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Proposed Rule

Indiana 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, Interior.

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Indiana regulatory program (Indiana program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Indiana proposes revisions to and additions of rules concerning protection of ground water quality. Indiana intends to revise its program to provide additional safeguards for ground water.

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.

DATES:

We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., e.s.t., November 14, 2003. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on November 10, 2003. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4 p.m., e.s.t. on October 30, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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, 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 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, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, Telephone: (317) 226-6700, Internet address: IFOMAIL@osmre.gov.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Mine Reclamation, 402 West Washington Street, Room W-295, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, Telephone: (317) 232-1291.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Andrew R. Gilmore, Director, Indianapolis Field Office. Telephone: (317) 226-6700. Internet address: IFOMAIL@osmre.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Indiana Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Indiana 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 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 Indiana program effective July 29, 1982. You can find background information on the Indiana program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Indiana program in the July 26, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 32071). You can also find later actions concerning the Indiana program and program amendments at 30 CFR 914.10, 914.15, 914.16, and 914.17.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated September 3, 2003 (Administrative Record No. IND-1719), Indiana sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Indiana sent the amendment at its own initiative. Below is a summary of the changes proposed by Indiana. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

A. Definitions

1. At 312 IAC 25-1-45.5, Indiana is adding the following definition for “Drinking water well.”

“Drinking water well,” for the purposes of 312 IAC 25-6-12.5 and 312 IAC 25-6-76.5, means a bored, drilled, or driven shaft or a dug hole that meets each of the following:

(1) Supplies ground water for human consumption.

(2) Has a depth greater than its largest surface dimension.

(3) Is not permanently abandoned under 312 IAC 13-10-2.

2. At 312 IAC 25-1-60.5, Indiana is adding the following definition for “Ground water management zone.”

“Ground water management zone” means a three (3) dimensional region of ground water around a potential or existing contaminant source where a contaminant is or was managed to prevent or mitigate deterioration of ground water quality such that the criteria established in 312 IAC 25-6-12.5(a) or 312 IAC 25-6-76.5(a) are met at and beyond the boundary of the region.

3. At 312 IAC 25-1-109.5, Indiana is adding the following definition for “Property boundary.”

“Property boundary,” for the purposes of 312 IAC 25-6-12.5 and 312 IAC 25-6-76.5, means the edge of a contiguous parcel of land owned by or leased to the permittee. Contiguous land shall include land separated by a public right-of-way, if that land would otherwise be contiguous.

B. Surface Mining Permit Applications

1. At 312 IAC 25-4-43, Indiana is adding subdivision (4). This new subdivision requires the maps and plans of the proposed permit and adjacent areas to include all monitoring locations used to demonstrate compliance with 312 IAC 25-6-12.5.

2. At 312 IAC 25-4-47(b), protection of hydrologic balance, Indiana is adding subdivision (9). This new subdivision requires the reclamation plan to contain a description, with appropriate maps and cross section drawings, of a plan to demonstrate compliance with 312 IAC 25-6-12.5. Start Printed Page 59353

C. Underground Mining Permit Applications

1. At 312 IAC 25-4-85(b), protection of hydrologic balance, Indiana is adding subdivision (8). This new subdivision requires the reclamation plan to contain a description, with appropriate maps and cross section drawings, of a plan to demonstrate compliance with 312 IAC 25-6-76.5.

2. At 312 IAC 25-4-93, Indiana is adding subdivision (4). This new subdivision requires the maps and plans of the proposed permit and adjacent areas to include all monitoring locations used to demonstrate compliance with 312 IAC 25-6-76.5.

C. Indiana is adding a new rule at 312 IAC 25-6-12.5 to read as follows:

312 IAC 25-6-12.5 Hydrologic balance; application of ground water quality standards at surface coal mining and reclamation operations permitted under IC 14-34 on which coal extraction, including augering, coal processing, coal processing waste disposal, or spoil deposition, occurs after the effective date of this section, or on which disposal activity subject to IC 13-19-3-3 has occurred and the area is not fully released from the performance bond required by IC 14-34-6.

(a) Ground water is classified under 327 IAC 2-11 to determine appropriate criteria that shall be applied to ground water.

(b) Surface coal mining and reclamation operations must be planned and conducted to prevent violations of ground water quality standards under 327 IAC 2-11.

(c) Surface coal mining and reclamation operations must be planned and conducted to prevent impacts to the ground water in a drinking water well or a nondrinking water supply well, including an industrial, commercial, or agricultural supply well, that result in a contaminant concentration that, based on best scientific information, renders the well unusable for its current use. If a drinking water well or a nondrinking water supply well is affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption proximately resulting from surface mining activities, 312 IAC 25-4-33 and 312 IAC 25-6-25 govern water replacement.

(d) The ground water management zone described in 327 IAC 2-11-9 must be established as follows:

(1) At each drinking water well that is within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of any of the following:

(A) A coal extraction area.

(B) A coal mine processing waste disposal site if not within a coal extraction area.

(C) An area where coal is extracted by auger mining methods.

(D) A location at which coal is crushed, washed, screened, stored, and loaded at or near the mine site unless the location is within the coal extraction area.

(E) A spoil deposition area.

