Office of Transportation                          EPA420-F-06-028
               and Air Quality                               March 2006
United States
Environmental Pratectior 	
Agency
               Regulatory
               Announcement
               Final  Rule for Amendments to
               Vehicle Inspection Maintenance
               Program  Requirements
               The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a
               regulation to revise outdated timing-related references in the Inspection
               and Maintenance (I/M) rule such as submission dates, start dates,
               evaluation dates, and other milestones and/or deadlines to make them
               relevant for areas that will be newly required to begin I/M programs
               as a result of being designated and classified under the 8-hour ozone
               standard.

               Summary of the Final Rule
               EPA is finalizing minor revisions to the Motor Vehicle I/M regulation to
               update submission and implementation deadlines and other timing-related
               requirements to reflect the new 8-hour National Ambient Air Quality
               Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. Among other timing-related revisions, this
               rule will update the start date and evaluation date(s) for each applicable
               I/M performance standard.
               Key Elements of the Final Rule
               This final rule:

                  Establishes new start and benchmark comparison dates which will
                  relate back to the effective date of an area's classification under the
                  8-hour ozone standard. The final rule also specifies which model

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    year vehicles are covered by the
    onboard diagnostic (OBD) test
    under each applicable I/M perfor-
    mance standard.

    Changes the current, fixed deadline
    for beginning program evaluation
    testing to the more relative deadline
    of "no later than 1 year after program
    start up."

    Establishes the submission deadline
    for new I/M state implementation
    plans (SIPs) required under the 8-hour
    standard as 1-year after the effective
    date this final rule.

    Establishes the implementation dead-
    line for new I/M programs required
    under the 8-hour standard as 4 years
    after the effective date of classification
    under the 8-hour standard. This rule-
    making also clarifies that the deadline
    for beginning OBD testing will be
    "coincident with program start up" for
    areas newly required to implement
    I/M as a result of being classified
    under the 8-hour ozone standard.
Background
Under the Clean Air Act as amended in
1990, certain ozone nonattainment areas
are required to adopt vehicle I/M pro-
grams as one of the mandatory control
measures used to reach attainment. On
April 30, 2004, EPA published a notice of
final rulemaking (69 FR 23857) address-
ing several key requirements related to the
implementation of the 8-hour ozone stan-
dard originally promulgated on July 18,
1997 (62 FR 38856). Among other things,
the 8-hour ozone standard implementation
rule established deadlines for meeting the
8-hour ozone standard based upon a given
area's degree of nonattainment. The rule
also addressed when SIPs and attainment
demonstration  plans must be submitted.

As a result of the changes finalized by the
8-hour implementation rule, EPA is issuing
this final rule to revise outdated timing-
related references in the I/M rule such as
submission dates, start dates, evaluation
dates, and other milestones and/or dead-
lines to make them relevant for areas that
will be newly required to begin I/M pro-
grams as a result of being designated and
classified under the 8-hour ozone standard.

For        information
You can access this final rule and related
documents on EPA's Office of Transporta-
tion and Air Quality Web site at:

    www. epa. gov/otaq/epg/regs .htm

For further information on this rulemaking,
please contact Dave Sosnowski at:

    U.S. EPA
    Office of Transportation & Air Quality
    2000 Traverwood Drive
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105
    (734)214-4823
    E-mail: sosnowski.dave@epa.gov

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