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Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicle Engines; Modification of Federal On-board Diagnostic Regulations for Light-Duty Vehicles and Light-Duty Trucks; Extension of Deficiency Policy

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Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles and New Motor Vehicle Engines; Modification of Federal On-board Diagnostic Regulations for Light-Duty Vehicles and Light-Duty Trucks; Extension of Deficiency Policy

Jeffrey Paniati
February 17, 1998

[Federal Register: February 17, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 31)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 7718-7720]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17fe98-35]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 86

[FRL-5966-6]

 
Control of Air Pollution From Motor Vehicles and New Motor 
Vehicle Engines; Modification of Federal On-board Diagnostic 
Regulations for Light-Duty Vehicles and Light-Duty Trucks; Extension of 
Deficiency Policy

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Today's action extends the EPA's allowance of deficiencies for 
vehicles certified to federal OBD standards through the 1999 model 
year.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This action becomes effective February 17, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Materials relevant to this rulemaking are contained in 
Docket No. A-96-32. The docket is located at The Air Docket, 401 M. 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460, and may be viewed in room M1500 
between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The telephone 
number is (202) 260-7548 and the facsimile number is (202) 260-4400. A 
reasonable fee may be charged by EPA for copying docket material.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Holly Pugliese, Vehicle Programs and 
Compliance Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2565 
Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, Telephone 313-668-4288, or 
Internet e-mail at ``pugliese.holly@epamail.epa.gov.''

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Regulated Entities

    Entities potentially regulated by this action are those which 
manufacture new motor vehicles and engines. Regulated categories 
include:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Examples of regulated   
                 Category                             entities          
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry..................................  New motor vehicle and engine
                                             manufacturers.             
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide for readers regarding entities EPA is now aware could potentially 
be regulated by this action. Other types of entities not listed in the 
table could also be regulated. To determine whether your product is 
regulated by this action, you should carefully examine the 
applicability criteria in Sec. 86.099-17 of title 40 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations. If you have questions regarding the applicability 
of this action to a particular product, consult the person listed in 
the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

I. Electronic Availability
II. Introduction and Background
III. Requirements of the Final Rule
IV. Effective Date
V. Cost Effectiveness
VI. Public Participation
VII. Administrative Requirements
    A. Executive Order 12866
    B. Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements
    C. Impact on Small Entities
    D. Unfunded Mandates Act
    E. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

I. Electronic Availability

    Electronic copies of the preamble and regulatory text of this final 
rulemaking are available via the Internet on the Office of Mobile 
Sources (OMS) Home Page (http://www.epa.gov/OMSWWW/). Users can find 
OBD related information and documents through the following path once 
they have accessed the OMS Home Page: ``Automobiles,''``I/M & 
OBD,''``On-Board Diagnostics Files.''

II. Introduction and Background

    On May 28, 1997, the EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(62 FR 28932) that proposed changes to the federal OBD requirements. 
Those proposed changes would be implemented beginning with the 1999 
model year. The proposed revisions included a provision indefinitely 
extending the allowance of deficiencies for federal OBD vehicles. 
Today's action finalizes this extension through the 1999 model year.

III. Requirements of the Final Rule

    Today's action finalizes a provision to extend the current 
flexibility provisions (i.e., ``deficiency provisions'') contained in 
40 CFR part 86.094-17(i) through the 1999 model year, rather than being 
eliminated beyond the 1998 model year. EPA is taking this action at 
this time because EPA is beginning to certify vehicles for the 1999 
model year. Though EPA is currently completing its preparation of the 
final rule associated with the notice of proposed rulemaking published 
on May 28, 1997, EPA will not be able to complete its review in time 
for the beginning of the 1999 model year. EPA has become concerned that 
manufacturers would not be able to use EPA's deficiency regulations for 
its certifications, and that this may lead to delays in certifications. 
Therefore, EPA is finalizing its proposal to extend the deficiency 
policy on an expedited basis, in order to allow manufacturers to 
request deficiencies in the 1999 model year. This will allow the 
Administrator to accept an OBD system as compliant in the 1999 model 
year even though specific requirements are not fully met. This 
provision neither constitutes a waiver from federal OBD requirements, 
nor does it allow compliance without meeting the minimum requirements 
of the CAA (i.e., oxygen sensor monitor, catalyst monitor, and 
standardization features).
    EPA received no comments opposing extension of the deficiency 
provision. Any particular comments dealt with specific clarifications 
made in the notice of proposed rulemaking that EPA is not finalizing at 
this time. As EPA received no comments adverse to this revision, and as 
the Agency believes that, despite the best attempts by manufacturers to 
comply with the complex OBD requirements, there will still be 
unanticipated instances that cannot be remedied in time to meet 
production schedules, EPA is finalizing its deficiency provision for 
the 1999 model year. EPA will take final action regarding the remainder 
of its proposal, including further action on its deficiency policy, at 
a later date.

IV. Effective Date

    This rule shall be effective on the date of publication in the 
Federal Register. This rule grants regulatory relief from full 
compliance with OBD regulations for vehicle manufacturers for a single 
model year. In addition, the agency finds good cause for this rule to 
be effective upon publication, as certifications of vehicles for the 
1999 model year are likely to begin prior to thirty days from 
publication.

V. Cost Effectiveness

    This final rulemaking alters an existing provision by extending the 
current allowance of deficiencies for federal OBD systems through the 
1999 model year. EPA believes that the regulations being finalized 
today will provide cost savings by eliminating the need to fully comply 
with all technical requirements of the OBD regulations in the 1999 
model year.
    The costs and emission reductions associated with the federal OBD 
program were developed for the February 19, 1993, final rulemaking. The 
changes being finalized today do not affect the costs or emission 
reductions published as part of that rulemaking, with the possible 
exception

[[Page 7719]]

of decreasing costs for some manufacturers.

