Federal Register: December 29, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 249)
DOCID: FR Doc 05-24542
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Environmental Protection Agency
CFR Citation: 40 CFR Parts 52 and 81
EPA ID: [EPA-R05-OAR-2005-IN-0006; FRL-8015-7]
ACTION: Air quality implementation plans; approval and promulgation; various States; air quality planning purposes; designation of areas:
DOCUMENT ACTION: Final rule.
Determination of Attainment, Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans and Designation of Areas for Air Quality Planning Purposes; Indiana; Redesignation of the Evansville Area To Attainment of the 8-Hour Ozone Standard
DATES: This rule is effective on January 30, 2006.
EPA is determining that the Evansville 8-hour ozone
nonattainment area (Evansville area) has attained the 8hour ozone
National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). The Evansville area
includes Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties. EPA is approving a request
from the State of Indiana, submitted on June 2, 2005, to redesignate
the Evansville area from nonattainment to attainment for the 8hour
ozone NAAQS. EPA's approval of the redesignation request is based on
the determination that the Evansville area and the State of Indiana
have met the criteria for redesignation to attainment set forth in the
Clean Air Act (CAA), including the determination that the Evansville
area has attained the 8hour ozone standard. In conjunction with this
approval, EPA is approving the State's plan for maintaining the 8hour
ozone NAAQS in the Evansville area through 2015 as a revision to the
Indiana State Implementation Plan (SIP). EPA also finds as adequate and
approves the 2015 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and Nitrogen Oxides
In the following, whenever ``we,'' ``us,''
or ``our'' are used, we mean the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Table of Contents
I. What Is the Background for This Rule?
II. What Actions Are We Taking and When Are They Effective?
A. Determination of Attainment and Redesignation of the Evansville Area To Attainment of the 8Hour Ozone NAAQS
B. Approval of Indiana's Ozone Maintenance Plan for the Evansville Area
C. Approval and Finding of Adequacy of VOC and NO
D. Effective Date of These Actions
III. Why Are We Taking These Actions?
IV. What Are the Effects of These Actions?
V. What Comments Did We Receive and What Are Our Responses? VI. What Are Our Final Actions?
VII. Statutory and Executive Order Review
I. What Is the Background for This Rule?
EPA has determined that groundlevel ozone is detrimental to human
health. On July 18, 1997, the EPA promulgated an 8hour ozone NAAQS (62
FR 38856) of 0.08 parts per million parts of air (0.08 ppm). This
standard is violated in an area when any ozone monitor in the area
records an average of the annual fourthhighest daily maximum 8hour
ozone concentrations equaling or exceeding 0.085 ppm over a threeyear
period. Groundlevel ozone is not emitted directly by sources. Rather,
emitted VOC and NO
In accordance with section 107(d) of the CAA as amended in 1977, EPA designated the Evansville area (Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties) as an ozone nonattainment area for the 8hour ozone NAAQS based on ozone data collected in this area during the 20012003 period. The Federal Register notice making this designation was signed on April 15, 2004, and was published on April 30, 2004 (69 FR 23857).
The Clean Air Act contains two sets of provisionssubpart 1 and subpart 2that address planning and emission control requirements for nonattainment areas (both subparts are found in title I, part D of the CAA). Subpart 1 contains general, less prescriptive requirements for nonattainment areas governed by any NAAQS, and applies to all nonattainment areas. Subpart 2 contains more specific requirements for certain ozone nonattainment areas, and applies to ozone nonattainment areas classified under section 181 of the CAA.
In the April 30, 2004 ozone designation rulemaking, EPA divided 8
hour ozone nonattainment areas into the categories of subpart 1
nonattainment and subpart 2 nonattainment based on their 8hour ozone
design values (i.e., the threeyear average annual fourthhighest daily
maximum 8hour ozone concentrations at the worstcase ozone monitoring
sites in the designated areas) and their 1hour ozone design values
(i.e., the fourthhighest daily maximum 1hour ozone concentrations
over the threeyear period at the worstcase monitoring sites in the
designated areas).\1\ 8hour ozone nonattainment areas with 1hour
ozone design values equaling or exceeding 0.121 ppm were designated as
classified nonattainment areas (as nonattainment areas required to meet
the requirements of subpart 2 of the CAA). All other 8hour
nonattainment areas were designated as ``basic'' nonattainment areas subject only to the requirements of subpart 1 of the CAA.
\1\ The 1hour ozone standard, 0.12 ppm, has been replaced by the 8hour ozone standard, with the 1hour ozone standard being revoked on June 15, 2005.
In the April 30, 2004 designation rulemaking, the Evansville area was designated as nonattainment for the 8hour ozone standard, and was identified as a subpart 1 basic nonattainment area. This designation was based on ozone data collected in the Evansville area during the period of 20012003.
On June 2, 2005, the State of Indiana requested redesignation of the
Evansville area to attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS based on ozone data collected during the period of 20022004. This redesignation request also included a 10year ozone maintenance plan for the Evansville area and VOC and NO
On September 9, 2005, EPA published a proposed rule (70 FR 53605),
proposing to: (1) Determine that the Evansville area has attained the
8hour ozone NAAQS and to approve Indiana's request to redesignate the
Evansville area to attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS; (2) approve
Indiana's ozone maintenance plan for the Evansville area; and (3)
approve the 2015 VOC and NO
II. What Actions Are We Taking and When Are They Effective?
After consideration of the comments received in response to the
September 9, 2005 proposed rule, as described in section V below, and
the State's final adopted SIP revision and supporting material
(reviewed in detail in the September 9, 2005 proposed rule), we are taking the following actions:
A. Determination of Attainment and Redesignation of the Evansville Area To Attainment of the 8Hour Ozone NAAQS
In the September 9, 2005 proposed rule (70 FR 53605), EPA proposed
to determine that the Evansville area had attained the 8hour ozone
NAAQS and to approve Indiana's request to redesignate this area to
attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS. These proposed actions were based
on ozone data from the period of 20022004 and on the State's
demonstration that the criteria for redesignation to attainment, as
specified in section 107 of the Clean Air Act, had been satisfied. EPA
has reviewed the ambient monitoring data for ozone consistent with the
requirements contained in 40 CFR part 58 and recorded in EPA's
Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) for the Evansville area
for both the 20022004 ozone seasons and the 20032005 \2\ ozone
seasons. On the basis of this review, EPA has determined that the area
has attained the 8hour ozone standard. Review of the ozone data, the
State's submissions, and the public comments for and against the
redesignation (see section V below) lead us to the conclusion that: (1)
The Evansville ozone nonattainment area has attained the 8hour ozone
standard; and (2) the State of Indiana has met the criteria for
redesignation of the Evansville area to attainment of the 8hour ozone
NAAQS. Therefore, in this final rule, we are finalizing our
determination of attainment, and we are approving Indiana's request for
redesignation of the Evansville area to attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS.
