[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 129 (Tuesday, July 7, 2015)]
[Pages 38684-38685]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16638]



[EPA-HQ-OW-2003-0026; FRL-9930-14-OW]

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

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to submit an 
information collection request (ICR), ``National Water Quality 
Inventory Reports (Renewal)'' (EPA ICR No. 1560.11, OMB Control No. 
2040-0071) 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 submitting the ICR to OMB, EPA is soliciting public 
comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection as 
described below. This is a request for renewal of an existing 
collection. 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 September 8, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-
2003-0026, 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: Charles Kovatch, Assessment and 
Watershed Protection Division, Office of Water, Mail Code: 4503T, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-0399# ; fax number: 
202-566-1331; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supporting documents that 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: The Clean Water Act section 305(b) reports contain 
information on the water quality standards attainment status of 
assessed waters, and, when waters are impaired, the pollutants and 
potential sources affecting water quality. This information helps track 
State progress in addressing water pollution. Section 303(d) of the 
Clean Water Act requires States to identify and rank waters that 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 use 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 section 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 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 ICR.
    During the period covered by this ICR renewal, respondents will: 
Complete their 2016 section 305(b) reports and 2016 section 303(d) 
lists; complete their 2018 section 305(b) reports and 2018 section 
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 
updates on assessed and impaired waters for Congress and the public for 
the 2016 reporting cycle and for the 2018 cycle, and EPA will review 
303(d) list and TMDL submissions from respondents.
    The burdens of specific activities that States undertake as part of 
their section 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

[[Page 38685]]

(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 section 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 section 
305(b) and 303(d) reporting cycles and thus have staff and procedures 
in place to continue their section 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.
    Form Numbers: None.
    Respondents/affected entities: Entities potentially affected by 
this action are States, Territories and Tribes with Clean Water Act 
(CWA) responsibilities.
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory: Integrated Water 
Quality Inventory Reports (Clean Water Act sections 305(b), 303(d), 
314(a), and 106(e)).
    Estimated number of respondents: 59 (total).
    Frequency of response: Biennial.
    Total estimated burden: 3,740,017 (per year) hours. Burden is 
defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b)
    Total estimated cost: $203,728,300 (per year), includes $0 
annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.
    Changes in Estimates: There is no change of hours in the total 
estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by 
OMB, published on August 31, 2012. EPA is currently designing the Water 
Quality Framework, which is a new way of integrating EPA's data and 
information systems to more effectively support reporting and tracking 
water quality protection and restoration actions. The Framework will 
streamline water quality assessment and reporting by reducing 
transactions associated with paper copy reviews and increasing 
electronic data exchange. The Framework is in line with EPA's E-
Enterprise Initiative, which seeks to assess and reformulate EPA's 
business process to reduce burden through the improved use of 
technology. EPA expects that the reporting burden will decrease and 
will revise the ICR burden after the new information system is 
implemented for the 2018 reporting cycle.

    Dated: June 26, 2015.
Benita Best-Wong,
Director, Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds.
[FR Doc. 2015-16638 Filed 7-6-15; 8:45 am]