Water Quality Certification Regulations (Proposed Rule)

ICR 202206-2040-001

OMB: 2040-0295

Federal Form Document

Forms and Documents
Supporting Statement A
IC Document Collections
ICR Details
2040-0295 202206-2040-001
Received in OIRA 202007-2040-001
EPA/OW 2603.06
Water Quality Certification Regulations (Proposed Rule)
Revision of a currently approved collection   No
Regular 06/14/2022
  Requested Previously Approved
36 Months From Approved 07/31/2023
154,006 194,000
861,274 931,000
7,466 8,000,000

The information collected under section 401 is used by certifying authorities and EPA to evaluate potential water quality impacts from federally licensed or permitted projects. When states or tribes with TAS act as the certifying authority, the primary collection of this information is performed by the Federal agencies issuing the licenses or permits or the states and tribes acting as certifying authorities. When EPA acts as the certifying authority or evaluates potential neighboring jurisdiction impacts, the information is collected by EPA. Information collected directly by EPA under section 401 in support of the section 402 NPDES program is already captured under existing ICR No. 0229.255 (OMB Control No. 2040-0004). The information collected under section 518(e) is used by EPA to determine whether a tribe is eligible for TAS for section 401 or section 401(a)(2). Information collected directly by EPA under section 518(e) in support of the process for tribes to obtain TAS for CWA section 303(c) and section 401 simultaneously is already captured under existing ICR No. 0988.14 (OMB Control No. 2040-0049). The proposed revisions clarify the nature of the information project proponents must include in a request for section 401 certification. They also contain a pre-filing meeting request requirement for project proponents which may be waived or shortened by a certifying authority. The proposed revisions also provide tribes with the ability to obtain TAS solely for either section 401 or section 401(a)(2). Total annual burden for respondents (project proponents and certifying authorities and tribes applying for TAS) are anticipated to be 861,274 hours with the associated annual labor costs being approximately $47 million. EPA expects that these proposed revisions will provide additional transparency in the certification modification and section 401(a)(2) contexts. EPA expects these proposed revisions to provide greater clarity regarding section 401 requirements, to reduce the overall preparation time spent by a project proponent on certification requests, and to reduce the review time for certifying authorities. EPA solicits comment on whether there are ways it can increase clarity, reduce the information collection burden, or improve the quality or utility of the information collected, or the information collection process itself, in furtherance of goals and requirements of section 401.

US Code: 33 USC 1341 Name of Law: Clean Water Act

2040-AG12 Proposed rulemaking 87 FR 35318 06/09/2022


IC Title Form No. Form Name
Certifying Authorities
Project Proponents
Tribes obtaining TAS

  Total Request Previously Approved Change Due to New Statute Change Due to Agency Discretion Change Due to Adjustment in Estimate Change Due to Potential Violation of the PRA
Annual Number of Responses 154,006 194,000 0 6 -40,000 0
Annual Time Burden (Hours) 861,274 931,000 0 774 -70,500 0
Annual Cost Burden (Dollars) 7,466 8,000,000 0 7,466 -8,000,000 0
Changing Regulations
There is a decrease in the estimated burden, number of respondents, and number of responses when compared to the estimates presented in the existing collection. These changes are due to refinements in how the estimates are calculated in addition to: (1) a decrease in the average number of annual licenses and permits issued that are used in the low estimate (56,700 as reported in Table 1 vs. 63,000 in the existing collection) and (2) a decrease in the high estimate of annual certification requests (97,000 as reported in Table 2 and Table 5 vs. 131,000 in the existing collection) from incorporating values provided in pre-proposal input letters. EPA reviewed pre-proposal input letters to compile suitable data for the number of responses and burden per response, where appropriate. The previous ICR for this collection (2603.05) included an estimate of $8M in average annual non-labor costs for the CWA section 401 fees that project proponents pay to certifying authorities when submitting certification requests. Upon further consideration, the Agency determined that CWA section 401 fees represent a transfer from project proponents to certifying authorities that should not be attributed to this collection as respondent costs. That cost has therefore been removed in this ICR.

Lauren Kasparek 202 564-3351 [email protected]


On behalf of this Federal agency, I certify that the collection of information encompassed by this request complies with 5 CFR 1320.9 and the related provisions of 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3).
The following is a summary of the topics, regarding the proposed collection of information, that the certification covers:
    (i) Why the information is being collected;
    (ii) Use of information;
    (iii) Burden estimate;
    (iv) Nature of response (voluntary, required for a benefit, or mandatory);
    (v) Nature and extent of confidentiality; and
    (vi) Need to display currently valid OMB control number;
If you are unable to certify compliance with any of these provisions, identify the item by leaving the box unchecked and explain the reason in the Supporting Statement.

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