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Notice

Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-537, FERC-725F, and FERC-725I); Comment Request

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Comment request.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collections FERC-537 (Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition and Abandonment), FERC-725F (Mandatory Reliability Standards for Nuclear Plant Interface Coordination), and FERC-725I (Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review of the information collection requirements. Any interested person may file comments directly with OMB and should address a copy of those comments to the Commission as explained below. The Commission previously issued a Notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 61068, 10/9/2014) requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments on the FERC-537, FERC-725F, and FERC-725I and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

DATES:

Comments on the collections of information are due by March 6, 2015.

ADDRESSES:

Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control Nos. 1902-0060 (FERC-537), 1902-0249 (FERC-725F), and 1902-0258 (FERC-725I) should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov, Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer. The Desk Officer may also be reached via telephone at 202-395-0710.

A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC14-16-000, by either of the following methods:

  • eFiling at Commission's Web site: http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​efiling.asp. Start Printed Page 6068
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

Instructions: All submissions must be formatted and filed in accordance with submission guidelines at: http://www.ferc.gov/​help/​submission-guide.asp. For user assistance contact FERC Online Support by email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or by phone at: (866) 208-3676 (toll-free), or (202) 502-8659 for TTY.

Docket: Users interested in receiving automatic notification of activity in this docket or in viewing/downloading comments and issuances in this docket may do so at http://www.ferc.gov/​docs-filing/​docs-filing.asp.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ellen Brown may be reached by email at DataClearance@FERC.gov, by telephone at (202) 502-8663, and by fax at (202) 273-0873.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Type of Request: Three-year extensions of the information collection requirements for all collections described below with no changes to the current reporting requirements. Please note that each collection is distinct from the next.

Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collections; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

FERC-537, Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition and Abandonment

OMB Control No.:1902-0060

Abstract: The information collected under the requirements of FERC-537 is used by the Commission to implement the statutory provisions of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA) [1] and the Natural Gas Act (NGA).[2] Under Section 7(c) of the NGA, natural gas pipeline companies must obtain Commission authorization to undertake the construction or extension of any facilities, or to acquire or operate any such facilities or extensions. A natural gas company must also obtain Commission approval under Section 7(b) of the NGA prior to abandoning any jurisdictional facility or service. Under the NGA and the NGPA, interstate and intrastate pipelines must also obtain authorization for certain transportation and storage services and arrangements, particularly a Part 284, Subpart G—Blanket Certificate.[3]

The information collected is necessary to certificate interstate pipelines engaged in the transportation and sale of natural gas, and the construction, acquisition, and operation of facilities to be used in those activities, to authorize the abandonment of facilities and services, and to authorize certain NGPA transactions. If a certificate is granted, the natural gas company can construct, acquire, or operate facilities, plus engage in interstate transportation or sale of natural gas. Conversely, approval of an abandonment application permits the pipeline to cease service and/or discontinue the operation of such facilities. Authorization under NGPA Section 311(a) allows the interstate or intrastate pipeline applicants to render certain transportation services.

The data required to be submitted consists of identification of the company and responsible officials, factors considered in the location of the facilities and the detailed impact on the project area for environmental considerations. The following will also be submitted:

  • Flow diagrams showing proposed design capacity for engineering design verification and safety determination;
  • Commercial and economic data presenting the basis for the proposed action; and
  • Cost of the proposed facilities, plans for financing, and estimated revenues and expenses related to the proposed facility for accounting and financial evaluation.

The Commission implements these filing requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) under 18 CFR 157.5-.11; 157.13-.20; 157.53; 157.201-.209; 157.211; 157.214-.218; 284.8; 284.11; 284.126; 284.221; 284.224.

Type of Respondent: Natural Gas Pipelines.

Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as: [4]

FERC-537—Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition, and Abandonment

Number of respondentsAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden hours & cost per response 5Total annual burden hours & total annual costCost per respondent ($)
(1)(2)(1)*(2)=(3)(4)(3)*(4)=(5)(5)÷(1)
2042.24458146 $10,29366,868 $4,714,194$23,109

A more granular breakdown of the average burden hour figure (i.e., 146 average hours per response) follows:Start Printed Page 6069

18 CFR SectionRegulation topicNumber of respondents (distinct entities)Number of responsesAverage hours per response (average, weighted)
157.5-.11; & 157.13-.20Interstate certificate and abandonment applications15982500
157.53Exemptions39350
157.201-.209; 157.211; 157.214-.218Blanket Certificates prior notice filings6246200
157.201-.209; 157.211; 157.214-.218Blanket Certificates—annual reports15915950
284.11NGPA Sec. 311 Construction—annual reports939350
284.8Capacity Release—record keeping0N/A75
284.126(a)Intrastate bypass, semi-annual transportation374830
284.221Blanket Certificates—one time filing, inc. new tariff and rate design proposal1414100
284.224Hinshaw Blanket Certificates8875
157.5-.11; & 157.13-.20Non-facility certificate or abandonment applications5575
Totals204458146

FERC-725F, Mandatory Reliability Standards for Nuclear Plant Interface Coordination

OMB Control No.: 1902-0249

Abstract: The Commission requires the information collected by the FERC-725F to implement the statutory provisions of section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) (16 U.S.C. 824o). On August 8, 2005, the Electricity Modernization Act of 2005, which is Title XII, Subtitle A, of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), was enacted into law.[6] EPAct 2005 added a new section 215 to the FPA, which required a Commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to develop mandatory and enforceable Reliability Standards, which are subject to Commission review and approval. Once approved, the Reliability Standards may be enforced by the ERO subject to Commission oversight, or the Commission can independently enforce Reliability Standards.[7]

On February 3, 2006, the Commission issued Order No. 672, implementing section 215 of the FPA.[8] Pursuant to Order No. 672, the Commission certified one organization, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), as the ERO. The Reliability Standards developed by the ERO and approved by the Commission apply to users, owners and operators of the Bulk-Power System as set forth in each Reliability Standard.

On November 19, 2007, NERC filed its petition for Commission approval of the Nuclear Plant Interface Coordination Reliability Standard, designated NUC-001-1. In Order No. 716, issued October 16, 2008, the Commission approved the standard while also directing certain revisions.[9] Revised Reliability Standard, NUC-001-2, was filed with the Commission by NERC in August 2009 and subsequently approved by the Commission January 21, 2010.[10]

The purpose of Reliability Standard NUC-001-2 is to require “coordination between nuclear plant generator operators and transmission entities for the purpose of ensuring nuclear plant safe operation and shutdown.” [11] The Nuclear Reliability Standard applies to nuclear plant generator operators (generally nuclear power plant owners and operators, including licensees) and “transmission entities,” defined in the Reliability Standard as including a nuclear plant's suppliers of off-site power and related transmission and distribution services. To account for the variations in nuclear plant design and grid interconnection characteristics, the Reliability Standard defines transmission entities as “all entities that are responsible for providing services related to Nuclear Plant Interface Requirements (NPIRs),” and lists eleven types of functional entities (heretofore described as “transmission entities”) that could provide services related to NPIRs.[12]

FERC-725F information collection requirements include establishing and maintaining interface agreements, including record retention requirements. These agreements are not filed with FERC but with the appropriate entities as established by the Reliability Standard.

Type of Respondent: Nuclear operators, nuclear plants, transmission entities.

Estimate of Annual Burden: The Commission estimates the average annual burden for this information collection as:

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FERC-725FNumber of respondentsAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden hours & cost per response 13Total annual burden hours & total annual costCost per respondent ($)
(1)(2)(1)*(2)=(3)(4)(3)*(4)=(5)(5)÷(1)
New agreements (Reporting)10 nuclear operators + 20 transmission entities1301,080 $79,73632,400 $2,392,092$79,736
New Agreements (Record Keeping)10 nuclear operators + 20 transmission entities130108 $3,1333,240 $93,992$3,133
Modifications to agreements (Reporting)65 nuclear plants + 130 transmission entities 14239066.67 $4,92226,000 $1,919,581$9,844
Modifications to Agreements (Record Keeping)65 nuclear plants + 130 transmission entities23906.67 $1932,600 $75,426$387
Total15 42064,240 $4,481,091

