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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Information Collection Request for Superfund Site Evaluation and Hazard Ranking System, EPA ICR Number 1488.06, OMB Control Number 2050-0095

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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 proposed Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):

Superfund Site Evaluation and Hazard Ranking System; ICR #1488.06. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. This ICR is scheduled to expire on November 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 August 20, 2004.


Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number SFUND-2004-0005, to EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by e-mail to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailstop 5202T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

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Yolanda Singer, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Stop 5204G, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (703) 603-8835.

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EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID number SFUND-2004-0005, which is available for public viewing at the CERCLA 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 CERCLA 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 2001 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 those State agencies, Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories performing Superfund site evaluation activities.

Title: Superfund Site Evaluation and Hazard Ranking System.

Abstract: Section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, 1980 and 1986) amends the National Oil and Hazardous Start Printed Page 34347Substances Contingency Plan (NCP) to include criteria prioritizing releases throughout the U.S. before undertaking remedial action at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) is a model that is used to evaluate the relative threats to human health and the environment posed by actual or potential releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. The HRS criteria take into account the population at risk, the hazard potential of the substances, as well as the potential for contamination of drinking water supplies, direct human contact, destruction of sensitive ecosystems, damage to natural resources affecting the human food chain, contamination of surface water used for recreation or potable water consumption, and contamination of ambient air.

EPA Regional offices work with States to determine those sites for which the State will conduct the Superfund site evaluation activities and the HRS scoring. The States are reimbursed 100 percent of their costs, except for record maintenance.

Under this ICR, the States will apply the HRS by identifying and classifying those releases or sites that warrant further investigation. The HRS score is crucial since it is the primary mechanism used to determine whether a site is eligible to be included on the National Priorities List (NPL). Only sites on the NPL are eligible for Superfund-financed remedial actions.

HRS scores are derived from the sources described in this information collection, including conducting field reconnaissance, taking samples at the site, and reviewing available reports and documents. States record the collected information on HRS documentation worksheets and include this in the supporting reference package.

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: The annual public reporting and record keeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to range from 44 to 1,870 hours per site depending on how far a site progresses through the site assessment process. Sites needing Pre-CERCLIS Screening and no other Superfund site assessment work will require an average of 44 hours per site, while sites progressing though all of the major phases of the site assessment process will require an average of 1,870 hours per site. EPA estimates 60 States, Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories will likely respond, each averaging 14 actions per year. EPA further estimates the average hours per action will require 171 hours (based on historic data for the type of site assessment activities to be conducted). Thus, the burden for all respondents is estimated at 143,640 hours and approximately $10,903,301 each year (based on historic data on estimated costs per site assessment activity). 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, Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories performing Superfund site evaluation activities.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 60.

Frequency of Response: One time; section 116(b) requires an HRS evaluation within four years of the site's entry into the EPA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) database.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 143,640 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $10,903,301.

Estimated Total Annualized Capital, O&M Cost Burden: $0.

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Dated: June 14, 2004.

Charles H. Sutfin,

Acting Director, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Office of Solid Waste and Remedial Response.

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[FR Doc. 04-13936 Filed 6-18-04; 8:45 am]