Notice of Availability of Draft Revisions; Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures; Request for Comments, 47063-47065 [2012-19279]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices Dated: August 1, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–19271 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD12–2–000] mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Notice of Availability of Draft Revisions; Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures; Request for Comments The staff of the Office of Energy Projects is revising its Upland Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan (Plan) and Wetland and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (Procedures), last updated January 17, 2003. In accordance with Order 603,1 the staff is asking for comments on the draft revisions from the natural gas industry, federal, state and local agencies, environmental consultants, inspectors, construction contractors, and other interested parties with special expertise with respect to environmental issues commonly associated with pipeline projects. Please note that this comment period will close on October 9, 2012. The Plan and Procedures are referred to at 18 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 380.12(i)(5) and 380.12(d)(2), respectively, as well as 18 CFR 157.206(b)(3)(iv). The Plan and Procedures identify the staff’s baseline mitigation measures for minimizing erosion and enhancing revegetation in uplands and the extent and duration of project-related disturbance on wetlands and waterbodies. Attached to this notice are full texts of the draft revisions, identifying all proposed changes from the current versions of the Plan and Procedures in tracked changes format 2. The draft revisions can also be viewed on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/ industries/gas/enviro/guidelines.asp. The staff announced its intention to revise the Plan and Procedures by public notice issued October 31, 2011, 1 Revision of Existing Regulations Under Part 157 and Related Sections of the Commission’s Regulations Under the Natural Gas Act, Commission Order No. 603, Docket No. RM98–9– 000, issued April 29, 1999. Noticed in the Federal Register on May 14, 1999. 64 FR 26572. 2 The attachments referenced in this notice will not appear in the Federal Register. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 in the above referenced docket. The proposed revisions address comments filed in response to the public notice, frequent inquiries for clarification or guidance, and common variance requests. Other modifications provide necessary updates to reflect current laws and industry best management practices. We will consider all timely comments on the draft revisions before issuing the final versions. For your convenience, there are three methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all instances, please reference the docket number (AD12–2– 000) with your submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502–8258 or efiling@ferc.gov. Please include your name and email address so we can include you in future notices regarding our planned revisions. (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment feature, which is located on the Commission’s Web site at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an easy method for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments; (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling feature, which is located on the Commission’s Web site at www.ferc.gov under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling you can provide comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking on ‘‘eRegister.’’ You will be asked to select the type of filing you are making. A comment in response to this notice is considered a ‘‘Comment on a Filing’’; or (3) You may file a paper copy of your comments at the following address: Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426. All of the information related to the proposed revisions to the Plan and Procedures and submitted comments can be found on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary link, click on ‘‘General Search’’ and enter the docket number, excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., AD12– 2). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208–3676, or for TTY, contact (202) 502–8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47063 such as orders, notices, and rulemakings. In addition, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/ esubscribenow.htm. Information Collection Statement The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require OMB approval of certain reporting, record keeping, and public disclosure requirements (collections of information) imposed by an agency 3. To ensure compliance with OMB’s regulations implementing the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 4, the Office of Energy Project’s staff is providing notice of potential modifications to information collections from jurisdictional natural gas companies, and is requesting comments on information collection and reporting burden. Burden includes the total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information to the Commission and any applicable third parties. Comments in consideration of the collection of information should be submitted following the guidelines described on page 2 of this notice, and should reference OMB Control No. 1902–0060 in addition to Docket No. AD12–2–000. Comments regarding information collection requirements should focus on whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of burden estimates (provided below); ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and any suggested methods for minimizing the respondent’s burden, including the use of automated information techniques. Following the comment period, the Commission staff will submit the final revised Plan and Procedure documents to OMB for review of the information collection requirements. The information collection requirements described in the current versions of the Plan and Procedures are approved by OMB via FERC–537, ‘‘Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition, and Abandonment’’ (OMB Control No. 1902–0060), which is used by the Commission to implement the 35 CFR Part 1320. U.S.C. 3507(d). 