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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Arizona; Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Arizona; Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery Program

Jared Blumenfeld
Environmental Protection Agency
November 16, 2015


[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 220 (Monday, November 16, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 70689-70694]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-28909]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 52

[EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0256; FRL-9936-77-Region 9]


Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Arizona; 
Phased Discontinuation of Stage II Vapor Recovery Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking final 
action to approve a state implementation plan (SIP) revision from the 
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality related to the removal of 
``Stage II'' vapor recovery equipment at gasoline dispensing facilities 
in the Phoenix-Mesa area. Specifically, the EPA is approving a SIP 
revision that eliminates the requirement to install and operate such 
equipment at new gasoline dispensing facilities, and that provides for 
the phased removal of such equipment at existing gasoline dispensing 
facilities from October 2016 through September 2018. The EPA has

[[Page 70690]]

previously determined that onboard refueling vapor recovery is in 
widespread use nationally and waived the stage II vapor recovery 
requirement. The EPA is approving this SIP revision because the 
resultant short-term incremental increase in emissions would not 
interfere with attainment or maintenance of the national ambient air 
quality standards or any other requirement of the Clean Air Act and 
because it would avoid longer-term increases in emissions due to the 
incompatibilities between onboard refueling vapor recovery equipment on 
motor vehicles and the predominant type of stage II vapor recovery 
equipment installed at existing gasoline dispensing facilities in the 
Phoenix-Mesa area.

DATES: This final rule is effective on December 16, 2015.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established docket number EPA-R09-OAR-2014-0256 
for this action. The index to the docket is available electronically at 
www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at EPA Region IX, 75 Hawthorne 
Street, San Francisco, California. While all documents in the docket 
are listed in the index, some information may be publicly available 
only at the hard copy location (e.g., copyrighted material), and some 
may not be publicly available in either location (e.g., Confidential 
Business Information). To inspect the hard copy materials, please 
schedule an appointment during normal business hours with the contact 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Buss, Office of Air Planning, 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, (415) 947-4152, email: 
buss.jeffrey@epa.gov.

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

Table of Contents

I. Background for Final Rule
II. Summary of Proposed Action
III. Public Comments and EPA Responses
IV. Final Action
V. Incorporation by Reference
VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background for Final Rule

    On September 2, 2015 (80 FR 53086), we proposed this action and 
provided for a 30-day comment period. On that same date, we issued a 
direct final rule (80 FR 53001) taking final action effective November 
2, 2015 but indicated that, if we received adverse comments by the end 
of the comment period, we would publish a withdrawal of the direct 
final rule in the Federal Register prior to the effective date 
informing the public that the direct final rule will not take effect.
    We received timely adverse comments, and on October 27, 2015 (80 FR 
65660), we withdrew the direct final rule. In today's action, we 
provide our responses to the public comments and take final action 
based on the proposal published on September 2, 2015.

