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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Health Effects of Microbial Pathogens in Recreational Waters: National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 2081.04, OMB Control No. 2080-0068

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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 September 30, 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 July 14, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-ORD-2004-0023, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ord.docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: 202-566-9744.
  • Mail: EPA Docket Center, ORD Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822 iT, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. 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-ORD-2004-0023. 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 http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://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 http://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:

Elizabeth Sams, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Human Studies Division, Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch, MD 58 C, 109 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711; telephone number: 919-843-3161; fax number: 919-966-0655; e-mail address: sams.elizabeth@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-ORD 2004-0023, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Office of Research and Development Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPAIDC), 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 ORD Docket is 202-566-1752.

Use http://www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft collection of information, submit or view public Start Printed Page 27819comments, 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.

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are families frequenting fresh and marine water beaches in the United States and territories.

Title: Health Effects of Microbial Pathogens in Recreational Waters: National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational (NEEAR) Water Study.

ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 2081.04, OMB Control No. 2080-0068.

ICR Status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on September 30, 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, and 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: The purpose of this study is to examine the health effects associated with swimming exposure at beach sites designated as recreational areas. This study will be conducted, and the information collected, by the Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch, Human Studies Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development (ORD), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Participation of adults and children in this collection of information is strictly voluntary. The identity of all participants is considered strictly confidential, thus; all data collected are stored without identifiers. This information is being collected as part of a research program consistent with the section 3(a)(v)(1) of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 and the strategic plan for EPA's Office of Research and Development and the Office of Water entitled “Action Plan for Beaches and Recreational Water” available at http://www.epa.gov/​ord/​htmldocuments/​600r98079.pdf. The Beaches Act and ORD's strategic plan has identified research on effects of microbial pathogens in recreational waters as a high-priority research area with particular emphasis on developing new water quality indicator guidelines for recreational waters. The EPA has broad legislative authority to establish water quality criteria and to conduct research to support these criteria. This data collection is for a series of epidemiological studies to evaluate exposure to and effects of microbial pathogens in marine and fresh recreational waters as part of the EPA's research program on exposure and health effects of microbial pathogens in recreational waters. Health effects data collection was previously conducted in a pilot study, four freshwater coastal sites, and three marine sites under OMB number 2080-0068. The results will be used to help inform the development of develop of new national water quality and monitoring guidelines. The questionnaire health data will be compared with routinely collected water quality measurements. The analysis will focus on determining whether any water quality parameters are associated with increased prevalence of swimming-related health effects.

The EPA would like to solicit comments 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 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.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.25 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 Start Printed Page 27820review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average about fifteen minutes per response. If a single household participant completes all three interviews of the data collection, a total of 45 minutes is used.

The interview process consists of three interviews; Two Beach Interviews and one Telephone Follow-up: Based on consultation with the individuals listed in Section 3(c) of the ICR, and our experience with similar types of information collection, we estimate that each family will spend an average of 30 minutes completing the beach interview and will require no recordkeeping. This includes the time for reviewing the information pamphlet and answering the questions. We estimate that each family spends an average of 15 minutes completing the home telephone interview. The telephone interviews will require no recordkeeping.

All human health data collection will be recorded utilizing computer-assisted personal interviews (CAPI). The telephone interview incorporates the same concept of direct data collection in a desk personal computer (PC) setting. The tablet notebooks and desk PCs are used by interviewers to collect human health data. Screens on these tablets and PCs only display current activated questions. All human health data is stored in secured locations to maintain confidentiality.

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

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 21,000.

Frequency of response: On occasion.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 3.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 15,750.

Estimated total annual costs: $236,250. This includes an estimated burden cost of $0 and an estimated cost of $0 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are There Changes in the Estimates From the Last Approval?

There is an increase of 10,500 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is required to provide the science necessary to help inform the development of new public health standards for recreational water.

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: May 1, 2008.

Harold Zenick,

Director, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory.

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[FR Doc. E8-10735 Filed 5-13-08; 8:45 am]

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