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Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Texas; Public Participation for Air Quality Permit Applications

A. Public Notice Applicability for Applications for PALs and Standard Permits for Concrete Batch Plants Without Enhanced Controls

The EPA proposed approval of the majority of the July 2, 2010, Texas SIP submittal on December 13, 2012, at 77 FR 74129. In this proposed rulemaking and our accompanying Technical Support Document, the EPA presented our evaluation and preliminary determination for the applicability of the public notice requirements for applications for PAL permits at 30 TAC 39.402(a)(8) and standard permits for concrete batch plants without enhanced controls at 30 TAC 39.402(a)(11). In both instances, we determined that the public notice provisions in Chapter 39 for each type of permit application were consistent with all applicable federal requirements and would be fully approvable into the Texas SIP. However, we neglected to include the specific provisions at 30 TAC 39.402(a)(8) and 39.402(a)(11) in our “Proposed Action” statement in the December 13, 2012, Federal Register document. While the public had the opportunity to review and comment on our evaluation and preliminary determination of approvability of these provisions, we never formally proposed these provisions for approval into the Texas SIP. As such, we did not finalize approval of 30 TAC 39.402(a)(8) and (a)(11) with the majority of the public notice provisions on

January 6, 2014 at 79 FR 551.
Please see the EPA’s December 13, 2012, proposed approval at 77 FR 74129 for our technical evaluation. The evaluation of the applicability of the public notice provisions for PAL permit applications can be found at page 74136. The evaluation of the applicability of the public notice provisions for permit applications for standard permits for concrete batch plants can be found at pages 74136-74140. The Technical Support Document dated December 12, 2012, available in the rulemaking docket for this action, provides additional details to support our determination that the public notice applicability provisions at 30 TAC 39.402(a)(8) and (a)(11) are consistent with federal requirements and fully approvable into the Texas SIP. We incorporate our previous evaluation of these two provisions into this action. We note that because the evaluation was included in our previous preamble and TSD, we did accept and respond to any comments received regarding the applicability of public notice provisions for applications for PALs and standard permits for concrete batch plants without enhanced controls. The EPA received and responded to comments about PAL public notice, but none specific to the applicability provision at 30 TAC section 39.402(a)(8). See 79 FR 551, at 556 and 557-558. Our evaluation and preliminary determination of approvability did not change as a result of these comments. The EPA did not receive any comments specific to the applicability of the public notice provisions for standard permits for concrete batch plants without enhanced controls at 30 TAC 39.402(a)(11); therefore our evaluation of that provision also remains unchanged.
Today’s final action is merely correcting our previous error in failing to propose and finalize incorporation of these two provisions into the SIP on the basis of our previous technical evaluation and preliminary determination. The EPA has not changed our rationale. We continue to believe that 30 TAC 39.402(a)(8) and (a)(11) are fully approvable and it is our intent to include these provisions in the Texas SIP.
B. Public Notice Applicability for Applications for New and Amended Flexible Permits
The EPA finalized a conditional approval of the Texas Flexible Permits Program on July 14, 2014, at 79 FR 40666. Our final action included conditional approval of the public notice applicability provisions for applications for new and amended flexible permits at 30 TAC sections 39.402(a)(4) and (a)(5) as submitted on July 2, 2010. As a result of this action, the public notice provisions at 30 TAC sections 39.402(a)(4) and (a)(5) became a part of the Texas SIP contingent upon the TCEQ satisfying the conditions of the December 9, 2013, commitment letter.
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In a subsequent proposed rulemaking on December 31, 2014, the EPA determined that the TCEQ satisfied all commitments from the December 9, 2013, commitment letter and thus we proposed to convert our final conditional approval of the Texas Flexible Permits Program to a full approval. See 79 FR 78752. However, we neglected to include the public notice applicability provisions at 30 TAC section 39.402(a)(4) and (a)(5) in that proposal.

Today’s final action is merely correcting our previous error in failing to include the public notice applicability provisions for Flexible Permits in our December 2014 proposal to convert the conditional approval to a full approval. Because the EPA has determined that the TCEQ satisfied all commitments from the December 9, 2013, commitment letter, the public notice provisions for the Texas Flexible Permit program at 30 TAC sections 39.402(a)(4) and (a)(5) should be converted to a full approval. The conversion of the remainder of the conditionally approved Texas Flexible Permit program to a full approval will be addressed in a separate rulemaking.


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