II. Summary of Proposed Action

    In our September 2, 2015 proposed rule (80 FR 53086), we directed 
commenters to the direct final rule for a detailed rationale for the 
proposed approval of the SIP revision. As such, the following 
paragraphs summarize the background information and evaluation included 
in the direct final rule also published on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 
53001).
    Under the Clean Air Act (CAA or ``Act''), the EPA has promulgated 
national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS or ``standards'') for 
certain pervasive air pollutants. The NAAQS are concentration levels 
the attainment and maintenance of which EPA has determined to be 
requisite to protect public health (i.e., the ``primary'' NAAQS) and 
welfare (i.e., the ``secondary'' NAAQS). Under the CAA, states are 
required to develop and submit plans, referred to as state 
implementation plans (SIPs) to implement, maintain, and enforce the 
NAAQS.\1\
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    \1\ Under Arizona law, the Arizona Department of Environmental 
Quality (ADEQ) is responsible for adopting and submitting the 
Arizona SIP and SIP revisions. Within the Maricopa County portion of 
the Phoenix-Mesa area, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) 
is responsible for developing regional ozone air quality plans.
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    Ozone is one of the air pollutants for which the EPA has 
established NAAQS.\2\ The original NAAQS for ozone was 0.12 parts per 
million (ppm), 1-hour average (``1-hour ozone standard'').\3\ In 1997, 
we revised the ozone NAAQS, setting it at 0.08 ppm averaged over an 8-
hour timeframe (referred to herein as the ``1997 8-hour ozone 
standard'') (62 FR 33856, July 18, 1997), and in 2008, we lowered the 
8-hour ozone standard to 0.075 ppm (``2008 8-hour ozone standard'') (73 
FR 16436, March 27, 2008). The 1-hour ozone standard and the 1997 8-
hour ozone standard have now been revoked. See 69 FR 23951 (April 30, 
2004) and 80 FR 12264 (March 6, 2015). Since publication of the direct 
final rule, the EPA has lowered the ozone standard further, to a level 
of 0.070 ppm, eight-hour average (``2015 8-hour ozone standard''). 80 
FR 65292 (October 26, 2015).
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    \2\ Ground-level ozone is an oxidant that is formed from 
photochemical reactions in the atmosphere between volatile organic 
compounds (VOC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) in the 
presence of sunlight. These two pollutants, referred to as ozone 
precursors, are emitted by many types of pollution sources including 
on-road motor vehicles (cars, trucks, and buses), nonroad vehicles 
and engines, power plants and industrial facilities, and smaller 
area sources such as lawn and garden equipment and paints.
    \3\ See 44 FR 8202 (February 8, 1979).
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    Under the CAA, the EPA is also responsible for designating areas of 
the country as attainment, nonattainment, or unclassifiable for the 
various NAAQS. We classified the ``Phoenix metropolitan area,'' defined 
by the Maricopa Association of Governments' (MAGs') urban planning area 
boundary (but later revised to exclude the Gila River Indian Community, 
as a ``Moderate,'' and later ``Serious,'' nonattainment area for the 1-
hour ozone standard. We have designated a larger geographic area, 
referred to as the ``Phoenix-Mesa'' area,\4\ as a ``Marginal'' 
nonattainment area for the 1997 8-hour ozone standard and 2008 8-hour 
ozone standard. While we have redesignated the Phoenix metropolitan 
area, and the Phoenix-Mesa area as ``attainment,'' for the 1-hour and 
1997 8-hour ozone standards, respectively, the Phoenix-Mesa area 
remains ``Marginal'' nonattainment for the 2008 ozone standard. More 
recently, we proposed to reclassify the Phoenix-Mesa area as 
``Moderate'' ozone nonattainment for the 2008 8-hour ozone standard 
based on ambient data showing that the area did not attain the standard 
by the applicable attainment date (i.e., July 20, 2015) for such areas. 
80 FR 51992 (August 27, 2015). The EPA has not yet issued area 
designations for the 2015 8-hour ozone standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The Phoenix-Mesa 1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area covers 
a much larger portion of Maricopa County than the Phoenix 
metropolitan 1-hour ozone area and also includes the Apache Junction 
portion of Pinal County. The precise boundaries of the Phoenix-Mesa 
1997 8-hour ozone nonattainment area and the Phoenix metropolitan 1-
hour ozone nonattainment are found in 40 CFR 81.303.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    States with ``nonattainment'' areas are required to submit 
revisions to their SIPs that include a control strategy necessary to 
demonstrate how the area will attain the NAAQS. As ``Moderate,'' and 
later ``Serious,'' nonattainment for the 1-hour ozone standard, the 
State of Arizona was required under CAA section 182(b)(3) to submit a 
SIP revision that requires the use of ``Stage II'' vapor recovery 
systems at gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs) located within the 
Phoenix metropolitan area.\5\

[[Page 70691]]

