[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 242 (Thursday, December 17, 1998)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 69580-69581]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-33443]



Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Ch. I

Notice of Intent To Form a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee and 
Accept Applications for Membership Under Section 1115 of the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to form a Negotiated Rulemakeing Committee.


SUMMARY: As required by the Negotiated Rulemaking Act of 1990, 5 U.S.C. 
561 et seq., the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is giving notice 
of his intent to establish an Indian Reservation Roads Negotiated 
Rulemaking Committee (Committee) to negotiate and develop proposed 
rules establishing an Indian Reservation Roads program funding formula 
for fiscal year 2000 and subsequent years; and proposed regulations 
governing the Indian Reservation Roads program authorized by 23 U.S.C. 

DATES: Applications and comments on the establishment of this Committee 
must be received no later than January 16, 1999.

ADDRESSES: Send applications and comments to Mr. LeRoy Gishi, Chief, 
Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department 
of the Interior, MS-4058-MIB, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240. 
Applications and comments received by the BIA will be available for 
inspection at the address listed above from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday 
through Friday.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of 
Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, at the address listed above, 
or by telephone at (202) 208-4359 or fax at (202) 208-4696. Additional 
information may be posted on the Indian Reservation Roads web site at 
www.irr.bia.gov, as it becomes available.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As required by 23 U.S.C. 202, and amended by 
TEA-21, the Secretary shall, pursuant to a negotiated rulemaking 
process, issue regulations governing the Indian Reservation Roads 
program and establish a formula for allocating all contractible funds 
among Indian tribes for fiscal year 2000 and subsequent years. Section 
202 also requires that in establishing this Committee, the Secretary of 
the Interior: (1) Apply the procedures of negotiated rulemaking under 
the Negotiated Rulemaking Act in a manner that reflects the unique 
government-to-government relationship between the Indian tribes and the 
United States; and (2) ensure that the membership of the Committee 
includes only representatives of the Federal government and of 
geographically diverse small, medium, and large Indian tribes.
    In negotiating a proposed regulation establishing a funding 
formula, section 202 requires the Committee to base its proposal on 
factors that reflect: (1) The relative needs of the Indian tribes, and 
reservation or tribal communities, for transportation assistance; and 
(2) the relative administrative capacities of, and challenges faced by, 
various Indian tribes. The latter include the cost of road construction 
in each Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Area; geographic isolation; and 
difficulty in maintaining all-weather access to employment, commerce, 
health, safety, and educational resources. Also, section 202 requires 
the Committee to develop a regulation governing the Indian reservation 
roads program. As required by 23 U.S.C. 202, we must issue these 
regulations in final form no later than April 1, 1999.
    Committee members will not receive pay for their membership, but 
will be compensated for travel and per diem expenses while performing 
official committee business, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 
568(c). BIA will provide administrative support for the Committee.
    In keeping with the requirements outlined above, the Secretary 
invites the tribes in each of the twelve BIA Areas to nominate two 
representatives to serve on the Committee, and two alternates to serve 
if the representatives are unavailable. Given the requirement that the 
Committee membership reflect the diversity of tribal interests, tribes 
are encouraged to nominate representatives and alternates that will 
result in a committee membership that represents the interests of:
    (1) Members of geographically diverse small, medium, and large 
Indian tribes;
    (2) Members of tribes identified as Direct Service, Self-
Determination and Self-Governance tribes;
    (3) Members of tribes with various levels and types of experience 
in the diverse concerns of transportation development and management 
(e.g., jurisdictional issues, complexity of transportation systems, 
climatic concerns, environmental issues, geographic isolation, etc.).
    The BIA Area Offices will offer assistance to the tribes in 
coordinating the selection of nominees and preparing nominations. 
Representatives and alternates nominated by tribes will be considered 
by the Secretary.
    The BIA has contracted with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation 
Service (FMCS) to provide convening and facilitation services for the 
negotiated rulemaking. The FMCS is an independent agency of the Federal 
government, established in 1947, whose responsibilities include 
providing neutral, third-party assistance in regulatory negotiations. 
The first meeting of the Committee is tentatively scheduled for the 
week of March 2-4, 1999.

Submitting Nominations

    After selecting two representatives and two alternates from their 
respective Areas as nominees, tribes are asked to provide the following 
information about each nominee:
    (1) The name of the nominee.
    (2) The tribal interest(s) to be represented by the nominee (based 
on the interests listed above).
    (3) Evidence that the nominee is authorized by the tribes in that 
BIA Area to represent the interest(s) identified above.
    To be considered, nominations must be received by the close of 
business January 15, 1999, at the location indicated in the 
``Addresses'' section. If nominations do not reflect adequately the 
statutory requirements for representation of geographically diverse 
small, medium, and large tribes, the Secretary may select additional 
representatives to achieve a balanced committee. Interested and 
qualified persons, other than nominees from the Areas, may apply for 
membership on the committee within the time limits and at the address 
indicated in the Addresses section. The Secretary's decision regarding 
the addition of representatives will also be based on whether an 
interest will be affected significantly by the proposed rule, whether 
that interest is already adequately represented by tribal nominees, and 
whether the potential

[[Page 69581]]

addition would adequately represent that interest.

    Dated: December 11, 1998.
Kevin Gover,
Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 98-33443 Filed 12-16-98; 8:45 am]