[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 106 (Monday, June 2, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31392-31394]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-12199]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 950

[SATS No. WY-036-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2008-0008]


Wyoming Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; opening of public comment period and opportunity 
for public hearing on proposed amendment.

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SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSM), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Wyoming 
Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AMLR) Plan (hereinafter, the Wyoming 
Plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(SMCRA or the Act). Wyoming intends to revise its Plan by submitting a 
revision to correct an inadvertent error in the statute amendment 
passed in the 2007 Legislative Session.

DATES: Comments on the proposed rule must be received by 4 p.m., 
m.d.t., July 2, 2008 to ensure our consideration. If requested, we will 
hold a public hearing on the amendment on June 27, 2008. We will accept 
requests to speak until 4 p.m., m.d.t., June 17, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the two following 
methods:
     Federal e-Rulemaking Portal:  http://www.regulations.gov. 
The notice is listed under the agency name ``Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement'' and has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-
2008-0008.
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, Casper 
Field Office; Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement; 150 
East ``B'' Street, Room 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601. Please include the 
Docket ID (OSM-2008-0008) with your comments.

    If you would like to submit comments through the Federal e-
Rulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov and do the 
following. Click on the ``Advanced Docket Search'' button on the right 
side of the screen. Type in the Docket ID OSM-2008-0008 and click the 
``Submit'' button at the bottom of the page. The next screen will 
display the Docket Search Results for the rulemaking. If you click on 
OSM-2008-0008, you can view the proposed rule and submit a comment. You 
can also

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view supporting material and any comments submitted by others.
    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the 
comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than the two 
listed above will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and 
considered.
    For additional information on the rulemaking process and the public 
availability of comments, see ``III. Public Comment Procedures'' in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    You may receive one free copy of this amendment by contacting OSM's 
Casper Field Office. You may access this amendment's docket, review 
copies of the Wyoming Plan and this amendment, find a listing of any 
scheduled public hearings, and review all written comments received in 
response to this document during normal business hours, Monday through 
Friday, excluding holidays, at the following addresses:

    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The notice 
has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2008-0008.

Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 150 East ``B'' Street, Room 1018, 
Casper, Wyoming 82601, (307) 261-6550, [email protected].
Rick Chancellor, AML Administrator, Department of Environmental 
Quality, Herschler Building, 122 West 25th Street, Cheyenne, Wyoming 
82002, 307-777-7062.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Fleischman, Casper Field 
Office Director, Telephone: (307) 261-6550, Internet address: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background on the Wyoming Plan
II. Description of the Proposed Amendment
III. Public Comment Procedures
IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Wyoming Plan

    The AMLR Program was established by Title IV of the Act (30 U.S.C. 
1201 et seq.) in response to concerns over extensive environmental 
damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program is funded by 
a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is produced. The 
money collected is used to finance the reclamation of abandoned coal 
mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 of the Act 
allows States and Indian tribes to assume exclusive responsibility for 
reclamation activity within the State or on Indian lands if they 
develop and submit to the Secretary of the Interior for approval, a 
program (often referred to as a plan) for the reclamation of abandoned 
coal mines.
    On February 14, 1983, the Secretary of the Interior approved 
Wyoming's AMLR Plan. You can find general background information on the 
Wyoming Plan, including the Secretary's findings and the disposition of 
comments, in the February 14, 1983, Federal Register (48 FR 6536). OSM 
announced in the May 25, 1984, Federal Register (49 FR 22139), the 
Director's decision accepting certification by Wyoming that it had 
addressed all known coal-related impacts in the State that were 
eligible for funding under the Wyoming Plan. Wyoming could then proceed 
in reclaiming low priority non-coal projects. The Director accepted 
Wyoming's proposal that it would seek immediate funding for reclamation 
of any additional coal-related problems that occur during the life of 
the Wyoming Plan. You can find later actions concerning Wyoming's Plan 
and plan amendments at 30 CFR 950.35.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated March 21, 2008, Wyoming submitted a proposed 
amendment to the Wyoming Reclamation Plan. Wyoming submitted the 
amendment in response to a letter sent to the State dated January 18, 
2008, from the Regional Director, Western Region of OSM. Pursuant to 30 
CFR 884.11, OSM directed Wyoming to resolve a conflict in Wyoming 
accounts established to receive funds from the Federal Government 
pursuant to the SMCRA program.
    Specifically OSM stated it appears that Wyoming's new statute, WS-
35-11-1210 conflicts with existing WS-35-11-1203. WS-35-11-1210 was 
passed in 2007 and established an account to receive funding under new 
section 411(h) of SMCRA. These funds are not required to be spent on 
reclamation projects.
    Wyoming's proposed amendment clarifies that the account established 
by WS-35-11-1210 is for the purpose of receving funds from the Federal 
Government pursuant to SMCRA Section 411(h) and that these funds are 
separate and in addition to funds distributed to the account 
established by WS-35-11-1203. The WS-35-11-1203 account remains to 
receive funds to carry out the Reclamation Plan including coal 
reclamation.
    The full text of the plan amendment is available for you to read at 
the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 884.15(a), OSM requests your 
comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable State 
reclamation plan approval criteria of 30 CFR 884.14. If we approve the 
amendment, it will become part of the Wyoming Plan.
    Electronic or Written Comments: If you submit written comments, 
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 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 above (see ADDRESSES) will be included in the docket for this 
rulemaking and considered.
    Public Availability of Comments: Before including your address, 
phone number, e-mail 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 in the electronic docket for this rulemaking at http://www.regulations.gov. 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 p.m., 
m.d.t., on June 17, 2008. If you are disabled and need reasonable 
accommodation 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 the hearing. If 
there is only limited interest in participating in a public hearing, a 
public meeting rather than a hearing may be held, and a summary of the 
meeting will be included in the docket for this rulemaking.
    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we 
request, if possible, that each person who speaks at a public hearing 
provide us with a written copy

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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.

IV. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the 
potential effects on federally recognized Indian Tribes and have 
determined that the proposed amendment does not have substantial direct 
effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the 
Federal Government and Indian Tribes or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. 
The proposal does not affect Indian Tribes in any way.

Executive Order 12630--Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is 
based on the analysis of the amendment submitted by Wyoming.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

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

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required 
by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 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 Tribe or State AMLR plans and revisions since each such 
plan is drafted and promulgated by a specific Tribe or State, not by 
OSM. Decisions on proposed Tribe or State AMLR plans and revisions 
submitted by a Tribe or State are based on a determination of whether 
the submittal meets the requirements of Title IV of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 
1231-1243) and the applicable Federal regulations at 30 CFR parts 884 
and 888.

Executive Order 13211--Regulations That Significantly Affect the 
Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 which 
requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule 
that is (1) considered significant under Executive Order 12866, and (2) 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule is exempt from review 
under Executive Order 12866 and is not expected to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a 
Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act

    No environmental impact statement is required for this rule since 
agency decisions on proposed Tribe or State AMLR plans and revisions 
thereof are categorically excluded from compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332) by the Manual of the 
Department of the Interior at 516 DM 13.5.B(29).

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. 
3501 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies 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.). 
This determination is based upon the nature of the amendment submitted 
by Wyoming as discussed above.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. Based on the nature of 
the amendment submitted by Wyoming, we have determined that the rule:
    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million.
    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    c. Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
Tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any 
given year. This determination is based on the nature of the amendment 
submitted by Wyoming.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 950

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: May 13, 2008.
James Fulton,
Acting Regional Director, Western Region.
[FR Doc. E8-12199 Filed 5-30-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-05-P