4 44 E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 47064 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices statutory provisions of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA), 15 U.S.C. 3301–3432, and the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. 717–717w). The information collected per FERC–537 is necessary to certificate interstate pipelines engaged in the transportation and sale of natural gas, and the construction, acquisition, and operation of facilities to be used in those activities, to authorize the abandonment of facilities and services, and to authorize certain NGPA transactions. The draft Plan and Procedure revisions identified in this notice are primarily modifications and clarifications to the content of information collections required by the current versions. For example, revisions to Plan sections III.H., III.I., and VII.B.2. clarify staff’s expectations for the content of blasting plans, winter construction plans, and quarterly activity reports, respectively. Draft revisions to Plan section III.F.3. regarding agency consultations on wildlife and livestock, standardize a best management practice and staff expectation. A draft revision to Procedure section VI.D.3. modifies the wetland revegetation success criteria used for monitoring and reporting. Such revisions do not constitute entirely new information collections; however, the proposed revisions could increase reporting burden by adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; training personnel to respond to a modified collection of information; and completing and reviewing such collections. Draft revisions would reduce reporting burden on jurisdictional natural gas companies by providing guidance that is frequently requested during report preparations; directions to provide information that frequently results in data requests; and improved flexibility to reduce variance requests for construction practices the staff has determined are acceptable. For example, frequently requested guidance on beneficial reuse of construction materials is provided in revised Plan sections II.B.17. and III.E. Identification of baseline expectations for residential construction practices is provided in revised Plan section III.G. Variance requests would be reduced via revisions to Procedures section V.B.3.g. that address construction through waterbodies that are dry or frozen, and VI.B.2.f. that address burning of woody debris in wetlands. Additionally, proposed revisions to Procedure sections V.B.2.b. and VI.B.1.b. would reduce reporting burden on jurisdictional entities, permitting detailed justifications for reduced setbacks at waterbodies and wetlands. Revised terminology is proposed in order to be inclusive of prior notice, advanced notice, and automatic authorization projects to address the wider net of project types subject to Plan and Procedure requirements. The revisions clarify applicability for projects constructed under the Commission’s blanket certificate program (18 CFR Part157, Subpart F) and construction of facilities for transportation services under the NGPA section 311 (18 CFR Part 284, Subpart A). These clarifications would improve the efficiency of the environmental review process, and reduce labor hours required of jurisdictional natural gas companies to prepare complete reports. Entirely new information collection requirements are limited. A new record retention requirement is proposed regarding drainage system repairs or improvements (see draft revised Plan section VII.B.1.e.). In addition, a new annual report is proposed for affected wetlands that do not successfully revegetate within three years after construction (see draft revised Procedure section VI.D.4.). We expect this revision to result in a minor increase in reporting burden due to the low incidence of wetland revegetation failure; we estimate less than 10 percent of affected wetlands on an annual basis. In addition, our experience indicates that the cause of failure in many cases is anthropogenic activities that would negate the need for further monitoring and remediation by the project sponsors. Additional filings for blanket certificate prior notice projects would also be required (see revised ‘‘Applicability’’ discussions in sections I. of the Plan and Procedures). Such filings include winter construction plans noted in revised Plan section III.I., and the pre-construction filings noted in section II. of the Procedures (i.e., hydrostatic testing information, waterbody crossing schedules, spill prevention and response procedures, plans for major waterbody crossings, horizontal directional drill crossings, and justifications for any alternative measures). This would not reflect an entirely new reporting burden however, as this information is typically requested by staff during review of these projects to ensure compliance with blanket certificate standard conditions in 18 CFR 157.206. Overall, in consideration of the proposed revisions to reporting requirements and the increased efficiency that would realized during the environmental review process, we expect the net effect of the proposed Plan and Procedure revisions to constitute a minor increase in information collection burden. Burden Estimate The estimate below is based on workload completion data prepared by FERC’s Division of Gas—Environment and Engineering for fiscal year 2011. Respondents include companies that filed project applications under NGA Section 7, blanket certificate prior notice filings and annual reports, and NGPA 311 advanced notification filings and annual reports. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Upland Plan .................................................... Wetland and Waterbody Procedures .............. Average number of respondents annually VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:47 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 Average change in burden hours per filing (rounded) Total annual change in burden hours for all filings types (b) (a × b) 81 Natural Gas Companies ........................... 