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Notice

Continuous Release Reporting Regulations (CRRR) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA); Request for Comment on Renewal Information Collection

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that EPA is planning to submit the following continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB): Continuous Release Reporting Regulations (CRRR) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) (EPA ICR No. 1445.05, OMB No. 2050-0086). This is a request to renew an existing ICR that is currently approved. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the collection.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before May 29, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Comments submitted by regular U.S. Postal Service mail should be sent to: Docket Coordinator, Superfund Docket Office, Mail Code 5201G, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, it is imperative that you identify docket control number 102RQ-CR2 in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Comments may also be submitted electronically or in person. Please follow the detailed instructions for these submission methods as provided in unit III of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynn Beasley, (703) 603-9086. Facsimile number: (703) 603-9104. Electronic address: beasley.lynn@epa.gov. Comments should not be submitted to this contact person.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Does This Notice Apply to Me?

You may be affected by this notice if you are the person in charge of a facility that releases hazardous substances into the environment as specified in section 103(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), as amended. According to section 103(a) of CERCLA, if the facility you are in charge of releases an amount of hazardous substance that equals or exceeds its reportable quantity (RQ) and the release is not Federally permitted, you are required to notify the National Response Center (NRC) of the release immediately. However, according to section 103(f)(2) of CERCLA, if the release at the facility you are in charge of is “continuous,” and “stable in quantity and rate,” you may be exempted from the per-occurrence notification requirements of section 103(a) of CERCLA. To determine if the facility you are in charge of is affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions in the Continuing Release Reporting Regulations (CRRR) (40 CFR 302.8).

II. How Can I Get Additional Information or Copies of This Document or Other Support Documents?

A. By Phone, Fax, or Internet

If you have any questions or need additional information about this notice or the information collection request (ICR) referenced, please contact Lynn Beasley, (703) 603-9086. Facsimile Start Printed Page 16911number: (703) 603-9104. Electronic address: beasley.lynn@epa.gov.

B. In Person

The official record for this notice, including the public version, and the referenced ICR have been established under docket control number 102RQ-CR2 (including comments and data submitted electronically, as described below). A public version of this record, including printed, paper versions of any electronic comments, which does not include any information claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI), and the referenced ICR are available for inspection in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Docket Office, Crystal Gateway I, First Floor, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. The Superfund Docket is open from 9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number of the Superfund Docket is (703) 603-9232.

C. By Internet

The referenced draft ICR and draft Paperwork Reduction Act Submission Form (OMB83-I) are available on the Internet at the following addresses: http://www.epa.gov/​superfund/​resources/​rq/​icr01d1.pdf, and http://www.epa/​gov/​superfund/​resources/​rq/​omb83cd1.pdf or see the “Renewal Information Collection Requests (ICRs)” page for Reportable Quantities at: http://www.epa.gov/​superfund/​resources/​rq/​icr.htm.

III. How Can I Respond to This Notice?

A. How and to Whom Do I Submit the Comments?

You may submit comments through the mail, in person, or electronically. Be sure to identify the docket control number 102RQ-CR2 on any correspondence.

1. By mail. Submit written comments to: Docket Coordinator, Superfund Docket Office, Mail Code 5201G, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.

2. In person or by courier. Deliver written comments to: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Superfund Docket Office, Crystal Gateway I, First Floor, 1235 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, VA. Telephone: (703) 603-9232.

3. Electronically. Submit your comments and/or data electronically by e-mail to: superfund.docket@epa.gov. Please note that you should not submit any information electronically that you consider to be CBI. Electronic comments must be submitted as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Comment and data will also be accepted on standard computer disks in WordPerfect 6/7/8 or ASCII file format. All comments and data in electronic form must be identified by the docket control number 102RQ-CR2. Electronic comments on this notice may also be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

B. How Should I Handle CBI Information That I Want to Submit to EPA?

You may claim information that you submit in response to this notice as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI. Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2. A copy of the comment that does not contain CBI must also be submitted for inclusion in the public record. Information not marked confidential will be included in the public docket by EPA without prior notice. If you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult with Lynn Beasley, (703) 603-9086. Facsimile number: (703) 603-9104. Electronic address: beasley.lynn@epa.gov.

C. What Information is EPA Particularly Interested in?

Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(a) of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), EPA specifically solicits comments and information to enable it to:

1. Evaluate whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of EPA, including whether the information will have practical utility.

