Environmental Protection Agency: Phase 2 Emission Standards for New Nonroad Spark-Ignition Nonhandheld Engines At or Below 19 Kilowatts

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-04-07.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel


      April 7, 1999

      The Honorable John H. Chafee
      The Honorable Max Baucus
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Larry Combest
      The Honorable Charles W. Stenholm
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Agriculture
      House of Representatives

      Subject:   Environmental Protection Agency: Phase 2 Emission Standards for New
                 Nonroad Spark-Ignition Nonhandheld Engines At or Below 19 Kilowatts

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on
      a major rule promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entitled
      "Phase 2 Emission Standards for New Nonroad Spark-Ignition Nonhandheld Engines
      At or Below 19 Kilowatts" (RIN: 2060-AE29). We received the rule on March 11,
      1999. It was published in the Federal Register as a final rule on March 30, 1999.
      64 Fed. Reg. 15208.

      The final rule is the second phase of emission regulations to control emissions from
      new nonroad spark-ignition nonhandheld engines at or below 19 kilowatts (25
      horsepower), which are principally used in lawn and garden equipment.

      Enclosed is our assessment of EPA's compliance with the procedural steps required
      by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our
      review indicates that EPA complied with the applicable requirements.

      If you have any questions about this report, please contact James Vickers, Assistant
      General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation

work relating to the Environmental Protection Agency is Peter Guerrero, Director,
Environmental Protection Issues. Mr. Guerrero can be reached at (202) 512-6111.

Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel


cc: Mr. Thomas E. Kelly
    Director, Office of Regulatory
     Management and Information
    Environmental Protection Agency

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       ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                                ISSUED BY
                             (RIN: 2060-AE29)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

EPA performed a Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), which includes a cost-benefit
analysis, and the RIA is summarized in the preamble to the final rule. A complete
copy was furnished to our Office.

EPA has estimated the annual cost of the final rule to be $230 million.

The benefits to be derived from the rule should be a 59-percent reduction in
hydrocarbons plus oxides of nitrogen (HC+NOx) beyond Phase I standards for the
engines by the year 2027. This translates to a cost effectiveness of $852 per ton of
HC+NOx when fuel savings are not taken into account and -$507 per ton when fuel
savings are considered.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605,
607, and 609

EPA has certified that the final rule will not have a significant impact on a
substantial number of small entities.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

While the final rule will not impose an intergovernmental mandate because there
are no enforceable duties on state, local, or tribal governments, the rule will impose
a mandate on the private sector in excess of $100 million in any one year.
Therefore, EPA has prepared the written statement required by the Act.

The statement contains both qualitative and quantitative assessments of the benefits
and cost of the rule. In the final rule, the regulatory alternatives which were
considered are discussed. Also, EPA explains the reasons for selecting the
alternative it did. EPA considers it to be the most cost-effective and least
burdensome alternative that would meet the mandate of section 213(a)(3) of the
Clean Air Act.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Instead of the notice and comment procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act,
the EPA promulgated this rule using the procedures, which have similar notice and
comment requirements, contained in section 307(d) of the Clean Air Act, as
amended. 42 U.S.C. § 7607(d). The use of these procedures regarding rules
pertaining to nonroad engines or vehicles is mandated by section 307(d)(1)(R) of
the Clean Air Act.

On January 27, 1998, EPA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal
Register, 63 Fed. Reg. 3950, which was preceded by an Advanced Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking dated March 27, 1997, 62 Fed. Reg. 14740. These actions
were followed by public meetings and the release of additional information
regarding technology improvements which generated more timely and relevant

In the preamble to the final rule, EPA discusses the comments it received and the
action it has taken in response to them in finalizing the rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The final rule contains information collections which are subject to review and
approval by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction

The preamble to the final rule contains the information required by the Act,
including the reason for the collections and the estimated annual burden imposed.
EPA estimates the annual burden to be 156,816 hours at an estimated annual cost of

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was issued pursuant to the authority contained in sections 202, 203,
204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 213, 215, 216, and 301(a) of the Clean Air Act as
amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7521, 7522, 7523, 7524, 7525, 7541, 7542, 7543, 7547, 7549,
7550, and 7601(a).

Executive Order No. 12866

The final rule was determined to be an "economically significant" regulatory action
and was reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget as
complying with the requirements of the Order.

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