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Clean Water Act; Contractor Access to Confidential Business Information

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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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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Water intends to transfer confidential business information (CBI) collected from numerous industries to Westat, and its subcontractors. The information being transferred was or will be collected under the authority of section 308 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Some information being transferred from the pulp, paper, and paperboard industry was collected under the additional authorities of section 114 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and section 3007 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Transfer of the information will allow the contractor and subcontractors to access information necessary to support EPA in the planning, development, and review of effluent limitations guidelines and standards under the CWA. Interested persons may submit comments on this intended transfer of information to the address noted below.


Comments on the transfer of data are due September 20, 2010.


Comments may be sent to Mr. M. Ahmar Siddiqui, Document Control Officer, Engineering and Analysis Division (4303T), Room 6231S EPA West, U.S. EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.

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Mr. M. Ahmar Siddiqui, Document Control Officer, at (202) 566-1044, or via e-mail at

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EPA has transferred CBI to various contractors and subcontractors over the history of the effluent guidelines program. EPA determined that this transfer was necessary to enable the contractors and subcontractors to perform their work in supporting EPA in planning, developing, and reviewing effluent guidelines and standards for certain industries.

Today, EPA is giving notice that it has entered into a contract with Westat, contract number EP-C-10-023, located in Rockville, Maryland. The purpose of this contract is to secure statistical analysis support for EPA in its development, review, implementation, and defense of water-related initiatives for a variety of industries. To obtain assistance in responding to this contract, Westat has entered into contracts with the following subcontractors: Soller Environmental (located in Berkeley, California), Tamre Cordoza (located in Seattle, Washington), Alice Shelly (located in Austin, Texas), Peter Guttorp (located in Seattle, Washington), and Richard Davis (located in New York, New York).

All EPA contractor, subcontractor, and consultant personnel are bound by the requirements and sanctions Start Printed Page 55578contained in their contracts with EPA and in EPA's confidentiality regulations found at 40 CFR part 2, subpart B. Information submitted under a claim of business confidentiality is handled in accordance with EPA's regulations at 40 CFR part 2, subpart B and in accordance with EPA procedures, including comprehensive system security plans (SSPs), that are consistent with those regulations. When EPA has determined that disclosure of information claimed as CBI to contractors is necessary, the corresponding contract must address the appropriate use and handling of the information by the contractor and the contractor must require its personnel who require access to information claimed as CBI to sign written non-disclosure agreements before they are granted access to data.

Westat will adhere to EPA-approved security plans which describe procedures to protect CBI. Westat will apply the procedures in these plans to CBI previously gathered by EPA and to CBI that may be gathered in the future. The security plans specify that contractor personnel are required to sign non-disclosure agreements and are briefed on appropriate security procedures before they are permitted access to CBI. No person is automatically granted access to CBI: A need to know must exist.

The information that will be transferred to Westat consists of information previously collected by EPA to support the development and review of effluent limitations guidelines and standards under the CWA. In particular, information, including CBI, collected for the planning, development, and review of effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the following industries may be transferred: Airport deicing; aquaculture; centralized waste treatment; concentrated animal feeding operations; coal mining; construction and development; drinking water treatment; industrial container and drum cleaning; industrial laundries; industrial waste combustors; iron and steel manufacturing; landfills; meat and poultry products; metal finishing; metal products and machinery; nonferrous metals manufacturing; oil and gas extraction (including coalbed methane); ore mining and dressing; organic chemicals, plastics, and synthetic fibers; pesticide chemicals; petroleum refining; pharmaceutical manufacturing; pulp, paper, and paperboard manufacturing; steam electric power generation; textile mills; timber products processing; tobacco; and transportation equipment cleaning.

EPA also intends to transfer to Westat all information listed in this notice, of the type described above (including CBI) that may be collected in the future under the authority of section 308 of the CWA or voluntarily submitted (e.g., in comments in response to a Federal Register notice), as is necessary to enable Westat to carry out the work required by its contract to support EPA's effluent guidelines planning process and the development of effluent limitations guidelines and standards.

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Dated: September 8, 2010.

Ephraim S. King,

Director, Office of Science and Technology.

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[FR Doc. 2010-22746 Filed 9-10-10; 8:45 am]