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Notice

Request for Contractor Access to TSCA Confidential Business Information; Request for Comment on Renewal of Information Collection Activities

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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 (PRA) (44 U.S.C 3501 et seq.) EPA is seeking public comment on the following Information Collection Request (ICR): Request for Contractor Access to TSCA Confidential Business Information (EPA ICR No. 1250.07, OMB Control No. 2070-0075). This ICR involves a collection activity that is currently approved and scheduled to expire on February 29, 2004. The information collection involves company and individual employee information provided by EPA contractor companies for those employees needing Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) confidential business information (CBI) clearance in order to perform their duties. Before submitting this ICR to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the PRA, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the collection.

DATES:

Written comments, identified by the docket ID number OPPT-2003-0013, must be received on or before June 16, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For general information contact: Barbara Cunningham, Acting Director, Environmental Assistance Division (7408M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 554-1404; e-mail address: TSCA-Hotline@epa.gov.

For technical information contact: Sandra Wilkins, Information Management Division (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 564-8952; fax number: (202) 564-8955; e-mail address: wilkins.sandra@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Action Apply to Me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are a company under contract to EPA to provide certain services, and your employees must have access to TSCA CBI in the performance of their duties. Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Information services (NAICS 514), e.g., Information search services.
  • Administrative and support services (NAICS 561), e.g., Office administrative services.

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected. The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes have been provided to assist you and others in determining whether this action might apply to certain entities. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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 identification (ID) number OPPT-2003-0013. The official public docket consists of the documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments received, and other information related to this action. Although a part of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is Start Printed Page 18203restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the EPA Docket Center, Rm. B102-Reading Room, EPA West, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The EPA Docket Center Reading Room telephone number is (202) 566-1744 and the telephone number for the OPPT Docket, which is located in EPA Docket Center, is (202) 566-0280.

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. 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.B.1. Once in the system, select “search,” then key in the appropriate docket ID 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. To the extent feasible, publicly available docket materials will be made available in EPA's electronic public docket. When a document is selected from the index list in EPA Dockets, the system will identify whether the document is available for viewing in EPA's electronic 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.B.1. EPA intends to work towards providing electronic access to all of the publicly available docket materials through EPA's electronic public docket.

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 the Comments?

You may submit comments electronically, by mail, or through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, identify the appropriate docket ID 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. If you wish to submit CBI or information that is otherwise protected by statute, please follow the instructions in Unit I.D. Do not use EPA Dockets or e-mail to submit CBI or information protected by statute.

1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as prescribed in this unit, 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 number OPPT-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 e-mail to oppt.ncic@epa.gov, Attention: Docket ID Number OPPT-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 Unit I.C.2. 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 your comments to: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.

3. By hand delivery or courier. Deliver your comments to: OPPT Document Control Office (DCO) in EPA East Building Rm. 6428, 1201 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. Attention: Docket ID Number OPPT-2003-0013. 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) 564-8930.

D. How Should I Submit CBI To the Agency?

Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI electronically through EPA's electronic public docket Start Printed Page 18204or by e-mail. You may claim information that you submit to EPA as CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI (if you submit CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM as CBI and then identify electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that is CBI). Information so marked will not be disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2.

In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes any information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for inclusion in the public docket and EPA's electronic public docket. If you submit the copy that does not contain CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside of the disk or CD ROM clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and EPA's electronic public docket without prior notice. If you have any questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

E. What Should I Consider When 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 copies of 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 the estimate that you provide.

5. Provide specific examples to illustrate your concerns.

6. Offer alternative ways to improve the collection activity.

7. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline in this notice.

8. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket ID number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal Register citation.

F. 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.

II. What Information Collection Activity or ICR Does this Action Apply to?

EPA is seeking comments on the following ICR:

Title: Request for Contractor Access to TSCA Confidential Business Information.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1250.07, OMB Control No. 2070-0075.

ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on February 29, 2004. An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information that is subject to approval under PRA, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, and included on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable.

Abstract: Certain employees of companies working under contract to EPA require access to CBI collected under the authority of TSCA in order to perform their official duties. The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), which is responsible for maintaining the security of TSCA CBI, requires that all individuals desiring access to TSCA CBI obtain and annually renew official clearance to TSCA CBI. As part of the process for obtaining TSCA CBI clearance, OPPT requires certain information about the contracting company and about each contractor employee requesting TSCA CBI clearance. This includes primarily the name, Social Security number and EPA identification badge number of the employee, the type of TSCA CBI clearance requested and the justification for such clearance, and the signature of the employee to an agreement with respect to access to and use of TSCA CBI.

Responses to the collection of information are voluntary, but failure to provide the requested information will prevent a contractor employee from obtaining clearance to TSCA CBI. EPA will observe strict confidentiality precautions with respect to the information collected on individual employees, based on the Privacy Act of 1974, as outlined in the ICR and in the collection instrument.

III. 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 ICR provides a detailed explanation of this estimate, which is only briefly summarized in this notice. The annual public burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.6 hours per response. The following is a summary of the estimates taken from the ICR:

Respondents/affected entities: 19.

Estimated total number of potential respondents: Unknown.

Frequency of response: One time only per individual employee needing TSCA CBI clearance.

Estimated total/average number of responses for each respondent: 14.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 428 hours.

Estimated total annual burden costs: $15,736.

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

There is a decrease of 247 hours (from 675 hours to 428 hours) in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR most recently approved by OMB. This change results from a lesser number of contractor companies with employees needing TSCA CBI clearance.

V. What is the Next Step in the Process for This ICR?

EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as Start Printed Page 18205appropriate. 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 technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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List of Subjects

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Dated: April 1, 2003.

Stephen L. Johnson,

Assistant Administrator for Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances.

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[FR Doc. 03-9211 Filed 4-14-03; 8:45 am]

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