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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 18262 April 23, 2018.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments are requested regarding (1) 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) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to 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 and other forms of information technology.

Comments regarding this information collection received by May 29, 2018 will be considered. Written comments should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), New Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503. Commentors are encouraged to submit their comments to OMB via email to: or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Forest Service

Title: Small Business Timber Set-Aside Program: Appeal Procedures on Recomputation of Shares.

OMB Control Number: 0596-0141.

Summary of Collection: The Forest Service (FS) administers the Small Business Timber Sale Set-Aside Program in cooperation with the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the authorities of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 631), which establishes Federal policy regarding assistance provided to small businesses; the National Forest Management Act of 1976; the Administrative Procedures Act (5 U.S.C. 522); and SBA's regulations found at 13 CFR part 121. The Set-Aside Program is designed to ensure that qualifying small business manufacturers can purchase a fair portion of National Forest System sawtimber offered for sale.

Need and Use of the Information: Under the program, the FS must re-compute the shares of timber sales to be set aside for qualifying small businesses every five years based on the actual volume of sawtimber purchased by small businesses. Re-computation of shares must occur if there is a change in manufacturing capability, if the purchaser size class changes, or if certain purchaser(s) discontinue operations. The appeal information is collected in writing and is possible, in most locations to be sent via email and attached documents to a Forest Service Officer. The collected information is reviewed by FS officials who use the information to render decisions related to re-computations of timber sale share to be set-aside for small business timber purchasers.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 40.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 800.

Forest Service

Title: Qualified Product List for Wild Land Fire Chemicals.

OMB Control Number: 0596-0182.

Summary of Collection: The policy of the Forest Service (FS) is stated in Forest Service Handbook (FSH 5109.16, chapters zero code, 10, 20, and 30), “Use only evaluated, approved and qualified fire chemicals.” This policy requires Agency to evaluate all wildland fire chemicals before use in fire management activities on lands managed by the FS. Additionally, FS needs to have available and utilize adequate types and quantities of qualified fire chemical products to accomplish fire management activities safely, efficiently, and effectively. To accomplish their objective, FS evaluates chemical products that may be used in direct wildland fire suppression operations prior to their use on lands managed by the FS. Safe products do not include ingredients that create an enhanced risk, in typical use, to either the firefighters involved or the public in general. Safety to the environment in terms of aquatic (fish, clean water) and terrestrial environments (wildlife, plants) is also considered.

Need and Use of the Information: FS will collect the listing of individual ingredients and quantity of these ingredients in the formulation of a product being submitted for evaluation to test the products using various Technical Data Sheets and other forms. The entity submitting the information provides the FS with the specific ingredients used in its product and identifies the specific source of supply for each ingredient. The information collected is specific mixing requirements and hydration requirements of gum-thickened retardants. The information provided will allow the FS to search the List of Known and Suspected Carcinogens, as well as the Environment Protection Agency's List of Highly Hazardous Materials, to determine if any of the ingredients appear on any of these lists. Without the information FS would not be able to assess the safety of the wildland fire chemicals utilized on FS managed land, since the specific ingredients and the quantity of each ingredients used in a formulation would not be known.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 3.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Other (once).

Total Burden Hours: 41.Start Printed Page 18263

Forest Service

Title: Generic Information Collection and Clearance of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

OMB Control Number: 0596-0226.

Summary of Collection: Executive Order 12862 directs Federal agencies to provide service to the public that matches or exceeds the best service available in the private sector. Improving Forest Service (FS) programs requires ongoing assessment of service delivery, by which we mean systematic review of the operation of a program compared to a set of explicit or implicit standards, as a means of contributing to the continuous improvement of the program.

Need and Use of the Information: The information collection activity will garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between FS and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

Feedback collected under this generic clearance will provide useful information, but it will not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence, the results are likely to have such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

Description of Respondents: Farms; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit Institutions and State, Local or Tribal Government.

Number of Respondents: 1,875,000.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 468,750.

Start Signature

Ruth Brown,

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2018-08741 Filed 4-25-18; 8:45 am]