\2\ The 2005 ozone data have not been entered into AIRS, but have been quality assured by the State. The State has submitted a summary of the peak 2005 8hour ozone concentrations at the request of the EPA to respond to public comments addressed in this final rule.
The State must continue to operate an appropriate ozone monitoring
network, in accordance with 40 CFR part 58, to verify the attainment
status of the Evansville area. The air quality data relied on to
determine that the area continues to attain the ozone NAAQS must be
consistent with 40 CFR part 58 requirements and other relevant EPA guidance and must be recorded in EPA's AIRS.
B. Approval of Indiana's Ozone Maintenance Plan for the Evansville Area
EPA is approving Indiana's plan for maintaining the 8hour ozone NAAQS in the Evansville area through 2015 as a revision to the Indiana SIP. The maintenance plan meets the requirements of sections 175A and 107(d) of the Clean Air Act. The adopted maintenance plan contains triggering mechanisms and contingency measures designed to promptly correct (or prevent) a violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS occurring after redesignation of the Evansville area to attainment of the NAAQS. Section 175A of the Clean Air Act requires that a maintenance plan include such contingency measures as EPA deems necessary to assure that the State will promptly correct a violation of the NAAQS that occurs after redesignation.
The contingency measures listed in the adopted maintenance plan include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Lower Reid vapor pressure gasoline requirements; \3\ \3\ Prior to implementing lower Reid vapor pressure gasoline requirements, the State of Indiana would have to be granted a waiver to address preemption requirements under section 211(c)(4)(C) of the Clean Air Act.
2. Broader geographic applicability of existing emission control measures;
3. Tightened Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) requirements on existing sources covered by EPA Control Technique Guidelines (CTGs) issued in response to the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments;
4. Application of RACT to smaller existing sources;
5. Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M);
6. One or more Transportation Control Measures (TCM) sufficient to achieve at least a 0.5 percent reduction in actual areawide VOC emissions;
7. Alternative fuel and diesel retrofit programs for fleet vehicle operations;
8. Controls on consumer products consistent with those adopted elsewhere in the United States;
9. VOC and NO
10. Increased ratio of the emission offset required for new sources; and,
11. VOC and NO
Consideration and selection of one or more of the contingency
measures will take place when a twoyear average annual fourthhigh
monitored daily peak 8hour ozone concentration of 0.085 ppm or a
violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS \4\ is recorded at any monitor in
the Evansville area after the redesignation of the Evansville area to
attainment of the ozone NAAQS. The selected contingency measures will
be adopted and implemented within 18 months after the close of the
ozone season with the ozone data that trigger the need for the implementation of the contingency measure(s).
\4\ On October 20, 2005, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management submitted a letter verifying the State's intent to implement an ``Action Level Response'' and the triggering of a requirement to select and implement contingency measures in the event of a violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS in several areas, including Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties.
The maintenance plan estimates emissions through 2015, ten years
after the year in which the State anticipated that EPA would complete
rulemaking on the State's ozone redesignation request, as required by
section 175A of the Clean Air Act. These VOC and NO
demonstrate continued maintenance of the 8hour ozone standard through 2015. The latest available emissions information was used to project the emissions. The mobile source emissions estimates were developed using the MOBILE6 emission factor model. The State has committed to update the maintenance plan and maintenance demonstration eight years after the redesignation of the Evansville area to attainment of the 8 hour ozone NAAQS to demonstrate maintenance of the standard for an additional ten years, through 2025.
C. Approval and Finding of Adequacy of VOC and NO
EPA finds as adequate and approves the 2015 MVEBs of 4.20 tons per
day for VOC and 5.40 tons per day for NO
demonstrations, as detailed in our September 9, 2005 proposed rule, upon the effective date of this rule. The newer MVEBs, which are being approved as part of the 8hour ozone maintenance plan, are consistent with the goals of section 110(l) of the Clean Air Act because they set a tighter cap on mobile source VOC and NO
Subsequent to the effective date of this rule, the State of Indiana
and local planning agencies in the Evansville area will have to use the 2015 MVEBs in all transportation conformity analyses and
D. Effective Date of These Actions
These actions will become effective 30 days after today's publication of this final rule in the Federal Register.
III. Why Are We Taking These Actions?
EPA has determined that the Evansville area has attained the 8hour ozone standard. EPA has determined that the State of Indiana has demonstrated that all other criteria for the redesignation of the Evansville area from nonattainment to attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS have been met. EPA is fully approving the ozone maintenance plan for the Evansville area as meeting the requirements of sections 175A and 107(d) of the Clean Air Act.
In the September 9, 2005 proposed rule at 70 FR 53606, EPA described the applicable criteria for redesignation to attainment. Specifically, section 107(d)(3)(E) of the Clean Air Act allows for redesignation provided that: (1) The Administrator determines that the area has attained the applicable NAAQS; (2) the Administrator has fully approved the applicable implementation plan for the area under section 110(k) of the Clean Air Act; (3) the Administrator determines that the improvement in air quality is due to permanent and enforceable reductions in emissions resulting from the implementation of the applicable state implementation plan, applicable Federal air pollution control regulations, and other permanent and enforceable emission reductions; (4) the Administrator has fully approved a maintenance plan for the area as meeting the requirements of section 175A of the Clean Air Act; and, (5) the state containing such area has met all requirements applicable to the area under section 110 and part D of the Clean Air Act.
