for 2018. We are also proposing to find that CARB 
fulfilled the requirements in 51.308(i)(2), (3), and (4) to provide 
Federal Land Managers (FLMs) with an opportunity to consult on the RH 
SIP revision, describe how CARB addressed the FLMs' comments, and 
provide procedures for continuing the consultation.

II. Background on Regional Haze

    Regional haze is visibility impairment produced by many sources and 
activities located across a broad geographic area that emit fine 
particles that impair visibility by scattering and absorbing light, 
thereby reducing the clarity, color, and visible distance that one can 
see. These fine particles also can cause serious health effects and 
mortality in humans and contribute to environmental impacts, such as 
acid deposition and eutrophication of water bodies.
    The RHR uses the deciview as the principle metric for measuring 
visibility and for the RPGs that serve as interim visibility goals 
toward meeting the national visibility goal of reaching natural 
conditions by 2064. A deciview expresses uniform changes in haziness in 
terms of common increments across the entire range of visibility 
conditions, from pristine to extremely hazy conditions. Deciviews are 
determined by using air quality measurement to estimate light 
extinction, and then transforming the value of light extinction using a 
logarithmic function. Deciview is a more useful measure for tracking 
progress in improving visibility than light extinction because each 
deciview change is an equal incremental change in visibility perceived 
by the human eye. Most people can detect a change in visibility at one 
deciview.

III. Background on Regional Haze Plans

    In section 169A(a)(1) of the CAA Amendments of 1977, Congress 
created a program to protect visibility in designated national parks 
and wilderness areas, establishing as a national goal the ``prevention 
of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of 
visibility in mandatory Class I Federal areas which impairment results 
from manmade air pollution.'' In accordance with section 169A of the 
CAA and after consulting with the Department of Interior, EPA 
promulgated a list of 156 mandatory Class I Federal areas where 
visibility is identified as an important value (44 FR 69122, November 
30, 1979). In this notice, we refer to mandatory Class I Federal areas 
as ``Class I areas.'' California has 29 Class I areas, the most of any 
state.
    With the CAA Amendments of 1990, Congress added section 169B to 
address regional haze issues. EPA promulgated a rule to address 
regional haze on July 1, 1999, known as the Regional Haze Rule (64 FR 
35713). The RHR revised the existing visibility regulations in 40 CFR 
51.308 to integrate provisions addressing regional haze impairment and 
to establish a comprehensive visibility protection program for Class I 
areas.
    CARB submitted its initial RH SIP to EPA on March 17, 2009, in 
accordance with the requirements of 40 CFR 51.308 for the first 
regional haze planning period ending in 2018. EPA approved the 
California RH SIP for the first planning period on June 14, 2011 (76 FR 
34608). The Progress Report from CARB is the first evaluation of 
whether the existing California RH SIP is sufficient to enable 
California, and other states affected by emissions from sources in 
California, to meet the established visibility goals for 2018.

IV. Requirements for Regional Haze Progress Reports

    The RHR in 40 CFR 51.308(g) requires states to submit a report 
every five years in the form of a SIP revision to evaluate progress 
toward achieving the RPGs for each Class I area in the state and for 
those areas outside the state that may be affected by emissions from 
within the state. The first progress reports are due five years from 
the submittal date of each state's initial RH SIP. These reports must 
contain an evaluation of seven elements, at a minimum, and include a 
determination of the adequacy of the state's existing RH SIP. In 
summary,\1\ the seven elements are: (1) A description of the status of 
implementation of all measures included in the current RH SIP for 
achieving the RPGs in Class I areas within and outside the State; (2) a 
summary of the emission reductions achieved in the State through 
implementation of these measures; (3) an assessment of visibility 
conditions and changes on the most impaired and least impaired days for 
each Class I area in the State in terms of 5-year averages of the 
annual values; (4) an analysis of changes in emissions over the past 5 
years contributing to visibility impairment from all sources and 
activities within the State based on the most recently updated 
emissions inventory; (5) an assessment of any significant changes in 
anthropogenic emissions within or outside the State over the past 5 
years that have limited or impeded progress in reducing pollutant 
emissions and improving visibility; (6) an assessment of whether the 
elements and strategies in the current RH SIP are sufficient to enable 
the State, or other states affected by its emissions, to achieve the 
established RPGs; and (7) a review of the State's visibility monitoring 
strategy and any necessary modifications.
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    \1\ Please refer to 40 CFR 51.308(g) for the exact Rule 
requirements.
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    Based on an evaluation of the factors listed above as well as any 
other relevant information, a state is required in 40 CFR 51.308(h) to 
determine the adequacy of its existing RH SIP. The state must take one 
of four possible actions based on the analysis in its progress report. 
In summary,\2\ these actions are to (1) provide a negative declaration 
to EPA that no further substantive revisions to the State's existing RH 
SIP is needed to achieve the RPGs; (2) provide notification to EPA and 
to other states in its region that its RH SIP is or may be inadequate 
to ensure reasonable progress due to emissions from sources in other 
states, and collaborate with other states to develop additional 
strategies to address the deficiencies; (3) provide notification and 
available information to EPA that the State's RH SIP is or may be 
inadequate to ensure reasonable

