[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 229 (Thursday, December 2, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 68447-68449]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-26139]



40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R04-OAR-2020-0406; FRL-9319-01-R4]

Air Plan Approval; Georgia; 2015 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment New 
Source Review Permit Program Requirements

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve a revision to the Georgia State Implementation Plan (SIP) 
submitted by the State of Georgia through the Georgia Environmental 
Protection Division (GA EPD) on July 2, 2020. EPA is proposing to 
approve Georgia's certification of existing Nonattainment New Source 
Review (NNSR) permitting regulations to meet the nonattainment planning

[[Page 68448]]

requirements for the 2015 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQS) for the Atlanta Area, comprised of the counties of 
Bartow, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Henry. This action 
is being proposed pursuant to the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act) and its 
implementing regulations.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 3, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R04-
OAR-2020-0406 at www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions 
for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or 
removed from Regulations.gov. 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. 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 www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Pearlene Williams, Air Regulatory 
Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air and 
Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 
Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. The telephone number is 
(404) 562-9144. Ms. Williams can also be reached via electronic mail at 
[email protected].


I. Background

    The New Source Review (NSR) program is a preconstruction permitting 
program that requires certain stationary sources of air pollution to 
obtain permits prior to beginning construction. The NSR permitting 
program applies to new construction and modification of existing 
sources. New construction and modifications that emit ``regulated NSR 
pollutants'' over certain thresholds are subject to major NSR 
requirements, while smaller emitting sources and modifications may be 
subject to minor NSR requirements.
    Major NSR permits for sources that are in attainment or 
unclassifiable areas are referred to as Prevention of Significant 
Deterioration (PSD) permits. Major NSR permits for sources in 
nonattainment areas and that emit pollutants above the specified 
thresholds for which the area is in nonattainment are referred to as 
NNSR permits.
    A new stationary source is subject to major NSR requirements if its 
potential to emit a regulated NSR pollutant exceeds certain emission 
thresholds. If it exceeds the applicable threshold, the NSR regulations 
define it as a ``major stationary source.'' An existing major 
stationary source triggers major NSR permitting requirements when it 
undergoes a ``major modification,'' which occurs when a source 
undertakes a physical change or change in method of operation (i.e., a 
``project'') that would result in: (1) A significant emissions increase 
from the project, and (2) a significant net emissions increase from the 
source. See, e.g., 40 CFR 51.165(a)(1)(v)(A) and 40 CFR 
    On October 1, 2015, EPA promulgated a revised 8-hour NAAQS of 0.070 
parts per million (ppm). See 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015). Upon 
promulgation of a new or revised ozone NAAQS, section 107(d) of the CAA 
requires EPA to designate as nonattainment any area that is violating 
the NAAQS (or that contributes to ambient air quality in a nearby area 
that is violating the NAAQS). As part of the designations process for 
the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS, the Atlanta Area \1\ was designated as a 
``Marginal'' ozone nonattainment area, effective August 3, 2018. See 83 
FR 25776 (June 4, 2018). Areas that were designated as ``Marginal'' 
ozone nonattainment areas were required to attain the 2015 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS no later than three years after the effective date of 
designation. See 40 CFR 51.1303.

    \1\ The Atlanta nonattainment area for the 2015 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS consists of the following counties: Bartow, Clayton, Cobb, 
DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Henry.

    On December 6, 2018, EPA issued a final rule entitled 
``Implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for 
ozone: State Implementation Plan Requirements'' (SIP Requirements 
Rule), which establishes the requirements that state, tribal, and local 
air quality management agencies must meet as they develop 
implementation plans for areas where air quality exceeds the 2015 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. See 83 FR 62998; 40 CFR part 51, subpart CC.
    Based on the nonattainment designation for the 2015 8-hour ozone 
standard, Georgia was required to develop a SIP revision addressing the 
requirements of CAA sections 172(c)(5) and 173 for the Atlanta Area. 
See 42 U.S.C. 7502(c). Section 172(c)(5) of the CAA requires each state 
with a nonattainment area to submit a SIP revision requiring NNSR 
permits in the nonattainment area in accordance with the permitting 
requirements of CAA section 173.\2\ The minimum SIP requirements for 
NNSR permitting for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS are located in 40 CFR 
51.165. See 40 CFR 51.1314. On July 2, 2020, Georgia submitted a SIP 
revision addressing, among other things,\3\ permit program requirements 
(i.e., NNSR) for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Atlanta Area. 
EPA's analysis of how this SIP revision addresses the NNSR requirements 
for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS is provided below.