EPA has determined that the Evansville area has attained the 8hour ozone NAAQS. EPA has approved all requirements in the Indiana SIP applicable to the Evansville area under section 110(k) of the Clean Air Act for purposes of redesignation. EPA has determined that the improvement in ozone air quality in the Evansville area is due to permanent and enforceable emission reductions resulting from the implementation of the Indiana SIP, applicable Federal air pollution control regulations, and other permanent and enforceable emission reductions. EPA is fully approving an ozone maintenance plan for the Evansville area meeting the requirements of section 175A of the Clean Air Act. Finally, EPA concludes that the State of Indiana has met all requirements applicable to the Evansville area under section 110 and part D of the Clean Air Act for purposes of redesignation. Therefore, EPA concludes that the State of Indiana and the Evansville area have met all requirements applicable to the Evansville area for purposes of redesignation to attainment of the 8hour ozone NAAQS under section 107 of the Clean Air Act.
By finding that the ozone maintenance plan provides for maintenance
of the 8hour ozone NAAQS through 2015, EPA is hereby finding adequate
and approving the 2015 VOC and NO
The rationale for these findings and actions is stated in this rulemaking and in more detail in the September 9, 2005 proposed rule, found at 70 FR 53605.
IV. What Are the Effects of These Actions?
Approval of the Indiana redesignation request changes the official
designation for the 8hour ozone NAAQS found at 40 CFR part 81 for
Vanderburgh and Warrick Counties, Indiana from nonattainment to
attainment. It also incorporates into the Indiana SIP a plan for
maintaining the 8hour ozone NAAQS through 2015. The maintenance plan
includes contingency measures to remedy any future violation or
threatened violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS in the Evansville area,
and includes VOC and NO
V. What Comments Did We Receive and What Are Our Responses?
We received comments from eight individuals and organizations
responding to the September 9, 2005 proposed rule. Six of the
commenters submitted comments critical of various portions of the
proposed rule. One of the critical commenters included a petition
signed by 125 individuals asserting that the Evansville area has an air
quality problem requiring cleanup by the State and opposing a State
lawsuit against the EPA.\5\ One commenter, the Vanderburgh County Ozone
Officer, supported the proposed rule, and provided additional data and
analyses to support the proposed rule. Another commenter supported the
proposed rule. A summary of the comments and EPA's responses to them are provided below.
\5\ The nature of the State lawsuit against the EPA is not defined in the signed petition.
Comment 1: Air Quality in 2005 Shows That the Evansville Area Continues To Have an Ozone Problem
A number of commenters have expressed the concern that the current
air quality in the Evansville area does not warrant redesignation to
attainment of the 8hour ozone standard. These commenters focused
primarily on the following: (1) A number of ozone alerts \6\ [[Page 77029]]
were issued for southwestern Indiana during the summer of 2005; (2) certain days in 2005 had high ozone concentrations but lacked ozone alerts; (3) high levels of fine particulates (PM
\6\ Ozone alerts are issued based on monitored ozone
concentrations approaching or exceeding the standard and forecasted meteorology favoring the formation of high ozone concentrations. Ozone alerts are intended to alert the public to the potential for high ozone concentrations. Ozone alerts are not necessarily associated with ozone standard exceedances. Some ozone standard exceedances simply fail to develop as forecasted. In addition, as the result of the ozone action alerts, some companies and
individuals change operations or activities, lowering emissions, and possibly averting ozone standard exceedances.
\7\ Particulate matter with nominal aerodynamic diameters of 2.5 micrometers or less.
In addition, one commenter, Joanne M. Alexandrovich, Ph.D.,
Vanderburgh County Department of Public Health's Ozone Officer,
expressed support for EPA's redesignation proposal. In so doing, she
provided 2005 ozone data for Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick Counties
showing that the Evansville area continues to meet the 8hour ozone standard. This includes data containing peak 8hour ozone
concentrations for each monitoring site in the area for 2005 and three year ozone design values for each monitoring site for the period of 20032005. Dr. Alexandrovich also presented ozone concentration trends data for each of the monitoring sites for the period of 19952005 to demonstrate a robust downward trend in ozone design values at all monitoring sites in the area, including at the Yankeetown site (the site on the property of Alcoa, Incorporated (Alcoa), see Comment/ Response 2 below) and at other sites in Warrick County, where the worstcase ozone monitors in the area are located.
Dr. Alexandrovich notes that there were four exceedance days in the vicinity of the Evansville area in 2005 (three in the Evansville area and one in Posey County) and that the exceedances were recorded at several sites, with only one site (Boonville High School in Warrick County) recording exceedances on two days, and with no sites recording exceedances on three or more days. This shows that the fourthhigh daily peak 8hour ozone concentrations at all monitors in the area in 2005 were below 0.085 ppm (a monitored exceedance level cutoff). Finally, Dr. Alexandrovich provided information regarding the dates of ozone alerts and high ozone concentrations in 2005. These data show that ozone alerts were issued on eight days in 2005, with only two of the alert days actually having exceedances of the 8hour ozone standard. Two days without ozone alerts also had ozone standard exceedances, one in the Evansville area and the other in Posey County. Most ozone alert days had relatively high peak ozone concentrations, but had peak ozone concentrations which failed to reach ozone standard exceedance levels.
In determining whether the 8hour ozone standard is met, the 8hour
ozone standard requires the use of the three most recent, consecutive
calendar years of monitoring data. 40 CFR 50.10, appendix I, parts 2.2
and 2.3. Thus, EPA has determined that the Evansville area has attained
the 8hour ozone standard based on the data for the period of 2002
2004. EPA has also reviewed quality assured data for 2005 provided by
the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), and has
determined that they show that the Evansville area continued to attain
the 8hour ozone standard through 2005. The quality assured peak ozone
concentrations for 2005 are summarized in Table 1 by monitoring site as submitted by the State.
Table 1.Peak 2005 8Hour Ozone Concentrations in the Evansville Area in Concentrations of PPM First Second Third Fourth Site County High High High High EvansvilleMill Road................. Vanderburgh............. 0.090 0.081 0.081 0.080 Scott SchoolInglefield.............. Vanderburgh............. 0.058 0.057 0.057 0.056 Booneville High School................ Warrick................. 0.096 0.085 0.081 0.080 Dayville.............................. Warrick................. 0.083 0.078 0.077 0.077 Tecumseh High SchoolLynnville....... Warrick................. 0.082 0.078 0.077 0.076
Although a number of ozone alerts were issued for Southwestern
Indiana during the summer of 2005, quality assured data supplied by the
State show that no monitors recorded fourthhigh ozone concentrations
above the 8hour ozone standard. In addition, the 20032005 ozone
design values for all monitors in the Evansville area were below the
ozone standard violation cutoff level (below 0.085 ppm). Table 2
documents the 20032005 ozone design values by monitoring site in the vicinity of Evansville.
