[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 92 (Thursday, May 12, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29048-29050]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-09742]



40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R09-OAR-2022-0306; FRL-9713-02-R9]

Determination To Defer Sanctions; California; San Diego County 
Air Pollution Control District

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Interim final determination.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making an interim 
final determination that the State of California has submitted rules 
that satisfy the requirements of part D of the Clean Air Act (CAA or 
``Act'') permitting program for areas under the jurisdiction of the San 
Diego County Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD or ``District''). 
This determination is based on a proposed approval, published elsewhere 
in this Federal Register, of District rules addressing these 
requirements. The effect of this interim final determination is to 
defer the imposition of sanctions that were triggered by a previous EPA 
action that included a limited disapproval of the District's rules.

DATES: This interim final determination is effective on May 12, 2022. 
However, comments will be accepted until June 13, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-
OAR-2022-0306 at https://www.regulations.gov. For comments submitted at 
Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from 
Regulations.gov. The EPA may publish any comment received to its public 
docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information the 
disclosure of which 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 https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets. If you need assistance in a 
language other than English or if you are a person with disabilities 
who needs a reasonable accommodation at no cost to you, please contact 
the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105; by phone: (415) 972-3534, or by 
email to [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Throughout this document, the terms ``we,'' 
``us,'' and ``our'' refer to the EPA.

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. EPA Action
III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background

    On September 16, 2020, the EPA issued a final action addressing 
revisions to the SDAPCD portion of the California State Implementation 
Plan (SIP) (``2020 NSR Action'').\1\ The 2020 NSR Action addressed the 
District's permitting program for the issuance of New Source Review 
(NSR) permits for stationary sources, including review and permitting 
of major and minor sources under the Act. In the 2020 NSR Action, we 
determined that while the District's SIP revision submittal 
strengthened the California SIP, the submittal did not fully meet the 
requirements for NSR permitting programs under the CAA.

[[Page 29049]]

Accordingly, the 2020 NSR Action included a limited disapproval under 
title I, part D, of the Act, relating to requirements for nonattainment 
areas. Pursuant to section 179 of the CAA and our regulations at 40 CFR 
52.31, this limited disapproval action started a sanctions clock for 
imposition of offset sanctions 18 months after the action's effective 
date of October 16, 2020, and highway sanctions 6 months later.

    \1\ 85 FR 57727.

    On October 14, 2021, the District revised its NSR permitting 
program rules and on February 2, 2022, the State submitted three 
revised NSR permitting rules to the EPA for approval into the San Diego 
County portion of the California SIP (``2022 NSR Submittal''), 
including revisions to one rule intended to address the limited 
disapproval issue identified in the 2020 NSR Action. In the Proposed 
Rules section of this Federal Register, we have proposed approval of 
the District's 2022 NSR submittal. Based on this proposed approval 
action, we are also taking this final rulemaking action, effective upon 
publication, to defer imposition of the offset sanctions and highway 
sanctions that were triggered by the 2020 NSR Action's limited 
disapproval of the District's NSR permitting program, because we 
believe that the 2022 NSR Submittal corrects the deficiency that 
triggered these sanctions.
    The EPA is providing the public with an opportunity to comment on 
this deferral of sanctions. If comments are submitted that change our 
assessment, as described in this final determination and in our 
proposed full approval of the District's 2022 NSR Submittal, with 
respect to the deficiency identified as the basis for our limited 
disapproval in the 2020 NSR Action, we will take final action proposing 
to lift this deferral of sanctions under 40 CFR 52.31. If no comments 
are submitted that change our assessment, then all sanctions and any 
sanction clocks triggered by our 2020 NSR Action will be permanently 
terminated on the effective date of our final approval of the 2022 NSR 

II. EPA Action

    We are making an interim final determination to defer CAA section 
179 sanctions associated with our September 16, 2020 limited 
disapproval of the District's NSR permitting program. This 
determination is based on our concurrent proposal to fully approve the 
District's 2022 NSR submittal, which resolves the deficiency that 
triggered sanctions under section 179 of the CAA.
    Because the EPA has preliminarily determined that the District's 
2022 NSR Submittal addresses the deficiency identified in the 2020 NSR 
Action and is fully approvable, relief from sanctions should be 
provided as quickly as possible. Therefore, the EPA is invoking the 
good cause exception under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in 
not providing an opportunity for comment before this action takes 
effect (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)). However, by this action, the EPA is 
providing the public with a chance to comment on the EPA's 
determination after the effective date, and the EPA will consider any 
comments received in determining whether to reverse such action.
    The EPA believes that notice-and-comment rulemaking before the 
effective date of this action is impracticable and contrary to the 
public interest. The EPA has reviewed the District's submittal and, 
through its proposed action, is indicating that it is more likely than 
not that it corrects the deficiencies that were the basis for the 
action that started the sanctions clocks. Therefore, it is not in the 
public interest to impose sanctions. The EPA believes that it is 
necessary to use the interim final rulemaking process to defer 
sanctions while we complete our rulemaking process on the approvability 
of the District's submittal. Moreover, with respect to the effective 
date of this action, the EPA is invoking the good cause exception to 
the 30-day notice requirement of the APA because the purpose of this 
notice is to relieve a restriction (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1)).

III. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    This action defers sanctions and imposes no additional 
requirements. 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, 
     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 disproportionate human health or environmental effects with 
practical, appropriate, 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 rules do 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, 
    This action is subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and 
the EPA will submit a rule report to each House of the Congress and to 
the Comptroller General of the United States. The CRA allows the 
issuing agency to make a rule effective sooner than otherwise provided 
by the CRA if the agency makes a good cause finding that notice and 
comment rulemaking procedures are impracticable, unnecessary or 
contrary to the public interest (5 U.S.C. 808(2)). The EPA has made a 
good cause finding for this rule as discussed in section II of this 
preamble, including the basis for that finding.
    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 July 11, 2022. Filing a petition for 
reconsideration by the EPA Administrator of this final rule does not 
affect the finality of this rule for the purpose of judicial review nor 
does it extend the time within which 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 CAA section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure,

[[Page 29050]]

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

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

    Dated: April 29, 2022.
Martha Guzman Aceves,
Regional Administrator, Region IX.
[FR Doc. 2022-09742 Filed 5-11-22; 8:45 am]