In response to this requirement, the State of Arizona promulgated and 
submitted certain statutes and regulations that require use of Stage II 
vapor recovery systems in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and later 
extended the requirements to a larger geographic area referred to as 
``Area A.'' \6\ The EPA approved the state's Stage-II-related statutes 
and regulations as a revision to the Arizona SIP. See 59 FR 54521 
(November 1, 1994) and 77 FR 35279 (June 13, 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Gasoline dispensing pump vapor control devices, commonly 
referred to as ``Stage II'' vapor recovery, are systems that control 
VOC vapor releases during the refueling of motor vehicles. This 
process takes the vapors normally emitted directly into the 
atmosphere when pumping gas and recycles them back into the 
underground fuel storage tank, preventing them from polluting the 
air.
    \6\ ``Area A'' is defined in Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 
section 49-541, and it includes all of the Phoenix metropolitan 1-
hour ozone nonattainment area plus additional areas in Maricopa 
County to the north, east, and west, as well as small portions of 
Yavapai County and Pinal County. Area A roughly approximates the 
boundaries of the Phoenix-Mesa area designated by the EPA for the 
1997 8-hour ozone standard.
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    The 1990 amended CAA anticipates that, over time, Stage II vapor 
recovery requirements at GDFs would be replaced by ``onboard refueling 
vapor recovery'' (ORVR) systems that the EPA was to establish for new 
motor vehicles under CAA section 202(a)(6). ORVR consists of an 
activated carbon canister installed in a motor vehicle. The carbon 
canister captures gasoline vapors during refueling. There the vapors 
are captured by the activated carbon in the canister. When the engine 
is started, the vapors are drawn off of the activated carbon and into 
the engine where they are burned as fuel. In 1994, the EPA promulgated 
its ORVR standards,\7\ with a minimum 95% vapor capture efficiency, 
which fully applied to all new light duty vehicles by 2000. The ORVR 
requirements were phased in to apply to heavier classes of vehicles as 
well--reaching full effect for all new vehicles with a gross vehicle 
weight rating of up to 10,000 pounds by 2006.
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    \7\ See 59 FR 16262 (April 6, 1994).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Recognizing that, over time, the number of vehicles with ORVR as a 
percentage of the overall motor vehicle fleet would increase with the 
turnover of older models not equipped with ORVR with newer models 
equipped with ORVR, CAA section 202(a)(6) permits the EPA to promulgate 
a determination that ORVR is in ``widespread use'' throughout the motor 
vehicle fleet and to revise or waive Stage II vapor recovery 
requirements for Serious, Severe and Extreme ozone nonattainment areas. 
The EPA made the determination that ORVR systems are in ``widespread 
use'' in the nation's motor vehicle fleet in 2012. 77 FR 28772, May 16, 
2012; and 40 CFR 51.126. In the wake of the EPA's ``widespread use'' 
determination, states, such as Arizona, that were required to implement 
Stage II vapor recovery programs under CAA section 182(b)(3) are now 
permitted to remove the requirement from their SIPs under certain 
circumstances.
    On August 7, 2012, the EPA released its ``Guidance on Removing 
Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control Programs from State Implementation 
Plans and Assessing Comparable Measures'' \8\ (``Stage II Guidance'') 
to aid in the development of SIP revisions to remove Stage II controls 
from GDFs. The EPA's Stage II Guidance projects that, by 2015, over 84% 
of all the gasoline dispensed in the nation will be dispensed to ORVR-
equipped motor vehicles.\9\ As such, Stage II and ORVR have become 
largely redundant technologies, and Stage II control systems are 
achieving an ever-declining emissions benefit as more ORVR-equipped 
vehicle continue to enter the on-road motor vehicle fleet. In addition, 
the EPA's Stage II Guidance recognizes that, in areas where certain 
types of vacuum-assist Stage II control systems are used, the limited 
compatibility between ORVR and some configurations of this Stage II 
hardware may ultimately result in an area-wide emissions disbenefit. 
The disbenefit can result when the Stage II controls pull air into the 
underground tank instead of gasoline vapors when both vacuum-assist 
Stage II controls and ORVR are active during refueling. This increases 
the pressure in the underground tank and can cause venting of excess 
emissions into the air. The Phoenix-Mesa ozone nonattainment area is an 
area where the vast majority of Stage II systems that have been 
installed use vacuum assist technologies.\10\
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    \8\ ``Guidance on Removing Stage II Gasoline Vapor Control 
Programs from State Implementation Plans and Assessing Comparable 
Measures,'' EPA Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, August 
7, 2012.
    \9\ See Table A-1 of the Stage II Guidance.
    \10\ Table A-6 of the EPA's Stage II Guidance cites the 
percentages of State/Area GDF using vacuum assist Stage II 
technology. The listed percentage for the Phoenix-Mesa area is 85%.
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    In light of EPA's national ``widespread use'' determination 
allowing states to revise their SIPs to remove Stage II vapor recovery 
requirements and the potential for a disbenefit from continuation of 
the Stage II vapor recovery program, MAG developed emissions estimates 
based on information from the EPA's Stage II guidance and based on 
Phoenix-area-specific motor vehicle fleet data to determine the impact 
of continuation of the program and the impact of the phased removal of 
Stage II vapor recovery in the Phoenix-Mesa area. The emissions 
estimates demonstrated that the emissions reduction benefit from the 
Stage II vapor recovery program would continue to provide marginal but 
diminishing emissions reductions through 2017 and that the disbenefit 
from continuation of the Stage II vapor recovery program would begin in 
2018 and increase in the years thereafter. See table 1 on page 53005 of 
the direct final rule.
    In response to these findings, the Arizona Legislature adopted 
changes in the specific statutory provisions establishing the Stage II 
vapor recovery program to eliminate the requirement to install Stage II 
equipment at new GDFs and to provide for a phased decommissioning 
process to remove Stage II equipment at existing GDFs beginning in 
October 2016 and ending in September 2018.\11\
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    \11\ Effective for State law purposes upon the Governor's 
signature (i.e., on April 22, 2014), House Bill (HB) 2128 (in 
relevant part) amends Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) sections 41-
2131 (``Definitions''), 41-2132 (``Stage I vapor recovery 
systems''), 41-2133 (``Compliance schedules''), and adds new section 
41-2135 (``Stage II vapor recovery systems''). The new section ARS 
41-2135 retains the existing Stage II control requirements for 
existing GDFs and establishes a phased decommissioning process to 
remove Stage II controls beginning October 1, 2016 and ending 
September 30, 2018.
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    Subsequent to legislative action, on September 2, 2014, ADEQ 
submitted a SIP revision, titled ``MAG State Implementation Plan 
Revision for the Removal of Stage II Vapor Recovery Controls in the 
Maricopa Eight-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area'' (``Stage II Vapor 
Recovery SIP Revision'' or ``SIP Revision''), including the statutory 
revisions and related emissions impact documentation.
    After review of the SIP Revision, on September 2, 2015 (80 FR 
53086), the EPA proposed approval based on the following conclusions:
     ADEQ has met the procedural requirements for SIP revisions 
under section 110(l);
     Pursuant to the EPA's determination of ``widespread use'' 
(of ORVR systems in the motor vehicle fleet), states are allowed to 
rescind Stage II vapor recovery control requirements in their SIPs if 
doing so is consistent with the general SIP revision requirements of 
CAA section 110(l) and section 193;
     CAA section 193 does not apply to this particular SIP 
revision because the Stage II vapor recovery controls were not in 
effect prior to the 1990 CAA Amendments;
     MAG's year-by-year estimates of areawide VOC emissions 
with and