(2) Within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1) where there is no drinking water well that is within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If the property boundary or permit boundary is located within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1), the director shall require that a monitoring well be placed at a location approved by the director between the property boundary or permit boundary and the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If a standard listed in 327 IAC 2-11 is exceeded at a monitoring well described in subdivision (2) that the director determines was caused by an activity under subdivision (1), the permittee must submit to the director a plan describing, in detail, the steps to be taken to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary and a timetable for implementation. This plan must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the discovery of an exceedance and include information relative to access, additional monitoring, and any measures to be taken to minimize changes to the prevailing hydrologic balance and to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary.

(3) If a drinking water well is located within three hundred (300) feet of an area or site described in subdivision (1) and it is determined that there is a substantial likelihood of impact, the director may require that a monitoring well be placed at a location approved by the director between the drinking water well and the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If a standard listed in 327 IAC 2-11 is exceeded at a monitoring well described in subdivision (3) that the director determines was caused by an activity under subdivision (1), the permittee shall submit to the director a plan describing, in detail, the steps to be taken and a timetable for taking the action that takes into account site-specific conditions to provide protection for the drinking water well. This plan must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the discovery of an exceedance and include information relative to access, additional monitoring, and any measures to be taken to minimize changes to the prevailing hydrologic balance and to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary.

(e) The criteria established in subsection (a) must be met at and beyond the boundary of the ground water management zone.

D. Indiana is adding a new rule at 312 IAC 25-6-76.5 to read as follows:

312 IAC 25-6-76.5 Underground mining; hydrologic balance; application of ground water quality standards at underground coal mining and reclamation operations permitted under IC 14-34 on which coal extraction, coal processing, coal processing waste disposal, or underground development waste and spoil deposition occurs after the effective date of this section, or on which disposal activity subject to IC 13-19-3-3 has occurred and the area is not fully released from the performance bond required by IC 14-34-6.

(a) Ground water is classified under 327 IAC 2-11 to determine appropriate criteria that shall be applied to ground water.

(b) Underground coal mining and reclamation operations must be planned and conducted to prevent violations of ground water quality standards under 327 IAC 2-11.

(c) Underground coal mining and reclamation operations must be planned and conducted to prevent impacts to the ground water in a drinking water well or a nondrinking water supply well, including an industrial, commercial, or agricultural supply well, that result in a contaminant concentration that, based on best scientific information, renders the well unusable for its current use. If a drinking water well or a nondrinking water supply well is affected by contamination, diminution, or interruption proximately resulting from surface mining activities, 312 IAC 25-4-74 and 312 IAC 25-6-88 govern water replacement.

(d) The ground water management zone described in 327 IAC 2-11-9 must be established as follows:

(1) At each drinking water well that is within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of any of the following:

(A) A coal mine processing waste disposal site.

(B) A location at which coal is crushed, washed, screened, stored, and loaded at or near the mine site.

(C) An underground development waste and spoil deposition area.

(2) Within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1) where there is no drinking water well that is within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If the property boundary or permit boundary is located within three hundred (300) feet from the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1), the director shall require that a monitoring well be placed at a location approved by the director between the property boundary or permit boundary and the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If a standard listed in 327 IAC 2-11 is exceeded at a monitoring well described in subdivision (2) that the director determines was caused by an activity under subdivision (1), the permittee must submit to the director a plan describing, in detail, the steps to be taken to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary and a timetable for implementation. This plan must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the discovery of an exceedance and include information relative to access, additional monitoring, and any measures to be taken to minimize changes to the prevailing hydrologic balance and to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary.

(3) If a drinking water well is located within three hundred (300) feet of an area or site described in subdivision (1) and it is determined that there is a substantial likelihood of impact, the director may require that a monitoring well be placed at a location approved by the director between the drinking water well and the edge of an area or site described in subdivision (1). If a standard listed in 327 IAC 2-11 is exceeded at a monitoring well described in subdivision (3) that the director determines was caused by an activity under subdivision (1), the permittee shall submit to the director a plan describing, in detail, the steps to be taken Start Printed Page 59354and a timetable for taking the action that takes into account site-specific conditions to provide protection for the drinking water well. This plan must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the discovery of an exceedance and include information relative to access, additional monitoring, and any measures to be taken to minimize changes to the prevailing hydrologic balance and to prevent material damage to the hydrologic balance beyond the permit boundary.

(e) The criteria established in subsection (a) must be met at and beyond the boundary of the ground water management zone.

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 State program.

Written Comments

Send your written or electronic comments to OSM at the address given above. Your written 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 Indianapolis Field Office may not be logged in.

Electronic Comments

Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII or Word file avoiding the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include “Attn: IN-153-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

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.

Public Hearing

If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., e.s.t. on October 30, 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 a hearing.

To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the 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.

Public Meeting

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

The revisions made at the initiative of the State that do not have Federal counterparts have been reviewed and a determination made that they do not have takings implications. This determination is based on the fact that the provisions have no substantive effect on the regulated industry.

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 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 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. This determination is based on the fact that the Indiana program does not regulate coal exploration and surface coal mining and reclamation operations on Indian lands. Therefore, the Indiana Start Printed Page 59355program has no effect on Federally-recognized Indian tribes.

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 the provisions in this rule that are not based upon counterpart Federal regulations 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.). This determination is based upon the fact that the provisions are not expected to have a substantive effect on the regulated industry.

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 provisions are not expected to have a substantive effect on the regulated industry.

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 provisions are not expected to have a substantive effect on the regulated industry.

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List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 914

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Dated: September 26, 2003.

Charles E. Sandberg,

Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Regional Coordinating Center.

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[FR Doc. 03-26081 Filed 10-14-03; 8:45 am]

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