Notice and request for comments.
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) (PRA), the Department of Transportation (DOT) provides notice that it will submit an information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for emergency approval of a proposed information collection. Upon receiving the requested six-month emergency approval by OMB, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), U.S. Department of Transportation will follow the normal PRA procedures to obtain extended approval for this proposed information collection. This collection involves information on barrier failure reporting in oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), as referenced in recently issued Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), U.S. Department of the Interior regulations at 30 CFR 250.730(c) (81 FR 25887, Apr. 29, 2016) and the BSEE final rule amending and updating oil and gas production safety system (30 CFR 250.803) to be published in the Federal Register on September 7, 2016. BTS and BSEE have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop an industry-wide repository of barrier failure data, analyze and aggregate information collected under this program, and publish reports that will provide BSEE, the industry, and all OCS stakeholders with essential information about failure types and modes of critical safety barriers for offshore operations. BTS and BSEE have determined that it is in the public interest to collect and process barrier failure reports or other data deemed necessary to administer BSEE's safety program pertaining to barrier failures, under a pledge of confidentiality for statistical purposes only. The confidentiality of notices and reports submitted directly to BTS will be protected in accordance with the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 note), which provides substantial additional confidentiality protections than can be provided for reports submitted directly to BSEE. Currently, reports on equipment failures are submitted directly to BSEE with limited information related to barrier failure events and root cause. Feedback from the industry during the data collection form drafting process indicates substantial reluctance to provide detailed barrier failure event information without the additional protections of CIPSEA. Reports submitted directly to BTS under CIPSEA will use a longer data collection form that includes additional essential detail about a barrier failure event such as equipment history information, certain important event data information, and root cause information. The additional detail included in the longer form is critical to comprehensively assess failures and determine appropriate exposure denominators for risk estimates, in service of BSEE's mission to protect safety and prevent environmental harm. Emergency processing of this collection of information is needed prior to the expiration of time periods established under the PRA because the use of normal clearance procedures is reasonably likely to result in the collection of only limited data on barrier failure events during the established PRA time periods. The use of normal clearance procedures will prevent collection of this data during the established PRA time periods, which will inhibit BSEE's ability to comprehensively assess barrier failures and risks, identify barrier failure trends, and identify causes of critical safety barrier failure events.