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Proposed Rule

Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

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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, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Plan (hereinafter, the Plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Indiana proposes to revise its Plan to reflect the 2006 changes to SMCRA.

This document gives the times and locations that the Indiana Plan and this proposed amendment to that Plan 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 4:00 p.m., c.t., August 15, 2016. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on August 8, 2016. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016.


You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. IN-164-FOR, by any of the following methods:

  • Mail/Hand Delivery: Len V. Meier, Chief, Alton Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 501 Belle St., Suite 216, Alton, IL 62002
  • Fax: (618) 463-6470
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

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

Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Indiana Plan, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in response to this document, you must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Alton Field Division or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at

Len V. Meier, Chief

Alton Field Division

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

501 Belle Street, Suite 216

Alton, Illinois 62002-6169

Telephone: (618) 463-6460


In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location:

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Division of Reclamation

14619 West State Road 48

Jasonville, IN 47438

Telephone: (812) 665-2207

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Len V. Meier, Chief, Alton Field Division. Telephone: (618) 463-6460. Email:

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I. Background on the Indiana Plan

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Indiana Plan

The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program was established by Title IV of the Act, (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) in response to concerns over extensive environmental damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program is funded by a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is produced. The money collected is used to finance the reclamation of abandoned coal mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 of the Act allows States and Indian tribes to assume exclusive responsibility for reclamation activity within the State or on Indian lands if they develop and submit to the Secretary of the Interior for approval, a program (often referred to as a Plan) for the reclamation of abandoned coal mines. You can find background information on the Indiana Plan, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Indiana Plan in the April 26, 1999, Federal Register (64 FR 20166). You can also find later actions concerning the Indiana Plan and Plan amendments at 30 CFR 914.20 and 914.25.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated March 14, 2016 (Administrative Record No. IN-1773), Indiana sent us an amendment to its AMLR Plan under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Indiana proposes to update the Indiana Plan as required by the 2006 Amendment to SMCRA. The full text of the Plan amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at

III. Public Comment Procedures

We are seeking your comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable Plan approval criteria of 30 CFR 884.15. If we approve the amendment, it will become part of the State Plan.

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 State or Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant publications.

We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment Start Printed Page 45426period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those listed (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 at any time. 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 4:00 p.m., c.t. on July 29, 2016. 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 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 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review

This rulemaking 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 Plan amendment to OSMRE for review, our regulations at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15 require us to hold a public hearing on a Plan amendment if it changes the objectives, scope or major policies followed, or make a finding that the State provided adequate notice and opportunity for public comment. Indiana has elected to have OSMRE publish a notice in the Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment and soliciting comments. We will 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 914

  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Surface mining
  • Underground mining
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Dated: May 10, 2016.

Sterling Rideout,

Acting Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.

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[FR Doc. 2016-16658 Filed 7-13-16; 8:45 am]