[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 186 (Tuesday, September 27, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-23828]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: September 27, 1994]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 936


Oklahoma Regulatory Program

ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening and extension of public comment period 
on proposed amendment.


SUMMARY: OSM is announcing receipt of revisions pertaining to a 
previously proposed amendment to the Oklahoma regulatory program 
(hereinafter, the ``Oklahoma program'') under the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The proposed amendment 
pertains to revegetation success standards and statistically valid 
sampling techniques, and guidelines for phase I, II, and III bond 
release. The amendment is intended to revise the Oklahoma program to be 
consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations.

DATES: Written comments must be received by 4:00 p.m., c.d.t., October 
12, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Written comments should be mailed or hand delivered to James 
H. Moncrief at the address listed below.

    Copies of the Oklahoma program, 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 Tulsa Field Office.

James H. Moncrief, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 5100 East Skelly Drive, Suite 550, 
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135,
Oklahoma Department of Mines, 4040 N. Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 107, 
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105, Telephone: (405) 521-3859.

James H. Moncrief, Telephone: (918) 581-6430.


I. Background on the Oklahoma Program

    On January 19, 1981, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally 
approved the Oklahoma program. General background information on the 
Oklahoma program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition 
of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Oklahoma program can 
be found in the January 19, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 4902). 
Subsequent actions concerning Oklahoma's program and program amendments 
can be found at 30 CFR 936.15, 936.16, and 936.30.

II. Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated February 17, 1994, Oklahoma submitted a proposed 
amendment to its program pursuant to SMCRA (administrative record No. 
OK-959.01). Oklahoma submitted the proposed amendment in response to 
the required program amendments at 30 CFR 936.16 (a) through (i). 
Oklahoma proposed to amend the Bond Release Guidelines that are 
referenced in subsections 816.116(a) and 817.116(a) of the Oklahoma 
    OSM announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the March 8, 
1994, Federal Register (59 FR 10770), provided an opportunity for a 
public hearing or meeting on its substantive adequacy, and invited 
public comment on its adequacy (administrative record No. OK-959.06). 
Because no one requested a public hearing or meeting, none was held. 
The public comment period ended on April 7, 1994.
    During its review of the amendment, OSM identified concerns with 
Oklahoma's proposed revisions to the Bond Release Guidelines. OSM 
notified Oklahoma of these concerns by letter dated May 20, 1994 
(administrative record No. OK--959.10). Oklahoma responded in a letter 
dated July 21, 1994, by submitting a revised amendment and additional 
explanatory information (administrative record No. OK-959.11).
    OSM announced receipt of the July 21, 1994, revisions to the 
proposed amendment in the August 9, 1994, Federal Register (59 FR 
40505) and invited public comment on its adequacy (administrative 
record No. OK-959.16). The public comment period closed on August 24, 
    By letter dated September 2, 1994 (administrative record No. OK-
959.19), Oklahoma, at its own initiative in response to the U.S. Soil 
Conservation Service, Oklahoma State Office (SCS), August 29, 1994, 
comment letter (administrative record No. OK-959.18), submitted a 
revised amendment. Oklahoma proposes revisions to the Bond Release 
Guidelines in Appendices A, F, and O, concerning, respectively, the 
definition of ``productivity,'' the method of sampling for production 
on pastureland and grazingland, and the methods for calculating a 
technical standard for productivity on lands reclaimed for use as 
pastureland and grazingland.
    Specifically, Oklahoma proposes to revise the definition of 
``productivity'' to refer to the amount of total, rather than 
harvestable, biomass. Also, with respect to the method of production 
sampling, Oklahoma proposes to (1) recommend that pastureland or 
grazingland with a predominance of warm season species be clipped 
during September or October and cool season species be clipped during 
May or June and (2) require that vegetation be clipped to ground level 
rather than within approximately two inches of ground level. Lastly, 
with respect to the calculation of technical standards, Oklahoma 
proposes (1) to require for pastureland that SCS soil productivity 
figures expressed in animal unit months (AUM's) be converted to pounds 
per acre by multiplying the AUM's by 1560 and (2) to clarify for 
grazingland that clipping for productivity is a direct comparison to 
the SCS soil productivity figures expressed in pounds per acre.

III. Public Comment Procedures

    OSM is reopening the comment period on the proposed Oklahoma 
program amendment to provide the public an opportunity to reconsider 
the adequacy of the proposed amendment in light of the additional 
materials submitted. In accordance with the provisions of 30 CFR 
732.17(h), OSM is 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 Oklahoma 
    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 Tulsa Field Office will not 
necessarily be considered in the final rulemaking or included in the 
administrative record.

IV. Procedural Determinations

1. Executive Order 12866

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

2. 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 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 12550) and the Federal regulations at 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.

3. 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. 

4. 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.).

5. 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 State submittal that is the subject of this rule is based upon 
conterpart 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 for the counterpart Federal regulations.

V. List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 936

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 15, 1994.
Russell F. Price,
Acting Assistant Director, Western Support Center.
[FR Doc. 94-23828 Filed 9-26-94; 8:45 am]