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Notice

Toxic Chemical Release Reporting; Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts; Request for Comment on Renewal Information Collection

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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 EPA is planning to submit the following continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the procedures described in 5 CFR 1320.12:Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts, Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (EPA ICR No. 1704.07, OMB No. 2070-0143). This ICR covers the reporting and record keeping requirements associated with reporting under the alternate threshold for reporting to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). 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. EPA ICR No. 1704.06 was approved by OMB on March 10, 2003 with a shorter than usual clearance in order to provide the EPA an opportunity to examine in more detail the TRI burden estimates and opportunities for reducing burden and enhancing the practical utility of the data. 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.

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DATES:

Comments, identified by the docket control number OEI-2003-0026, must be submitted on or before July 31, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be submitted by mail, electronically, or in person. Please follow the detailed instructions for each method as provided in Unit III. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

For general information, contact The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline at (800) 424-9346 or (703) 412-9810, TDD (800)553-7672, http://www.epa.gov/​epaoswer/​hotline/​. For technical information about this ICR renewal, contact: Judith Kendall, Toxics Release Inventory Program Division, OEI (2844T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460, Telephone: 202-566-0750; Fax: 202-566-0727; email: kendall.judith@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Does This Notice Apply to Me?

A. Affected Entities: Entities that will be affected by this action are those facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use certain toxic chemicals listed on the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and which are required under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), to report annually to EPA their environmental releases of such chemicals.

Currently, those industries with the following SIC code designations (that meet all other threshold criteria for TRI reporting) must report toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities:

  • 20-39, manufacturing sector
  • 10, metal mining (except for SIC codes 1011, 1081, and 1094)
  • 12, coal mining (except for SIC code1241 and extraction activities)
  • 4911, 4931 and 4939, electrical utilities that combust coal and/or oil for the purpose of generating power for distribution in commerce.
  • 4953, RCRA Subtitle C hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities
  • 5169, chemicals and allied products wholesale distributors
  • 5171, petroleum bulk plants and terminals
  • 7389, solvent recovery services, and
  • Federal facilities in any SIC code

To determine whether you or your business is affected by this action, you should carefully examine the applicability provisions at 40 CFR part 372 and section 4(a) of the Supporting Statement of the information collection. If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

II. How Can I Get Additional Information or Copies of This Document and Other Support Documents?

A. In Person

The Agency has established an official public docket for this action under Docket ID no. OEI-2003-0026. 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 this official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of materials that is available for public viewing at the OEI 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 Public Reading Room is (202)566-1744, and the telephone number for the OEI Docket is (202)566-1752.

B. Electronic Availability

Electronic copies of the ICR are available from the EPA Home Page at the Federal Register—Environmental Documents entry for this document under “Laws and Regulations” (http://www.epa.gov/​fedrgstr/​). An electronic copy of the collection instrument referenced in this ICR and instructions for its completion are available at http://www.epa.gov/​triinter/​#forms. 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 dockets, 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 (i.e., OEI-2003-0026).

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 II.A. 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.

For additional information about EPA's electronic public docket visit EPA Dockets online or see 67 FR 38102, May 31, 2002.

III. 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 (i.e., “OEI-2003-0026) in the subject line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your comments are Start Printed Page 39073submitted 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 IV. 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 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. To access EPA's electronic public docket from the EPA Internet Home Page, select “Information Sources,” “Dockets,” and “EPA Dockets.” Once in the system, select “search,” and then key in Docket ID No. OEI-2003-0026. 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 oei.docket@epa.gov. Attention Docket ID No. OEI-2003-0026. 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 III.2. below. These electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid the use of special characters and any form of encryption. All comments and data in electronic form must be identified by the docket control number OEI-2003-0026. Electronic comments on this document may also be filed online at many Federal Depository Libraries.

2. By Mail. Send three copies of your comments to: Document Control Office, Office of Environmental Information (OEI), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Comments may be delivered in person or by courier to: EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC, attention Docket ID No. OEI-2003-0026.

