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VOL. 59, No. 47
Rules and Regulations


40 CFR Part 81
[IA-6-1-6244; FRL-4848-1]

Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; State of Iowa

59 FR 11193

DATE: Thursday, March 10, 1994
ACTION: Final rule.

SUMMARY: EPA is taking final action, pursuant to section 107(d) of the Clean Air Act ("the Act") to redesignate part of Muscatine County, Iowa, from attainment to nonattainment for sulfur dioxide (SO2).

The result of this action is that the state of Iowa must submit an SO2 implementation plan for the Muscatine nonattainment area to EPA, within 18months after the effective date of this notice, that meets the requirements of part D, Title I of the Act. (See section 191(a) of the Act.)

EFFECTIVE DATE: This rule will become effective April 11, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the documents relevant to this action are available for public inspection during normal business hours at the: Environmental Protection Agency, Region VII, Air Branch, 726 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 66101.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Wayne A. Kaiser at (913) 551-7603.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA is authorized to initiate the redesignation of additional areas (or portions thereof) as nonattainment for SO2, pursuant to section 107(d)(3) of the Act, on the basis of air quality data, planning and control considerations, or any other air quality related considerations the Administrator deems appropriate. As explained in the notice proposing the redesignation (58 FR 44639), section 107(d)(3) outlines a procedure to be followed for redesignations. EPA believes that the redesignation, promulgated with this notice, is appropriate and necessary to ensuring timely attainment and maintenance of the SO2 ambient air quality standard in the Muscatine area. Violations of the SO2 standard occurred in both 1991 and 1992. EPA believes that the area redesignated as nonattainment by this notice satisfies the applicable criteria.

Section 107(d)(1)(A) sets out definitions of nonattainment, attainment, and unclassifiable. These definitions provide the controlling legal standard for any designations or redesignations to the relevant attainment status. A nonattainment area is defined as any area that does not meet, or that significantly contributes to, ambient air quality in a nearby area that does not meet the national primary or secondary ambient air quality standard for the relevant pollutant. (See section 107(d)(1)(A)(i).) EPA believes that reasonably reliable techniques, including monitoring and/or modeling information, may be used both in determining the designation appropriate for an area and in establishing SO2 nonattainment boundaries that are consistent with section 107(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act. Thus, in determining the appropriate boundaries for the nonattainment area, EPA has considered using the appropriate monitoring data and modeling information not only in the area where the violations of the SO2 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are occurring, but in nearby areas which may significantly contribute to such violations.

On August 24, 1993, EPA published a notice in the Federal Register (54 FR 44639) proposing that an area in Muscatine County, Iowa, be redesignated to nonattainment for SO2. A minor correction to the description of the proposed nonattainment area was published on September 23, 1993 (54 FR 49467), and a notice reopening the comment period until November 26, 1993, was published on November 5, 1993 (54 FR 58999). Additional information regarding the proposed action and this final action is contained in the docket maintained at the EPA Regional Office located at the address above.

Response to Comments

Comments were received from three affected sources located within the proposed nonattainment area and from the Governor of Iowa. The comments are addressed extensively in the Technical Support Document (TSD) contained in the docket for this notice.

All commenters took issue with EPA's proposed action. The comments centered around the validity of the monitoring data, the description of the nonattainment area, and the need for the action given intentions by the sources to reduce their SO2 emissions.

Two major source commenters questioned the validity of the monitoring data at the Musser Park monitor, where the violations were recorded, on the days of exceedances in 1991. A review of the monitoring station information for those days revealed that the air conditioner failed in the monitoring station on or before June 25, 1991. This resulted in higher than normal ambient temperatures in the monitoring station on June 25 and part of June 26, 1991, when the air conditioner was replaced. High temperatures may have affected the performance of the monitor on June 26, 1991. Therefore, EPA has decided to discount the exceedance which occurred on that date. Additional data review, however, confirmed that the exceedances which occurred on June 27 and July 20, 1991, were valid, and thus there was one measured violation of the SO sub 2 NAAQS in 1991.

Two commenters stated the EPA's notice to the Governor, required pursuant to section 107(d)(3) which was based on the 1991 violations and sent to the Governor on November 29, 1991, is invalid because no violations occurred in 1991. However, as stated above, at least one violation did occur in 1991. Therefore, the basis for this comment is incorrect. In addition, as explained in detail in the TSD, valid measured data from 1992 show at least one violation in that year. Even if the 1991 data had been shown to be invalid, EPA is not required to restart the process with another letter to the Governor in order to designate the area nonattainment.

One commenter questioned the siting of the Musser Park monitor. As explained in detail in the TSD, EPA review confirmed that the siting of the monitor is consistent with the EPA siting criteria specified in 40 CFR part 58, appendix E.

One commenter questioned using modeling to establish the boundaries of the nonattainment area, stating that modeling subsequently performed by the commenter did not validate the monitoring data on the days of exceedances at the Musser Park monitor, and, thus, use of the model by EPA to establish the nonattainment area is unjustified.

