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Proposed Rule

Ohio Regulatory Program

Document Details

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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 Ohio regulatory program (the Ohio program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Through this proposed amendment, Ohio seeks to revise its program to require that an applicant acquire legal right to enter during the term of the permit, in addition Ohio is asking for approval of the implementation of offsite mitigation guidelines.

This document gives the times and locations that the Ohio 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 will hold a public hearing 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.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. OH-256-FOR, by any of the following methods:

  • Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Ben Owens, Field Office Director, Pittsburgh Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, Pa 15220.
  • Fax: (412) 937-2177.
  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2017-004. 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 Ohio program, 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 Pittsburgh Field Office, or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov.

Mr. Ben Owens, Field Office Director, Pittsburgh Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, Pa 15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: bowens@osmre.gov

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

Mr. Dave Crow, Acting Chief, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management, 2045 Morse Road, Building H2, Telephone: (614) 265-1020, Email: dave.crow@dnr.state.oh.us

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Ben Owens, Field Office Director, Pittsburgh Field Office, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15220. Telephone: (412) 937-2827, email: bowens@osmre.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Ohio Program

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

III. Public Comment Procedures

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background on the Ohio 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 Start Printed Page 10639by demonstrating that its 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 Ohio program on August 16, 1982. You can find background information on the Ohio program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the Ohio program in the August 10, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 34717). You can also find later actions concerning the Ohio program and program amendments at 30 CFR 935.10, 935.11, and 935.15.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

By letter dated October 5, 2015 (Administrative Record No. OH-2193-01), Ohio sent us an amendment to its program, known as Ohio Program Amendment No. 84, which includes statutory changes to its Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The statutory revision in Ohio House Bill 64 of the 131st General Assemble was signed and became effective September 29, 2015. The proposed amendment included changes to Section 1513.06 to allow the off-site mitigation of the unavoidable loss of streams and wetlands which cannot be restored on site. Section 1513.07 includes two changes to the Right of Entry (ROE) requirements: (1) To change the mapping section which currently requires maps to identify lands to be affected, lands where applicants has legal ROE, and adds a section for lands for which the applicant will acquire ROE during the term of the permit, and (2) to allow acceptance of an application as administratively complete as long as the applicant has ROE for at least 67% of the area for which coal mining operations are proposed.

By letter dated November 20, 2017 (Administrative Record No. OH-2193-06), Ohio sent OSMRE an addendum to its program, known by Ohio as Program Amendment No. 84, which includes statutory changes to its Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The statutory revision in Ohio House Bill 49 of the 132nd General Assemble was signed and became effective June 20, 2017. The proposed addendum includes changes Section 1501:13-4-03(D)(1) changing the word description to Notarized statement; (D)(2) is added to require that the application include a notarized statement identifying the specific land for which the applicant is negotiating to acquire the legal right to enter and begin coal mining in the permit area, for surface mining operations, or in the permit and shadow areas, for underground mining operations, during the term of the permit.

Section 1501:13-5-01 (A)(1)(g) is proposed to be added to state that if the application for a coal mining permit, permit renewal, or permit revision includes a request for restoration off the permit area by means of mitigation, this must be specified in the public notice; (G)(3) is revised to add a provision from Section 1513.07(I)(4) enacted by HB 64, effective September 29, 2015: The permit shall contain a specific condition to prohibit the commencement of coal mining operations on any land that is located within the permit area or the shadow area if the permittee has not provided to the chief documents that form the basis of the permittee's legal right to enter and conduct coal mining operations on that land.

Section 1501:13-9-04 (E)(1) is proposed to clarify how to measure the distance from the stream: “measured horizontally.” (E)(1)(c) is proposed to add a provision regarding restoration off the permit area by means of mitigation. (F)(2)(d) is proposed to be add a new paragraph to mirror a requirement of 30 CFR 816.43(b)(4). (H)(1)(a) is proposed to update addresses.

Section 1501:13-13-08 is proposed to be added to implement and amplify ORC Section 1513.16(A)(25), enacted by HB 64 of the 131st General Assembly, effective September 29, 2015.

The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at 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.

Electric 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.

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.Start Printed Page 10640

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 935

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

Dated: November 14, 2019.

Thomas D. Shope,

Regional Director, North Atlantic—Appalachian Region.

End Signature

Editorial Note:

The Office of the Federal Register received this document on February 20, 2020.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2020-03750 Filed 2-24-20; 8:45 am]

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