[[Page 70692]]

without the SIP Revision reflect reasonable methods and assumptions, 
and provide a reasonable basis upon which to evaluate the ozone impacts 
of the SIP Revision;
     MAG's emissions estimates conclude that the temporary 
emissions increases due to the SIP Revision (relative to the scenario 
in which Stage II requirements remain fully implemented) will occur 
during years 2014 through 2017 and will range from 0.015 metric tons 
per day (mtpd) to 0.031 mtpd, and that beginning in 2018 and increasing 
in magnitude thereafter, the SIP Revision will result in fewer VOC 
emissions than would otherwise have occurred if Stage II requirements 
were to remain fully implemented in the Phoenix-Mesa area (due to the 
incompatibility of ORVR-equipped vehicles and vacuum-assist Stage II 
technologies);
     The temporary increases in VOC emissions during years 2014 
through 2017 due to the SIP Revision would represent an approximate 
0.002 percent to 0.005 percent increase in the overall VOC emissions 
inventory in the Phoenix-Mesa area; \12\ and
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    \12\ The EPA-approved MAG Eight-Hour Ozone Maintenance Plan 
anticipates VOC emissions between 653.9 mtpd (June ozone episode, 
2005) and 659.0 mtpd (June ozone episode, 2015) during the relevant 
period. See our proposed approval of the maintenance plan and 
redesignation request at 79 FR 16734, at 16744 (March 26, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The SIP Revision would not interfere with reasonable 
further progress or attainment of the ozone NAAQS for the purposes of 
CAA section 110(l) because: (1) The increases in VOC emissions from 
2014 through 2017 would have negligible impacts on ozone concentrations 
in the area; (2) the schedule for the phase-out of Stage II controls 
under the SIP Revision will maintain most of the emissions reductions 
benefits associated with Stage II control through 2017; (3) the 
scheduled phase-out will reduce the emissions increase (due to ORVR and 
Stage II incompatibilities) that would otherwise be expected in 2018 
but would not entirely avoid an emissions increase in that year because 
some existing GDFs will not yet have removed Stage II controls by the 
beginning of the 2018 ozone season; and (4) the phase-out of Stage II 
controls by the end of the 2018 ozone season will support longer-term 
regional efforts to attain or maintain the ozone standards in the 
Phoenix-Mesa area.
    For further information about the SIP Revision and our 
corresponding evaluation, please see the direct final rule (80 FR 
53001, September 2, 2015).

