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Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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Rural Utilities Service, USDA.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).


Comments on this notice must be received by November 7, 2003.

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Richard Annan, Acting Director, Program Development & Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., STOP 1522, Room 5168 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 720-0737. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

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Title: Seismic Safety of New Building Construction.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0099.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) was enacted to reduce risks to life and property through the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is designated as the agency with the primary responsibility to plan and coordinate the NEHRP. This program includes the development and implementation of feasible design and construction methods to make structures earthquake resistant. Executive Order 12699 of January 5, 1990, Seismic Safety of Federal and Federally Assisted or Regulated New Building Construction, requires that measures to assure seismic safety be imposed on federally assisted new building construction.

Title 7 Part 1792, Subpart C, Seismic Safety of Federally assisted New Building Construction, identifies acceptable seismic standards which must be employed in new building construction funded by loans, grants, or guarantees made by RUS or the Rural Telephone Bank (RTB) or through lien accommodations or subordinations approved by RUS or RTB. This subpart implements and explains the provisions of the loan contract utilized by the RUS for both electric and telecommunications borrowers and by the RTB for its telecommunications borrowers requiring construction certifications affirming compliance with the standards.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.5 hours per response.

Respondents: Small business or organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,000.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.2.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 800.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Dawn Wolfgang, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 720-0812.

Comments are invited on (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumption used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to 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 on other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Richard Annan, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Stop 1522, Room 5168 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Hilda Gay Legg,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-22753 Filed 9-5-03; 8:45 am]