[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 116 (Friday, June 15, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27936-27937]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-12896]



40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R01-OAR-2018-0212; FRL-9978- 97--Region 1]

Air Plan Approval; Connecticut; Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration; Revisions to the Prevention of Significant Deterioration 
Greenhouse Gas Permitting Authority

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the 
State of Connecticut. This revision affects provisions applicable to 
greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the EPA's Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD) permit program. Connecticut requested the revision 
in response to the June 23, 2014, U.S. Supreme Court's decision in 
Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA and the April 10, 2015, 
Amended Judgment by the United States Court of Appeals for the District 
of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) in Coalition for Responsible 
Regulation v. EPA. The intended effect of this action is to clarify 
that the State's PSD rules do not require a source to obtain a permit 
solely because the source emits or has the potential to emit (PTE) 
GHGs: Above the PSD applicability thresholds for new major sources; or 
for which there is a significant emissions increase from a 
modification. This action is being taken under the Clean Air Act.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R01-
OAR-2018-0212 at www.regulations.gov, or via email to. For comments 
submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for 
submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or 
removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA 
may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be 
accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the 
official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish 
to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment 
contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, 
cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission 
methods, please contact the person identified in the For Further 
Information Contact section. For the full EPA public comment policy, 
information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance 
on making effective comments, please visit www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. Publicly available docket materials are 
available at www.regulations.gov or at the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, EPA New England Regional Office, Office of Ecosystem 
Protection, Air Quality Planning Unit, 5 Post Office Square--Suite 100, 
Boston, MA. The EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the 
contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to 
schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of 
business are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding 
legal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donald Dahl, Air Permits, Toxics, and 
Indoor Programs Unit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA New 
England Regional Office, 5 Post Office Square--Suite 100, (Mail code 
OEP05-2), Boston, MA 02109-3912, tel. (617) 918-1657, email 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document whenever ``we,'' 
``us,'' or ``our'' is used, we mean the EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Background and Purpose
II. EPA's Review
III. Proposed Action
IV. Incorporation by Reference
V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background and Purpose

    On February 28, 2018, the Connecticut Department of Energy and 
Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) submitted a revision to its State 
Implementation Plan (SIP) for the treatment of GHGs in the context of 
the PSD permit program under the Clean Air Act (CAA). The revision 
consists of removing the requirement that sources would have to obtain 
a PSD permit solely due to its GHG emissions, commonly known as ``Step 
2'' sources.
    On January 2, 2011, GHG emissions were, for the first time, covered 
by the PSD and title V operating permit programs. See 75 FR 17004, 
(April 2, 2010). To establish a process for phasing in the permitting 
requirements for stationary sources of GHGs under the CAA PSD and title 
V programs, on June 3, 2010, the EPA published a final rule entitled 
``Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas 
Tailoring Rule'' (hereinafter referred to as the GHG Tailoring Rule). 
See 75 FR 31514. In Step 1 of the GHG Tailoring Rule, which began on 
January 2, 2011, the EPA limited application of PSD and title V 
requirements to sources of GHG emissions only if they were subject to 
PSD or title V ``anyway'' due to their emissions of pollutants other 
than GHGs. These sources are referred to as ``anyway sources.'' In Step 
2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule, which applied as of July 1, 2011, the PSD 
and title V permitting program requirements applied to some sources 
that were classified as major sources based solely on their GHG 
emissions or potential to emit GHGs. Step 2 also applied PSD permitting 
requirements to modifications of otherwise major sources that would 
increase only GHG emissions above the level in the EPA regulations. EPA 
generally described the sources covered by PSD during Step 2 of the GHG 
Tailoring Rule as ``Step 2 sources'' or ``GHG-only sources.''
    The United States Supreme Court invalidated the EPA's regulation of 
Step 2 sources in Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) v. EPA, 134 S Ct. 
2427 (2014). In accordance with that decision, the United States Court 
of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the federal 
regulations that implemented Step 2 of the GHG Tailoring Rule. See 
Coalition for Responsible Regulation, Inc. v. EPA, 606 Fed. Appx. 6, 7 
(D.C. Cir. 2015). Subsequently, the EPA removed the vacated elements 
from its rules. See 80 FR 50199 (August 19, 2015). The EPA therefore 
has the authority to approve a state's request to remove Step 2 sources 
from the SIP.

II. EPA's Review

    Section 110(l) of the CAA states that the EPA shall not approve a 
revision to the SIP if the revision would interfere with any applicable 
requirement concerning attainment (of the NAAQS)

[[Page 27937]]

and reasonable further progress (as defined in CAA section 7501) or any 
other requirement of the CAA. The EPA has reviewed the SIP revision and 
is proposing to find the revision is consistent with Section 110(l) of 
the CAA.
    The EPA's analysis and rationale for proposing to approve 
Connecticut's SIP revision request can be found in the Technical 
Support Document (TSD) associated with this action. In addition to the 
finding under Section 110(l), the EPA reviewed the SIP revision to 
ensure it is consistent with the EPA's regulations at 40 CFR 51.166, 
which contain the requirements for a state's PSD permit program 
regulations. The EPA's May 15, 2018 TSD (which is included in the 
docket for this action) includes the state requirements revised or 
removed, a list of the relevant federal provisions relating to the 
State's revisions, and a description of how each state provision 
complies with the federal requirements.
    During the EPA's review, the EPA noted that there was a 
typographical error in the certified copy of the regulatory changes 
Connecticut sent to the EPA. The difference between the certified copy 
and the state-adopted regulations was due to a clerical error. 
Connecticut subsequently submitted a revised and correct certified copy 
of the regulatory changes on May 7, 2018.

III. Proposed Action

    Based on our analysis, the EPA is proposing to approve the 
Connecticut SIP revision, which was submitted on February 28, 2018, for 
the removal of the requirement that sources must obtain a PSD permit 
based solely on a source's GHG emissions. The EPA is soliciting public 
comments on the issues discussed in this notice or on other relevant 
matters. These comments will be considered before taking final action. 
Interested parties may participate in the Federal rulemaking procedure 
by submitting written comments to this proposed rule by following the 
instructions listed in the ADDRESSES section of this Federal Register.

IV. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is proposing to include in a final EPA rule 
regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance 
with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is proposing to incorporate 
revised RSCA Section 22a-174-3a(a)(1) entitled ``Applicability,'' RSCA 
Section 22a-174-3a(j)(1) for when control technology applies, and RSCA 
Sections 22a-174-3a(k)(1) and (2) regarding applicability of GHGs for 
new major stationary sources and major modifications. All three state 
regulations were effective February 8, 2018. The EPA has made, and will 
continue to make, these documents generally available electronically 
through www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA 

V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air 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, the EPA's role is to approve state 
choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. 
Accordingly, this proposed 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 proposed 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);
     Is not expected to be an Executive Order 13771 regulatory 
action because this action is not significant under Executive Order 
     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 Clean Air Act; and
     Does not provide the 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, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian 
reservation land or in any other area where the 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, 

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Carbon monoxide, 
Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Lead, Nitrogen 
dioxide, Ozone, Particulate matter, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Sulfur oxides, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: June 12, 2018.
Alexandra Dunn,
Regional Administrator, EPA Region 1.
[FR Doc. 2018-12896 Filed 6-14-18; 8:45 am]