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Clean Fuels Grant Program

American Government

Clean Fuels Grant Program

K. Jane Williams
Federal Transit Administration
21 October 2019

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 203 (Monday, October 21, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 56129-56131]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22859]



Federal Transit Administration

49 CFR Part 624

[Docket No. FTA-2019-000X]
RIN 2132-AB36

Clean Fuels Grant Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of 

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This rulemaking rescinds the FTA regulation that implements 
the Clean Fuels Grants Program, which was rescinded by statute in 2012.

DATES: This final rule is effective on October 21, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Montgomery, Office of Chief

[[Page 56130]]

Counsel, (202) 366-1017 or mark.montgomery@dot.gov. Office hours are 
from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal 


Electronic Access and Filing

    This document is viewable online through the Federal eRulemaking 
portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Retrieval help and guidelines are 
available on the website. It is available 24 hours each day, 365 days a 
year. An electronic copy of this document is available for download 
from the Office of the Federal Register home page at: http://www.ofr.gov and the Government Publishing Office web page at: http://www.gpo.gov.


    Part 624 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, established the 
application procedures for the Clean Fuels Grant Program. This part 
implemented section 3008 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century (TEA-21) (Pub. L. 105-178), codified at section 5308 of title 
49, United States Code (Section 5308), which required FTA to establish 
a new grant program intended to assist nonattainment and maintenance 
areas in achieving or maintaining air quality attainment status, to 
support emerging clean fuel and advanced propulsion technologies for 
transit buses, and to create markets for these technologies. Section 
20002 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) 
(Pub. L. 112-141) repealed section 5308, effectively ending the Clean 
Fuels Grant Program. For this reason, FTA is issuing this final rule to 
rescind 49 CFR part 624.

Discussion of the Changes

    This action rescinds 49 CFR part 624, which implements the Clean 
Fuels Grant Program. The statutory basis for this regulation, 49 U.S.C. 
5308, was repealed by MAP-21. While 49 CFR part 624 cites 49 U.S.C. 
5334(a) as additional statutory authority, that statute provides only 
for the general authority of the Secretary of Transportation to 
implement statutory transit programs. However, the Secretary may not 
regulate a program repealed by statute. Thus, the requirements set 
forth in part 624 are superfluous.

Good Cause for Dispensing With Notice and Comment and Delayed Effective 

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)), an 
agency may waive the normal notice and comment procedure if it finds, 
for good cause, that it is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to 
the public interest. Additionally, 5 U.S.C. 553(d) provides that an 
agency may waive the 30-day delayed effective date upon finding of good 
    Section 20002 of MAP-21 repealed section 5308, effectively ending 
the Clean Fuels Grant Program. FTA finds good cause that notice and 
comment for this rule is unnecessary due to the nature of the revisions 
(i.e., the rule simply carries out the nondiscretionary statutory 
language found in MAP-21). The statutory language does not require 
regulatory interpretation to carry out its intent, and comments cannot 
alter the regulation given that the statute abrogated its purpose. 
Further, the delayed effective date is unnecessary because the removal 
of the program was made effective by MAP-21. Accordingly, FTA finds 
good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) and (d)(3) to waive notice and 
opportunity for comment and the delayed effective date.

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review), Executive Order 
13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), and Department of 
Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    FTA has determined that this rulemaking is not a significant 
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, and 
within the meaning of DOT regulatory policies and procedures. This 
action complies with Executive Orders 12866, 13563 and 13771 to improve 

