[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 139 (Wednesday, July 21, 2010)]
[Pages 42438-42440]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-17808]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0595; FRL-9177-3; EPA ICR No. 2402.01; OMB Control No. 

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Willingness To Pay Survey for Section 316(b) Existing 
Facilities Cooling Water Intake Structures (New)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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 for a new Information Collection Request (ICR) to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 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 September 20, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2010-0595 by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line 
instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected], Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
     Mail: Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mailcode: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, 
Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0595. Please include a total of 
3 copies.
     Hand Delivery: Water Docket, EPA Docket Center, EPA West, 
Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC, Attention 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0595. Such deliveries are only accepted 
during the Docket's normal hours of operation and special arrangements 
should be made.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-
0595. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
http://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 http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://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 e-mail comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov your e-mail 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/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erik Helm, Office of Water, Office of 
Science and Technology, Engineering and Analysis Division, Economic and 
Environmental Assessment Branch, 4303T, Environmental Protection 
Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone 
number: 202-566-1049; fax number: 202-566-1053; e-mail address: 
[email protected].


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-OW-2010-0595 which is available for online viewing at http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Water Docket in the 
EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA/DC

[[Page 42439]]

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 Water Docket is 
    Use http://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:
    (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) 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?

    Affected entities: Entities potentially affected by this action are 
    Title: Willingness to Pay Survey for Section 316(b) Existing 
Facilities Cooling Water Intake Structures: Instrument, Pre-test, and 
Implementation (New).
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2402.01, OMB Control No. 2040-NEW.
    ICR status: This ICR is for a new information collection activity. 
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 316(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires EPA 
to ensure that the location, design, construction, and capacity of 
cooling water intake structures (CWIS) reflect the best technology 
available (BTA) to protect aquatic organisms from being killed or 
injured by impingement or entrainment. EPA divided this rulemaking into 
three phases. At question here are the Phases II and III.
    The Phase II rule, which covered existing electric generating 
plants that withdraw at least 50 million gallons a day (MGD) of cooling 
water, was completed in July 2004. Industry and environmental 
stakeholders challenged the Phase II regulations. On judicial review, 
the Second Circuit remanded several key provisions. In July 2007, EPA 
suspended the Phase II Rule. Following additional review in 2009 by the 
U.S. Supreme Court in Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper Inc., which decided 
that ``EPA permissibly relied on cost-benefit analysis in setting the 
national performance standards * * * as part of the Phase II 
regulations.'' EPA has voluntary remanded the rule.
    In June of 2006, EPA promulgated the 316(b) Phase III Rule for 
existing manufacturers, small flow power plants (facilities that 
withdraw less than 50 MGD), and new offshore oil and gas facilities. 
Offshore oil and gas firms and environmental groups petitioned for 
judicial review, which was to occur in the Fifth Circuit, but was 
stayed pending the completion of the Phase II litigation. EPA has asked 
the Fifth Circuit to remand the existing facilities portion of the 
Phase III rule so that it can consider what might be appropriate 
requirements for all existing facilities. While the 5th Circuit has not 
yet issued a decision, EPA is anticipating combining Phases II and III 
into one rulemaking covering all existing facilities.
    Under Executive Order 12866, EPA is required to estimate the 
potential benefits and costs to society of proposed rule options. To 
assess the public policy significance or importance of the ecological 
gains from the section 316(b) regulation for existing facilities, EPA 
requests approval from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a 
stated preference survey. Data from the associated stated preference 
survey will be used to estimate values (willingness to pay, or WTP) 
derived by households for changes related to the reduction of fish 
losses at CWIS, and to provide information to assist in the 
interpretation and validation of survey responses. EPA has designed the 
survey to provide data to support the following specific objectives: 
[a] The estimation of the total values (use plus non-use) that 
individuals place on preventing losses of fish and other aquatic 
organisms caused by 316(b) facilities; [b] to understand how much 
individuals value preventing fish losses, increasing fish populations, 
and increasing commercial and recreational catch rates; [c] to 
understand how such values depend on the current baseline level of fish 
populations and fish losses, the scope of the change in those measures, 
and the certainty level of the predictions; and [d] to understand how 
such values vary with respect to individuals' economic and demographic 
    The target population for this stated preference survey is all 
individuals from continental U.S. households who are 18 years of age or 
older. The population of households will be stratified by the 
geographic boundaries of 5 EPA study regions: California, Great Lakes, 
Inland, Northeast, and Southeast. Survey participants will be recruited 
randomly through random digit dialing. The

