[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 176 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47882-47884]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19573]



40 CFR Parts 51, 60, 61, and 63

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0531; FRL-9999-52-OAR]

Stationary Source Audit Program; Notification of Availability and 
Request for Comments

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notification of availability, request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing 
notification that one of the two accredited providers

[[Page 47883]]

of audit samples for the stationary source audit program has ceased 
manufacturing samples. The general provisions require that the owner or 
operator of an affected facility required to conduct performance 
testing obtain audit samples if the audit samples are ``commercially 
available'' and have defined ``commercially available'' to mean that 
two or more independent accredited audit sample providers have blind 
audit samples available for purchase. Since there are no longer two 
providers, the requirement to obtain these audit samples is no longer 
in effect until such time as another independent accredited audit 
sample provider has audit samples available for purchase. The EPA is 
providing a 90-day comment period during which interested persons may 
provide comments on the suspension of the stationary source audit 
program and the effectiveness of the program prior to its suspension.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 10, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2008-0531, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. 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, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or 
multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective 
comments, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.
    For additional information about the EPA's public docket, visit the 
EPA Docket Center homepage at https://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available (e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute). Certain other material, 
such as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard 
copy. Publicly available docket materials are available either 
electronically in www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and 
Radiation Docket and Information Center, EPA/DC, WJC West Building, 
Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The Public 
Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public 
Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air 
Docket is (202) 566-1742.

Assessment Division, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail code: E143-
02, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709; 
telephone number: (919) 541-7903; email: [email protected].


I. Background

    On September 13, 2010 (75 FR 55636), EPA promulgated amendments to 
the General Provisions of parts 51, 60, 61, and 63 to allow accredited 
audit sample providers to supply stationary source audit samples and to 
require sources to obtain and use these samples from the accredited 
providers instead of from EPA, as was the practice prior to the 
promulgation date.
    These amendments included minimum requirements for the audit 
samples, the accredited audit sample providers (AASP), and the audit 
sample provider accreditor (ASPA). The AASP are the companies that 
prepare and distribute the audit samples and the ASPA is a third-party 
organization that accredits and monitors the performance of the AASP. 
These organizations were required to work through a Voluntary Consensus 
Standard Body (VCSB) \1\ using the consensus process to develop 
criteria documents that describe how they will function and meet the 
EPA regulatory criteria listed in this rule. The AASPs were required to 
be accredited by an ASPA according to a technical criteria document 
developed by a VCSB and these technical criteria document had to meet 
EPA regulations.

    \1\ The Federal Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119 
defines a VCSB as one having the following attributes: (i) Openness; 
(ii) balance of interest; (iii) due process; (iv) an appeals 
process; and (v) consensus, which is general agreement, but not 
necessarily unanimity, and includes a process for attempting to 
resolve objections by interested parties.

    These amendments also included language that outlined the 
responsibilities of the regulated source owner or operator to acquire 
and use an audit sample for all testing conducted to determine 
compliance with an air emission limit under the subject parts and 
specified that the requirement applies only if there are commercially 
available audit samples for the test method used during the compliance 
testing. By clarifying the audit sample requirement and expanding audit 
sample availability through multiple providers, EPA believed that more 
audits would be conducted for compliance tests and the overall quality 
of the data used for determining compliance would improve.

II. Public Comment on the Suspension of the SSAP Program

    The EPA suspended the SSAP program effective May 28, 2019, when we 
were notified by one of the two AASP that they would no longer be 
supplying audit samples. Since we require that audit samples are 
``commercially available'' and have defined ``commercially available'' 
to mean that two or more independent AASP have blind audit samples 
available for purchase, EPA was obligated to suspend the program and 
provide notification on our website (https://www.epa.gov/emc). The EPA 
is seeking comment on whether we should continue the SSAP as currently 
defined in the General Provisions to 40 CFR parts 51, 60, 61, and 63. 
EPA is also seeking comment regarding if we should redefine 
``commercially available'' as it applies to the number of AASPs which 
have audit samples available for purchase. The comment period for this 
action is 90 days from September 11, 2019.

III. Public Comment on the Effectiveness of the SSAP Program

    Since the privatization of the EPA SSAP, approximately 20,000 audit 
samples have been ordered and analyzed with an effective passing rate 
of 97 percent for all methods in which audit samples are available. EPA 
is requesting comment on effectiveness of the SSAP and whether it has 
improved the quality of data produced by performance testing. In 
addition, EPA is seeking comment on whether EPA should consider 
revisions to the SSAP program to make it a more effective tool for 
evaluating quality of a performance test. As indicated previously, the 
comment period for this action is 90 days from September 11, 2019.

[[Page 47884]]

    Dated: August 20, 2019.
Richard A. Wayland,
Director, Air Quality Assessment Division.
[FR Doc. 2019-19573 Filed 9-10-19; 8:45 am]