Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program was established by Title IV of the Act (30 U.S.C. 1201
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,
By letter dated March 21, 2008, Wyoming submitted a proposed
Specifically, OSM stated it appears that Wyoming's new statute at W.S. § 35-11-1210 conflicts with existing statute W.S. § 35-11-1203, which was established to receive funds to carry out the Reclamation Plan including coal reclamation. W.S. § 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 W.S. § 35-11-1210 is solely for the purpose of receiving funds from the Federal government pursuant to SMCRA Section 411(h)(1) and that these funds are separate and in addition to funds distributed to the account established by W.S. § 35-11-1203.
We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the June 2, 2008,
Following are the findings we made concerning the amendment under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15. We are approving the amendment.
In response to a letter dated January 18, 2008, from the Regional Director, Western Region of OSM and pursuant to 30 CFR 884.15(d), Wyoming proposes a minor editorial change to subparagraph (b) of newly-created W.S. § 35-11-1210 and its Reclamation Plan that is intended to provide clarification and correct an inadvertent error in the statutory amendment that was enacted during the 2007 Wyoming Legislative Session. Specifically, new statute W.S. § 35-11-1210 was passed in 2007 and established the Abandoned Mine Land Funds Reserve Account pursuant to Section 411(h) of the SMCRA Amendments of 2006 that is not required to be spent on reclamation projects. Conversely, existing statute W.S. § 35-11-1203 established an account to receive funds to carry out the State Reclamation Plan, including coal reclamation. OSM's concern, as stated in the January 18, 2008 letter, was that establishment of these two funds creates a statutory conflict wherein funding of Wyoming's Reclamation Plan is not assured. Accordingly, OSM is seeking assurance that Wyoming will reclaim its remaining coal abandoned mine land problems.
Wyoming's proposed amendment to subparagraph (b) clarifies that the account established by W.S. § 35-11-1210 is established solely to receive funds from the Federal government pursuant to SMCRA amendments of 2006 to Section 411(h)(1) and that these funds are separate and in addition to funds distributed to the account established by W.S. § 35-11-1203, which remains in place to receive funds to carry out the State Reclamation Plan including coal reclamation. Wyoming had previously committed to spend a minimum of $30 million dollars per year on coal reclamation work until coal work is completed as a condition of OSM's payment to the State under SMCRA Section 411(h) in a letter dated February 4, 2007 (Administrative Record Document ID OSM-2008-0008-0006).
Wyoming's clarification and assurance that funds received through establishment of the Abandoned Mine Land Funds Reserve Account will not be commingled with monies received to carry out coal reclamation under the State Reclamation Plan is in accordance with section 405(h) of SMCRA, and addresses the programmatic concerns raised by OSM under 30 CFR 884.15(d). For these reasons, we are approving Wyoming's proposed statutory amendment.
We asked for public comments on the amendment (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-2008-0008-0008) and one comment was received.
Specifically, the University of Wyoming submitted a comment in support of the amendment by stating that it is in agreement with the proposed change to Wyoming Statute W.S. 35-11-1210 (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-2008-0008-0004).
Under 30 CFR 884.14(a)(2) and 884.15(a), we requested comments on the amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential interest in the State plan (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-2008-0008-0008). We received comments from two Federal Agencies.
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) commented in an April 17, 2008 letter (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-2008-0008-0003), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) commented in a May 2, 2008 letter (Administrative Record Document ID No. OSM-2008-0008-0002).
The BOR indicated that it did not have comments on the proposed amendment.
The BLM commented that although it recognizes that OSM's priority under the 2006 Amendments [to SMCRA] is to fund reclamation of coal mines, it also wants to ensure that enough money is available to fund reclamation of non-coal abandoned mines on BLM lands. The BLM goes on to explain that work on many of these projects may be mothballed due to the requirements to finish the coal sites first, and notes that it is unclear whether these non-coal sites will be able to obtain SMCRA funding in the future. Lastly, the BLM states its wish to ensure that the State Legislature and OSM consider its needs when fund requests for grants to use monies in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund are submitted.
In response, OSM agrees that there are hard rock abandoned mine land problems in Wyoming and we acknowledge that they present both health and safety concerns. Unfortunately, OSM can't provide assurance to the BLM that the Wyoming AML Program will continue to reclaim abandoned hard rock mine problems with funds the State receives under the 2006 Amendments to SMCRA. Specifically, it is solely up to the Wyoming Legislature to determine if it wants to fund reclamation of abandoned hard rock mine problems as part of giving priority to addressing impacts of mineral development with funds the State receives under Section 411(h)(1) of SMCRA.
Based on the above finding, we approve Wyoming's proposed amendment submitted on March 21, 2008.
To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations at 30 CFR Part 950, which codify decisions concerning the State plan. We find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this final rule effective immediately. Section 405(d) of SMCRA requires that the State have a program that is in compliance with the procedures, guidelines, and requirements established under the Act. Making this regulation effectively immediately will expedite that process. SMCRA requires consistency of Wyoming and Federal standards.
This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.
This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review).
The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that, to the extent allowable by law, 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 Wyoming's AMLR plans and revisions thereof because each plan is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSM. Decisions on proposed State AMLR plans and revisions thereof submitted by a 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 part 884.
This rule does not have federalism implications. SMCRA delineates the roles of the Federal and State governments with regard to the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of the purposes of SMCRA is to “establish a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.” Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that State laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be “in accordance with” the requirements of SMCRA, and section 503(a)(7) requires that State programs contain rules and regulations “consistent with” regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.
In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the potential effects of this rule on Federally recognized Indian Tribes and have determined that the rule 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 rule does not involve or affect Indian Tribes in any way.
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.
No environmental impact statement is required for this rule because agency decisions on proposed State AMLR plans and revisions thereof are categorically excluded from compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321
This rule does not contain information collection requirements that require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501
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
This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This 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.
This determination is based upon the fact that the State submittal which is the subject of this rule is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.
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 upon the fact that the State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made that the federal regulation did not impose an unfunded mandate.
Abandoned mine reclamation programs, Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.
30 U.S.C. 1201