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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request on Two Information Collection Requests

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AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that EPA is planning to submit a request to renew two existing Information Collection Requests (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Before submitting the ICRs to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the information collections as described at the beginning of SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted on or before October 24, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719, by one of the following methods:

  • http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • E-mail: ow-docket@epa.gov (Identify Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719 in the subject line)
  • Mail: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 4101T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Please include a total of three copies.
  • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

Instructions: Direct your comments identified by the Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2008-0719. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at http://www.regulations.gov, 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 statute. Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://www.regulations.gov 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 http://www.regulations.gov, 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 CD-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 http://www.epa.gov/​epahome/​dockets.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Amelia Letnes, State and Regional Branch, Water Permits Division, OWM Mail Code: 4203M, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-5627; e-mail address: letnes.amelia@epa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

For All ICRS:

An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to collection information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's regulations are displayed in 40 CFR part 9.

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-OW-2008-0719, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Water Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room B102, 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 Water Docket is 202-566-2426.

Use http://www.regulations.gov 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.

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; train personnel to be able Start Printed Page 53124to respond to a collection of information; search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

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.

A. List of ICRS Planned To Be Submitted

(1) Information Collection Request for Cooling Water Intake Structures New Facility Final Rule (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 1973.05, OMB Control No. 2040-0241; expiration date 12/31/2011.

(2) National Pretreatment Program, EPA ICR Number 0002.14, OMB Control Number 2040-0009, expiration date 12/31/2011.

B. Individual ICRs

(1) Information Collection Request for Cooling Water Intake Structures New Facility Final Rule (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 1973.05, OMB Control No. 2040-0241; expiration date 12/31/2011.

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are new facilities that are point sources (i.e., subject to a NPDES permit) that use or propose to use a cooling water intake structure (CWIS), have at least one cooling water intake structure that uses at least 25 percent (measured on an average monthly basis) of the water withdrawn for cooling purposes, withdraw the water from surface waters, and have a design intake flow greater than two million gallons per day (MGD). Generally, facilities that meet these criteria fall into two major groups: new power producing facilities and new manufacturing facilities. Power producers affected by the final rule are likely to be both utility and nonutility power producers since they typically have large cooling water requirements. EPA identified four categories of manufacturing facilities that tend to require large amounts of cooling water: paper and allied products, chemical and allied products, petroleum and coal products, and primary metals. However, the New Facility Rule is not limited to manufacturers in these sectors; any new manufacturer that meets the criteria above is subject to the rule.

Abstract: The section 316(b) New Facility Rule requires the collection of information from new facilities that use a CWIS and meet the other eligibility requirements. Section 316(b) of the CWA requires that any standard established under section 301 or 306 of the CWA and applicable to a point source must require that the location, design, construction and capacity of CWISs at that facility reflect the best technology available (BTA) for minimizing adverse environmental impact. See 66 FR 65256. Such impact occurs as a result of impingement (where fish and other aquatic life are trapped on technologies at the entrance to cooling water intake structures) and entrainment (where aquatic organisms, eggs, and larvae are taken into the cooling system, passed through the heat exchanger, and then pumped back out with the discharge from the facility). The rule establishes standard requirements applicable to the location, design, construction, and capacity of cooling water intake structures at new facilities. These requirements seek to minimize the adverse environmental impact associated with the use of CWISs.

Burden Statement: The annual average reporting and recordkeeping burden for the collection of information by facilities responding to the section 316(b) New Facility Rule is estimated to be 1,620 hours per respondent (i.e., an annual average of 131,188 hours of burden divided among an anticipated annual average of 81 facilities). The State reporting and recordkeeping burden for the review, oversight, and administration of the rule is estimated to average 154 hours per respondent (i.e., an annual average of 7,233 hours of burden divided among an anticipated 47 States on average per year).

The ICR provides a detailed explanation of the Agency's estimate, which is only briefly summarized here:

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 86 facilities and 47 States and Territories.

Frequency of response: Annual, every 5 years.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 5.8 for facilities (467 annual average responses for 81 average facility respondents) and 8.9 for States and Territories (420 annual average responses for 47 average State respondents).

Estimated total annual burden hours: 138,421 (131,188 for facilities and 7,233 for States and Territories).

Estimated total annual costs: $10.6 million per year. This includes an estimated burden cost of $8.1 and an estimated cost of $2.5 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Change in Burden: There is an increase of 20,212 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This increase is due to the addition of the newly built facilities, as well as the continued performance of annual activities by facilities that received their permit during the previous ICR approval periods. In addition, this ICR includes additional repermitting burden and costs because more facilities are entering the renewal phase of their permits.

(2) National Pretreatment Program, EPA ICR Number 0002.14, OMB Control Number 2040-0009, expiration date 12/31/2011.

Affected entities: Various industrial categories, publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), local and State governments.

Abstract: This ICR calculates the burden and costs associated with managing and implementing the National Pretreatment Program as mandated under CWA sections 402(a) and (b) and 307(b). This ICR includes all existing tasks under the National Pretreatment Program, as amended by the EPA's Streamlining Rule.

EPA's Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) in the Office of Water (OW) is responsible for the management of the pretreatment program. The CWA requires EPA to develop national pretreatment standards to control discharges from Industrial Users (IUs) into POTWs. These standards limit the level of certain pollutants allowed in non-domestic wastewater that is discharged to a POTW. EPA administers the pretreatment program through the NPDES permit program. Under the NPDES permit program, EPA may approve State or individual POTW implementation of the pretreatment standards at their respective levels. Data collected from IUs during implementation of the pretreatment program include the mass, frequency, Start Printed Page 53125and content of IU discharges and IU schedules for installing pretreatment equipment. Data also include actual or anticipated IU discharges of wastes that violate pretreatment standards, have the potential to cause problems at the POTW, or are considered hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). OWM uses the data collected under the pretreatment program to monitor and enforce compliance with the pretreatment regulations, as well as to authorize program administration at the State or local (POTW) level. States and POTWs applying for approval of their pretreatment programs submit data concerning their legal, procedural, and administrative bases for establishing such programs. This information may include surveys of IUs, local limits for pollutant concentrations, and schedules for completion of major project requirements. IUs and POTWs submit written reports to the approved State or EPA. These data may then be entered into the NPDES databases by the approved State or by EPA.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 73.1 hours per respondent per year, or 18.1 hours per response.

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 24,411 (36 States, 1,548 POTWs and 22,827 industrial users).

Frequency of response: On occasion, semi-annually, annually, and as needed.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 4.0.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 1,784,568 hours.

Estimated total annual costs: $76,773,776. This includes an estimated burden cost of $74,454,863 and an estimated cost of $2,318,913 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Change in Burden: There is a decrease of 12,5195 (0.7%) hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. Most of the decrease in burden is attributed to the decrease in the number of SIUs. EPA revised the estimated number of SIUs and pretreatment programs after extensive consultation with the EPA regions and a thorough examination of PCS data. This ICR shows a shift in burden from POTWs to States as a consequence of EPA's updated estimates of of SIUs regulated by POTWs and States. However, EPA does not believe this is the result of programmatic changes but simply a reflection of more accurate information about the implementation of the pretreatment program.

What is the next step in the process for these ICRs?

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.

Start Signature

Dated: August 12, 2011.

James A. Hanlon,

Director, Office of Wastewater Management.

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[FR Doc. 2011-21723 Filed 8-24-11; 8:45 am]

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