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Notice

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

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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 October 27, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OEI-2006-0037, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by e-mail to oei.docket@epa.gov, 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ryan Humrighouse, Information Exchange Services Division, Office of Information Collection (2823T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-1680; fax number: 202-566-1684; e-mail address: humrighouse.ryan@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 June 28, 2011 (76 FR 37811), EPA sought comments on this ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received no comments. 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-OEI-2006-0037, which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, 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 8:30 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 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: Exchange Network Grants Progress Reports (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. 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 approved, 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: This notice announces the collection of information related to the U.S. EPA National Environmental Information Exchange Network (NEIEN) Grant Program. The EPA Office of Environmental Information 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 2011 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 hour 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.Start Printed Page 59697

Respondents/Affected Entities: State, tribal, or territorial environmental government offices.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 300.

Frequency of Response: Twice per year for progress reporting; annually for quality assurance reporting form.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 956.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $37,370 in labor costs. There are no annualized capital or O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 223 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This increase is due to an increase in the number of grants that are currently active and the adjustments were made accordingly.

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Dated: September 21, 2011.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 2011-24814 Filed 9-26-11; 8:45 am]

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