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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica; EPA ICR No. 1808.06, OMB Control No. 2020-0007

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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 February 11, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OECA-2007-0468, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by e-mail to docket.oeca.epa.gov or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Enforcement and Compliance Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 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:

Aimee Hessert, NEPA Compliance Division, Office of Federal Activities, 2252A, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-564-0993; fax number: 202-564-0072; e-mail address: hessert.aimee@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 July 30, 2010, (75 FR 44944), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received 1 comment during the comment period, which is addressed in the ICR. 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-2007-0468, 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 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 202-566-1511.

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 business 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: Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica.

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. [1808.06], OMB Control No. 2020-0007.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on January 31, 2011. 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 Start Printed Page 2107approved, 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 Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) regulations at 40 CFR part 8, Environmental Impact Assessment of Nongovernmental Activities in Antarctica (Rule), were promulgated pursuant to the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act of 1996 (Act), 16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq., as amended, 16 U.S.C. 2403a, which implements the Protocol on Environmental Protection (Protocol) to the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 (Treaty). The Rule provides for assessment of the environmental impacts of nongovernmental activities in Antarctica, including tourism, for which the United States is required to give advance notice under Paragraph 5 of Article VII of the Treaty, and for coordination of the review of information regarding environmental impact assessments received from other Parties under the Protocol. The requirements of the Rule apply to operators of nongovernmental expeditions organized or proceeding from the territory of the United States to Antarctica and include commercial and non-commercial expeditions. Expeditions may include ship-based tours; yacht, skiing or mountaineering expeditions; privately funded research expeditions; and other nongovernmental activities. The Rule does not apply to individual U.S. citizens or groups of citizens planning travel to Antarctica on an expedition for which they are not acting as an operator. The provisions of the Rule are intended to ensure that potential environmental effects of nongovernmental activities undertaken in Antarctica are appropriately identified and considered by the operator during the planning process and that to the extent practicable appropriate environmental safeguards which would mitigate or prevent adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment are identified by the operator.

Environmental Documentation: Persons subject to the Rule must prepare environmental documentation to support the operator's determination regarding the level of environmental impact of the proposed expedition. Environmental documentation includes a Preliminary Environmental Review Memorandum (PERM), an Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE), or a Comprehensive Environmental Evaluation (CEE). The environmental document is submitted to the Office of Federal Activities (OFA). If the operator determines that an expedition may have: (1) Less than a minor or transitory impact, a PERM needs to be submitted no later than 180 days before the proposed departure to Antarctica; (2) no more than minor or transitory impacts, an IEE needs to be submitted no later than 90 days before the proposed departure; or (3) more than minor or transitory impacts, a CEE needs to be submitted. Operators who anticipate such activities are encouraged to consult with EPA as soon as possible regarding the date for submittal of the CEE. The Protocol and the Rule also require an operator to employ procedures to assess and provide a regular and verifiable record of the actual impacts of an activity which proceeds on the basis of an IEE or CEE. Moreover, an operator needs to monitor key environmental indicators for an activity proceeding on the basis of a CEE. An operator may also need to carry out monitoring in order to assess and verify the impact of an activity for which an IEE would be prepared. For activities that require an IEE, an operator should be able to use procedures currently being voluntarily utilized by operators to provide the required information. In cases of emergency related to the safety of human life or of ships, aircraft, equipment and facilities of high value, or the protection of the environment which would require an activity to be undertaken without completion of the documentation procedures set out in the Rule, the operator would need to notify the Department of State within 15 days of any activities which would have otherwise required preparation of a CEE, and provide a full explanation of the activities carried out within 45 days of those activities. Environmental documents (e.g., PERM, IEE, CEE) are submitted to OFA. Environmental documents are reviewed by OFA, in consultation with the National Science Foundation and other interested Federal agencies, and also made available to other Parties and the public as required under the Protocol or otherwise requested.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1,708 hours annually, or 78 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: Nongovernmental operators with activities in Antarctica.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 22.

Frequency of Response: Annual.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 1,708 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $136,675, includes $4,256 annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 45 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This increase is the result of a change in the type of environmental documentation EPA anticipates the respondents will submit.

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Dated: January 6, 2011.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 2011-498 Filed 1-11-11; 8:45 am]

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