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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Water Quality Inventory Reports (Clean Water Act Sections 305(b), 303(d), 314(a), and 106(e)), EPA ICR Number 1560.07, OMB Control Number 2040-0071

Document Details

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 an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. This ICR is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2003. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. This ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

DATES:

Additional comments may be submitted on or before October 6, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number OW-2003-0026, to (1) 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, 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Wilson, Assessment and Watershed Protection Division, Office of Water, Mail Code 4503T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-1158; fax number: 202-566-1331; e-mail address: wilson.john@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 May 21, 2003 (68 FR 27793), 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-2003-0026 , 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. 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 www.epa.gov/​edocket.

Title: National Water Quality Inventory Reports (Clean Water Act Sections 305(b), 303(d), 314(a), and 106(e)).

Abstract: Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires States to identify and rank waters which cannot meet water quality standards (WQS) following the implementation of technology-based controls. Under section 303(d), States are also required to establish total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for listed waters not meeting standards as a result of pollutant discharges. In developing the section 303(d) lists, States are required to consider various sources of water quality related data and information, including the section 305(b) State water quality reports. The section 305(b) reports contain information on the extent of water quality degradation, the pollutants and sources affecting water quality, and State progress in controlling water pollution. EPA's Assessment and Watershed Protection Division (AWPD) works with its Regional counterparts to review and approve or disapprove State section 303(d) lists and TMDLs.

This announcement includes the reapproval of current, ongoing activities related to sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting and TMDL development for Start Printed Page 52764the period of August 1, 2003 through July 31, 2006. During the period covered by this ICR renewal, respondents will: Complete their 2004 section 305(b) reports and 2004 section 303(d) lists; complete their 2006 section 305(b) reports and 2006 section 303(d) lists; transmit annual electronic updates of their section 305(b) databases in 2003 through 2006; and continue to develop TMDLs according to their established schedules. EPA will prepare two biennial Reports to Congress: one in 2003, one in 2005, and EPA will review TMDL submissions from respondents.

The respondent community for section 305(b) reporting consists of 50 States, the District of Columbia, 5 Territories (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands), and 3 River Basin Commissions. The Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission, and the Interstate Sanitation Commission have jurisdiction over basins that lie in multiple States. Indian Tribes are exempt from the section 305(b) reporting requirement, but some Tribes choose to participate as a way of presenting assessments and water quality issues to the public and Congress. One Tribe or Tribal Group prepared section 305(b) reports in 1996 and 1997. However, since Tribal section 305(b) reporting is a voluntary effort, it is not included in the burden estimates for this ICR.

The respondent community for section 303(d) activities consists of 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 5 Territories (Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands). Although Indian Tribes can be authorized to meet section 303(d) requirements, none are currently authorized nor have applied for authorization. Further, very few Tribes have established water quality standards, and EPA is currently in the process of preparing standards where they are needed. Therefore, we assume that there would be no burden to Indian Tribes over the period covered by this ICR for section 303(d) activities.

The burden of specific activities that States undertake as part of their sections 305(b) and 303(d) programs are derived from an ongoing project among EPA, States and other interested stakeholders to develop a tool for estimating the States' resource needs for State water quality management programs. This project has developed the State Water Quality Management Workload Model (SWQMWM), which estimates and sums the workload involved in more than one hundred activities or tasks comprising a State water quality management program. Over twenty States have contributed information about their activities that became the basis for the model. According to the SWQMWM, the States will carry out the following activities or tasks to meet the sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting requirements: Watershed characterization; modeling and analysis; development of a TMDL document for public review; public outreach; formal public participation; tracking; planning; legal support; etc. In general, respondents have conducted each of these reporting and record keeping activities for past sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting cycles and thus have staff and procedures in place to continue their sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting programs. The burden associated with these tasks is estimated in this ICR to include the total number of TMDLs that may be submitted during the period covered by this ICR.

The biennial frequency of the collection is mandated by section 305(b)(1) of the CWA. Section 305(b) originally required respondents to submit water quality reports on an annual basis. In 1977, the annual requirement was amended to a biennial requirement in the CWA. EPA has determined that abbreviated reporting for hard-copy section 305(b) reports, combined with annual electronic reporting using respondent databases, will meet the CWA reporting requirements while reducing burden to respondents. The biennial period with annual electronic reporting ensures that information needed for analysis and water program decisions is reasonably current, yet abbreviated reporting requirements provides respondents with sufficient time to prepare the reports.

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 in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and are identified on the form and/or instrument, if applicable.

Burden Statement: For the 3 respondents that have section 305(b) responsibility only the annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3,659 hours. For the 56 other respondents with both sections 305(b) and 303(d) responsibilities the annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 66,590 hours. 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, District of Columbia, Territories, River Basin commissions, and Indian Tribes.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 59.

Frequency of Response: Biannually.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 3,740,017.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $155,322,906, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 749,130 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease is due to: Adjustment Changes in Burden for sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting. The total annual respondent burden for sections 305(b) and 303(d) reporting has increased from ICR 1560.05 and 1560.06 due to improved estimates of respondent activity.

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Dated: August 27, 2003.

Doreen Sterling,

Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-22641 Filed 9-4-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P