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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Environmental Monitoring

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with environmental monitoring.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 31, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2013-0108 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on environmental monitoring, contact Dr. Robert Baca, Environmental Compliance Lead, RPM, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 150, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2292. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Environmental Monitoring.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0117.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The mission of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to provide leadership in ensuring the health and care of animals and plants, to improve agricultural productivity and competitiveness, and to contribute to the national economy and the public health.

APHIS is committed to accomplishing its mission in a manner that promotes and protects the integrity of the environment. This includes APHIS' compliance with all applicable environmental statutes and regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). APHIS engages in environmental monitoring for certain activities that we conduct to control or eradicate certain pests and diseases. We monitor those activities that have the greatest potential for harm to the human environment to ensure that the mitigation measures developed to avoid that harm are enforced and effective. In many cases, monitoring is required where APHIS programs are conducted close to habitats of endangered and threatened species. This monitoring is developed in coordination with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act (50 U.S.C. 17.11 and 17.12).

APHIS field personnel and State cooperators jointly use an Environmental Monitoring Form (APHIS Form 2060) to collect information concerning the effects of pesticide use in these sensitive areas. The goal of environmental monitoring is to track the potential impact that APHIS activities may have on the environment and to use this knowledge in making any necessary adjustments in future program actions.

This information collection activity was previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) with an estimated annual number of respondents of 150. However, since the last approval, we no longer gather information from individual households. As a result, we have adjusted the estimated annual number of respondents, the estimated annual number of responses, and the estimated total annual burden on respondents.

We are asking OMB to approve our use of this information collection activity for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.50 hours per response.

Respondents: Growers, appliers of pesticides, State department of agriculture personnel.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 110.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 20.

Estimated annual number of responses: 2,200.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,100 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of January 2014.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2014-01754 Filed 1-29-14; 8:45 am]

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