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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble March 27, 2007.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to 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 should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Rural Utility Service

Title: Seismic Safety of New Building Construction, 7 CFR Part 1792, Subpart C.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0099.

Summary of Collection: Seismic hazards present a serious threat to people and their surroundings. These hazards exist in most of the United States, not just on the West Coast. Unlike hurricanes, times and location of earthquakes cannot be predicted; most earthquakes strike without warning and, if of substantial strength, strike with great destructive forces. To reduce risks to life and property from earthquakes, Congress enacted the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977 (Pub. L. 95-124, 42 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.,) and directed the establishment and maintenance of an effective earthquake reduction program. As a result, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) was established. The objectives of the NEHRP include the development of technologically and economically feasible design and construction methods to make both new and existing structures earthquake resistant, and the development and promotion of model building codes. 7 CFR part 1792, subpart C, identifies acceptable seismic standards which must be employed in new building construction funded by loans, grants, or guarantees made by the Rural Utility Service (RUS) or the Rural Telephone Bank (RTB) or through lien accommodations or subordinations approved by RUS or RTB.

Need and Use of the Information: Borrowers and grant recipients must provide to RUS a written acknowledgment from a registered architect or engineer responsible for the design of each applicable building stating that the seismic provisions to 7 CFR part 1792, Subpart C will be used in the design of the building. RUS will use this information to: (1) Clarify and inform the applicable borrowers and grant recipients about seismic safety requirements; (2) improve the effectiveness of all RUS programs; and (3) reduce the risk to life and property through the use of approved building codes aimed at providing seismic safety.

Description of Respondents: Not-for-profit institutions; business or other for-profit. Start Printed Page 15096

Number of Respondents: 1,000.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 750.

Rural Utilities Service

Title: Broadband Grant Program.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0127.

Summary of Collection: Congress has recognized the need to facilitate the deployment of broadband service to un-served rural areas. The provision to broadband transmission service is vital to the economic development, education, health, and safety of rural Americans. Grant authority is utilized to deploy broadband infrastructure to extremely rural, lower income communities on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis.

Need and Use of the Information: The Rural Development Utilities Programs (RUS) gives priority to rural areas that it believes have the greatest need for broadband transmission services. This broadband access is intended to promote economic development and provide enhanced educational and health care opportunities. RUS will provide financial assistance to eligible entities that are proposing to deploy broadband transmission service in rural communities where such service does not currently exist and who will connect the critical community facilities including the local schools, libraries, hospitals, police, fire and rescue services and who will operate a community center that provides free and open access to residents.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions; State, Local or Tribal Government.

Number of Respondents: 90.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting; on occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 14,442.

Start Signature

Charlene Parker,

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-5923 Filed 3-29-07; 8:45 am]