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Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Gasoline Volatility Standard for Baton Rouge, Louisiana

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Gasoline Volatility Standard for Baton Rouge, Louisiana

E. Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
14 June 2018


[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 115 (Thursday, June 14, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27740-27743]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-12808]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 80

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0172; FRL-9979-33-OAR]
RIN 2060-AT91


Relaxation of the Federal Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) Gasoline 
Volatility Standard for Baton Rouge, Louisiana

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
approve a request from Louisiana for EPA to relax the federal Reid 
Vapor Pressure (RVP) standard applicable to gasoline introduced into 
commerce from June 1 to September 15 of each year for the Louisiana 
parishes of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, 
and Iberville (the Baton Rouge area). Specifically, EPA is proposing to 
amend the regulations to allow the RVP standard for the Baton Rouge 
area to change from 7.8 pounds per square inch (psi) to 9.0 psi for 
gasoline. EPA has preliminarily determined that this change to the 
federal RVP regulation is consistent with the applicable provisions of 
the Clean Air Act (CAA).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before July 16, 2018 
unless a public hearing is requested by June 29, 2018. If EPA receives 
such a request, we will publish information related to the timing and 
location of the hearing and a new deadline for public comment.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2018-0172, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or withdrawn. EPA 
may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information disclosure of which is 
restricted by statute. If you need to include CBI as part of your 
comment, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets for instructions. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) 
must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is 
considered the official comment and should include discussion of all 
points you wish to make.
    For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment 
policy, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit 
https://www.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Sosnowski, Office of 
Transportation and Air Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, 2000 
Traverwood Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48105; telephone number: (734) 
214-4823; fax number: (734) 214-4052; email address: 
sosnowski.dave@epa.gov. You may also contact Rudolph Kapichak at the 
same address; telephone number: (734) 214-4574; fax number: (734) 214-
4052; email address: kapichak.rudolph@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    The contents of this preamble are listed in the following outline:

I. General Information
II. Public Participation
III. Background and Proposal
IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
V. Legal Authority

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    Entities potentially affected by this proposed rule are fuel 
producers and distributors involved in the supplying of gasoline to the 
Baton Rouge area.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              NAICS \1\
         Examples of potentially regulated entities             codes
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Petroleum Refineries.......................................       324110
Gasoline Marketers and Distributors........................       424710
                                                                  424720
Gasoline Retail Stations...................................       447110
Gasoline Transporters......................................       484220
                                                                  484230
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ North American Industry Classification System.

    The above table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather 
provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be regulated 
by this action. The table lists the types of entities of which EPA is 
aware that potentially could be affected by this proposed rule. Other 
types of entities not listed on the table could also be affected. To 
determine whether your organization could be affected by this proposed 
rule, you should carefully examine the regulations in 40 CFR 80.27. If 
you have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a 
particular entity, call the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section of this preamble.

B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    The statutory authority for this action is granted to EPA by 
sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the CAA, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 7545(h) 
and 7601(a).

II. Public Participation

    EPA will not hold a public hearing on this matter unless a request 
is received by the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this preamble by June 29, 2018. If EPA receives such 
a request, we will publish information related to the timing and 
location of the hearing and a new deadline for public comment.

III. Background and Proposal

A. Summary of the Proposal

    EPA is proposing to approve a request from Louisiana to change the 
summertime federal RVP standard for the parishes of East Baton Rouge, 
West Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, and Iberville (henceforth 
``the Baton Rouge area'') from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi by amending EPA's 
regulations at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2). On April 10, 2017, the Louisiana 
Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ or State) requested a 
relaxation of the federal RVP requirements. Before EPA could act on 
LDEQ's request, the State needed to revise its approved section 175A 
maintenance plan and demonstrate that relaxing the federal RVP 
requirement from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi for gasoline sold from June 1 to 
September 15 of each year in the Baton Rouge area would not interfere 
with maintenance of any NAAQS, including the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS, 
or any other applicable CAA requirement, under CAA section 110(l). This 
demonstration was performed and a revised maintenance plan was 
submitted to EPA for approval on January 31, 2018. On April 13, 2018, 
EPA proposed approval of Louisiana's maintenance revision and non-
interference demonstration for the 2008 ozone NAAQS (83 FR 16017); EPA

