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Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC Allowance System; EPA ICR No. 2014.04

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR will expire on 02/28/2013. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.


Comments must be submitted on or before November 9, 2012.


Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039 by one of the following methods:

  • Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email:
  • Fax: 202-566-1741.
  • Mail: Docket # EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039, Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
  • Hand Delivery: Docket # EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039, Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center at EPA West, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 3334, 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 to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change and may be made available online at, 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 or email. The 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 email comment directly to EPA without going through your email 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


Robert Burchard, Stratospheric Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, 6205J, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9126; fax number: (202) 343-2338; email address:


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-OAR-2003-0039, which is available for online viewing at, or in person at the Air and Radiation 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 Air and Radiation Docket is 202-566-1742.

Use to obtain a copy of the draft collection of information, submit or view public comments, access the index listing 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., 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.

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.

What information collection activity or ICR does this apply to?

Docket ID No.: EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039.

Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are producers, importers, exporters, transformers, and destroyers of HCFCs.

Title: Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC Allowance System ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2014.04, OMB Control No. 2060-0498.

ICR status: This ICR will expire on 02/28/2013. 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 international treaty The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and Title VI of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) established limits on total U.S. production, import, and export of class I and class II controlled ozone depleting substances (referred to hereinafter as “controlled substances”).

Under its Protocol commitments, the United States was obligated to cease production and import of class I controlled substances (e.g., chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs) with exemptions for essential uses, critical uses, previously-used material, and material that is transformed, destroyed, or exported to developing countries. The Protocol also establishes limits and reduction schedules leading to the eventual phaseout of class II controlled substances (i.e., hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs).

The U.S. is obligated to limit HCFC consumption (defined by the Protocol as production plus imports, minus exports). The schedule called for a 35 percent reduction on January 1, 2004, followed by a 75 percent reduction on January 1, 2010, a 90 percent reduction on January 1, 2015, a 99.5 percent reduction on January 1, 2020, and a total phaseout on January 1, 2030. EPA is responsible for administering the phaseout.

To ensure U.S. compliance with these limits and restrictions, EPA established an allowance system to control U.S. production and import of HCFCs by granting control measures referred to as baseline and calendar-year allowances. Baseline allowances are based on the historical activity of individual companies. Calendar-year allowances allow holders to produce and/or import controlled substances in a given year and are allocated as a percentage of baseline. There are two types of baseline and calendar-year allowances: consumption and production allowances. Since each allowance is equal to 1 kilogram of HCFC, EPA is able to monitor the quantity of HCFCs being produced, imported and exported. Transfers of production and consumption allowances among producers and importers are allowed and are tracked by EPA.

The above-described limits and restrictions are monitored by EPA through the recordkeeping and reporting requirements established in the regulations in 40 CFR part 82, subpart A. To submit required information, regulated entities can download reporting forms from EPA's Web site (, complete them, and send them to EPA electronically, via mail, courier, or fax.

Upon receipt of the reports, the data is entered into the ODS Tracking System. The ODS Tracking System is a secure database that maintains the data submitted to EPA and helps the agency: (1) Maintain oversight over total production and consumption of controlled substances; (2) monitor compliance with limits and restrictions on production, imports, and trades and specific exemptions from the phaseout for individual U.S. companies; and (3) assess, and report on, compliance with U.S. obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

EPA has implemented an electronic reporting system that allows regulated entities to prepare and submit data electronically. Coupled with the widespread use of the standardized forms, electronic reporting has improved data quality and made the reporting process efficient for both reporting companies and EPA. Most reporting is done electronically.

Pursuant to regulations in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B, reporting businesses are entitled to assert a business confidentiality claim covering any part of the submitted business information as defined in 40 CFR 2.201(c). EPA's practice is to manage the reported information as confidential business information.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1,601 hours and $161,793. 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.

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

Estimated total number of potential respondents: 49.

Frequency of response: Annually, quarterly, or as needed (depending on the report).

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 7.

Estimated total annual burden hours: 1,601.

Estimated total annual costs: $161,793. This includes an estimated burden cost of $160,428 and an estimated cost of $1,365 for capital investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

There is a decrease of 259 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects the expansion of the electronic reporting program.

What is the next step in the process for this ICR?

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 Robert Burchard at

Dated: September 4, 2012.

Drusilla Hufford,

Director, Stratospheric Protection Division.

[FR Doc. 2012-22206 Filed 9-7-12; 8:45 am]