Today the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a 60-day information collection request (ICR) renewal notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 18828-18831) for eleven separate existing ICRs. While the limited information provided in this notice would seem to indicate that there are no changes from the currently approved versions of these ICR, there is something odd going on with one of the ICRs.
The eleven ICRs are listed in the table below. The link in the title of the ICR is to its appearance in this notice and the link in the RIN is to the currently approved ICR.
The odd thing about the Approval for Hazardous Material ICR is that earlier this month PHMSA submitted an ICR revision request to OIRA for the ICR. That ICR revision was to support a final rule published by PHMSA on March 30th, 2017. That rulemaking simply reports that there are expected to be an additional 3,600 responses and an increase of 1,800 hours in the burden required by this new rule. A more detailed accounting of that change can be found in the supporting document [.DOC download] that was sent to OIRA earlier this month.
What seems likely is that whomever was responsible for crafting this ICR notice for PHMSA just copied the previous 60-day ICR notice submitted three years ago, made some cosmetic changes for dates and then submitted the revised document to OIRA. And I suspect that too many ICR renewals suffer the same problem; someone just going through the motions. It makes a mockery of the requirement for agencies to submit, and OMB approve, these ICRs to ensure that the regulated public is not unnecessarily burdened by the data collection demands of the Federal government.
At the very least, PHMSA needs to stop this ICR renewal and publish a new 60-day ICR notice without including the Approval for Hazardous Material ICR.
PHMSA is soliciting public comments on this ICR notice. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (www.Regulations.gov; PHMSA-2017-0018) I will be submitting a copy of this post as a comment.