[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 205 (Monday, October 24, 2011)]
[Pages 65721-65722]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-27438]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0085; FRL-9482-6]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to OMB for 
Review and Approval; Comment Request; Protection of Stratospheric 
Ozone: Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide 

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 an Information 
Collection Request (ICR) has been forwarded to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This is a request to renew an 
existing approved collection. The ICR, which is abstracted below, 
describes the nature of the information collection and its estimated 
burden and cost.

DATES: Additional comments may be submitted on or before November 23, 

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2011-0085, to (1) EPA online using http://www.regulations.gov (our 
preferred method), by e-mail to [email protected], or by mail to: 
EPA Docket Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Air and Radiation 
Docket, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 
20460, and (2) OMB by mail to: Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attention: Desk Officer 
for EPA, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeremy Arling, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (6205J), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9055; fax number: 
(202) 343-2338; e-mail address: [email protected]. You may also 
visit the Ozone Depletion Web site of EPA's Stratospheric Protection 
Division at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/strathome.html for further 
information about EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Protection regulations, the 
science of ozone layer depletion, and related topics.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA has submitted the following ICR to OMB 
for review and approval according to the procedures prescribed in 5 CFR 
1320.12. On March 2, 2011 (76 FR 11447), EPA sought comments on this 
ICR pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.8(d). EPA received one comment during the 
comment period, which is addressed in the ICR. Any additional comments 
on this ICR should be submitted to EPA and OMB within 30 days of this 
    EPA has established a public docket for this ICR under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0085, which is available for online viewing at 
http://www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air 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 Air Docket is 202-566-1742.
    Use EPA's electronic docket and comment system at http://www.regulations.gov, to submit or view public comments, access the 
index listing of the contents of the docket, and to access those 
documents in the docket that are available electronically. Once in the 
system, select ``docket search,'' then key in the docket ID number 
identified above. Please note that EPA's policy is that public 
comments, whether submitted electronically or in paper, will be made 
available for public viewing at http://www.regulations.gov as EPA 
receives them and without change, unless the comment contains 
copyrighted material, confidential business information (CBI), or other 
information whose public disclosure is restricted by statute. For 
further information about the electronic docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov.
    Title: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Critical Use Exemption 
from the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (Renewal).
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2031.06, OMB Control No. 2060-0482.
    ICR status: This ICR is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2011. 
Under OMB regulations, the Agency may continue to conduct or sponsor 
the collection of information while this submission is pending at OMB. 
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 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: EPA is seeking to renew this ICR, which allows EPA to 
collect methyl bromide Critical Use Exemption (CUE) applications from 
regulated entities on an annual basis, and which requires the 
submission of data from regulated industries to the EPA and 
recordkeeping of key documents to ensure compliance with the Montreal 
Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol) and the 
    Entities applying for this exemption are asked to submit to EPA 
applications with necessary data to evaluate the need for a critical 
use exemption. This information collection is conducted to

[[Page 65722]]

meet U.S. obligations under Article 2H of the Montreal Protocol on 
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol). The information 
collection request is required to obtain a benefit under Section 
604(d)(6) of the CAA, added by Section 764 of the 1999 Omnibus 
Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 
105-277; October 21, 1998).
    Since 2002, entities have applied to EPA for a critical use 
exemption that would allow for the continued production and import of 
methyl bromide after the phaseout in January 2005. These exemptions are 
for consumption only in those agricultural sectors that have 
demonstrated that there are no technically or economically feasible 
alternatives to methyl bromide. The applications are rigorously 
assessed and analyzed by EPA staff, including experts from the Office 
of Pesticide Programs. On an annual basis, EPA uses the data submitted 
by end users to create a nomination of critical uses, which the U.S. 
Government submits to the Protocol's Ozone Secretariat for review by an 
international panel of experts and advisory bodies. These advisory 
bodies include the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) 
and the Technical and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP). The uses 
authorized internationally by the Parties to the Protocol are made 
available in the U.S. on an annual basis.
    The applications will enable EPA to: (1) Maintain consistency with 
the Protocol by supporting critical use nominations to the Parties to 
the Protocol, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Decision IX/6 of the 
Protocol; (2) ensure that critical use exemptions comply with Section 
604(d)(6); and (3) provide EPA with necessary data to evaluate the 
technical and economic feasibility of methyl bromide alternatives in 
the circumstance of the specific use, as presented in an application 
for a critical use exemption.
    The reported data will enable EPA to: (1) Ensure that critical use 
exemptions comply with Section 604(d)(6); (2) maintain compliance with 
the Protocol requirements for annual data submission on the production 
of ozone depleting substances; and (3) analyze technical use data to 
ensure that exemptions are used in accordance with requirements 
included in the annual allocation rulemakings.
    EPA informs respondents that they may assert claims of business 
confidentiality for any of the information they submit. Information 
claimed to be confidential will be treated in accordance with the 
procedures for handling information claimed as confidential under 40 
CFR part 2, subpart b, and will be disclosed only if EPA determines 
that the information is not entitled to confidential treatment. If no 
claim of confidentiality is asserted when the information is received 
by EPA, it may be made available to the public without further notice 
to the respondents (40 CFR 2.203). Individual reporting data may be 
claimed as sensitive and will be treated as confidential information in 
accordance with procedures outlined in 40 CFR part 2.
    Burden Statement: The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 
hour 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 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.
    Respondents/Affected Entities: Producers, importers, distributors, 
and custom applicators of methyl bromide, organizations, consortia, and 
associations of methyl bromide users, as well as individual methyl 
bromide users.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,919.
    Frequency of Response: Quarterly, Annually, Occasionally.
    Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 3,258.
    Estimated Total Annual Cost: $988,840 in labor costs.
    Change in Estimates: There is a decrease of 1,660 hours in the 
total estimated burden currently identified in the OMB Inventory of 
Approved ICR Burdens. The primary reason for the decrease in burden 
hours is a decrease in the number of applicants and a related decline 
in the number of end users. Stakeholders are also more familiar with 
the critical use exemption program and have already organized 
associations to apply on behalf of multiple growers. Other reasons for 
burden reduction include the encouragement of electronic submission of 
applications and other data and frequent EPA communication with methyl 
bromide stakeholders.

    Dated: October 18, 2011.
John Moses,
Director, Collection Strategies Division.
[FR Doc. 2011-27438 Filed 10-21-11; 8:45 am]