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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (Form R) (Renewal), EPA ICR Number 1363.14, OMB Control Number 2070-0093

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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.

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 January 31, 2006. 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 23, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number OEI-2004-0006, to (1) EPA online using EDOCKET (our preferred method), by e-mail to oei.docket@epa.gov or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, OEI Docket 28221T, 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:

Cassandra Vail, Toxics Release Inventory Program Division, Office of Information Analysis and Access (2844T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-0753; e-mail address: vail.cassandra@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 May 18, 2005, (70 FR 28520) EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received comments from four organizations on this ICR during the comment period. A table summarizing the major comments and EPA's responses is available in the public docket.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. OEI-2004-0006 which is available for public viewing at the OEI 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 OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752. 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: Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (Form R) (Renewal)

Abstract: The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) section 313 requires owners and operators of certain facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use any of certain listed toxic chemicals and chemical categories in excess of applicable threshold quantities to report annually to the Environmental Protection Agency and to the states in which such facilities are located on their environmental releases and transfers of and other waste management activities for such chemicals. In addition, section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) requires facilities to provide information on the quantities of the toxic chemicals in waste streams and the efforts made to reduce or eliminate those quantities.

Annual reporting under EPCRA section 313 of toxic chemical releases and other waste management information provides citizens with a useful picture of the total disposition of chemicals in their communities and helps focus industry's attention on pollution prevention and source reduction opportunities. EPA believes that the public has a right to know about the disposition of chemicals within communities and the management of such chemicals by facilities in industries subject to EPCRA section 313 reporting. This reporting has been successful in providing communities with important information regarding the disposition of toxic chemicals and other waste management information of toxic chemicals from manufacturing facilities in their areas.

EPA collects, processes, and makes available to the public all of the information collected that is not subject to trade secrecy claims. The information gathered under these authorities is stored in a database maintained at EPA and is available through the Internet. This information, commonly known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), is used extensively by both EPA and the public sector. Program offices within EPA use TRI data, along with other sources of data, to establish priorities, evaluate potential exposure scenarios, and undertake regulatory and enforcement activities. Environmental and public interest groups use the data in studies and reports, making the Start Printed Page 70823public more aware of releases of chemicals in their communities.

Comprehensive publicly-available data about releases, transfers, and other waste management activities of toxic chemicals at the community level are generally not available, other than under the reporting requirements of EPCRA section 313. Permit data are often difficult to obtain, are not cross-media and present only a limited perspective on a facility's overall performance. With TRI, and the real gains in understanding it has produced, communities and governments know what toxic chemicals industrial facilities in their area release, transfer, or otherwise manage as waste. In addition, industries have an additional tool for evaluating efficiency and progress on their pollution prevention goals.

Responses to the collection of information are mandatory (see 40 CFR part 372). Respondents may claim trade secrecy for a chemical's identity as described in section 322 of EPCRA and its implementing regulations in 40 CFR part 350. EPA will disclose information that is covered by a claim of trade secrecy only to the extent permitted by, and in accordance with, the procedures in 40 CFR part 350 and 40 CFR part 2.

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 51.3 hours per first year response for PBT chemicals and 29.6 hours per subsequent year response for non-PBT chemicals. There is additional burden associated with rule familiarization, compliance determination and supplier notification. 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: Owners or operators of certain facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use certain specified toxic chemicals and chemical categories and are required to report annually on the environmental releases, transfers and waste management activities for such chemicals.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 82,000.

Frequency of Response: Annual.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 3,746,590 burden hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $170,500,000 in labor costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 142,162 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease is due to (1) the fact that approximately 2,000 fewer forms were filed in RY2002 than in RY2001 and (2) the TRI Reporting Forms Modification Rule (70 FR 39931) that modified Form R to eliminate certain data elements and to simplify others.

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Dated: November 15, 2005.

Joseph A. Sierra,

Acting Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 05-23219 Filed 11-22-05; 8:45 am]

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