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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Modification of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges Into Marine Waters (Renewal), EPA ICR Number 0138.09, OMB Control Number 2040-0088

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that an Information Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an existing approved collection. This ICR, which is abstracted below, describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.


Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 11, 2009.


Submit your comments, referencing docket ID number EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0033, to (1) EPA online using (our preferred method), by e-mail to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB by mail to: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

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Virginia Fox-Norse, Oceans and Coastal Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, (Mail Code 4504T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-1266; fax number: (202) 566-1337; e-mail address:

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EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On December 29, 2008 (73 FR 79467), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received one comment during the comment period, which is addressed in the ICR. Any additional comments on this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this notice.

EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0033, which is available for online viewing at, or in person viewing at the Water 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 Water Docket is (202) 566-2426. Use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once in the system, select “docket search,” then key in the docket ID number identified above. Please note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public viewing at as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI), or other information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute. For further information about the electronic docket, go to

Title: Modification of Secondary Treatment Requirements for Discharges into Marine Waters (Renewal).

ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 0138.09, OMB Control No. 2040-0088.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on May 31, 2009. Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. 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: The Clean Water Act (CWA) section 301(h) program involves collecting information from two sources: (1) The municipal wastewater treatment facility, commonly called a publicly owned treatment works (POTW); and (2) the state in which the POTW is located. Municipalities had the opportunity to apply for a waiver from secondary treatment requirements, but that opportunity closed in December 1982. A POTW that seeks a section 301(h) waiver does so voluntarily to obtain or retain a benefit. A POTW seeking to obtain a 301(h) waiver, holding a current waiver, or reapplying for a waiver, provides application, monitoring, and toxic control program information. The state provides information on its determination whether the proposed conditions of the waiver ensure the protection of water quality, biological habitats, and beneficial uses of receiving waters, and whether the discharge will result in additional treatment, pollution control, or any other requirement for any other point or nonpoint sources. The state also provides information to certify that the discharge will meet all applicable state laws and that the state accepts all permit conditions. EPA requires updated information on the discharge to: (1) Determine whether the section 301(h) criteria are still being met and whether the section 301(h) waiver should be reissued; (2) determine whether the water quality, biological habitats, and beneficial uses of the receiving waters are protected; and (3) ensure that the permittee is effectively Start Printed Page 22163minimizing industrial and nonindustrial toxic pollutant and pesticide discharges into the treatment works. EPA needs information from the state to: (1) Allow the state's views to be taken into account when EPA reviews the section 301(h) application and develops permit conditions; and (2) ensure that all state laws are met and that the state accepts all permit conditions. This information is the means by which the state can non-concur with a section 301(h) approval decision made by the EPA Regional office. Regulations implementing CWA section 301(h) are found at 40 CFR part 125, subpart G. The information covered by this information collection request involves treatment plant operating data, effects of POTWs' discharges on marine environments, and states' viewpoints on issues concerning effects of POTWs' discharges on marine environments.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 686 hours per response for POTWs and 88 hours per response for States. 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.

Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are those municipalities that currently have section 301(h) waivers from secondary treatment, have applied for a renewal of a section 301(h) waiver, and the states within which these municipalities are located.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 45.

Frequency of Response: Varies from one time to once every five years, to case-by-case, depending on the category of information.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 59,370 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $1,503,270, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 2,007 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease is due to a reduction in the number of POTWs in the 301(h) program and by extension the number of states within which these POTWs are located.

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Dated: May 6, 2009.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. E9-11102 Filed 5-11-09; 8:45 am]