[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 144 (Thursday, July 26, 2012)]
[Pages 43856-43857]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18264]



Geological Survey


Agency Information Collection Activities: Submitted for Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) Review; Comment Request

AGENCY: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Interior.

ACTION: Notice of an extension of an Information Collection (1028-
0089), Mineral Resources Program's (MRP) Mineral Resource External 
Research Program (MRERP).


SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), we 
are notifying the public that we have submitted to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) an information collection request (ICR) for 
renewal of the currently approved paperwork requirements for the 
Mineral Resources Program's (MRP) Mineral Resource External Research 
Program (MRERP). This notice provides the public and other Federal 
agencies an opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of these 
project narrative and report requirements. This collection is scheduled 
to expire on August 31, 2012.

DATES: You must submit comments on or before August 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Please submit comments on this information collection 
directly to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention: Desk Officer for the 
Department of Interior via email [[email protected]]; or fax 
(202) 395-5806; and identify your submission as 1028-0089.
    Please also submit a copy of your comments to the USGS Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 
807, Reston, VA 20192 (mail); 703-648-7199 (fax); or [email protected] 
(email); and reference Information Collection 1028-0089 in the subject 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To request additional information 
about this ICR, contact Jeff L. Doebrich by mail at U.S. Geological 
Survey, 913 National Center, Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192 or 
by telephone at 703-648-6103.

    Title: Mineral Resource External Research Program (MRERP).
    OMB Control Number: 1028-0089.
    Form Number: None.
    Abstract: Through the MRERP, the MRP of the USGS offers an annual 
competitive grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity to 
universities, State agencies, Tribal governments or organizations, and 
industry or other private sector organizations. Applicants must have 
the ability to conduct research in topics related to nonfuel mineral 
resources and that meet the goals of the MRP. The MRERP will consider 
all research-based proposals that address one of the long-term goals of 
the Mineral Resources Program, as

[[Page 43857]]

defined in the current USGS Energy and Minerals Science Strategy 
(http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2012/1072/of2012-1072.pdf). These are: (1) 
Understand fundamental Earth processes forming mineral resources, (2) 
understand the environmental behavior of mineral resources and their 
waste products, (3) provide inventories and assessments of mineral 
resources, (4) understand the effects of mineral development on natural 
resources, and (5) understand the availability and reliability of 
mineral resource supplies. Furthermore, annual research priorities are 
provided as guidance for applicants to consider when submitting 
proposals. Annual research priorities are determined by USGS MRP 
management. Since its initiation in 2004, the MRERP has awarded more 
than $2.8 million to 48 different research projects across the country.
    We will protect information from respondents considered proprietary 
under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) and implementing 
regulations (43 CFR Part 2), and under regulations at 30 CFR 250.197, 
``Data and information to be made available to the public or for 
limited inspection.'' Responses are voluntary. No questions of a 
``sensitive'' nature are asked. We intend to release the project 
abstracts and primary investigators for awarded/funded projects only.
    Frequency: Annually.
    Estimated Annual Number and Description of Respondents: 
Approximately 35 research scientists from universities, State agencies, 
Tribal governments or organizations, and industry or other private 
sector organizations.
    Estimated Total Number of Annual Responses: 40.
    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 1580.
    Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping ``Hour'' Burden: We 
expect to receive approximately 35 applications, each taking the 
applicant approximately 40 hours to complete. This includes the time 
for project conception and development, proposal writing and reviewing, 
and submitting proposal narrative through Grants.gov (totaling 1,400 
burden hours). We anticipate awarding an average of 5 grants per year. 
The award recipients must submit a final technical report. We estimate 
that it will take approximately 36 hours to complete and submit each 
report (totaling 180 hours).
    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ``Non-Hour Cost'' Burden: 
There are no ``non-hour cost'' burdens associated with this collection 
of information.
    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) 
provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. 
Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated 
to respond.
    Comments: To comply with the public consultation process, on April 
27, 2012 we published a Federal Register notice (77 FR 25193) 
announcing our intent to submit this information collection to OMB for 
approval. In that notice we solicited public comments for 60 days, 
ending on June 26, 2012. We did not receive any public comments in 
response to the notice.
    We again invite comments concerning this information collection on: 
(1) Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility; 
(2) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden for this collection of 
information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of 
the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of 
the collection of information on respondents.
    Please note that the comments submitted in response to this notice 
are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone 
number, email address, or other personal identifying information in 
your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including 
your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available 
at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your 
personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that it will be done.

    Dated: July 16, 2012.
Ione Taylor,
Associate Director, Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health.
[FR Doc. 2012-18264 Filed 7-25-12; 8:45 am]