81 Natural Gas Companies ........................... Environmental Policy Act or were otherwise categorized as ‘‘environment not involved.’’ These types of projects would not be subject to the PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 113 113 6.1 ¥3.8 681 ¥428 ........................ Grand Total .............................................. 5 NGA 7, Blanket Certificate, and NGPA 311 filings. Filings were excluded if they qualified as categorical exclusions under the National Average number of filings per year 5 (a) Proposed modification to FERC–537, OMB Control No. 1902–0060 ........................ 253 environmental requirements of the Plan and Procedures and thus would not be affected by changes to information collections. E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 152 / Tuesday, August 7, 2012 / Notices Information Collection Costs: The Commission staff seeks comments on the costs to comply with the proposed revisions to the Plan and Procedures. The total estimated annual cost burden to prepare new or modified information collections based on the proposed Plan and Procedure revisions is $17,459.43 (253 hours/2,080 hours 6 per year, times $143,540 7). We expect the estimated burden would reduce in subsequent years, as companies adjust to the modified information collections and have trained their personnel to collect information per the revised Plan and Procedures. Interested persons may obtain additional information on the OMB process and information collection statement by contacting Ellen Brown, Office of the Executive Director, via email at DataClearance@ferc.gov; by phone (202) 502–8663, or facsimile (202) 273–0973. Dated: July 31, 2012. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2012–19279 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Western Area Power Administration Central Arizona Project-Rate Order No. WAPA–158 Western Area Power Administration, DOE. ACTION: Notice of Proposed Extension of Transmission Formula Rates. AGENCY: The Western Area Power Administration (Western), a power marketing administration with the Department of Energy (DOE), is proposing to extend the existing formula rates for Central Arizona Project (CAP) transmission services on the CAP 115kilovolt (kV) and 230-kV transmission facilities through December 31, 2015. The existing Transmission Service Formula Rate Schedules CAP–FT2, CAP–NFT2, and CAP–NITS2, expire December 31, 2012. This notice of proposed extension of rates is issued pursuant to 10 CFR 903.23(a). Publication of this Federal Register notice begins the formal process for the proposed extension of the CAP Transmission Formula Rates. DATES: The consultation and comment period will end on September 6, 2012. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 6 Estimated number of hours an employee works each year. 7 Estimated average annual cost (salary plus benefits) per employee. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:52 Aug 06, 2012 Jkt 226001 Western will accept oral and written comments any time during the consultation and comment period. In accordance with 10 CFR 903.23(a), Western has determined it is not necessary to hold a public information or public comment forum. ADDRESSES: Send written comments to: Deborah Emler, Acting Regional Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005–6457, email EMLER@wapa.gov. Written comments may also be faxed to (602) 605–2490, attention: Jack Murray. Western will post official comments received via letter, fax and email to its Web site at http://www.wapa.gov/dsw/pwrmkt/ CAPTRP/CAPTRP.htm after the close of the comment period. Western must receive written comments by the end of the consultation and comment period to ensure they are considered in Western’s decision process. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Jack Murray, Rates Manager, Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, Western Area Power Administration, P.O. Box 6457, Phoenix, AZ 85005–6457, (602) 605– 2442, email jmurray@wapa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By Delegation Order No. 00–037.00, effective December 6, 2001, the Secretary of Energy delegated: (1) The authority to develop power and transmission rates to the Administrator of Western; (2) the authority to confirm, approve, and place such rates into effect on an interim basis to the Deputy Secretary of Energy; and (3) the authority to confirm, approve, and place into effect on a final basis, to remand, or to disapprove such rates to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The existing Rate Schedules consist of separate transmission service rates for firm point-to-point transmission service, non-firm point-to-point transmission service, and Network Integration Transmission Service (NITS) on the CAP 115-kV and 230-kV transmission system. Rate Schedules CAP–FT2, CAP– NFT2, CAP–NITS2, Rate Order No. WAPA–124,1 were approved for a 5-year period beginning on January 1, 2006, and ending December 31, 2010. Rate Order No. WAPA–153 2 extended these rate schedules for a 2-year period, 1 FERC confirmed and approved Rate Order No. WAPA–124 on June 29, 2006, in Docket No. EF06– 5111–000. See Order Confirming and Approving Rate Schedules on a Final Basis, 115 FERC ¶ 62,326. 2 76 FR 548 (January 5, 2011). PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47065 beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2012. The existing formula transmission service rates provide adequate revenue to pay all annual costs, including interest expense, and to repay investment on the CAP 115-kV and 230kV transmission facilities within the allowable periods. The rates are updated annually using updated financial and transmission reservation data. Western is proposing no change at this time to the rate formula, and based on preliminary financial and contractual information available, it is expected the rate will remain at its current level through calendar year 2013. Since no changes are anticipated to the formula rate, and the existing rate provides sufficient revenue to recover all appropriate costs, Western proposes to extend the current rate schedules pursuant to 10 CFR 903.23(a). All documents made or kept by Western for developing the proposed extension for the Transmission Service Rate Schedules are available for