Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Confidentiality Rules (Renewal), 31185-31186 [2020-11067]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Notices replace the recommended numeric nutrient criteria of 2000 and 2001. These draft models and associated recommended criteria are provided in accordance with the provisions of Section 304(a) of the CWA for the EPA to revise ambient water quality criteria from time to time to reflect the latest scientific knowledge. CWA Section 304(a) national water quality criteria serve only as non-binding recommendations to states and authorized tribes in defining ambient water concentrations that will protect against adverse effects to aquatic life and human health. The ecological responses on which these draft models and criteria are based were selected by applying a risk assessment approach to explicitly link nutrient concentrations to the protection of designated uses. The draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for lakes and reservoirs are based on the available data from the EPA’s National Lakes Assessment (NLA) survey. The NLA surveys are carried out under the EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Survey program, which conducts water quality and biological surveys of the Nation’s surface waters in partnerships with state and authorized tribal water quality monitoring programs (https:// www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resourcesurveys). The NLA surveys were designed using random sampling of lakes and reservoirs across the United States, and as a result, the data generated represent the characteristics of the full population of United States lakes and reservoirs. The NLA surveys were implemented using standardized field sampling and analytical methods, with internal oversight and independent quality control surveillance yielding data of high quality and statistical rigor. The stressor-response models used in generating the draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations are based on previously published EPA technical guidance (U.S. EPA 2010, Using stressor-response relationships to derive numeric nutrient criteria, Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA–820–S– 10–001), as well as scientific peerreviewed statistical and modeling techniques. Models provided in the draft recommended criteria document are based on national data, but states and authorized tribes may have additional data collected during routine monitoring. Incorporating these local data into the national models can refine and improve the precision of the estimates of the stressor-response relationships. In the appendices of the draft criteria document, the EPA describes case studies in which state VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 monitoring data have been combined with national data, yielding models that can be used to derive numeric nutrient criteria that account for both unique local conditions and national, largescale trends. IV. What are CWA Section 304(a) recommended water quality criteria? CWA Section 304(a) water quality criteria are non-binding recommendations developed by the EPA under authority of Section 304(a) of the CWA based on the latest scientific information on the effect that pollutant concentrations have on aquatic species, recreation, and/or human health. Section 304(a)(1) of the CWA directs the EPA to develop, publish, and, from time to time, revise criteria for water quality accurately reflecting the latest scientific knowledge. Water quality criteria developed under CWA Section 304(a) are based on data and scientific judgments on the relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and human health effects. CWA Section 304(a) recommended criteria do not reflect consideration of economic impacts or the technological feasibility of meeting pollutant concentrations in ambient water. CWA Section 304(a) recommended criteria provide non-binding guidance to states and authorized tribes in adopting water quality standards that ultimately provide a basis for controlling discharges of pollutants. Under the CWA and its implementing regulations, states and authorized tribes are to adopt water quality criteria to protect designated uses (e.g., aquatic life, recreational use). The EPA’s water quality criteria recommendations are not regulations and do not constitute legally binding requirements. States and authorized tribes may adopt other scientifically defensible water quality criteria that differ from these recommendations. The CWA and its implementing regulations require that any new or revised water quality standards adopted by the states and authorized tribes be scientifically defensible and protective of the designated uses of the bodies of water. States and authorized tribes have the flexibility to do this by adopting criteria based on (1) the EPA’s recommended criteria, (2) the EPA’s criteria modified to reflect site-specific conditions, or (3) other scientifically defensible methods. PO 00000 31185 V. Use of the Ambient Water Quality Criteria Recommendations for Lakes and Reservoirs by States and Authorized Tribes The EPA is publishing the draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for lakes and reservoirs for consideration by states and authorized tribes as they develop numeric nutrient criteria to protect aquatic life, recreation, and drinking water sources from nutrient pollution. States and authorized tribes could consider using the recommendations, once final, as an alternative to or as a supplement of other water quality data and scientifically defensible approaches. States and authorized tribes may also modify the criteria to reflect site-specific conditions or establish criteria based on other scientifically defensible methods (40 CFR 131.11(b)). When finalized, these updated CWA Section 304(a) recommended nutrient criteria for lakes do not compel a state or authorized tribe to revise current EPA approved and adopted criteria, Total Maximum Daily Load nutrient load targets, or nitrogen or phosphorus numeric values established by other scientifically defensible methods. As part of their triennial review, if a state or authorized tribe uses its discretion to not adopt new or revised nutrient criteria based on these CWA Section 304(a) criteria models, then the state or authorized tribe shall provide an explanation when it submits the results of its triennial review (40 CFR 131.20(a)). VI. Solicitation of Scientific Views The EPA is soliciting public comment, including, but not limited to, additional scientific views, data, and information, regarding the science and technical approach used in the derivation of these draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for lakes and reservoirs. David P. Ross, Assistant Administrator, Office of Water. [FR Doc. 2020–11126 Filed 5–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OGC–2020–0020; FRL–10009–37– OMS] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Confidentiality Rules (Renewal) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AGENCY: Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\22MYN1.SGM 22MYN1 31186 ACTION: Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 100 / Friday, May 22, 2020 / Notices Notice. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an information collection request (ICR), Confidentiality Rules (EPA ICR Number 1665.14, OMB Control Number 2020– 0003) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through May 31, 2020. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on January 23, 2020 during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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: Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 22, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA– HQ–OGC–2020–0020, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our preferred method) or hq.foia@epa.gov. 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. Submit written comments and recommendations to OMB for the proposed information collection within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher T. Creech, National FOIA Office, Office of General Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency; telephone number: 202–564–4286; email address: creech.christopher@ epa.gov. 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. The telephone number for the Docket Center is 202– 566–1744. For additional information VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:07 May 21, 2020 Jkt 250001 about EPA’s public docket, visit http:// www.epa.gov/dockets. Abstract: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) established the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 2.201 et seq. ‘‘Confidentiality of Business Information’’ to establish rules to govern claims of confidential business information (CBI), i.e., the rules governing the handling by the Agency of business information which is or may be entitled to confidential treatment, determining whether such information is entitled to confidential treatment for reasons of business confidentiality and responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 for this information. Form Numbers: None. Respondents/affected entities: Respondents can potentially include any business that submitted to EPA information that may be claimed as CBI. Respondents can be entities in both the manufacturing (SIC codes 20–30) and non-manufacturing sectors (no SIC codes identified). Respondent’s obligation to respond: Voluntary and mandatory. Estimated number of respondents: 198 (total). Frequency of response: 1 response per respondent annually. Total estimated burden: 752.4 hours (per year). Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.03(b). Total estimated cost: $169,290.00 (per year), includes $0 annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs. Changes in the Estimates: The revised requests for substantiation will decrease the estimated burden hours for each response, although it increases the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR currently approved by OMB. The decrease is 2 hours for each business response; the increase is based on an expected higher response rate under the new form, producing an increase from 488 hours to 752 hours total. This decrease of hours spent are due to the removal of a question that required a company to describe, with specificity, the ‘‘substantial competitive harm’’ that would occur as a direct result of disclosing the information. EPA modified its substantiation questions because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media (Argus), 139 S. Ct. 2356 (2019), which evaluated the definition of ‘‘confidential’’ as used in Exemption 4 of the FOIA. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). In the Argus decision, the Court held that at least where ‘‘[1] commercial or financial information is both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner and [2] provided to PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the government under an assurance of privacy, the information is ’confidential’ within the meaning of Exemption 4.’’ Argus, 139 S. Ct. at 2366. EPA has reduced burdens to business submitters by removing the requirement to explain with specificity whatever ‘‘substantial competitive harm’’ a submitter claims would ensue from release of each CBI claim. The evaluation of ‘‘substantial competitive harm’’ had required businesses to analyze and describe the potential impacts of release. EPA has replaced that question with modified questions that require a factual description of the submitter’s handling and treatment of the CBI-claimed information, as well as a description of any assurances provided by EPA at the time of submission. This replacement will reduce the burden on companies since evaluation and analysis of ‘‘substantial competitive harm’’ is no longer required. Further, EPA reframed preexisting questions to solicit ‘‘yes’’ or ‘‘no’’ responses, which further reduces burdens on submitters. These modifications will result in greater clarity to business submitters and improved responses as the Agency completes its confidentiality determinations. The Agency anticipates that this lower burden on each response will increase the response rate from 21% in the prior analysis to 66% in the present analysis. EPA has already experienced an increase in response rate because of the Supreme Court’s decision and expects this change to continue under the new form. EPA also made other adjustments in its analysis including adjustments in the hourly costs for both the Agency and responding companies as well as removing a category of burden that was not relevant to EPA’s information request. Courtney Kerwin, Director, Regulatory Support Division. [FR Doc. 2020–11067 Filed 5–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560–50–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [EPA–HQ–OPP–2019–0356; FRL–10005–96– OMS] Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; School Integrated Pest Management Awards Program (Renewal) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\22MYN1.SGM 22MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 100 (Friday, May 22, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31185-31186]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-11067]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OGC-2020-0020; FRL-10009-37-OMS]


Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and 
Approval; Comment Request; Confidentiality Rules (Renewal)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

[[Page 31186]]


ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has submitted an 
information collection request (ICR), Confidentiality Rules (EPA ICR 
Number 1665.14, OMB Control Number 2020-0003) to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with 
the Paperwork Reduction Act. This is a proposed extension of the ICR, 
which is currently approved through May 31, 2020. Public comments were 
previously requested via the Federal Register on January 23, 2020 
during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 
days for public comments. A fuller description of the ICR is given 
below, including its estimated burden and cost to the public. 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: Additional comments may be submitted on or before June 22, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, referencing Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-
OGC-2020-0020, to (1) EPA online using www.regulations.gov (our 
preferred method) or [email protected]. 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.
