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Proposed Rule

Kentucky 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:

Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing.

SUMMARY:

We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Kentucky Regulatory Program (hereinafter, the “Kentucky program”) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). On May 10, 2011, Kentucky submitted proposed bonding revisions to the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) as authorized by House Bill 385 (HB 385), which passed during the State's regular 2011 legislative session. HB 385 amends the Kentucky Revised Statutes to require that, as of the effective date of the Act, any determination by the Energy and Environmental Cabinet (EEC) to change a bond requirement or bond amount Start Printed Page 50437currently in use will result in a new administrative regulation that includes all bond requirements, including the bond amount; HB 385 also prohibits bond amounts from being instituted as policy. Finally, it requires an administrative regulation that fails to include bond amounts to be declared deficient automatically.

This document gives the times and locations that the Kentucky program and this submittal are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is requested.

DATES:

We will accept written comments until 4 p.m., E.S.T., September 14, 2011. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on September 9, 2011. We will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., E.S.T., on August 30, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by “SATS No. KY-254-FOR; Docket Number OSM-2011-0005” by either of the following two methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2011-0005. If you would like to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions; or

Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Joseph L. Blackburn, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40503.

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

Docket: In addition to obtaining copies of documents at http://www.regulations.gov, you may also obtain information 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 Lexington Field Office.

Joseph L. Blackburn, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40503, (859) 260-3900.

Carl E. Campbell, Commissioner, Department for Natural Resources, 2 Hudson Hollow, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601, Telephone: (502) 564-6940.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joseph L. Blackburn, Telephone: (859) 260-3900. E-mail: jblackburn@osmre.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Kentucky Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Kentucky 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 Kentucky program on May 18, 1982. You can find background information on the Kentucky program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the Kentucky program in the May 18, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 21434). You can also find later actions concerning Kentucky's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 917.11, 917.12, 917.13, 917.15, 917.16, and 917.17.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

On March 17, 2011, Governor Beshear signed House Bill (HB) 385 which was approved by the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly. HB 385 amends Kentucky Revised Statutes 350.060 to require as of the effective date of the Act that any determination by the Energy and Environmental Cabinet (EEC) to change a bond requirement or bond amount currently in use will result in a new administrative regulation that includes all bond requirements including the bond amount; proscribe bond amounts from being instituted as policy; require after the effective date of the Act an administrative regulation that fails to include bond amounts to be declared automatically deficient.

1. KRS 350.060 (11) Processing Permit Applications

The State proposes to delete “The cabinet shall” and insert “Within thirty (30) days of a cabinet determination of a need to change a bond protocol currently in use, the cabinet shall immediately.” This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 800.14 and section 509 of SMCRA.

2. KRS 350.060 (11) Processing Permit Applications

The State proposes to add new language at the end of (11) to ensure that Bond protocols will include the formula for establishing the amount of the bond or be automatically declared deficient in accordance to KRS Chapter 13A. This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 800.15 and section 509 of SMCRA.

III. Public Comment Procedures

Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the Kentucky program now satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve these revisions, they will become part of the Kentucky program.

Written or Electronic 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 at locations 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, be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may 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. We will not consider anonymous comments.

Public Hearing

If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under Start Printed Page 50438 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., E.S.T. on August 30, 2011. 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, that if possible, 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.

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 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

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 917

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Dated: June 13, 2011.

Michael K. Robinson,

Acting Regional Director, Appalachian Region.

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[FR Doc. 2011-20660 Filed 8-12-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-05-P