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Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a list of information collection requests under review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these requests, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer at (404) 498-1210. Send written comments to CDC, Desk Officer, Human Resources and Housing Branch, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503 or by fax to (202) 395-6974. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

Proposed Project: EEOICPA Special Exposure Cohort Petition Forms (42 CFR part 83)—NEW—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Background

On October 30, 2000, the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. 7384-7385 [1994, supp. 2001] was enacted. It established a compensation program to provide a lump sum payment of $150,000 and medical benefits as compensation to Start Printed Page 8973covered employees suffering from designated illnesses incurred as a result of their exposure to radiation, beryllium, or silica while in the performance of duty for the Department of Energy and certain of its vendors, contractors and subcontractors. This legislation also provided for payment of compensation for certain survivors of these covered employees.

EEOICPA instructed the President to designate one or more Federal Agencies to carry out the compensation program. Accordingly, the President issued Executive Order 13179 (“Providing Compensation to America's Nuclear Weapons Workers”) on December 7, 2000 (65 FR 77487), assigning primary responsibility for administration of the compensation program to the Department of Labor (DOL). The executive order directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to perform several technical and policymaking roles in support of the DOL program.

Among other duties, the executive order directed HHS to establish and implement procedures for considering petitions by classes of nuclear weapons workers to be added to the “Special Exposure Cohort” (the “Cohort”), various groups of workers selected by Congress whose claims for cancer under EEOICPA can be adjudicated without demonstrating that their cancer was “at least as likely as not” caused by radiation doses they incurred in the performance of duty. In brief, EEOICPA authorizes HHS to designate such classes of employees for addition to the Cohort when NIOSH lacks sufficient information to estimate with sufficient accuracy the radiation doses of the employees, if HHS also finds that the health of members of the class may have been endangered by the radiation dose the class potentially incurred. HHS must also obtain the advice of the Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health (the “Board”) in establishing such findings. On March 7, 2003, HHS proposed procedures for adding such classes to the Cohort in a notice of proposed rulemaking at 42 CFR part 83.

The proposed HHS procedures would authorize a variety of individuals and entities to submit petitions, as specified under § 83.7. Petitioners would be required to provide the information specified in § 83.9 to qualify their petitions for a complete evaluation by HHS and the Board. HHS has developed two petition forms to assist the petitioners in providing this required information efficiently and completely. Petition Form A is a one-page form to be used by EEOICPA cancer claimants for whom NIOSH will have attempted to conduct dose reconstructions and will have determined that available information is not sufficient to complete the dose reconstruction on the majority of petitioners. The form addresses the informational requirements specified under § 83.9(a) and (b). NIOSH expects these claimant-petitions will comprise the majority of petitions. Petition Form B, accompanied by separate instructions, is intended for all other petitioners. The form addresses the informational requirements specified under § 83.9(a) and (c). Forms A and B can be submitted electronically as well as in hard copy. Petitioners should be aware that HHS is not requiring petitioners to use the forms. Petitioners can choose to submit petitions as letters or in other formats, but petitions must meet the informational requirements referenced above. NIOSH expects, however, that all petitioners for whom Form A would be appropriate will actually make use of the form, since NIOSH will provide it to them upon determining that their dose reconstruction cannot be completed and encourage them to submit the petition. NIOSH expects the large majority of petitioners for whom Form B would be appropriate will also use the form, since it provides a simple, organized format for addressing the informational requirements of a petition.

NIOSH will use the information obtained through the petition for the following purposes; to: (a) Identify the petitioner(s), obtain their contact information, and establish that the petitioner(s) is qualified and intends to petition HHS; (b) establish an initial definition of the class of employees being proposed to be considered for addition to the Cohort; (c) determine whether there is justification to require HHS to evaluate whether or not to designate the proposed class as an addition to the Cohort (such an evaluation involves potentially extensive data collection, analysis, and related deliberations by NIOSH, the Board, and HHS); and, (d) target an evaluation by HHS to examine relevant potential limitations of radiation monitoring and/or dosimetry-relevant records and to examine the potential for related radiation exposures that might have endangered the health of members of the class. Finally, under § 83.16, petitioners may contest the proposed decision of the Secretary to add or deny adding classes of employees to the cohort by submitting evidence that the proposed decision relies on a record of either factual or procedural errors in the implementation of these procedures. NIOSH estimates that the time to prepare and submit such a challenge is 45 minutes. Because of the uniqueness of this submission, NIOSH is not providing a form. The submission should be in a letter format. The total annual burden for this data collection is 54 hours.

CFR referenceRespondentsNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per respondent (in hours)
83.9Form A8013/60
83.9Form B1015
83.9Authorization413/60
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Start Printed Page 8974

Dated: February 18, 2004.

Alvin Hall,

Director, Management Analysis and Services Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 04-4233 Filed 2-25-04; 8:45 am]

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