2. Evaluate the accuracy of EPA's estimates of the burdens of the proposed collections of information.

3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

4. Minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated or electronic collection technologies or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

D. What Should I Consider When I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

EPA invites you to provide your views on the various options EPA proposes, new approaches EPA hasn't considered, the potential impacts of the various options (including possible unintended consequences), and any data or information that you would like EPA to consider during the development of the final action. You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments:

  • Explain your views as clearly as possible.
  • Describe any assumptions that you used.
  • Provide technical information and/or data to support your views.
  • If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at the estimate.
  • Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.
  • Offer alternative ways to improve the rule or collection activity.
  • Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this notice.
  • At the beginning of your comments (e.g., as part of the “Subject” heading), be sure to properly identify the document on which you are commenting. You can do this by providing the docket control number assigned to this notice, along with the name, date, and Federal Register citation, or by using the appropriate EPA ICR or the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

IV. To What Information Collection Activity or ICR Does This Notice Apply?

EPA is seeking comments on the following ICR:

Title: Continuous Release Reporting Regulations (CRRR) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1445.05, OMB No. 2050-0086.

ICR status: The expiration date for this ICR was extended and is currently scheduled to expire on March 31, 2001. 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. The OMB control numbers for EPA's information collections appear on the collection instruments or instructions, in the Federal Register notices for related rulemakings and ICR notices, and, if the collection is contained in a regulation, in a table of OMB approval numbers in 40 CFR part 9.

Abstract: Section 103(a) of CERCLA, as amended, requires the person in charge of a facility to immediately notify the NRC of a hazardous substance release into the environment if the amount of the release equals or exceeds the substance's RQ. The RQ of every hazardous substance can be found in Start Printed Page 16912Table 302.4 of 40 CFR 302.4. Section 103(f)(2) of CERCLA provides facilities relief from this per-occurrence notification requirement if the hazardous substance release at or above the RQ is continuous and stable in quantity and rate. Under the CRRR, to report such a release as a continuous release you must make an initial telephone call to the NRC, an initial written report to the EPA Region, and, if the source and chemical composition of the continuous release does not change and the level of the continuous release does not significantly increase, a follow-up written report to the EPA Region one year after submission of the initial written report. If the source or chemical composition of the previously reported continuous release changes, notifying the NRC and EPA Region of a change in the source or composition of the release is required. Further, a significant increase in the level of the previously reported continuous release must be reported immediately to the NRC according to section 103(a) of CERCLA. Finally, any change in information submitted in support of a continuous release notification must be reported to the EPA Region.

The reporting of a hazardous substance release that is equal to or above the substance's RQ allows the Federal government to determine whether a Federal response action is required to control or mitigate any potential adverse effects to public health or welfare or the environment.

The continuous release of hazardous substance information collected under CERCLA section 103(f)(2) is also available to EPA program offices and other Federal agencies who use the information to evaluate the potential need for additional regulations, new permitting requirements for specific substances or sources, or improved emergency response planning. State and local government authorities and facilities subject to the CRRR use release information for purposes of local emergency response planning. Members of the public, who have access to release information through the Freedom of Information Act, may request release information for purposes of maintaining an awareness of what types of releases are occurring in different localities and what actions, if any, are being taken to protect public health and welfare and the environment.

V. What are EPA's Burden and Cost Estimates for This ICR?

Under the PRA, “burden” means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal Agency. For this collection, it includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and use technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

The ICR provides a detailed explanation of this estimate, which is only briefly summarized in this notice. The annual public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 92 hours per affected facility. The following is a summary of the estimates taken from the ICR:

Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use certain specified hazardous substances.

Estimated total number of facilities that will have to report continuous hazardous substance releases per year: 2,712.

Frequency of response: After reporting the continuous release to the NRC and EPA Region initially, only an annual report to the EPA Region is necessary unless there is a change in the source of the continuous release, a change in the chemical composition of the continuous release, or a significant increase in the level of the continuous release. In these cases the person in charge of the facility has to notify the NRC and the appropriate EPA Regional Office of the change in the continuous release.

Estimated total annual burden hours (averaged over 3 years): 249,451 hours.

Estimated total annual burden costs (averaged over 3 years): $11,277,827.

VI. Are There Changes in the Estimates from the Last Approval?

In the renewal ICR, EPA will review the current burden and cost statement and adjust it accordingly. EPA does expect the burden and cost statement in the renewal ICR to be greater than the burden and cost statement in the current ICR. This increase may be due to an historical growth rate of about 7.5 percent per year in the number of reporting facilities; however, EPA continues to consider data that may reflect a greater growth rate than the 7.5 percent assumption in the background document. Specifically, EPA is considering data from the National Response Center's data base that shows a significant increase in reporting in fiscal year 2000 (10/01/99-09/30/00). A summary table is available from the docket for this Information Collection Request or on the internet at the following address: http://www.epa.gov/​superfund/​resources/​rq/​nrc01data.pdf.

VII. What is the Next Step in the Process for This ICR?

EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. EPA will issue another Federal Register notice pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have any questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact Lynn Beasley, (703) 603-9086. Facsimile number: (703) 603-9104. Electronic address: beasley.lynn@epa.gov.

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Dated: March 20, 2001.

Elaine F. Davies,

Acting Director, Office of Emergency and Remedial Response.

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[FR Doc. 01-7637 Filed 3-27-01; 8:45 am]

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