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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the Environmental Effects Abroad of EPA Actions (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 2243.06, OMB Control No. 2020-0033

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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 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. The ICR, which is abstracted below, describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated burden and cost.

DATES:

Additional comments may be submitted on or before August 26, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-2005-0062, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to trice.jessica@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jessica Trice, Office of Federal Activities, Mail Code 2252A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-6646; fax number: (202) 564-0072; e-mail address: trice.jessica@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 1320.12. On May 7, 2010 (75 FR 25237), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments. 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-OECA-2005-0062, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Enforcement and Compliance 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 Enforcement and Compliance Docket is 202-566-1752.

Use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at http://www.regulations.gov, to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those documents in the 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 http://www.regulations.gov as EPA receives them and without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, confidential Start Printed Page 43975business information (CBI), or other information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute. For further information about the electronic docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov.

Title: Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the Environmental Effects Abroad of EPA Actions (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2243.06, OMB Control No. 2020-0033.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2010. 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 National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347 establishes the federal government's national policy for protection of the environment. The Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (CEQ Regulations) at 40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508 establish procedures implementing the national policy. The CEQ Regulations (40 CFR 1505.1) require federal agencies to adopt and, as needed, revise their own implementing procedures to supplement the CEQ Regulations and to ensure their decision-making processes are consistent with NEPA. EPA accordingly laid out its “Procedures for Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act and Assessing the Environmental Effects Abroad of EPA Actions” at 40 CFR part 6.

Those subject to the final NEPA rule include certain grant or permit applicants who must submit environmental information documentation to EPA for their proposed projects. The final NEPA regulations consolidate and standardize the environmental review process applicable to all EPA actions subject to NEPA, including those actions now specifically addressed in the regulations and other actions subject to NEPA but not specifically addressed in the regulations (e.g., certain grants awarded for special projects authorized by Congress through the Agency's annual Appropriations Act).

EPA is collecting information from certain applicants as part of the process of complying with either NEPA or Executive Order 12114 (“Environmental Effects Abroad of Major Federal Actions”). EPA's NEPA regulations apply to the actions of EPA that are subject to NEPA in order to ensure that environmental information is available to the Agency's decision-makers and the public before decisions are made and before actions are taken.

When EPA conducts an environmental assessment pursuant to its Executive Order 12114 procedures, the Agency generally follows its NEPA procedures. Compliance with the procedures is the responsibility of EPA's Responsible Officials, and for applicant-proposed actions applicants may be required to provide environmental information to EPA as part of the environmental review process. For this Information Collection Request (ICR), applicant-proposed projects subject to either NEPA or Executive Order 12114 (and that are not addressed in other EPA programs' ICRs) are addressed through the NEPA process.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 123 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.

Respondents/Affected Entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are certain grant or permit applicants who must submit environmental information documentation to EPA for their projects to comply with NEPA or Executive Order 12114, including Wastewater Treatment Construction Grants Program facilities, State and Tribal Assistance Grant recipients and new source National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permittees.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 312.

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 38,472 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $3,503,245, includes $7,638 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 9,675 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease reflects the increasing the number of projects that are documented with a categorical exclusion (CE) rather than an environmental assessment (EA). Under the current ICR, approximately 60% of the annual 300 grant projects were documented with a CE, and 40% with an EA. However, we estimate that out of the 300 annual grant projects, 75% will be documented with a CE and 25% will be documented with an EA.

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Dated: July 21, 2010.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 2010-18367 Filed 7-26-10; 8:45 am]

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