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Agency Information Collection Activities: Title IV of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002: Drinking Water Security and Safety (Act); Comment Request

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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 the following Information Collection Request (ICR) will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval: Information Collection Request for Title IV of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002: Drinking Water Security and Safety (Act). Today's notice invites comment on EPA's proposed ICR. EPA also solicits comment on its intention to seek an emergency clearance from OMB to begin collecting data from community water systems (CWS) that are required to comply with the Act.

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DATES:

The Agency requests comments on today's notice. Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight March 24, 2003. If EPA does not receive adverse comments on or before this date regarding EPA's request for emergency clearance, EPA intends to seek a 180-day emergency clearance from OMB to begin collecting information from CWSs.

ADDRESSES:

Follow the detailed instructions in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For more information, or to obtain a copy of the draft Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act ICR without charge, please contact Roy Rathbun, U.S. EPA, Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water (4601M), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW; Washington DC 20460. Phone: (202) 564-9932; fax (202) 564-3753; E-mail: rathbun.roy@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Who Is Affected by This Action?

Entities affected by this action are community water systems (CWSs) that serve a population greater than 3,300 persons. A CWS means a public water system which serves at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents or regularly serves at least 25 year-round residents.

B. How Can I Get Copies of This Document and Other Related Information?

1. Docket. EPA has established an official public docket for this action under Docket ID No. OW-2003-0013. 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 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 Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. For access to docket material, please call (202) 566-2426 to schedule an appointment.

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/​.

An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. 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 appropriate 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 section I.B.1.

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.

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-2003-0013. 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-2003-0013. 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 section I.C.2. These electronic submissions will be accepted Start Printed Page 12348in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption.

2. By Mail. Send an original and three copies of your comments and any enclosures to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20460, Attention Docket No. OW-2003-0013.

3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington DC, Attention Docket ID No. OW-2003-0013. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation as identified in section I.B.1

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 on 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. Title: Title IV of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002: Drinking Water Security and Safety EPA ICR Number 2103.01. This is a request for a new information collection, and a notification that EPA will seek an emergency clearance from OMB to begin collecting information.

F. Abstract: Title IV of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-188) (Act) amends the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The Act requires each community water system (CWS) serving a population of more than 3,300 people to conduct a vulnerability assessment of its water system and to prepare or revise an emergency response plan that incorporates the results of the vulnerability assessment. EPA will use the information collected under this ICR to determine whether CWSs have conducted vulnerability assessments and prepared or revised emergency response plans in compliance with the Act.

Primary users of the information collected under this ICR include the EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, EPA Regional Administrators, and CWSs. EPA will comply with the Bioterrorism Act, which strictly limits the use of some of this information.

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.

G. Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 117.9 hours per response. 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.

Respondents/Affected Entities: Community water systems serving populations greater than 3,300 persons.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 8,487 systems.

Frequency of Response: Varies based on statutory schedule and system size.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 2,652,392 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $156,540,365; includes $82,211 O&M costs and $0 capital and startup costs.

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Dated: March 6, 2003.

Peter E. Shanaghan,

Acting Director, Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

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[FR Doc. 03-6193 Filed 3-13-03; 8:45 am]

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