[[Page 58304]]

progress due to emissions from sources in another country; or (4) 
revise its RH SIP within one year to address the deficiencies if the 
State determines that its existing plan is or may be inadequate to 
ensure reasonable progress in one or more Class I areas due to 
emissions from sources within the State.
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    \2\ Please refer to 40 CFR 51.308(h) for the exact Rule 
requirements.
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    A state must document that it provided FLMs with an opportunity for 
consultation prior to holding a public hearing on a RH SIP or plan 
revision as required in 40 CFR 51.308(i)(2). In addition, a state must 
include a description of how it addressed any comments from the FLMs, 
and provide procedures for continuing consultation with the FLMs as 
required in 40 CFR 51.308(i)(3) and (4).

V. EPA's Evaluation of California's Progress Report

    This section describes California's Progress Report and EPA's 
evaluation of the Report in relation to the seven elements listed in 40 
CFR 51.308(g) and the determination of adequacy in 40 CFR 51.308(h). We 
also review the requirement in 40 CFR 51.308(i)(2) for state and FLM 
coordination on a plan revision. However, to facilitate a better 
understanding of the Report's contents, we first provide background 
information on the framework for measuring visibility progress, the 
causes of haze in California, and the sources of data used in the 
Report.
    Framework for Measuring Progress: Visibility conditions at 
California's 29 Class I areas are calculated in deciviews using data 
collected from 17 Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual 
Environments (IMPROVE) monitors. These deciview values are then 
compared to the State's RPGs (i.e., visibility goals) for 2018 in each 
Class I area. The RPGs are based on the annual average of the projected 
deciview level for the 20 percent best days and the 20 percent worst 
days measured at each Class I area. The RPGs in 2018 for the worst 
days, the key indicator of progress, are the result of atmospheric 
modeling based on projected emission reductions from control strategies 
in the California RH SIP as well as emission reductions expected to 
result from other Federal, state and local air quality programs among 
other factors. The RPGs must provide for an improvement in visibility 
on the 20 percent worst days and ensure no degradation on the 20 
percent best days, compared to average visibility conditions during the 
baseline period from 2000 to 2004.
    Causes of Haze: The three primary drivers of haze on the worst days 
in California are nitrates mostly from mobile sources, sulfates mostly 
from offshore and international sources, and organic carbon (OC) mostly 
from natural sources. Accordingly, California's control strategies 
target reducing the precursors of these pollutants: nitrogen oxide 
(NOX) for nitrates, sulfur oxide (SOX) for 
sulfates, and reactive organic gases (ROG) \3\ for organic carbon, 
along with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that is directly 
emitted. For more information regarding the causes of haze in 
California and other background information, please refer to the 
California RH SIP and EPA's evaluation of that SIP, both of which are 
available in the docket for this rulemaking.\4\
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    \3\ CARB defines ROG emissions as reactive organic gases that 
are a precursor to organic carbon aerosols. ROG means any compound 
of carbon, which is how EPA defines volatile organic compounds 
(VOC). However, the lists of compounds of carbon that are excluded 
from the respective lists of ROGs and VOCs differ to some extent.
    \4\ California RH SIP Section 4.7: Regional Analysis of Source 
Categories, Proposed rule at 76 FR 13944 (March 15, 2011), and Final 
rule at 76 FR 34608 (June 14, 2011).
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    Data Sources for the Progress Report: CARB's analysis is primarily 
based on IMPROVE monitoring data for the five-year period from 2007 to 
2011 (i.e., current conditions) compared to monitoring data from 2000 
to 2004 (i.e., baseline conditions). For each of these time periods, 
the RHR requires the use of a five-year average of annual average 
deciview values to represent the baseline and current conditions. CARB 
also relied on the ``Western Regional Air Partnership (WRAP) Regional 
Summary Report,'' dated June 2013, that focuses on the five years (2005 
to 2009) following the baseline period. While the most recent IMPROVE 
data for 2012 was not available in time for the Progress Report's 
analysis, a summary of the 2012 monitoring data is appended to the 
Report, and is referenced to support the analysis of current 
conditions.