VI. Public Participation

    The Agency held a public hearing on July 9, 1997, for public 
testimony on the proposed revisions. Those comments and the additional 
comments received during the public comment period are available in Air 
Docket A-96-32. The comments received on the proposed revisions are 
discussed and addressed in section IV. of this final rulemaking.

VII. Administration Requirements

A. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), the 
Agency must determine whether the regulatory action is ``significant'' 
and therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the 
Executive Order. The Order defines ``significant regulatory action'' as 
one that is likely to result in a rule that may:

    (1) have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more 
or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with 
an action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, 
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of 
recipients thereof; or,
    (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.

    It has been determined that this rule is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under the terms of Executive Order 12866 and is 
therefore not subject to OMB review.

B. Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

    Today's action does not impose any new information collection 
burden. The modification does not change the information collection 
requirements submitted to and approved by OMB in association with the 
OBD final rulemaking (58 FR 9468, February 19, 1993; and, 59 FR 38372, 
July 28, 1994). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has 
previously approved the information collection requirements contained 
in 40 CFR 86.084-17 under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB control number 2060-
0104 (EPA ICR No. 783.25).
    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or 
provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time 
needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; 
train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; 
search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; 
and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    Copies of the ICR document(s) may be obtained from Sandy Farmer, 
Information Policy Branch; EPA; 401 M St., SW. (mail code 2136); 
Washington, DC 20460 or by calling (202) 260-2740. Include the ICR and 
/ or OMB number in any correspondence.

C. Impact on Small Entities

    EPA has determined that it is not necessary to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis in connection with this final rule. This rule will 
not have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number 
of small businesses. This rulemaking will continue a regulatory relief 
policy for both large and small volume automobile manufacturers for a 
single model year. It will not have a substantial impact on such 
entities. This rulemaking will not have a significant impact on 
businesses that manufacture, rebuild, distribute, or sell automotive 
parts, nor those involved in automotive service and repair, as the 
revisions affect only requirements on automobile manufacturers.

D. Unfunded Mandates Act

    Under section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(``Unfunded Mandates Act''), signed into law on March 22, 1995, EPA 
must prepare a budgetary impact statement to accompany any proposed or 
final rule that includes a Federal mandate that may result in estimated 
costs to State, local, or tribal governments in the aggregate; or to 
the private sector, or $100 million or more. Under section 205, EPA 
must select the most cost effective and least burdensome alternative 
that achieves the objectives of the rule and is consistent with 
statutory requirements. Section 203 requires EPA to establish a plan 
for informing and advising any small governments that may be 
significantly or uniquely impacted by the rule.
    EPA has determined that the action finalized today would not 
include a Federal mandate that may result in estimated costs of $100 
million or more to either State, local, or tribal governments in the 
aggregate, or to the private sector.

E. Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking

    Under section 810(a)(1)(A) of the Administrative Procedure Act 
(APA) as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Reform 
Act of 1996, EPA submitted a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the General Accounting 
Office prior to publication of the rule in today's Federal Register. 
This rule is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 86

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Gasoline, Incorporation by reference, Motor 
vehicles, Motor vehicle pollution, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    Dated: February 6, 1998.
Carol M. Browner,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, part 86 of title 40 of the 
Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 86--CONTROL OF AIR POLLUTION FROM NEW AND IN-USE MOTOR 
VEHICLES AND NEW AND IN-USE MOTOR VEHICLE ENGINES: CERTIFICATION 
AND TEST PROCEDURES

    1. The authority citation for part 86 is revised to read as 
follows:

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

Subpart A--[Amended]

    2. Section 86.094-17 is amended by revising paragraph (i) to read 
as follows:


Sec. 86.094-17  Emission control diagnostic system for 1994 and later 
light-duty vehicles and light-duty trucks.

* * * * *
    (i) Upon application by the manufacturer, the Administrator may 
either waive the requirements of this section for specific components 
of any class or category of light-duty vehicles or light-duty trucks 
for model years 1994 or 1995 (or both), or through the

[[Page 7720]]

1999 model year, the Administrator may accept an OBD system as 
compliant even though specific requirements are not fully met. Such 
waivers or compliances without meeting specific requirements will be 
granted only if compliance would be infeasible or unreasonable 
considering such factors as, but not limited to, technical feasibility, 
lead time and production cycles including phase-in or phase-out of 
engines or vehicle designs and programmed upgrades of computers, and if 
any unmet requirements are not carried over from the previous model 
year except where unreasonable hardware modifications would be 
necessary to correct the non-compliance, and the manufacturer has 
demonstrated an acceptable level of effort toward compliance as 
determined by the Administrator. For alternate fueled vehicles (i.e. 
natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or methanol), beginning with the 
model year for which alternate fuel emission standards are applicable 
and extending through the 1999 model year, manufacturers may request 
the Administrator to waive specific monitoring requirements of this 
section for which monitoring may not be reliable with respect to the 
use of the alternate fuel. At a minimum, all vehicles covered by this 
section, including those receiving a waiver as described in this 
paragraph, shall be equipped with an OBD system meeting either the 
California OBD I requirements, or some acceptable portion of the 
California OBD II or federal OBD requirements as specified in this 
section, except that for the 1994 and 1995 model years EPA may grant a 
waiver to a system less than OBD I giving consideration to such factors 
as manufacturer projections of very low sales volume for an engine 
family (e.g., 5000 or less), scheduled phase-out of significant engine 
technology with the 1994 or 1995 model years for that engine family, 
and whether or not the engine, or any similar engine within the 
manufacturer's product line, has ever been equipped with an OBD I or 
similar OBD system.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 98-3885 Filed 2-13-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P



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