DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request
The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).
Agency:National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Title:Environmental Compliance Questionnaire for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Federal Financial Assistance Applicants.
OMB Control Number:0648-0538.
Type of Request:Regular submission (extension of a current information collection).
Number of Respondents:1,000.
Average Hours per Response:3.
Needs and Uses:This request is for extension of a currently approved information collection. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 through 4327) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) implementing regulations (40 CFR parts 1500 through 1508) require that an environmental analysis be completed for all major Federal actions significantly affecting the environment. NEPA applies only to the actions of Federal agencies. While those Federal actions may include a Federal agency's decision to fund non-Federal projects under grants and cooperative agreements, NEPA requires agencies to assess the environmental impacts of actions proposed to be taken by these recipients only when the Federal agency has sufficient discretion or control over the recipient's activities to deem those actions as Federal actions. To determine whether the activities of the recipient of a Federal financial assistance award (i.e., grant or cooperative agreement) involve sufficient Federal discretion or control, and to undertake the appropriate environmental analysis when NEPA is required, NOAA must assess information which can only be provided by the Federal financial assistance applicant. Thus, NOAA has developed an environmental information questionnaire to provide grantees and Federal grant managers with a simple tool to ensure that project and environmental information is obtained. The questionnaire applies only to those programs where actions are considered major Federal actions or to those where NOAA must determine if the action is a major Federal action. The questionnaire includes a list of questions that encompasses a broad range of subject areas. The applicants are not required to answer every question in the questionnaire. Each program draws from the comprehensive list of questions to create a relevant subset of questions for applicants to answer. The information provided in answers to the questionnaire is used by NOAA staff to determine compliance requirements for NEPA and conduct subsequent NEPA analysis as needed. The information provided in the questionnaire may also be used for other regulatory review requirements associated with the proposed project, such as permitting.