Wednesday June 6, 2012
Purpose of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District (the District) is issuing this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent determination that the use of onboard refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) is in widespread use throughout the highway motor fleet. Air Quality: Widespread Use for Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery and Stage II Waiver, Final Rule, 77 Fed. Reg. 28772 (May 16, 2012). As a result, state and local programs that have implemented Stage II vapor recovery programs as part of their State Implementation Plans (SIP) may now seek EPA’s approval to allow gasoline service stations to remove their Stage II control equipment. Id.
Following the EPA’s issuance of guidance on the criteria needed to discontinue a Stage II program and remove it from a SIP and, upon a sufficient analysis that doing so will not violate the Clean Air Act, the District will propose repealing Regulation 6.40 and revising the SIP to remove the Stage II program.
The District will consider comments received by 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 25, 2012. Comments may be submitted by e-mail to airregs @ louisvilleky.gov, or by mail or fax addressed to:
Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District
850 Barret Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40204
Fax: (502) 574-5306
Attn: Rachael Hamilton
Background of the Proposed Action:
Air quality regulations in the United States are based on a set of air quality standards known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS, that apply to six criteria pollutants, including ozone. An area where the concentration of a criteria pollutant exceeds the NAAQS may be designated as a “nonattainment area” by the EPA. Once designated, a SIP must be submitted to the EPA that outlines the approach for reducing pollutant levels in the air, including how the area will attain and maintain the NAAQS through regulations, source specific requirements, Mobile Vehicle Emissions Budget (MVEB), and other emission reduction programs.
The District adopted Regulation 6.40 Standards of Performance for Gasoline Transfer to Motor Vehicles (Stage II Vapor Recovery and Control Systems) on December 16, 1992, as part of its plan for attaining the NAAQS for ozone. This regulation was subsequently amended by the District on August 18, 1993, and approved by the EPA as part of the Jefferson County Portion of the Kentucky SIP on October 23, 2001. Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Kentucky; Approval of Revisions to State Implementation Plan; Revised Format for Materials Being Incorporated by Reference for Jefferson County, Kentucky, Final Rule, 66 Fed. Reg. 53661 (October 23, 2001).
On May 16, 2012, the EPA determined that ORVR technology is in widespread use throughout the motor vehicle fleet for purposes of controlling motor vehicle refueling emissions, thereby states and local agencies may now demonstrate that the requirement to implement a Stage II gasoline vapor recovery program is no longer necessary to reach or maintain attainment of the ozone NAAQS. 77 Fed. Reg. 28772, 28779.
Summary of the Proposed Action:
To remove the Stage II program, the District must submit a SIP revision to the EPA for approval that includes a demonstration that the SIP revision is consistent with CAA section 110(1). Id. Section 110(l) precludes the EPA from approving a SIP revision if it would interfere with attainment and maintenance of the ozone NAAQS or other applicable requirement of the Clean Air Act, such as transportation conformity, including MVEBs, and rate of progress (ROP) or reasonable further progress (RFP) requirements.
The EPA has committed to providing guidance to conduct the required assessment to support a Stage II-related SIP revision. Id. Following the EPA’s issuance of the necessary guidance, the District will propose repealing Regulation 6.40 and revising the SIP in order to remove the Stage II program upon a sufficient analysis that doing so will not violate the NAAQS and ensure that air quality protections are maintained.
You can download this notice in PDF format.