Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.
Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment.
We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the North Dakota regulatory program (hereinafter, the “North Dakota program”) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). North Dakota proposes revisions to and additions of rules pertaining to the definition of “valid existing rights,” the process for determining whether or not a mine operator has valid existing rights, lands prohibited from mining, changes in the format of permit applications, general requirements for mining plans, land descriptions for partial bond release requests, filing requirements for copies of reports required by the State Health Department, sediment control measures, and removal of sedimentation ponds.
North Dakota intends to revise its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations and improve operational efficiency.
We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., mountain standard time (m.s.t.) July 3, 2003. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on June 30, 2003. We will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.s.t. on June 18, 2003.
You should mail or hand deliver written comments and requests to speak at the hearing to Guy Padgett at the address listed below.
You may review copies of the North Dakota program, this 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 the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) Casper Field Office.
Guy Padgett, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 100 East “B” Street, Federal Building, Room 2128, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1918, 307/261-6550, GPadgett@osmre.gov.
James R. Deutsch, Director, Reclamation Division, Public Service Commission, State of North Dakota, 600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 408, Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0480, firstname.lastname@example.org.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Guy Padgett, Telephone: 307/261-6550. Internet: GPadgett@osmre.gov.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
I. Background of the North Dakota Program
II. Description of the Proposed Amendment
III. Public Comment Procedures
IV. Procedural Determinations
I. Background of the North Dakota 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 North Dakota program on December 15, 1980. You can find background information on the North Dakota program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the North Dakota program in the December 15, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 82214). You can also find later actions concerning North Dakota's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 934.12, 934.13, 934.15, and 934.30.
II. Description of the Proposed Amendment
By letter dated February 10, 2003, North Dakota sent us a proposed amendment to its program (Amendment number XXXIII, administrative record No. ND-HH-01 under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.)). North Dakota sent the amendment in response to an April 2, 2001, letter (administrative record No. ND-HH-02) that we sent to it in accordance with 30 CFR 732.17(c), and 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.
The provisions of the North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) that North Dakota proposes to revise are: (1) NDAC 69-05.2-01-02(120), Definition of Valid Existing Rights (VER); (2) NDAC 69-05.2-04-01, Processing Requests for Valid Existing Rights and Exceptions from Areas Prohibited from Mining; (3) NDAC 69-05.2-05-01, Copies and format of permit applications; (4) NDAC 69-05.2-09-01, General requirements for mining plans; (5) NDAC 69-05.2-12-12, Bond release requirements; (6) NDAC 69-05.2-16-04, Sediment Control Measures under the general water management requirements; (7) NDAC 69-05.2-16-05, Water discharge reports; and (8) NDAC 69-05.2-16-09, Removal of water management structures.
III. 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 North Dakota program.
Send your written or electronic comments to OSM at the address given above. Your comments should be specific, pertain only to the issues proposed in this rulemaking, and include explanations in support of your recommendations. We will not consider or respond to your comments when developing the final rule if they are received after the close of the comment period (see DATES). We will make every attempt to log all comments into the administrative record, but comments delivered to an address other than the Casper Field Office may not be logged in.
Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include “Attn: SATS No. ND-044-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 Casper Field Office at 307/261-6555. Start Printed Page 33036
Availability of Comments
We will make comments, including names and addresses of respondents, available for public review during normal business hours. We will not consider anonymous comments. If individual respondents request confidentiality, we will honor their request to the extent allowable by law. Individual respondents who wish to withhold their name or address from public review, except for the city or town, must state this prominently at the beginning of their 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 review in their entirety.
If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., m.s.t. on June 18, 2003. If you are disabled and need special 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.
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.
If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with us to discuss the amendment, please 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 make a written summary of each meeting a part of the administrative record.
IV. Procedural Determinations
Executive Order 12630—Takings
In this rule, the State is proposing valid existing rights standards that are similar to the standards in the Federal definition at 30 CFR 761.5. Therefore, this rule has the same takings implications as the Federal valid existing rights rule. The takings implications assessment for the Federal valid existing rights rule appears in Part XXIX.E of the preamble to that rule. See 64 FR 70766, 70822-27, December 17, 1999. The provisions in the rule based on other counterpart Federal regulations do not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulations.
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 and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR Parts 730, 731, and 732 have been met.
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.
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 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. 4332(2)(C)).
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 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 Start Printed Page 33037prepared 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), 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; and (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 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.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 934End List of Subjects Start Signature
Dated: March 21, 2003.
Allen D. Klein,
Regional Director, Western Regional Coordinating Center.
[FR Doc. 03-13852 Filed 6-2-03; 8:45 am]
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