inspection and copying at the Desert Southwest Customer Service Regional Office, Western Area Power Administration, 615 South 43rd Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85005–6457. These documents are also available on Western’s Web site at: http://www.wapa. gov/dsw/pwrmkt/CAPTRP/ CAPTRP.htm. After review of public comments, Western will take further action on the proposed extension of rates consistent with 10 CFR part 903. Dated: July 31, 2012. Anthony H. Montoya, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2012–19234 Filed 8–6–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL–9712–7] Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Construction Activities Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice of corrections to the 2012 Construction General Permit. AGENCY: EPA previously announced the issuance of the NPDES general permit for stormwater discharges from construction activity, also referred to as the 2012 Construction General Permit (2012 CGP), in the February 29, 2012 Federal Register. Today’s action SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07AUN1.SGM 07AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 152 (Tuesday, August 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47063-47065]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-19279]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. AD12-2-000]


Notice of Availability of Draft Revisions; Upland Erosion 
Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan; Wetland and Waterbody 
Construction and Mitigation Procedures; Request for Comments

    The staff of the Office of Energy Projects is revising its Upland 
Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Maintenance Plan (Plan) and Wetland 
and Waterbody Construction and Mitigation Procedures (Procedures), last 
updated January 17, 2003. In accordance with Order 603,\1\ the staff is 
asking for comments on the draft revisions from the natural gas 
industry, federal, state and local agencies, environmental consultants, 
inspectors, construction contractors, and other interested parties with 
special expertise with respect to environmental issues commonly 
associated with pipeline projects. Please note that this comment period 
will close on October 9, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Revision of Existing Regulations Under Part 157 and Related 
Sections of the Commission's Regulations Under the Natural Gas Act, 
Commission Order No. 603, Docket No. RM98-9-000, issued April 29, 
1999. Noticed in the Federal Register on May 14, 1999. 64 FR 26572.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Plan and Procedures are referred to at 18 Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR) 380.12(i)(5) and 380.12(d)(2), respectively, as well 
as 18 CFR 157.206(b)(3)(iv). The Plan and Procedures identify the 
staff's baseline mitigation measures for minimizing erosion and 
enhancing revegetation in uplands and the extent and duration of 
project-related disturbance on wetlands and waterbodies. Attached to 
this notice are full texts of the draft revisions, identifying all 
proposed changes from the current versions of the Plan and Procedures 
in tracked changes format \2\. The draft revisions can also be viewed 
on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) Web 
site at http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/guidelines.asp.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ The attachments referenced in this notice will not appear in 
the Federal Register.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The staff announced its intention to revise the Plan and Procedures 
by public notice issued October 31, 2011, in the above referenced 
docket. The proposed revisions address comments filed in response to 
the public notice, frequent inquiries for clarification or guidance, 
and common variance requests. Other modifications provide necessary 
updates to reflect current laws and industry best management practices.
    We will consider all timely comments on the draft revisions before 
issuing the final versions. For your convenience, there are three 
methods you can use to submit your comments to the Commission. In all 
instances, please reference the docket number (AD12-2-000) with your 
submission. The Commission encourages electronic filing of comments and 
has expert eFiling staff available to assist you at (202) 502-8258 or 
efiling@ferc.gov. Please include your name and email address so we can 
include you in future notices regarding our planned revisions.
    (1) You may file your comments electronically by using the eComment 
feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at www.ferc.gov 
under the link to Documents and Filings. An eComment is an easy method 
for interested persons to submit brief, text-only comments;
    (2) You may file your comments electronically by using the eFiling 
feature, which is located on the Commission's Web site at www.ferc.gov 
under the link to Documents and Filings. With eFiling you can provide 
comments in a variety of formats by attaching them as a file with your 
submission. New eFiling users must first create an account by clicking 
on ``eRegister.'' You will be asked to select the type of filing you 
are making. A comment in response to this notice is considered a 
``Comment on a Filing''; or
    (3) You may file a paper copy of your comments at the following 
address:
    Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 
888 First Street NE., Room 1A, Washington, DC 20426.
    All of the information related to the proposed revisions to the 
Plan and Procedures and submitted comments can be found on the FERC Web 
site (www.ferc.gov) using the eLibrary link. Click on the eLibrary 
link, click on ``General Search'' and enter the docket number, 
excluding the last three digits in the Docket Number field (i.e., AD12-
2). Be sure you have selected an appropriate date range. For 
assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at 
FercOnlineSupport@ferc.gov or toll free at (866) 208-3676, or for TTY, 
contact (202) 502-8659. The eLibrary link also provides access to the 
texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, 
notices, and rulemakings.