EPA is basing its nonattainment designation on ambient monitoring data, its description of the nonattainment area on monitoring data, and, to a lesser extent, modeling data. The contention by the commenter that modeling data are not consistent with monitoring data at the Musser Park location does not negate EPA's use of modeling data to help define the boundaries of the nonattainment area. EPA policy permits wide discretion in determining the boundaries of nonattainment areas, including the use of political boundaries. In this case, EPA used modeling data to narrow the nonattainment area to an area that encompassed both monitored and modeled nonattainment areas and major SO2 sources.

The three major source SO2 commenters, as well as the Governor of Iowa, stated that redesignation to nonattainment was unnecessary since the major SO2 sources were working with the state to reduce emissions. EPA is aware of the ongoing efforts in this regard, but notes it has been over two years since the first monitored violation of the NAAQS and over one year since the second violation, yet there have been no federally enforceable emission limitations established to reduce SO2 emissions in the Muscatine area. Furthermore, administrative orders recently issued by the state to the three major SO2 sources in the Muscatine area have been appealed.

EPA has a responsibility to not only ensure that air quality problems are addressed thoroughly and expeditiously, but to require contingency measures and maintenance plans to ensure continued attainment of the NAAQS. The nonattainment designation promulgated today will lead to development of these necessary requirements to protect air quality in the Muscatine area.

The final comment was that a nonattainment designation would result in economic hardship on the sources and the community. This is a factor that may be considered by the state in developing and implementing a control strategy, but is not a factor to be considered by EPA in its nonattainment designation decision. EPA does not believe that it is appropriate to consider such factors in light of the criteria for redesignations pursuant to section 107(d)(3) of the Act, which relates to air quality considerations.

In summary, EPA believes that a nonattainment designation, for the area described in the corrected Federal Register notice of September 23, 1993, pursuant to section 107 of the Act, is appropriate and necessary to ensure timely attainment and maintenance of the air quality standards in the Muscatine area.

Areas designated nonattainment are subject to the provisions of sections 107, 176(c), and part D of the Act. From the effective date of this notice, the state will have 18 months to submit a revised State Implementation Plan (SIP) which contains measures that provide for attainment of the area within five years.

Within 12 months of this nonattainment designation, the state must submit a revision to the SIP which addresses the requirements of the general conformity rule (58 FR 63214). The general conformity requirements established by 40 CFR parts 51 and 91 apply to the nonattainment area until the state's general conformity SIP revision is approved by EPA.

EPA Action

EPA is designating part of Muscatine County, Iowa, as nonattainment for SO2 in accordance with the section 107(d)(3) redesignation process described above. The nonattainment area is described as follows: T 77 N, R 2 W, Sections 26, 27, 34, 35; and T 76 N, R 2 W, Sections 2, 3, 10, 11, 14, 15, 22, 27, 28, 33, 34, Muscatine County, Iowa. 40 CFR 81.316 is being revised accordingly.

Redesignation of an area to nonattainment under section 107(d)(3)(E) of the Act does not impose any new requirements on small entities. Redesignation is an action that affects the status of a geographical area and does not impose any regulatory requirements on sources. To the extent that the state must adopt new regulations, based on an area's nonattainment status, EPA will review the effect of those actions on small entities at the time the state submits those regulations. Thus, EPA certifies that this redesignation will not affect a substantial number of small entities.

This action has been classified as a table 2 action by the Regional Administrator under the procedures published in the Federal Register on January 19, 1989 (54 FR 2214-2225). A revision to the SIP processing review tables was approved by the Acting Assistant Administrator for Office of Air and Radiation on October 4, 1993 (Michael Shapiro's memorandum to Regional Administrators). A future notice will inform the general public of these tables. Under the revised tables this action remains classified as a table 2. On January 6, 1989, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) waived table 2 and table 3 SIP revisions (54 FR 2222) from the requirement of section 3 of Executive Order 12291 for two years. EPA has submitted a request for a permanent waiver for table 2 and table 3 SIP revisions. OMB has agreed to continue the waiver until such time as it rules on EPA's request. This request continues in effect under Executive Order 12866 which superseded Executive Order 12291 on September 30, 1993.

Nothing in this action should be construed as permitting, or allowing or establishing, a precedent for any future request for revision to any SIP. Each request for revision to the SIP shall be considered separately in light of specific technical, economic, and environmental factors, and in relation to relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by May 9, 1994. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this rule 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 81

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, National parks, Wilderness areas.

Dated: March 1, 1994.

Dennis Grams, Regional Administrator.

Part 81, chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:


1. The authority citation for part 81 continues to read as follows:

Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7401-7671q.

2. Section 81.316 is amended by revising the "Iowa-SO2" table to read as follows:

@ 81.316 -- Iowa.

* * * * * 


Designated area  Does not meet  Does not meet Cannot be Better than 
			     primary        secondary     classified national 
                 standards      standards     standards 

Muscatine County: 
Area within T 77 N,    x 
R 2 W, sections 26, 
27, 34, 35: and T 76 
N, R 2 W, sections 2, 
3, 10, 11, 14, 15, 
22, 27, 28, 33, 34 
Remainder of county                              x 
Remainder of state                               x 

* * * * * 

[FR Doc. 94-5626 Filed 3-9-94; 8:45 am]