A. Status of Control Strategies

1. CARB's Analysis
    The California RH SIP relies on the continued implementation of 
adopted Federal, state and local control measures, which were developed 
primarily to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), 
to address the anthropogenic sources of haze in California. In its 
Progress Report, CARB confirms that mobile sources are the primary 
contributor of NOX, while also contributing SOX, 
OC, and PM2.5 to haze at Class I areas. Although many 
aspects of mobile sources are regulated by Federal laws, the Progress 
Report notes that California has some of the most aggressive and 
innovative State and local regulations for mobile sources in the 
country. The Progress Report lists strategies adopted and implemented 
by the State that target emission reductions from light-duty passenger 
vehicles, heavy-duty diesel trucks, and off-road equipment, which are 
some of the largest sources of NOX emissions. Actual 
measures include fuel and engine standards, pollution control 
technology, goods movement and transportation rules, and consumer 
product requirements. In addition, local air districts implement 
stationary source and other control programs including New Source 
Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration permits that also 
reduce or prevent emissions that might contribute to haze.
    The Progress Report includes a list of two dozen new control 
strategies that were not in the emission inventory used to project the 
deciview level for the RPGs in 2018. Due to nonattainment of NAAQS, 
CARB and local districts are regularly adopting or revising rules and 
creating new incentives to reduce emissions. These new control measures 
should further reduce emissions beyond those projected from the control 
strategies in the California RH SIP.
    The Progress Report also includes an update on the State's single 
stationary source, the Valero Refinery in Benicia, California, that was 
required to install and operate Best Available Retrofit Technology 
(BART) controls. The new control equipment includes low-NOX 
burners and selective catalytic reduction to reduce NOX, and 
scrubbers to remove SO2 and PM10 (large 
particulate matter). These controls, installed and in operation at the 
Valero Refinery since February 2011, two years before the deadline for 
compliance, are already reducing emissions. The deciview and light 
extinction data from 2011 (20.2 dv) and 2012 (20.1) for Point Reyes 
National Seashore, the most affected Class I area by emissions from 
this source, are already showing a reduction in nitrates and sulfates 
compared to 2010 (22 dv).
2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the requirement 
in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(1) to describe the status of all measures included 
in the California RH SIP. CARB generally describes the types of 
measures in its RH SIP, and includes new control strategies that should 
contribute to further improvement in visibility. The report identifies 
NOX emissions from mobile sources as the primary source of 
anthropogenic emissions causing or contributing to haze, and focuses on 
related control measures. The report

[[Page 58305]]

also includes the status of BART controls at the Valero Refinery, the 
only identified source in California subject to BART. In response to a 
comment from FLMs requesting additional information regarding Federal 
and state regulations that were accounted for in California's RPGs, 
CARB noted that its RH SIP submitted in 2009 included a discussion of 
the regulations used to establish the RPGs for 2018.\5\ The RH SIP is 
included in the docket for this action. A listing of state and local 
California air district rules within the federally enforceable SIP, is 
available at: http://www.epa.gov/region9/air/sips/index.html.
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    \5\ Progress Report Appendix E: Comments of Federal Land 
Management Agencies with CARB Responses.
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B. Emission Reductions and Progress

