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Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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In compliance with the requirement of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call 404-639-7570 and send comments to Kimberly Lane, at 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D74, Atlanta, GA 30333 or send an email to

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

The National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS)—New—National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Background and Brief Description

The CDC is requesting OMB approval for the National Voluntary Environmental Assessment Information System (NVEAIS) to collect data from foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessments routinely conducted by local, state, territorial, or tribal food safety programs during outbreak investigations. Environmental assessment data are not currently collected at the national level. The data reported through this information system will provide timely data on the causes of outbreaks, including environmental factors associated with outbreaks, and are essential to environmental public health regulators' efforts to respond more effectively to outbreaks and prevent future, similar outbreaks. This information system is specifically designed to link to CDC's existing disease outbreak surveillance system (National Outbreak Reporting System).

The information system was developed by the Environmental Health Specialists Network (EHS-Net), a collaborative project of CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and nine states (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Tennessee). The network consists of environmental health specialists (EHSs), epidemiologists, and laboratorians. The EHS-Net has developed a standardized protocol for identifying, reporting, and analyzing data relevant to foodborne illness outbreak environmental assessments.

While conducting environmental assessments during outbreak investigations is routine for food safety program officials, reporting information from the environmental assessments to CDC is not routine. Thus, state, local, tribal, and territorial food safety program officials are the respondents for this data collection—one official from each participating program will report environmental assessment data on outbreaks. These programs are typically located in public health or agriculture agencies. There are approximately 3,000 such agencies in the United States. Thus, although it is not possible to determine how many programs will choose to participate, as NVEAIS is voluntary, the maximum potential number of program respondents is approximately 3,000.

These programs will be reporting data on outbreaks, not their programs or personnel. It is not possible to determine exactly how many outbreaks will occur in the future, nor where they will occur. However, we can estimate that, based on existing data, a maximum of 1,400 foodborne illness outbreaks will occur annually. Only programs in the jurisdictions in which these outbreaks occur would report to NVEAIS. Thus, not every program will respond every year. Consequently, the respondent burden estimate is based on the number of outbreaks likely to occur each year. Assuming each outbreak occurs in a different jurisdiction, there will be one respondent per outbreak.

There are two activities associated with NVEAIS that require a burden estimate. The first is entering all requested environmental assessment data into NVEAIS. This will be done once for each outbreak. This will take approximately 2 hours per outbreak.

The second activity is the manager interview that will be conducted at each establishment associated with an outbreak. Most outbreaks are associated with only one establishment; however, some are associated with multiple establishments. We estimate that a maximum average of four manager interviews will be conducted per outbreak. Each interview will take about 20 minutes.

The total estimated annual burden is 4,667 hours. There is no cost to the respondents other than their time.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

Type of respondentForm nameNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)Total burden (in hours)
Food safety program personnelReporting environmental assessment data into NVEAIS1,400122,800
Retail food personnelManager interview1,400420/601,867

Kimberly S. Lane,

Deputy Director, Office of Scientific Integrity, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[FR Doc. 2012-18744 Filed 7-31-12; 8:45 am]