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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Preparing a Claim of Categorical Exclusion or an Environmental Assessment for Submission to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, and to allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on the information collection provisions in the guidance document entitled “Preparing a Claim of Categorical Exclusion or an Environmental Assessment for Submission to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.”

DATES:

Submit written or electronic comments on the collection of information by May 29, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit electronic comments on the collection of information to: http://www.fda.gov/​dockets/​ecomments. Submit written comments on the collection of information to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. All comments should be identified with the docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jonna Capezzuto, Office of the Chief Information Officer (HFA-250), Food and Drug Administration, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857, 301-827-4659.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, FDA is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information set forth in this document.

With respect to the following collection of information, FDA invites comments on these topics: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of FDA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FDA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Preparing a Claim of Categorical Exclusion or an Environmental Assessment for Submission to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (OMB Control Number 0910-0541)—Extension

As an integral part of its decisionmaking process, FDA is obligated under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) to consider the environmental impact of its actions, including allowing notifications for food contact substances to become effective and approving food additive petitions, color additive petitions, GRAS affirmation petitions, requests for exemption from regulation as a food additive, and actions on certain food labeling citizen petitions, nutrient content claims petitions, and health claims petitions. In 1997, FDA amended its regulations in part 25 (21 CFR part 25) to provide for categorical exclusions for additional classes of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment (62 FR 40570, July 29, 1997). As a result of that rulemaking, FDA no longer routinely requires submission of information about the manufacturing and production of FDA-regulated articles. FDA also has eliminated the previously required Environmental Assessment (EA) and abbreviated EA formats from the amended regulations. Instead, FDA has provided guidance that contains sample formats to help industry submit a claim of categorical exclusion or an EA to CFSAN. The guidance document entitled “Preparing a Claim of Categorical Exclusion or an Environmental Assessment for Submission to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition” identifies, interprets, and clarifies existing requirements imposed by statute and regulation, consistent with the Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR 1507.3). It consists of recommendations that do not themselves create requirements; rather, they are explanatory guidance for FDA's own procedures in order to ensure full compliance with the purposes and provisions of NEPA.

The guidance provides information to assist in the preparation of claims of categorical exclusion and EAs for submission to CFSAN. The following questions are covered in this guidance: (1) What types of industry-initiated actions are subject to a claim of categorical exclusion? (2) What must a claim of categorical exclusion include by regulation? (3) What is an EA? (4) When is an EA required by regulation and what format should be used? (5) What are extraordinary circumstances? and (6) What suggestions does CFSAN have for preparing an EA? Although CFSAN encourages industry to use the EA formats described in the guidance because standardized documentation submitted by industry increases the efficiency of the review process, alternative approaches may be used if these approaches satisfy the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

FDA is requesting the extension of OMB approval for the information collection provisions in the guidance.

Description of Respondents: The likely respondents include businesses engaged in the manufacture or sale of food, food ingredients, and substances used in materials that come into contact with food.

FDA estimates the burden of this collection of information as follows:Start Printed Page 14582

Table 1.—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden1

21 CFR SectionNo. of RespondentsAnnual Frequency per ResponseTotal Annual ResponsesHours per ResponseTotal Burden Hours
25.32(i)5231561156
25.32(o)11111
25.32(q)7214114
Total171171
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

The above estimates for respondents and numbers of responses are based on the annualized numbers of petitions and notifications qualifying for § 25.32(i) and (q) that the agency has received in the past 3 years. Please note that, in the past 3 years, there have been no submissions that requested an action that would have been subject to the categorical exclusion in § 25.32(o). To avoid counting this burden as zero, FDA has estimated the burden for this categorical exclusion at one respondent making one submission a year for a total of one annual submission.

To calculate the estimate for the hours per response values, we assumed that the information requested in this guidance for each of these three categorical exclusions is readily available to the submitter. For the information requested for the exclusion in § 25.32(i), we expect that submitter will need to gather information from appropriate persons in the submitter's company and to prepare this information for attachment to the claim for categorical exclusion. We believe that this effort should take no longer than 1 hour per submission. For the information requested for the exclusions in § 25.32(o) and (q), the submitters will almost always merely need to copy existing documentation and attach it to the claim for categorical exclusion. We believe that collecting this information should also take no longer than 1 hour per submission.

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Dated: March 22, 2007.

Jeffrey Shuren,

Assistant Commissioner for Policy.

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[FR Doc. E7-5634 Filed 3-27-07; 8:45 am]

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