[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 35 (Thursday, February 21, 2013)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04008]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection;
Comment Request; Ambient Air Quality Surveillance
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44
U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this document announces that the 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 also incorporate the following ICRs which were approved
under separate rulemaking actions:
ICR 2358 (OMB 2060-0638) Nitrogen Oxides Ambient
ICR 2370 (OMB 2060-0642) Sulfur Dioxides Ambient
ICR 0940 (OMB 2060-0084) PM2.5 Ambient
This over-arching ICR is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2014.
Before submitting the ICR to the OMB for review and approval, the EPA
is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the proposed information
collection as described below.
DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before April 22, 2013.
ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number OAR-
2002-0091, by one of the following methods:
www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for
Fax: (202) 566-1741.
Mail: Environmental Protection Agency, EPA Docket Center
(EPA/DC), Air and Radiation Docket, Mail Code 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.
Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2002-0091. The 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 the 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 the 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, the 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 the EPA cannot read your comment due to technical
difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the 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 the EPA's public
docket, visit the EPA Docket Center homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurie Trinca, Air Quality Assessment
Division, Environmental Protection Agency; telephone number (919) 541-
0520; fax number: (919) 541-1903; email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I access the docket and/or submit comments?
The EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket
ID No. EPA-OAR-2002-0091, 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 B102, 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 Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.
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 the EPA particularly interested in?
Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the 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, the EPA is requesting comments
from very small businesses (those that employ less than 25) on examples
of specific additional efforts that the 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 the 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
7. To ensure proper receipt by the 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
those state, local air pollution control agencies, and tribal entities
which collect and report ambient air quality data for the criteria
pollutants to the EPA as well as other supporting measurements.
Title: Ambient Air Quality Surveillance.
ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 0940-27 OMB Control No. 2060-0084.
ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on December
31, 2014. 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 the
EPA's regulations in title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the
Federal Register when approved, are listed in 40 CFR part 9, and 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: This ICR includes ambient air monitoring data and other
supporting measurements reporting and recordkeeping activities
associated with the 40 CFR 58 Ambient Air Quality Surveillance rule.
These data and information are collected by various state and local air
quality management agencies and reported to the Office of Air Quality
Planning and Standards within the Office of Air and Radiation, U.S.
This ICR reflects revisions of the previous ICR update of 2011, and
it covers the period of 2013-2015. The number of monitoring stations,
sampling parameters, and frequency of data collection and submittal is
expected to remain relatively stable for 2013-2015, with minor
increases and decreases expected for several ambient air monitoring
networks as air monitoring agencies review their monitoring networks.
The data collected through this information collection consist of
ambient air concentration measurements for the seven air pollutants
with national ambient air quality standards (i.e., ozone, sulfur
dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, carbon monoxide, PM2.5 and
PM10), ozone precursors, meteorological variables at a
select number of sites, and other supporting measurements. Accompanying
the pollutant concentration data are quality assurance/quality control
data and air monitoring network design information.
The EPA and others (e.g., state and local air quality management
agencies, tribal entities, environmental groups, academic institutions,
industrial groups) use the ambient air quality data for many purposes.
Some of the more prominent uses include informing the public and other
interested parties of an area's air quality, judging an area's (e.g.,
county, city, neighborhood) air quality in comparison with the
established health or welfare standards (including both national and
local standards), evaluating an air quality management agency's
progress in achieving or maintaining air pollutant levels below the
national and local standards, developing and revising State
Implementation Plans in accordance with 40 CFR 51, evaluating air
pollutant control strategies, developing or revising national control
policies, providing data for air quality model development and
validation, supporting enforcement actions, documenting episodes and
initiating episode controls, air quality trends assessment, and air
The state and local agencies and tribal entities with
responsibility for reporting ambient air quality data and information
as requested in this ICR submit these data electronically to the EPA's
Air Quality System (AQS) database. Quality assurance/quality control
records and monitoring network documentation are also maintained by
each state and local agency in AQS electronic format where possible.
Although the state and local air pollution control agencies and
tribal entities are responsible for the operation of the air monitoring
networks, the EPA funds a portion of the total costs through federal
grants. These grants generally require an appropriate level of
contribution, or ``match,'' from the state/local agencies or tribal
entities. The costs shown in this renewal are the total costs incurred
for the monitoring program regardless of the source of the funding.
This practice of using the total cost is consistent with prior ICR
submittals and renewals.
This Information Collection is estimated to involve 168 respondents
for a total cost of approximately $194,490,047 (total capital, and
labor and non-labor operation and maintenance) plus a total burden of
1,790,021 hours. The labor costs associated with the hours is
$126,733,274. Included in the total are other costs of non-labor
operations and maintenance of $13,090,237 and equipment and contract
costs of $54,666,536. In addition to the costs at the state and local
air pollution control agencies and tribal entities, there is a burden
to the EPA of 192,769 hours and $11,014,728.
Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 6,742
hours per respondent. 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: 168
Frequency of response: Data submissions are required quarterly, but
may occur more frequently.
Estimated total annual burden hours: 1,790,021 hours.
Estimated total annual costs: $194,490,047. This includes an
estimated labor burden cost of $126,733,274 and an estimated cost of
$54,666,536 for equipment and contract costs.
Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?
Yes. There is a decrease of 289,469 hours in the total estimated
respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently
approved by OMB. This decrease reflects the EPA's consolidation of
monitors into fewer sites, termination of unnecessary monitors, and
more efficient procedures for measuring and reporting data.
What is the next step in the process for this ICR?
The EPA will consider the comments received and amend the ICR as
appropriate. The final ICR package will then be submitted to the OMB
for review and approval pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.12. At that time, the
EPA will issue another Federal Register notice pursuant to 5 CFR
1320.5(a)(1)(iv) to announce the submission of the ICR to the OMB and
the opportunity to submit additional comments to the 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: February 14, 2013.
Mary E. Henigin,
Acting Director, Air Quality Assessment Division.
[FR Doc. 2013-04008 Filed 2-20-13; 8:45 am]
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