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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Estuary Program (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 1500.07, OMB Control No. 2040-0138

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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 01/31/2010. 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 December 7, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2006-0369 by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: OW-Docket@epa.gov.
  • Fax: (202) 566-9744.
  • Mail: EPA-HQ-OW-2006-0369, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), Water Docket—Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: Office of Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Public Reading Room, Room B102, 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-2006-0369. 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 Start Printed Page 51849protected 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/​dockets.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nell Orscheln, 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) 566-2102; fax number: (202) 566-1336; e-mail address: Orscheln.nell@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-2006-0369, 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 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8 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 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 people) 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 state or local agencies or nongovernmental organizations in the National Estuary Program (NEP) who receive grants under Section 320 of the Clean Water Act.

Title: National Estuary Program (Renewal).

ICR Numbers: EPA ICR No. 1500.07, OMB Control No. 2040-0138.

ICR Status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire 01/31/2010. 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:

Annual Workplans: The NEP involves collecting information from the state or local agency or nongovernmental organizations that receive funds under § 320 of the Clean Water Act. The regulation requiring this information is found at 40 CFR Part 35. Prospective grant recipients seek funding to develop or oversee and coordinate implementation of Comprehensive Conservation Management Plans (CCMPs) for estuaries of national significance. In order to receive funds, grantees must submit an annual workplan to EPA. The workplan consists of two parts: (a) Progress on projects funded previously; and (b) new projects proposed with dollar amounts and completion dates. The workplan is reviewed by EPA and also serves as the scope of work for the grant agreement. EPA also uses these workplans to track performance of each of the 28 estuary programs currently in the NEP.

Program Evaluations: EPA provides funding to NEPs to support long-term implementation of CCMPs if such programs pass a program evaluation process. The primary purpose of the program evaluation process is to help EPA determine whether the 28 programs included in the National Estuary Program (NEP) are making adequate progress implementing their CCMPs and therefore merit continued funding under § 320 of the Clean Water Act. Continued funding for each NEP under § 320 of the CWA is contingent upon Congress appropriating sufficient funds to the EPA for the purpose of implementing the NEP. The program evaluation process also is useful for highlighting Start Printed Page 51850environmental results; highlighting strengths and challenges in program management; demonstrating continued stakeholder commitment; assessing the progress of the NEP as a national program; and transferring lessons learned within EPA, among NEPs, and with other watershed programs. For this ICR cycle, program evaluations will be required for nine programs in FY2010, nine programs in FY2011, and ten programs in 2012.

Government Performance Results Act: EPA requests that each of the 28 NEPs receiving § 320 funds report information that can be used in the GPRA reporting process. This reporting is done on an annual basis and is used to show environmental results that are being achieved within the overall NEP Program. This information is ultimately submitted to Congress along with GPRA information from other EPA programs.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 218 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 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: 28.

Frequency of response: Annual.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 2.3.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 5,833.

Estimated total annual costs: $409,349, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Are There Changes in the Estimates from the Last Approval?

There are no changes in burden from the last approval.

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: October 1, 2009.

Suzanne Schwartz,

Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.

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[FR Doc. E9-24341 Filed 10-7-09; 8:45 am]

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