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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of new information collection survey.

SUMMARY:

To comply with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are inviting comments on an information collection request (ICR) to conduct a new survey on “Gulf of Mexico Labor Needs.” We are preparing an ICR, which we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

DATES:

Submit written comments by September 29, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Alexis London, Rules Processing Team, telephone (703) 787-1600 for questions on the PRA information collection process or to obtain a copy of the survey. For information on the survey itself, contact Harry Luton in the Gulf of Mexico Regional Office, telephone (504) 736-2784.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Survey—Gulf of Mexico Labor Needs.

OMB Control Number: 1010-NEW.

Abstract: MMS is responsible for managing mineral resources on the Federal outer continental shelf (OCS). The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), as amended, the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1996, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, require MMS to assess, mitigate, and monitor the effects of the OCS program on the environment.

The OCS oil and natural gas exploration and production industry impacts local and regional economies through many activities, including the demand for labor, the demand for services, and the demand for capital goods. Though thought to be in decline a decade ago, several mid-1990's changes have reinvigorated the industry. These include technical innovations such as three- and four-dimensional seismic surveys and subsurface completion systems that allow companies to operate in very deep Start Printed Page 46734water, as well as passage of the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995. This recent and unexpected growth has increased the significance and urgency of the need for MMS to obtain data on current Gulf of Mexico (GOM) OCS conditions and operating practices.

We propose to conduct a survey to collect and analyze information for use in MMS documents and management decisions. We will use the information within NEPA documents, with special emphasis on development in deep water. We will use the patterns and trends found in the data to support descriptions of how the GOM offshore oil and natural gas industry operates, how it resembles and differs from other regional markets, and what trends appear to be influencing its current direction. The OCSLA stipulates that MMS management of the OCS must include evaluations of the effects of industry activities on area resources. The CZMA policies on industrial and water use in the OCS affect many MMS decisions relating to planning, procedures, and interactions with industry, governments, and communities. The Endangered Species Act requires MMS to evaluate OCS activity and its affect on regional populations. The data collected through the proposed survey is necessary for MMS to successfully do each of these.

The information under the proposed data collection will be obtained by randomly sampling from the following eight populations: (1) Seismic companies; (2) platform and rig construction companies; (3) pipeline operating companies; (4) air transportation companies; (5) OCS field production operating companies; (6) employees from each of the previous sectors; (7) contracting organizations for operating companies; and (8) operating companies that have bid for a lease within the GOM. For the purposes of the proposed tests, an offshore employee “earns money by working in any of three segments—operating companies, service and supply companies, and transportation companies. The offshore worker charges time directly to GOM activities.” The employee form will provide important economic information to supplement and cross check the industry data and will include demographic information to help characterize the economic effects of the program and the worker point of view concerning certain industry trends.

Questionnaire completion is voluntary. The questionnaires will be administered under the guidelines established under 45 CFR 46. Procedures designed to protect the confidentiality of the information provided will include the use of coded identification numbers to protect the identities of respondents and the businesses they represent. The final report will summarize data by geographic region, business type, or population category so that individual persons and companies will not be identifiable. Identifying information will be removed from data files.

We do not consider that the information requested in the proposed survey instruments necessitate a classification as Confidential Business Information. As stated, we will take efforts to ensure the anonymity of the collected data. As the test surveys are, and future surveys will be, voluntary, companies may choose not to respond to questions on proprietary information, but they can be assured that proprietary data will not be able to be associated with their company.

Frequency: This survey will be conducted once every 5 years.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Estimated 6,338 respondents from the categories listed in the following chart.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: Estimated 10,792 burden hours as described in the following chart.

RespondentTotal hour burden (divided by)Predicted No. of respondents (equals)Predicted hour burden per respondent
Seismic292.252113.9
Platform/Rig Construction1,065.756316.9
Pipeline Operators473.003413.9
Air Transportation83.50613.9
Operators2,667.0012621.2
Employees4,398.255,8650.75
Contractors1,622.751898.6
Bidders189.75345.6
Total10,792.256,338

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-Hour Cost” Burden: Beyond labor, the proposed information collection poses no cost burden to respondents. MMS will pay for all postage and telephone charges. Respondents will incur no capital and operation and maintenance costs.

Comments: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) 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. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires each agency “* * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * *”

Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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.

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Dated: July 18, 2000.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Engineering and Operations Division.

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[FR Doc. 00-19188 Filed 7-28-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P