[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 87 (Friday, May 4, 2012)]
[Pages 26544-26547]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-10804]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0227; FRL-9668-7]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Servicing of Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners, EPA ICR 
Number 1617.07, OMB Control Number 2060-0247

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

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 May 31, 2012. 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.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before July 3, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2012-0227 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: 202-566-1741.
     Mail: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) Mailcode: 6102T, 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0227, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: Public Reading Room, Room 3334, EPA West 
Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC, Attention 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0227. 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-OAR-
2012-0227. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
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

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protected through www.regulations.gov or email. The 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 email comment directly to EPA 
without going through www.regulations.gov your email 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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yaidi Cancel, Stratospheric Protection 
Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, (MC 6205J), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 343-9512; fax number: (202) 343 2338; email 
address: cancel.yaidi@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-OAR-2012-0227, which is available for online viewing at 
www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air 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 8:30 
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 Air Docket is 202-566-1744.
    Use 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 

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 people) on 
examples of specific additional efforts that EPA could make to reduce 
the paperwork burden for very small businesses affected by this 

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 
new and old motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle air conditioning 
service stations, general automotive repair shops, and automotive 
repair shops not elsewhere classified.
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 1617.07, OMB Control No. 2060-0247.
    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on May 31, 
2012. 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 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: Section 609 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (Act) 
provides general guidelines for motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) 
refrigerant handling and MVAC servicing. It states that ``no person 
repairing or servicing motor vehicles for consideration may perform any 
service on a motor vehicle air conditioner involving the refrigerant 
for such air conditioner without properly using approved refrigerant 
recovery and/or recovery and recycling equipment (hereafter referred to 
as ``refrigerant handling equipment'') and no such person may perform 
such service unless such person has been properly trained and 
    In 1992, EPA developed the initial regulations under section 609 
that were published in 57 FR 31242, and codified at 40 CFR Subpart B 
(Sec.  82.30 et seq.). The information required to be collected under 
the Section 609 regulations is currently approved for use through May 
31, 2012. This statement is submitted to justify an extension of the 
approval of use of this information. Pursuant to new requirements under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act, a notice was published in the Federal 
Register on June 9, 2008 (73 FR 32570), announcing the intent to extend 
the renewal of this Information Collection Request and requesting 
comment on the renewal. Descriptions of the recordkeeping and reporting 
requirements mandated by section 609 and delineated in 40 CFR 82 
subpart B are summarized below in this section.
    Approved Refrigerant Handling Equipment: In accordance with Section 
609(b)(2)(A), 40 CFR 82.36 requires that refrigerant handling equipment 
be certified by EPA or independent standards testing organization. 
Certification standards are particular to

[[Page 26546]]

