Proposed State Implementation Plan Revision; Second Maintenance Plan for the Erie County 1997 8-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area; Public Hearing
[49 Pa.B. 6778]
[Saturday, November 9, 2019]
The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is seeking public comment on a proposed revision to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) concerning a second maintenance plan demonstrating that the Erie County Area continues to maintain the 1997 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The Department intends to submit this proposed SIP revision to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to satisfy sections 107(d)(3)(E)(iv) and 175A(b) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 7407(d)(3)(E)(iv) and 7505a(b)).
Ground-level ozone concentrations above the Federal health-based standard pose a serious human health threat. On April 30, 2004, the EPA designated the Erie County Area as a nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 69 FR 23857 (April 30, 2004). On October 9, 2007, the Erie County Area was redesignated to attainment. See 72 FR 57207 (October 9, 2007). Air quality in the Erie County Area has improved since the EPA's original designations.
On March 6, 2015, the EPA published the final implementation rule for the 2008 8-hour ozone NAAQS. See 80 FR 12264 (March 6, 2015). This final rule revoked the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS and stated that one consequence of revocation was that areas that had been redesignated to attainment (maintenance areas) for the 1997 standard no longer needed to submit second 10-year maintenance plans under section 175A(b) of the CAA. See 80 FR 12264, 12302 and 12303. See also, 40 CFR 51.1105(d)(1) (relating to transition from the 1997 ozone NAAQS to the 2008 ozone NAAQS and anti-backsliding). The EPA's 2008 final rule was challenged in South Coast Air Quality Management Distr. v. EPA et al., 882 F.3d. 1138 (D.C. Cir. 2018) (South Coast II).
This proposed SIP revision addresses that case. Specifically, the Court in South Coast II vacated the EPA's final implementation rule for the 2008 ozone NAAQS to the extent that it waived the requirement under section 175A(b) of the CAA for states to submit a second 10-year maintenance plan SIP revisions for ''orphan maintenance areas'' under the 1997 standard (areas that had been redesignated to attainment for the 1997 ozone NAAQS and were designated attainment for the 2008 ozone NAAQS). In doing so, the Court characterized the language of section 175A(b) of the CAA as unambiguous and rejected the EPA's reasoning in the 2008 ozone NAAQS final rule that second maintenance plans were not needed for orphan maintenance areas because the 1997 standard had been revoked. Id. at 1156-57.
States with these ''orphan maintenance areas'' under the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS, including this Commonwealth, must submit maintenance plans for the second maintenance period. The Department intends to submit this proposed second maintenance plan SIP revision for the Erie County Area to the EPA for approval.
This proposed SIP revision is available on the Department's web site at http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment.
The Department will provide the opportunity for a public hearing to receive comments regarding the proposed SIP revision on December 13, 2019, at 10 a.m. at the Northwest Regional Office, 1st Floor Conference Room, 230 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA.
Persons wishing to present testimony should contact Amanda Rodriguez, P.O. Box 8468, Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 787-9702 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a time. Witnesses will be limited to 10 minutes and should provide two written copies of their comments.
If by 12 p.m. on Monday, December 9, 2019, no person has expressed an interest in testifying at the hearing, the hearing will be cancelled. The Department will provide public notice on the Bureau of Air Quality webpage at http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Air/BAQ/Pages/default.aspx if the hearing is cancelled. Persons may also contact the Department to find out if the hearing is cancelled by contacting Amanda Rodriguez at email@example.com or (717) 787-9702.
Persons with a disability who wish to attend a hearing and require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodation to participate in the proceeding should contact Amanda Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org or (717) 787-9702. TDD users may contact the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 or (800) 654-5988 (voice users) to discuss how the Department can best accommodate their needs.
The Department must receive comments no later than Monday, December 16, 2019. Commentators are encouraged to submit comments using the Department's online eComment tool at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment or by e-mail at email@example.com. Written comments can be submitted by mail to the Policy Office, Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2563. Use ''Erie County Area Ozone'' as the subject line in written communication.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-1676. Filed for public inspection November 8, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]
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