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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Focus Groups as Used By EPA for Economics Projects (Renewal)

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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 April 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2008-0701, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to oei.docket@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nathalie Simon, National Center for Environmental Economics, Office of Policy, (1809T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-2347; fax number: 202-566-2363; email address: simon.nathalie@epa.gov.

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 October 7, 2011 (76 FR 62400), 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 EPA-HQ-OA-2008-0701, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Office of Environmental Information (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 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 www.regulations.gov.

Title: Focus Groups as Used by EPA for Economics Projects (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2205.07, OMB Control No. 2090-0028.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2012. 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: The EPA is seeking renewal of a generic information collection request (ICR) for the conduct of focus groups and one-on-one interviews primarily related to survey development for economics projects. Focus groups are groups of individuals brought together for moderated discussions on a specific topic or issue. These groups are typically formed to gain insight and understanding of attitudes and perceptions held by the public surrounding a particular issue. One-on-one interviews, as the term implies, are individual interviews in which a respondent is generally asked to review materials and provide feedback on their content and design as well as the thought processes that the materials invoke.

Focus groups and one-on-one interviews (hereafter referred to collectively as “focus groups”) used as a qualitative research tool have three major purposes:

  • To better understand respondents' attitudes, perceptions and emotions in response to specific topics and concepts;
  • To obtain respondent information useful for better defining variables and measures in later quantitative studies; and
  • To further explore findings obtained from quantitative studies.

Through these focus groups, the Agency will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding of the public's attitudes, beliefs, motivations and feelings regarding specific issues and will provide invaluable information regarding the quality of draft survey instruments. Focus group discussions are necessary and important steps in the design of a quality survey. The target population for the focus group discussions will vary by project, but will generally include members of the general public. Participation in the focus groups will be completely voluntary. Each focus group will fully conform to federal regulations—specifically the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), the Hawkins-Stafford Amendments of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-297), and the Computer Security Act of 1987.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 2 hours 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.

Respondents/Affected Entities: Individuals.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,066 over three years or 689 per year.

Frequency of Response: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 1,359.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $41,394, includes $0 annualized capital or O&M costs. Changes in the Estimates: There is an increase of 573 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This increase is based on new estimates provided by the program offices at EPA on their projected use of focus groups.

John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

[FR Doc. 2012-7367 Filed 3-27-12; 8:45 am]

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