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Notice

MMS Information Collection Activity: 1010-0137, Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project, Extension of a Collection; Submitted for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of extension of an information collection (1010-0137).

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to OMB an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements for the Notice to Lessees (NTL) on the Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project. This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these regulatory requirements.

DATES:

Submit written comments by August 10, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Submit comments either by fax (202) 395-5806 or e-mail (OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov) directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (1010-0137). Please also submit a copy of your comments to MMS by any of the means below:

  • Electronically: go to http://www.regulations.gov. Under the tab More Search Options, click Advanced Docket Search, then select Minerals Management Service from the agency drop-down menu, then click submit. In the Docket ID column, select MMS-2009-OMM-0001 to submit public comments and to view supporting and related materials available for this rulemaking. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's User Tips link. The MMS will post all comments.
  • Mail or hand-carry comments to the Department of the Interior; Minerals Management Service; Attention: Cheryl Blundon; 381 Elden Street, MS-4024; Herndon, Virginia 20170-4817. Please reference Information Collection 1010-0137 in your subject line and include your name and return address.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Cheryl Blundon, Regulations and Standards Branch, (703) 787-1607. You may also contact Cheryl Blundon to obtain a copy, at no cost, of the information collection request and the NTL that requires the subject collection of information.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0137.

Abstract: The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. and 43 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to prescribe rules and regulations to administer leasing of the OCS. Such rules and regulations will apply to all operations conducted under a lease.

Section 1332(6) states that “operations in the [O]uter Continental Shelf should be conducted in a safe manner by well trained personnel using technology, precautions, and other techniques sufficient to prevent or minimize the likelihood of blowouts, loss of well control, fires, spillages, physical obstructions to other users of the waters or subsoil and seabed, or other occurrences which may cause damage to the environment or to property or endanger life or health.” These responsibilities are among those delegated to the Minerals Management Service (MMS).

To carry out these responsibilities, MMS issues regulations to ensure that operations in the OCS will meet statutory requirements; provide for safety and protect the environment; and result in diligent exploration, development, and production of OCS leases. In addition, we issue Notices to Lessees and Operators (NTLs) that provide clarification, explanation, and interpretation of our regulations. These NTLs are also used to convey purely informational material and to cover situations that might not be addressed in our regulations. The latter is the case for this information collection. Because of the unusual nature of this information collection, issuing an NTL is the appropriate means to collect the information.

The subject of this information collection request is the “Historical Well Data Cleanup (HWDC) Project.” It needs to be stressed that the information we are collecting is information that respondents are required to submit under regulations at 30 CFR 250 subpart D. However, in the past we did not always enforce this regulatory requirement for certain wellbores for several reasons. We did not foresee the value of this information for all wellbores, nor did we anticipate that not having the information would later create problems for the agency and others. We also did not have a sophisticated electronic database that could handle the information. We now collect all of the required information on a current basis (under 30 CFR 250, subpart D, OMB Control Number 1010-0141). Prior assurance to respondents that providing the information in connection with this project will not subject them to the penalties for not providing the information is still in place. We are requesting a renewal of this collection to allow operators more response time over a longer period to provide the missing or corrected data.

We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and its implementing regulations (43 CFR part 2) and under regulations at 30 CFR 250.197, “Data and information to be made available to the public or for limited inspection.” No items of a sensitive nature are collected. Responses are mandatory.

Frequency: On occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: Approximately 130 Federal OCS oil, gas, and sulphur lessees.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: The estimated hour burden for this information collection is a total of 11,250 hours. The respondents will submit information for a remaining estimated 4,500 wells from an original 40,000 wells. Based on our own input, the concurrence of the contractor hired for this, and informal discussions with a few potential respondents, we estimate it will take respondents:

0.5 hours to locate and copy scout tickets for each well.5 hours × 4,500 wells = 2,250
2 hours to retrieve and analyze each well file 2 hours × 4,500 wells = 9,000
Total Hours:11,250
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In calculating the burdens, we assumed that respondents perform certain requirements in the normal course of their activities. We consider these to be usual and customary and took that into account in estimating the burden.

Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have identified no paperwork non-hour cost burdens associated with the collection of information.

Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated to respond.

Comments: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) requires each agency “ * * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * * ” Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

To comply with the public consultation process, on February 3, 2009, we published a Federal Register notice (74 FR 5943) announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. In addition, § 250.199 provides the OMB control number for the information collection requirements imposed by the 30 CFR 250 regulations. The regulation also informs the public that they may comment at any time on the collections of information and provides the address to which they should send comments. We have received one comment in response to these efforts; but it was not germane to the information collection request.

If you wish to comment in response to this notice, you may send your comments to the offices listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the information collection but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, to ensure maximum consideration, OMB should receive public comments by August 10, 2009.

Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: July 6, 2009.

E.P. Danenberger,

Chief, Office of Offshore Regulatory Programs.

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[FR Doc. E9-16398 Filed 7-9-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P