[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 146 (Wednesday, July 30, 2014)]
[Pages 44191-44194]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17929]



Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

[OMB Number 1010--New]

Information Collection: Social Indicators in Coastal Alaska: 
Arctic Communities Survey; Submitted for OMB Review; Comment Request 

ACTION: 30-Day notice.


SUMMARY: To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the 
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is notifying the public that 
we have submitted an information collection request (ICR) to the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The ICR 
pertains to a new survey to be conducted in northern coastal Alaska 
communities. This notice provides the public a second opportunity to 
comment on the paperwork burden of this collection.

DATES: Submit written comments by August 29, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments on this ICR to the Desk Officer for the 
Department of the Interior at OMB-OIRA at (202) 395-5806 (fax) or 
[email protected] (email). Please provide a copy of your 
comments to the BOEM Information Collection Clearance Officer, Arlene 
Bajusz, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 381 Elden Street, HM-3127, 
Herndon, Virginia 20170 (mail) or [email protected] (email). 
Please reference ICR 1010-New in your comment and include your name and 
return address.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arlene Bajusz, Office of Policy, 
Regulations, and Analysis at [email protected] (email) or (703) 
787-1025 (phone). You may review the ICR online at http://www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to review Department of the 
Interior collections under review by OMB.


[[Page 44192]]

    OMB Control Number: 1010-New.
    Title: Social Indicators in Coastal Alaska: Arctic Communities 
    Abstract: This is a new collection that involves a survey of the 
Alaska coastal area along the Arctic. Section 20 of the Outer 
Continental Shelf (OCS) Lands Act (OCSLA) requires the Secretary of the 
Department of the Interior (DOI) to monitor and assess the impacts of 
resource development activities in Federal waters on human, marine, and 
coastal environments. The OCSLA authorizes the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct studies in areas or regions of lease sales to 
ascertain the ``environmental impacts on the marine and coastal 
environments of the outer Continental shelf and the coastal areas which 
may be affected by oil and gas development'' (43 U.S.C. 1346) (Pub. L. 
    The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
4321-4347) requires that all Federal agencies use a systematic, 
interdisciplinary approach to ensure the integrated use of the natural 
and social sciences in any planning and decision making that may have 
an effect on the human environment. The Council on Environmental 
Quality's Regulations for Implementing Procedural Provisions of NEPA 
(40 CFR 1500-1508) state that the ``human environment'' is to be 
``interpreted comprehensively'' to include ``the natural and physical 
environment and the relationship of people with that environment'' (40 
CFR 1508.14). An action's ``aesthetic, historic, cultural, economic, 
social or health'' effects must be assessed, ``whether direct, 
indirect, or cumulative'' (40 CFR 1508.8).
    The BOEM is the DOI agency that conducts OCS lease sales and 
monitors and mitigates adverse impacts that might be associated with 
offshore resource development. The BOEM Environmental Studies Program 
implements and manages the responsibilities of research. This new 
survey will facilitate the meeting of DOI/BOEM information needs by 
quantifying measures of well-being and the living conditions of 
residents in coastal Alaska areas, with specific focus on six 
I[ntilde]upiat coastal Alaska Native communities in the North Slope 
Borough (Barrow, Point Hope, Wainwright, Nuiqsut, Kaktovik, Point Lay).
    The BOEM will use the information collected from this survey to 
learn about local social systems and well-being in a way that may shape 
development strategies and serve as an interim baseline for impact 
mitigation and/or monitoring to compare against future research in 
these areas. With these data, BOEM will improve information to make 
informed oil and gas leasing and development decisions for these areas. 
The studies will help BOEM identify and mitigate impacts of offshore 
oil and gas exploration and development on Alaska Native communities.
    Survey Instrument: The survey instrument was developed through 
collaborative discussions with key community members tasked to serve on 
the North Slope Management Board, specifically established to deal with 
this study.
    Interview Methods: The interviews will be conducted in person in a 
setting most comfortable for the respondents. This personal method is 
more expensive and time consuming for the researchers, but these 
drawbacks are outweighed by improvements in the quality of information 
obtained and the rapport established between the surveyor and the 
person interviewed. Telephone interviews have not proven to be broadly 
successful in obtaining useful information on the North Slope. Each 
respondent will be paid an honorarium for taking part in the study. 
Responses are voluntary.
    Frequency: One-time event.
    Description of Respondents: Respondents are members of the Alaskan 
coastal communities in the North Slope Borough. We plan to contact 
1,001 individuals and estimate 801 will complete the survey.
    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden: We estimate 834 
hours for this collection.

