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Proposed Rule

Utah Regulatory Program

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AGENCY:

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

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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 Utah regulatory program (hereinafter, the “Utah program”) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (“SMCRA” or “the Act”). Utah proposes revisions to and additions of rules about Valid Existing Rights (“VER”). Utah intends to revise its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations.

This document gives the times and locations that the Utah 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. November 1, 2010. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on October 25, 2010. We will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.d.t. on October 15, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following two methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. This proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2010-0012. If you would like to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: James F. Fulton, Chief Denver Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, CO 80202.

For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “III. Public Comment Procedures” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

In addition to viewing the docket and obtaining copies of documents at http://www.regulations.gov, you may review copies of the Utah program, this amendment, a listing of any 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 also receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSM's Denver Office.

James F. Fulton, Chief, Denver Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 293-5015, jfulton@OSMRE.gov.

John R. Baza, Director, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, 1594 West North Temple, Suite 1210, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 538-5334, johnbaza@utah.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

James F. Fulton, Chief, Denver Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1999 Broadway, Suite 3320, Denver, CO 80202 Telephone: (303) 293-5015. Internet: jfulton@OSMRE.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Utah Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Utah 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 Utah program on January 21, 1981. You can find background information on the Utah program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Utah program in the January 21, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 5899). You can also find later actions concerning Utah's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 944.15, and 944.30.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated August 9, 2010, Utah sent us a proposed amendment to its program (Administrative Record No. UT-1224) under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Utah sent the amendment in response to a February 1, 2008, letter (Administrative Record No. UT-1223) that we sent to Utah. The letter notified Utah that OSM's December 17, 2000, Valid Existing Rights rule changes had been upheld in court and the State should respond to our September 19, 2000, letter (Administrative Record No. UT-1149) sent in accordance with 30 CFR 732.17(c). That letter required Utah to submit amendments to ensure its program remains consistent with the Federal program. This amendment package is intended to address all required rule changes pertaining to Valid Existing Rights.

Specifically, Utah proposes to amend its administrative rules at R645-100-200 (Definitions); R645-103-224; R645-103-225; R645-103-230 through R645-103-240; R645-201-328; R645-201-342; R645-300-133; R645-301-115; and R645-301-411. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

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 Utah program.

Electronic or Written Comments

If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent Tribal or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

Public 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 in the electronic docket for this rulemaking at http://www.regulations.gov. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, 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 October 15, 2010. If you are disabled and need reasonable Start Printed Page 60377accommodations 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. If only one person expresses an interest, a public meeting rather than a hearing may be held, with the results included in the docket for this rulemaking.

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.

IV. Procedural Determinations

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 (Regulatory Planning and Review).

Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

When a State submits a program amendment to OSM for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them in the final rule.

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List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 944

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Dated: August 12, 2010.

Allen D. Klein,

Director, Western Region.

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[FR Doc. 2010-24599 Filed 9-29-10; 8:45 am]

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