Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.
Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is opening the public comment period for a previously submitted proposed amendment to the Indiana regulatory program (Indiana program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). Indiana proposes the addition of a statute concerning post mining land use changes as nonsignificant permit revisions. The amendment is intended to revise the Indiana program to improve operational efficiency. This document gives the times and locations that the Indiana 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.
We will accept written comments until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t., February 12, 2001. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on February 5, 2001. We will accept requests to speak at the hearing until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on January 26, 2001.
You should mail or hand deliver written comments and requests to speak at the hearing to Andrew R. Gilmore, Director, Indianapolis Field Office, at the address listed below.
You may review copies of the Indiana program, the 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 Indianapolis Field Office.
Andrew R. Gilmore, Director, Indianapolis Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Minton-Capehart Federal Building, 575 North Pennsylvania Street, Room 301, Start Printed Page 2375Indianapolis, IN 46204, Telephone: (317) 226-6700.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Mine Reclamation, 402 West Washington Street, Room W-295, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, Telephone: (317) 232-1291.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation, R.R. 2, Box 129, Jasonville, Indiana 47438-9517, Telephone: (812) 665-2207.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Andrew R. Gilmore, Director, Indianapolis Field Office. Telephone: (317) 226-6700. Internet: INFOMAIL@indgw.osmre.gov.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
I. Background on the Indiana Program
On July 29, 1982, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved the Indiana program. You can find background information on the Indiana program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval in the July 26, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 32107). You can find later actions on the Indiana program at 30 CFR 914.10, 914.15, and 914.16.
By letter dated May 14, 1998 (Administrative Record No. IND-1606), Indiana submitted a proposed amendment to us accordance with SMCRA. The proposed amendment concerned revisions of and additions to the Indiana Code (IC) made by House Enrolled Act (HEA) No. 1074. Indiana intended to revise its program to incorporate the additional flexibility afforded by SMCRA and to provide the guidelines for permit revisions, including incidental boundary revisions. We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the May 29, 1998, Federal Register (63 FR 29365), and invited public comment on its adequacy. The public comment period for the amendment closed June 29, 1998. During our review of the proposed amendment, we identified concerns relating to the proposed amendment. We notified Indiana of these concerns by letter dated September 15, 1998 (Administrative Record No. IND-1621). By letter dated December 21, 1998 (Administrative Record No. IND-1627), Indiana responded to our concerns by submitting additional explanatory information. Because Indiana did not make any substantive revisions to the amendment, we did not reopen the public comment period. On March 16, 1999, we approved Indiana's proposed amendment, with three exceptions (64 FR 12890). Specifically, we did not approve the amendment at IC 14-34-5-7(a) concerning guidance for permit revisions; the amendment at IC 14-34-5-8.2(4) concerning postmining land use changes; and the amendment at IC 14-34-5-8.4(c)(2)(K) concerning minor field revisions for temporary cessation of mining. On May 26, 1999, at Indiana's request, we provided clarification of our decision on Indiana's amendment (64 FR 28362).
On May 14, 1999, the Indiana Coal Council (ICC) filed a lawsuit against OSM for the disapproval of Indiana's amendment at IC 14-34-5-7(a) and IC 14-34-5-8.2(4). On September 25, 2000, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana handed down its decision on the ICC's lawsuit. The court found that, in the case of IC 14-34-5-7(a) concerning guidance for permit revisions, OSM had not acted arbitrary and capricious. Therefore, the court upheld our decision. However, in the case of IC 14-34-5-8.2(4) concerning postmining land use changes, the Court found that our decision was arbitrary and capricious, and remanded the matter to OSM for “further consideration.” In accordance with the Court's ruling, we are opening the public comment period for section 8.2(4) of Indiana's proposed amendment submitted on May 15, 1998, so that we can properly consider whether the proposed amendment satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15.
II. Description of the Proposed Amendment
The full text of the proposed program amendment submitted by Indiana is available for public inspection at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES. A discussion of the proposed amendment is presented below.
IC 14-34-5-8.2(4), Nonsignificant Permit Revisions
Indiana proposes to add language at IC 14-34-5-8.2(4) to provide that postmining land use changes other than residential, commercial or industrial, recreational, or developed water resources meeting MSHA requirements for a significant impoundment are nonsignificant permit revisions, and therefore are not subject to the notice and hearing requirements of IC 14-34.
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 Indiana 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, or Word file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include “Attn: SPATS NO. IN-151-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 Indianapolis Field Office at (317) 226-6700.
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 Indianapolis 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 the 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 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on January 26, 2001. 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, if possible, that each person who speaks at a public hearing provide us with a written copy of his or her testimony. 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 Start Printed Page 2376allowed 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, you may 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 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 regulations.
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, and section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary under 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 that section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of State regulatory programs and program amendments since 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 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 provision does not constitute a major Federal action within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (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 the Office of Management and Budget 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. Accordingly, 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.
This rule will not impose a cost of $100 million or more in any given year on any governmental entity or the private sector.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 914
- Intergovernmental relations
- Surface mining
- Underground mining
Dated: January 3, 2001.
Richard J. Seibel,
Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Regional Coordinating Center.
[FR Doc. 01-835 Filed 1-10-01; 8:45 am]
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