Table 2.8Hour Ozone Design Values in the Evansville Area in Concentrations of PPM for 20032005 \1\
Ozone Monitoring Site County Design Value EvansvilleMill Road............... Vanderburgh........... 0.077 Scott SchoolInglefield............ Vanderburgh........... 0.063 Boonville High School............... Warrick............... 0.076 Tecumseh High SchoolLynnville..... Warrick............... 0.073 \1\ Ozone was also monitored at the YankeetownAlcoa and Dayville monitoring sites (both in Warrick County) during the period of 2003 2005. Ozone was monitored during 2003 and 2004 at the Yankeetown site, with an average fourthhigh 8hour daily maximum ozone concentration of 0.078 ppm. Ozone was monitored during 2005 at the Dayville site, with a fourthhigh 8hour daily maximum ozone concentration of 0.077 ppm.
These data show that no violations of the 8hour ozone standard
were monitored in the Evansville area even when 2005 ozone data are
considered. This is true despite the commenters' observation that a number of ozone
alerts were issued in 2005 for this area. In addition, as noted by one of the commenters, ozone alerts were issued on eight days, but only two of these alert days had monitored exceedances of the ozone standard. On only two days lacking ozone alerts were ozone standard exceedances monitored (only one of these was in the Evansville area, with the other in Posey County, outside of the ozone nonattainment area \8\). Only one monitoring site, Boonville High School, recorded multiple days of ozone standard exceedances in 2005, but did not record a violation of the 8 hour ozone standard during the period of 20032005. No monitors in the Evansville area have recorded violations of the 8hour ozone NAAQS based on the three most recent years of quality assured monitoring data.\9\
\8\ Even though 8hour ozone standard exceedances have been monitored in Posey County, this County is not in violation of the 8 hour ozone standard.
\9\ Occasional exceedances of the standard are allowed at any monitor without a violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS occurring. As long as the average annual fourthhigh daily maximum 8hour ozone concentrations at all relevant ozone monitoring sites in an area remain at or below 0.084 ppm for the most recent threeyear period, the area is not violating the 8hour ozone NAAQS. With multiple monitoring sites in an area, multiple exceedance days (exceedance of the standard anywhere in the monitoring system) may occur during any period without a violation of the ozone NAAQS actually occurring. That was the case for the Evansville area for 2005 and for the period of 20032005. Despite three exceedance days, the area continued to attain the standard, the relevant criterion for our determination of attainment and one of the criteria for
redesignation to attainment.
A number of states and local area governments, including Indiana and Evansville, have chosen to activate ozone alerts when ozone concentrations are thought to be approaching the ozone standard and meteorological conditions are forecasted to be favorable for the formation of high ozone levels. Besides alerting the public to the potential for high ozone concentrations and to the potential for the need to change outdoor activities to avoid exposure to these high ozone levels, the ozone alerts also inform owners of ozone precursor emitting sources and the public that operations and activities should be altered if possible to mitigate the ozone precursor emissions. This reduces the potential for high ozone concentrations, and helps avoid violations of the ozone NAAQS. Therefore, even though ozone action alerts were issued on a number of days in 2005, this is not an indication of a violation of the ozone standard, as demonstrated by the 20032005 ozone data for the Evansville area. The quality assured monitoring data for 20022004 show that the Evansville area attained the 8hour ozone standard, and the quality assured 20032005 ozone data show that the area continues to attain the ozone standard. EPA is correct in determining that the Evansville area has attained the ozone standard, thus satisfying the criterion for redesignation pursuant to section 107(d)(3)(E)(i) of the Clean Air Act.
The 8hour ozone design values submitted by Dr. Alexandrovich also
show that ozone air quality has improved in the Evansville area. Ozone
design values for all sites for the period of 19952005 show a
significant downward trend, as noted by the commenter. The areawide
ozone design value for 20022004 was 0.083 ppm and the areawide ozone
design value for 20032005, based on the average of the fourthhighest
daily maximum 8hour ozone concentrations for this period, was 0.077
ppm. The data show several aspects of special note. All sites in the
Evansville area exhibit essentially the same downward trend in ozone
design values. This shows that an ozone problem has not simply shifted
from one monitor site/area to another. In addition, the similar trends
in ozone design values show that the peak ozone concentrations are
reacting to common effects, including longterm downward trends in
regional ozone precursor emissions. An increase in the downward trend
of the ozone design values in the period of 20032005 at all monitoring
sites implies that the decrease in regional NO
To demonstrate the downward trend in ozone design values, Table 3
summarizes ozone design values by monitoring site for the most recent
three threeyear periods taken from the quality assured ozone data supplied by the State.
Table 3.8Hour Ozone Design Values for Periods of 20012003, 2002 2004, and 20032005 in Concentrations of PPM
Monitoring Site 20012003 20022004 20032005 EvansvilleMill Road............ 0.083 0.082 0.077 Scott SchoolInglefield......... 0.077 0.073 0.063 AlcoaYankeetown................ 0.085 0.083 NA Dayville......................... NA NA \1\ 0.077 Boonville........................ 0.081 0.080 0.076 Tecumseh High School............. 0.081 0.078 0.073 \1\ The Dayville site is only several miles from the discontinued Alcoa Yankeetown site and is a replacement for the Alcoa monitor. The ozone design value given here is the fourthhigh daily maximum 8hour ozone concentration for 2005, the only year of monitoring data currently available for this monitoring site.
With regard to the claims of high PM
The comment concerned with the ending of monitoring in the
Evansville area upon redesignation to attainment of the ozone NAAQS is
wrong for several reasons. First, and most importantly, the State of
Indiana has committed to continuing ozone monitoring in this area. See
70 FR 53613 (September 9, 2005). Second, the ozone maintenance plan
requires and depends on continued ozone monitoring during the lifetime
of the maintenance plan. Note that the ozone maintenance plan contains
action triggers directly tied to ozone monitoring. Under the approved [[Page 77031]]
maintenance plan, ozone levels will be tracked and certain corrective actions or further analyses will be triggered if monitored ozone concentrations reach specified levels. To implement the ozone maintenance plan, the State must continue ozone monitoring in the Evansville area.
