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Notice

Toxic Chemical Release Reporting; Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts; Request for Comment on Renewal Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 notice announces that EPA is planning to submit the following continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the procedures described in 5 CFR 1320.12: Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts, Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (EPA ICR No. 1704.06, OMB No. 2070-0143). This ICR covers the reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with reporting under the alternate threshold for reporting to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), which appear in 40 CFR part 372. 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 regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.

DATES:

Comments, identified by the docket control number OEI-10016, must be submitted on or before August 30, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, electronically, or in person. Please follow the detailed instructions for each method as provided in Unit III. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

For general information, contact The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline at (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810, TDD (800)553-7672, http://www.epa.gov/​epaoswer/​hotline/​. For technical information about this ICR renewal, contact: Judith Kendall, Toxics Release Inventory Program Division, OEI (2844T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, Telephone: 202-566-0750; Fax: 202-566-0727; email: kendall.judith@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Does This Notice Apply to Me?

A. Affected Entities: Entities that will be affected by this action are those facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use certain toxic chemicals listed on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and which are required under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), to report annually to EPA their environmental releases of such chemicals.

Currently, those industries with the following SIC code designations (that meet all other threshold criteria for TRI reporting) must report toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities:

  • 20-39, manufacturing sector
  • 10, metal mining (except for SIC codes 1011, 1081, and 1094)
  • 12, coal mining (except for SIC code 1241 and extraction activities)
  • 4911, 4931 and 4939, electrical utilities that combust coal and/or oil for the purpose of generating power for distribution in commerce.
  • 4953, RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities
  • 5169, chemicals and allied products wholesale distributors
  • 5171, petroleum bulk plants and terminals
  • 7389, solvent recovery services, and
  • federal facilities in any SIC code

To determine whether you or your business is affected by this action, you should carefully examine the Start Printed Page 44198applicability provisions at 40 CFR part 372 and section 4(a) of the Supporting Statement of the information collection. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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

A. Electronic Availability

Internet

Electronic copies of the ICR are available from the EPA Home Page at the Federal Register—Environmental Documents entry for this document under “Laws and Regulations” (http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​). An electronic copy of the collection instrument referenced in this ICR and instructions for its completion are available at http://www.epa.gov/​triinter/​#forms.

In Person

The Agency has established an official record for this action under docket control number OEI-10016. The official record consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received during an applicable comment period, and other information related to this action, including any information claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI). This official record includes the documents that are physically located in the docket, as well as the documents that are referenced in those documents. The public version of the official record does not include any information claimed as CBI. The public version of the official record, which includes printed, paper versions of any electronic comments submitted during an applicable comment period, is available for inspection in the TSCA Nonconfidential Information Center, North East Mall Rm. B-607, Waterside Mall, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC. The Center is open from noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number of the Center is (202) 260-7099.

III. How Can I Respond to This Notice?

A. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

You may submit comments through the mail, in person, or electronically. Be sure to identify the appropriate docket control number (i.e., “OEI-10016”) in your correspondence.

1. By mail. All comments should be sent in triplicate to: Document Control Office (7407), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Ariel Rios Building, Washington, DC 20460.

2. In person or by courier. Comments may be delivered in person or by courier to: OPPT Document Control Office (DCO) in East Tower Rm. G-099, Waterside Mall, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC. The DCO is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the DCO is (202) 260-7093.

3. Electronically. Submit your comments electronically by e-mail to: “oppt.ncic@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. Comments and data will also be accepted on standard computer disks in WordPerfect 6.1/8.0 or ASCII file format. All comments and data in electronic form must be identified by the docket control number OEI-10016. Electronic comments on this document may also be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

B. How Should I Handle CBI Information That I Want To Submit to the Agency?

All comments which contain information claimed as CBI must be clearly marked as such. Three sanitized copies of any comments containing information claimed as CBI must also be submitted and will be placed in the public record for this document. Persons submitting information on any portion of which they believe is entitled to treatment as CBI by EPA must assert a business confidentiality claim in accordance with 40 CFR 2.203(b) for each such portion. This claim must be made at the time that the information is submitted to EPA. If a submitter does not assert a confidentiality claim at the time of submission, EPA will consider this as a waiver of any confidentiality claim and the information may be made available to the public by EPA without further notice to the submitter.

