Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
This document gives the times and locations that the Kentucky program is 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 requested.
Joseph L. Blackburn, Field Office Director, Lexington Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 2675 Regency Road, Lexington, Kentucky 40503, Telephone: (859) 260-3902; Email:
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 Kentucky program on May 18, 1982. You can find background information on the Kentucky program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the Kentucky program in the May 18, 1982,
OSM first promulgated final rules to address Ownership and Control (O&C) over 20 years ago. Since then, OSM has published a series of changes to O&C and related rules, some in response to Federal Court decisions, culminating in our latest rulemaking published on December 3, 2007, which included changes to our Transfer, Assignment, or Sale (TAS) of Permit rights rules (72 FR 68000).
The Lexington Field Office conducted an evaluation of the Kentucky regulatory program pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17 in order to determine if any changes were required. The Lexington Field Office reviewed the Kentucky program against all revisions to the Federal regulations through July 1, 2008, using a standard of “no less effective than the Federal regulations in meeting the requirements of the Act” (65 FR 79658). As a part of the evaluation, the Lexington Field Office of OSM conducted several meetings with the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources (KDNR). As a part of its review, OSM considered whether the program is currently being implemented in accordance with the current Federal regulations. Because OSM had issued required amendments to KDNR prior to the current final rulemaking, OSM revisited the need for those required amendments in light of the current status of the Federal regulations. As a result of that review, OSM is proposing to remove the previously required amendments as discussed below.
OSM is proposing removal of a required amendment found at 30 CFR 917.16 (e) regarding the Kentucky ownership and control regulations. Previously, OSM reviewed a program amendment submitted by Kentucky, which among other things, proposed to add a regulation which prohibited “* * * the issuance of a permit if the applicant, operator or anyone who owns or controls the applicant, controls or has controlled any surface coal mining and reclamation operation with a demonstrated pattern of willful violations of Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) chapter 350 and regulations adopted pursuant thereto * * *” In a
In addition, OSM is proposing removal of a required amendment found at 30 CFR 917.16 (h) regarding the Kentucky operator change revision regulations. Previously OSM reviewed a program amendment submitted by Kentucky, which among other things, proposed to add a regulation which “* * * established a new category of permit revision for operator changes that do not constitute a transfer, assignment or sale of permit rights.”
OSM has historically interpreted the Federal rules as meaning that changes in the “operator” of a mine, as that term is defined at 30 CFR 701.5, must be processed as a TAS of permit regulations. In the December 3, 2007, Federal regulation (72 FR 68000) OSM made changes to TAS, including defining TAS as limited to “* * * a change of a permittee * * *” (30 CFR 701.5). Therefore, the Federal regulations no longer consider a change in the “operator” of a mine to fall under the definition of TAS. Kentucky continues to process a change in mine operator in a manner similar to the process developed for the TAS applications. In addition, KDNR will continue entering all data concerning a revision of the mine operator in both Applicant/Violator System (AVS) and Kentucky Surface Mining Information System (KYSMIS).
Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on whether the Kentucky program now satisfies the applicable program approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we remove the required amendments, the Kentucky program will be approved as it is currently being implemented.
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
Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, 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.
If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person listed under
To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request, that if possible, 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.
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 amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the person listed under
This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.
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
Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.