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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Employment Standards Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: (1) Comparability of Current Work to Coal Mine Employment; (2) Coal Mine Employment Affidavit; (3) Affidavit of Deceased Miner's Condition. A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before December 6, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Ms. Hazel M. Bell, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room S-3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-0418, fax (202) 693-1451, e-mail bell.hazel@dol.gov. Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or e-mail).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Black Lung Benefits Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., provides for the payment of benefits to coal miners who have contracted black lung disease as a result of coal mine employment, and their dependents and survivors. Once a miner has been identified as having performed non-coal mine work subsequent to coal mine employment, the miner or the miner's survivor is asked to complete a CM-913 to compare coal mine work to non-coal mine work. This employment information along with medical information is used to establish whether the miner is totally disabled due to black lung disease caused by coal mine employment. The CM-918 is an affidavit used to gather coal mine employment evidence only when primary evidence, such as pay stubs, W-2 forms, employer and union records, and Social Security records are unavailable or incomplete. The CM-1093 is an affidavit form for recording lay medical evidence, used in survivors' claims in which there is no medical evidence that addresses the miner's pulmonary or respiratory condition. This information collection is currently approved for use through April 30, 2005.

II. Review Focus

The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • 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 submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

The Department of Labor seeks the approval of the extension of this information collection in order to carry out its responsibility to determine eligibility for black lung benefits.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Employment Standards Administration.

Titles: (1) Comparability of Current Work to Coal Mine Employment; (2) Coal Mine Employment Affidavit; (3) Affidavit of Deceased Miner's Condition.

OMB Number: 1215-0056.

Agency Numbers: CM-913, CM-918, CM-1093.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

FormsTotal responsesTime per response (in minutes)Burden hours
CM-9131,35030675
CM-918751013
CM-1093752025
Total1,500713

Total Respondents: 1,500.

Total Annual responses: 1,500.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 713.

Frequency: On occasion.

Total Burden Cost (Capital/Startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (Operating/Maintenance): $600.00.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: September 28, 2004.

Bruce Bohanon,

Chief, Branch of Management Review and Internal Control, Division of Financial Management, Office of Management, Administration and Planning, Employment Standards Administration.

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[FR Doc. 04-22329 Filed 10-4-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-CN-P