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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Modification of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges Into Marine Waters, EPA ICR Number 0138.08, OMB Control Number 2040-0088

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 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 September 30, 2005. 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.


Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 3, 2005.


Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number OW-2003-0033, to (1) EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by e-mail to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, Mail Code 4101T, 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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Virginia Fox-Norse, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, (Mail Code 4504T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-1266; fax number: (202) 566-1337; e-mail address:

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EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On June 16, 2005 (70 FR 35082), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. OW-2003-0033, which is available for public viewing at the Water 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 Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. An electronic version of the public docket is available through EPA Dockets (EDOCKET) at​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, confidential business information (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.

Title: Modifications of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges Into Marine Waters.

Abstract: The Clean Water Act (CWA) 301(h) program involves collecting information from two sources: (1) The municipal wastewater treatment facility, commonly called a publicly owned treatment works (POTW); and (2) the State in which the POTW is located. Municipalities had the opportunity to apply for a waiver from secondary treatment requirements, but that opportunity closed in December 1982. A POTW that seeks a section 301(h) waiver does so voluntarily to obtain or retain a benefit. A POTW seeking to obtain a 301(h) waiver, holding a current waiver, or reapplying for a waiver, provides application, monitoring, and toxic control program information. The State provides information on its determination whether the proposed conditions of the waiver ensure the protection of water quality, biological habitats, and beneficial uses of receiving waters, and whether the discharge will result in additional treatment, pollution control, or any other requirement for any other point or nonpoint sources. The State also provides information to certify that the discharge will meet all applicable State laws and that the State accepts all permit conditions. EPA requires updated information on the discharge to: (1) Determine whether the section 301(h) criteria are still being met and whether the section 301(h) waiver should be reissued; (2) determine whether the water quality, biological habitats, and beneficial uses of the receiving waters are protected; and (3) ensure that the permittee is effectively minimizing industrial and nonindustrial toxic pollutant and pesticide discharges into the treatment works. EPA needs information from the State to: (1) Allow the State's views to be taken into account when EPA reviews the section 301(h) application and develops permit conditions; and (2) ensure that all State laws are met and that the State accepts all permit conditions. This information is the means by which the State can non-concur with a section 301(h) approval decision made by the EPA Regional office. Regulations implementing CWA section 301(h) are found at 40 CFR part 125, subpart G. The information covered by this information collection request involves treatment plant operating data, effects of POTWs' discharges on marine environments, and States' viewpoints on issues concerning effects of POTWs' discharges on marine environments. Start Printed Page 57867None of this information is confidential; thus confidentiality is not an issue.

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 652 hours per response for POTWs and 86 hours per response for States. 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 by this action are those municipalities that currently have section 301(h) waivers from secondary treatment, have applied for a renewal of a section 301(h) waiver, or those with a pending section 301(h) waiver application, and the states within which these municipalities are located.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 50.

Frequency of Response: The frequency of response varies from one time to once every five years, to case-by-case, depending on the category of information.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 61,377 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $1,343,393, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 3,680 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease is an adjustment to the estimates because the universe of POTWs in the 301(h) program and subject to the 301(h) information has decreased.

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Dated: September 24, 2005.

Oscar Morales,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 05-19839 Filed 10-3-05; 8:45 am]