[[Page 27741]]

finalized its approval on May 25, 2018 (83 FR 24226).
    The preamble for this rulemaking is organized as follows: Section 
III.B. provides the history of the federal gasoline volatility 
regulation. Section III.C. describes the policy regarding relaxation of 
gasoline volatility standards in ozone nonattainment areas that are 
redesignated as attainment areas. Section III.D. provides information 
specific to Louisiana's request for the Baton Rouge area.

B. History of the Gasoline Volatility Requirement

    On August 19, 1987 (52 FR 31274), EPA determined that gasoline 
nationwide was becoming increasingly volatile, causing an increase in 
evaporative emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles and equipment. 
Evaporative emissions from gasoline, referred to as volatile organic 
compounds (VOC), are precursors to the formation of tropospheric ozone 
and contribute to the nation's ground-level ozone problem. Exposure to 
ground-level ozone can reduce lung function, thereby aggravating asthma 
and other respiratory conditions, increase susceptibility to 
respiratory infection, and may contribute to premature death in people 
with heart and lung disease.
    The most common measure of fuel volatility that is useful in 
evaluating gasoline evaporative emissions is RVP. Under CAA section 
211(c), EPA promulgated regulations on March 22, 1989 (54 FR 11868) 
that set maximum limits for the RVP of gasoline sold during the 
regulatory control periods that were established on a state-by-state 
basis in that final rule. The regulatory control periods addressed the 
portion of the year when peak ozone concentrations were expected. These 
regulations constituted Phase I of a two-phase nationwide program, 
which was designed to reduce the volatility of gasoline during the high 
ozone season. On June 11, 1990 (55 FR 23658), EPA promulgated more 
stringent volatility controls as Phase II of the volatility control 
program. These requirements established maximum RVP standards of 9.0 
psi or 7.8 psi (depending on the state, the month, and the area's 
initial ozone attainment designation with respect to the 1-hour ozone 
NAAQS).
    The 1990 CAA Amendments established a new CAA section 211(h) to 
address fuel volatility. CAA section 211(h) requires EPA to promulgate 
regulations making it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, dispense, 
supply, offer for supply, transport, or introduce into commerce 
gasoline with an RVP level in excess of 9.0 psi during the high ozone 
season. CAA section 211(h) also prohibits EPA from establishing a 
volatility standard more stringent than 9.0 psi in an attainment area, 
except that EPA may impose a lower (more stringent) standard in any 
former ozone nonattainment area redesignated to attainment.
    On December 12, 1991 (56 FR 64704), EPA modified the Phase II 
volatility regulations to be consistent with CAA section 211(h). The 
modified regulations prohibited the sale of gasoline with an RVP above 
9.0 psi in all areas designated attainment for ozone, effective January 
13, 1992. For areas designated as nonattainment, the regulations 
retained the original Phase II standards published on June 11, 1990 (55 
FR 23658), which included the 7.8 psi ozone season limitation for 
certain areas. As stated in the preamble to the Phase II volatility 
controls and reiterated in the proposed change to the volatility 
standards published in 1991, EPA will rely on states to initiate 
changes to their respective volatility programs. EPA's policy for 
approving such changes is described below in Section III.C.

