2020-18107. Air Plan Approval; Alabama: Air Quality Control, VOC Definition  

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    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


    Final rule.


    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is approving a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), in a letter dated February 27, 2020. The revision modifies the State's air quality regulations as incorporated into the SIP by changing the definition of “volatile organic compounds” (VOC) to be consistent with federal regulations. EPA is approving this SIP revision because the State has demonstrated that these changes are consistent with the Clean Air Act (CAA or Act).


    This rule is effective October 21, 2020.


    EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket Identification No. EPA-R04-OAR-2020-0170. All documents in the docket are listed on the www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in the index, some information may not be publicly available, i.e., Confidential Business Information or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket materials can either be retrieved electronically via www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air and Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. EPA requests that if at all possible, you contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to schedule your inspection. The Regional Office's official hours of business are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding Federal holidays.

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    Sarah LaRocca, Air Regulatory Management Section, Air Planning and Implementation Branch, Air and Radiation Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, 61 Forsyth Street SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960. Ms. LaRocca can be reached via telephone at (404) 562-8994 or via electronic mail at larocca.sarah@epa.gov.

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    I. Background

    Tropospheric ozone, commonly known as smog, occurs when VOC and nitrogen oxides (NOX) react in the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight. Because of the harmful health effects of ozone, EPA and state governments implement rules to limit the amount of certain VOC and NOX that can be released into the atmosphere. VOC have different levels of reactivity; they do not react at the same speed or do not form ozone to the same extent. Section 302(s) of the CAA specifies that EPA has the authority to define the meaning of “VOC,” and hence, what compounds shall be treated as VOC for regulatory purposes.

    EPA determines whether a given carbon compound has “negligible” reactivity by comparing the compound's reactivity to the reactivity of ethane. It is EPA's policy that compounds of carbon with negligible reactivity be excluded from the regulatory definition of VOC. See 42 FR 35314 (July 8, 1977), 70 FR 54046 (September 13, 2005). EPA lists these compounds in its regulations at 40 CFR 51.100(s) and excludes them from the definition of VOC. The chemicals on this list are often called “negligibly reactive.” EPA may periodically revise the list of negligibly reactive compounds to add or delete compounds.

    II. Analysis of State Submission

    EPA is approving the change to the Alabama SIP submitted by the State of Alabama through a letter dated February 27, 2020,[1] that revises the definition of “Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)” at subparagraph (gggg) of Rule 335-3-1-.02—“Definitions” by adding cis-1,1,1,4,4,4—hexafluorobut-2-ene (HFO-1336mzz-Z) to the list of organic compounds having negligible photochemical reactivity.[2] Alabama submitted this SIP revision in response to EPA adding cis-1,1,1,4,4,4-Start Printed Page 59193hexafluorobut-2-ene to the exclusion list at 40 CFR 51.100(s). See 83 FR 61127 (January 28, 2019). EPA finds that this change to the SIP will not interfere with attainment or maintenance of any national ambient air quality standard, reasonable further progress, or any other applicable requirement of the CAA, consistent with CAA section 110(l), because EPA has found this chemical to be negligibly reactive.

    In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) published on June 8, 2020 (85 FR 35035), EPA proposed to approve Alabama's SIP submission provided on February 27, 2020. The June 8, 2020, NPRM provides additional detail regarding the background and rationale for EPA's action. Comments on the June 8, 2020, NPRM were due on or before July 8, 2020. EPA received no comments on the June 8, 2020, NPRM.

    III. Incorporation by Reference

    In this rule, EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of Alabama Rule 335-3-1-.02—“Definitions,” Subparagraph (gggg)—“Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC),” state-effective April 13, 2020, to revise this definition by adding cis-1,1,1,4,4,4—hexafluorobut-2-ene (HFO-1336mzz-Z) to the list of organic compounds having negligible photochemical activity. EPA has made, and will continue to make, these materials generally available through www.regulations.gov and at the EPA Region 4 Office (please contact the person identified in the For Further Information Contact section of this preamble for more information). Therefore, these materials have been approved by EPA for inclusion in the State implementation plan, have been incorporated by reference by EPA into that plan, are fully federally enforceable under sections 110 and 113 of the CAA as of the effective date of the final rulemaking of EPA's approval, and will be incorporated by reference in the next update to the SIP compilation.[3]

    IV. Final Action

    EPA is approving Alabama's February 27, 2020, SIP submission, which revises the definition of “volatile organic compound” at subparagraph (gggg) of Rule 335-3-1-.02—“Definitions” by adding cis-1,1,1,4,4,4—hexafluorobut-2-ene (HFO-1336mzz-Z) to the list of organic compounds having negligible photochemical reactivity.

    V. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Under the CAA, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable Federal regulations. See 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 CAA. 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 Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);
    • Is not an Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 2, 2017) regulatory action because SIP approvals are exempted under Executive Order 12866;
    • 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 CAA; and
    • Does not provide 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).

    The SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the 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. 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 CAA, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by November 20, 2020. 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).

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    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
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    Dated: August 12, 2020.

    Mary Walker,

    Regional Administrator, Region 4.

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    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the EPA amends 40 CFR part 52 as follows:

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

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

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    Subpart B—Alabama

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    2. In § 52.50 amend the table in paragraph (c) by revising the entry for “Section 335-3-1-.02” under“Chapter No. 335-3-1 General Provision” to read as follows:

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    Identification of plan.
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    (c) * * *

    EPA-Approved Alabama Regulations

    State citationTitle/subjectState effective dateEPA approval dateExplanation
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    Chapter No. 335-3-1 General Provision
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    Section 335-3-1-.02Definitions4/13/20209/21/2020, [Insert citation of publication]
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    1.  EPA received Alabama's SIP revision on March 5, 2020.

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    2.  On February 27, 2020, Alabama submitted other SIP revisions which will be addressed in separate actions.

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    3.  See 62 FR 27968 (May 22, 1997).

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    [FR Doc. 2020-18107 Filed 9-18-20; 8:45 am]

    BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

Document Information

Effective Date:
Environmental Protection Agency
Final rule.
Document Number:
This rule is effective October 21, 2020.
59192-59194 (3 pages)
Docket Numbers:
EPA-R04-OAR-2020-0170, FRL-10013-41-Region 4
Air pollution control, Environmental protection, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Volatile organic compounds
PDF File:
Supporting Documents:
» SubmissionForm_ADEM_Post-Adoption_Submittal_February_2020_submit
» Cover Letter to EPA Post-Adoption February 2020
» ADEM Post adoption submittal adopted February 14 2020
CFR: (1)
40 CFR 52.50