the type of equipment and the refrigerant to be recovered, and must be 
consistent with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards for 
MVAC equipment.
    Approved independent standards testing organizations: Section 
609(b)(2)(A) of the Act requires independent laboratory testing of 
refrigerant handling equipment to be certified by EPA. The 
Stratospheric Protection Division (SPD) requires independent 
laboratories to submit an application that documents: The 
organization's capacity to accurately test equipment compliance with 
applicable standards consistent with the SAE standards for handling 
refrigerant, an absence of conflict of interest or financial benefit 
based on test outcomes, and an agreement to allow EPA access to verify 
application information. Once an independent laboratory has been 
approved by EPA, the application is kept on file in the SPD. Two 
laboratories--Underwriters Laboratories Inc. and ETL Testing 
Laboratories--are currently approved to test refrigerant handling 
equipment. EPA does not anticipate that any organizations will apply to 
EPA in the future to become approved independent standards testing 
organizations. Therefore, annual hours and costs related to information 
submitted by these organizations have been eliminated.
    Technician training and certification: According to Section 
609(b)(4) of the Act, automotive technicians are required to be trained 
and certified in the proper use of approved refrigerant handling 
equipment. Programs that perform technician training and certification 
activities must apply to the SPD for approval by submitting 
verification that its program meets EPA standards. The information 
requested is used by the SPD to guarantee a degree of uniformity in the 
testing programs for motor vehicle service technicians.
    Due to rapid developments in technology, the Agency requires that 
each approved technician certification program conducts periodic 
reviews and updates of test material, submitting a written summary of 
the review and program changes to EPA every two years. After the test 
has been approved by EPA, a hard copy remains on file with SPD. 
Currently, 19 testing programs are approved by EPA to train technicians 
in the proper use of refrigerant handling equipment. Five of these 
programs are designed specifically for individual company's own 
    Certification, reporting and recordkeeping: To facilitate 
enforcement under Section 609, EPA developed several recordkeeping 
requirements codified at 40 CFR 82.42(b). All required records must be 
retained on-site for a minimum of three years, unless otherwise 
    According to Section 609(c) of the Act states that by January 1, 
1992, no person may service any motor vehicle air conditioner without 
being properly trained and certified, nor without using properly 
approved refrigerant handling equipment. The regulation at 40 CFR 
82.42(a) states that by January 1, 1993, each service provider must 
have submitted to EPA on a one-time basis a statement signed by the 
owner of the equipment or another responsible officer that provides the 
name of the equipment purchaser, the address of the service 
establishment where the equipment will be located, the manufacturer 
name, equipment model number, date of manufacture, and equipment serial 
number. The statement must also indicate that the equipment will be 
properly used in servicing motor vehicle air conditioners and that each 
individual authorized by the purchaser to perform service is property 
trained and certified. The information is used by EPA to verify 
compliance with Section 609 of the Act.
    Any person who owns approved refrigerant handling equipment must 
maintain records of the name and address of any facility to which 
refrigerant is sent. Additionally, any person who owns approved 
refrigerant handling equipment must retain records for a minimum of 
three years demonstrating that all persons authorized to operate the 
equipment are certified technicians.
    Finally, any person who sells or distributes a class I or class II 
refrigerant that is in a container of less than 20 pounds must verify 
that the purchaser is a properly trained and certified technician, 
unless the purchase of small containers is for resale only. In that 
case, the seller must obtain a written statement from the purchaser 
that the containers are for resale only, and must indicate the 
purchaser's name and business address. When a certified technician 
purchases small containers of refrigerant for servicing motor vehicles, 
the seller must have a reasonable basis for believing the accuracy of 
the information presented by the purchaser. In all cases, the seller 
must display a sign where sales occur that states the certification 
requirements for purchasers.
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.13 
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 ICR provides a detailed explanation of the Agency's estimate, 
which is only briefly summarized here:
    Estimated total number of potential respondents: 52,721.
    Frequency of response: On occasion.
    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 1.
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 4,522.5 hours.
    Estimated total annual costs: $35,313.59.
    This includes an estimated burden cost of $35,313.59 and an 
estimated cost of $0 for capital investment or maintenance and 
operational costs.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is a decrease of 2,114 hours in the total estimated 
respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently 
approved by OMB. There are two reasons for this decrease in burden 
hours. In 2008, it was estimated that there would be 1,370 purchases of 
small containers of class I and class II refrigerant for resale only by 
uncertified purchasers. It is estimated that at the time (in 2008), 
there were an estimated 3 million R-12 MVACs on the road. Today, it is 
estimated that there are only 600 thousand R-12 MVACs on the road, or 
roughly 2.4 million or 80% less than there were in 2008. Therefore, to 
account for the decreased market for small containers of CFC-12 
refrigerant, this ICR estimates that the number of purchases for resale 
only by uncertified purchasers of small cans will be 80% less than in 
2008, or approximately 274 purchases.
    The second reason the burden hours have decreased is that CFC-12 
refrigerant sent off-site for reclamation to an approved refrigerant 
reclaimed by owners of refrigerant recycling equipment certified under 
40 CFR 82.36(a) has decreased and is

[[Page 26547]]

anticipated to continue decreasing due to the significant decline of 
CFC-12 vehicles on road. The third reason the burden hours have 
decreased is that there are less approved technician certification 
programs in business than in the previous ICR. However, EPA anticipates 
a slow increase of one organization approval per year as new 
alternative refrigerants become available and new businesses become 
interested in certifying technicians for MVAC servicing for 

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 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 CONTACT.

    Dated: April 26, 2012.
Sarah Dunham,
Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-10804 Filed 5-3-12; 8:45 am]