Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; EPA ICR No. 2104.04

Summary:

In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44U.S.C. 3501et 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 July 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.

Table of Contents

Dates:

Comments must be submitted on or before April 10, 2012.

Addresses:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2012-0104 by one of the following methods:

www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

Email: docket.superfund@epa.gov.

Mail: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.

Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, 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-SFUND-2012-0104. 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:

Rachel Lentz, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, (5105T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 566-2745; fax number (202) 566-1476; email address:Lentz.Rachel@epa.gov.

Supplementary information:

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-SFUND-2012-0104, which is available for online viewing at www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Superfund 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 Superfund Docket is 202-566-9744.

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 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:

1. 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;

2. 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;

3. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

4. 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 comments:

1. Explain your views as clearly as possible and provide specific examples.

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 general purpose units of local government; land clearance authorities or other quasi-governmental entities that operate under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of local government; government entities created by State legislature; regional councils or groups of general purpose units of local government; redevelopment agencies that are chartered or otherwise sanctioned by the State; States; Indian Tribes other than in Alaska; Alaska Native Regional Corporations, Alaska Native Village Corporations, and Metlakatla Indian Communities; and non-profit organizations.

Title: Brownfields Program—Accomplishment Reporting (Renewal).

ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2104.04, OMB Control No. 2050-0192.

ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on July 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: The Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act (Pub. L. 107-118) (“the Brownfields Amendments”) was signed into law on January 11, 2002. The Act amends the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), as amended, and authorizes EPA to award cooperative agreements to states, tribes, local governments, and other eligible entities to assess and clean up brownfields sites. Under the Brownfields Amendments, a brownfields site means real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. For funding purposes, EPA uses the term “brownfields property(ies)” synonymously with the term “brownfields sites.” The Brownfields Amendments authorize EPA to award several types of cooperative agreements to eligible entities on a competitive basis.

Under subtitle A of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, States, tribes, local governments, and other eligible entities can receive assessment cooperative agreements to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning and community involvement related to brownfields properties; cleanup cooperative agreements to carry out cleanup activities at brownfields properties; cooperative agreements to capitalize revolving loan funds and provide subgrants for cleanup activities; and job training cooperative agreements to support the creation and implementation of environmental job training and placement programs. Under subtitle C of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act, State and tribes can receive cooperative agreements to establish and enhance their response programs. The cooperative agreements support activities necessary to establish or enhance four elements of state and tribal response programs and to meet the public record requirements under the statute. The four elements eligible for funding include: (a) Timely survey and inventory of brownfield sites in the State or in the tribal land; (b) oversight and enforcement authorities or other mechanisms and resources; (c) mechanisms and resources to provide meaningful opportunities for public participation; and (d) mechanisms for approval of a cleanup plan and verification and certification that cleanup is complete. States and tribes that receive funding under subtitle C must establish a public record system during the funding period unless an adequate public record system is already established.

Cooperative agreement recipients (recipients) have general reporting and record keeping requirements as a condition of their cooperative agreement that result in burden. A portion of this reporting and record keeping burden is authorized under 40 CFR Parts 30 and 31 and identified in the EPA's general grants ICR (OMB Control Number 2030-0020). EPA requires Brownfields program recipients to maintain and report additional information to EPA on the uses and accomplishments associated with the funded brownfields activities. EPA uses several forms to assist recipients in reporting the information and to ensure consistency of the information collected. EPA uses this information to meet Federal stewardship responsibilities to manage and track how program funds are being spent, to evaluate the performance of the Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment Program, to meet the Agency's reporting requirements under the Government Performance Results Act, and to report to Congress and other program stakeholders on the status and accomplishments of the program.

This ICR addresses the burden imposed on recipients that are associated with those reporting and recordkeeping requirements that are specific to cooperative agreements awarded under the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act. This ICR renewal modifies the annual reporting and recordkeeping burden under the previous ICR. The modified burden reflects an increase in the number of respondents subject to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements, lower number of responses based on previous three years of data submissions, and improvements to the reporting forms based on EPA's experience. By using the same form to report information on recipient activities, EPA is adopting a streamlined approach that avoids potential confusion among recipients and allows the Agency to collect and report program information consistently across all brownfields cooperative agreements. EPA is also modifying the reporting form to simplify and clarify the reporting requirements, which will improve the accuracy of information reported and minimize the burden to recipients.

Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1.25 hours per response for the Property Profile Form and 4 hours per response for the Job Training Reporting Form. 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:1007.

Frequency of response: Bi-annual for subtitle C recipients; quarterly for subtitle A recipients.

Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent:20.

Estimated total annual burden hours:3,167 hours.

Estimated total annual costs:$308,911. This includes an estimated burden cost of $308,911 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 one hour in the total estimated respondent burden compared with that identified in the ICR currently approved by OMB. This decrease reflects EPA's updating of burden estimates for this collection based on an, increase in number of experienced recipients familiar with reporting requirements, a lowerednumber of responses based on previous data submission, and improvements in the ACRES reporting database.

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: February 2, 2012. David R. Lloyd,

Director, Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization.

References

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