With regard to haze and gray skies in southern Indiana, this issue
also is not relevant to a redesignation of the area for the ozone
standard, where the area has been shown to be attaining the 8hour
ozone standard. A number of pollutant sources lead to the formation of
fine particulates, which can contribute to haze levels. Since the
Evansville area is a nonattainment area for fine particulates, the
State of Indiana is expected to assess the sources of the emissions
leading to these fine particulates and to develop strategies and
emission control regulations leading to attainment of the fine
particulates standards. In doing so, the State's actions should also
lead to reductions in haze levels and to cleaner skies. In addition,
regional emission reductions achieved through EPA's NO
With regard to the claim that the State and the City of Evansville
failed to issue an ozone alert when it would have been warranted, the
record of ozone alerts provided by Dr. Alexandrovich shows more
overpredictions of high ozone levels than underpredictions (more issued
ozone alerts on days with no ozone standard exceedances than failures
to issue ozone alerts on days with ozone standard exceedances). This
claim is also irrelevant to a redesignation action, which is based on
demonstrated attainment of the standard. There is no evidence to
support the claim that actions with respect to prior ozone alerts call
the maintenance plan into question. The maintenance plan contains
corrective actions that will occur if high ozone levels are monitored,
and does not conflict with or depend upon the State's plans for issuing
ozone alerts in the future. The fact that there were ozone alerts also
does not indicate that the area violated the ozone standard. The ozone
maintenance plan is designed to provide corrective actions if high
ozone levels or violation of the standard occur after redesignation of
the area to attainment of the NAAQS. The maintenance plan's contingency
measures are triggered by monitored ozone levels. The triggering of the
contingency measures in no way depends on the forecasting of high ozone
concentrations. Therefore, the issuing of ozone alerts is in no way
connected to the implementation of the ozone maintenance plan. The
maintenance plan relies on monitored ozone data and not on forecasted
concentrations. Regardless of the status of the ozone alert efforts,
the relevant issue for redesignation is that the Evansville area has
attained the 8hour ozone NAAQS and has an approved plan for maintaining the ozone standard.
Comment 2: The Critical Ozone Monitor at the Alcoa, Incorporated Site Is No Longer Operating, Resulting in the Loss of Data That Would Have Been a Violation of the Ozone Standard in 2005
A commenter notes that Alcoa, Incorporated (Alcoa) had sought the ozone redesignation while, at the same time, asking that the ozone monitor on its property be terminated and/or relocated to another site. This is a particular concern to the commenter since the Alcoa monitor (which was shut down in October 2004) was the monitor that had recorded the ozone standard violation on which the 2004 Evansville area ozone nonattainment designation had been based. The commenter believes that, had the monitor been left on the Alcoa property, it would likely have continued to show a violation of the ozone NAAQS during the summer of 2005. This commenter also suggests that this redesignation request was originated by Alcoa. Finally, the commenter believes that EPA and the State are taking the approach of ``no data, no problem.''
The Alcoa (Yankeetown) monitor operated through the end of the 2004 ozone season. Data from the Alcoa monitor were considered both in designating the Evansville area as nonattainment based on 20012003 data and in EPA's determination that the area attained the 8hour ozone standard based on 20022004 data. The State considered this monitor to represent ambient air and requested Alcoa to quality assure the data from this site, meeting State monitoring standards, so that these data could be considered to be on par with the ozone data from other monitors in the Evansville area and in the State. Alcoa disagreed with the State, arguing that this monitor does not represent ambient air. Alcoa objected to and challenged the designation of the Evansville area as an 8hour ozone nonattainment area based on the ozone monitoring at the Alcoa site. Alcoa terminated the monitor at the end of the 2004 ozone season and the State located a new ozone monitor very close to the Alcoa site, but off the premises of Alcoa. This new monitor, the Dayville site, was operated in 2005.
Prior to the establishment of the Dayville ozone monitoring site,
EPA was given the opportunity to review the characteristics of the
Dayville site relative to the characteristics of the Alcoa site. The
proximity of the two monitoring sites and the similarity of the
emissions near the monitoring sites (particularly the similarity and
spatial distribution of NO
The ozone trends data provided by Dr. Alexandrovich, as discussed in Comment/Response 1, indicate that the Dayville monitoring data may be generally considered in conjunction with the Alcoa data to assess the longterm trend in the 8hour ozone data for this area. The Alcoa/ Dayville ozone data show an ozone trend very similar to the ozone trends for other monitors in the Evansville region. The 2005 data for Dayville fit well with the prior data for the Alcoa site to produce an ozone trend that matches those from other longterm sites in the area. If the Dayville site was significantly different in local emission characteristics and ozone response relative to the Alcoa site, one might expect the shortterm ozone trend (20042005) for this site pair to be significantly different from the ozone trends for the longterm sites. This is not the case. Based on this observation and considering the close proximity and similarities of the Alcoa and Dayville monitoring sites and the fact that the Dayville monitor recorded a fourthhigh daily maximum 8hour ozone concentration of 0.077 ppm in 2005, we see no basis to assume or to speculate that the Alcoa site would have recorded a violation of the 8hour ozone standard based on 20032005 ozone data. Therefore, we disagree with the commenters on this point.
EPA can base its determination on whether the standard has been met
only on available ozone monitoring data and not on speculation. There
is no evidence that air quality at the Alcoa monitor would have
violated the 8hour ozone standard in 2005. On the contrary, the data
show no violation of the ozone standard during the period of 20022004
for the Alcoa monitor, and no exceedances of the 8hour ozone standard
at the replacement Dayville monitor in 2005. If anything, the available
data indicate that the Alcoa site would not have violated the 8hour
ozone standard in 2005. At minimum, we cannot conclude that a violation of
the 8hour ozone standard would have been recorded at the Alcoa monitor in 2005. The termination of the Alcoa monitor and its replacement by the Dayville monitor do not affect the eligibility of the Evansville area to qualify for redesignation. The available ozone data support this redesignation, and the State has demonstrated that the area has attained the 8hour ozone NAAQS.
