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Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (Renewal)

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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).




The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to submit an information collection request (ICR), Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act (EPA ICR Number 2553.03; OMB Control Number 2040-0290), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through December 31, 2019. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on April 15, 2019 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comment. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.


Additional comments must be submitted on or before November 29, 2019.


Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2019-0143, to (1) EPA online using (our preferred method) or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460, and (2) OMB via email to address comments to OMB Desk Officer for EPA.

EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the public docket without change including any personal information provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information claimed to be Confidential Business Information, or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

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Carol Peterson, Watershed Assessment, Restoration, and Protection Division, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (4503T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-1304; fax number: (202) 566-1331; email address:

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Supporting documents, which explain in detail the information that the EPA will be collecting, are available in the public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional information about EPA's public docket visit​dockets.

Abstract: In 2016, EPA issued regulations establishing a process for federally recognized tribes to obtain treatment in a similar manner as states (TAS) for purposes of administrating the water quality restoration provisions of Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 303(d), including establishing lists of impaired waters on their reservations and developing total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). The CWA does not require tribes to administer the CWA Section 303(d) program. However, tribes seeking to be authorized must apply for and be found eligible for TAS through the procedures described in the regulations.

Section 303(d) of the CWA requires states, territories, and authorized tribes to identify and establish a priority ranking for waters that do not meet EPA-approved or promulgated water quality standards (WQS) following the implementation of technology-based controls. For waters so identified, Section 303(d) requires states, territories, and authorized tribes to establish TMDLs in accordance with their priority ranking for those pollutants the Administrator identified as suitable for TMDL calculation. A TMDL is the calculation and allocation to point and nonpoint sources of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive and still meet applicable WQS, with a margin of safety.

Form Numbers: None.

Respondents/affected entities: Any federally recognized tribe with a reservation.

Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.

Estimated number of respondents: Five.

Frequency of response: Once for initial TAS status, thereafter biennially Start Printed Page 58156for lists of impaired waters, and from time to time for TMDLs.

Total estimated burden: 34,757 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).

Total estimated cost: $2,003,045 (per year), which includes $12,443 in annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.

Changes in Estimates: There is a decrease of 55,147 hours in the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. These decreases are due to: (1) The estimated annual number of respondents decreasing from twelve to five; (2) new and better data that parses out labor and costs per activity; and (3) TAS application burden and cost estimates from post-final rule, Revised Interpretation of Clean Water Act Tribal Provision (the previous ICR used pre-final rule estimates).

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Courtney Kerwin,

Director, Regulatory Support Division.

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[FR Doc. 2019-23673 Filed 10-29-19; 8:45 am]