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Follow Up Submission Section 185 Equivalency Demonstration

The following is the content of a letter sent to the Regional Administrator at the USEPA, Region 2, Judith A. Enck. The letter was signed on April 7, 2014 by Joseph J. Martens, Commissioner.

On January 31, 2014, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) submitted a letter to EPA proposing an equivalent alternative to the fee collection requirements of Clean Air Act Section 185. In this letter, DEC demonstrated that emission reductions associated with New York's updated Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, LEV II, exceeded those required by Section 185 for the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT area for the 1990 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS).

DEC recently completed a public comment period on this proposal. A notice of the proposal was published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin on February 12, 2014, and the comment period concluded at 5:00 p.m. on March 14, 2014. One comment was received, which supported DEC's use of LEV II as an alternative program for Section 185.

Enclosed are a copy of the ENB notice and DEC's assessment of public comments. If you have any questions regarding DEC's proposal, please contact David Shaw, Director of the Division of Air Resources, at (518) 402-8452.

Public Notice New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

"Equivalent Alternative Program Proposal for Clean Air Act Section 185 Fees for the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT Severe 1-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area"

Notice is hereby given that the NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION (DEC) plans to submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision an equivalent alternative program demonstration pursuant to obligations under Clean Air Act (CAA) section 185.

The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT area was designated as being in severe nonattainment of the 1990 1-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS), with an attainment deadline of November 15, 2007. Because this area did not register attainment of the NAAQS until 2010, it was subject to the penalty fees mandated by CAA section 185 for excess emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in 2008 and 2009.

EPA has recently allowed for the use of equivalent alternative programs as a substitute for the collection of section 185 fees. These alternative programs must be shown to be "not less stringent" than the mandated program. With this letter, DEC is requesting that EPA approves an equivalent alternative program for the New York portion of the NY-NJ-CT nonattainment area. This submission demonstrates that the emission reductions that have been achieved by the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) II program are greater than the reductions that would have been achieved by the collection of fees under CAA section 185, as summarized in the following table.

Tons per day NOx and VOC reductions by type of emission reduction NOx Reductions (tons/day) VOC Reductions (tons/day)
2008 CAA Sec. 185 Target 8.7 2.2
2008 LEV II Projection 17.5 2.3
2009 CAA Sec. 185 Target 4.5 1.4
2009 LEV II Projection 24.4 3.2

The Department is providing a 30-day period to comment on the proposed submittal or request a hearing. Written comments should be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on March 14, 2014 to Mr. Scott Griffin, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway -11th Floor, Albany, New York, 12233-3251, or by e-mail to airsips@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Mr. Griffin can be reached at (518) 402-8396 with any questions regarding these SIP revisions.

Assessment of Public Comments Equivalent Alternative Program Proposal for Clean Air Act Section 185 Fees for the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT Severe 1-Hour Ozone Nonattainment Area

Comments Received February 12, 2014 through March 14, 2014

Comment: The [Environmental Energy Alliance of New York, LLC] supports the plan to allow for the use of equivalent alternative programs as a substitute for the collection of Section 185 fees and concurs that the DEC submission demonstrates that the emission reductions that have been achieved by the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) II program are greater than the reductions that would have been achieved by the collection of fees under [Clean Air Act] section 185.

Response: DEC appreciates this comment supporting our Section 185 alternative proposal.


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    Division of Air Resources
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