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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives-Health-Effects Research Requirements for Manufacturers; EPA ICR No. 1696.05, OMB Control No. 2060-0297

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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 to renew an existing approved Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is scheduled to expire on November 30, 2006. 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 15, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0525, by one of the following methods:

  • www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: a-and-r-docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 566-1741.
  • Mail: Air and Radiation Docket, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2006-0525, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Room B102, EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. 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-OAR-2006-0525. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 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 www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The 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 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 Start Printed Page 40514you 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:

James W. Caldwell, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Mailcode: 6406J, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9303; fax number: (202) 343-2802; e-mail address: caldwell.jim@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-OAR-2006-0525, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air and Radiation Docket 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 is 202-566-1742.

Use 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?

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are the manufacturers of motor-vehicle gasoline, motor-vehicle diesel fuel, and additives for those fuels.

Title: Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives—Health-Effects Research Requirements for Manufacturers.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1696.05, OMB Control No. 2060-0297.

ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on November 30, 2006. 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: In accordance with the regulations at 40 CFR part 79, Subparts A, B, C, and D, Registration of Fuels and Fuel Additives, manufacturers (including importers) of motor-vehicle gasoline, motor-vehicle diesel fuel, and additives for those fuels, are required to have these products registered by the EPA prior to their introduction into commerce. Registration involves providing a chemical description of the fuel or additive, and certain technical, marketing, and health-effects information. The development of health-effects data, as required by 40 CFR part 79, subpart F, is the subject of this ICR. The information collection requirements for Subparts A through D, and the supplemental notification requirements of subpart F (indicating how the manufacturer will satisfy the health-effects data requirements) are covered by a separate ICR (EPA ICR Number 309.11, OMB Control Number 2060-1050). The health-effects data will be used to determine if there are any products which have evaporative or combustion emissions that may pose an unreasonable risk to public health, thus meriting further investigation and potential regulation. This information is required for specific groups of fuels and additives as defined in the regulations. For example, gasoline and gasoline additives which consist of only carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and/or sulfur, and which involve a gasoline oxygen content of less than 1.5 weight percent, fall into a “baseline” group. Oxygenates, such as ethanol and ethyl tertiary butyl ether, when used in gasoline at an oxygen level of at least 1.5 weight percent, define separate “nonbaseline” groups for each oxygenate. Additives which contain elements other than carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur fall into separate “atypical” groups. There are similar grouping requirements for diesel fuel and diesel fuel additives.

Manufacturers may perform the research independently or may join with other manufacturers to share in the costs for each applicable group. Several research consortiums (groups of manufacturers) have been formed. The largest consortium, organized by the American Petroleum Institute (API), represents most of the manufacturers of baseline gasoline, baseline diesel fuel, baseline fuel additives, and the prominent nonbaseline oxygenated Start Printed Page 40515additives for gasoline. The research is structured into three tiers of requirements for each group. Tier 1 requires an emissions characterization and a literature search for information on the health effects of those emissions. Voluminous Tier 1 data for gasoline and diesel fuel were submitted by API and others in 1997. Tier 1 data have been submitted for biodiesel, water/diesel emulsions, and several atypical additives. Tier 2 requires short-term inhalation exposures of laboratory animals to emissions to screen for adverse health effects. Tier 2 data have been submitted for baseline diesel, biodiesel, and water/diesel emulsions. Alternative Tier 2 testing can be required in lieu of standard Tier 2 testing if EPA concludes that such testing would be more appropriate. The EPA reached that conclusion with respect to gasoline and gasoline-oxygenate blends, and alternative requirements were established for the API consortium for baseline gasoline and six gasoline-oxygenate blends. Alternative Tier 2 requirements have also been established for the manganese additive MMT manufactured by the Afton Chemical Corporation (formerly the Ethyl Corporation). Tier 3 provides for follow-up research, at EPA's discretion, when remaining uncertainties as to the significance of observed health effects, welfare effects, and/or emissions exposures from a fuel or fuel/additive mixture interfere with EPA's ability to make reasonable estimates of the potential risks posed by emissions from a fuel or additive. To date, EPA has not imposed any Tier 3 requirements. Under Section 211 of the Clean Air Act, (1) submission of the health-effects information is necessary for a manufacturer to obtain registration of a motor-vehicle gasoline, diesel fuel, or fuel additive, and thus be allowed to introduce that product into commerce, and (2) the information shall not be considered confidential.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 7,538 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: 4.

Frequency of response: On occasion.

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

Estimated total annual burden hours: 30,150.

Estimated total annual costs: $3.2 million. This includes an estimated burden cost of $2.5 million and an estimated cost of $0.7 million for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are There Changes in the Estimates From the Last Approval?

There is a decrease of 30,550 hours in the total estimated annual respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects EPA's updating of burden estimates. The two Alternative Tier 2 testing programs noted above, and covered in the previous ICR, have completed most of the testing requirements. They will have significantly reduced activity as the programs near completion over the next three years. Although there will likely be new fuels and additives for which testing will be required, such testing is not expected to be as extensive as the two programs noted above.

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: July 11, 2006.

Margo Tsirigotis Oge,

Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

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[FR Doc. E6-11257 Filed 7-14-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6560-50-P