    \2\ CAA Section 173 requires, among other things, emissions 
offsets. The emissions offset ratio for Marginal ozone nonattainment 
areas is found in CAA section 182(a)(4).
    \3\ The other elements of this submittal are being addressed in 
separate rulemakings.

II. Analysis of the State's Submittal

    Georgia's longstanding SIP-approved NNSR program, established in 
Rule 391-3-1-.03(8), Permit Requirements, applies to the construction 
and modification of major stationary sources in nonattainment areas. In 
its July 2, 2020, SIP revision, Georgia certifies that the version of 
Rule 391-3-1-.03(8) in the SIP satisfies the federal NNSR requirements 
for the Atlanta Area. EPA approved Georgia's NNSR certification for the 
2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS Atlanta metropolitan nonattainment area \4\ 
into the Georgia SIP on March 22, 2017. See 82 FR 14611. The SIP-
approved version of Rule 391-3-1-.03(8) has been updated three times 
since that 2017 rulemaking.

    \4\ The former Atlanta nonattainment area for the 2008 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS, which has since been redesignated to attainment, 
consists of the following counties: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, 
Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, 
Newton, Paulding, and Rockdale.

    On October 16, 2017, this rule was updated to revise NSR permitting 
regulations to be consistent with federal regulations. EPA approved 
changes to Rule 391-3-1.03(8), Permit Requirements, at paragraph (g), 
which revised NNSR rules, and at paragraph (d). See 82 FR 47993.
    In a January 16, 2020, rulemaking, EPA approved additional changes 
to Georgia's NNSR permitting rules in

[[Page 68449]]

391-3-1.03(8), reflecting Georgia's redesignation to attainment for the 
2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS for metro Atlanta counties, and designation of 
the Atlanta Area as a ``Marginal'' nonattainment area for the 2015 
ozone NAAQS. See 85 FR 2646. Specifically, EPA approved changes to NNSR 
permitting requirements in Rule 391-3-1-.03(8) that removed the NNSR 
provisions previously applicable to the counties that were part of the 
Atlanta 1-hour ozone Area and removed references to that provision, 
since they no longer applied. In addition, permitting requirements were 
applied to certain electric generating units (EGUs) located in counties 
within the maintenance area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS.\5\

    \5\ An area redesignated from nonattainment to attainment is 
referred to as a maintenance area.

    Additionally, on September 16, 2020, EPA approved clarifying and 
ministerial changes to permitting regulations at Rule 391-3-1-.03(8), 
Permit Requirements. See 85 FR 57694. That action also changed the 
status of five counties under paragraph (e), which specifies counties 
that are contributing to the ambient air level of ozone in the listed 
metropolitan Atlanta counties (including the counties in the current 
nonattainment area for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS), and approved other 
minor typographical edits to other subparagraphs for consistent 
    Lastly, Rule 391-3-1-.03(8)(c) requires emissions offsets for 
several counties within and surrounding the metropolitan Atlanta 
Nonattainment Area (including the counties in the current nonattainment 
area for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS). This rule continues to exceed 
the required offset ratios for Marginal ozone nonattainment areas in 
CAA section 182(a)(4).
    The current SIP-approved version of Rule 391-3-1-.03(8), Permit 
Requirements, covers the entire Atlanta Area and remains adequate to 
meet all applicable NNSR requirements for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS. 
EPA is therefore proposing to approve Georgia's certification that Rule 
391-3-1-.03(8) meets the NNSR requirements for implementation of the 
2015 ozone NAAQS.

III. Proposed Action

    EPA is proposing to approve Georgia's SIP revision addressing the 
NNSR requirements for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS for the Atlanta Area, 
submitted on July 2, 2020. EPA has concluded that Georgia's submission 
fulfills the 40 CFR 51.1314 requirement and meets the requirements of 
CAA sections 172(c)(5) and 173 and the minimum SIP requirements of 40 
CFR 51.165.

IV. 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. See 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in 
reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state choices, 
provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. This proposed action 
merely proposes 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:
     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);
     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).
    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or 
in any other area where 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 as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 
FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor will it 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 Oxide, Ozone, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

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

    Dated: November 26, 2021.
John Blevins,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.
[FR Doc. 2021-26139 Filed 12-1-21; 8:45 am]