Montana Regulatory Program

 
CONTENT

Federal Register: August 26, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 166)

Proposed Rules

Page 50265-50267

From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

DOCID:fr26au08-23

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 926

SATS No. MT-028-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2008-0018

Montana Regulatory Program

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.

SUMMARY: We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the

Montana regulatory program (hereinafter, the ``Montana program'') under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (``SMCRA'' or

``the Act''). Montana proposes to clarify ambiguities.

This document gives the times and locations that the Montana program and proposed amendment to that program are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

DATES: We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., m.d.t. September 25, 2008. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on September 22, 2008. We will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.d.t. on September 10, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. This proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2008-0018. If you would like to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to www.regulations.gov and do the following. Click on the ``Advanced

Docket Search'' button on the right side of the screen. Type in the

Docket ID ``OSM-2008-0018'' and click the ``Submit'' button at the bottom of the page. The next screen will display the Docket Search

Results for the rulemaking. If you click on OSM-2008-0018, you can view the proposed rule and submit a comment. You can also view supporting material and any comments submitted by others.

E-mail: JFleischman@osmre.gov. Include the docket number in the subject line of the message.

Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Jeffrey Fleischman, Director,

Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and

Enforcement,150 East B Street, Rm 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018.

Fax: 307/261-6552.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and OSM Docket ID OSM-2008-0018.

For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the ``III. Public Comment

Procedures'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: In addition to viewing the docket and obtaining copies of documents at www.regulations.gov, you may review copies of the Montana

Page 50266

program, this amendment, a listing of any public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document at the addresses listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may also receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSM's Casper Field Office or Montana's Industrial and

Energy Minerals Bureau.

Jeffrey W. Fleischman, Chief, Casper Field Office, U.S. Office of

Surface Mining,Federal Building, 150 East B Street, Room 1018,Casper,

Wyoming, 307/261-6550, Internet: JFleischman@osmre.gov.

Neil Harrington, Chief, Industrial and Energy Minerals Bureau,

Montana Department of Environmental Quality, 1520 E. Sixth Ave., P.O.

Box 200901, 406/444-4973, Internet: neharrington@mt.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Fleischman, Telephone: 307/ 261-6550, Internet: JFleischman@osmre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

  1. Background on the Montana Program

  2. Description of the Proposed Amendment

  3. Public Comment Procedures

  4. Procedural Determinations

  5. Background on the Montana Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act permits a State to assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non-

    Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by demonstrating that its State program includes, among other things, ``a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act * * *; and rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the

    Secretary pursuant to this Act.'' See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Montana program on April 1, 1980. You can find background information on the Montana program, including the

    Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the Montana program in the April 1, 1980, Federal Register

    (45 FR 21560). You can also find later actions concerning Montana's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 926.15, 926.16, and 926.30.

  6. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated July 7, 2008, Montana sent us a proposed amendment to its program (Docket ID No. OSM-2008-0018) under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Montana sent the amendment to include the changes made at its own initiative. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under

    ADDRESSES.

    Specifically, Montana proposes to: (1) Make minor revisions to the

    Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) for style and readability; (2) change the ARM to require, rather than allow discretion to the Montana

    Department of Environmental Quality to release bonds when reclamation standards have been met; and (3) to clarify that written findings are required when reclamation has not been accomplished.

  7. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the Montana program.

    Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent Tribal or

    Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

    Public Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made publicly available in the electronic docket for this rulemaking at www.regulations.gov. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

    Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., m.d.t. on

    September 10, 2008. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak, we will not hold the hearing. If only one person expresses an interest, a public meeting rather than a hearing may be held, with the results included in the docket for this rulemaking.

    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at a public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

  8. Procedural Determinations

    Executive Order 12630--Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.

    Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and

    Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

    Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that this rule meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of that section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of State regulatory programs and program amendments because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by

    OSM. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing

    Federal regulations

    Page 50267

    and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731, and 732 have been met.

    Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule does not have federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and State governments with regard to the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to ``establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.'' Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that State laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be ``in accordance with'' the requirements of SMCRA. Section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations ``consistent with'' regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

    Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal

    Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on Federally recognized Indian Tribes and have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the

    Federal government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian Tribes.

    The rule does not involve or affect Indian Tribes in any way.

    Executive Order 13211--Regulations That Significantly Affect the

    Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 which requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule that is (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866, and (2) likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866 and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a

    Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1292(d)) provides that agency decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

    The State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have a significant economic impact, the Department relied upon the data and assumptions for the counterpart Federal regulations.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), of the Small

    Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule: a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million. b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions. c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of

    U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal which is the subject of this rule is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

    Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded Mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any given year. This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart

    Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.

    List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 926

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: August 6, 2008.

    Richard Holbrook,

    Acting Regional Director, Western Region.

    FR Doc. E8-19712 Filed 8-25-08; 8:45 am

    BILLING CODE 4310-05-P