    Submit written comments and recommendations to OMB for the proposed 
information collection within 30 days of publication of this notice to 
www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information 
collection by selecting ``Currently under 30-day Review--Open for 
Public Comments'' or by using the search function.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher T. Creech, National FOIA 
Office, Office of General Counsel, Environmental Protection Agency; 
telephone number: 202-564-4286; 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. 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.
    Abstract: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) 
established the requirements set forth in 40 CFR 2.201 et seq. 
``Confidentiality of Business Information'' to establish rules to 
govern claims of confidential business information (CBI), i.e., the 
rules governing the handling by the Agency of business information 
which is or may be entitled to confidential treatment, determining 
whether such information is entitled to confidential treatment for 
reasons of business confidentiality and responding to Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) requests pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 for this 
information.
    Form Numbers: None.
    Respondents/affected entities: Respondents can potentially include 
any business that submitted to EPA information that may be claimed as 
CBI. Respondents can be entities in both the manufacturing (SIC codes 
20-30) and non-manufacturing sectors (no SIC codes identified).
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Voluntary and mandatory.
    Estimated number of respondents: 198 (total).
    Frequency of response: 1 response per respondent annually.
    Total estimated burden: 752.4 hours (per year). Burden is defined 
at 5 CFR 1320.03(b).
    Total estimated cost: $169,290.00 (per year), includes $0 
annualized capital or operation & maintenance costs.
    Changes in the Estimates: The revised requests for substantiation 
will decrease the estimated burden hours for each response, although it 
increases the total estimated respondent burden compared with the ICR 
currently approved by OMB. The decrease is 2 hours for each business 
response; the increase is based on an expected higher response rate 
under the new form, producing an increase from 488 hours to 752 hours 
total. This decrease of hours spent are due to the removal of a 
question that required a company to describe, with specificity, the 
``substantial competitive harm'' that would occur as a direct result of 
disclosing the information.
    EPA modified its substantiation questions because of the U.S. 
Supreme Court's decision in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader 
Media (Argus), 139 S. Ct. 2356 (2019), which evaluated the definition 
of ``confidential'' as used in Exemption 4 of the FOIA. 5 U.S.C. 
552(b)(4). In the Argus decision, the Court held that at least where 
``[1] commercial or financial information is both customarily and 
actually treated as private by its owner and [2] provided to the 
government under an assurance of privacy, the information is 
'confidential' within the meaning of Exemption 4.'' Argus, 139 S. Ct. 
at 2366. EPA has reduced burdens to business submitters by removing the 
requirement to explain with specificity whatever ``substantial 
competitive harm'' a submitter claims would ensue from release of each 
CBI claim. The evaluation of ``substantial competitive harm'' had 
required businesses to analyze and describe the potential impacts of 
release. EPA has replaced that question with modified questions that 
require a factual description of the submitter's handling and treatment 
of the CBI-claimed information, as well as a description of any 
assurances provided by EPA at the time of submission. This replacement 
will reduce the burden on companies since evaluation and analysis of 
``substantial competitive harm'' is no longer required. Further, EPA 
reframed preexisting questions to solicit ``yes'' or ``no'' responses, 
which further reduces burdens on submitters. These modifications will 
result in greater clarity to business submitters and improved responses 
as the Agency completes its confidentiality determinations.
    The Agency anticipates that this lower burden on each response will 
increase the response rate from 21% in the prior analysis to 66% in the 
present analysis. EPA has already experienced an increase in response 
rate because of the Supreme Court's decision and expects this change to 
continue under the new form. EPA also made other adjustments in its 
analysis including adjustments in the hourly costs for both the Agency 
and responding companies as well as removing a category of burden that 
was not relevant to EPA's information request.

Courtney Kerwin,
Director, Regulatory Support Division.
[FR Doc. 2020-11067 Filed 5-21-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P