[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 118 (Monday, June 21, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34960-34962]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14868]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 938

[PA-155-FOR; OSM 2010-0003]

Pennsylvania Regulatory Program

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

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


SUMMARY: OSM is announcing receipt of a request (Administrative Record 
No. 844.14) to remove a required amendment to the Pennsylvania 
regulatory program (the ``Pennsylvania program'') under the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). 
Pennsylvania has provided a rationale that it believes supports the 
position that the required amendment related to specific information 
(cessation orders) for permit applications should be removed.
    This document gives the times and locations that the Pennsylvania 
program and this submittal are available for your inspection, the 
comment period during which you may submit written comments, and the 
procedures that we will follow for the public hearing, if one is 

DATES: We will accept written comments until 4 p.m., e.s.t. July 21, 
2010. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on July 16, 2010. We 
will accept requests to speak until 4 p.m., e.s.t. on July 6, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``PA-155-FOR; Docket 
ID: OSM-2010-0003'' by either of the following two methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. The proposed rule 
has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2010-0003. If you would like to submit 
comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to 
www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions.
    Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Mr. George Rieger, Chief, Pittsburgh 
Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
Harrisburg Transportation Center, 415 Market St., Suite 304, 
Harrisburg, PA 17101.
    Instructions: 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: In addition to obtaining copies of documents at 
www.regulations.gov, information may also be obtained at the addresses 
listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 
excluding holidays. You may receive one free copy of the amendment by 
contacting OSM's Pittsburgh Field Division Office at:

OSM's Pittsburgh Field Division Office, George Rieger, Chief, 
Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, Harrisburg Transportation Center, 415 Market St., Suite 
304, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101, Telephone (717) 782-4036, E-mail: 
[email protected].
William S. Allen Jr., Acting Director, Bureau of Mining and 
Reclamation, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, 
Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania 17105-8461, Telephone: (717) 787-5015, E-mail: 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Rieger, Telephone: (717) 782-
4036. E-mail: [email protected].


I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program
II. Description of the Amendment
III. Public Comment Procedures
IV. Procedural Determinations

[[Page 34961]]

I. Background on the Pennsylvania 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 by demonstrating that 
its program includes, among other things, ``a State law which provides 
for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in 
accordance with the requirements of this Act * * *; and rules and 
regulations consistent with regulations issued by the Secretary 
pursuant to this Act.'' See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the basis 
of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally approved 
the Pennsylvania program on July 30, 1982. You can find background 
information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary's 
findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of 
the Pennsylvania program in the July 30, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 
33050). You can also find later actions concerning the Pennsylvania 
program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.13, 938.15 
and 938.16.

II. Description of the Amendment

    By letter dated March 4, 2010, Pennsylvania sent us a request to 
remove a required amendment codified at 30 CFR 938.16(bbb) 
(Administrative Number PA 844.14), under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et 
seq.). The required amendment reads as follows:

    By May 1, 1993, Pennsylvania shall submit a proposed amendment 
to section 86.63(a)(3) to require that all applications for surface 
mining permits include the specific information required by section 
86.63(a)(3)(i)-(viii) for all cessation orders received, by the 
applicant and anyone linked to the applicant through ownership and 
control, prior to the date of the application.

Section 86.63 of 25 Pennsylvania Code outlines the compliance 
information that is required for an application and subsection 
86.63(a)(3) reads as follows:

    (3) For a violation of a provision of the acts, or law, rule or 
regulation of the United States, or of State law, rule or regulation 
enacted under Federal law, rule or regulation pertaining to air or 
water environmental protection incurred in connection with a coal 
mining activity, a list of the violation notices received by the 
applicant during the 3-year period preceding the application date 
and a list of the unabated cessation orders and unabated air and 
water quality violation notices received prior to the date of the 
application by a coal mining activity owned or controlled by either 
the applicant or by a person who owns or controls the applicant 
under the definition of ``owned or controlled'' or ``owns or 
controls'' in section 86.1. The application shall also contain a 
statement regarding each violation notice including the following:
    (i) The identification number of the permit or operation and the 
MSHA number including the date of issuance of the MSHA number.
    (ii) The date of issuance of the violation notice with the 
Federal or State identification number.
    (iii) The name of the issuing regulatory authority, department 
or agency.
    (iv) The name of the person to whom the violation notice was 
    (v) A brief description of the particular violation.
    (vi) The date, location and type of administrative or judicial 
proceedings initiated concerning the violation.
    (vii) The current status of the violation.
    (viii) The actions taken by the applicant to abate the 
violation, and proof which is satisfactory to the regulatory 
authority, department or agency which has jurisdiction over the 
violation that the violation has been corrected, or is in the 
process of being corrected.

Pennsylvania states that under the Pennsylvania program, a cessation 
order is a type of violation notice. A cessation order is a compliance 
order that requires cessation of all or part of a mining operation. 
Pennsylvania manages its enforcement such that all violations are 
handled through enforcement actions. All enforcement actions are 
``violation notices'' because they are the vehicle through which a 
violator is notified that there is a violation. In practice, the term 
``violation notice'' in 25 Pa. Code 86.63(a)(3) includes the following 
enforcement actions: Compliance Orders, Cessation Orders, Failure to 
Abate Cessation Orders, Permit Suspensions, and Bond Forfeitures.
    Pennsylvania manages violation and enforcement data using the 
eFACTS (Environment, Facility, Application, Compliance Tracking System) 
database. The practice to include cessation orders along with the other 
enforcement actions is embedded in the report that is used to verify 
violation history data.
    The regulation at 25 Pa. Code 86.63(a)(3) requires cessation orders 
to be reported because in practice the term ``violation notice'' 
includes cessation orders. Therefore, Pennsylvania is requesting that 
the required program amendment at 30 CFR 938.16(bbb) be removed. The 
full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the 
locations listed above under ADDRESSES.

III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your 
comments on whether the submission satisfies the applicable program 
approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it 
will become part of the Pennsylvania program.

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 Tribal 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 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 at any time. While you may 
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. We will not consider anonymous comments.

Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., e.s.t July 6, 
2010. 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 the hearing.
    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 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

[[Page 34962]]

present in the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

Public Meeting

    If there is only limited interest in participating in a public 
hearing, we may hold a public meeting rather than a public hearing. If 
you wish to meet with us to discuss the submission, 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.

IV. Procedural Determinations

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.

Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSM 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.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 938

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

     Dated: April 28, 2010.
Thomas D. Shope,
Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
[FR Doc. 2010-14868 Filed 6-18-10; 8:45 am]