Executive Order 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 

    This final rule is considered an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because FTA finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B) to waive 
notice and opportunity for comment for this rule, the provisions of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (Pub. L. 96-354, 5 U.S.C. 601-612) do not 
apply. FTA evaluated the effects of this action on small entities and 
determined the action would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. FTA hereby certifies that this 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    FTA has determined that this rule does not impose unfunded 
mandates, as defined by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. 
L. 104-4, March 22, 1995, 109 Stat. 48). This rule does not include a 
Federal mandate that may result in expenditures of $155.1 million or 
more in any 1 year (when adjusted for inflation) in 2012 dollars for 
either State, local, and tribal governments in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector. Additionally, the definition of ``Federal mandate'' in 
the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act excludes financial assistance of the 
type in which State, local, or tribal governments have authority to 
adjust their participation in the program in accordance with changes 
made in the program by the Federal Government. The Federal Transit Act 
permits this type of flexibility.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism Assessment)

    Executive Order 13132 requires agencies to assure meaningful and 
timely input by State and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that may have a substantial direct effect 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. This action has been analyzed in 
accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive 
Order 13132 dated August 4, 1999, and FTA determined this action will 
not have a substantial direct effect or sufficient federalism 
implications on the States. FTA also determined this action will not 
preempt any State law or regulation or affect the States' ability to 
discharge traditional State governmental functions.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply 
to this program. This E.O. applies because State and local governments 
would be directly affected by the regulation. Local entities should 
refer to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 
20.519, Clean Fuels, for further information.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct, 
sponsor, or require through regulations. FTA has analyzed this rule 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act and believes that it does not impose 
additional information collection requirements for the purposes

[[Page 56131]]

of the Act above and beyond existing information collection clearances 
from OMB.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Federal agencies are required to adopt implementing procedures for 
the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that establish specific 
criteria for, and identification of, three classes of actions: (1) 
Those that normally require preparation of an Environmental Impact 
Statement, (2) those that normally require preparation of an 
Environmental Assessment, and (3) those that are categorically excluded 
from further NEPA review (40 CFR 1507.3(b)). This rule qualifies for 
categorical exclusions under 23 CFR 771.118(c)(4) (planning and 
administrative activities that do not involve or lead directly to 
construction). FTA has evaluated whether the rule will involve unusual 
or extraordinary circumstances and has determined that it will not.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    FTA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights. FTA does not believe this rule effects a taking of 
private property or otherwise has taking implications under Executive 
Order 12630.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    FTA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection 
of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. FTA 
certifies that this action will not cause an environmental risk to 
health or safety that might disproportionately affect children.

Executive Order 13175 (Tribal Consultation)

    FTA has analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13175, dated 
November 6, 2000, and believes that it will not have substantial direct 
effects on one or more Indian tribes; will not impose substantial 
direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments; and will not 
preempt tribal laws. Therefore, a tribal summary impact statement is 
not required.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    FTA has analyzed this action under Executive Order 13211, Actions 
Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. FTA has determined that this action is not a 
significant energy action under that order and is not likely to have a 
significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

Executive Order 12898 (Environmental Justice)

    Executive Order 12898 (Federal Actions to Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations) and DOT 
Order 5610.2(a) (77 FR 27534, May 10, 2012) (available online at 
require DOT agencies to achieve Environmental Justice (EJ) as part of 
their mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects, including interrelated social and economic effects, of their 
programs, policies, and activities on minority and low-income 
populations. All DOT agencies must address compliance with Executive 
Order 12898 and the DOT Order in all rulemaking activities. On August 
15, 2012, FTA's Circular 4703.1 became effective, which contains 
guidance for recipients of FTA financial assistance to incorporate EJ 
principles into plans, projects, and activities (available online at 
    FTA has evaluated this action under the Executive Order, the DOT 
Order, and the FTA Circular. The rule rescinds the implementing 
regulations of a program repealed by statute, and FTA has determined 
that this action will not cause disproportionately high and adverse 
human health and environmental effects on minority or low-income 

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 624

    Grant programs--transportation, Mass transportation.

    Issued in Washington, DC, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 
K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator.


In consideration of the foregoing, and under the authority of Public 
Law 112-141, 49 CFR chapter VI is amended by removing part 624.

[FR Doc. 2019-22859 Filed 10-18-19; 8:45 am]

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