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Commission Information Collection Activities (FERC-729); Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION:

Comment request.

SUMMARY:

In compliance with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) is submitting its information collection FERC-729 (Electric Transmission Facilities) 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 published a Notice in the Federal Register on April 29, 2019, requesting public comments. The Commission received no comments and is making this notation in its submittal to OMB.

DATES:

Comments on the collection of information are due by August 12, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

Comments filed with OMB, identified by the OMB Control No. 1902-0238, should be sent via email to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs: oira_submission@omb.gov. Attention: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Desk Officer.

A copy of the comments should also be sent to the Commission, in Docket No. IC19-21-000, by either of the following methods:

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:

Title: FERC-729, Electric Transmission Facilities.

OMB Control No.: 1902-0238.

Abstract: This information collection implements the Commission's mandates under EPAct 2005 Section 1221 which authorizes the Commission to issue permits under FPA Section 216(b) for electric transmission facilities and the Commission's delegated responsibility to coordinate all other federal authorizations under FPA Section 216(h). The related FERC regulations seek to develop a timely review process for siting of proposed electric transmission facilities. The regulations provide for (among other things) an extensive pre-application process that will facilitate maximum participation Start Printed Page 33256from all interested entities and individuals to provide them with a reasonable opportunity to present their views and recommendations, with respect to the need for and impact of the facilities, early in the planning stages of the proposed facilities as required under FPA Section 216(d).

Additionally, FERC has the authority to issue a permit to construct electric transmission facilities if a state has withheld approval for more than a year or has conditioned its approval in such a manner that it will not significantly reduce transmission congestion or is not economically feasible.[1] FERC envisions that, under certain circumstances, the Commission's review of the proposed facilities may take place after one year of the state's review. Under Section 50.6(e)(3) the Commission will not accept applications until one year after the state's review and then from applicants who can demonstrate that a state may withhold or condition approval of proposed facilities to such an extent that the facilities will not be constructed.[2] In cases where FERC's jurisdiction rests on FPA section 216(b)(1)(C),[3] the pre-filing process should not commence until one year after the relevant State applications have been filed. This will give states one full year to process an application without any intervening Federal proceedings, including both the pre-filing and application processes. Once that year is complete, an applicant may seek to commence FERC's pre-filing process. Thereafter, once the pre-filing process is complete, the applicant may submit its application for a construction permit.

Type of Respondent: Electric transmission facilities.

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

FERC-729: Electric Transmission Facilities

Number of respondentsAnnual number of responses per respondentTotal number of responsesAverage burden and cost per response 5Total annual burden hours and total annual cost
(1)(2)(1) * (2) = (3)(4)(3) * (4) = (5)
Electric Transmission Facilities1119,600 $758,4009,600 $758,400

Comments: Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is 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 estimate of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Dated: July 8, 2019.

Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr.,

Deputy Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  FPA section 216(b)(1)(C).

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2.  The Commission will not issue a permit authorizing construction of the proposed facilities until, among other things, it finds that the state has, in fact, withheld approval for more than a year or had so conditioned its approval.

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3.  In all other instances (i.e., where the state does not have jurisdiction to act or otherwise to consider interstate benefits, or the applicant does not qualify to apply for a permit with the State because it does not serve end use customers in the State), the pre-filing process may be commenced at any time.

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4.  “Burden” is 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. For further explanation of what is included in the information collection burden, refer to Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations 1320.3.

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5.  FERC staff estimates that industry costs for salary plus benefits are similar to Commission costs. The cost figure is the FY2018 FERC average annual salary plus benefits ($164,820/year or $79/hour).

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[FR Doc. 2019-14833 Filed 7-11-19; 8:45 am]

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