[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 134 (Wednesday, July 13, 2011)]
[Pages 41243-41245]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-17613]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0026 FRL-9435-5]

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; National Water Quality Inventory Reports (Renewal)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et 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 December 31, 2011. 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 12, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID number EPA-HQ-
OW-2003-0026 by one of the following methods:
     http://www.regulations.gov (our preferred method): Follow 
the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [email protected].
     Mail: EPA Water Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, 
Mailcode (28221-T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2003-
0026 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

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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 http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Alice Mayio, Assessment and Watershed 
Protection Division, Office of Water, Mail Code: 4503T, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: 202-566-1184; fax number: 202-566-1437; 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 
number EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0026 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 Docket Center 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 (202) 566-2426.
    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 public 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.

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 
to 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 of 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 
States, Territories and Tribes with Clean Water Act (CWA) 
    Title: National Water Quality Inventory Reports (Clean Water Act 
Sections 305(b), 303(d), 314(a), and 106(e)) (Renewal).
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR Number 1560.10, OMB Control Number 2040-0071.
    ICR status: This ICR is currently scheduled to expire on December 
31, 2011. 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 Section 305(b) reports contain information on the 
water quality standards attainment status of assessed waters, and, when 
waters are impaired, the pollutants and sources affecting water 
quality. This information helps track State progress in controlling 
water pollution. Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act requires States 
to identify and rank waters which cannot meet water quality standards 
(WQS) following the implementation of technology-based controls. Under 
Section 303(d), States are also required to establish total maximum 
daily loads (TMDLs) for listed waters not meeting standards as a result 
of pollutant discharges. In developing the Section 303(d) lists, States 
are required to consider various sources of water quality related data 
and information, including the Section 305(b) State water quality 
reports. Section 106(e) requires that states annually update monitoring 
data and include it in their Section 305(b) report. Section 314(a) 
requires states to report on the condition of their publicly-owned 
lakes within the Section 305(b) report.
    EPA's Assessment and Watershed Protection Division (AWPD) works 
with its Regional counterparts to review and approve or disapprove 
State Section 303(d) lists and TMDLs from 56 respondents (the 50 
States, the District of Columbia, and the five Territories). Section 
303(d) specifically requires States to develop lists and TMDLs ``from 
time to time,'' and EPA to review and approve or disapprove the lists 
and the TMDLs. EPA also collects State 305(b) reports from 59 
respondents (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, five Territories, 
and 3 River Basin commissions).
    Tribes are not required to submit 305(b) reports. However, to meet 
the needs of Tribes at all levels of development, EPA has prepared 
guidance that presents the basic steps a Tribe should take to collect 
the water

[[Page 41245]]

quality information it needs to make effective decisions about its 
program, its goals, and its future directions. Tribal water quality 
monitoring and reporting activities are covered under the Section 106 
Tribal Grants Program and not included in the burden estimates for this 
    This announcement includes the re-approval of current, ongoing 
activities related to 305(b) and 303(d) reporting and TMDL development 
for the period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2014. During the 
period covered by this ICR renewal, respondents will: complete their 
2012 305(b) reports and 2012 303(d) lists; complete their 2014 305(b) 
reports and 2014 303(d) lists; transmit annual electronic updates of 
ambient monitoring data via the Water Quality Exchange; and continue to 
develop TMDLs according to their established schedules. EPA will 
prepare biennial Reports to Congress for the 2012 reporting cycle and 
for the 2014 cycle, and EPA will review TMDL submissions from 
    The burdens of specific activities that States undertake as part of 
their 305(b) and 303(d) programs are derived from a project among EPA, 
States and other interested stakeholders to develop a tool for 
estimating the States' resource needs for State water quality 
management programs. This project has developed the State Water Quality 
Management Workload Model (SWQMWM), which estimates and sums the 
workload involved in more than one hundred activities or tasks 
comprising a State water quality management program. Over twenty States 
contributed information about their activities that became the basis 
for the model. According to the SWQMWM, to meet 305(b) and 303(d) 
reporting requirements the States will conduct: watershed monitoring 
and characterization; modeling and analysis; development of a TMDL 
document for public review; public outreach; formal public 
participation; tracking; planning; legal support; etc. In general, 
respondents have conducted each of these reporting and record keeping 
activities for past 305(b) and 303(d) reporting cycles and thus have 
staff and procedures in place to continue their 305(b) and 303(d) 
reporting programs. The burden associated with these tasks is estimated 
in this ICR to include the total number of TMDLs that may be submitted 
during the period covered by this ICR.
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is expected to average 66,590 
hours per response. 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; 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 
    The current ICR provides a detailed explanation of the Agency's 
estimate, which is only briefly summarized here:
    Estimated total number of potential respondents: 59.
    Frequency of response: Biannually.
    Estimated total average number of responses for each respondent: 1.
    Estimated total annual burden hours: 3,740,017.
    Estimated total annual costs: $177,837,808. These costs are 
entirely attributed to labor, with $0 attributable to capital 
investment or maintenance and operational costs.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is no change expected in the estimates for the total 
respondent burden hours identified in the ICR currently approved by 
OMB. EPA may revise these burden estimates before submitting this ICR 
to OMB based on comments received from the public and updated labor 

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: June 30, 2011.
Benita Best-Wong,
Acting Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.
[FR Doc. 2011-17613 Filed 7-12-11; 8:45 am]