1. CARB's Analysis
    CARB provides a recently updated California Statewide Emission 
Inventory from 2000 to 2020 at five-year intervals that demonstrates 
steadily decreasing emissions of regional haze precursors (i.e., 
NOX, ROG, SOX, and PM2.5) from about 
75 categories of sources.\6\ NOX emissions are expected to 
decrease from about 1.4 million tons per year (tpy) in 2000 to 567,000 
tpy in 2020. ROG emissions are expected to decrease from about 1 
million tpy in 2000 to 570,000 tpy in 2020. SOX emissions 
are expected decrease from about 106,000 tpy in 2000 to 30,000 tpy in 
2020. PM2.5 emissions are expected to decrease from about 
241,000 tpy in 2000 to 151,000 tpy in 2020.
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    \6\ Id. Appendix B: Emission Inventory 2013 Almanac.
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    Statewide emissions also are summarized by pollutant for each of 
the three major categories of sources: Stationary, area, and mobile.\7\ 
Of particular interest are NOX emissions from mobile 
sources, which are expected to decrease from about 1.1 million tpy in 
2000 to 995,000 tpy in 2005; 706,000 tpy in 2010; 557,000 tpy in 2015; 
and 434,000 tpy in 2020. The statewide emissions inventory and summary 
are accompanied by a graph of statewide inventory trends that shows 
decreasing emissions for all four visibility-impairing pollutants from 
2000 to 2020. Mobile source emissions of NOX, ROG, 
SOX, and PM2.5, listed above in tpy, are 
projected to decline by about 60, 65, 85, and 50 percent, respectively, 
from 2000 to 2020.\8\ Stationary and area sources for these four 
pollutants are also projected to decline over this 20-year period. 
Overall statewide emissions of NOX, ROG, SOX, and 
PM2.5 for stationary, area, and mobile sources are expected 
to decline by almost 40 percent from 2000 to 2020.
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    \7\ Id. California Statewide Inventory Summary, Table 2, page 9.
    \8\ Id. California Statewide Inventory Trends, Figure 3, page 
10.
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2. EPA's Evaluation

    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the 
requirements in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(2) to provide a summary of the 
emission reductions achieved through implementation of the control 
measures relied upon to achieve the RPGs. The trend analysis for the 
largest category of emissions, NOX from mobile sources, 
indicates that these emissions are expected to decline from 1,131,500 
tons per year in 2000 to 433,620 tons per year by 2020, a reduction of 
almost 62 percent. As reported by CARB, statewide emissions of ROG, 
SOX, and PM2.5 are also declining over this 20-
year time period.
    We also propose to find that CARB adequately addresses the 
requirement in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(4) to analyze the change in emissions 
over the past five years of pollutants contributing to visibility 
impairment from all sources and activities within the state, using the 
most recently updated emissions inventory. The California Statewide 
Emission Inventory is recently updated and includes inventories for 
2005 and 2010 that represent the past five years.

C. Visibility Progress

1. CARB's Analysis
    CARB addresses progress on the 20 percent best days and 20 percent 
worst days by comparing current conditions (five-year average from 2007 
to 2011) to baseline conditions (five-year average from 2000 to 2004), 
and current conditions on worst days to the RPGs in 2018. A summary of 
progress on best and worst days is shown in Tables 1 and 2 that are 
adapted from the Progress Report.\9\ As shown in the tables, CARB 
divides the 17 monitors and 29 Class I areas into four regional zones 
for its analysis: Northern California, Sierra California, Coastal 
California, and Southern California.
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    \9\ Id. Statewide 2018 Reasonable Progress Goal Summary, Table 
3, page 12, and Revised Table 3.

                                    Table 1--Summary of Progress on Best Days
                                                 [In deciviews]
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                                                                   Baseline best   Current  best
            IMPROVE Monitor                   Class I Areas        days  (2000-    days  (2007-     Visibility
                                                                        04)             11)           change
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                                               Northern California
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TRIN..................................  Marble Mountain WA......             3.4             3.0             0.4
                                        Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel
                                         WA.
LABE..................................  Lava Beds NM............             3.2             2.9             0.3
                                        South Warner WA.........
LAVO..................................  Lassen Volcanic NP......             2.7             2.3             0.4
                                        Caribou WA..............
                                        Thousand Lakes WA.......
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                                                Sierra California
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BLIS..................................  Desolation WA...........             2.5             2.1             0.4
                                        Mokelumne WA............
HOOV..................................  Hoover WA...............             1.4             1.3             0.1
YOSE..................................  Yosemite NP.............             3.4             2.5             0.9
                                        Emigrant WA.............
KAIS..................................  Ansel Adams WA..........             2.3             1.5             0.8
                                        Kaiser WA...............
                                        John Muir WA............