                                                   Number of                                       Total annual
                   Activity                        responses      Completion time per response     burden hours
Initial Contact...............................           1,001  2 minutes.......................              33
Survey........................................             801  1 hour..........................             801
    Total.....................................           1,802  ................................             834

    Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Non-Hour Cost Burden: We have 
identified no non-hour paperwork cost burdens for this collection.
    Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) 
provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. 
Until OMB approves a collection of information, you are not obligated 
to respond.
    Comments: We invite comments concerning this information collection 
     Whether or not the collection of information is necessary, 
including whether or not the information will have practical utility;
     The accuracy of our burden estimates;
     Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Ways to minimize the burden on respondents.
    To comply with the public consultation process, on March 14, 2014, 
BOEM published a Federal Register notice (79 FR 14533) announcing that 
we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. This notice provided the 
required 60-day comment period. We received one comment in response to 
this notice. The Mayor's Office of the North Slope Borough posed 
several questions and concerns about aspects of the survey. A summary 
of each and the response are outlined below. The Social Indicators 
study has been under construction and planned by the Environmental 
Studies Program of BOEM for more than 5 years and reported in annual 
Study Development Plans provided to the North Slope Borough (NSB) for 
review and comment. It is directly linked to Arctic Social Indicator 
domain identification undertaken by the Arctic Council and is 
responsive to the Arctic Research Plan, issued by the Executive Office 
of the President, National Science and Technology Council in February 
2013. BOEM believes this pioneering effort is a way to monitor impacts 
for oil and gas exploration and development in that the study meets the 
information needs to identify and monitor broad social changes in the 
Arctic. We appreciate this opportunity to respond to specific questions 
raised by the Mayor of the North Slope Borough, Alaska.

[[Page 44193]]

Need for the Survey

1. Is this collection a result of the HIA in the EIS?

    This survey collection is not a result of the Health Impact 
Assessment (HIA) in an EIS. The collection is linked to the Arctic 
Social Indicators Project, an outgrowth of the Arctic Human Development 
Report of 2004 conducted under the auspices of the Arctic Council's 
Sustainable Development Working Group (Arctic Social Indicators 2010). 
HIA involves a more specific set of questions about health status in 
the communities, whereas the Social Indicators study, designed to 
assess respondents' sense of well-being, explores six domains, one of 
which is health.

2. BOEM Should Use the NSB's Baseline Community Health Analysis Report 
in the Social Indicators and Acknowledge That the Health Environment is 
Already Impacted by Resource Development

    The NSB Baseline Community Health Analysis Report was not completed 
until June 2012, after the Social Indicators contract was awarded. The 
designs of both the Baseline Community Health Analysis Report and the 
Social Indicators survey are complementary because they are derived 
from the same parent document, the NSB Census of 2010. The Social 
Indicators survey results will be shared with the NSB. Some of the 
survey questions will correspond with the NSB Community Health Analysis 
Report and will support decision making at all levels of government. 
The 2010 NSB Census includes the same overall health questions that 
were asked by the Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic (SLiCA) 
conducted by Dr. Kruse in collaboration with the NSB in 2003. These 
same questions were approved by the North Slope Management Board (NSMB) 
for the BOEM Social Indicators survey. The project report will be the 
venue to address emerging trends, including if the health environment 
has been impacted by resource development, not the survey instrument.

Survey Design

3. Who are the members of the NSMB, how were they selected, and how was 
the survey developed?

    The chair and the members of the NSMB are serving on a voluntary 
basis. Representatives are from the communities of Barrow, Kaktovik, 
Nuiqsut, Wainwright, Point Lay, and Point Hope. Since the members of 
the NSMB are volunteers, the BOEM prefers not to disclose their names 
in this document. As for the survey design, the contractor, Stephen R. 
Braund & Assoc. (SRBA), held a workshop for the NSMB in Barrow in April 
2012 to discuss survey content and design. The Social Indicators survey 
is based upon a pool of questions derived from previous research 
conducted in collaboration with the NSB (e.g., SLiCA). The questions 
correlate directly with domains identified in the Arctic Social 
Indicators Report, 2010, an outgrowth of the Arctic Human Development 
Report of 2004 conducted under the auspices of the Arctic Council's 
Sustainable Working Group, and the BOEM Social Indicators contract. 
Subsequently, SRBA generated a survey instrument for review by OMB to 
obtain a control number. SRBA consulted again with the NSMB in 
September 2012 before the survey instrument was provided to BOEM for 
the OMB submission. This submission was delayed for a year to perform a 
Privacy Act Impact Assessment, now completed.

