[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 165 (Friday, August 24, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51551-51552]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20925]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of the Secretary


Proposed Renewal of Information Collection: Alternatives Process 
in Hydropower Licensing

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Office of Environmental Policy and 
Compliance, Interior.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of Environmental Policy and 
Compliance, Office of the Secretary, Department of the Interior is 
announcing its intention to request renewal approval for the collection 
of information for Alternatives Process in Hydropower Licensing. This 
collection request has been forwarded to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection 
request describes the nature of the information collection and the 
expected burden and cost.

DATES: OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the information 
collection request, but may respond after 30 days; therefore, public 
comments should be submitted to OMB by September 24, 2012, in order to 
be assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for 
the Department of Interior (1094-0001), by telefax at (202) 395-5806 or 
via email to OIRA_Docket@omb.eop.gov. Also, please send a copy of your 
comments to Shawn Alam, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance, 
U.S. Department of the Interior, MS 2462-MIB, 1849 C Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20240, or send an email to Shawn_Alam@ios.doi.gov. 
Additionally, you may telefax them to him at (202) 208-6970. 
Individuals providing comments should reference Alternatives Process in 
Hydropower Licensing.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To receive a copy of the information 
collection request, contact Dr. Shawn Alam at (202) 208-5465. You may 
also contact Dr. Shawn Alam electronically at Shawn_Alam@ios.doi.gov. 
To see a copy of the entire ICR submitted to OMB, go to: http://www.reginfo.gov and select Information Collection Review, Currently 
Under Review.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Abstract

    The OMB regulations at 5 CFR part 1320, which implement the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq., require that 
interested members of the public and affected agencies have an 
opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping 
activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)).
    On November 14, 2005, the Departments of Agriculture, the Interior, 
and Commerce published regulations at 7 CFR part 1, 43 CFR part 45, and 
50 CFR part 221, to implement section 241 of the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPAct), Public Law 109-58, which the President signed into law on 
August 8, 2005. Section 241 of the EPAct added section 33 to the 
Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 823d, that allowed the license 
applicant or any other party to the license proceeding to propose an 
alternative to a condition or prescription

[[Page 51552]]

that one or more of the Departments develop for inclusion in a 
hydropower license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 
(FERC) under the FPA. This provision required that the Departments of 
Agriculture, the Interior, and Commerce to collect the information 
covered by 1094-0001.
    Under FPA section 33, the Secretary of the Department involved must 
accept the proposed alternative if the Secretary determines, based on 
substantial evidence provided by a party to the license proceeding or 
otherwise available to the Secretary, (a) that the alternative 
condition provides for the adequate protection and utilization of the 
reservation, or that the alternative prescription will be no less 
protective than the fishway initially proposed by the Secretary, and 
(b) that the alternative will either cost significantly less to 
implement or result in improved operation of the project works for 
electricity production.
    In order to make this determination, the regulations require that 
all of the following information be collected: (1) A description of the 
alternative, in an equivalent level of detail to the Department's 
preliminary condition or prescription; (2) an explanation of how the 
alternative: (i) If a condition, will provide for the adequate 
protection and utilization of the reservation; or (ii) if a 
prescription, will be no less protective than the fishway prescribed by 
the bureau; (3) an explanation of how the alternative, as compared to 
the preliminary condition or prescription, will: (i) Cost significantly 
less to implement; or (ii) result in improved operation of the project 
works for electricity production; (4) an explanation of how the 
alternative or revised alternative will affect: (i) Energy supply, 
distribution, cost, and use; (ii) flood control; (iii) navigation; (iv) 
water supply; (v) air quality; and (vi) other aspects of environmental 
quality; and (5) specific citations to any scientific studies, 
literature, and other documented information relied on to support the 
proposal.
    This notice of proposed renewal of an existing information 
collection is being published by the Office of Environmental Policy and 
Compliance, Department of the Interior, on behalf of all three 
Departments, and the data provided below covers anticipated responses 
(alternative conditions/prescriptions and associated information) for 
all three Departments.

II. Data

    (1) Title: 7 CFR Part 1; 43 CFR Part 45; 50 CFR Part 221; the 
Alternatives Process in Hydropower Licensing.
    OMB Control Number: 1094-0001.
    Current Expiration Date: September 30, 2012.
    Type of Review: Information Collection Renewal.
    Affected Entities: Business or for-profit entities.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 5.
    Frequency of responses: Once per alternative proposed.
    (2) Annual reporting and recordkeeping burden:
    Total annual reporting per response: 500 hours.
    Total number of estimated responses: 5.
    Total annual reporting: 2,500 hours.
    (3) Description of the need and use of the information: The purpose 
of this information collection is to provide an opportunity for license 
parties to propose an alternative condition or prescription to that 
imposed by the Federal Government in the hydropower licensing process.
    As required under 5 CFR 1320.8(d), a Federal Register notice 
soliciting comments on the collection of information was published on 
May 22, 2012 (77 FR 30308). No comments were received. This notice 
provides the public with an additional 30 days in which to comment on 
the proposed information collection activity.

III. Request for Comments

    The Departments invite comments on:
    (a) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the 
proper performance of the functions of the agencies, including whether 
the information will have practical utility;
    (b) The accuracy of the agencies' estimate of the burden of the 
collection and the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    (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 
those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other collection techniques or 
other forms of information techniques.
    ``Burden'' means the total time, effort, and financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide 
information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed 
to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able 
to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to 
complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or 
otherwise disclose the information.
    All written comments, with names and addresses, will be available 
for public inspection. If you wish us to withhold your personal 
information, you must prominently state at the beginning of your 
comment what personal information you want us to withhold. We will 
honor your request to the extent allowable by law. If you wish to view 
any comments received, you may do so by scheduling an appointment with 
the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance by calling (202) 208-
3891. A valid picture identification is required for entry into the 
Department of the Interior.
    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 Office of Management and Budget control number.

    Dated: August 16, 2012.
Willie R. Taylor,
Director, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance.
[FR Doc. 2012-20925 Filed 8-23-12; 8:45 am]
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