[[Page 58306]]

 
SEQU..................................  Sequoia NP..............             8.8             7.6             1.2
                                        Kings Canyon NP.........
DOME..................................  Dome Lands WA...........             5.1             4.9             0.2
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                                               Coastal California
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
REDW..................................  Redwood NP..............             6.1             5.8             0.3
PORE..................................  Point Reyes NS..........            10.5             8.6             1.9
PINN..................................  Pinnacles WA............             8.9             7.8             1.1
                                        Ventana WA..............
RAFA..................................  San Rafael WA...........             6.4             5.2             1.2
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                                               Southern California
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SAGA..................................  San Gabriel WA..........             4.8             4.5             0.3
                                        Cucamonga WA............
SAGO..................................  San Gorgonio WA.........             5.4             4.0             1.4
                                        San Jacinto WA..........
AGTI..................................  Agua Tibia WA...........             9.6             7.1             2.5
JOSH..................................  Joshua Tree NP..........             6.1             4.8             1.3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WA = Wilderness Area NM = National Monument NP = National Park NS = National Seashore


                                                       Table 2--Summary of Progress on Worst Days
                                                                     [In deciviews]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Baseline worst   Current worst                                      Current
              IMPROVE Monitor                       Class I Areas          days  (2000-    days  (2007-     Visibility      RPG  (2018)     progress to
                                                                                04)             11)           change                            RPG
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Northern California
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TRIN......................................  Marble Mountain WA..........            17.4            15.2             2.1            16.4            210%
                                            Y.B.-Middle Eel WA..........
LABE......................................  Lava Beds NM................            15.1            13.0             2.1            14.4            300%
                                            South Warner WA.............
LAVO......................................  Lassen Volcanic NP..........            14.1            15.6            -1.5            13.3           -188%
                                            Caribou WA..................
                                            Thousand Lakes WA...........
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Sierra California
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLIS......................................  Desolation WA...............            12.6            13.0            -0.4            12.3           -133%
                                            Mokelumne WA................
HOOV......................................  Hoover WA...................            12.9            11.5             1.4            12.5            350%
YOSE......................................  Yosemite NP.................            17.6            16.0             1.6            16.7            178%
                                            Emigrant WA.................
KAIS......................................  Ansel Adams WA..............            15.5            14.9             0.6            14.9            100%
                                            Kaiser WA...................
                                            John Muir WA................
SEQU......................................  Sequoia NP..................            25.4            22.3             3.1            22.7            115%
                                            Kings Canyon NP.............
DOME......................................  Dome Lands WA...............            19.4            18.3             1.1            18.1             85%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Coastal California
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
REDW......................................  Redwood NP..................            18.5            18.5               0            17.8              0%
PORE......................................  Point Reyes NS..............            22.8            21.6             1.2            21.3             80%
PINN......................................  Pinnacles WA................            18.5            17.5             1.0            16.7             56%
                                            Ventana WA..................
RAFA......................................  San Rafael WA...............            18.8            18.0             0.8            17.3             53%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Southern California
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SAGA......................................  San Gabriel WA..............            19.9          18.0 *             1.9            17.4           76% *
                                            Cucamonga WA................
SAGO......................................  San Gorgonio WA.............            22.2            18.7             3.5            19.9            152%
                                            San Jacinto WA..............
AGTI......................................  Agua Tibia WA...............            23.5            19.8             3.7            21.6            195%

[[Page 58307]]

 
JOSH......................................  Joshua Tree NP..............            19.6            16.1             3.5            17.9            206%
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
WA = Wilderness Area NM = National Monument NP = National Park NS = National Seashore
* This data is from 2005 to 2008 due to fire damage to the monitor in 2009.