C. What Information Is EPA Particularly Interested In?

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

(i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(ii) Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(iv) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

In addition, EPA is requesting comment on a minor change to Certification Form A in this ICR. Facilities will be required to supply an e-mail address on the Form A that will help to facilitate better lines of communication between EPA and facilities reporting to TRI.

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

EPA is seeking comments on the following ICR, as well as the Agency's intention to renew the corresponding OMB approval, which is currently scheduled to expire on January 31, 2003.

Title: Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1704.06, OMB No. 2070-0143.

Abstract: EPCRA section 313 requires certain facilities manufacturing, processing, or otherwise using certain toxic chemicals in excess of specified threshold quantities to report their environmental releases of such chemicals annually. Each such facility must file a separate report for each such chemical.

In accordance with the authority in EPCRA, EPA has established an alternate threshold for those facilities with low amounts of a listed toxic chemical in wastes. A facility that otherwise meets the current reporting thresholds, but estimates that the total amount of the chemical in waste does not exceed 500 pounds per year, and that the chemical was manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year, can take advantage of reporting under the alternate threshold option for that chemical for that reporting year.

Each qualifying facility that chooses to apply the revised threshold must file the Form A Certification Statement (EPA Form 9350-2) in lieu of a complete TRI reporting Form R (EPA Form 9350-1). In submitting the Form A certification statement, the facility certifies that the sum of the amount of Start Printed Page 44199the EPCRA section 313 chemical in wastes did not exceed 500 pounds for the reporting year, and that the chemical was manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year. Use of the Form A certification represents a substantial savings to respondents, both in burden hours and in labor costs.

The Form A certification statement provides communities with information that the chemical is being manufactured, processed or otherwise used at facilities. Additionally, the Form A certification provides compliance monitoring and enforcement programs and other interested parties with a means to track chemical management activities and verify overall compliance with the rule. Responses to this collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 372) and facilities subject to reporting must submit either a Form A certification or a Form R.

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 utilize 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 annual public burden for this collection of information, which is approved under OMB Control No. 2070-0143, is estimated to average 13.7 hours for facilities submitting a Form A certification statement for a single listed chemical. By comparison, the average time required for calculations, form completion and record keeping/mailing for Form R is estimated to average 19.5 hours per form. Thus, for a facility filing a Form A certification for a single chemical, the alternate threshold yields an average savings of 5.8 hours.

The ICR supporting statement provides a detailed explanation of the burden estimates that are summarized in this notice. The following is a summary of the estimates taken from the ICR supporting statement:

Estimated No. of Respondents: 5,451 respondents.

Frequency of Responses: Annual.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 145,534 burden hours.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Costs: $6.35 million.

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

The estimated burden described above differs from what is currently in OMB's inventory for alternate threshold reporting: 14,793 responses (chemicals) and 644,761 burden hours. The burden estimated in this supporting statement differs from OMB's inventory as a result of adjustments to estimates of the number of responses (from 14,793 responses (chemicals) to 5,121 responses (Form As)), changes to unit reporting burden estimates (from 30.2 to 9.2 burden hours per chemical certified on a Form A), and an adjustment for use of TRI-ME, EPA's intelligent report software (an additional burden reduction of 3.1 hours per chemical certified on a Form A) for those forms completed using TRI-ME. These changes are described in greater detail in the supporting statement for this ICR, available in the public version of the official record.

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 the person(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 372

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Dated: June 24, 2002.

Ramona Trovato,

Acting Assistant Administrator and Chief Information Officer, Office of Environmental Information.

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[FR Doc. 02-16479 Filed 6-28-02; 8:45 am]

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