[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 1 (Monday, January 3, 2022)]
[Pages 86-87]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-28330]




Revision of Approved Primacy Program for the Commonwealth of the 
Northern Mariana Islands

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of approval.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands (CNMI) revised its approved primacy program under the 
federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) by adopting regulations that 
effectuate the federal Ground Water Rule (GWR). The Environmental 
Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that CNMI's revision request 
meets the applicable SDWA program revision requirements and the 
regulations adopted by CNMI are no less stringent than the 
corresponding federal regulations. Therefore, EPA approves this 
revision to CNMI's approved primacy program. However, this 
determination on CNMI's request for approval of a program revision 
shall take effect in accordance with the procedures described below in 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice after the 
opportunity to request a public hearing.

DATES: A request for a public hearing must be received or postmarked 
before February 2, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Documents relating to this determination that were submitted 
by CNMI as part of its program revision request are available for 
public inspection online at http:/deq.gov.mp/sec.asp?secID=5. In 
addition, these documents are available between the hours of 7:30 a.m. 
and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the following address: CNMI 
Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Gualo Rai Center--Safe 
Drinking Water Branch 2nd floor, Chalan Pale Arnold--Middle Road, 
Saipan, MP 96950. If there are issues accessing the website, please 
contact Travis Spaeth, at (670) 664-8500, or via email at 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Anna Yen, EPA Region 9, Drinking Water 
Section, via telephone at (415) 972-3976 or via email address at 
[email protected].

    Background. EPA approved CNMI's initial application for primary 
enforcement authority (``primacy'') of drinking water systems on 
November 4, 1982 (47 FR 50105). Since initial primacy approval, EPA has 

[[Page 87]]

various revisions to CNMI's primacy program. For the revision covered 
by this action, EPA promulgated the GWR at 40 CFR subpart S on November 
8, 2006 (71 FR 65574). The GWR provides protection against microbial 
pathogens in public water systems using ground water sources. EPA has 
determined that the GWR requirements were adopted into the CNMI 
Commonwealth Register, Section 2141 (alternatively published as 
Northern Mariana Islands Administrative Code, Title 65, Chapter 20) in 
a manner that CNMI's regulations are comparable to and no less 
stringent than the federal requirements. EPA has also determined that 
CNMI's program revision request meets all of the regulatory 
requirements for approval, as set forth in 40 CFR 142.12, including a 
side-by-side comparison of the Federal requirements demonstrating the 
corresponding CNMI authorities, additional materials to support special 
primacy requirements of 40 CFR 142.16, a review of the requirements 
contained in 40 CFR 142.10 necessary for CNMI to attain and retain 
primary enforcement responsibility, and a statement by the CNMI 
Attorney General certifying that CNMI's laws and regulations to carry 
out the program revision were duly adopted and are enforceable. The 
Attorney General's statement also affirms that there are no 
environmental audit privilege and immunity laws that would impact 
CNMI's ability to implement or enforce the CNMI laws and regulations 
pertaining to the program revision. Therefore, EPA approves this 
revision of CNMI's approved primacy program. The Technical Support 
Document, which provides EPA's analysis of CNMI's program revision 
request, is available by submitting a request to the following email 
address: [email protected]. Please note ``Technical Support 
Document'' in the subject line of the email.
    Public Process. Any interested person may request a public hearing 
on this determination. A request for a public hearing must be received 
or postmarked before February 2, 2022, and addressed to the Regional 
Administrator of EPA Region 9, via the following email address: [email protected], or by contacting the EPA Region 9 contact person 
listed above in this notice by telephone if you do not have access to 
email. Please note, ``State Program Revision Determination'' in the 
subject line of the email. The Regional Administrator may deny 
frivolous or insubstantial requests for a hearing. If a timely request 
for a public hearing is made, then EPA Region 9 may hold a public 
hearing. Any request for a public hearing shall include the following 
information: 1. The name, address, and telephone number of the 
individual, organization, or other entity requesting a hearing; 2. A 
brief statement of the requesting person's interest in the Regional 
Administrator's determination and of information that the requesting 
person intends to submit at such hearing; and 3. The signature of the 
individual making the request, or, if the request is made on behalf of 
an organization or other entity, the signature of a responsible 
official of the organization or other entity.
    If EPA Region 9 does not receive a timely request for a hearing or 
a request for a hearing was denied by the Regional Administrator for 
being frivolous or insubstantial, and the Regional Administrator does 
not elect to hold a hearing on their own motion, EPA's approval shall 
become final and effective on February 2, 2022, and no further public 
notice will be issued.
    Authority: Section 1413 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, as amended, 
42 U.S.C. 300g-2 (1996), and 40 CFR part 142 of the National Primary 
Drinking Water Regulations.

    Dated: December 23, 2021.
Deborah Jordan,
Acting Regional Administrator, EPA Region 9.
[FR Doc. 2021-28330 Filed 12-30-21; 8:45 am]