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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Notification of Episodic Releases of Oil and Hazardous Substances, EPA ICR Number 1049.10, OMB Control Number 2050-0046

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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 EPA is planning to submit a continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. This ICR is scheduled to expire on April 30, 2004. 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.


Comments must be submitted on or before February 10, 2004.


Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number SFUND-2000-0009, to EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by email to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Superfund Docket Office, Mail Code 5202T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

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Lynn M. Beasley, Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Office of Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, Emergency Response Staff, 5204G, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 603-9086; fax number: (703) 603-9104; e-mail address:

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EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID number SFUND-2000-0009, which is available for public viewing at the Superfund 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 Superfund Docket is (202) 566-0276. 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 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 within 60 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​edocket.

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are facilities or vessels that manufacture, process, transport, or otherwise use certain specified hazardous substances and oil.

Title: Notification of Episodic Releases of Oil and Hazardous Substances.

Abstract: Section 103(a) of CERCLA, as amended, requires the person in charge of a facility or vessel to immediately notify the National Response Center (NRC) of a hazardous substance release into the environment if the amount of the release equals or exceeds the substance's reportable quantity (RQ) limit. The RQ of every Start Printed Page 69398hazardous substance can be found in Table 302.4 of 40 CFR 302.4.

Section 311 of the CWA, as amended, requires the person in charge of a vessel to immediately notify the NRC of an oil spill into U.S. navigable waters if the spill causes a sheen, violates applicable water quality standards, or causes a sludge or emulsion to be deposited beneath the surface of the water or upon adjoining shorelines.

The reporting of a hazardous substance release that is above the substance's RQ allows the Federal Government to determine whether a Federal response action is required to control or mitigate any potential adverse effects to public health or welfare or the environment. Likewise, the reporting of oil spills allows the Federal Government to determine whether cleaning up the oil spill is necessary to mitigate or prevent damage to public health or welfare or the environment.

The hazardous substance and oil release information collected under CERCLA section 103(a) and CWA section 311 also is available to EPA program offices and other Federal agencies who use the information to evaluate the potential need for additional regulations, new permitting requirements for specific substances or sources, or improved emergency response planning. Release notification information, which is stored in the national Emergency Response Notification System (ERNS) data base, is available to State and local government authorities as well as the general public. State and local government authorities and the regulated community use release information for purposes of local emergency response planning. Members of the general public, who have access to release information through the Freedom of Information Act, may request release information for purposes of maintaining an awareness of what types of releases are occurring in different localities and what actions, if any, are being taken to protect public health and welfare and the environment. ERNS fact sheets, which provide summary and statistical information about hazardous substance and oil release notifications, also are available to the public. 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.

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:

Estimated total number of reportable releases of hazardous substances and oil per year: 24,082.

Frequency of response: When a reportable release occurs.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 98,736 hours.

Estimated total annual burden costs: $7,230,537.

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.

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Dated: November 10, 2003.

Deborah Y. Dietrich,

Director, Office of Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response.

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[FR Doc. 03-30776 Filed 12-11-03; 8:45 am]