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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; NOAA Space-Based Data Collection System (DCS) Agreements

This document has a comment period that ends in 51 days. (04/10/2020) Submit a formal comment

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.




The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


To ensure consideration, written or on-line comments must be submitted on or before April 10, 2020.


Direct all written comments to Adrienne Thomas, PRA Officer, NOAA, 151 Patton Avenue, Room 159, Asheville, NC 28801 (or via the internet at All comments received are part of the public record. Comments will generally be posted without change. All Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instruments and instructions should be directed to Scott Rogerson, Office of Satellite and Product Operations, (301) 817-4543 or

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I. Abstract

This request is for extension of an existing information collection.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operates two space-based data collection systems (DCS) per 15 CFR part 911: The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) DCS and the Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) DCS, also known as the Argos system. Both the GOES DCS and the Argos DCS are operated to support environmental applications, e.g., meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, ecology, and remote sensing of Earth resources. In addition, the Argos DCS currently supports applications related to protection of the environment, e.g., hazardous material tracking, fishing vessel tracking for treaty enforcement, and animal tracking. Presently, the majority of users of these systems are government agencies and researchers and much of the data collected by both the GOES DCS and the Argos DCS are provided to the World Meteorological Organization via the Global Telecommunication System for inclusion in the World Weather Watch Program.

Current loading on both of the systems does not use the entire capacity of that system, so NOAA is able to make its excess capacity available to other users who meet certain criteria. Applications are made in response to the requirements in 15 CFR 911 (under the authority of 15 U.S.C. 313, Duties of the Secretary of Commerce and others), using system use agreement (SUA) forms. The application information received is used to determine if the applicant meets the criteria for use of the system. The system use agreements contain the following information: (1) The period of time the agreement is valid and procedures for its termination, (2) the authorized use(s) of the DCS, and its priorities for use, (3) the extent of the availability of commercial services which met the user's requirements and the reasons for choosing the government system, (4) any applicable government interest in the data, (5) required equipment standards, (6) standards of operation, (7) conformance with applicable International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) agreements and regulations, (8) reporting time and frequencies, (9) data formats, (10) data delivery systems and schedules and (11) user-borne costs.

Accepted applicants use the NOAA DCS to collect environmental data and in limited cases, non-environmental data via the Argos DCS, to support other governmental and non-governmental research or operational requirements, such as for law enforcement purposes. The applicants must submit information to ensure that they meet these criteria. NOAA does not approve agreements where there is a commercial service available to fulfill the user requirements (per 15 CFR part 911).

II. Method of Collection

Method of submittal is electronically (via internet).

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0648-0157.

Form Number: None.Start Printed Page 7537

Type of Review: Regular submission (extension of a current information collection).

Affected Public: Not-for-profit institutions; Federal government; state, local, or tribal government; business or other for-profit organizations.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 225.

Estimated Time per Response: Thirty minutes per response.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 113.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0 in recordkeeping/reporting costs.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Sheleen Dumas,

Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department.

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[FR Doc. 2020-02569 Filed 2-7-20; 8:45 am]