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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Water Quality Standards Regulations (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 January 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0465, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to ow-docket@epa.gov or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Water Docket, Mailcode 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:

Beth LeaMond, Standards and Health Protection Division, Office of Science and Technology (4305T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-0444; fax number: (202) 566-0409; email address: leamond.beth@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 30, 2011 (76 FR 38384), 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-OW-2011-0465, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Water 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 Water Docket is (202) 566-2426.

Use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at 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 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: Water Quality Standards Regulation (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 0988.11, OMB Control No. 2040-0049.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on December 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 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: Water quality standards are provisions of State, Tribal, and Federal law that consist of designated uses for waters of the United States, water quality criteria to protect the designated uses, and an antidegradation policy. Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act requires States and authorized Tribes to establish water quality standards, and to review and, if appropriate, revise their Start Printed Page 76406water quality standards once every three years. The Act also requires EPA to review and either approve or disapprove the new or revised standards, and to promulgate replacement Federal standards if necessary. Section 118(c)(2) of the Act specifies additional water quality standards requirements for waters of the Great Lakes system.

The Water Quality Standards Regulation (40 CFR part 131 and portions of part 132) governs national implementation of the water quality standards program. The Regulation describes requirements and procedures for States and authorized Tribes to develop, review, and revise their water quality standards, and EPA procedures for reviewing and approving the water quality standards.

The Regulation establishes specific additional requirements for water quality standards and their implementation in the waters of the Great Lakes system, contained in the Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes System (40 CFR part 132).

Burden Statement: The public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1,099 hours per response annually. 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 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: States, Territories and certain authorized Indian tribes that adopt water quality standards under the Clean Water Act; and water dischargers subject to certain requirements related to water quality standards in the Great Lakes system.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,415 (56 States and Territories, 36 Tribes; 2,323 Great Lakes dischargers).

Frequency of Response: On occasion.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 276,981 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $12,614,040 with no annualized capital or O&M cost.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 16,233 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease is due to adjustments in EPA's estimates of burden hours to reflect a change in the number of tribes with EPA-approved water quality standards, a change in the estimated number of tribes applying annually to administer standards programs, a revised estimate of the number of Great Lakes dischargers, and updated burden estimates for certain activities required by the Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes System.

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Dated: November 30, 2011.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 2011-31401 Filed 12-6-11; 8:45 a.m.]

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