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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission of EPA ICR No. 0168.08 (OMB No. 2040-0057) to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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 document announces that the following Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval: NPDES and Sewage Sludge Management State Programs. This ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

DATES:

Additional comments may be submitted on or before May 22, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Follow the detailed instructions in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jack Faulk, Water Permits Division, Office of Wastewater Management, Mail Code 4203M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-0768; fax number: (202) 564-6431; e-mail address: faulk.jack@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On January 10, 2003, (68 FR 1454), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. OW-2002-0063, which 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 Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA Dockets (EDOCKET) at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket. Use EDOCKET to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the 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 ID number identified above.

Any comments related to this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice, and according to the following detailed instructions: (1) Submit your comments to EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by e-mail to OW-Docket@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, Mail Code: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) Mail your comments to OMB at: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing in EDOCKET as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI, or other information whose public 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 EDOCKET. The entire printed comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the public docket. Although identified as an item in the official docket, information claimed as CBI, or whose disclosure is otherwise restricted by statute, is not included in the official public docket, and will not be available for public viewing in EDOCKET. For further information about the electronic docket, see EPA's Federal Register notice describing the electronic docket at 67 FR 38102 (May 31, 2002), or go to http://www.epa.gov/​edocket.

Title: NPDES and Sewage Sludge Management State Programs (OMB Control Number 2040-0057, EPA ICR Number 0168.08). This is a request to renew an existing approved collection that is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2003. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB.

Abstract: Under the NPDES program, States, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories, hereafter referred to as States, may acquire the authority to issue permits. These governments have the option of acquiring authority to issue general Start Printed Page 19811permits (permits that cover a category or categories of similar discharges). States with existing NPDES programs must submit requests for program modifications to add Federal facilities, or general permit authority. In addition, as federal statutes and regulations are modified, States must submit program modifications to ensure that their program continues to meet Federal requirements.

States have the option of obtaining a sludge management program. This program may be a component of a State NPDES Program, or it may be administered as a separate program. To obtain a NPDES or sludge program, a State must submit an application that includes a program description, an Attorney General's Statement, draft Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the EPA Region, and copies of the State's statutes and regulations.

Once a State obtains authority for an NPDES or sludge program, it becomes responsible for implementing the program in that jurisdiction.

The State must retain records on the permittees and perform inspections. In addition, when a State obtains NPDES or sludge authority, EPA must oversee the program. Thus, States must submit permit information and compliance reports to the EPA.

When EPA issues a permit in an unauthorized State, that State must certify that the permit requirements comply with State water laws. According to the Clean Water Act (CWA) (section 510), States may adopt discharge requirements that are equal to or more stringent than requirements in the CWA or Federal regulations.

There are three categories of reporting requirements that are covered by this ICR. The first category, “State Program Requests,” includes the activities States must complete to request a new NPDES or sludge program, or to modify an existing program. The second category, “State Program Implementation,” includes the activities that approved States must complete to implement an existing program, such as certification of EPA-issued permits by non-NPDES States. The third category, “State Program Oversight,” includes activities required of NPDES States so that EPA may satisfy its statutory requirements for state program oversight.

The information collected by EPA is used to evaluate the adequacy of a State's NPDES or sludge program and to provide EPA with the information necessary to fulfill its statutory oversight functions over State program performance and individual permit actions. EPA will use this information to evaluate State requests for full or partial program approval and program modifications. In order to evaluate the adequacy of a State's proposed program, appropriate information must be provided to ensure that proper procedures, regulations, and statutes are in place and consistent with the CWA 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, and are identified on the form and/or instrument, if applicable.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 50.3 hours per response for each state activity. 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: States, Territories, and American Indian Tribal Entities.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 613.

Frequency of Response: Semi-annually, quarterly, on occasion, every 5 years, on-going.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 966,966 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $30,169,349, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 173,828 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease in the applicant respondent and NPDES-authorized state burden is due primarily to a significant cleanup of the database used to track NPDES permittees.

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Dated: April 10, 2003.

Oscar Morales,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-9912 Filed 4-21-03; 8:45 am]

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