    In addition, the Commission offers a free service called 
eSubscription which allows you to keep track of all formal issuances 
and submittals in specific dockets. This can reduce the amount of time 
you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with 
notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to 
the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/esubscribenow.htm.

Information Collection Statement

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations require OMB 
approval of certain reporting, record keeping, and public disclosure 
requirements (collections of information) imposed by an agency \3\. To 
ensure compliance with OMB's regulations implementing the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 \4\, the Office of Energy Project's staff is 
providing notice of potential modifications to information collections 
from jurisdictional natural gas companies, and is requesting comments 
on information collection and reporting burden. Burden includes the 
total time, effort, or financial resources expended to generate, 
maintain, retain, disclose, or provide the information to the 
Commission and any applicable third parties.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ 5 CFR Part 1320.
    \4\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments in consideration of the collection of information should 
be submitted following the guidelines described on page 2 of this 
notice, and should reference OMB Control No. 1902-0060 in addition to 
Docket No. AD12-2-000. Comments regarding information collection 
requirements should focus on whether the information will have 
practical utility; the accuracy of burden estimates (provided below); 
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; and any suggested methods for minimizing the respondent's 
burden, including the use of automated information techniques. 
Following the comment period, the Commission staff will submit the 
final revised Plan and Procedure documents to OMB for review of the 
information collection requirements.
    The information collection requirements described in the current 
versions of the Plan and Procedures are approved by OMB via FERC-537, 
``Gas Pipeline Certificates: Construction, Acquisition, and 
Abandonment'' (OMB Control No. 1902-0060), which is used by the 
Commission to implement the

[[Page 47064]]

statutory provisions of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA), 15 
U.S.C. 3301-3432, and the Natural Gas Act (NGA) (15 U.S.C. 717-717w). 
The information collected per FERC-537 is necessary to certificate 
interstate pipelines engaged in the transportation and sale of natural 
gas, and the construction, acquisition, and operation of facilities to 
be used in those activities, to authorize the abandonment of facilities 
and services, and to authorize certain NGPA transactions.
    The draft Plan and Procedure revisions identified in this notice 
are primarily modifications and clarifications to the content of 
information collections required by the current versions. For example, 
revisions to Plan sections III.H., III.I., and VII.B.2. clarify staff's 
expectations for the content of blasting plans, winter construction 
plans, and quarterly activity reports, respectively. Draft revisions to 
Plan section III.F.3. regarding agency consultations on wildlife and 
livestock, standardize a best management practice and staff 
expectation. A draft revision to Procedure section VI.D.3. modifies the 
wetland revegetation success criteria used for monitoring and 
reporting. Such revisions do not constitute entirely new information 
collections; however, the proposed revisions could increase reporting 
burden by adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously 
applicable instructions and requirements; training personnel to respond 
to a modified collection of information; and completing and reviewing 
such collections.
    Draft revisions would reduce reporting burden on jurisdictional 
natural gas companies by providing guidance that is frequently 
requested during report preparations; directions to provide information 
that frequently results in data requests; and improved flexibility to 
reduce variance requests for construction practices the staff has 
determined are acceptable. For example, frequently requested guidance 
on beneficial reuse of construction materials is provided in revised 
Plan sections II.B.17. and III.E. Identification of baseline 
expectations for residential construction practices is provided in 
revised Plan section III.G. Variance requests would be reduced via 
revisions to Procedures section V.B.3.g. that address construction 
through waterbodies that are dry or frozen, and VI.B.2.f. that address 
burning of woody debris in wetlands. Additionally, proposed revisions 
to Procedure sections V.B.2.b. and VI.B.1.b. would reduce reporting 
burden on jurisdictional entities, permitting detailed justifications 
for reduced setbacks at waterbodies and wetlands.