While EPA acknowledges that Alcoa chose to discontinue monitoring on its property, it is the State of Indianaand not Alcoathat developed, adopted, and submitted the ozone redesignation request. As discussed above, EPA believes that the new, nearby ozone monitor at Dayville provides ozone data equivalent those produced by the Alcoa Yankeetown monitor.
The State is not exhibiting an attitude of ``no data, no problem,'' and has replaced the terminated Alcoa monitoring site with the Dayville monitoring site. The State has supported the original 8hour ozone nonattainment designation for Warrick County (the county in which the Alcoa site was located), and has supported maintaining an ozone monitor in this area, recognizing that this area has a potential for relatively high ozone concentrations. This is why the Dayville ozone monitoring site was selected and implemented.
EPA is not taking the approach of ``no data, no problem.'' First, EPA (along with the State) considered the data from the Alcoa site in both its original ozone designation of the area and in determining that the area subsequently attained the 8hour ozone standard. Second, EPA has routinely required states to operate and maintain adequate ozone monitoring networks to record ozone concentrations and to maintain such networks after redesignation to assure maintenance of the standard. EPA's guidance provides that an area's maintenance plan should contain provisions for continued operation of air quality monitors to verify continued attainment, and that the state should continue to operate an appropriate air quality monitoring network in accordance with 40 CFR part 58. Memorandum of John Calcagni, ``Procedures for Processing Requests to Redesignate Areas to Attainment,'' September 4, 1992. The State has committed to continue operating an appropriate monitoring network in the Evansville area. IDEM has committed to continue operating and maintaining an approved ozone monitoring network in accordance with 40 CFR part 58 through the 10year maintenance period. Comment 3: High Ozone Concentrations Have Been Monitored in Downwind Perry County, and This Monitoring Site Should Be Considered in This Ozone Redesignation Review as Part of the Evansville Area
Several commenters expressed concerns about high ozone concentrations monitored at the Leopold monitor in Perry County. The commenters believe that during the first two years that the Leopold monitor was operated, it showed exceedances of the 1hour ozone standard. Because the monitor was removed before it collected three years of ozone data, the data for this monitoring site were not used to designate Perry County as nonattainment for the 1hour ozone standard. The monitor has been replaced, although at a different site, and the new monitor has recorded exceedances of the 8hour ozone standard, but has not collected three years of data showing a violation of the 8hour ozone NAAQS. The commenters believe that the Leopold monitoring site should be considered to be part of the Evansville area, and that the Leopold data should be considered in EPA's determination of the ozone attainment status for the Evansville area. One of these commenters wants a commitment from the EPA that the Leopold monitor will become part of the Evansville ozone monitoring network, and that such action will be considered as part of the ozone maintenance plan addressed in EPA's final rule on Indiana's ozone redesignation request.
Dr. Alexandrovich, the Vanderburgh County Ozone Officer, notes that
an ozone monitor was operated in Perry County from 1998 through 2001,
Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS) site 181230008.
Although ozone levels were elevated at this site, no exceedances of the
1hour ozone standard were monitored at this site through the 2001
ozone season. After the 2001 ozone season (AprilSeptember in Indiana),
this monitoring site was shut down. In 2004, a new monitoring site was
established at Leopold, AIRS site 181230009. In 2005, this monitor
recorded exceedances of the 8hour ozone standard on four days.\10\
Analyses of wind speeds and directions by hour (transport analyses) for
the high ozone days in 2005 show that the Evansville area was not a
likely source area for the ozone standard exceedances on three of the four days.
\10\ No exceedance of the 8hour ozone standard was monitored at this site in 2004. The average fourthhigh daily maximum 8hour ozone concentration for this site is 0.082 ppm for the period of 20042005 based on quality assured data supplied by the State. Response 3
The Leopold monitoring site should not be considered to be part of the Evansville area. The boundary of the Evansville nonattainment area was set in EPA's designation rulemaking of April 30, 2004, and EPA is not revisiting that rulemaking in this final rule. In its designation rulemaking, EPA evaluated the boundary of the Evansville nonattainment area in accordance with the statute, EPA guidance, and the criteria that EPA applied nationally, and we considered all relevant factors. See 69 FR 23858. Perry County, located to the east and separated from the Evansville area by Spencer County, is designated as attainment for the 8hour ozone standard. See 40 CFR 81.315. There is no showing that Perry County is monitoring a violation of the 8hour ozone standard. There is, thus, no possibility of showing that the Evansville area is contributing to a violation of the ozone standard in Perry County.
As noted by Dr. Alexandrovich, wind speed and direction analyses for high ozone days in 2005 indicate that the Evansville area emissions may be impacting the Leopold monitoring site on only one out of four exceedance days during 2005 at this site. Areas south and east of the Leopold monitor (and not west in the direction of the Evansville area) appear to be the primary emission source areas that may be affecting Perry County on three of the four exceedance days. These data show that the Evansville area cannot be held responsible for the majority of the days on which there are high levels of ozone at the Leopold monitoring site. It appears that a number of other ozone precursor source areas in Indiana, Kentucky, and other upwind areas may be affecting ozone concentrations in Perry County.
For all of these reasons, we disagree with the commenters' assertions that Perry County should be part of the Evansville area and that the Leopold monitoring data should change EPA's decisions on the attainment and maintenance status of the Evansville area.
The 1hour ozone concentrations monitored in Perry County have no
bearing on our decision regarding the attainment status of the
Evansville area for the 8hour ozone NAAQS. We are not considering 1
hour ozone concentrations in any decision regarding 8hour ozone redesignations. In addition, as of June 15, 2005, the 1
hour ozone NAAQS was revoked and no longer exists.
There is no showing that Perry County and the other Counties cited
by the commenters are monitoring violations of the 8hour ozone
standard. Therefore, neither EPA nor the State is failing to disclose a
current violation of the standard in this area. Monitored air quality
data for Perry County are available to the public through AIRS or
through the State's data system and air quality data summaries. In
addition, it should be noted that the adequacy of monitoring in areas
which are outside of the Evansville area, and which have not been shown
to affect the determination of attainment in the Evansville area, is not relevant to this rulemaking.
