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Proposed Rule

Wyoming Regulatory Program

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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 Wyoming regulatory program (hereinafter, the “Wyoming program”) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (“SMCRA” or “the Act”). Start Printed Page 80311Wyoming proposes both revisions of and additions to its coal rules and regulations concerning ownership and control and addresses four deficiencies that were identified by OSM during the review of a previous program amendment (WY-038-FOR; Docket ID #OSM-2009-0012). Wyoming intends to revise its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations and SMCRA, clarify ambiguities, and improve operational efficiency.

This document gives the times and locations that the Wyoming 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.


We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., m.s.t. January 23, 2012. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on January 17, 2012. We will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.s.t. on January 9, 2012.


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

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: This proposed rule has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2011-0020. If you would like to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to and follow the instructions.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, POB 11018, 150 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018.

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

In addition to viewing the docket and obtaining copies of documents at, you may review copies of the Wyoming program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, may be obtained 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 Casper Field Office.

Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, POB 11018, 150 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018, (307) 261-6547,;

John V. Corra, Director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Herschler Building, 122 West 25th Street, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002, (307) 777-7046,

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Jeffrey Fleischman, Telephone: (307) 261-6547. Internet:

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I. Background on the Wyoming Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Wyoming 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 Wyoming program on November 26, 1980. You can find background information on the Wyoming program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Wyoming program in the November 26, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 78637). You can also find later actions concerning Wyoming's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 950.12, 950.15, 950.16, and 950.20.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated October 24, 2011, Wyoming sent us a proposed amendment to its approved regulatory program (Administrative Record Docket ID No. OSM-2011-0020) under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Wyoming submitted the amendment to address required rule changes OSM identified in a letter to Wyoming dated October 2, 2009, under 30 CFR 732.17(c). These included changes to Wyoming's rules for ownership and control. The amendment also addresses four deficiencies that OSM identified in response to Wyoming's formally submitted revegetation rule package (WY-038-FOR; Docket ID #OSM-2009-0012).

Specifically, Wyoming proposes to amend the Land Quality Division Coal Rules and Regulations at Chapter 1, Section 2 (definitions related to ownership and control including “Applicant violator system or AVS,” “Control or controller,” “Notice of violation,” and “Own, owner or ownership”); Chapter 2, Section 2(a)(i) and (ii) (ownership and control permit application information including identification of interests and a complete statement of compliance); Chapter 12, Section 1(a)(viii)-(xiv) (the review process, procedures, and requirements for making permit eligibility determinations including: Review of applicant and operator information, review of permit history, review of compliance history, and related AVS entry requirements); and Chapter 16, Section 2(h) and (j) (notification requirements related to Wyoming's enforcement regulations and AVS entry requirements). Wyoming also addresses four deficiencies that OSM identified in response to Wyoming's formally submitted revegetation rule package (WY-038-FOR; Docket ID #OSM-2009-0012) including; adding the term “surface” back into Wyoming's rules where it had been deleted and reinstating the definition of “Surface coal mining and reclamation operations” at Chapter 1, Section 2(ez) that had been removed from Wyoming's rules; adding the 1:24,000 scale requirement for maps that are submitted with permit applications back into Wyoming's rules at Chapter 2, Section 1(c); adding language to clarify that wildlife enhancement is not limited to revegetation efforts at Chapter 2, Section 5(a)(viii); and correcting numerous inaccurate citations to other sections of Wyoming's rules and regulations. 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 Wyoming 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 Start Printed Page 80312on 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 State 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, email 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:// 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.s.t. on January 9, 2012. 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 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 limited interest in participation 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 will be 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 950

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Dated: Novenber 1, 2011.

Kenneth Walker,

Acting Director, Western Region.

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[FR Doc. 2011-32978 Filed 12-22-11; 8:45 am]