III. Public Comments and EPA Responses

    In response to September 2, 2015 proposed rule, we received four 
comments. In the following paragraphs, we provide our responses to 
these comments.
    Comment #1: While supportive of our proposed action, a commenter 
suggests that the EPA eliminate the Arizona vehicle inspection and 
maintenance (VEI) program as well.
    Response #1: The State of Arizona's VEI program is an approved 
element of the Arizona SIP. A state may submit revisions to its SIP, 
but such revisions do not become effective until the EPA approves them 
under section 110(k) of the CAA. No VEI SIP revision submittal is 
pending at this time. If the State of Arizona were to submit a revision 
to the SIP-approved VEI program, or rescission of the program, the EPA 
is authorized to approve such a revision only if such revision were 
consistent with all CAA requirements such as section 110(l), which 
prohibits the EPA from approving a SIP revision if the revision would 
interfere with any applicable requirement concerning reasonable further 
progress towards, and attainment of, the NAAQS.
    Comment #2: A commenter was not opposed to the removal of Stage II 
vapor recovery equipment at GDFs so long as the fuel pump dispensing 
nozzle is properly covered to capture vapors during refueling.
    Response #2: We disagree that such covers are necessary to capture 
vapors during refueling with ORVR-equipped motor vehicles. While Stage 
II vapor recovery systems rely upon a rubber boot around the nozzle to 
create a seal between the nozzle and the vehicle, ORVR prevents vapors 
from escaping during refueling by employing a seal in the fill pipe. In 
most instances, these seals are created by the incoming gasoline 
backing slightly near the bottom of the fill pipe. When the engine is 
started, the vapors are purged from the activated carbon canister and 
into the engine where they are burned as fuel. See 77 FR 28772 at 28774 
(May 16, 2012). Because ORVR uses a seal within the fill pipe of the 
vehicle, a rubber boot or cover is not required to prevent vapors from 
escaping during refueling.
    Comment #3: A commenter objects to our proposal, and asks the EPA 
to reconsider its proposed approval of the SIP revision, contending 
that the revision will cause adverse effects particularly in the summer 
months. This commenter also questions whether there would be any 
benefit from the revision and asks the EPA to identify to whom the 
revision applies.
    Response #3: We recognize that the Stage II vapor recovery controls 
have provided significant reductions of VOC emissions in the Phoenix-
Mesa area since they were implemented in the mid-1990s. These controls 
have done so by taking the vapors normally emitted directly into the 
atmosphere when pumping gas and recycling them back into the 
underground fuel storage tank, preventing them from polluting the air. 
However, as discussed in more detail in the direct final rule at 80 FR 
53002 and 52003 (September 2, 2015), the 1990 amended CAA anticipated 
that, over time, Stage II vapor recovery requirements at gasoline 
stations would be replaced by ORVR systems installed on motor vehicles, 
and authorized the EPA to revise or waive Stage II vapor recovery 
requirements for ozone nonattainment areas, including such areas as the 
Phoenix-Mesa area, once the EPA determines that ORVR is in ``widespread 
use'' throughout the motor vehicle fleet. The EPA published its 
``widespread use'' determination in 2012 at 77 FR 28772 (May 16, 2012), 
and as a result, the Stage II vapor recovery controls are no longer 
required in ozone nonattainment areas.
    Moreover, as described further in our direct final rule at 53004, 
with certain types of vacuum-assist Stage II control systems, the 
limited compatibility between ORVR and some configurations of this 
Stage II hardware may ultimately result in an area-wide emissions 
disbenefit. This is because the Stage II controls pull air into the 
underground tank instead of gasoline vapors when both vacuum-assist 
Stage II control and ORVR are active during refueling, increasing the 
pressure in the underground tank and causing venting of excess emission 
into the air. The Phoenix-Mesa ozone nonattainament area is an area 
where the vast majority of Stage II systems that have been installed 
use vacuum assist technologies, and MAG has estimated that 2018 is the 
first year in which the disbenefit from implementation of Stage II 
controls would occur if Stage II control requirements were to remain in 
place given the motor vehicle fleet in the Phoenix-Mesa area. The 
disbenefit (i.e., the increase in emissions if Stage II control were to 
be retained) grows quickly after that year as shown in table 1 of our 
direct final rule at 53005.
    Thus, from the perspective of summertime ozone conditions in the 
Phoenix-Mesa area, the issue is not whether to remove the Stage II 
vapor recovery equipment but when and how. The state has submitted a 
SIP revision