C. Relaxation of Gasoline Volatility Standards in Ozone Nonattainment 
Areas That Are Redesignated to Attainment

    As stated in the preamble for EPA's amended Phase II volatility 
standards (56 FR 64706), any change in the gasoline volatility standard 
for a nonattainment area that was subsequently redesignated as an 
attainment area must be accomplished through a separate rulemaking that 
revises the applicable standard for that area. Thus, for former 1-hour 
ozone nonattainment areas where EPA mandated a Phase II volatility 
standard of 7.8 psi RVP in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, the 
federal 7.8 psi gasoline RVP requirement remains in effect, even after 
such an area is redesignated to attainment, until a separate rulemaking 
is completed that relaxes the federal gasoline RVP standard in that 
area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi.
    As explained in the December 12, 1991 rulemaking, EPA believes that 
relaxation of an applicable gasoline RVP standard is best accomplished 
in conjunction with the redesignation process. In order for an ozone 
nonattainment area to be redesignated as an attainment area, CAA 
section 107(d)(3) requires the state to make a showing, pursuant to CAA 
section 175A, that the area is capable of maintaining attainment for 
the ozone NAAQS for ten years. Depending on the area's circumstances, 
this maintenance plan will either demonstrate that the area is capable 
of maintaining attainment for ten years without the more stringent 
volatility standard or that the more stringent volatility standard may 
be necessary for the area to maintain its attainment with the ozone 
NAAQS. Therefore, in the context of a request for redesignation, EPA 
will not relax the gasoline volatility standard unless the state 
requests a relaxation and the maintenance plan demonstrates that the 
area will maintain attainment for ten years without the need for the 
more stringent volatility standard. Similarly, a maintenance plan may 
be revised to relax the gasoline volatility standard if the state 
requests a relaxation and the maintenance plan demonstrates that the 
area will maintain attainment for the duration of the maintenance plan.

D. Louisiana's Request To Relax the Federal Gasoline RVP Requirement 
for the Baton Rouge Area

    On April 10, 2017, LDEQ submitted a request to relax the federal 
gasoline RVP requirement in 16 parishes throughout the State, including 
the 5 parishes making up the Baton Rouge area. RVP relaxation for 11 of 
the parishes covered by the April 10, 2017 request was approved on 
December 26, 2017 (82 FR 60886). Louisiana did not request relaxation 
of the federal RVP standard from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi when LDEQ 
originally submitted the CAA section 175A maintenance plan for the 
Baton Rouge area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS that was approved on December 
27, 2016 (81 FR 95051). Therefore, LDEQ was required to revise the 
approved maintenance plan and to submit a CAA section 110(l) non-
interference demonstration for the 5-parish Baton Rouge area to support 
the request to relax the federal RVP standard. Therefore, action on the 
5-parish Baton Rouge area was deferred until LDEQ submitted (and EPA 
approved) a maintenance plan revision and CAA section 110(l) non-
interference demonstration showing that the relaxation would not 
interfere with maintenance of the 2008 and 2015 ozone NAAQS or any 
other applicable CAA requirement.
    On January 30, 2018, Louisiana submitted a CAA section 175A 
maintenance plan revision and section 110(l) non-interference 
demonstration to EPA. EPA finalized its approval of the maintenance 
plan revision and demonstration on May 25, 2018 (83 FR 24226). As part 
of the rulemaking on Louisiana's submission, EPA included a detailed 
evaluation of the maintenance

[[Page 27742]]

plan revision and the CAA section 110(l) demonstration.
    In today's action, EPA is proposing to approve Louisiana's request 
to relax the summertime ozone season gasoline RVP standard for the 
Baton Rouge area from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi. Specifically, EPA is 
proposing to amend the applicable gasoline RVP standard to allow the 
gasoline RVP requirements at 40 CFR 80.27(a)(2) for the Baton Rouge 
area to change from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi. Today's proposal relies on 
EPA's separate rulemaking that approved Louisiana's January 30, 2018 
request to revise the approved maintenance plan for the Baton Rouge 
area for the 2008 ozone NAAQS and the submitted CAA section 110(l) non-
interference demonstration as described in this document.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
therefore was not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for review.