[[Page 42440]]

intended sample size for the survey is 2,000 households including only 
households providing completed surveys. This sample size was chosen to 
provide statistically robust results while minimizing the cost and 
burden of the survey. In addition to the sample size, EPA will take 
steps to both test for and ameliorate survey non-response bias. EPA 
will follow standard practice in stated preference design, including 
the extensive use of focus groups and pretesting to develop survey 
    The key elicitation questions in each of the five regional surveys 
ask respondents whether or not they would vote for policies that would 
increase their cost of living, in exchange for specified multi-
attribute changes in (a) impingement and entrainment losses of fish, 
(b) commercial fish sustainability, (c) long-term fish populations, and 
(d) condition of aquatic ecosystems. This ``choice experiment'' or 
``choice modeling'' framework allows respondents to state their 
preferences by making a voting-type selection between two hypothetical 
multi-attribute regulatory options (and a third ``status quo'' choice 
that rejects both options). These stated preferences with respect to 
levels of environmental goods and cost to households, when used in 
conjunction with other information collected in the survey on the 
respondent's use of the affected aquatic resources, household income, 
and other demographics, can be analyzed statistically (using either a 
fixed or random effects mixed logit framework) to estimate total WTP 
for the quantified environmental benefits of the 316(b) existing 
facilities rulemaking. Data analysis and interpretation is grounded in 
a standard random utility model.
    In addition, to the total values, the survey will allow the 
estimation of values associated with specific choice attributes 
(following standard methods for choice experiments), and will also 
allow the flexibility to provide some insight into the relative 
importance of use versus non-use values in the 316(b) context. Analysis 
also allows estimation of the variation in WTP across different types 
of households, in different areas. As indicated in prior literature, it 
is virtually impossible to justify, theoretically, the decomposition of 
empirical total willingness-to-pay estimates into separate use and non-
use components. The survey will, however, provide the flexibility to 
estimate nonuser values, using various nonuser definitions drawn from 
responses to survey questions. The structure of the choice attribute 
questions will also allow the analysis to separate value components 
related to the most common sources of use values--effect on harvested 
recreational and commercial fish.
    The various welfare values that can be derived from this stated 
preference survey (discussed above) along with those that are estimated 
apart from the survey effort will offer insight into the composition of 
the value people place on the 316(b) environmental impacts. But within 
rulemaking, among the most crucial concerns is the avoidance of benefit 
(or cost) double counting. Here, for example, WTP estimates derived 
from the survey may overlap--to a potentially substantial extent--with 
estimates that can be provided through some other methods. Therefore, 
particular care will be given to avoid any possible double counting of 
values that might be derived from alternative valuation methods. In 
doing so, the Office of Water will rely upon standard theoretical tools 
for non-market welfare analysis, as presented by authors including 
Freeman (2003) and Just et al. (2004).
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5 
minutes per telephone screening participant and 30 minutes per mail 
survey respondent including the time necessary to complete and mail 
back the questionnaire. 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: 8,333 for 
telephone screening and 2,000 for mailed questionnaires.
    Frequency of response: One-time response.
    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 
One-time response.
    Estimated total burden hours: 1,527 hours.
    Estimated total costs: $34,600. EPA estimates that there will be no 
capital and operating and maintenance cost burden to respondents.

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: July 13, 2010.
Ephraim S. King,
Director, Office of Science and Technology.
[FR Doc. 2010-17808 Filed 7-20-10; 8:45 am]