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Proposed Rule

North Dakota 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, Interior.

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

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 rules that would change self-bonding requirements, update terminology used for describing native grasslands, and correct a cross reference error. At its own initiative, it intends to revise its program to improve operational efficiency.

This document gives the times and locations that the North Dakota 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., m.d.t. May 19, 2008. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on May 13, 2008. We will Start Printed Page 21088accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.d.t. on May 5, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by “SATS No. ND-050-FOR” and/or Docket ID OSM-2008-0004” by any of the following methods:

  • E-mail: [JFleischman@osmre.gov]. Include OSM-2008-0004 in the subject line of the message.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Jeffrey W. Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Federal Building, 150 East B Street, Room 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018, 307/261-6550, JFleischman@osmre.gov.
  • Fax: 307/261-6552.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2008-0004. If you would like to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to www.regulations.gov and do the following. Click on the “Advanced Docket Search” button on the right side of the screen. Type in Docket ID OSM-2008-0004 and click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. The next screen will display Docket Search Results for the rulemaking. If you click on OSM-2008-0004 you can view the proposed rule and submit a comment. You can also view supporting material and any comments submitted by others.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and OSM-2008-0004. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Comment Procedures” heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: In addition to viewing the Docket and obtaining copies of documents at http://www.regulations.gov, you may also 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's) Casper Field Office.

Jeffrey W. Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Federal Building, 150 East B Street, Room 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018, 307/261-6550, JFleischman@osmre.gov

James R. Deutsch, North Dakota Public Service Commission, Capitol Building, Bismarck, North Dakota 58505, Tel: 701-328-2251, E-mail: jrd@oracle.psc.state.nd.us

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jeffrey W. Fleischman, Telephone: 307-261-6550. Internet: JFleischman@osmre.gov

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the North Dakota Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on 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 934.15, and 934.30.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated March 12, 2008, North Dakota sent us a proposed amendment (Amendment number North Dakota XXXVIII) to its program, under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

Specifically, North Dakota proposes to: (1) Revise its self bonding provisions under North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) Article 69-5.2-12-05.1 to allow the North Dakota Public Service Commission to accept bond ratings from other nationally recognized rating organizations in addition to Moody's Investors Service and Standards and Poor's ratings, for companies that guarantee self bonds; (2) update, under NDAC 69-05.2-08-08, premine land use and vegetation requirements, and some terminology used for native grassland descriptions to reflect what is used by USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service; and (3) correct a cross reference error in NDAC 69-05.2-10-03.

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.

Written Comments

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 written 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, or http://www.regulations.gov, may not be logged in.

Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public view, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Public Hearing

If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., m.d.t. on May 5, 2008. If you are disabled and need reasonable 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 Start Printed Page 21089has 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 there is only limited interest in participating in a public hearing, 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

This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the 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 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 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. The rule does not involve or affect Indian Tribes in any way.

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. 4321 et seq).

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. 3501 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 prepared 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 Federal regulations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), of 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 Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulations were not considered major.

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 submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulations did not impose an unfunded mandate.

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List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 930

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Dated: April 2, 2008.

Billie E. Clark,

Acting Regional Director, Western Region.

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[FR Doc. E8-8408 Filed 4-17-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-05-P