    Current visibility conditions have improved on the 20 percent best 
days at all California's Class I areas as indicated in the last column 
of Table 1 that shows positive visibility change compared to the best 
days baseline for all 17 monitors.\10\ On the 20 percent worst days, 
the current conditions already meet the RPGs for 2018 at nine of the 17 
monitors as shown in Table 2. At five monitors, current conditions on 
worst days range from 53 to 85 percent of the improvement in visibility 
needed to meet the respective RPGs. At the remaining three monitors, 
current conditions on worst days indicate that six Class I areas are 
not making progress in achieving the RPGs.
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    \10\ See Revised Table 3, Technical Correction for Current Best 
Days (2007-2011), August 6, 2014.
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    The Progress Report explains that the limited progress in improving 
visibility at six Class I areas, all located in northern California, is 
due to smoke from wildfires as documented in Appendix D of the Progress 
Report.\11\ The six Class I areas and the associated monitors are 
Lassen Volcanic National Park, Caribou Wilderness Area, and Thousand 
Lakes Wilderness Area (LAVO); Desolation Wilderness Area and Mokelumne 
Wilderness Area (BLIS); and Redwood National Park (REDW). CARB explains 
that wildfire smoke has caused unusually high deciviews on the worst 
days at the LAVO monitor in 2008 and 2009, at the BLIS monitor in 2007 
and 2008, and at the REDW monitor in 2008. CARB provides technical 
analyses of how wildfire smoke can elevate the deciview value on a 
sufficient number of the 20 percent worst days to increase the annual 
average deciview as well as skew the five-year average deciview at a 
given monitor. CARB also notes that offshore emissions from ocean 
vessels may contribute to sulfate formation that impairs visibility at 
some remote monitors near the coast where there are no other major 
sources of sulfates.\12\ This may be the case for Pinnacles Wilderness 
Area and Ventana Wilderness Area (PINN), and Redwood National Park 
(REDW), where visibility improvement during the current five-year 
period is slower than elsewhere, although these three Class I areas are 
affected by wildfire smoke in some years as well.
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    \11\ Id. Appendix D: Technical Analyses of Factors Impeding 
Progress.
    \12\ Id. Page 11.
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    CARB also includes a Statewide 2018 Reasonable Progress Goal 
Summary using 2012 Data \13\ that represents the five-year average for 
current conditions from 2008 to 2012. This updated table shows that on 
the worst days only three Class I areas represented by one monitor 
(LAVO) have worse visibility during current conditions (15.6 dv) 
compared to the baseline (14.1 dv). Of the remaining 16 monitors, 14 
already exceed and two (REDW and PINN) are expected to meet the RPGs in 
2018 for the worst days based on trends reflected by the updated 
current conditions. On the best days, the average current conditions 
from 2008 to 2012 meet or exceed the RPGs at all 17 monitors.
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    \13\ Id, Appendix C: Deciview Record (2000-2012), Table C-3.
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2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the requirement 
in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(3) to assess the visibility conditions and changes 
in each of the State's Class I areas for the least and most impaired 
days in terms of the five-year averages of the annual values. CARB 
describes progress at each of the Class I areas on the best and worst 
days using data from the IMPROVE monitors to analyze changes in 
visibility conditions for current conditions (2007 to 2011), current 
conditions compared to baseline conditions, and over the past five 
years, which is essentially equivalent to the baseline comparison.

