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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund Program

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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): Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund Program; EPA ICR No. 1803.04; OMB No. 2040-0185; expiration date June 30, 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 February 28, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. Follow the detailed instructions as provided in Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For more specific aspects of this ICR, contact Vinh Nguyen at (202) 564-4631; fax (202) 564-3757; E-mail at nguyen.vinh@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Affected Entities

Entities potentially affected by this action are the fifty States, Puerto Rico, and the recipients of assistance in each of these jurisdictions.

B. Background

Title: Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund Program; OMB Control No. 2040-0185; EPA ICR No. 1803.04; expiration date June 30, 2003.

Abstract: The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996 (Public Law 104-182) authorize the creation of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs in each State and Puerto Rico to assist public water systems to finance the costs of infrastructure needed to achieve or maintain compliance with SDWA requirements and to protect public health. Section 1452 authorizes the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award capitalization grants to the States and Puerto Rico which, in turn, provide low-cost loans and other types of assistance to eligible drinking water systems. States can also reserve a portion of their grants to conduct various set-aside activities.

The information collection activities will occur primarily at the program level through the: (1) Capitalization Grant Application and Agreement/State Intended Use Plan; (2) Biennial Report; (3) Annual Audit; and (4) Assistance Application Review. Information collected is needed for input into the DWSRF National Information Management System.

(1) Capitalization Grant Application and Agreement/State Intended Use Plan: The State must prepare a Capitalization Grant Application that includes an Intended Use Plan (IUP) outlining in detail how it will use all the funds covered by the capitalization grant. States may, as an alternative, develop the IUP in a two part process with one part identifying the distribution and uses of the funds among the various set-asides in the DWSRF program and the other part dealing with project assistance from the Fund.

(2) Biennial Report: The State must agree to complete and submit a Biennial Report on the uses of the capitalization grant. The scope of the report must cover assistance provided by the DWSRF Fund and all other set-aside activities included under the Capitalization Grant Agreement. States which jointly administer DWSRF and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) programs, in accordance with section 1452(g)(1), may submit reports (according to the schedule specified for each program) which cover both programs.

(3) Annual Audit: A State must comply with the provisions of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996. Best management practices suggest and EPA recommends that a State conduct an annual independent audit of its DWSRF program. The scope of the report must cover the DWSRF Fund and all other set-aside activities included in the Capitalization Grant Agreement. States which jointly administer DWSRF and CWSRF programs, in accordance with section 1452(g)(1), may submit audits which cover both programs but which report financial information for each program separately.

(4) Assistance Application Review: Local applicants seeking financial assistance must prepare and submit DWSRF loan applications. States then review completed loan applications and verify that proposed projects will comply with applicable federal and state requirements.

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.

Burden Statement

(1) Capitalization Grant Application and Agreement/State Intended Use Plan

2003: 51 States × 400 Hours = 20,400 Burden Hours.

2004: 51 States × 400 Hours = 20,400 Burden Hours

2005: 51 States × 400 Hours = 20,400 Burden Hours

(2) Biennial Report

2003: 25 States × 275 Hours = 6,875 Burden Hours.

2004: 26 States × 275 Hours = 7,150 Burden Hours.

2005: 25 States × 275 Hours = 6,875 Burden Hours.

(3) Annual Audit

2003: 51 States × 80 Hours = 4,080 Burden Hours.

2004: 51 States × 80 Hours = 4,080 Burden Hours.

2005: 51 States × 80 Hours = 4,080 Burden Hours.

(4) Loan Application Review

2003: 51 States × 27 Applications × 40 Hours = 55,080 Burden Hours.

2004: 51 States × 27 Applications × 40 Hours = 55,080 Burden Hours.

2005: 51 States × 27 Applications × 40 Hours = 55,080 Burden Hours.

The annual reporting and recordkeeping hour burden by state and local respondents is 196,687 hours.

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. Start Printed Page 79605

C. How Can I Get Copies of the ICR Supporting Statement and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. OW-2002-0059. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.

2. Electronic Access. You may access this Federal Register document electronically through the EPA Internet under the “Federal Register” listings at http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​.

You may use EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket/​ to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select “search,” then key in the docket identification number.

Certain types of information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets. Information claimed as CBI, and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute, which is not included in the official public docket, will not be available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. EPA's policy is that copyrighted material will not be placed in EPA's electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper form in the official public docket. Although not all docket materials may be available electronically, you may still access any of the publicly available docket materials through the docket facility identified in Unit I.C.

For public commenters, it is important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. When EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket.

Public comments submitted on computer disks that are mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered to the Docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with a brief description written by the docket staff.

C. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?

You may submit comments electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments received after the close of the comment period will be marked “late.” EPA is not required to consider these late comments in formulating a final decision.

1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as prescribed below, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing address, and an e-mail address or other contact information in the body of your comment. Also include this contact information on the outside of any disk or CD ROM you submit, and in any cover letter accompanying the disk or CD ROM. This ensures that you can be identified as the submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further information on the substance of your comment. EPA's policy is that EPA will not edit your comment, and any identifying or contact information provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment.

i. EPA Dockets. Your use of EPA's electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Go directly to EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once in the system, select “search,” and then key in Docket ID No. OW-2002-0059. The system is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity, e-mail address, or other contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment.

ii. E-mail. Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail) to OW-docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2002-0059. In contrast to EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system is not an “anonymous access” system. If you send an e-mail comment directly to the Docket without going through EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address. E-mail addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's e-mail system are included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.

iii. Disk or CD ROM. You may submit comments on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the mailing address identified in Unit I.C. These electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.

2. By Mail. Send an original and three number of copies of your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC, 20460, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2002-0059.

3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2002-0059. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation as identified in Unit I.C.

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

You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments:

1. Explain your views as clearly as possible.

2. Describe any assumptions that you used.

3. Provide any technical information and/or data you used that support your views.

4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at your estimate.

5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.

6. Offer alternatives.

7. Make sure to submit your comments by the comment period deadline identified.

8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject line Start Printed Page 79606on the first page of your response. It would also be helpful if you provided the name, date, and Federal Register citation related to your comments.

E. 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:

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

2. Evaluate the accuracy of the Agency'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.

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Dated: December 23, 2002.

Cynthia C. Dougherty,

Director, Office of Ground Water & Drinking Water.

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[FR Doc. 02-32887 Filed 12-27-02; 8:45 am]

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