[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 19 (Tuesday, January 29, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 6062-6064]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01873]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 934

[SATS No. ND-052-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2012-0021]

North Dakota 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 North 
Dakota regulatory program (hereinafter, the ``North Dakota program'') 
under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (``SMCRA'' 
or ``the Act''). North Dakota intends to revise its program to be 
consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations, add a new 
subsection to an existing rule with general requirements on the format 
of electronic applications, and make a minor correction to a provision 
pertaining to a separate rule which was amended to no longer require 
renewal of a permit once lands in that permit are no longer being mined 
or used in the support of mining.
    This document gives the times and locations that the North Dakota 
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 4:00 
p.m., m.s.t. February 28, 2013. If requested, we will hold a public 
hearing on the amendment on February 25, 2013. We will accept requests 
to speak until 4:00 p.m., m.s.t. on February 13, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following two 
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. This proposed rule 
has been assigned Docket ID: OSM-2012-0021. 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: Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, 
Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, POB 11018, 150 East B 
Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018.
    For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the ``III. Public Comment 
Procedures'' in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    In addition to viewing the docket and obtaining copies of documents 
at www.regulations.gov, you may review copies of the North Dakota 
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. You may also receive one free copy of the amendment 
by contacting OSM's Casper Field Office.

Jeffrey Fleischman, Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, P.O. 
Box 11018, 150 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018, (307) 261-
6555, [email protected].
James Deutsch, Director, Reclamation Division, North Dakota Public 
Service Commission, 600 East Boulevard, Dept. 408, Bismarck, North 
Dakota 58505-0480, (701) 328-2251, [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Fleischman, Telephone: (307) 
261-6555. Internet: [email protected].

[[Page 6063]]


Table of Contents

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

I. Background on the North Dakota 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 North Dakota program on December 15, 1980. 
You can find background information on the North Dakota program, 
including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and 
conditions of approval of the North Dakota program in the December 15, 
1980 Federal Register (45 FR 82214). You can also find later actions 
concerning North Dakota's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 
934.15, 934.16, and 934.30.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated November 14, 2012, North Dakota sent us a proposed 
amendment to its program (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-
2012-0021-0002) under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). North Dakota sent 
the amendment in response to a October 2, 2009 letter (Document ID No. 
OSM-2012-0021-0004) that we sent to North Dakota in accordance with 30 
CFR 732.17(c), and to include the changes made at its own initiative. 
The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at 
the locations listed above under ADDRESSES.
    Specifically, North Dakota proposes to add and change a number of 
rules in the North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC) Section 69-5.2. 
The changes regard the use of OSM's Applicant Violator System (AVS) 
prior to the approval of permits, renewals and certain revisions. The 
proposed rule also contains procedures for coal operators to use if 
they want to submit challenges to information in the AVS. These changes 
are being proposed to bring North Dakota's coal program into compliance 
with the counterpart federal rules regarding the AVS and ownership and 
control. Additionally, North Dakota is submitting a proposed rule 
change that adds specificity to the format requirements of electronic 
applications and a change which updates a provision to no longer 
require the renewal of a permit once surface mining is completed and 
only reclamation work remains.

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 North Dakota 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 
    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 at anytime. 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 4:00 p.m., m.s.t. on 
February 13, 2013. 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 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 (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.

[[Page 6064]]

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 934

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: November 28, 2012.
Allen D. Klein,
Director, Western Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-01873 Filed 1-28-13; 8:45 am]