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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Exchange Network Grants Progress Report (Renewal)

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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).




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 Start Printed Page 37812Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is scheduled to expire on 11/30/11. 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.


Additional comments may be submitted on or before July 28, 2011.


Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEI-2006-0037, to (1) EPA online using (our preferred method), by e-mail to, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Information Docket, Mail Code 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. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at, 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 statue. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through or e-mail. The 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 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 DC-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​epahome/​dockets.htm.

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Ryan Humrighouse, Mail Code 2823T, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-1680; fax number: 202-566-1684; e-mail address:

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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-OEI-2006-0037 which is available for online viewing at, or in person viewing at the OEI 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 OEI Docket is (202) 566-1752.

Use 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) 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?

Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPEI-2006-0037

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are States, Tribal, and Territorial Environmental Offices receiving National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) grants.

Title: Exchange Network Grants Progress Report (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2207.04, OMB Control No. 2025-0006.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on November 30, 2011. 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 and 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: This notice announces the collection of information related to the U.S. EPA NEIEN Grant Program. The EPA Office of Environmental Start Printed Page 37813Information provides funding to EPA's Exchange Network partners (states, territories, and Federally recognized Indian Tribes) to support the development of the NEIEN. The NEIEN is an Internet and- standards-based, secure information system that supports the electronic collection, exchange, and integration of data among its partners. Funding for the Grant Program has been provided through annual congressional appropriations for the EPA.

To enhance the quality and overall public benefit of the Network, EPA proposes to collect information from the NEIEN grantees about how they intend to ensure quality in their projects and the environmental outcomes and outputs from their projects. The proposed Quality Assurance Reporting Form is intended to provide a simple means for grant recipients to describe how quality will be addressed throughout their projects. The Quality Assurance Reporting Form is derived from guidelines provided in the NEIEN 2006 grant solicitation notice. As a stipulation of their award, grant recipients are to submit the form within ninety days of grant award.

Grantees are currently required to submit semi-annual progress reports as a stipulation of their award. In these reports, grantees outline project goals, activities required to meet these goals, and outputs and outcomes of activities to date. At the request of numerous grantees, we are proposing to offer the Progress Reporting Form as a vehicle for collecting information. This form is easier to complete than an unstructured narrative; it can be used as the semi-annual and final report form and the information returned will be of higher quality and comparable.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.5 hours for the Semi-Annual Report Form per response and 1 hour per Quality Assurance Form 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 that 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: State, Tribal, and Territorial Environmental Offices receiving NEIEN grants.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 225. Frequency of Response: Twice for the Semi-Annual Report Form; once for the Quality Assurance Form.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 733. Estimated Total Annual Cost: $37,000 includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs and $37,000 annual labor costs.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

Changes in the Estimates: There is no change in estimate from the last ICR renewal.

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: June 22, 2011.

Jeffrey Wells,

Acting Director, Information Exchange & Services Division.

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[FR Doc. 2011-16194 Filed 6-27-11; 8:45 am]