4. Why address only the ``head of the household''?

    BOEM is concerned about the burden of effort and therefore limits 
the survey to heads of households (HH), as the HH is the individual 
with the knowledge and authority to address all of the questions asked. 
The HH may be an adult male or female of any age over 18. This is the 
standard best practice among social scientists conducting surveys, 
including Dr. Gary Kofinas's ``The Study of Sharing Networks to Assess 
the Vulnerabilities of Local Communities to Oil & Gas Development in 
Arctic Alaska,'' also funded by BOEM.

5. It is Important To Have a Variety of People From the North Slope 
Involved in Helping To Pick the Contractor/Review the Survey Questions

    A variety of individuals from each North Slope coastal community 
and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission were involved in selecting the 
survey questions. BOEM selected the contractor through a competitive 
bidding process based on the merits of the technical proposal and 
expertise of the contractor.

6. Survey Fatigue: Suggest BOEM Coordinate With the Other Agencies/

    BOEM and its project contractors are highly concerned about survey 
fatigue and the importance of coordinating with others who conduct 
research among the I[ntilde]upiat of the North Slope. BOEM has 
coordinated with other entities doing research. However, BOEM has found 
that even though there are surveys that may ask a similar question, 
none fully address the sense of well-being as this Social Indicators 
survey is designed to assess. BOEM and SRBA are leaders in the field of 
social research and well understand and are sensitive to the problems 
of public burden and survey fatigue. Once BOEM receives OMB approval, 
BOEM and SRBA will coordinate with local and regional authorities to 
schedule the Social Indicators survey implementation.
    In this notice, BOEM is also responding to a comment received on a 
Federal Register notice (78 FR 25473) published May 1, 2013, requesting 
public comment on a survey renewal collection (1010-0184) that we have 
since discontinued. In that notice, we introduced this new Social 
Indicators survey and received a comment; therefore, we are addressing 
that comment in this new collection now.
    The commenter suggested the use of Dillman's Tailored Design Method 
as being a superior alternative to random sampling. BOEM agrees with 
the Dillman strategy and has used similar elements in designing our 
face-to-face surveys. Dillman's strategies target improving response 
rates for mail, telephone, and internet surveys, which can have 
response rates lower than 50 percent. In contrast, prior experience in 
applying the proposed sample design and face-to-face interviews in 
northern Alaska has shown response rates above 80 percent. Several 
opportunities of advance survey notice have been achieved through the 
NSMB participation in the survey design process. Upon OMB approval, the 
design team will work with the NSMB to extend community involvement to 
the city councils, tribal governments, and village corporations. In 
addition, Dillman's approach concerns how the interview process is 
designed, not how people are sampled from the population to be 
described. The sampling approach used in our surveys is termed ``area 
probability sampling,'' developed by the Institute for Social Research, 
University of Michigan, to meet the statistical goals of producing 
valid estimates and confidence intervals. A probability sample means 
that each person/household in the population to be sampled has a known 
probability of being selected. A probability sample is commonly 
referred to as a ``random sample.'' In accordance with Dillman's 
approach, BOEM incorporates specific procedures to maintain the 
validity of the probability sample by making repeated contacts to 
interview the selected respondent. We also train interviewers to build 
trust and engagement in the study and engage

[[Page 44194]]

community leaders and secure their approval. The addition of a 
remuneration provides additional incentive for participation.
    Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, 
phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information 
in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--
including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly 
available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold 
your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot 
guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Dated: July 3, 2014.
Deanna Meyer-Pietruszka,
Chief, Office of Policy, Regulations, and Analysis.
[FR Doc. 2014-17929 Filed 7-29-14; 8:45 am]