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Proposed Rule

Oklahoma Regulatory Program

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), Interior.

ACTION:

Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing.

SUMMARY:

OSM is announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Oklahoma regulatory program (Oklahoma program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Oklahoma proposes revisions to and/or additions of rules concerning restrictions on the financial interests of State employees, specifically, authority, where to file, what to report, and resolving prohibited interests. Oklahoma intends to revise its program to clarify the responsibilities of the Director of the Oklahoma Department of Mines, advisory board members, commissions, and employees regarding restrictions on the financial interest of State employees.

This document gives the times and locations that the Oklahoma program and the 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 until 4:00 p.m., c.d.t., May 1, 2000. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on April 25, 2000. We will accept requests to speak at the hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.d.t. on April 17, 2000.

ADDRESSES:

You should mail or hand deliver written comments and requests to speak at the hearing to Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa Field Office, at the address listed below.

You may review copies of the Oklahoma program, the proposed amendment, a listing of any scheduled 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 receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSM's Tulsa Field Office.

Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining, 5100 East Skelly Drive, Suite 470, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6547, Telephone: (918) 581-6430.

Oklahoma Department of Mines, 4040 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 107, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105, Telephone: (405) 521-3859.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa Field Office. Telephone: (918) 581-6430. Internet: mwolfrom@tokgw.osmre.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Oklahoma Program

On January 19, 1981, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Oklahoma program. You can find background information on the Oklahoma program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval in the January 19, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 4902).You can find later actions concerning the Oklahoma program at 30 CFR 936.15 and 936.16.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated January 13, 2000 (Administrative Record No. OK-985.01), Oklahoma sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA. Oklahoma sent the amendment in response to our letter dated December 6, 1999 (Administrative Record No. OK-985), that we sent to Oklahoma concerning regulation changes in its program that we did not approve. Oklahoma proposes to amend the Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC). Below is a summary of the changes proposed by Oklahoma. The full text of the program amendment is available for your inspection at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

A. Section 460:20-5-3. Authority

Oklahoma proposes to add new paragraph (4) to read as follows:

File all statements and supplements received pursuant to 45 O.S. Supp. 1980, Section 765, from members of advisory boards and the Oklahoma Mining Commission with the Oklahoma Governor's Office, Director of Appointments.

B. Section 460:20-5-9. Where to File

Oklahoma proposes to revise paragraph (a) and to add new paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows:

(a) The Director shall file his or her statement with the Director of OSM.

(b) Members of advisory boards and commissions representing multiple interests as provided in Section 460:20-Start Printed Page 172145-7, shall file their statement with the Governor's Office, Director of Appointments, or such other official as may be designated by State law or regulation.

(c) All other employees shall file his or her statement with the Department of Mines Director pursuant to the requirements of 45 O.S. Supp. 786 and this Subchapter.

C. Section 460:20-5-10. What To Report

Oklahoma proposes to revise paragraph (c)(3) to read as follows:

(3) The exceptions shown in the employee certification of the form must provide enough information for the Director of the Department or the Governor's Office, Director of Appointment, for Commission members, to determine the existence of a direct or indirect financial interest. Accordingly, the exceptions should:

D. Section 460:20-5-12. Resolving Prohibited Interests

Oklahoma proposes to make an editorial correction in the title of this section so that the title reads, “Resolving prohibited interests,” instead of “Resolving prohibited interstate.” Oklahoma also proposes to revise paragraph (b)(1) so that the second sentence reads:

Violations of the regulations in this subchapter by the Director will be cause for remedial action by the Governor of the State or other appropriate State official based on recommendations from the Director of OSM on behalf of the Secretary.

III. Public Comment Procedures

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

Written Comments: If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule during the 30-day comment period, they should be specific, should be confined to issues pertinent to the notice, and should explain the reason for your recommendation(s). We may not be able to consider or include in the Administrative Record comments delivered to an address other than the one listed above (see ADDRESSES).

Electronic Comments: Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII, WordPerfect, of Word file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include “Attn: SPATS NO. OK-027-FOR” and your name and return address in your Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your Internet message, contact the Tulsa Field Office at (918) 581-6430.

Availability of Comments: Our practice is to make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, available for public review during regular business hours at OSM's Tulsa Field Office (see ADDRESSES). Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the administrative record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold from administrative record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and/or address, you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

Public Hearing: If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., c.d.t. on April 17, 2000. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests an opportunity to speak at the public hearing, the hearing will not be held.

To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request that you provide us with a written copy of your testimony if you speak at the public hearing. The public hearing will continue on the specified date until all persons scheduled to speak have been 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 all persons scheduled to speak and persons present in the audience who wish to speak have been heard.

If you are disabled and need a special accommodation to attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Public Meeting: If only one person requests an opportunity to speak at a hearing, a public meeting, rather than a public hearing, may be held. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the proposed amendment, request a meeting by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings are open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will also make a written summary of each meeting a part of the Administrative Record.

IV. Procedural Determinations

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 12630—Takings

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

Executive Order 13132—Federalism

This rules 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, and section 503(a)(7) requires that state programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

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, to the extent allowed by law, this rule meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of this section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of state regulatory programs and program amendments since each such program is drafted and promulgated by a specific state, not OSM. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and 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 and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR Parts 730, 731, and 732 have been met.

National Environmental Policy Act

Section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1292(d)) provides that a decision on a proposed state regulatory program Start Printed Page 17215provision does not constitute a major federal action within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). A determination has been made that such decisions are categorically excluded from the NEPA process (516 DM 8.4.A).

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. 3507 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Department of the Interior has determined 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. Therefore, this rule will ensure that existing requirements previously promulgated by OSM will be implemented by the state. 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), 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 a cost of $100 million or more in any given year any government entity or the private sector.

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List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 936

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Dated: March 23, 2000.

Richard J. Seibel,

Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Regional Coordinating Center.

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[FR Doc. 00-8010 Filed 3-30-00; 8:45 am]

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