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Proposed Rule

Kentucky Regulatory Program

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Start Preamble

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, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), 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). Through this program amendment, Kentucky seeks to revise administrative regulations that pertain to bond calculation requirements for long-term treatment of surface water discharges.

This document gives the times and locations that the Kentucky program and this 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 4:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (e.s.t.), March 26, 2020. If requested, we may hold a public hearing or meeting on the amendment on March 23, 2020. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on March 11, 2020.

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ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. KY-261-FOR, by any of the following methods:

  • Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Michael Castle, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, KY 40503.
  • Fax: (859) 260-8410.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned Docket ID OSM-2019-0013. If you would like to submit comments, go to http://www.regulations.gov. 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 Kentucky program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings or meetings, 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 Lexington Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at https://www.regulations.gov.

Mr. Michael Castle, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, KY 40503, Telephone: (859) 260-3900, Email: mcastle@osmre.gov.

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

Mr. Michael Mullins, Regulation Coordinator, Department for Natural Resources, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, 3000 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, KY 40601, Telephone: (502) 782-6720, Email: michael.mullins@ky.gov.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Michael Castle, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, KY 40503. Telephone: (859) 260-3900; email: mcastle@osmre.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Kentucky Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Statutory Orders and Executive Review

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 approved State program includes, among other things, State laws and regulations that govern surface coal mining and reclamation operations in accordance with the Act and consistent with the Federal regulations. 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 effective 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 the Kentucky 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

By letter dated November 25, 2019, (Administrative Record No. KY 2004), Kentucky sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). This submission is in response to an amendment OSMRE required at 30 CFR 917.16(p), Required regulatory program amendments. We required the amendment after our review of Kentucky's bonding provisions under Program Amendment No. KY-256-FOR as published in the January 29, 2018, Federal Register (83 FR 3948). The required amendment was related to post-mining discharges and how operators will provide sufficient financial assurances for the treatment of post-mining discharges. Kentucky was required to either notify us of how it will require operators to address the financial assurances, or submit an amendment to its program or a description of the amendment and a timetable for enactment.

With this amendment, Kentucky seeks to revise its administrative regulations at Title 405 of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR), Chapter 10:015, Bond and Insurance Requirements, General bonding provisions. The revisions at this chapter pertain to bond calculation requirements for long-term treatment of surface water discharges from the permit area at Section 8, Bonding Rate of Additional Areas, as well as reference changes and other minor revisions. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at http://www.regulations.gov.

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 State program.

Electronic or Written Comments

If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule during the 30-day comment period, 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 period (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., e.s.t. on March 11, 2020. 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.Start Printed Page 10636

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. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive Order 13563—Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. Pursuant to OMB guidance dated October 12, 1993, the approval of State program amendments is exempted from OMB review under Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13563, which reaffirms and supplements Executive Order 12866, retains this exemption.

Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

When a State submits a program amendment to OSMRE 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 917

  • Intergovernmental relations
  • Surface mining
  • Underground mining
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: January 30, 2020.

Thomas D. Shope,

Regional Director, North Atlantic—Appalachian Region.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-03744 Filed 2-24-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-05-P