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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Clean Water Act Section 404 State-Assumed Programs; EPA ICR No. 0220.11, OMB Control No. 2040-0168

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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 28, 2010. 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 October 26, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-HQ-OW-2005-0023, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ow-docket@epa.gov.
  • Mail: Office of Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: Office of Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Public Reading Room, Room B102, EPA West Building, 1301 Constitution Ave., 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-OW-2005-0023. 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 Start Printed Page 43117name 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:

Kathy Hurld, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds, Wetlands Division (4502T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone: 202-566-1348; fax number: 202-566-1349; e-mail address: hurld.kathy@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-OW-2005-0023, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 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 http://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 public 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.

What Information Collection Activity or ICR Does This Apply to?

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are those States/Tribes requesting assumption of the Clean Water Act section 404 permit program; States/Tribes with approved assumed programs; and permit applicants in States/Tribes with assumed programs.

Title: Clean Water Act Section 404 State-Assumed Programs.

ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 0220.11, OMB Control No. 2040-0168.

ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on February 28, 2010. 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 404(g) of the Clean Water Act authorizes States [and Tribes] to assume the section 404 permit program. States/Tribes must demonstrate that they meet the statutory and regulatory requirements (40 CFR part 233) for an approvable program. Specified information and documents must be submitted by the State/Tribe to EPA to request assumption. Once the required information and documents are submitted and EPA has a complete assumption request package, the statutory time clock for EPA's decision to either approve or deny the State/Tribe's assumption request starts. The information contained in the assumption request is made available to the other involved Federal agencies (Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries Service) and to the general public for review and comment. These minimum information requirements are based on the information that must be submitted when applying for a section 404 permit from the Corps of Engineers. [33 CFR 328].

States/Tribes must be able to issue permits that comply with the 404(b)(1) Guidelines, the environmental review criteria. States/Tribes and the reviewing Federal agencies must be able to review proposed projects to evaluate, avoid, minimize and compensate for anticipated impacts. EPA's assumption regulations establish recommended elements that should be included in the State/Tribes's permit application, so that sufficient information is available to make a thorough analysis of anticipated impacts. These minimum information requirements are based on the information that must be submitted when applying for a section 404 permit from the Corps of Engineers (CWA section 404(h)(1)(A)(i) and section 404(j) and 40 CFR 230.10, 233.20, 233.21, 233.34, and 233.50) (33 CFR 325.1).

EPA is responsible for oversight of assumed programs to ensure that State/Tribal programs are in compliance with applicable requirements and that State/Tribal permit decisions adequately consider, avoid, minimize and compensate for anticipated impacts. States/Tribes must evaluate their Start Printed Page 43118programs annually and submit the results in a report to EPA. EPA's assumption regulations establish minimum requirements for the annual report (40 CFR 233.52).

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 number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations are listed in 40 CFR Part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15 and are identified on the form and/or instrument, if applicable.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 520 hours to request program assumption, 5 hours to complete a permit application and 80 hours to prepare the annual report per assumed program. 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.

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

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 2 States/Tribes to request program assumption; 20,000 permit applicants, 4 assumed States/Tribes.

Frequency of response: On occasion.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: One time to request assumption; one time when requesting a permit; annually for the annual permit and annual report.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 101,360 (520 hours to request assumption times two States/Tribes (1,040 hours); 20,000 permit applicants times 5 hours per application (100,000 hours); 80 hours per annual report times 4 States/Tribes (320 hours).

Estimated total annual costs: $45,120 (includes $0 annualized capital and O&M costs).

Are There Changes in the Estimates From the Last Approval?

There are changes in the estimates from the last approval. These changes are to account for increases in wages.

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 19, 2009.

Suzanne Schwartz,

Acting Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.

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[FR Doc. E9-20603 Filed 8-25-09; 8:45 am]

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