D. Assessment of Changes Impeding Visibility Progress

1. CARB's Analysis
    The Progress Report includes an assessment of changes in natural 
and anthropogenic emissions that impede visibility progress based on a 
review of emission inventories, monitoring data, and other sources of 
information.\14\ CARB identifies three factors, largely beyond the 
State's control, that interfere with progress toward improved 
visibility on worst days at some of its Class I areas. These factors 
are wildfire smoke from natural sources, offshore shipping emissions 
from anthropogenic sources largely outside California's jurisdiction, 
and Asian dust from natural and anthropogenic sources outside of 
California's jurisdiction. Each of these types of emissions can cause a 
spike in pollutants at a sampling monitor that could be included in the 
20 percent worst days. Wildfire smoke results in elevated levels of 
organic carbon. Offshore shipping results in elevated levels of 
sulfates at monitors near the coast during the summer. Asian dust 
combined with industrial pollution in the form of coarse mass and fine 
soils are transported in the jet stream over the Pacific Ocean, 
especially during the spring.
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    \14\ Id. Section 4, pages 13-17.
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    CARB provides documentation and analysis supporting the fact that 
wildfires are occurring more frequently in California over the past 
decade.\15\ Wildfire smoke can cause increases in organic carbon 
concentrations at monitors for several consecutive days or weeks. In 
some cases, the effect of wildfires is high enough to increase the 
deciview value of the annual as well as five-year averages on the 20 
percent worst days. The Progress Report includes the example of a large 
number of wildfires in northern California known as the ``2008 
Lightning Strike Complex'' that occurred in June through August 2008. 
These fires had an overwhelming impact on visibility progress at many 
monitors throughout California and the West.\16\ CARB includes in the 
Report a satellite photo of smoke plumes on July 9, 2008, that 
indicates the location of the three monitors (REDW, BLIS, and LAVO) 
where visibility progress was lagging during the current conditions 
time period (2007 to 2011).\17\ Moreover, with

[[Page 58308]]

80 percent of the State considered wildland \18\ and smoke drifting 
long distances, all of California's Class I areas are susceptible to 
wildfires.
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    \15\ Id. Wildfire Acreage Burned in California, 1950-2010, 
Figure 4, page 14.
    \16\ Id, The 2008 ``Lightning Strike Complex,'' Figure 5, page 
15.
    \17\ Id, NASA Satellite Photo: July 9, 2008, Figure 6, page 16.
    \18\ Id, Wildfire Frequency and Intensity, Figure 7, page 17.
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2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the requirement 
in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(5) to assess any significant changes in 
anthropogenic emissions within or outside the State over the past five 
years that have limited or impeded progress in reducing emissions and 
improving visibility. While CARB's analysis primarily focuses on 
wildfires, it also discusses the effects of emissions from offshore 
shipping and Asian dust.

E. Assessment of Current Strategy

1. CARB's Analysis
    The Progress Report asserts that California's current control 
strategy is on track to meet the RPGs for 2018 at all 29 Class I areas 
throughout the State. CARB cites the IMPROVE data for 2011 in which 
each of the Class I areas is already below the 2018 visibility goal. 
Moreover, the State continues to strengthen existing control measures, 
adopt new control measures, and develop plans with even newer measures 
to meet upcoming NAAQS as well as other new Federal and State air 
quality requirements.
    The Progress Report indicates that the current strategy also is 
sufficient to lessen the impact of California's emissions on 
neighboring states. In the California RH SIP, CARB determined that the 
State's emissions contributed about three percent or less of nitrate on 
the worst days at Jarbidge Wilderness Area in Nevada; Kalmiopsis 
Wilderness Area and Crater Lake National Park in Oregon; and Sycamore 
Canyon Wilderness Area and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. With 
California NOX emissions projected to decrease by about 60 
percent from 2000 to 2020, these small contributions will be further 
reduced.

2. EPA's Evaluation

    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the requirement 
in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(6) to assess whether the current elements and 
strategies in the RH SIP are sufficient to enable California, or other 
states affected by California's emissions, to meet all established 
RPGs. As described above, monitoring data indicates current visibility 
conditions already meet or exceed the RPGs for the 20 percent best days 
at all of the State's Class I areas. In addition, 26 of the State's 29 
Class I areas have already achieved the 2018 RPGs for the worst days or 
are on track to meet those RPGs by 2018. The lack of progress at the 
three remaining areas on the worst 20 percent days is largely due to 
wildfires. Significant emission reductions within California are also 
expected to benefit Class I areas outside the State that are affected 
by California's emissions. CARB provides sufficient evidence to 
demonstrate that its current strategy is adequate to enable all 
affected Class I areas to meet the RPGs for 2018.

F. Review of Visibility Monitoring Strategy

1. CARB's Analysis
    California will continue to rely on the IMPROVE network to collect 
and analyze the visibility data, and has no need to make any changes. 
CARB reports that the Station Fire in August 2009 destroyed the SAGA 
monitor that represents San Gabriel Wilderness Area and Cucamonga 
Wilderness Area. For this reason, the current conditions on the worst 
days for the SAGA monitor are based on 2005 to 2008, instead of 2007 to 
2011. However, the monitoring site was reestablished in October 2011.
2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the requirement 
in 40 CFR 51.308(g)(7) to review its visibility monitoring strategy and 
make any modifications as necessary. We agree that there is no need to 
modify California's monitoring network for measuring visibility at this 
time.