[[Page 70693]]

that eliminates the requirement for installation of Stage II vapor 
recovery equipment at new GDFs, and that establishes a phased 
decommissioning process to remove Stage II controls at existing GDFs 
over a two-year period beginning October 1, 2016 and ending September 
30, 2018. As explained on page 53003 of the direct final rule, the two-
year period for decommissioning is based on the expectation of the 
Arizona Department of Weights and Measures of the time necessary to 
safely decommission Stage II controls at the over 1,000 existing GDFs 
in the Phoenix-Mesa area. Decommissioning is expected to be spread 
evenly over each of the 24 months from October 2016 through September 
2018 and to occur for existing GDFs during the month when the annual 
scheduled Stage II control test would have occurred.
    We believe that the two-year decommissioning process established by 
the state minimizes the temporary adverse effect of increased VOC 
emissions (i.e., from foregone emissions reductions from elimination of 
the Stage II requirement at new GDFs and the phase-out of Stage II 
equipment at existing GDFs) while avoiding the longer-term adverse 
impact due to the disbenefit associated with retaining the Stage II 
vapor recovery controls. As noted on page 53005 of the direct final 
rule, the temporary adverse effect during years 2014 through 2017 would 
represent an approximate 0.002 percent to 0.005 percent increase in the 
overall VOC emission inventory in the Phoenix-Mesa area. Based on the 
small magnitude of this impact, its temporary nature, and the avoidance 
of the long-term disbenefit, we have concluded that the SIP revision 
would not interfere with attainment or maintenance of the ozone NAAQS 
in the Phoenix-Mesa area.
    Comment #4: A commenter objects to our proposal, stating that it 
does not take into account those individuals who are chemically 
sensitive to vapors and would be harmed if the SIP revision were to be 
approved. This commenter also noted that there are communities where 
most of the drivers operate older vehicles and that those living in 
such areas would be at higher risk than those in areas where the 
vehicle models are newer, and suggested that the EPA defer the approval 
of the Stage II vapor recovery phase-out for a couple of years to allow 
for a greater percentage of ORVR-equipped vehicles to replace the older 
vehicles without ORVR.
    Response #4: The commenter is correct that, in reviewing the Stage 
II SIP Revision, the EPA did not take into account the particular 
sensitivities of individuals to gasoline vapors or the percentage of 
ORVR-equipped vehicles refueling at individual GDFs in the Phoenix-Mesa 
area. Our role in a reviewing SIP revision is to approve state choices, 
provided that they meet the criteria of the CAA. None of the applicable 
CAA criteria calls for evaluating the sensitivities of individuals to 
gasoline vapors nor do the criteria require a GDF-specific ORVR 
evaluation.
    Rather, as described on pages 53004 and 53004 of the direct final 
rule, we evaluated the SIP revision for compliance with CAA section 
110(l), which prohibits the EPA from approving a SIP revision if that 
revision would interfere with any applicable requirement concerning 
reasonable further progress towards, or attainment of, any of the 
NAAQS, or any applicable requirement of the CAA. In this instance, 
because the Stage II SIP revision would affect VOC emissions, and 
because VOC is a precursor to ozone, we focused on ozone NAAQS impacts. 
Ozone is a regional pollutant and thus our evaluation of the SIP 
revision is appropriately based on area-wide VOC emissions estimates 
and considers those emissions in the context of regional, not local, 
ozone concentrations.
    Lastly, deferral by the EPA of action on the Stage II SIP revision 
is not appropriate because CAA section 110(k)(2) establishes a deadline 
of at most 18 months from the date a SIP revision is submitted for the 
EPA to take final action. Moreover, we have concluded that the two-year 
decommissioning process established by the state would minimize the 
temporary adverse impact on regional VOC emissions while avoiding the 
longer term disbenefit associated with implementation of Stage II vapor 
recovery controls at GDFs in the Phoenix-Mesa area. Deferral by the 
state of the two-year decommissioning process would be less 
advantageous from a regional ozone perspective because it would only 
serve to lengthen the period in which the area would experience the 
disbenefit from Stage II vapor recovery due to the increasing 
percentage of motor vehicles with ORVR and accompanying 
incompatibilities with the Stage II vapor recovery equipment.

