[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 110 (Thursday, June 9, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-14055]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: June 9, 1994]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 935


Ohio Regulatory Program

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), 

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of public comment period.


SUMMARY: OSM is reopening the public comment period for proposed 
Program Amendment Number 63 (PA 63) to the Ohio permanent regulatory 
program and AML program (hereinafter referred to as the Ohio programs) 
under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). 
Ohio has submitted additional information to expand upon its original 
submission of PA 63.

DATES: Written comments must be received by 4 p.m., E.D.T., June 24, 

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be mailed or hand delivered to 
Richard J. Seibel, Director, Columbus Field Office, at the address 
listed below.
    Copies of the Ohio programs, the proposed amendment, and all 
written comments received in response to this document will be 
available for public review at the addresses listed below during normal 
business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Each 
requester may receive one free copy of the proposed amendment by 
contacting OSM's Columbus Field Office.

Richard J. Seibel, Director, Columbus Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 4480 Refugee Road, suite 201, 
Columbus, Ohio 43232, Telephone: (614) 866-0578
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation, 1855 
Fountain Square Court, Building H-3, Columbus, Ohio 43224, Telephone: 
(614) 265-6675.

Richard J. Seibel, Director, Columbus Field Office, (614) 866-0578.


I. Background

    On August 16, 1982, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally 
approved the Ohio programs. Information on the general background of 
the Ohio program submissions, including the Secretary's findings, the 
disposition of comments, and a detailed explanation of the conditions 
of approval of the Ohio programs, can be found in the August 10, 1982, 
Federal Register (47 FR 34688). Subsequent actions concerning the 
conditions of approval and program amendments are identified at 30 CFR 
935.11, 935.12, 935.15, and 935.16.

II. Discussion of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated March 15, 1993 (Administrative Record No. OH-1845), 
the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation 
(Ohio), submitted proposed PA 63. In that submission, Ohio proposed to 
reduce the staff of the Ohio programs by abolishing 28 existing 
positions. Ohio also proposed to reorganize the remaining staff 
positions to assume the existing job duties.
    PA 63 included seven attachments intended to describe Ohio's 
proposal for the staffing reduction and reorganization and to provide 
the rationale for those actions. The amendment contains no proposed 
revisions to Ohio's coal mining law in the Ohio Revised Code or coal 
mining rules in the Ohio Administrative Code.
    The seven attachments to PA 63 are summarized briefly in the notice 
of the receipt of the proposed amendment which OSM published in the 
Federal Register (55 FR 18185) on April 8, 1993. The public comment 
period ended on May 10, 1993. The public hearing scheduled for May 3, 
1993, was not held because no one requested an opportunity to testify.
    By letter dated June 16, 1993 (Administrative Record No. OH-1890), 
Ohio submitted additional information concerning the reduction of 
staffing levels. In addition, Ohio included seven attachments. The 
first attachment was a chart for the years 1987 through 1992 showing 
coal production, active mining permits, and new permits issued; the 
second attachment was a chart showing the acreage of Phase I, Phase II, 
and Phase III bond releases from 1983 through 1992; the third 
attachment was a draft policy/procedure directive concerning the role 
of the inspectors in inspecting forfeited sites and in assisting in 
plan review and preparation and in completing the paperwork associated 
with forfeitures; the fourth attachment was the monthly enforcement 
report; the fifth attachment was a draft policy/procedure directive 
concerning the participation of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) staff in 
small project designs; the sixth attachment was a description of the 
workload of the inspection and enforcement engineer; and the seventh 
attachment concerned engineering guidelines. Through an oversight, OSM 
did not reopen the comment period at that time.
    Subsequently, by letter dated November 2, 1993 (Administrative 
Record No. OH-1948), OSM provided its questions and comments to Ohio on 
the March 15, 1993, and June 16, 1993, submissions of PA 63. OSM's 
questions and comments were listed under the following six headings: 
Streamlining of AML Designs; Engineering--Bond Forfeitures; 
Engineering--Inspection and Enforcement Issues; Position Descriptions; 
Bond Forfeiture Program; and SOAP Program.
    By letter dated December 6, 1993 (Administrative Record No. OH-
1971), Ohio provided its responses to OSM's questions and comments 
under the six headings listed above. In addition, Ohio included two 
attachments. One attachment is a letter addressed to OSM dated November 
5, 1993. This letter explains organizational responsibilities in Ohio's 
engineering/geotechnical support group and the AML program.
    The other attachment is a log of engineering inspection and 
enforcement activity.
    OSM announced receipt of Ohio's additional Administrative Record 
information in the January 21, 1994, Federal Register (59 FR 3325), and 
in the same document opened the public comment period and provided an 
opportunity for a public hearing on the adequacy of the proposed 
amendment. The public comment period closed on February 7, 1994.
    In response to OSM's concerns regarding engineering practices and 
engineering workload, on April 21, 1994 (Administrative Record No. OH-
2014), Ohio submitted additional information on both of these items.

III. Public Comment Procedures

    OSM is reopening the comment period on the proposed Ohio program 
amendment to provide the public an opportunity to reconsider the 
adequacy of the proposed amendment in light of the additional materials 
    In accordance with the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), OSM is now 
seeking comments on whether the proposed amendment satisfies the 
applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If the amendment 
is deemed adequate, it will become part of the Ohio program.

Written Comments

    Written comments should be specific, pertain only to the issues 
proposed in this rulemaking, and include explanations in support of the 
commenter's recommendations. Comments received after the time indicated 
under DATES or at locations other than the Columbus Field Office will 
not necessarily be considered in the final rulemaking or included in 
the Administrative Record.

IV. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 12866

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

Executive Order 12778

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required 
by section 2 of Executive Order 12778 (Civil Justice Reform) and has 
determined that, to the extent allowed by law, this rule meets the 
applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of that section. 
However, these standards are not applicable to the actual language of 
State regulatory programs and program amendments since each such 
program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSM. 
Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and 30 
CFR 730.11, 732.15 and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State 
regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must 
be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is 
consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and 
whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731, and 732 have 
been met.

National Environmental Policy Act

    No environmental impact statement is required for this rule since 
section 702(d) of SMCRA [30 U.S.C. 1292(d)] provides that agency 
decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not 
constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 
102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 
3507 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior has determined that this rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). 
The submittal which is the subject of this rule is based upon 
corresponding Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was 
prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a 
significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small 
entities. Accordingly, this rule will ensure that existing requirements 
previously promulgated by OSM will be implemented by the State. In 
making the determination as to whether this rule would have a 
significant economic impact, the Department relied upon the data and 
assumptions in the analyses for the corresponding Federal regulations.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 935

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: June 3, 1994.
Robert J. Biggi,
Acting Assistant Director, Eastern Support Center.
[FR Doc. 94-14055 Filed 6-8-94; 8:45 am]