FERC-725I, Mandatory Reliability Standards for the Northeast Power Coordinating Council

OMB Control No.: 1902-0258

Abstract: This information collection relates to two FERC-approved Protection and Control (PRC) regional Reliability Standards: PRC-002-NPCC-01—Disturbance Monitoring, and PRC-006-NPCC-1—Automatic Under frequency Load-Shedding. These Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) regional Reliability Standards require respondents to provide recording capability necessary to monitor the response of the Bulk-Power System to system disturbances, including scheduled and unscheduled outages; require each reliability coordinator to establish requirements for its area's dynamic disturbance recording needs; establish disturbance data reporting requirements; and require planning coordinators to incrementally gather data, run studies, and analyze study results to design or update the UFLS programs that are required in the regional Reliability Standard in addition to the requirements of the NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1.[16]

Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01 introduced several new mandatory and enforceable requirements for the applicable entities. However, when FERC approved this standard, NPCC had (and continues to have) criteria [17] and published guidance [18] addressing similar requirements that the Reliability Standard made mandatory. Thus, it is usual and customary for affected entities within NPCC to create, maintain and store some of the same or equivalent information identified in Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01. Therefore, many of the requirements contained in PRC-002-NPCC-01 do not impose new burdens on the affected entities.[19]

Several requirements contained in regional Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01 were entirely new responsibilities for the applicable entities when the Commission approved the standard and each of these is listed in the estimated annual burden section below.

Information collection burden for Reliability Standard PRC-006-NPCC-01 is based on the time needed for planning coordinators and generator owners to incrementally gather data, run studies, and analyze study results to design or update the UFLS programs that are required in the regional Reliability Standard in addition to the requirements of the NERC Reliability Standard PRC-006-1. There is also burden on the generator owners to maintain data.

Type of Respondent: Entities registered with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) as Generator Owners, Transmission Owners, Reliability Coordinators and Planning Coordinators

Estimate of Annual Burden: The number of respondents is based on NERC's registry as of August 27, 2014. Entities registered for more than one applicable function type have been accounted for in the figures below. The Commission estimates the annual public reporting burden for the information collection as:

Reliability Standard PRC-002-NPCC-01, information collection requirementsNumber of respondentsAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden hours & cost per response 20Total annual burden hours & total annual costCost per respondent ($)
(1)(2)(1)*(2)=(3)(4)(3)*(4)=(5)(5)÷(1)
R13: GO 21 and TO to have evidence it acquired and installed dynamic disturbance recorders and a mutually agreed upon implementation schedule with the RC (record retention)11110 $29010 $290  $290
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R14.5: GO and TO to have evidence of a maintenance and testing program for stand-alone disturbance monitoring equipment including monthly verification of active analog quantities1691220285 $3059,960 $618,540  $3,660
R14.7: GO and TO to record efforts to return failed units to service if it takes longer than 90 days 223313310 $610330 $20,130  $610
R14.7: GO and TO record retention3313310 $290330 $9,570  $290
R17: RC provide certain disturbance monitoring equipment data to the Regional Entity upon request5155 $30525 $7,625  $305
R17: RC record retention51510 $29050 $1,450  $290
TOTAL2,10510,705 $657,605

FERC-725I

Reliability standard PRC-006-NPCC-01, information collection requirementsNumber of respondentsAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden hours & cost per responseTotal annual burden hours & total annual costCost per respondent ($)
(1)(2)(1)*(2)=(3)(4)(3)*(4)=(5)(5)÷(1)
PCs Design and document automatic UFLS program6168 $48848 $2,928  $488
PCs update and maintain UFLS program database61616 $97696 $5,856  $976
GOs provide documentation and data to the planning coordinator145114516 $9762,320 $141,520  $976
GOs: record retention14511454 $116580 $16,820  $116
TOTAL3023,044 $167,124

Start Signature
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Dated: January 28, 2015.

Kimberly D. Bose,

Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

4.  The annual public reporting burden of the FERC-537 has changed since the publication of the 60-day notice. The current estimate of annual burden has been updated and is reflected in this notice. Figures in the table have been rounded. The reporting requirements have not changed.

