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Notice

Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-600); Comment Request; Extension

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AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Energy.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed information collection and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A) (2006), (Pub. L. 104-13), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is soliciting public comment on the proposed information collection described below.

DATES:

Comments in consideration of the collection of information are due July 12, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Comments may be filed either electronically (eFiled) or in paper format, and should refer to Docket No. IC11-600-000. Documents must be prepared in an acceptable filing format and in compliance with Commission submission guidelines at http://www.ferc.gov/​help/​submission-guide.asp. eFiling instructions are available at: http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​efiling.asp. First time users must follow eRegister instructions at: http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​eregistration.asp, to establish a user name and password before eFiling. The Commission will send an automatic acknowledgement to the sender's e-mail address upon receipt of eFiled comments. Commenters making an eFiling should not make a paper filing. Commenters that are not able to file electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426.

Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket may do so through eSubscription at http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​esubscription.asp. All comments and FERC issuances may be viewed, printed or downloaded remotely through FERC's eLibrary at http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​elibrary.asp, by searching on Docket No. IC11-600. For user assistance, contact FERC Online Support by e-mail at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Brown may be reached by e-mail at DataClearance@FERC.gov, telephone at (202) 502-8663, and fax at (202) 273-0873.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The information collected under the requirements of FERC-600, “Rules of Practice and Procedure: Complaint Procedures” (OMB Control No. 1902-0180), is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 791a-825r; the Natural Gas Act(NGA), 15 U.S.C. 717-717w; the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), 15 U.S.C. 3301-3432, the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), 16 U.S.C. 2601-2645; the Interstate Commerce Act, 49 U.S.C. App. 1 et seq., the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. 1301-1356 and the Energy Policy Act of 2005, (Pub. L. 109-58) 119 Stat. 594.

With respect to the natural gas industry, section 14(a) of the NGA provides: The Commission may permit any person to file with it a statement in writing, under oath or otherwise, as it shall determine, as to any or all facts and circumstances concerning a matter which may be the subject of an investigation.

For public utilities, section 205(e) of the FPA provides: Whenever any such new schedule is filed, the Commission shall have the authority, either upon complaint or upon its own initiative without complaint at once, and, if it so orders, without answer or formal pleading by the public utility, but upon reasonable notice to enter upon hearing concerning the lawfulness of such rate, charge, classification, or service; and pending such hearing and decision of the Commission. * * *

Section 215(d)(5) of the FPA provides: The Commission, upon its own motion or upon complaint, may order the Electric Reliability Organization to submit to the Commission a proposed reliability standard or a modification to a reliability standard that addresses a specific matter if the Commission considers such a new or modified reliability standard appropriate to carry out this section. * * *

Concerning hydropower projects, section 19 of the FPA provides: * * * it is agreed as a condition of such license that jurisdiction is hereby conferred upon the Commission, upon complaint of any person aggrieved or upon its own initiative, to exercise such regulation and control until such time as the State shall have provided a commission or other authority for such regulation and control. * * *

For qualifying facilities, section 210(h)(2)(B) of PURPA provides: Any electric utility, qualifying cogenerator, or qualifying small power producer may petition the Commission to enforce the requirements of subsection (f) as provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

Likewise for oil pipelines, Part 1 of the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), sections 1, 6 and 15 (recodified by Pub. L. 95-473 and found as an appendix to Title 49 U.S.C.) the Commission is authorized to investigate the rates charged by oil pipeline companies subject to its jurisdiction. If a proposed oil rate has been filed and allowed by the Commission to go into effect without suspension and hearing, the Commission can investigate the effective rate on its own motion or by complaint filed with the Commission. Section 13 of the ICA provided that: Any person, firm, corporation, company or association, or any mercantile, agricultural, or manufacturing society or other organization, or any common carrier subject to the provisions of this chapter in contravention of the provisions thereof, may apply to the Commission by petition which shall briefly state the facts: whereupon a statement of the complaint thus made shall be forwarded by the Commission to such common carrier, who shall be called upon to satisfy the complaint, or to answer the same in writing, within a reasonable time, to be specified by the Commission. * * *

In Order No. 602, 64 FR 17087 (April 8, 1999), the Commission revised its regulations governing complaints filed with the Commission under the above statutes. Order No. 602 was designed to Start Printed Page 28015encourage and support consensual resolution of complaints, and to organize the complaint procedures so that all complaints are handled in a timely and fair manner. In order to achieve the latter, the Commission revised Rule 206 of its Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.206) to require that a complaint satisfy certain informational requirements, that answers be filed in a shorter, 20-day time frame, and that parties may employ various types of alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve complaints.

In Order No. 647, 69 FR 32436 (June 10, 2004), the Commission revised its regulations to simplify the formats it requires for various types of notices. These revisions provide for a more uniform formatting and make it easier for the Commission to update the form of notice formatting without the necessity of initiating a rulemaking for every change. A new subsection 18 CFR 385.203(d) replaced the former format requirements. Among the provisions that were affected by these revisions was 18 CFR 385.206(b)(10).

On October 30, 2008, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the reporting requirements contained in FERC-600 for a term of three years, the maximum period permissible under the Paperwork Reduction Act [1] before an information collection must be resubmitted for approval. As noted above this notice seeks public comments in order for the Commission to submit a justification to OMB to approve and extend the current expiration date of the FERC-600 reporting requirements. The data in complaints filed by interested/affected parties regarding oil and natural gas pipeline operations, electric and hydropower facilities in their applications for rate changes, service, licensing or reliability are used by the Commission in establishing a basis for various investigations and to make an initial determination regarding the merits of the complaint.

Investigations may range from whether there is undue discrimination in rates or service to questions regarding market power of regulated entities to environmental concerns. In order to make a better determination, it is important to know the specifics of any oil, gas, electric, and hydropower complaint “upfront” in a timely manner and in sufficient detail to allow the Commission to act swiftly. In addition, such complaint data will help the Commission and interested parties to monitor the market for exercises of market power or undue discrimination. The information is voluntary but submitted with prescribed filing requirements. The Commission implements these filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR Parts 343, and 385, 385.206, 385.203 and 385.213.

Action: The Commission is requesting a three-year extension of the current expiration date, with no changes to the existing collection of data.

Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this collection is estimated as:

Data collectionNumber of respondents 2 (1)Average number of responses per respondent (2)Average number of burden hours per response (3)Total annual hours (1)×(2)×(3)
FERC-600881141,232
2 This is a three year average of the number of respondents (2008-2010).

Estimated cost burden to respondents is $84,328 (1,232 hours/2080 hours per year times $142,372 per year average per employee = $84,328). The cost per respondent is $958. There is a slight increase in the average number of respondents and number of filings since the last renewal request (in 2008, the average number of respondents was 81). The cost per respondent has increased to reflect adjustments due to inflationary costs.

The reporting burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information including: (1) Reviewing instructions; (2) developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, verifying, processing, maintaining, disclosing and providing information; (3) adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; (4) training personnel to respond to a collection of information; (5) searching data sources; (6) completing and reviewing the collection of information; and (7) transmitting or otherwise disclosing the information.

The estimate of cost for respondents is based upon salaries for professional and clerical support, as well as direct and indirect overhead costs. Direct costs include all costs directly attributable to providing this information, such as administrative costs and the cost for information technology. Indirect or overhead costs are costs incurred by an organization in support of its mission. These costs apply to activities which benefit the whole organization rather than any one particular function or activity.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including 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.

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Dated: May 9, 2011.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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[FR Doc. 2011-11755 Filed 5-12-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6717-01-P