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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Information Collection Request for Superfund Site Evaluation and Hazard Ranking System; EPA ICR No. 1488.07, OMB Control No. 2050-0095

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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:

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 February 29, 2008. 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 November 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2007-0888 by one of the following methods:

  • www.regulations.gov: Our preferred method. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: superfund.docket@epa.gov.
  • Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Superfund Docket; (Mail Code 2822T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.; Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Superfund Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday excluding Federal holidays). Special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2007-0888. 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 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 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:

Randy Hippen, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, Mail Code 5204P, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 703-603-8829; e-mail address: hippen.randy@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-SFUND-2007-0888, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Superfund Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 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 Superfund Docket is 202-566-0276.

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. Start Printed Page 50680

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 those State agencies, Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories performing Superfund site evaluation activities.

Title: Superfund Site Evaluation and Hazard Ranking System.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1488.07, OMB Control No. 2050-0095.

ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on February 29, 2008. 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: Section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, 1980 and 1986) amends the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Contingency Plan (NCP) to include criteria prioritizing releases throughout the U.S. before undertaking remedial action at uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. The Hazard Ranking System (HRS) is a model that is used to evaluate the relative threats to human health and the environment posed by actual or potential releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants. The HRS criteria take into account the population at risk, the hazard potential of the substances, as well as the potential for contamination of drinking water supplies, direct human contact, destruction of sensitive ecosystems, damage to natural resources affecting the human food chain, contamination of surface water used for recreation or potable water consumption, and contamination of ambient air.

EPA Regional offices work with States to determine those sites for which the State will conduct the Superfund site evaluation activities and the HRS scoring. The States are reimbursed 100 percent of their costs, except for record maintenance.

Under this ICR, the States will apply the HRS by identifying and classifying those releases or sites that warrant further investigation. The HRS score is crucial since it is the primary mechanism used to determine whether a site is eligible to be included on the National Priorities List (NPL). Only sites on the NPL are eligible for Superfund-financed remedial actions.

HRS scores are derived from the sources described in this information collection, including conducting field reconnaissance, taking samples at the site, and reviewing available reports and documents. States record the collected information on HRS documentation worksheets and include this in the supporting reference package.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and record keeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 166.1 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. EPA estimates 60 States, Indian Tribes, and U.S. Territories will likely respond, each averaging 15 actions per year. The total burden for all respondents is estimated at 150,285 hours and approximately $13,580,375 each year (based on historic data on estimated costs per site assessment activity).

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

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 60.

Frequency of response: On occasion.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 15.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 150,285 hours.

Estimated total annual costs: $13,580,375. This includes an estimated burden cost of $13,580,375 and an estimated cost of $0 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are There Changes in the Estimates From the Last Approval?

The current estimate of hours in the total estimated respondent burden reflects hours identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. EPA expects a decrease in total burden and cost for the renewal ICR due to changes in calculating burden and cost estimates, fewer assessment activities conducted nationally, and a relative shift to less complex assessment activities among respondents.

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: August 28, 2007.

Barnes Johnson,

Acting Director, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation.

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[FR Doc. E7-17412 Filed 8-31-07; 8:45 am]

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