[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 229 (Thursday, December 2, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 68421-68423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-26143]



40 CFR Part 52

EPA-R04-OAR-2020-0428; FRL-8911-02-R4]

Air Plan Approval; TN; Montgomery County Limited Maintenance Plan 
for the 1997 8-Hour Ozone NAAQS

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final 
action to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision submitted 
by the State of Tennessee, through the Tennessee Department of 
Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Air Pollution Control Division, on 
June 23, 2020. The SIP revision includes the 1997 8-hour ozone national 
ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) Limited Maintenance Plan (LMP) 
for the Montgomery County, Tennessee portion of the Clarksville-
Hopkinsville Area (hereinafter referred to as the ``Montgomery County 
Area'' or ``Area''). The Clarksville-Hopkinsville Area is comprised of 
Montgomery County, Tennessee, and Christian County, Kentucky. EPA is 
approving Tennessee's LMP for the Montgomery County Area because it 
provides for the maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS within the 
Montgomery County Area through the end of the second 10-year portion of 
the maintenance period. The effect of this action would be to make 
certain commitments related to maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS in the Montgomery County Area federally enforceable as part of 
the Tennessee SIP.

DATES: This rule is effective January 3, 2022.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-R04-OAR-2020-0428. All documents in the docket are listed on 
the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, 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 can either be retrieved 
electronically via www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the 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. EPA 
requests that if at all possible, you contact the person 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 Federal holidays.

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) 562-8994. Ms. LaRocca can also be reached via electronic mail at 
[email protected].


I. Background

    In 1979, under section 109 of the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act), EPA 
established primary and secondary NAAQS for ozone at 0.12 parts per 
million (ppm), averaged over a 1-hour period. See 44 FR 8202 (February 
8, 1979). On July 18, 1997, EPA revised the primary and secondary NAAQS 
for ozone to set the acceptable level of ozone in the ambient air at 
0.08 ppm, averaged over an 8-hour period. See 62 FR 38856 (July 18, 
1997).\1\ EPA set the 8-hour ozone NAAQS based on scientific evidence 
demonstrating that ozone causes adverse health effects at lower 
concentrations and over longer periods of time than was understood when 
the pre-existing 1-hour ozone NAAQS was set. EPA determined that the 8-
hour ozone NAAQS would be more protective of human health, especially 
children and adults who are active outdoors, and individuals with a 
pre-existing respiratory disease, such as asthma.

    \1\ In March 2008, EPA completed another review of the primary 
and secondary ozone NAAQS and tightened them further by lowering the 
level for both to 0.075 ppm. See 73 FR 16436 (March 27, 2008). 
Additionally, in October 2015, EPA completed a review of the primary 
and secondary ozone NAAQS and tightened them by lowering the level 
for both to 0.070 ppm. See 80 FR 65292 (October 26, 2015).

    Following promulgation of a new or revised NAAQS, EPA is required 
by the CAA to designate areas throughout the nation as attaining or not 
attaining the NAAQS. On April 15, 2004, EPA designated the Clarksville-
Hopkinsville Area, which included Montgomery County, Tennessee, and 
Christian County, Kentucky, as nonattainment for the 1997 8-hour ozone 
NAAQS, and the designation became effective on June 15, 2004. See 69 FR 
23858 (April 30, 2004). Similarly, on May 21, 2012, EPA designated 
areas as unclassifiable/attainment or nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS. EPA designated Montgomery County as unclassifiable/
attainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. This designation became 
effective on July 20, 2012. See 77 FR 30088 (May 21, 2012). In 
addition, on November 16, 2017, areas were designated for the 2015 8-
hour ozone NAAQS. The Montgomery County Area was designated attainment/
unclassifiable for the 2015 8-hour ozone NAAQS, with an effective date 
of January 16, 2018. See 82 FR 54232 (November 16, 2017).
    A state may submit a request to redesignate a nonattainment area 
that is attaining a NAAQS to attainment, and, if the area has met other 
required criteria described in section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA, EPA may 
approve the

[[Page 68422]]

redesignation request.\2\ One of the criteria for redesignation is to 
have an approved maintenance plan under CAA section 175A. The 
maintenance plan must demonstrate that the area will continue to 
maintain the NAAQS for the period extending ten years after 
redesignation, and it must contain such additional measures as 
necessary to ensure maintenance and such contingency provisions as 
necessary to assure that violations of the NAAQS will be promptly 
corrected. Eight years after the effective date of redesignation, the 
state must also submit a second maintenance plan to ensure ongoing 
maintenance of the NAAQS for an additional ten years pursuant to CAA 
section 175A(b) (i.e., ensuring maintenance for 20 years after 

    \2\ Section 107(d)(3)(E) of the CAA sets out the requirements 
for redesignating a nonattainment area to attainment. They include 
attainment of the NAAQS, full approval of the applicable SIP 
pursuant to CAA section 110(k), determination that improvement in 
air quality is a result of permanent and enforceable reductions in 
emissions, demonstration that the state has met all applicable 
section 110 and part D requirements, and a fully approved 
maintenance plan under CAA section 175A.

