[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 234 (Tuesday, December 6, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 76111-76112]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31293]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 926

[SATS No. MT-034-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2011-0018]

Montana Regulatory Program

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

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


SUMMARY: We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the 
Montana regulatory program (hereinafter, the ``Montana program'') under 
the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (``SMCRA'' or 
``the Act''). Montana proposes revisions to and additions of statutory 
definitions for ``approximate original contour,'' ``in situ coal 
gasification,'' and ``recovery fluid.'' Montana intends to revise its 
program to clarify ambiguities and improve operational efficiency.
    This document gives the times and locations that the Montana 
program and proposed amendment to that program are available for your 
inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written 
comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for 
the public hearing, if one is requested.

DATES: We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., 
m.s.t. January 5, 2012. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on 
the amendment on January 3, 2012. We will accept requests to speak 
until 4 p.m., m.s.t. on December 21, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by ``SATS No. MT-034-
FOR'' or ``Docket ID No. OSM-2011-0018,'' by any of the following 
     Email: [email protected]. Please Include ``Docket ID No. 
OSM-2011-0018'' in the subject line of the message.
     Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Jeffrey Fleischman, Chief, 
Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, P.O. Box 11018, Casper, WY 82601-7032.
     Fax: (307) 261-6552.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments. All submissions received must 
include the agency name and Docket ID No. OSM-2011-0018. 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.
    In addition to viewing the docket and obtaining copies of documents 
at http://www.regulations.gov, you may review copies of the Montana 
program, this amendment, a listing of any public hearings, and all 
written comments received in response to this document at the addresses 
listed below during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 
excluding holidays.
    Jeffrey Fleischman, Chief, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, 150 
East B, Street Room 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601-7032, (307) 261-6550, 
[email protected].
    Edward L. Coleman, Bureau Chief, Industrial and Energy Minerals 
Bureau, Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 200901, Helena, 
MT 59620-0901, (406) 444-2544, [email protected]

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Fleischman, Chief, Casper 
Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 
P.O. Box 11018, Dick Cheney Federal Building, 150 East B Street Room 
1018, Casper, Wyoming 82601-7032, (307) 261-6550, 
[email protected].

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

I. Background on the Montana 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 State 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 Montana program on April 1, 1980. You can 
find background information on the Montana program, including the 
Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of 
approval of the Montana program in the April 1, 1980, Federal Register 
(45 FR 21560). You can also find later actions concerning Montana's 
program and program amendments at 30 CFR 926.15, 926.16, and 926.30.

[[Page 76112]]

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated August 19, 2011, Montana sent us a proposed 
amendment to its program (Administrative Record No. MT-31-01) under 
SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Montana sent the amendment in response 
to Senate Bill 292, which was passed by the 2011 Montana Legislature. 
Senate Bill 292 amended both the Montana Strip and Underground Mine 
Reclamation Act (MSUMRA) and the Montana Water Quality Act.
    Specifically, Montana proposes to revise the Montana Code Annotated 
(MCA) Section 82-4-203, Definitions, by adding a reference to the 
definition of hydrologic balance within the definition of (4) 
``Approximate original contour,'' and by adding definitions of (27) 
``In situ coal gasification,'' and (44) ``Recovery fluid.'' Other 
changes are non-substantive recodifications. OSM does not have 
jurisdiction over proposed changes to Montana's Water Quality Act 
(Title 75, Chapter 5 of MCA). The full text of the program amendment is 
available for you to read at the locations listed above under 

III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your 
comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program 
approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it 
will become part of the Montana 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 State or 
Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant 
    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, email 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.s.t. on 
December 21, 2011. 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 present in 
the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a 
public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with 
us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings 
are open to the public; 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 (Regulatory Planning and 

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 926

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 26, 2011.
Allen D. Klein,
Director, Western Region.
[FR Doc. 2011-31293 Filed 12-5-11; 8:45 am]