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Notice

Commission Collection Activities, Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Extension

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Start Preamble June 24, 2002.

AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(a) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described below.

DATES:

Comments on the collection of information are due by August 27, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained from Michael Miller, Office of the Chief Information Officer, CI-1, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. Comments may be filed either in paper format or electronically. Those parties filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing. For paper filings, the original and 14 copies of such comments should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426 and should refer to Docket No. IC02-600-000.

Documents filed electronically via the Internet must be prepared in WordPerfect, MS Word, Portable Document Format, or ASCII format. To file the document, access the Commission's website at http://www.ferc.gov and click on “Make an E-filing,” and then follow the instructions for each screen. First time users will have to establish a user name and password. The Commission will send an automatic acknowledgment to the sender's E-mail address upon receipt of comments. User assistance for electronic filings is available at 202-208-0258 or by e-mail to efiling@ferc.fed.us. Comments should not be submitted to the e-mail address.

All comments may be viewed, printed or downloaded remotely via the Internet through FERC's homepage using the RIMS link. User assistance for RIMS is available at 202-208-2222, or by e-mail to rimsmaster@ferc.fed.us.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Miller may be reached by telephone at (202) 208-1415, by fax at (202) 208-2425, and by e-mail at michael.miller@ferc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The information collected under the requirements of FERC-600 “Rules of Practice and Procedures: Complaint Procedures” (OMB No. 1902-0180) is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r; the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717-717w; the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), 15 U.S.C. 3301-3432; the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 2601-2645; the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. App. § 1 et seq. and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1301-1356.

With respect to the natural gas industry, Section 14(a) of the NGA provides: The Commission may permit any person to file with it a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as it shall determine, as to any or all facts and circumstances concerning a matter which may be the subject of an investigation.

For public utilities, Section 205(e) of the FPA provides: Whenever any such new schedule is filed the Commission shall have the authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint at once, and, if it so orders, without answer or formal pleading by the public utility, but upon reasonable notice to enter upon hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, charge, classification, or service; and Start Printed Page 44187pending such hearing and the decision of the Commission * * *

Concerning hydroelectric projects, Section 19 of the FPA provides: * * * it is agreed as a condition of such license that jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Commission, upon complaint of any person aggrieved or upon its own initiative, to exercise such regulation and control until such time as the State shall have provided a commission or other authority for such regulation and control * * *

For qualifying facilities, Section 210(h)(2)(B) of PURPA provides: Any electric utility, qualifying cogenerator, or qualifying small power producer may petition the Commission to enforce the requirements of subsection (f) as provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

Likewise for oil pipelines, Part 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), Sections 1, 6 and 15 (recodified by P.L. 95-473 and found as an appendix to Title 49 U.S.C.) the Commission is authorized to investigate the rates charged by oil pipeline companies subject to its jurisdiction. If a proposed oil rate has been filed and allowed by the Commission to go into effect without suspension and hearing, the Commission can investigate the effective rate on its own motion or by complaint filed with the Commission. Section 13 of the ICA provided that: Any person, firm, corporation, company or association, or any mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society or other organization, or any common carrier complaining of anything done or omitted to be done by any common carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter in contravention of the provisions thereof, may apply to the Commission by petition, which shall briefly state the facts; whereupon a statement of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Commission to such common carrier, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint, or to answer the same in writing, within a reasonable time, to be specified by the Commission * * *

In Order No. 602, 64 FR 17087 (April 8, 1999), the Commission revised its regulations governing complaints filed with the Commission under the above statutes. Order No. 602 was designed to encourage and support consensual resolution of complaints, and to organize the complaint procedures so that all complaints are handled in a timely and fair manner. In order to achieve the latter, the Commission revised Rule 206 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.206) to require that a complaint satisfy certain informational requirements, that answers be filed in a shorter, 20-day time frame, and that parties may employ various types of alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve complaints.

On August 31, 1999, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the reporting requirements in Order No. 602 for a term of three years, the maximum period permissible under the Paperwork Reduction Act before an information collection must be resubmitted for approval. As noted above, this notice seeks public comments in order to recertify the FERC-600 reporting requirements in Order No. 602. The data in complaints filed by interested/affected parties regarding oil and natural gas pipeline operations, electric and hydropower facilities in their applications for rate changes, service, and/or licensing are used by the Commission in establishing a basis for various investigations and to make an initial determination regarding the merits of the complaint. Investigations may range from whether there is undue discrimination in rates or service to questions regarding market power of regulated entities to environmental concerns. In order to make a better determination, it is important to know the specifics of any oil, gas, electric, hydropower complaint “up front” in a timely manner and in sufficient detail to allow the Commission to act swiftly. In addition, such complaint data will help the Commission and interested parties to monitor the market for exercises of market power or undue discrimination. The information filed with the Commission is voluntary but submitted with prescribed information. The Commission implements these filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR part 385, Sections 385.206 and 385.213.

Action: The Commission is requesting a three-year extension of the current expiration date, with no changes to the existing collection of data.

Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this collection is estimated as:

Number of respondents annually (1)Number of responses per respondent (2)Average burden hours per response (3)Total annual burden hours (1)×(2)×(3)
76*1141,064
*Represents three year averages (1999-2001).

Estimated cost burden to respondents: 1,064 hours/2,080 hours per year × $117,041 per year = $59,870. The cost per respondent is equal to $787.

The reporting burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information including: (1) Reviewing instructions; (2) developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, verifying, processing, maintaining, disclosing and providing information; (3) adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; (4) training personnel to respond to a collection of information; (5) searching data sources; (6) completing and reviewing the collection of information; and (7) transmitting, or otherwise disclosing the information.

The estimate of cost for respondents is based upon salaries for professional and clerical support, as well as direct and indirect overhead costs. Direct costs include all costs directly attributable to providing this information, such as administrative costs and the cost for information technology. Indirect or overhead costs are costs incurred by an organization in support of its mission. These costs apply to activities which benefit the whole organization rather than any one particular function or activity.

Comments are invited on: (1) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the Start Printed Page 44188burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond.

Start Signature

Magalie R. Salas,

Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-16486 Filed 6-28-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P