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Notice

Extension of Approved Information Collection; OMB Approval No. 1004-0162

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Bureau of Land Management, Interior and Forest Service, Agriculture.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requests the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to extend an existing approval to collect information from entities who conduct geophysical operations on public lands.

DATES:

You must submit your comments to BLM at he address below on or before July 15, 2002. BLM will not necessarily consider any comments received after the above date.

ADDRESSES:

You may mail comments to: Bureau of Land Management, (WO-Start Printed Page 34468630), Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Blvd., Springfield, Virginia 22153.

You may send comments via Internet to: WOComment@blm.gov. Please include (ATTN: 1004-0162) and your name and address with your comments.

You may deliver comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Administrative Record, Room 401, 1620 L Street, NW., Washington, DC.

Comments will be available for public review at the L Street address during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.) Monday through Friday.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

You may contact Barbara Gamble, Fluid Minerals Group, at (202) 452-0338 (Commercial or FTS). Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) on 1-800-877-8330, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to contact Ms. Gamble.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

5 CFR 1320.12(a), requires that we provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning a collection of information to solicit comments on:

(a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper functioning of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(b) The accuracy of our estimates of the information collection burden, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions we use;

(c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and

(d) Ways to minimize the information collection burden on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (MLA) (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.), gives the Secretary of the Interior responsibility for oil and gas leasing on approximately 570 million acres of Federal mineral estate. The MLA authorizes the Forest Service (FS) to permit oil and gas companies, lessees, exploration companies, and independent exploration operators to conduct geophysical exploration on or off leases on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The Act of August 7, 1947 (Mineral Leasing Act of Acquired Lands), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to lease lands acquired by the United States (30 U.S.C. 341-359); and the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of December 22, 1987, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to lease NFS lands with FS consent. On NFS lands, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to regulate all surface-disturbing activities which take place on a lease.

43 CFR Group, 3150 establishes procedures for BLM to issue authorizations to conduct oil and gas geophysical exploration operations on public lands. 36 CFR part 228 subpart E, and 36 CFR part 251 subpart A and subpart B establish procedures for the FS to authorize geophysical operations on FS lands.

The BLM and FS need the information requested on the Notice of Intent to process applications for geophysical exploration operations on public lands and to manage environmental compliance requirements in accordance with the laws, regulations, and land use plans. The BLM and FS use the information to determine if operators will conduct geophysical operations in a manner consistent with the regulations, local land use plans, and stipulations. The BLM and FS need the information requested on the Notice of Completion to determine whether rehabilitation of the lands is satisfactory or whether additional rehabilitation is necessary. You may submit the forms in person or by mail. We need the company name, address, and telephone number to identify the person/entity conducting operations. BLM will assign a Case File Number to track each specific operation. We require the legal land description to determine the location of the involved public lands. Additional information that we request includes the type and size of the proposed activity, location of the proposed operation, equipment you plan to use, operating procedures, and timing of the operation.

Applicants must submit these forms to allow BLM and FS to determine who is conducting geophysical operations on public lands. An interagency BLM/FS team revised the respective forms to streamline and improve the process for both the Federal Government and its customers. Combining the BLM and FS individual forms into a single BLM/FS form will ensure consistent management of the geophysical operations on public lands and will better serve the public.

Old formsNew forms
(1) Terms and Conditions for Notice of Intent to Conduct Geophysical Exploration, BLM Standard Form 3150-4a(1) Notice of intent and Request for Authorization to Conduct Geophysical Exploration Operations (NOI/RFA), BLM Standard Form 3110-4/FS Standard Form 2800-16.
(2) Application for Prospecting Permit, FS Standard Form 2800-14
(3) Geophysical Prospecting Permit, FS Standard Form 2800-15
(4) Notice of Completion of Oil and Gas Exploration Operations, BLM Standard Form 3150-5(2) Notice of Completion of Geophysical Exploration Operations, BLM Standard Form 3110-5/FS Standard Form 2800-16a.

Based on past and recent experience administering onshore oil and gas geophysical exploration operations, BLM estimates the public reporting burden for completing the Notice of Intent is one hour, and for completing the Notice of Completion is 20 minutes. The information we require is clearly outlined on the forms and in the terms and conditions. The information is already maintained by the respondents for their own record keeping purposes and they will need only to transfer or attach it to the forms. BLM estimates that it receives approximately 600 Notices of Intent and 600 Notices of Completion annually, with a total annual burden of 800 hours. Respondents vary from small businesses to major corporations.

The FS estimates the reporting burden is approximately one hour to complete a Notice of Intent which includes the time to gather the information on the project and complete the form. The FS estimates that it receives approximately 25 Notices of Intent and 25 Notices of Completion annually, with a total annual burden of 31 hours. Respondents include individual lessees, small and large companies, and independent exploration operators. After combining the annual burden of the BLM and FS, the total estimated annual burden is 831 hours.

Any member of the public may request and obtain, without charge, a copy of the BLM Form 3110-4/FS Form 2800-16 or BLM Form 3110-5/FS Form 2800-16a by contacting the person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

BLM will summarize all responses to this notice and include them in the request for OMB approval. All Start Printed Page 34469comments will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: April 9, 2002.

Michael H. Schwartz,

Bureau of Land Management, Information Collection Clearance Officer.

Dated: April 18, 2002.

Larry O. Gadt,

Director, Minerals and Geology Management, USDA, Forest Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-12014 Filed 5-13-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-84-M