Comment 4: There Was Unusually Cool Meteorology in 2003 and 2004 That Led to Abnormally Low Peak Ozone Concentrations
Several commenters have asserted that the Evansville area experienced unusually cool weather in 2003 and 2004, and that EPA should consequently reject the State's redesignation request. A commenter further states that redesignation guidance issued by the EPA in September 1992 is clear in requiring that a redesignation to attainment must not be a result of ``unusual meteorology.'' On the other hand, 2002 data show clear exceedances of the 8hour ozone standard. This commenter also believes that the summer of 2005 clearly shows that, under the right conditions, the Evansville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) will continue to exceed the 8hour ozone standard.
Another commenter, Dr. Alexandrovich, notes that meteorological statistics indicate that over the last 10 years, with a few exceptions, the weather in the Evansville area was within normal ranges. The commenter presents data on the departure of daily average temperatures from normal daily temperature averages, the departure of monthly average temperatures from normal monthly average temperatures, and the departure of monthly precipitation levels from normal monthly precipitation levels for the April through September periods of 1995 through 2005 to support conclusions regarding whether 2003 and 2004 were atypical years unusually favorable to lower peak ozone concentrations. The commenter also documents the ozone standard exceedance days with respect to departures of daily average temperatures from normal daily average temperatures. The data, in the accumulative, indicate that: (1) The weather in 2003 and 2004 was not atypically colder or drier/wetter than the weather during the ozone seasons in other years during the period of 19952005; (2) ozone standard exceedance days were not limited to days with atypically high temperatures; and (3) ozone exceedance trends (in number of exceedance days per year) were not associated with yeartoyear trends in peak daily temperatures or precipitation. In other words, meteorological trends or deviations from normal meteorological conditions cannot explain the observed trends in peak ozone concentrations. This leaves one to conclude that the downward trend in peak ozone concentrations in the Evansville area is due to emission decreases in this area or in the surrounding region.
As part of the State's ozone redesignation request, the State
documented a temperature analysis conducted to show that unusually
favorable meteorology was not responsible for the observed air quality
improvement. In this analysis, the State considered temperatures during
the ozoneconducive months of May through September for the period of
19712000 versus the same months during the attainment period, 2002
2004. Temperature data were reviewed for a number of weather stations,
including Indiana weather stations at: Bloomfield; Boonville; Dubois;
Freelandville; Huntingburg; Mount Vernon; Shoals; Saint Meinrad; and
Washington, along with temperature data supplied by the Evansville
National Weather Service office. The temperature data were used to
calculate the monthly average number of 90 degree days \11\ during the
period of 19951999. Temperature data were also used to determine the
monthly normal maximum temperatures for the summer months for the
period of 19712004. Monthly maximum temperatures were compared by
month for various years for 1996 through 2004. Based on these analyses,
it was concluded that the temperatures during the 2002 summer months of
May, June, July, August, and September, were 1 to 2 percent higher than
the longterm monthly norms, while the monthly maximum temperatures
during the 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004 summer months were 1
to 5 percent lower than the longterm averages. On average, the monthly
maximum temperatures in the summer months of 2003 and 2004 were 3
percent and 2 percent below the longterm averages, respectively,
whereas, on average, the monthly maximum temperatures in 2002 were 2
percent higher than the longterm averages. It should be noted that
monthly maximum temperature ranges (when compared to the longterm
monthly average maximum temperatures) were essentially identical
between the 20012003 period used to designate the Evansville area as
nonattainment for the 8hour ozone NAAQS and the 20022004 attainment
period. This is one indicator that temperature differences between
various years were not the key factor in the observed air quality improvement.
\11\ Days with peak temperatures equal to or greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit at any of the meteorological monitoring sites considered.
The State also compared the number of 90 degree days during the summer months for each year during the period of 19952004 to the ``normal'' number of such days (the average for all years in this period) for the Evansville Regional Airport. The State compared these data to the number of 8hour ozone standard exceedance days for each year. These data point to 2002 as being an abnormally warm summer, having a higher than average number of ozone standard exceedance days, whereas 2003 and 2004 were below average in warm summer days, but with numbers of ozone standard exceedance days more indicative of the averages during the period of 20002004, excluding 2002. The State concludes from these data that a greater number of ozone exceedance days per year correlates with a greater number of 90 degree days per year. This analysis supports a connection between meteorology and the number of ozone standard exceedance days per year, but does not support or address the case that 2003 and 2004 were atypically cool years. The State does conclude that, based on longterm trends, the annual number of 8hour ozone standard exceedance days shows a greater downward trend than the annual number of 90 degree days. That is, the local summer climate is cooling, but the ozone air quality is improving at a faster rate, implying that emission decreases are responsible for the air quality improvement rather than the longterm change in meteorology.
To further consider this issue, we refer to the temperature and
precipitation analyses documented by Dr. Alexandrovich (other
commenters made assertions without providing supporting data). This
commenter analyzed the ozone season departure of daily average
temperatures from normal and the longterm daily average temperatures for each year during the
period of 19962005. This analysis also indicated the departures of daily average temperatures on 8hour ozone standard exceedance days during this period. Considering temperature variations throughout the ozone seasons, the commenter concluded that 2003, 2004, and 2005 were not atypically colder during the ozone season than other years in the 19962005 period. No years showed departures of daily average temperatures outside of the typical meteorological variability range. Additionally, the commenter concluded that ozone standard exceedances occurred on days with both above and below average daily peak temperatures, but do preferentially occur over periods of increasing temperatures, reflecting the influence of warming air masses on increasing ozone levels.
Dr. Alexandrovich also analyzed the departures of average monthly temperatures and precipitation levels from normal levels during the ozone seasons for the period of 19952005 along with the annual number of 8hour ozone standard exceedance days for this period. This analysis failed to show any connection between monthly average temperatures and monthly precipitation and the annual number of ozone standard exceedance days. This commenter concludes that the weather over the last 10 years in the Evansville area was within normal ranges and no ``unusually favorable meteorology'' influenced the downward trend in peak ozone levels (towards cleaner air).
Given the data supplied by the State and Dr. Alexandrovich and the
lack of data countering their conclusions, we see no support for the
commenter's claim that the improvement in ozone air quality was due to
unusually favorable meteorology. See the John Calcagni memorandum at 4.