G. Determination of Adequacy

1. CARB's Determination
    CARB has determined that no substantive revision of the RH SIP is 
warranted at this time in order to achieve the RPGs for visibility 
improvement by 2018. Visibility trends for the worst days show 
improvement at every monitor except for the three monitors (LAVO, BLIS, 
and REDW) influenced by years with wildfires. Further, current 
visibility conditions on best days (2007 to 2011) at all monitors are 
better than the baseline period. Based on reductions in anthropogenic 
sources of emissions in California and the concurrent improvement in 
visibility at all of California's Class I area monitors, CARB 
determines that the current RH SIP strategies are sufficient to enable 
California and its neighboring states to meet their RPGs for 2018.
2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB adequately addresses the 
requirements in 40 CFR 51.308(h) by determining that the existing 
California RH SIP requires no substantive revisions at this time to 
achieve the established RPGs at Class I areas affected by the State's 
sources. EPA concurs with the State's determination based on the 
analysis and documentation presented in the Progress Report. The Report 
provides evidence of declining emissions from anthropogenic sources 
within the State's control and improving visibility on worst days at 
all the monitors except when influenced by wildfires. Visibility on 
best days is also improving at all monitors, which are already meeting 
the RPGs for the best days.

H. Consultation With Federal Land Managers

1. CARB's Consultation
    CARB conducted timely outreach in January 2014 to the FLMs 
including the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Forest 
Service (USFS), which manage the national parks and wildlife areas in 
California. The NPS responded in a letter dated March 27, 2014, that 
agreed with CARB's conclusion that emission reductions are sufficient 
to meet the RPGs for 2018, and offered suggestions to strengthen the 
Report. The USFS responded in a letter dated April 8, 2014, that CARB 
has demonstrated it is on a technically sound path for improving 
visibility in Class I areas. CARB's responses to the comments from NPS 
and USFS are included in Appendix E of the Report.
    CARB has submitted to EPA a Public Notice and Hearing Transcript 
along with a certified copy of Air Resources Board Resolution 14-15 
dated May 22, 2014, the date of the public hearing at which the Board 
approved the Progress Report. Resolution 14-15 certifies that CARB 
provided a copy of the draft Progress Report to the FLMs on January 28, 
2014, and on March 11, 2014, held a conference call to discuss the 
draft Report. In the response to comments, CARB commits to continuing 
policy discussions through the regular Air and Land Mangers meetings 
held between the State and FLMs.
2. EPA's Evaluation
    EPA proposes to find that CARB has addressed the requirements in 40 
CFR 51.308(i)(2), (3), and (4) to provide FLMs with an opportunity for 
consultation in person and at least 60 days prior to a public hearing 
on the SIP revision; include a description in the SIP revision of how 
it addressed any

[[Page 58309]]

comments from the FLMs; and provide procedures for continuing 
consultation between the State and FLMs.

VI. EPA's Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve the California Regional Haze Plan 2014 
Progress Report submitted to EPA on June 16, 2014, as meeting the 
applicable RHR requirements as set forth in 40 CFR 51.308(g), (h), and 
(i).

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP 
submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable 
Federal regulations.\19\ Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role 
is to approve state decisions, provided that they meet the criteria of 
the CAA. Accordingly, this proposed action is to approve state law as 
meeting Federal requirements, and does not impose additional 
requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this 
proposed action:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     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 rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), 
because the SIP is not approved to apply in Indian country located in 
the state. EPA notes that it will not impose substantial direct costs 
on tribal governments or preempt tribal law.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by 
reference, Intergovernmental relations, Nitrogen oxides, Organic 
carbon, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Sulfur oxides, Visibility, Volatile organic compounds.

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

    Dated: September 17, 2014.
Jared Blumenfeld,
Regional Administrator, Region IX.
[FR Doc. 2014-23101 Filed 9-26-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P