thefederalregister.com

Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission ("FTC" or "Commission").
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: The information collection requirements described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act ("PRA"). The FTC is seeking public comments on its proposal to extend through February 28, 2010 the current PRA clearance for information collection requirements contained in its Alternative Fuel Rule. That clearance expires on February 28, 2007.
DATES: Comments must be filed by February 23, 2007.
ADDRESSES: 1Commission Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest.SeeCommission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by following the instructions on the Web-based form athttps://secure.commentworks.com/AlternativeFuelRule. To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the Web-based form at thehttps://secure.commentworks.com/AlternativeFuelRuleWeblink. If this notice appears atwww.regulations.gov,you may also file an electronic comment through that Web site. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it.

All comments should additionally be submitted to:Office of Management and Budget,Attention:Desk Officer for the Federal Trade Commission. Comments should be submitted via facsimile to (202) 395-6974 because U.S. Postal Mail is subject to lengthy delays due to heightened security precautions.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments will be considered by the Commission and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, athttp://www.ftc.gov.As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy athttp://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for copies of the collection of information and supporting documentation should be addressed to Hampton Newsome, Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., NJ-2122, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2889.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On September 22, 2006, the FTC sought comment on the information collection requirements associated with the Alternative Fuel Rule (“Rule”), 16 CFR part 309 (Control Number: 3084-0094). See 71 FR 55474. No comments were received. Pursuant to the OMB regulations, 5 CFR Part 1320, that implement the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, the FTC is providing this secondopportunity for public comment while seeking OMB approval to extend the existing paperwork clearance for the Rule. All comments should be filed as prescribed in theADDRESSESsection above, and must be received on or before February 23, 2007.

The Rule, which implements the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Pub. L. 102-486, requires disclosure of specific information on labels posted on fuel dispensers for non-liquid alternative fuels and on labels on Alternative Fueled Vehicles (AFVs). To ensure the accuracy of these disclosures, the Rule also requires that sellers maintain records substantiating product-specific disclosures they include on these labels.

Burden Statement

It is common practice for alternative fuel industry members to determine and monitor fuel ratings in the normal course of their business activities. This is because industry members must know and determine the fuel ratings of their products in order to monitor quality and to decide how to market them. “Burden” for PRA purposes is defined to exclude effort that would be expended regardless of any regulatory requirement. 5 CFR 1320.2(b)(2). Moreover, as originally anticipated when the Rule was promulgated in 1995, many of the information collection requirements and the originally-estimated hours were associated with one-time start up tasks of implementing standard systems and processes.

Other factors also limit the burden associated with the Rule. Certification may be a one-time event or require only infrequent revision. Disclosures on electric vehicle fuel dispensing systems may be useable for several years.2 Nonetheless, there is still some burden associated with posting labels. There also will be some minimal burden associated with new or revised certification of fuel ratings and recordkeeping. The burden on vehicle manufacturers is limited because only newly-manufactured vehicles will require label posting and manufacturers produce very few new models each year.

2Label specifications were designed to produce labels to withstand the elements for several years.

Estimated total annual hours burden:24,000 total burden hours, rounded

Non-liquid alternative fuels:

Certification:Staff estimates that the Rule's fuel rating certification requirements will affect approximately 550 industry members (compressed natural gas producers and distributors and manufacturers of electric vehicle fuel dispensing systems) and consume approximately one hour each per year for a total of 550 hours.

Recordkeeping:Staff estimates that all 1,900 industry members (non-liquid fuel producers, distributors, and retailers) will be subject to the Rule's recordkeeping requirements (associated with fuel rating certification) and that compliance will require approximately one-tenth hour each per year for a total of 190 hours.

Labeling:Staff estimates that labeling requirements will affect approximately nine of every ten industry members (or roughly 1,700 members), but that the number of annually affected members is only 340 because labels may remain effective for several years (staff assumes that in any given year approximately 20% of 1,700 industry members will need to replace their labels). Staff estimates that industry members require approximately one hour each per year for labeling their fuel dispensers for a total of 340 hours.

Sub-total: 1,080 hours (550 + 190 + 340).

AFV manufacturers:

Recordkeeping:Staff estimates that all 58 manufacturers will require 30 minutes to comply with the Rule's recordkeeping requirements for a total of 29 hours.

Producing labels:Staff estimates 2.5 hours as the average time required of manufacturers to produce labels for each of the five new AFV models introduced industry-wide each year for a total of 12.5 hours.

Posting labels:Staff estimates 2 minutes as the average time to comply with the posting requirements for each of the approximately 680,000 new AFVs manufactured each year for a total of 22,667 hours.

Sub-total: 22,709 hours (29 + 12.5 + 22,667).

Thus, the total burden for these industries combined is approximately 24,000 hours (1,080 + 22,709), rounded.

Estimated labor costs: $698,000, rounded.

Labor costs are derived by applying appropriate hourly cost figures to the burden hours described above. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2005 (most recent available whole-year information), the average compensation for producers and distributors in the fuel industry is $19.34 per hour and $9.13 per hour for service station employees; the average compensation for workers in the vehicle industry is $29.90 per hour.

Non-liquid alternative fuels:

Certification and labeling:Generally, all of the estimated hours except for recordkeeping will be performed by producers and distributors of fuels. Thus, the associated labor costs would be $17,212.60. [(550 certification hours + 340 labeling hours) × $19.34]

Recordkeeping:Only1/6of the total 190 recordkeeping hours will be performed by the producers and distributors of fuels (1/6of 190 hours = approximately 32 hours; 32 hours × $19.34 = $618.88); the other5/6is attributable to service station employees (5/6of 190 hours = approximately 158 hours; 158 hours × $9.13 = $1,442.54). Thus, the labor cost due to recordkeeping for the entire industry is approximately $2,061.42 ($618.88 for producers and distributors of fuels + $1,442.54 for service station employees) and the total paperwork related labor cost for the entire industry is approximately $19,274.02 ($17,212.60 for certification and labeling costs + $2,061.42 for recordkeeping costs).

AFV manufacturers:

The maximum labor cost for the entire industry is approximately $678,999.10 per year for recordkeeping and producing and posting labels (22,709 total hours × $29.90/hour).

Thus, the estimated total labor cost for both industries for all paperwork requirements is $698,000 ($19,274.02 + $678,999.10) per year, rounded.

Estimated annual non-labor cost burden: $259,000 rounded.

Non-liquid alternative fuels:

Staff believes that there are no current start-up costs associated with the Rule, inasmuch as the Rule has been effective since 1995. Industry members, therefore, have in place the capital equipment and means necessary to determine automotive fuel ratings and comply with the Rule. Industry members, however, incur the cost of procuring fuel dispenser and AFV labels to comply with the Rule. The estimated annual fuel labeling cost, based on estimates of 540 fuel dispensers (assumptions: an estimated 20% of 1,350 total fuel retailers need to replace labels in any given year given an approximate five-year life for labels—i.e., 270 retailers—multiplied by an average of two dispensers per retailer) at thirty-eight cents for each label (per industry sources), is $205.00 ($0.38 × 540).

AFV manufacturers:

Here, too, staff believes that there are no current start-up costs associated with the Rule, for the same reasons as stated immediately above regarding the non-liquid alternative fuel industry. However, based on the labeling of an estimated 680,000 new and used AFVs each year at thirty-eight cents for each label (per industry sources), the annualAFV labeling cost is estimated to be $258,400 ($0.38 × 680,000).

Thus, the estimated total annual non-labor cost burden associated with the Rule is $259,000 ($205 + $258,400), rounded.

William Blumenthal, General Counsel.