IV. Final Action

    Under CAA section 110(k) and for the reasons set forth in our 
September 2, 2015 direct final rule and summarized above, the EPA is 
taking final action to approve the Stage II Vapor Recovery SIP Revision 
submitted by ADEQ on September 2, 2014 to provide for the phased 
removal of ``Stage II'' vapor recovery equipment at GDFs in the 
Phoenix-Mesa area. Specifically, the EPA is approving a SIP revision 
that eliminates the requirement to install and operate such equipment 
at new GDFs, and that provides for the phased removal of such equipment 
at existing GDFs from October 2016 through September 2018.
    The EPA is approving this SIP revision because Stage II vapor 
recovery controls are no longer a SIP requirement under CAA section 
182(b)(3) due to EPA's ``widespread use determination'' for ORVR. 
Additionally, we are approving this SIP revision because the temporary 
incremental increase in VOC emissions from 2014 through 2017 would not 
interfere with reasonable further progress toward, or attainment of, 
any of the NAAQS, and because this SIP revision avoids the longer-term 
VOC emissions increases associated with continued implementation of 
Stage II controls in the Phoenix-Mesa area. As part of this final 
action, the EPA is approving the specific statutory provisions that 
provide for the phase-out of Stage II controls in Area A, i.e., 
sections 5 through 8, and 10 through 12 of House Bill 2128, amending 
ARS sections 41-2131, 41-2132, 41-2133 and adding section 41-2135.\13\
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    \13\ Approval of these statutory provisions as revisions to the 
Arizona SIP supersedes the following existing SIP provisions in the 
Arizona SIP: ARS section 41-2131, as approved at 77 FR 35279 (June 
13, 2012); ARS section 41-2132, as approved at 77 FR 35279 (June 13, 
2012); and ARS section 41-2133, as approved at 77 FR 35279 (June 13, 
2012). As noted previously, ``Area A'' is roughly the same 
geographic area as the Phoenix-Mesa 8-hour ozone nonattainment area.
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V. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes 
incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 
51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of certain 
sections of House Bill 2128 amending various sections of the Arizona 
Revised Statutes related to stage II vapor recovery systems in Area A, 
effective April 22, 2014, as described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 
52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these 
documents generally available electronically through 
www.regulations.gov and/or in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office 
(see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

[[Page 70694]]

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a 
SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and 
applicable Federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). 
Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, EPA's role is to approve state 
choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. 
Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting Federal 
requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those 
imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:
     Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' subject to 
review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993);
     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, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or 
environmental effects, using practicable 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, this rule does not have tribal implications as 
specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), nor 
will it impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or 
preempt tribal law.
    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this action and 
other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2).
    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for 
judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court 
of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by January 15, 2016. Filing a 
petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule 
does not affect the finality of this action 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 52

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by 
reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds.

    Dated: October 28, 2015.
Jared Blumenfeld,
Regional Administrator, Region IX.

    Chapter I, title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended 
as follows:

PART 52--APPROVAL AND PROMULGATION OF IMPLEMENTATION PLANS

0
1. The authority citation for part 52 continues to read as follows:

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

Subpart D--Arizona

0
2. Section 52.120 is amended by adding paragraph (c)(171) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  52.120  Identification of plan.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (171) The following plan was submitted on September 2, 2014 by the 
Governor's designee.
    (i) Incorporation by reference.
    (A) Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
    (1) House Bill 2128, effective April 22, 2014, excluding sections 1 
through 4, and 9 (including the text that appears in all capital 
letters and excluding the text that appears in strikethrough).
    (ii) Additional materials.
    (A) Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.
    (1) MAG 2014 State Implementation Plan Revision for the Removal of 
Stage II Vapor Recovery Controls in the Maricopa Eight-Hour Ozone 
Nonattainment Area (August 2014), adopted by the Regional Council of 
the Maricopa Association of Governments on August 27, 2014, excluding 
appendix A, exhibit 2 (``Arizona Revised Statutes Listed in Table 1-
1'').
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2015-28909 Filed 11-13-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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