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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.


Notice of revision of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0049).


As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, MMS invites the public and other Federal agencies to comment on a proposal to extend the currently approved collection of information discussed below. We intend to submit this collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.


Submit written comments by April 24, 2000.


Mail or hand carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Attention: Rules Processing Team; Mail Stop 4024; 381 Elden Street; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the rulemaking record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the record a respondent's identity, as allowable by the law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

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Alexis London, Rules Processing Team, telephone (703) 787-1600. You may also contact Alexis London to obtain a copy of the collection of information at no cost.

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Title: 30 CFR 250, Subpart B, Exploration and Development and Production Plans (1010-0049).

Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq., gives the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) the responsibility to preserve, protect, and develop oil and gas resources in the OCS, consistent with the need to make such resources available to meet the Nation's energy needs as rapidly as possible; balance orderly energy resource development with protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments; ensure the public a fair and equitable return on the resources of the OCS; and preserve and maintain free enterprise competition.

Sections 11 and 25 of the amended OCS Lands Act require the holders of OCS oil and gas and sulphur leases to submit exploration plans (EPs) and development and production plans (DPPs) for approval prior to commencing these activities. The implementing regulations and associated information collection Start Printed Page 8985requirements are contained in 30 CFR 250, subpart B, Exploration and Development and Production Plans (subpart B). In addition, MMS has issued Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that provide supplementary guidance and procedures as applicable to each Region or nationally. These NTLs address the various surveys, reports, plans (including deep water operations plans and conservation information), etc., that are necessary for MMS to approve the exploration or development and production activities.

The MMS engineers, geologists, geophysicists, and environmental scientists use the information collected under subpart B, and related NTLs, to analyze and evaluate the planned operations to ensure that they will not adversely affect the marine, coastal, or human environment and that they conserve the resources of the OCS. It would be impossible for the Regional Supervisor to make an informed decision on whether to approve the proposed plans, or whether modifications are necessary, without the analysis and evaluation of the required information. The affected States also review the information collected for consistency with approved Coastal Zone Management plans.

We are resubmitting this collection of information to OMB to obtain official approval of several aspects of the plan submissions that have developed over time. In addition to the currently approved requirements, we will seek OMB approval of the number of copies respondents submit; a new “OCS Plan Information Form” (form MMS-137) for use in the GOM Region; and two air emissions spreadsheets (forms MMS-138 and MMS-139) currently used in the GOM Region. Except for form MMS-137, these are not new requirements. We consider the burdens for these are already included in the burdens currently approved for developing and submitting EPs or DPPs (development operations coordination documents (DOCDs)) in the western GOM.

We will protect information respondents submit that is considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR 2) and 30 CFR 250.196. No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory.

Frequency: The frequency of reporting is on occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 130 Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulphur lessees.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: The currently approved burden for this collection is 269,438 reporting and 260 recordkeeping hours, based on:

(1) Preliminary activities: 1 hour per notice.

(2) Initial EP or DPP (DOCD in western GOM): 580 hours per plan, including forms.

(3) Deepwater Operations Plans: 580 hours per plan.

(4) Revised EPs: 80 hours per revision, including forms.

(5) Revised DPPs (DOCSs in western GOM): 82 hours per revision, including forms.

(6) Recordkeeping: 2 hours per respondent.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no non-hour cost burdens for this collection.


We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our submission for OMB approval. As a result of your comments, we will make any necessary adjustments to the burden in our submission to OMB. In calculating the burden, we assumed that respondents perform many of the requirements in the normal course of their activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.

(1) We specifically solicit your comments on the following questions:

(a) Is the proposed collection of information necessary for us to properly perform our functions, and will it be useful?

(b) Are the estimates of the burden hours of the proposed collection reasonable?

(c) Do you have any suggestions that would enhance the quality, clarity, or usefulness of the information to be collected?

(d) Is there a way to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other forms of information technology?

(2) In addition, the PRA requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting “non-hour cost” burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. We need to know if you have costs associated with the collection of this information for either total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. Your estimates should consider the costs to generate, maintain, and disclose or provide the information. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; monitoring, sampling, drilling, and testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment or services purchased: (i) before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Jo Ann Lauterbach, (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: February 14, 2000.

E. P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 00-4175 Filed 2-22-00; 8:45 am]