[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 61 (Friday, March 31, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 16009-16010]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06396]



[[Page 16009]]

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 934

[SATS No. ND-054-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2016-0009; S1D1S SS08011000 
SX064A000 178S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 17XS501520]


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, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the North 
Dakota regulatory program (North Dakota program) under the Surface 
Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). North 
Dakota proposes numerous rule changes to the North Dakota 
Administrative Code for surface coal mining and reclamation operations 
and reclamation law changes that were made during North Dakota's 2015 
Legislative Session. The law changes added a definition of ``commercial 
leonardite'' and excluded oxidized lignite (leonardite) from the 
statutory definition of ``coal.'' The law changes also added the phrase 
``or commercial leonardite'' to many other sections of the reclamation 
law. North Dakota intends to revise its program to improve operational 
efficiency.
    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.d.t. May 1, 2017. If requested, we will hold a public hearing 
on the amendment on April 25, 2017. We will accept requests to speak 
until 4:00 p.m., m.d.t. on April 17, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. ND-054-FOR, 
by any of the following methods:
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Division Chief, Casper Area Office, 
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney 
Federal Building, POB 11018, 150 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-
1018.
     Fax: (307) 261-6552.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this rulemaking. 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: For access to the docket to review copies of the North 
Dakota program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public 
hearings, and all written comments received in response to this 
document, you must go to the address listed below during normal 
business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may 
receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE's Casper 
Area Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for 
you to read at www.regulations.gov.
    Jeffrey Fleischman, Division Chief, Casper Area Office, Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal 
Building, P.O. Box 11018, 150 East B Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-
1018. Telephone: (307) 261-6555. Email: jfleischman@osmre.gov.
    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at the following location:
    Reclamation Division, North Dakota Public Service Commission, 600 
East Boulevard, Dept. 408, Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0480. 
Telephone: (701) 328-2400.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Fleischman, Division Chief, 
Casper Area Office. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, Dick Cheney Federal Building, P.O. Box 11018, 150 East B 
Street, Casper, Wyoming 82601-1018. Telephone: (307) 261-6555. Email: 
jfleischman@osmre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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, State laws and 
regulations that govern surface coal mining and reclamation operations 
in accordance with the Act and consistent with the Federal regulations. 
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 and 934.30.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated May 19, 2016 (Administrative Record No. ND-PP-01), 
North Dakota sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 
1201 et seq.). North Dakota sent the amendment at its own initiative to 
include changes made to both the North Dakota Century Code (NDCC) and 
the North Dakota Administrative Code (NDAC). The full text of the 
program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed 
above under ADDRESSES.
    Specifically, North Dakota proposes numerous rule changes to the 
NDAC Article 69-5.2 for surface coal mining and reclamation operations 
and reclamation law changes that were made by Senate Bill No. 2377 
during North Dakota's 2015 Legislative Session. The law changes added a 
definition of ``commercial leonardite'' and excluded oxidized lignite 
(leonardite) from the statutory definition of ``coal'' in NDCC Chapter 
38-14.1, while ensuring the mining of leonardite remains subject to the 
same permitting and reclamation requirements as coal. The law changes 
also added the phrase ``or commercial leonardite'' to many other 
sections of the reclamation law as appropriate. Similarly, the proposed 
rule changes primarily consist of adding the phrase ``or commercial 
leonardite'' immediately after the word ``coal'' when it is not part of 
a definition or other phrase that doesn't otherwise include 
``commercial leonardite.''

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.

[[Page 16010]]

Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule 
during the 30-day comment period, 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 
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, 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 any time. 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.d.t. on 
April 17, 2017. 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 the 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 rulemaking 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 OSMRE 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 934

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: March 22, 2017.
David Berry,
Regional Director, Western Region.
[FR Doc. 2017-06396 Filed 3-30-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-05-P