We agree that meteorology does influence peak ozone concentrations, but
we see greater evidence in this case that emission reductions, both
local and, more significantly, regional, were responsible for the
reduction in peak ozone concentrations leading to attainment of the 8
hour ozone NAAQS. See our response to Comment 10 below. Therefore, we
disagree with the commenters that unusually favorable meteorology led to attainment of the ozone NAAQS.
Comment 5: The Maintenance Plan Failed To Address Surrounding Counties, and Emission Increases in These Surrounding Areas and in the Evansville Area Will Threaten Maintenance of the Ozone Standard
A commenter questions why the maintenance plan did not include the surrounding counties in the Evansville MSA and why the surrounding counties were not included in the original ozone nonattainment area.
A commenter asserts that, if EPA allows this redesignation, this will allow increases in pollution levels instead of reducing emissions as required by the Clean Air Act.
A commenter notes that there is nothing in the State's maintenance plan that deals with counties besides Warrick and Vanderburgh Counties. The commenter contends that additional counties should have been included in the original Evansville nonattainment area as required by EPA's designation guidance. The commenter claims that EPA's guidance required all of the counties in the MSA to be treated equally and to be included in the nonattainment area, and that EPA failed to follow its own guidance, excluding counties in Indiana and Kentucky from the nonattainment area that are part of the Evansville MSA. As a result of this, the commenter argues that nothing in the maintenance plan will apply to the ``other'' counties, whose emissions impact the ozone levels in the entire region.
A commenter asserts that the failure to include the other counties will bode poorly for the health of citizens in this region since new coalfired power plants are proposed for Henderson County, Kentucky, just a few miles from the current ozone nonattainment area. The commenter claims that, had EPA followed its own guidance in establishing the original nonattainment area, the prospect of new coal fired power plants for the region would have been different, if not impossible.
Several commenters demand that all counties in the Evansville MSA comply with the Indiana maintenance plan. The commenters believe that to let these counties ``off the hook'' when they have emission sources that are larger than anything in Vanderburgh County is outside of the spirit, legal guidance, and rules of the Clean Air Act. A commenter contends that Gibson and Posey Counties in Indiana and Henderson County in Kentucky should also be included in the maintenance plan for the Evansville area.
A commenter questions whether EPA and IDEM considered the impact of several new power plants proposed for the region, including a ``giant'' 1500 megawatt old technology plant just upwind of the ozone nonattainment area in Kentucky that has already received an operating permit from the Kentucky Division of Air Quality. This commenter additionally notes that proposals for at least three additional large power plants are pending, one just northwest of the ozone nonattainment area, one to the north of the nonattainment area, and one just south of the nonattainment area in Henderson County, Kentucky. The commenter claims that these power plants, together with those already permitted, will likely make it impossible to maintain the attainment of the 8hour ozone standard in the future.
A commenter contends that there are at least 15 coalfired power plants in the Evansville region, and that these plants emit sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, fine and course particulates, mercury, and hydrochloric acid. The commenter claims that it stands to reason, especially since the Evansville area is not in attainment according to EPA standards, that the Evansville area needs to have a monitor in place to ensure that the area's air quality is at safe levels needed for healthy, productive lives.
Another commenter expressed the hope that, if new coalfired power plants are brought on line in the future, the older coalfired plants will be phased out and clean coal technologies will be used.
One of the commenters raising concerns about the growth of new power plants in the area attached a copy of a ``Clean Air Petition to Governor Daniels.'' This document was signed by a number of citizens of Newburgh, Indiana, and expresses opposition to ``the state's lawsuit against the E.P.A.'' The nature of the State lawsuit against EPA is not specified in the petition, nor in the commenter's cover letter.
Finally, a commenter states that, aside from the potential for new power plants, an attainment designation would tell companies that they have done enough toward reducing their emissions. The commenter argues that companies will do no more than is necessary, and that power plants will not make any improvements to decrease emissions of carcinogens. The commenter asserts that people are beginning to see the problem in the Evansville area, that government agencies are failing the people. Response 5
Regarding the issue of whether other counties should have been
included in the Evansville ozone nonattainment area, as indicated above in the response to Comment 3, the appropriateness of
the designation of the area, which was promulgated on April 30, 2004, is not the subject of this rulemaking. EPA evaluated the designation of the Evansville area in accordance with the statute, EPA guidance, and criteria that EPA applied in designations nationally. EPA considered all appropriate factors and concluded that Vanderburgh and Warrrick Counties were the appropriate area for the nonattainment area. See 69 FR 23858.
Regarding the issue of whether additional counties should be
included in the maintenance plan, section 107(d)(3)(E)(iv) of the Clean
Air Act provides that, in approving a redesignation request, the
Administrator must have a ``fully approved a maintenance plan for the
area'' as meeting the requirements of section 175A. Thus, EPA need only
approve a plan adequate to cover the nonattainment area that is being
redesignated. Nevertheless, EPA and the State also reviewed the
emission levels in other southwestern Indiana counties and determined
that further declines in emissions are projected there as well. In our
proposed rulemaking, we considered the attainment year and projected
Other counties outside the maintenance area are not ``being let off the hook,'' as one commenter alleges, since they remain subject to the Clean Air Act requirements applicable to them and must demonstrate attainment of the 8hour ozone standard. The fact that the counties are not included in the Evansville area ozone maintenance plan does not exempt these counties from the applicable requirements of the Clean Air Act with respect to attainment and maintenance of the 8hour ozone standard. Thus, there is no requirement or need to extend the maintenance plan beyond the Evansville area.
Redesignation of the Evansville area is not expected to result in overall emissions increases. Redesignation does not relax any pollution control measures on existing sources in place at the time of the redesignation. Indiana has committed to maintaining all existing emission control measures that affect the Evansville area after redesignation. If the area were not redesignated, the only difference would be that the area would be subject to New Source Review (NSR) requirements under part D of title I for nonattainment areas, rather than the NSR requirements under part C of title I for attainment areas. This difference, however, does not mean that redesignation itself would result in increased emissions from the area. Note that the State demonstrated t
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Edward Doty, Environmental Scientist, Criteria Pollutant Section, Air Programs Branch (AR18J), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5, 77 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60604, (312) 8866057, email@example.com.