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Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC Allowance System (Renewal)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 March 21, 2013.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039 to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by email to a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov, or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Docket: EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039, 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:

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: burchard.robert@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 September 10, 2012 (77 FR 55470), 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-OAR-2003-0039, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing 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 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 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: Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC Allowance System (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2014.04, OMB Control No. 2060-0498.

ICR Status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on 2/28/2013. 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 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. Under its Start Printed Page 11641Protocol 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. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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 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 (http://www.epa.gov/​ozone/​record), complete them, and send them to EPA electronically, via mail, courier, or fax. Almost all of the large regulated companies use the EPA reporting forms.

Upon receipt of the reports, the data is entered into the Ozone Depleting Substances (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 the 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 5 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: Companies that produce, import, and export class II controlled ozone depleting substances.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 49.

Frequency of Response: Annually, quarterly, occasionally.

Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 1,601 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $161,793, includes $1,365 in O&M costs.

Changes in the Estimates: There is a decrease of 259 hours in the total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of Approved ICR Burdens. This decrease reflects the expansion of the electronic reporting program.

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John Moses,

Director, Collection Strategies Division.

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[FR Doc. 2013-03748 Filed 2-15-13; 8:45 am]

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