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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; State Laboratory Capacity and Capability

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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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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that the following Information Collection Request (ICR) will be forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval: State Laboratory Capacity and Capability (EPA ICR No. 2110.01). 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. EPA also solicits comment on its intention to seek an emergency clearance from OMB to begin collecting data from State Environmental Laboratories and select State Agriculture and State Public Health Laboratories.


Comments must be submitted on or before May 14, 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 State Laboratories.


Follow the detailed instructions in SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

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Don Flattery, U.S. EPA, Office of Environmental Information (2810-A), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW., Washington DC 20460. Phone: (202) 564-4677; fax (202) 501-1622; e-mail:

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EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID number OEI-2003-0027, which is available for public viewing at the Office of Environmental Information 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 Office of Environmental Information Docket is (202) 566-1752. An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA Dockets (EDOCKET) at​edocket. Use EDOCKET to obtain a copy of the draft collection of information, submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the public docket, and 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 21 days of this notice, and according to the following detailed instructions: (1) Submit your comments to EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by email to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information Docket, 28221T, 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 Start Printed Page 19987EDOCKET. 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​edocket.

Title: State Laboratory Capacity and Capability, EPA ICR Number 2110.01. 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.

Abstract: In early 2003, EPA completed a compendium of Laboratory Capability and Capacity. The compendium, available to EPA's emergency response community and select managers and staff, is contained in a data base that allows queries based on analytical capabilities, instrumentation, special handling abilities and location. This useful information was developed through a survey issued to EPA's thirty-four fixed and two mobile laboratories. EPA has been asked by the Department of Homeland Security to pursue development of subsequent phases of this compendium to collect identical information from State laboratory sources. When complete, this information will result in a resource available to select State, local and federal entities involved in response to terrorist incidents involving unknown or suspected chemical, biological or radiological agents. 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.

Burden Statement: The one time public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 4.0 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: 50 States.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 100.

Frequency of Response: Two per State.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 400 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $30,000; includes $6,000 O&M costs and $0 capital and startup costs.

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E. Ramona Trovato,

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Environmental Information.

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[FR Doc. 03-10164 Filed 4-22-03; 8:45 am]