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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica (Renewal), EPA ICR Number 1808.04, OMB Control Number 2020-0007

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. This ICR is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2004. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. This ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

DATES:

Additional comments may be submitted on or before December 2, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number OECA-2004-0026, to (1) EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by e-mail to docket.oeca@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center, Mail Code 2201T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB at: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Katherine Biggs, Office of Federal Activities, Mail Code 2252A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number (202) 564-7144; fax number: (202) 564-0072; e-mail address: biggs.katherine@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On Friday, May 14, 2004 (69 FR 26814), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA has addressed the comments received.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. OECA-2004-0026, which is available for public viewing at the Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center 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 Enforcement and Compliance Docket and Information Center is (202) 564-1752. An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA Dockets (EDOCKET) at http://www.epa.gov/​edocket. Use EDOCKET to 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 and OMB within 30 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 http://www.epa.gov/​edocket.

Title: Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica (Renewal).

Abstract: The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulations at 40 CFR part 8, Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica (Final Rule), were promulgated pursuant to the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996 (Act), 16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq., as amended, 16 U.S.C. 2403a, which implements the Protocol on Environmental Protection (Protocol) to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 (Treaty). The requirements of the Final Rule apply to operators of nongovernmental expeditions organized in or proceeding from the territory of the United States to Antarctica and include commercial and non-commercial expeditions.

Environmental Documentation. Persons subject to the Final Rule must prepare environmental documentation to support the operator's determination regarding the level of environmental impact of the proposed expedition. Environmental documentation includes a Preliminary Environmental Review Memorandum (PERM), an Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE), or a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE). The environmental document is submitted to the Office of Federal Activities (OFA).

The Protocol and the Final Rule also require an operator to employ procedures to assess and provide a regular and verifiable record of the actual impacts of an activity which proceeds on the basis of an IEE or CEE. The record developed through these measures needs to be designed to: (a) Enable assessments to be made of the extent to which environmental impacts of nongovernmental expeditions are consistent with the Protocol; and (b) provide information useful for minimizing and mitigating those impacts and, where appropriate, on the need for suspension, cancellation, or modification of the activity. Moreover, an operator needs to monitor key environmental indicators for an activity proceeding on the basis of a CEE. An operator may also need to carry out monitoring in order to assess and verify the impact of an activity for which an IEE would be prepared. For activities that require an IEE, an operator should be able to use procedures currently being voluntarily utilized by operators to provide the required information. Should an activity require a CEE, the operator should consult with EPA to: (a) Start Printed Page 63527Identify the monitoring regime appropriate to that activity, and (b) determine whether and how the operator might utilize relevant monitoring data collected by the U.S. Antarctic Program. OFA would consult with the National Science Foundation and other interested Federal agencies regarding the monitoring regime.

In cases of emergency relating to the safety of human life or of ships, aircraft, equipment and facilities of high value, or the protection of the environment which would require an activity to be undertaken without completion of the documentation procedures set out in the Final Rule, the operator would need to notify the Department of State within 15 days of any activities which would have otherwise required preparation of a CEE, and provide a full explanation of the activities carried out within 45 days of those activities.

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 and are identified on the form and/or instrument, if applicable.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1,548 hours annually, or 70 hours per response. This hourly burden reflects annual submission of different levels of environmental documentation by an anticipated 22 respondents (e.g., U.S.-based nongovernmental operators). 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: Entities potentially affected are all nongovernmental operators with activities in Antarctica, including tour operators.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 22.

Frequency of Response: Annually.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 1,548.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $124,000, includes $4,000 annualized capital or O&M costs and $120,000 annual labor costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 986 hours and $4,000 in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This increased adjustment is the result of an increase in the number of respondents anticipated during the 3-year ICR renewal period and the level of environmental documentation EPA anticipates the respondents will submit.

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Dated: October 26, 2004.

Joseph A. Sierra,

Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 04-24415 Filed 11-1-04; 8:45 am]

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