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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service an agency delivering the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by August 6, 2007.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michele Brooks, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., STOP 1522, Room 5168 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension.

Comments are invited on: (a) 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; (b) 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; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (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. Comments may be sent to: Michele Brooks, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

Title: 7 CFR Part 1730, Electric System Emergency Restoration Plan.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0140.

Type of Request: Request for an extension of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: Electric power systems have been identified in Presidential Decision Directive 63 (PDD-63), May 1998, as one of the critical infrastructures of the United States. The term ”critical infrastructure” is defined in section 1016(e) of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)) as “systems and assets, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that the incapacity or destruction of such systems and assets would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination of those matters.” Damage to or loss of critical or significant parts of the U.S. electric power system can cause enormous damage to the environment, loss of life and economic loss and can affect the national security of the United States. Such damage or loss can be caused by acts of nature or human acts, ranging from an accident to an act of terrorism. Of particular concern are physical and cyber threats from terrorists. Protecting America's critical infrastructure is the shared responsibility of Federal, State, and local government in active partnership with the private sector. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7 (HSPD-7), December 2003, established a national policy for Federal departments and agencies to identify and prioritize United States critical infrastructure and key resources and to protect them from terrorist attacks. America's open and technologically complex society includes a wide array of critical infrastructure and key resources that are potential terrorist targets. The majority of these are owned and operated by the private sector and State or local governments. These critical infrastructures and key resources are both physical and cyber-based and span all sectors of the economy. A substantial portion of the electric infrastructure of the United States resides in, and is maintained by, rural America. To ensure that the electric infrastructure in rural America is adequately protected, RUS is instituting the requirement that all current electric borrowers enhance an existing ERP or, if none exists, develop and maintain an ERP.

Title 7 CFR Part 1730, Electric System and Maintenance, establishes a Start Printed Page 31550requirement for electric program distribution, generation, and transmission borrowers to develop an ERP or expand an existing ERP and to provide RUS with a written certification that they have an ERP based upon a VRA.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 30 minutes per response.

Respondents: Not for profit.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 676.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 338 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Joyce McNeil, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis at (202) 720-0812. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: May 31, 2007.

James M. Andrew,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. E7-10943 Filed 6-6-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-15-P