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E-M:/ Great Lakes Water Quality Guidance Info Request

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

[Federal Register: April 24, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 79)]
[Page 20654-20655]
 >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]




Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection;
Comment Request; Information Collection Request National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System for the Water Quality Guidance for the
Great Lakes System

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501
et seq.), this notice announces that EPA is planning to submit the
following continuing Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office
of Management and Budget (OMB): Information Collection Request National
Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Great Lakes Water Quality
Guidance (EPA ICR Number 1639.03; OMB Control Number 2040-0180;
expiration date September 30, 2001). 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 June 25, 2001.

ADDRESSES: An original and four copies of comments should be submitted
to Mark Morris (4301), U.S. EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460. This ICR concerning the Water Quality
Guidance for the Great Lakes System is available upon request by
contacting Mark Morris (4301), U.S. EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200
Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460, (202) 260-0312. The ICR
is also available for inspection and copying at U.S. EPA Region 5, 77
West Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604 by appointment only. Appointments
may be made by calling Mery Willis Jackson (telephone 312-886-3717).

Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460 (202-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Affected entities: Entities potentially
affected by today's action are those discharging pollutants to waters
of the United States in the Great Lakes System. Potentially affected
categories and entities include:

                                              Examples of potentially
                 Category                        affected entities
Industry...............................  Industries discharging toxic
                                           pollutants to waters in the
                                           Great Lakes System as defined
                                           in 40 CFR 132.2.
Municipalities.........................  Publicly-owned treatment works
                                           discharging toxic pollutants
                                           to waters of the Great Lakes
                                           System as defined in 40 CFR

     This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a
guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by the final
Water Quality Guidance for the Great Lakes System (the Guidance). This
table lists the types of entities that EPA is now aware could
potentially be affected by this action. Other types of entities not
listed in the table could also be affected. To determine whether your
facility may be affected by this rule, you should examine the
definition of ``Great Lakes System'' in 40 CFR 132.2 and examine 40 CFR
part 132 which describes the purpose of water quality standards and
implementation procedures. If you have any questions regarding the
applicability of this action to a particular entity, consult the person
listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
     Title: Information Collection Request National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System Great Lakes Water Quality Guidance (OMB Control No.
2040-0180; EPA ICR No.1639.03) expiring September 30, 2001.
     Abstract: The primary objective of the Clean Water Act (CWA) is
``to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological
integrity of the nation's waters'' (section 101(a)). CWA section 402
establishes the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
permit program to regulate the discharge of any pollutant or
combination of pollutants from point sources into the waters of the
United States. CWA section 402(a), as amended, authorizes the EPA
Administrator to issue permits for the discharge of pollutants if those
discharges meet the following requirements:
      All applicable requirements of CWA sections 301, 302, 306,
307, 308, and 403; and

[[Page 20655]]

      Any conditions the Administrator determines are necessary
to carry out the provisions and objectives of the CWA.
     Section 101 of the Great Lakes Critical Programs Act (CPA) amends
section 118 of the CWA and directs EPA to publish water quality
guidance for the Great Lakes System. Provisions of the Guidance are
codified in 40 CFR part 132. The Guidance establishes minimum water
quality criteria, implementation procedures, and antidegradation
provisions for the Great Lakes System.
     EPA and delegated NPDES permitting authorities may need point
source dischargers in the Great Lakes Basin to collect and submit
information for the following reasons:
      To implement methodologies for setting numerical water
quality criteria and values promulgated by States and Tribes for
pollutants in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes States will use the
methodologies consistent with the final Guidance when revising existing
or promulgating new water quality criteria.
      To evaluate requests for permit changes using
antidegradation policies and procedures consistent with the final
      To further the pollution prevention policy that focuses on
the virtual elimination of toxic discharges into the Great Lakes
      To translate provisions consistent with the elements of
the final Guidance into controls for point sources of pollutants.
      To identify the facilities that require additional permit
conditions (i.e., those that are discharging pollutants at levels of
concern into the Great Lakes System).
      To identify new pollutants in existing discharges.
      To evaluate water quality in the Great Lakes.
      To determine violations of State/Tribal provisions
consistent with the Guidance.
     Although the applicants collect and submit many types of
information, this information can be broadly categorized as
identification details (e.g., name, location, and facility description)
and as information related to pollutant discharges into the Great
     Permitting authorities currently require dischargers to provide
information such as the name, location, and description of facilities
to identify the facilities that require permits. EPA and authorized
NPDES States store much of this basic information in the Permit
Compliance System (PCS) database. PCS provides EPA with a nationwide
inventory of NPDES permit holders. EPA Headquarters uses the
information contained in the PCS to develop reports on permit issuance,
backlogs, and compliance rates. The Agency also uses the information to
respond to public and Congressional inquiries, develop and guide its
policies, formulate its budgets, assist States in acquiring authority
for permitting programs, and manage its programs to ensure national
consistency in permitting.
     NPDES permit applications and requests for supplemental information
currently require information about wastewater treatment systems,
pollutants, discharge rates and volumes, whole effluent toxicity
testing and other data. Additional information collection requirements
that may be necessary to implement State, Tribal, or EPA promulgated
provisions consistent with the final Guidance include:
      Monitoring (pollutant-specific and whole effluent toxicity
or WET);
      Pollutant minimization programs;
      Bioassays to support the development of water quality
      Antidegradation policy/demonstrations; and
      Regulatory relief options (e.g., variances from water
quality criteria).
     This information may be used to ensure compliance with provisions
consistent with the Guidance and re-evaluate existing permit conditions
and monitoring requirements. Data on discharges is entered into STORET
and PCS, EPA's databases for ambient water quality data and NPDES
permits, respectively. Results of water quality criteria testing will
be entered into an EPA Information Clearinghouse database.
     Permit applications may contain confidential business information.
If this is the case, the respondent may request that such information
be treated as confidential. All confidential data will be handled in
accordance with 40 CFR 122.7, 40 CFR part 2, and EPA's Security Manual
part III, chapter 9, dated August 9, 1976. However, CWA section 308(b)
specifically states that effluent data may not be treated as
confidential. No questions of a sensitive nature are associated with
this information 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. The OMB control numbers for EPA's
regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR chapter 15.
     The EPA would like to solicit comments to:
     (i) evaluate whether the continued 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 continued 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.
     Burden Statement: This ICR provides an estimate of the burden and
costs associated with implementation of the final Great Lakes Water
Quality Guidance. The total annual burden to all respondents is
estimated to be 43,395 hours with an associated cost of $5,011,802. The
total annual burden includes 5,886 hours that will be incurred by State
governments for a cost of $206,742. It also includes 37,509 hours that
will be incurred by the regulated community (including Publicly Owned
Treatment Works and industrial facilities) at a cost of $2,028,652 in
labor and $2,776,407 in operations and maintenance costs (contractor
     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;
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.

     Dated: April 11, 2001.
Geoffrey H. Grubbs,
Director, Office of Science and Technology.
[FR Doc. 01-10119 Filed 4-23-01; 8:45 am]

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        Email:  ajs@sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permits/Technical Review, Public Policy and
Communications on Air, Water and Waste Issues
and Community Environmental Protection

PO Box 39  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971 (voice); (517) 332-8987 (fax)

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