    Revised terminology is proposed in order to be inclusive of prior 
notice, advanced notice, and automatic authorization projects to 
address the wider net of project types subject to Plan and Procedure 
requirements. The revisions clarify applicability for projects 
constructed under the Commission's blanket certificate program (18 CFR 
Part157, Subpart F) and construction of facilities for transportation 
services under the NGPA section 311 (18 CFR Part 284, Subpart A). These 
clarifications would improve the efficiency of the environmental review 
process, and reduce labor hours required of jurisdictional natural gas 
companies to prepare complete reports.
    Entirely new information collection requirements are limited. A new 
record retention requirement is proposed regarding drainage system 
repairs or improvements (see draft revised Plan section VII.B.1.e.). In 
addition, a new annual report is proposed for affected wetlands that do 
not successfully revegetate within three years after construction (see 
draft revised Procedure section VI.D.4.). We expect this revision to 
result in a minor increase in reporting burden due to the low incidence 
of wetland revegetation failure; we estimate less than 10 percent of 
affected wetlands on an annual basis. In addition, our experience 
indicates that the cause of failure in many cases is anthropogenic 
activities that would negate the need for further monitoring and 
remediation by the project sponsors.
    Additional filings for blanket certificate prior notice projects 
would also be required (see revised ``Applicability'' discussions in 
sections I. of the Plan and Procedures). Such filings include winter 
construction plans noted in revised Plan section III.I., and the pre-
construction filings noted in section II. of the Procedures (i.e., 
hydrostatic testing information, waterbody crossing schedules, spill 
prevention and response procedures, plans for major waterbody 
crossings, horizontal directional drill crossings, and justifications 
for any alternative measures). This would not reflect an entirely new 
reporting burden however, as this information is typically requested by 
staff during review of these projects to ensure compliance with blanket 
certificate standard conditions in 18 CFR 157.206.
    Overall, in consideration of the proposed revisions to reporting 
requirements and the increased efficiency that would realized during 
the environmental review process, we expect the net effect of the 
proposed Plan and Procedure revisions to constitute a minor increase in 
information collection burden.

Burden Estimate

    The estimate below is based on workload completion data prepared by 
FERC's Division of Gas--Environment and Engineering for fiscal year 
2011. Respondents include companies that filed project applications 
under NGA Section 7, blanket certificate prior notice filings and 
annual reports, and NGPA 311 advanced notification filings and annual 
reports.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ NGA 7, Blanket Certificate, and NGPA 311 filings. Filings 
were excluded if they qualified as categorical exclusions under the 
National Environmental Policy Act or were otherwise categorized as 
``environment not involved.'' These types of projects would not be 
subject to the environmental requirements of the Plan and Procedures 
and thus would not be affected by changes to information 
collections.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Average change   Total annual
                                                                      Average       in  burden       change in
Proposed modification to FERC-537, OMB      Average number of        number of      hours  per     burden hours
         Control No. 1902-0060            respondents annually      filings per       filing          for all
                                                                     year \5\        (rounded)     filings types
                                        ........................             (a)             (b)         (a x b)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upland Plan...........................  81 Natural Gas Companies             113             6.1             681
Wetland and Waterbody Procedures......  81 Natural Gas Companies             113            -3.8            -428
                                       -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand Total.......................                            ..............  ..............             253
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 47065]]

    Information Collection Costs: The Commission staff seeks comments 
on the costs to comply with the proposed revisions to the Plan and 
Procedures. The total estimated annual cost burden to prepare new or 
modified information collections based on the proposed Plan and 
Procedure revisions is $17,459.43 (253 hours/2,080 hours \6\ per year, 
times $143,540 \7\).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Estimated number of hours an employee works each year.
    \7\ Estimated average annual cost (salary plus benefits) per 
employee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We expect the estimated burden would reduce in subsequent years, as 
companies adjust to the modified information collections and have 
trained their personnel to collect information per the revised Plan and 
Procedures.
    Interested persons may obtain additional information on the OMB 
process and information collection statement by contacting Ellen Brown, 
Office of the Executive Director, via email at DataClearance@ferc.gov; 
by phone (202) 502-8663, or facsimile (202) 273-0973.

    Dated: July 31, 2012.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2012-19279 Filed 8-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P