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Rule

Pennsylvania Regulatory Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Final rule; approval of amendment.

SUMMARY:

OSM is announcing the approval of a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania regulatory program (Pennsylvania program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The amendment references Pennsylvania's anthracite coal mining regulations when describing conditions for meeting Stage 2 bond release where prime farmlands were present prior to mining. The amendment is intended to satisfy the conditions of the required regulatory program amendment at 30 CFR 938.16(p) and make the Pennsylvania program consistent with the corresponding federal regulations.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

August 15, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Robert Biggi, Director Harrisburg Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Harrisburg Transportation Center, Third Floor, suite 3C, 4th and Market Streets, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101; Telephone (717) 782-4036.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program

II. Submission of the Amendment

III. Director's Findings

IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments

V. Director's Decision

VI. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program

Section 503(a) of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (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 the Act * * *” and “rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary” pursuant to the 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 Pennsylvania program on July 30, 1982. You can find background information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of the approval in the July 30, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 33050). Subsequent actions concerning the conditions of approval and regulatory program amendments are codified at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.15 and 938.16.

II. Submission of the Amendment

By letter dated January 3, 2001 (Administrative Record Number PA-875.00), the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) submitted an amendment to its approved permanent regulatory program pursuant to the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(b). Pennsylvania included a cross reference dealing with prime farmlands to satisfy a required regulatory program amendment at 30 CFR 938.16(p) to make the Pennsylvania program consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations. The proposed rulemaking was published in the March 5, 2001 Federal Register (66 FR 13277). The public comment period closed on April 4, 2001. No member of the general public provided comments. No one requested an opportunity to speak at a public hearing, so no hearing was held.

III. Director's Findings

Set forth below, pursuant to SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17, are the Director's findings concerning the amendments to the Pennsylvania permanent regulatory program.

Section 86.174(b)(3) Standards for Release of Bonds

PADEP is amending this subsection to include a reference to Chapter 88, Anthracite Coal. This subsection deals with the standards for Stage 2 bond release if prime farmlands are present and refers to reclamation plans for the various categories of coal mining. The previous version of this regulation contained references to Chapter 87, which relates to bituminous coal surface mining, Chapter 89, which relates to underground mining of bituminous coal and coal preparation facilities and Chapter 90, which relates to coal refuse disposal. This version did not contain a reference to Chapter 88, which relates to anthracite coal mining. This oversight was corrected when the regulations on post mining discharges, licensing and bonding became final, vol. 27, Pennsylvania Bulletin, no. 46, Page 6041, November 15, 1997. Subsection 86.174(b)(3), Page 6054, now states, in part, “* * * under the reclamation plan approved in Chapters 87-90.” The Director finds the proposed revision satisfies the required amendment codified in the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 938.16(p), and is therefore removing that required amendment.

IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments

Federal Agency Comments

On March 5, 2001, we asked for comments from various Federal agencies that may have an interest in the Pennsylvania amendment (Administrative Record Number 875.01.) We solicited comments in accordance with section 503(b) of SMCRA and 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) of the Federal regulations.

In letters dated February 6 and 7, 2001, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration responded that, while it does not regulate bonding and reclamation of mined lands, the amendment appears adequate to ensure restoration of prime farmlands to full productivity after completion of mining. (Administrative Records Numbers PA-875.02 and PA 875.03.)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and (ii), OSM is required to solicit comments from EPA on all amendments, and to obtain the written concurrence of the EPA with respect to those provisions of the proposed program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards promulgated under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). By letter dated January 31, 2001, we requested comments and concurrence from EPA, on the State's proposed amendment of January 3, 2001 (Administrative Record Number PA-875.00). EPA in its April 11, 2001, response letter (Administrative Record Number PA-875.05) stated that the proposed amendment complies with the Clean Water Act.

Public Comments

No comments were received in response to our request for public comments.

V. Director's Decision

Based on the findings above we are approving the amendment to the Pennsylvania program.

The Federal regulations at 30 CFR part 938, codifying decisions concerning the Pennsylvania program, are being amended to implement this decision. We find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this final rule effective immediately. Section 503(a) of SMCRA requires that the state's program demonstrates that the state has the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. Making this regulation effective immediately will expedite that process. Consistency of State and Federal standards is required by SMCRA.

VI. 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 regulation.

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 Start Printed Page 42752purposes 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 that 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 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.

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

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 regulation.

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 on any governmental entity or the private sector.

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List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 938

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Dated: June 18, 2001.

Allen D. Klein,

Regional Director, Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center.

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For the reasons set out in the preamble, Title 30, Chapter VII, Subchapter T of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below:

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PART 938—PENNSYLVANIA

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1. The authority citation for part 938 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.

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2. Section 938.15 is amended in the table by adding a new entry in chronological order by “Date of Final Publication” to read as follows:

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Approval of Pennsylvania regulatory program amendments.
* * * * *
Original amendment submission dateDate of final publicationCitation/description
*          *          *          *          *          *          *         
January 3, 2001August 15, 200125 Pa. Code 86.174.
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3. Section 938.16 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (p).

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[FR Doc. 01-20445 Filed 8-14-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-05-P