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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Ambient Air Quality Surveillance (Renewal), EPA ICR Number 0940.18, OMB Control Number 2060-0084

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (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. The ICR, which is abstracted below, describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

DATES:

Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 5, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0091, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by E-mail to: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Environmental Protection Agency, Air and Radiation Docket, Mail Code 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB by mail to: 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:

David Lutz, Air Quality Analysis Division (C304-06), Environmental Protection Agency; telephone number (919) 541-5476; fax number: (919) 541-1903; e-mail address: lutz.david@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 January 4, 2006, (71 FR 333), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments during the comment period. Any additional comments on this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. EPA-OAR-2002-0091, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8 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 Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center is (202) 566-1742.

Use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at http://www.regulations.gov to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select “docket search,” then key in the docket ID number identified above. Please note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov 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. For further information about the electronic docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

Title: Ambient Air Quality Surveillance (Renewal).

ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 0941.18, OMB Control No. 2060-0084.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2006. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. 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 title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, are displayed either by publication in the Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB control numbers in certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR part 9.

Abstract: This ICR includes ambient air monitoring data and other supporting measurements reporting and recordkeeping activities associated with the 40 CFR part 58 Ambient Air Quality Surveillance rule. These data and information are collected by various State and local air quality management agencies, and Tribal entities and reported to the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards within the Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA.

This ICR reflects revisions of the previous ICR update of 2002, and it covers the period of 2007-2009. The number of monitoring stations, sampling parameters and frequency of data collection and submittal is expected to remain stable for 2007-2009.

The data collected through this information collection consist of ambient air concentration measurements for the seven air pollutants with National Ambient Air Quality Standards (i.e., ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide, PM2.5 and PM-10), ozone precursors, meteorological variables at a select number of sites and other supporting measurements. Accompanying the pollutant concentration data are quality assurance/quality control data and air monitoring network design information.

The U.S. EPA and others (e.g., State and local air quality management agencies, tribal entities, environmental groups, academic institutions, industrial groups) use the ambient air quality data for many purposes. Some of the more prominent uses include informing the public and other interested parties of an area's air quality, judging an area's (e.g., county, city, neighborhood) air quality in comparison with the established health or welfare standards (including both national and local standards), evaluating an air quality management agency's progress in achieving or maintaining air pollutant levels below the national and local standards, developing and revising State Implementation Plans (SIPs) in accordance with 40 CFR part 51, evaluating air pollutant control strategies, developing or revising national control policies, providing data for air quality model development and validation, supporting enforcement actions, documenting episodes and initiating episode controls, air quality trends assessment, and air pollution research.

The State and local agencies and tribal entities with responsibility for reporting ambient air quality data and information as requested in this ICR submit these data electronically to the U.S. EPA's Air Quality System (AQS) database. Quality assurance/quality control records and monitoring network documentation are also maintained by Start Printed Page 26362each State and local agency, in AQS electronic format where possible.

Although the State and local air pollution control agencies and tribal entities are responsible for the operation of the air monitoring networks, the EPA funds a portion of the total costs through Federal grants. These grants generally require an appropriate level of contribution, or “match,” from the State/local agencies or tribal entities. The costs shown in this renewal are the total costs incurred for the monitoring program regardless of the source of the funding. This practice of using the total cost is consistent with prior ICR submittals and renewals.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3,134 hours per response, and 12,534 hours per respondent. 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 which have subsequently changed; 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: State and local air pollution agencies and Tribal entities.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 168.

Frequency of Response: Data submissions are required quarterly, but may occur more frequently.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 2,105,714 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $173,153,415, which includes $51,197,172 annualized capital/startup costs, $10,936,320 annual O&M costs, and $111,019,923 annual labor costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 298,892 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects EPA's consolidation of monitors into fewer sites, termination of unnecessary monitors, and more efficient procedures for measuring and reporting data.

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Dated: April 24, 2006.

Oscar Morales,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. E6-6751 Filed 5-3-06; 8:45 am]

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