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5.  The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * $70.50 per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The cost per hour figure is the FERC average salary plus benefits. Subject matter experts found that industry employment costs closely resemble FERC's regarding the FERC-537 information collection.

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6.  Energy Policy Act of 2005, Public Law 109-58, Title XII, Subtitle A, 119 Stat. 594, 941 (2005), 16 U.S.C. 824o.

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8.  Rules Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization; and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,204, order on reh'g, Order No. 672-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,212 (2006).

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9.  Mandatory Reliability Standard for Nuclear Plant Interface Coordination, Order No. 716, 125 FERC ¶ 61,065, at P 189 & n.90 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 716-A, 126 FERC ¶ 61,122 (2009).

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10.  North American Electric Reliability Corporation, 130 FERC ¶ 61,051 (2010). When the revised Reliability Standard was approved the Commission did not go to OMB for approval. It is assumed that the changes made did not substantively affect the information collection and therefore a formal submission to OMB was not needed.

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11.  See Reliability Standard NUC-001-2 at http://www.nerc.com/​files/​NUC-001-2.pdf.

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12.  The list of functional entities consists of transmission operators, transmission owners, transmission planners, transmission service providers, balancing authorities, reliability coordinators, planning authorities, distribution providers, load-serving entities, generator owners and generator operators.

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13.  The cost for reporting requirements is $73.83/hour and is based on a composite loaded (wage plus benefits) average wage for an electrical engineer, attorney, and administrative staff. The cost for record keeping is $29.01/hour and is based on wages plus benefits for a file clerk. The wages are generated from Bureau of Labor Statistics data retrieved September, 2014 from http://www.bls.gov/​oes/​current/​naics2_​22.htm. The loaded wage is calculated using BLS data indicating, as of Sept 1, 2014, that wages make up 69.9% of total salary (http://www.bls.gov/​news.release/​ecec.nr0.htm).

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14.  This figure of 130 transmission entities is based on the assumption that each agreement will be between 1 nuclear plant and 2 transmission entities (65 times 2 = 130). However, there is some double counting in this figure because some transmission entities may be party to multiple agreements with multiple nuclear plants. The double counting does not affect the burden estimate and the correct number of unique respondents will be reported to OMB. The actual number of unique entities subject to this collection is 143.

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15.  The recordkeeping “responses” are considered to be part of (i.e., to be contained within the same quantity as) the Reporting responses leading to a total number of unique responses of 420 (390 + 30 = 420).

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16.  The burden estimates for Reliability Standard PRC-006-1 are included in Order No. 763 (Final Rule in RM11-20) and covered in FERC-725A (OMB Control No. 1902-0244). OMB approved those requirements on 7/9/2012 (ICR Reference No. 201204-1902-001).

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17.  Disturbance Monitoring Equipment Criteria (Aug. 2007), available at https://www.npcc.org/​Standards/​Criteria/​A-15.pdf (Disturbance Monitoring Criteria).

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18.  Guide for Application of Disturbance Recording Equipment (Sept. 2006), available at https://www.npcc.org/​Standards/​Guides/​B-26.pdf (Application Guide).

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19.  5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2) (2011).

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20.  The estimates for cost per response are derived using the following formula: Average Burden Hours per Response * XX per Hour = Average Cost per Response. The hourly cost figure comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/​oes/​current/​naics2_​22.htm and http://www.bls.gov/​news.release/​ecec.nr0.htm). Record retention (wage plus benefits) cost is $29/hour, and the remaining costs (wage plus benefits for an electrical engineer are $61/hour.

21.  For purposes of these charts, generation owner is abbreviated to GO, transmission owner is abbreviated to TO, reliability coordinator is abbreviated to RC, and planning coordinator is abbreviated to PC.

22.  We estimate that an entity will experience a unit failure greater than 90 days once every five years. Therefore, 20 percent of NPCC's 166 generator owners and transmission owners will experience a unit failure of this duration each year.

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[FR Doc. 2015-02115 Filed 2-3-15; 8:45 am]

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