B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This action is considered an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory 
action. This proposed rule, if finalized, would provide meaningful 
burden reduction because it would relax the federal RVP standard for 
gasoline, and as a result, fuel suppliers would no longer be required 
to provide the lower, 7.8 psi RVP gasoline in the 5 parishes during the 
summer months. Relaxing the volatility requirements would also be 
beneficial because this action can improve the fungibility of gasoline 
sold in Louisiana by allowing the gasoline sold in the 5 named parishes 
to be identical to the fuel sold in the remainder of the state.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq., and therefore is not subject to these requirements.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action would not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In 
making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant 
adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no 
net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small 
entities subject to the rule. The small entities subject to the 
requirements of this action are refiners, importers or blenders of 
gasoline that choose to produce or import low RVP gasoline for sale in 
Louisiana, and gasoline distributers and retail stations in Louisiana. 
This action, if finalized, would relax the federal RVP standard for 
gasoline sold in Louisiana's Baton Rouge area during the summertime 
ozone season to allow the RVP for gasoline sold in these parishes to 
rise from 7.8 psi to 9.0 psi. This rule does not impose any 
requirements or create impacts on small entities beyond those, if any, 
already required by or resulting from the CAA section 211(h) RVP 
program. Therefore, this action would have no net regulatory burden for 
all directly regulated small entities.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This proposed rule does not contain an unfunded mandate of $100 
million or more as described in UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. The action would 
implement mandates that are specifically and explicitly set forth in 
CAA section 211(h) without the exercise of any policy discretion by 
EPA.

F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It would not 
have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship 
between the national government and the states, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This proposed 
rule would affect only those refiners, importers or blenders of 
gasoline that choose to produce or import low RVP gasoline for sale in 
the Baton Rouge area and gasoline distributers and retail stations in 
the area. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those 
regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks 
that EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect children, 
per the definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in section 2-202 of 
the Executive Order. EPA has no reason to believe that this action may 
disproportionately affect children since Louisiana has provided 
evidence that a relaxation of the gasoline RVP will not interfere with 
its attainment of the ozone NAAQS for the Baton Rouge area, or any 
other applicable CAA requirement. By separate action, EPA has finalized 
its approval of Louisiana's revised maintenance plan for the 2008 ozone 
NAAQS, including the state's non-interference demonstration that 
relaxation of the gasoline RVP standard in the Baton Rouge area to 9.0 
RVP will not interfere with any other NAAQS or CAA requirement.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

J. National Technology Transfer Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA believes the human health or environmental risk addressed by 
this action would not have potential disproportionately high and 
adverse human health or environmental effects on minority, low-income 
or indigenous populations because it does not affect the applicable 
ozone NAAQS which establish the level of protection provided to human 
health or the environment. Louisiana has demonstrated in its non-
interference demonstration that this action will not interfere with 
maintenance of the ozone NAAQS in the Baton Rouge area for the 2008 
ozone NAAQS, or with any other applicable requirement of the CAA. 
Therefore, disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on minority or low-income populations are not an 
anticipated result. The results of this evaluation are

[[Page 27743]]

contained in EPA's rulemaking for Louisiana's non-interference 
demonstration. A copy of Louisiana's April 10, 2017 letter requesting 
that EPA relax the gasoline RVP standard and the State's January 29, 
2018 technical analysis demonstrating that the less stringent gasoline 
RVP would not interfere with continued maintenance of the 2008 ozone 
NAAQS in the Baton Rouge area, or with any other applicable CAA 
requirement, have been placed in the public docket for this action.

V. Legal Authority

    The statutory authority for this action is granted to EPA by 
sections 211(h) and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. 
7545(h) and 7601(a).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 80

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedures, 
Air pollution control, Fuel additives, Gasoline, Motor vehicle and 
motor vehicle engines, Motor vehicle pollution, Penalties, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: June 6, 2018.
E. Scott Pruitt,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-12808 Filed 6-13-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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