[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 175 (Monday, September 10, 2012)]
[Pages 55470-55472]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22206]



[FRL-9725-8; EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC 
Allowance System; EPA ICR No. 2014.04

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (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 will expire on 02/28/2013. 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 November 9, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2003-0039 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 202-566-1741.
     Mail: Docket  EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039, Air and 
Radiation Docket and Information Center, U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 
     Hand Delivery: Docket  EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039, Air 
and Radiation Docket and Information Center at EPA West, 1301 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room 3334, Washington, DC 20460. 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-
2003-0039. 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 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 additional 
information about EPA's public docket visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Burchard, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, 6205J, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9126; fax number: 
(202) 343-2338; email address: [email protected].

[[Page 55471]]


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-2003-0039, which is available for online viewing at 
www.regulations.gov, or in person at the Air and Radiation 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 and Radiation Docket is 202-566-
    Use www.regulations.gov to obtain a copy of the draft collection of 
information, submit or view public comments, access the index listing 
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., 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?

    Docket ID No.: EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0039.
    Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are 
producers, importers, exporters, transformers, and destroyers of HCFCs.
    Title: Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements of the HCFC 
Allowance System ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2014.04, OMB Control No. 
    ICR status: This ICR will expire on 02/28/2013. 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: The international treaty The Montreal Protocol on 
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and Title VI of the 
Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) established limits on total U.S. 
production, import, and export of class I and class II controlled ozone 
depleting substances (referred to hereinafter as ``controlled 
    Under its Protocol commitments, the United States was obligated to 
cease production and import of class I controlled substances (e.g., 
chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs) with exemptions for essential uses, 
critical uses, previously-used material, and material that is 
transformed, destroyed, or exported to developing countries. The 
Protocol also establishes limits and reduction schedules leading to the 
eventual phaseout of class II controlled substances (i.e., 
hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs).
    The U.S. is obligated to limit HCFC consumption (defined by the 
Protocol as production plus imports, minus exports). The schedule 
called for a 35 percent reduction on January 1, 2004, followed by a 75 
percent reduction on January 1, 2010, a 90 percent reduction on January 
1, 2015, a 99.5 percent reduction on January 1, 2020, and a total 
phaseout on January 1, 2030. EPA is responsible for administering the 
    To ensure U.S. compliance with these limits and restrictions, EPA 
established an allowance system to control U.S. production and import 
of HCFCs by granting control measures referred to as baseline and 
calendar-year allowances. Baseline allowances are based on the 
historical activity of individual companies. Calendar-year allowances 
allow holders to produce and/or import controlled substances in a given 
year and are allocated as a percentage of baseline. There are two types 
of baseline and calendar-year allowances: consumption and production 
allowances. Since each allowance is equal to 1 kilogram of HCFC, EPA is 
able to monitor the quantity of HCFCs being produced, imported and 
exported. Transfers of production and consumption allowances among 
producers and importers are allowed and are tracked by EPA.
    The above-described limits and restrictions are monitored by EPA 
through the recordkeeping and reporting requirements established in the 
regulations in 40 CFR part 82, subpart A. To submit required 
information, regulated entities can download reporting forms from EPA's 
Web site (http://www.epa.gov/ozone/record), complete them, and send 
them to EPA electronically, via mail, courier, or fax.
    Upon receipt of the reports, the data is entered into the ODS 
Tracking System. The ODS Tracking System is a secure database that 
maintains the data submitted to EPA and helps the agency: (1) Maintain 
oversight over total production and consumption of controlled 
substances; (2) monitor compliance with limits and restrictions on 
production, imports, and trades and specific exemptions from the 
phaseout for individual U.S. companies; and (3)

[[Page 55472]]

assess, and report on, compliance with U.S. obligations under the 
Montreal Protocol.
    EPA has implemented an electronic reporting system that allows 
regulated entities to prepare and submit data electronically. Coupled 
with the widespread use of the standardized forms, electronic reporting 
has improved data quality and made the reporting process efficient for 
both reporting companies and EPA. Most reporting is done 
    Pursuant to regulations in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B, reporting 
businesses are entitled to assert a business confidentiality claim 
covering any part of the submitted business information as defined in 
40 CFR 2.201(c). EPA's practice is to manage the reported information 
as confidential business information.
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1,601 
hours and $161,793. 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: 49.
    Frequency of response: Annually, quarterly, or as needed (depending 
on the report).
    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 7.
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 1,601.
    Estimated total annual costs: $161,793. This includes an estimated 
burden cost of $160,428 and an estimated cost of $1,365 for capital 
investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is a decrease of 259 hours in the total estimated respondent 
burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by 
OMB. This decrease reflects the expansion of the electronic reporting 

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 Robert 
Burchard at [email protected].

    Dated: September 4, 2012.
Drusilla Hufford,
Director, Stratospheric Protection Division.
[FR Doc. 2012-22206 Filed 9-7-12; 8:45 am]