    EPA has published long-standing guidance for states on developing 
maintenance plans.\3\ The Calcagni memo provides that states may 
generally demonstrate maintenance by either performing air quality 
modeling to show that the future mix of sources and emission rates will 
not cause a violation of the NAAQS or by showing that projected future 
emissions of a pollutant and its precursors will not exceed the level 
of emissions during a year when the area was attaining the NAAQS (i.e., 
attainment year inventory). See Calcagni memo at page 9. EPA clarified 
in three subsequent guidance memos that certain areas could meet the 
CAA section 175A requirement to provide for maintenance by showing that 
the area was unlikely to violate the NAAQS in the future, using 
information such as the area's design value \4\ being significantly 
below the standard and the area having a historically stable design 
value.\5\ EPA refers to a maintenance plan containing this streamlined 
demonstration as an LMP.

    \3\ John Calcagni, Director, Air Quality Management Division, 
EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS), 
``Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to 
Attainment,'' September 4, 1992 (Calcagni memo).
    \4\ The ozone design value for a monitoring site is the 3-year 
average of the annual fourth-highest daily maximum 8-hour average 
ozone concentrations. The design value for an ozone area is the 
highest design value of any monitoring site in the area.
    \5\ See ``Limited Maintenance Plan Option for Nonclassifiable 
Ozone Nonattainment Areas,'' from Sally L. Shaver, OAQPS, November 
16, 1994; ``Limited Maintenance Plan Option for Nonclassifiable CO 
Nonattainment Areas,'' from Joseph Paisie, OAQPS, October 6, 1995; 
and ``Limited Maintenance Plan Option for Moderate PM10 
Nonattainment Areas,'' from Lydia Wegman, OAQPS, August 9, 2001. 
Copies of these guidance memoranda can be found in the docket for 
this rulemaking.

    EPA has interpreted CAA section 175A as permitting the LMP option 
because section 175A of the Act does not define how areas may 
demonstrate maintenance, and in EPA's experience implementing the 
various NAAQS, areas that qualify for an LMP and have approved LMPs 
have rarely, if ever, experienced subsequent violations of the NAAQS. 
As noted in the LMP guidance memoranda, states seeking an LMP must 
still submit the other maintenance plan elements outlined in the 
Calcagni memo, including: An attainment emissions inventory, provisions 
for the continued operation of the ambient air quality monitoring 
network, verification of continued attainment, and a contingency plan 
in the event of a future violation of the NAAQS. Moreover, a state 
seeking an LMP must still submit its section 175A maintenance plan as a 
revision to its SIP, with all attendant notice and comment procedures. 
While the LMP guidance memoranda were originally written with respect 
to certain NAAQS,\6\ EPA has extended the LMP interpretation of section 
175A to other NAAQS and pollutants not specifically covered by the 
previous guidance memos.\7\

    \6\ The prior memos addressed: Unclassifiable areas under the 1-
hour ozone NAAQS, nonattainment areas for the PM10 
(particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 
microns) NAAQS, and nonattainment for the carbon monoxide (CO) 
    \7\ See, e.g., 79 FR 41900 (July 18, 2014) (approval of the 
second ten-year LMP for the Grant County 1971 SO2 
maintenance area).

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), published on September 
23, 2021 (86 FR 52864), EPA proposed to approve Tennessee's LMP because 
the State made a showing, consistent with EPA's prior LMP guidance, 
that the Area's ozone concentrations are well below the 1997 8-hour 
ozone NAAQS and have been historically stable and that it met the other 
maintenance plan requirements. The details of Tennessee's submission 
and the rationale for EPA's action are explained in the NPRM. Comments 
on the September 23, 2021, NPRM were due on or before October 25, 2021. 
EPA did not receive any comments on the September 23, 2021, NPRM.

II. Final Action

    EPA is taking final action to approve the Montgomery County Area 
LMP for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, submitted by TDEC on June 23, 
2020, as a revision to the Tennessee SIP. EPA is approving the 
Montgomery County Area LMP because it includes a sufficient update of 
the various elements of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS Maintenance Plan 
approved by EPA for the first 10-year portion of the maintenance period 
(including emissions inventory, assurance of adequate monitoring and 
verification of continued attainment, and contingency provisions) and 
retains the relevant provisions of the SIP under sections 110(k) and 
175A of the CAA.
    EPA also finds that the Montgomery County Area qualifies for the 
LMP option and that the Montgomery County Area LMP is sufficient to 
provide for maintenance of the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS in the 
Clarksville-Hopkinsville Area over the second 10-year maintenance 
period (i.e., through 2025).

III. 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 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 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);

[[Page 68423]]

     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.
    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. 
    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 January 31, 2022. 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 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, Intergovernmental Relations, Nitrogen Oxides, Ozone, 
Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, Volatile Organic Compounds.

    Dated: November 26, 2021.
John Blevins,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region 4.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA amends 40 CFR part 52 
as follows:


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

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

2. In Sec.  52.2220 amend the table in paragraph (e) by adding, at the 
end of the table, the entry ``1997 8-Hour Ozone Second 10-Year Limited 
Maintenance Plan for the Montgomery County, Tennessee Area'' to read as 

Sec.  52.2220   Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *

                                EPA-Approved Tennessee Non-Regulatory Provisions
   Name of non-regulatory SIP        geographic or     State effective   EPA approval date       Explanation
            provision              nonattainment area        date
                                                  * * * * * * *
1997 8-Hour Ozone Second 10-Year  Montgomery County..       6/10/2020   12/2/2021, [Insert
 Limited Maintenance Plan for                                            citation of
 the Montgomery County,                                                  publication].
 Tennessee Area.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2021-26143 Filed 12-1-21; 8:45 am]