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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Emergency Planning and Release Notification Requirements Under Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act Sections 302, 303, and 304

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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): Emergency Planning and Release Notification Requirements (EPCRA sections 302, 303, and 304), EPA ICR Number 1395.05, OMB Control Number 2050-0092, expiring January 31, 2003. 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 must be submitted on or before October 11, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office, Mailcode 5104A, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington DC 20004. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the ICR without charge by contacting the person in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sicy Jacob, 202-564-8019, fax no. 202-564-8233, or e-mail: jacob.sicy@epamail.epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are those which have a threshold planning quantity of an extremely hazardous substance (EHS) listed in 40 CFR part 355, appendix A and those which have a release of any of the EHS above a reportable quantity. Entities more likely to be affected by this action may include chemical, non-chemical manufacturers, retailers, petroleum refineries, utilities, etc.

Title: Emergency Planning and Release Notification Requirements under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act Sections 302, 303, and 304, OMB Control No. 2050-0092, EPA ICR No. 1395.05.

Abstract: The authority for these requirements is sections 302, 303, and 304 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11002, 11003, and 11004). EPCRA established broad emergency planning and facility reporting requirements. Section 302 requires facilities to notify their state emergency response commission (SERC) that the facility is subject to emergency planning. This activity has been completed; only new facilities are subject to this requirement. Section 303 requires the local emergency planning committees (LEPCs) to prepare emergency plans for facilities that are subject to section 302. This activity has been also completed; this ICR only covers any updates needed for these emergency response plans. Section 304 requires facilities to report to SERCs and LEPCs releases in excess of the reportable quantities listed for each extremely hazardous substance (EHS). This ICR also covers the notification and the written follow-up required under this section.

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.

The EPA would like to solicit comments 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.

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.

The EPA would like to solicit comments to:

(i) evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including Start Printed Page 52482whether 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.

Burden Statement: The average reporting burden for emergency planning under 40 CFR 355.30 is 16.15 hours for new and newly regulated facilities and less than 1 hour for existing facilities. For new and newly regulated facilities, this burden includes the time required to read and understand the regulations, to determine reporting status, notify the SERC that the facility is subject to emergency planning, designate a facility representative and otherwise participate in initial planning activities. For a limited number of existing facilities, there may a burden to inform the LEPC of any changes at a facility that may affect emergency planning (2 hours), and provide information to the LEPC for planning purposes (11 hours). The average reporting burden for facilities reporting releases under 40 CFR 355.40 is estimated to average approximately 5 hours per release, including the time for determining if the release is a reportable quantity, notifying the LEPC and SERC, or the 911 operator, and developing and submitting a written follow-up notice. There are no recordkeeping requirements for facilities under EPCRA sections 302-304.

The average burden for emergency planning activities under 40 CFR 300.215 is 21 hours per plan for LEPCs, 16 hours per plan for SERCs. Each SERC and LEPC is also estimated to incur an annual recordkeeping burden of 10 hours.

The total burden to facility respondents over three years is 264,560 hours (88,190 hours annually) at a cost of $8.8 million ($2.9 million annually). The total burden to LEPC and SERC respondents over three years is 372,820 hours (124,275 hours annually) at a cost of $9.5 million ($3.1 annually).

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. This 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.

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Dated: August 2, 2002.

Deborah Y. Dietrich,

Director, Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Office.

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[FR Doc. 02-20348 Filed 8-9-02; 8:45 am]

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