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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Assessment of EPA Partnership Programs, EPA ICR Number 2225.01, OMB Control No: New

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that EPA is planning to submit a request for a new Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before September 8, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2006-0566 by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: oei.docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 566-1753.
  • Mail: OEI Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: OEI Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2006-0566. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is an “anonymous access” system, which means EPA will not know your identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without going through http://www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jamie Burnett, Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, Mail Code: 1807T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2205; fax number: (202) 566-2200; e-mail address: burnett.jamie@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

How Can I Access the Docket and/or Submit Comments?

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2006-0566, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the OEI Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave., 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 OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

Use http://www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft collection of information, 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 “search,” then key in the docket ID number identified in this document.

What Information Is EPA Particularly Interested In?

Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA specifically solicits comments and information to enable it to:

(i) 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;

(ii) 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;

(iii) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(iv) 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 submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork burden for very small businesses affected by this collection.

What Should I Consider When I Prepare My Comments for EPA?

You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your comments:

(1) Explain your views as clearly as possible and provide specific examples.

(2) Describe any assumptions that you used.

(3) Provide copies of any technical information and/or data you used that support your views.

(4) If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you arrived at the estimate that you provide.

(5) Offer alternative ways to improve the collection activity.

(6) Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline identified under DATES.

(7) To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket ID number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal Register citation.

What Information Collection Activity or ICR Does This Apply to?

Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2006-0566.

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are participants Start Printed Page 38879in all of EPA's Partnership Programs, including businesses, governments, and members of the community.

Title: Assessment of EPA Partnership Programs.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2225.01, OMB Control No: New.

ICR status: This ICR is for a new information collection activity. 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: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking approval for a three-year generic clearance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop a generic ICR to collect data to be used for performance measurement of EPA Partnership Programs. This will be a voluntary collection of information to assess the activities of EPA Partnership Programs. The proposed generic measurement ICR will involve voluntary collections of information via surveys to assess the results of EPA Partnership Programs. Performance measurement data collected will detail awareness of associated environmental activities, behavior change, and associated environmental results. EPA proposes to use surveys and questionnaires to assess activities for program purpose and design, strategic planning, program management, and program results to determine if the goals of the program are being met.

All assessments undertaken under this ICR will follow stringent procedures to ensure that data are collected and used properly and efficiently. This ICR will provide anecdotal data for the purpose of informing EPA of the perceived effectiveness of partnership programs and will also allow partnership programs to collect data on the environmental results of partner activities due to participation. The information collection is voluntary, and will be limited to non-sensitive data concerning participation in partnership programs.

To help fulfill the broad mandate of protecting human health and the environment, EPA works with businesses, communities, State and local governments, and other organizations to achieve environmental goals through partnership programs. Partnership programs provide organizations with the information and assistance necessary to achieve and maintain various environmental goals.

EPA believes that measuring the performance of partnership programs is important to ensure that partnership programs are reaching the intended audience, providing valuable resources, and achieving the desired environmental results. Understanding this will allow EPA to better design and manage these partnership programs to meet the needs of the participants and to meet EPA's environmental goals. A generic measurement ICR will significantly increase the ability of EPA Partnership Programs to: Determine and evaluate the effectiveness of these partnership programs as well as help the programs obtain data to successfully complete PART reviews; increase the consistency of program performance data as an alternative/adjunct to traditional regulatory approaches for achieving environmental results; minimize approval burden on OMB as submissions will be shorter and of higher quality via the generic measurement ICR process; and reduce burden on potential respondents by limiting the number of requests for information.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2.2 hours per response. 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.

The ICR provides a detailed explanation of the Agency's estimate, which is only briefly summarized here:

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 16,000.

Frequency of response: On occasion.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 1-2.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 11,556 hours.

Estimated total annual costs: $769,702.

There are no costs for capital investment or maintenance and operation associated with this ICR.

What Is the Next Step in the Process for This ICR?

EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you have any questions about this ICR or the approval process, please contact the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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Dated: June 22, 2006.

David Widawsky,

Acting Director, Office of Environmental Policy Innovation, Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation, Office of the Administrator.

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[FR Doc. E6-10737 Filed 7-7-06; 8:45 am]

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