[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 126 (Thursday, June 30, 2011)]
[Pages 38384-38387]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16508]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0465; FRL-9427-2]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Water Quality Standards (Renewal)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that EPA is planning to 
submit a request to renew an existing approved Information Collection 
Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This ICR is 
scheduled to expire on December 31, 2011. Before submitting the ICR to 
OMB for review and approval, EPA is soliciting comments on specific 
aspects of the proposed information collection as described below.

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DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before August 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-
OW-2011-0465 by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: ow-docket@epa.gov.
     Mail: ``EPA Docket Center, Water Docket, Environmental 
Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20460].
     Hand Delivery: Docket in the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), 
EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington DC. Such 
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of 
operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-
0465. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses. For additional information about EPA's public 
docket visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

(4305T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-0444; fax number: 202-
566-0409; e-mail address: leamond.beth@epa.gov.


How can I access the docket and/or submit comments?

    EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0465 which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Docket in the EPA 
Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., 
NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC Public Reading Room is open from 8 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The 
telephone number for the Reading Room is 202-566-1744, and the 
telephone number for the Water Docket is 202-566-2426.
    Use http://www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft 
collection of information, submit or view public comments, access the 
index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those 
documents in the public docket that are available electronically. Once 
in the system, select ``search,'' then key in the docket ID number 
identified in this document.

What information is EPA particularly interested in?

    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA specifically 
solicits comments and information to enable it to:
    (i) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (ii) evaluate the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden 
of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of 
the methodology and assumptions used;
    (iii) enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
to be collected; and
    (iv) 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 technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses. In particular, EPA is requesting comments from 
very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples of 
specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce the paperwork 
burden for very small businesses affected by this collection.

What should I consider when I prepare my comments for EPA?

    You may find the following suggestions helpful for preparing your 
    1. Explain your views as clearly as possible and provide specific 
    2. Describe any assumptions that you used.
    3. Provide copies of any technical information and/or data you used 
that support your views.
    4. If you estimate potential burden or costs, explain how you 
arrived at the estimate that you provide.
    5. Offer alternative ways to improve the collection activity.
    6. Make sure to submit your comments by the deadline identified 
under DATES.
    7. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, be sure to identify the docket 
ID number assigned to this action in the subject line on the first page 
of your response. You may also provide the name, date, and Federal 
Register citation.

What information collection activity or ICR does this apply to?

    Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are 
all States and certain authorized Indian Tribes that adopt water 
quality standards under the Clean Water Act; and water dischargers 
subject to certain requirements related to water quality standards in 
the Great Lakes system, including dischargers in the following SIC 
categories: Mining (SIC codes 10, 14); Food (20); Pulp and Paper (26); 
Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing (281); Organic Chemical Manufacturing 
(28); Petroleum Refining (29); Metal Manufacturing (33), Metal 
Finishing (34-37); Steam Electric (4911), and Publically Owned 
Treatment Works (4952). For the purposes of the Regulation, the term 
``State'' means the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and 
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
    Title: Water Quality Standards Regulation (Renewal).
    ICR Number: EPA ICR No. 988.11, OMB Control No. 2040-0049.
    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on December 
31, 2011. 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. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations in title 40

