[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 249 (Tuesday, December 30, 2014)]
[Pages 78425-78427]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-30603]



[EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0743; FRL-9920-95-OAR]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request; Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Critical Use 
Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide (Renewal); EPA ICR No. 
2031.07, OMB Control No. 2060-0482

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), this 
document announces that the Environmental Protection Agency (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, 2031.06, is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2015. 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 March 2, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2014-0743 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Fax: 202-566-1741.
     Mail: EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0743, Environmental Protection 
Agency, Mail Code: 6205T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 

[[Page 78426]]

     Hand Delivery: EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0743, Air and Radiation 
Docket at EPA West, 1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Room B108, Mail Code 
6102T, Washington, DC 20460. 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-OAR-
2014-0743. 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: Jeremy Arling, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, (6205T), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9055; fax number: 
(202) 343-2338; email address: [email protected]. You may also 
visit the Ozone Depletion Web site of EPA's Stratospheric Protection 
Division at 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.


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-OAR-2014-0743, which is available for online viewing at 
www.regulations.gov, or in person viewing at the Air and Radiation 
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 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 and Radiation Docket is 202-566-
    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 

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 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 
producers, importers, distributors, and custom applicators of methyl 
bromide, organizations, consortia, and associations of methyl bromide 
users, as well as individual methyl bromide users.
    Title: Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed 
Collection; Comment Request; Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: 
Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide 
(Applications, Recordkeeping, and Periodic Reporting) (Renewal).
    ICR numbers: EPA ICR No. 2031.07, OMB Control No. 2060-0482.
    ICR status: EPA ICR 2031.06 is currently scheduled to expire on 
June 30, 2015. 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: EPA is seeking to renew EPA ICR 2031.06 which allows EPA 
to collect CUE applications from regulated entities on an annual basis, 
and which

[[Page 78427]]

requires the submission of data from regulated industries to the EPA 
and requires recordkeeping of key documents to ensure compliance with 
the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer 
(Protocol) and the CAA.
    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 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 (Public Law 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 
    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 
    The reported data will enable EPA to:
    1. Ensure that critical use exemptions comply with Section 
    2. Maintain compliance with the Protocol requirements for annual 
data submission on the production of ozone depleting substances;
    3. Analyze technical use data to ensure that exemptions are used in 
accordance with requirements included in the annual authorization 
    EPA informs respondents that they may assert claims of business 
confidentiality for any of the information they submit. Information 
claimed 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 1.0 
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 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 annual application, reporting, and recordkeeping burden is as 
follows: 15 applicants to the critical use exemption program at 570 
hours per year; 4 producers and importers at a total of 88 hours per 
year (quarterly reporting); 50 distributors and pesticide applicators 
at 612 hours per year (annual reporting); and 1,000 end users at 325 
hours per year (periodic certification of purchases of critical use 
methyl bromide at the time of each purchase). The total industry burden 
is therefore 1,595 hours per year.
    The annual public application burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 38 hours per response (570 hours 
divided by 15 responses). The annual public reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.64 
hours per response (1,025 hours divided by 1,614 responses). Overall, 
the total annual public burden (application, reporting, and 
recordkeeping) for this collection of information is estimated to 
average 1.0 hours per response (1,595 hours divided by 1,629 
    The total annual labor cost burden associated with information 
collection request is $624,721. EPA estimates the costs as follows: 
Application costs totaling $80,883 per year, recordkeeping and 
reporting costs totaling $506,814 per year, and self-certification by 
producers, importers, distributors, and end users costing $37,024 per 
year. EPA estimates the capital costs to be $0.

Are there changes in the estimates from the last approval?

    There is a decrease of 1,663 hours in the total estimated 
respondent burden compared with the burden currently approved by OMB. 
The primary reason for the decrease in burden hours is a decrease in 
the number of applicants and end users as well as distributors of 
methyl bromide. The CUE Allocation rule for 2014/2015 removed minor 
reporting and recordkeeping requirements related to critical stock 
allowances. In addition, after December 31, 2014, when methyl bromide 
is phased out in developing countries, certain reporting requirements 
related to the production and export of methyl bromide to those 
countries are no longer applicable.

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: December 15, 2014.
Drusilla Hufford,
Director, Stratospheric Protection Division.
[FR Doc. 2014-30603 Filed 12-29-14; 8:45 am]