[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 126 (Wednesday, July 1, 2015)]
[Pages 37616-37617]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16234]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2011-0465; FRL-9930-00-OW]

Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Water 
Quality Standards Regulation (Renewal)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to 
submit an information collection request (ICR), ``Water Quality 
Standards Regulation (Renewal)'' (EPA ICR No. 0988.12, OMB Control No. 
2040-0049) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and 
approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.). Before doing so, EPA is soliciting public comments on 
specific aspects of the proposed information collection as described 
below. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently 
approved through December 31, 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.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before August 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2011-0465, online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method), by 
email to [email protected], or by mail to: EPA Docket Center, 
Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
    EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in the 
public docket without change including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes profanity, threats, information 
claimed to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tangela Cooper, Office of Water, 
Office of Science and Technology, Standards and Health Protection 
Division, (4305T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania 
Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-0369; fax 
number: 202-566-0409; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supporting documents which explain in detail 
the information that the EPA will be collecting are available in the 
public docket for this ICR. The docket can be viewed online at 
www.regulations.gov or in person at the EPA Docket Center, WJC West, 
Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. The telephone 
number for the Docket Center is 202-566-1744. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket, visit http://www.epa.gov/dockets.
    Pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, EPA is soliciting 
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. 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. At that time, EPA will issue another Federal Register notice 
to announce the submission of the ICR to OMB and the opportunity to 
submit additional comments to OMB.
    Abstract: Water quality standards are provisions of state,\1\ 
tribal, and federal law that consist of designated uses for waters of 
the United States, water quality criteria to protect the designated 
uses, and an antidegradation policy. Section 303(c) of the Clean Water 
Act requires states and authorized tribes to establish water quality 
standards, and to review and, if appropriate, revise their water 
quality standards once every three years. The Act also requires EPA to 
review and either approve or disapprove the new or revised standards, 
and to promulgate replacement federal standards if necessary. Section 
118(c)(2) of the Act specifies additional water quality standards 
requirements for waters of the Great Lakes system.

    \1\ The Clean Water Act defines the term ``state'' to mean the 
50 states, the District of Columbia, and specific territories 
including Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, 
American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 

    The Water Quality Standards regulation (40 CFR part 131 and 
portions of part 132) governs national implementation of the water 
quality standards program. The regulation describes requirements and 
procedures for states and authorized tribes to develop, review, and 
revise their water quality standards, and EPA procedures for reviewing 
and approving the water quality standards. The regulation requires the 
development and submission of information to EPA, including:

--The minimum elements in water quality standards that each state or 
tribe must submit to EPA for review, including any new or revised water

[[Page 37617]]

quality standards resulting from the jurisdiction's triennial review 
(40 CFR 131.6 and 131.20). The elements include use designations for 
specific water bodies; methods used and analyses conducted to support 
water quality standards revisions; supporting analysis for use 
attainability analyses; water quality criteria sufficient to protect 
the designated uses; methodologies for site-specific criteria 
development; an antidegradation policy; certification by the 
jurisdiction's Attorney General or other appropriate legal authority 
that the water quality standards were duly adopted pursuant to state or 
tribal law; information that will aid EPA in determining the adequacy 
of the scientific basis for the standards; and information on general 
policies that may affect the implementation of the standards.
--Information that an Indian tribe must submit to EPA in order to 
determine whether a tribe is qualified to administer the water quality 
standards program (40 CFR 131.8).
--Information a state or tribe must submit if it chooses to exercise a 
dispute resolution mechanism for disputes between states and tribes 
over water quality standards on common water bodies (40 CFR 131.7).
--Information related to public participation requirements during state 
and tribal review and revision of water quality standards (40 CFR 
131.20). States and tribes must hold public hearings as part of their 
triennial reviews, and make any proposed standards and supporting 
analyses available to the public before the hearing.

    The regulation establishes specific additional requirements for 
water quality standards and their implementation in the waters of the 
Great Lakes system, contained in the Water Quality Guidance for the 
Great Lakes System (40 CFR part 132). This portion of the regulation 
includes the following requirements for information collection: 
Bioassay tests to support the development of water quality criteria; 
studies to identify and provide information on antidegradation control 
measures that will guard against the reduction of water quality in the 
Great Lakes system; and information collection and record keeping 
activities associated with analyses and reporting to request regulatory 
relief from Guidance requirements. The Guidance includes additional 
information collections that are addressed in separate Information 
Collection Requests for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination 
System program.
    Form Numbers: None.
    Respondents/affected entities: The Water Quality Standards 
regulation requires reporting at least once every three years from 96 
jurisdictions: 56 states and territories, and Indian tribes with EPA-
approved standards (40 tribes as of May 2015). The respondents affected 
by this collection activity are in North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) code 92411 ``Administration of Air and 
Water Resources and Solid Waste Management Programs,'' formerly SIC 
code #9511. Additionally water dischargers subject to certain 
requirements related to the WQS in the Great Lakes System include 
dischargers in the following NAICS codes: Mining (except oil and gas) 
(212), Food manufacturing (311), Paper manufacturing (322), Chemical 
manufacturing (325), Petroleum refineries (32411), Primary metal 
manufacturing (331), Fabricated metal product manufacturing (332), 
Machinery manufacturing (333), Computer and electronic product 
manufacturing (334), Electrical equipment, appliance, and component 
manufacturing (335), Transportation equipment manufacturing (336), 
Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (2211), and 
Sewage treatment facilities (22132).
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary.
    Estimated number of potential respondents: 96 jurisdictions plus 
2,323 Great Lakes dischargers.
    Frequency of response: On occasion.
    Total estimated burden: 286,981 hours (per year). Burden is defined 
at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).
    Total estimated cost: $13,359,089 (per year). There are no 
annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.
    Changes in Estimates: There is an increase of 10,000 hours in the 
total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently 
approved by OMB. This increase reflects an increase in the estimated 
number of respondents to reflect EPA's approval of water quality 
standards for four additional tribes. These estimates could change 
further if, for example, EPA approves water quality standards for 
additional tribes, or if there are changes in the burden related to 
expected NPDES permit activities in the Great Lakes basin covered by 
the ICR.

    Dated: June 24, 2015.
Elizabeth Southerland,
Director, Office of Science and Technology.
[FR Doc. 2015-16234 Filed 6-30-15; 8:45 am]