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Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request; Antarctic Emergency Response Plan and Environmental Protection Information

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National Science Foundation.




The National Science Foundation (NSF) is announcing plans to renew this collection. In accordance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are providing opportunity for public comment on this action. After obtaining and considering public comment, NSF will prepare the submission requesting Office of Start Printed Page 8345Management and Budget (OMB) clearance of this collection for no longer than 3 years.


Written comments on this notice must be received by May 6, 2019 to be assured consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. Send comments to address below.

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Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite W18200, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone (703) 292-7556; or send email to Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including Federal holidays).

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Title of Collection: Antarctic emergency response plan and environmental protection information.

OMB Approval Number: 3145-0180.

Expiration Date of Approval: September 30, 2019.

Abstract: The NSF, pursuant to the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.) (“ACA”) regulates certain non-governmental activities in Antarctica. The ACA was amended in 1996 by the Antarctic Science, Tourism, and Conservation Act. On September 7, 2001, NSF published a final rule in the Federal Register (66 FR 46739) implementing certain of these statutory amendments. The rule requires non-governmental Antarctic expeditions using non-U.S. flagged vessels to ensure that the vessel owner has an emergency response plan. The rule also requires persons organizing a non-governmental expedition to provide expedition members with information on their environmental protection obligations under the Antarctic Conservation Act.

Expected Respondents. Respondents may include non-profit organizations and small and large businesses. The majority of respondents are anticipated to be U.S. tour operators, currently estimated to number fifteen.

Burden on the Public. The Foundation estimates that a one-time paperwork and recordkeeping burden of 40 hours or less, at a cost of $500 to $1400 per respondent, will result from the emergency response plan requirement contained in the rule. Presently, all respondents have been providing expedition members with a copy of the Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic (prepared and adopted at the Eighteenth Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting as Recommendation XVIII-1). Because this Antarctic Treaty System document satisfies the environmental protection information requirements of the rule, no additional burden shall result from the environmental information requirements in the proposed rule.

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Dated: March 4, 2019.

Suzanne H. Plimpton,

Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation.

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[FR Doc. 2019-04116 Filed 3-6-19; 8:45 am]