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Notice

Commission Information Collection Activities, Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Submitted for OMB Review

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble July 14, 2008.

AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) has submitted the information collection described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of this information collection requirement. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission received no comments in response to an earlier Federal Register notice of January 30, 2008 (73 FR 5529-5531) and has made this notation in its submission to OMB.

DATES:

Comments on the collection of information are due by August 21, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

Address comments on the collection of information to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. Comments to OMB should be filed electronically, c/o oira_submission@omb.eop.gov and include the OMB Control No. (1902-0180) as a point of reference. The Desk Officer may be reached by telephone at 202-395-7345. A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Office of the Executive Director, ED-34, Attention: Michael Miller, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. Comments may be filed either in paper format or electronically. Those persons filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing. For paper filings, such comments should be submitted to the Secretary of the Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426 and should refer to Docket No. IC08-600-001. Documents filed electronically via the Internet must be prepared in an acceptable filing format and in compliance with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission submission guidelines. Complete filing instructions and acceptable filing formats are available at (http://www.ferc.gov/​help/​submission-guide/​electronic-media.asp). To file the document electronically, access the Commission's Web site and click on Documents & Filing, E-Filing (http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​efiling.asp), and then follow the instructions for each screen. First time users will have to establish a user name and password. The Commission will send an automatic acknowledgment to the sender's e-mail address upon receipt of comments.

All comments may be viewed, printed or downloaded remotely via the Internet through FERC's homepage using the “eLibrary” link. For user assistance, contact ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov or toll-free at (866) 208-3676 or for TTY, contact (202) 502-8659.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Miller may be reached by telephone at (202) 502-8415, by fax at (202) 273-0873, and by e-mail at michael.miller@ferc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The information collected under the requirements of FERC-600 Rules of Practice and Procedure: Complaint Procedures (OMB No. 1902-0180) is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r; the Natural Gas Act (NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717-717w; the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), 15 U.S.C. 3301-3432; the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 2601-2645; the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. App. § 1 et seq.; the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1301-1356 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, (Pub. L. 109-58) 119 Stat. 594.

With respect to the natural gas industry, section 14(a) of the NGA provides: The Commission may permit any person to file with it a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as it shall determine, as to any or all facts and circumstances concerning a matter which may be the subject of an investigation.

For public utilities, section 205(e) of the FPA provides: Whenever any such new schedule is filed, the Commission shall have the authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint at once, and, if it so orders, without answer or formal pleading by the public utility, but upon reasonable notice to enter upon hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, charge, classification, or service; and pending such hearing and decision of the Commission. * * *

Section 215(d)(5) of the FPA provides: The Commission, upon its own motion or upon complaint, may order the Electric Reliability Organization to submit to the Commission a proposed reliability standard or a modification to a reliability standard that addresses a specific matter if the Commission considers such a new or modified reliability standard appropriate to carry out this section. * * *

Concerning hydropower projects, section 19 of the FPA provides: * * * it is agreed as a condition of such license that jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Commission, upon complaint of any person aggrieved or upon its own initiative, to exercise such regulation and control until such time as the State shall have provided a commission or other authority for such regulation and control. * * *

For qualifying facilities, section 210(h)(2)(B) of PURPA provides: Any electric utility, qualifying co-generator, or qualifying small power producer may petition the Commission to enforce the requirements of subsection (f) as Start Printed Page 42554provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

Likewise for oil pipelines, Part 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), sections 1, 6 and 15 (re-codified by Pub. L. 95-473 and found as an appendix to Title 49 U.S.C.) the Commission is authorized to investigate the rates charged by oil pipeline companies subject to its jurisdiction. If a proposed oil rate has been filed and allowed by the Commission to go into effect without suspension and hearing, the Commission can investigate the effective rate on its own motion or by complaint filed with the Commission. Section 13 of the ICA provided that: Any person, firm, corporation, company or association, or any mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society or other organization, or any common carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter in contravention of the provisions thereof, may apply to the Commission by petition which shall briefly state the facts: Whereupon a statement of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Commission to such common carrier, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint, or to answer the same in writing, within a reasonable time, to be specified by the Commission. * * *

In Order No. 602, 64 FR 17087 (April 8, 1999), the Commission revised its regulations governing complaints filed with the Commission under the above statutes. Order No. 602 was designed to encourage and support consensual resolution of complaints, and to organize the complaint procedures so that all complaints are handled in a timely and fair manner. In order to achieve the latter, the Commission revised Rule 206 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.206) to require that a complaint satisfy certain informational requirements, that answers be filed in a shorter, 20-day time frame, and that parties may employ various types of alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve complaints.

In Order No. 647, 69 FR 32436 (June 10, 2004), the Commission revised its regulations to simplify the formats it requires for various types of notices. These revisions provide for a more uniform formatting and make it easier for the Commission to update the form of notice formatting without the necessity of initiating a rulemaking for every change. A new subsection 18 CFR 385.203(d) replaced the former format requirements. Among the provisions that were affected by these revisions was 18 CFR 385.206(b)(10).

On September 9, 2005, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the reporting requirements contained in FERC-600 for a term of three years, the maximum period permissible under the Paperwork Reduction Act [1] before an information collection must be resubmitted for approval. As noted above this notice seeks public comments in order for the Commission to submit a justification to OMB to approve and extend the current expiration date of the FERC-600 reporting requirements. The data in complaints filed by interested/affected parties regarding oil and natural gas pipeline operations, electric and hydropower facilities in their applications for rate changes, service, licensing or reliability are used by the Commission in establishing a basis for various investigations and to make an initial determination regarding the merits of the complaint.

Investigations may range from whether there is undue discrimination in rates or service to questions regarding market power of regulated entities to environmental concerns. In order to make a better determination, it is important to know the specifics of any oil, gas, electric, and hydropower complaint “upfront” in a timely manner and in sufficient detail to allow the Commission to act swiftly. In addition, such complaint data will help the Commission and interested parties to monitor the market for exercises of market power or undue discrimination. The information is voluntarily submitted with prescribed information. The Commission implements these filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR part 385, 385.206, 385.203 and 385.213.

Action: The Commission is requesting a three-year extension of the current expiration date, with no changes to the existing collection of data.

Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this collection is estimated as:

Number of respondents annuallyNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden hours per responseTotal annual burden hours
(1)(2)(3)(1)×(2)×(3)
81*#1141,134
* Represents three year averages (2005-2007) #Rounded off.

Estimated cost burden to respondents is $68,904. (1,134 hours/2,080 hours per year times $126,384 per year average per employee = $68,904). The cost per respondent is $851. There is a significant decrease in the number of respondents and number of filings since the last renewal request. However, the cost per respondent has increased to reflect adjustments due to inflationary costs.

The reporting burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information including: (1) Reviewing instructions; (2) developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, verifying, processing, maintaining, disclosing and providing information; (3) adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; (4) training personnel to respond to a collection of information; (5) searching data sources; (6) completing and reviewing the collection of information; and (7) transmitting, or otherwise disclosing the information.

The estimate of cost for respondents is based upon salaries for professional and clerical support, as well as direct and indirect overhead costs. Direct costs include all costs directly attributable to providing this information, such as administrative costs and the cost for information technology. Indirect or overhead costs are costs incurred by an organization in support of its mission. These costs apply to activities which benefit the whole organization rather than any one particular function or activity.Start Printed Page 42555

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (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 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.

Start Signature

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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[FR Doc. E8-16709 Filed 7-21-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P