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of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal Register when approved, are 
listed in 40 CFR part 9, are displayed either by publication in the 
Federal Register or by other appropriate means, such as on the related 
collection instrument or form, if applicable. The display of OMB 
control numbers in certain EPA regulations is consolidated in 40 CFR 
part 9.
    Abstract: Water quality standards are provisions of State, Tribal, 
and Federal law that consist of designated uses for waters of the 
United States, water quality criteria to protect the designated uses, 
and an antidegradation policy. Section 303(c) of the Clean Water Act 
requires States and authorized Tribes to establish water quality 
standards, and to review and, if appropriate, revise their water 
quality standards once every three years. The Act also requires EPA to 
review and either approve or disapprove the new or revised standards, 
and to promulgate replacement Federal standards if necessary. Section 
118(c)(2) of the Act specifies additional water quality standards 
requirements for waters of the Great Lakes system.
    The Water Quality Standards Regulation (40 CFR part 131 and 
portions of part 132) governs national implementation of the water 
quality standards program. The Regulation describes requirements and 
procedures for States and authorized Tribes to develop, review, and 
revise their water quality standards, and EPA procedures for reviewing 
and approving the water quality standards. The regulation requires the 
development and submission of information to EPA, including:
--The minimum elements in water quality standards that each State or 
Tribe must submit to EPA for review, including any new or revised water 
quality standards resulting from the jurisdiction's triennial review 
(40 CFR 131.6 and 131.20). The elements include use designations for 
specific water bodies; methods used and analyses conducted to support 
water quality standards revisions; supporting analysis for use 
attainability analyses; water quality criteria sufficient to protect 
the designated uses; methodologies for site-specific criteria 
development; an antidegradation policy; certification by the 
jurisdiction's Attorney General or other appropriate legal authority 
that the water quality standards were duly adopted pursuant to State or 
Tribal law; information that will aid EPA in determining the adequacy 
of the scientific basis for the standards; and information on general 
policies that may affect the implementation of the standards.
--Information that an Indian Tribe must submit to EPA in order to 
determine whether a Tribe is qualified to administer the water quality 
standards program (40 CFR 131.8).
--Information a State or Tribe must submit if it chooses to exercise a 
dispute resolution mechanism for disputes between States and Tribes 
over water quality standards on common water bodies (40 CFR 131.7).
--Information related to public participation requirements during State 
and Tribal review and revision of water quality standards (40 CFR 
131.20). States and Tribes must hold public hearings as part of their 
triennial reviews, and make any proposed standards and supporting 
analyses available to the public before the hearing.

    The Regulation establishes specific additional requirements for 
water quality standards and their implementation in the waters of the 
Great Lakes system, contained in the Water Quality Guidance for the 
Great Lakes System (40 CFR part 132). This portion of the Regulation 
includes the following requirements for information collection: 
bioassay tests to support the development of water quality criteria; 
studies to identify and provide information on antidegradation control 
measures that will guard against the reduction of water quality in the 
Great Lakes system; and information collection and record keeping 
activities associated with analyses and reporting to request regulatory 
relief from Guidance requirements. The Guidance includes additional 
information collections that are addressed in separate Information 
Collection Requests for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System program.
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1060 
hours per response. Burden means 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. This 
includes the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, 
install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of 
collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and 
maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; 
adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable 
instructions and requirements which have subsequently changed; train 
personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; search 
data sources; complete and review the collection of information; and 
transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    The following estimates are based on estimates from the previous 
ICR renewal and will be revised prior to OMB submission. The public 
will have a second opportunity to comment before then. The ICR provides 
a detailed explanation of the Agency's estimate, which is only briefly 
summarized here:
    Estimated total number of potential respondents: \1\ 2,809 (56 
States and Territories, 43 Tribes; 2,710 Great Lakes dischargers).

    \1\ Note: EPA estimates that of the estimated total number of 
potential respondents there will likely be only 264 responses.

    Frequency of response: On occasion.
    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 293,214 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $14,866,862 with no annualized capital 
or O&M cost.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    This FR Notice shows the burden estimate from the ICR renewal in 
2008. EPA will be revising the burden estimate to include adjustments 
for changes in the number of tribes authorized to administer a water 
quality standards program, adjustments for the number of permits 
expected to be subject to requirements of the Water Quality Guidance 
for the Great Lakes System (40 CFR part 132), and adjustments for 
changes in labor cost. EPA is not aware of any programmatic changes 
needed to the burden estimate. These revisions will be reported in the 
second FR Notice. Changes from 2008 are not expected to be large. If 
you know of significant changes to the burden that are not listed in 
this notice, EPA asks you to submit comments containing that 
information, or contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

What is the next step in the process for this ICR?

    EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as 
appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to OMB for 
review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. At that time, EPA will 
issue another Federal Register notice pursuant to 5 CFR 
1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to

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OMB and the opportunity to submit additional comments to OMB. If you 
have any questions about this ICR or the approval process, please 
contact the technical person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

    Dated: June 23, 2011.
Ephraim King,
Director, Office of Science and Technology.
[FR Doc. 2011-16508 Filed 6-29-11; 8:45 am]