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Laws & Regulations

Summary of the Paperwork Reduction Act

44 USC §3501 et seq. (1980)

The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) was enacted to minimize the paperwork burden for individuals; small businesses; educational and nonprofit institutions; Federal contractors; State, local and tribal governments; and other persons resulting from the collection of information by or for the federal government.

The Act generally provides that every federal agency must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before using identical questions to collect information from 10 or more persons. If EPA decides to gather information, we must prepare an Information Collection Request (ICR), which:

  • Describes the information to be collected,
  • Gives the reason the information is needed, and
  • Estimates the time and cost for the public to answer the request.

After reviewing the request, OMB may approve or disapprove the ICR, or define conditions that must be met for approval. Examples of information collections include surveys, permits, questionnaires, and reports.

More Information

The Collection Strategies Division, in the Office of Environmental Information, manages the Agency's administration of the burden reduction provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).