IV. How Should I Handle CBI Information That I Want to Submit to the Agency?

All comments which contain information claimed as CBI must be clearly marked as such. Three sanitized copies of any comments containing information claimed as CBI must also be submitted and will be placed in the public record for this document. Persons submitting information any portion of which they believe is entitled to treatment as CBI by EPA must assert a business confidentiality claim in accordance with 40 CFR 2.203(b) for each such portion. This claim must be made at the time that the information is submitted to EPA. Information covered by such a claim will be disclosed by EPA only to the extent, and by means of the procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B. If a confidentiality claim does not accompany the information when it is received by EPA, the information may be made available to the public by EPA without further notice to the submitter.

V. 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:

(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.

VI. To What Information Collection Activity or ICR Does This Notice Apply?

EPA is seeking comments on the following ICR, as well as the Agency's intention to renew the corresponding OMB approval, which is currently scheduled to expire on October 31, 2003.

Title: Alternate Threshold for Low Annual Reportable Amounts.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1704.07, OMB No. 2070-0143.

Abstract: EPCRA section 313 requires certain facilities manufacturing, processing, or otherwise using certain toxic chemicals in excess of specified threshold quantities to report their environmental releases of such chemicals annually. Each such facility must file a separate report for each such chemical.

In accordance with the authority in EPCRA, EPA has established an alternate threshold for those facilities with low amounts of a listed toxic chemical in wastes. A facility that otherwise meets the current reporting thresholds, but estimates that the total amount of the chemical in waste does not exceed 500 pounds per year, and that the chemical was manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year, can take advantage of reporting under the alternate threshold option for that chemical for that reporting year.

Each qualifying facility that chooses to apply the revised threshold must file the Form A Certification Statement (EPA Form 9350-2) in lieu of a complete TRI reporting Form R (EPA Form 9350-1). In submitting the Form A Certification Statement, the facility certifies that the sum of the amount of the EPCRA section 313 chemical in wastes did not exceed 500 pounds for Start Printed Page 39074the reporting year, and that the chemical was manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year. Use of the Form A Certification Statement represents a substantial savings to respondents, both in burden hours and in labor costs.

The Form A Certification Statement provides communities with information that the chemical is being manufactured, processed or otherwise used at facilities. Additionally, the Form A Certification Statement provides compliance monitoring and enforcement programs and other interested parties with a means to track chemical management activities and verify overall compliance with the rule. Responses to this collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 372) and facilities subject to reporting must submit either a Form A Certification Statement or a Form R.

VII. 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 annual public burden for this collection of information, which is approved under OMB Control No. 2070-0143, is estimated to average 13.7 hours for facilities submitting a Form A Certification Statement for a single listed chemical. By comparison, the average time required for calculations, form completion and record keeping/mailing for Form R is estimated to average 19.5 hours per form. Thus, for a facility filing a Form A certification for a single chemical, the alternate threshold yields an average savings of 5.8 hours.

The ICR supporting statement provides a detailed explanation of the burden estimates that are summarized in this notice. The following is a summary of the estimates taken from the ICR supporting statement:

Estimated No. of Respondents: 5,200.

Frequency of Responses: Annual.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 169,106.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Costs: $7.56 million.

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

The estimated burden described above differs from what is currently in OMB's inventory for alternate threshold reporting: 5,121 responses (Form A Certification Statements) and 463,670 burden hours. The burden estimated in this supporting statement differs from OMB's inventory as a result of adjustments to estimates of number of responses (from 5,121 responses to 5,000 responses), changes to subsequent year unit reporting burden estimates (from 30.2 to 9.2 burden hours per chemical certified on a Form A Certification Statement), and an adjustment for use of TRI-ME for those forms completed using TRI-ME. These changes are described in greater detail in the supporting statement for this ICR, available in the public version of the official record.

IX. What Is the Next Step in the Process for This ICR?

EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. 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 person(s) listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

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Dated: June 25, 2003.

Kimberly T. Nelson,

Assistant Administrator, Office of Environmental Information.

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[FR Doc. 03-16584 Filed 6-30-03; 8:45 am]

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