Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
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 in the April 1, 1980,
By letter dated August 19, 2011, Montana sent us an amendment to its
We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the December 6, 2011,
Following are the findings we made concerning the amendment under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. We are approving the amendment.
Montana proposed recodification changes to its statutory definitions. MCA § 82-4-203(27) through (56) have been recodified as MCA § 82-4-203(28) through (58). The addition of two new definitions (discussed below) necessitated these changes. These non-substantive changes do not alter the definitions' meaning or effectiveness.
Because these changes are minor, we find the provisions remain no less stringent than SMCRA.
Montana proposed revisions to its statutory definition of Approximate Original Contour (AOC). The existing definition contained language similar to the Federal definition of AOC as well as additional stipulations. Montana proposed to reference its definition of “hydrologic balance” within its existing AOC definition. The Federal counterpart definition does not employ the term hydrologic balance.
The proposed addition has no effect beyond referring the reader to the definition of an existing term. This addition does not alter the definition's meaning or effectiveness. This definition remains no less stringent than SMCRA.
Montana proposed two new definitions which do not have Federal counterparts under SMCRA: “in situ coal gasification” and “recovery fluid.”
Montana proposed to define “in situ coal gasification” whereas SMCRA defines “in situ processing.” The Federal definition lists in situ gasification as one type of in situ processing. Montana is proposing to define a subset of what the Federal Program defines. Montana's proposed language directly mirrors Wyoming's existing definition of “in situ mining.” Wyoming's definition was approved on March 31, 1980 (45 FR 20930), under the partial approval of its original program. That approval set precedent for the definition Montana recently proposed.
Montana's proposed definition excludes “the storage of carbon dioxide in a geologic storage reservoir” from inclusion under in situ coal gasification. This phrase precludes in situ gasification projects from including carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) under the Montana coal regulatory program.
Montana Senate Bill 498 (SB498) designated the Board of Oil and Gas Conservation as the regulatory authority for CCS activities within the State. SB498 generally established that land surface owners own the pore space below the surface unless it is otherwise documented. As such, the Board would regulate any proposed CCS activities appropriately. CCS operations have potential environmental impacts such as groundwater contamination which, by exclusion from regulation under in situ coal gasification, would be avoided under Montana's coal regulatory program (CCS would invoke a separate regulatory scheme). For this reason, excluding CCS from in situ coal gasification is more stringent than the Federal Program because the Federal Program does not address this issue at all.
Montana's new definition provides a technically accurate description of in situ coal gasification. Because there is precedent for Montana's proposed definition, the proposed language exceeds what is defined or restricted under the Federal program, and the definition is technically accurate, this addition is no less stringent than SMCRA.
Montana proposed to define “recovery fluid.” The Federal Program does not define this term; however, the Wyoming program approved by OSM on March 31, 1980 (45 FR 20930) defines this term. That approval set precedent for the definition Montana recently proposed. Montana's new definition provides a technically accurate description of recovery fluid. Because there is precedent for Montana's proposed definition, the proposed language is technically accurate, and Montana exceeds what is defined under the Federal program, this addition is no less stringent than SMCRA.
We are approving all of Montana's August 19, 2011 proposed amendments.
We asked for public comments on the amendment (Administrative Record ID No. MT-31-10), but did not receive any.
Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and section 503(b) of SMCRA, we requested comments on the amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential interest in the Montana program (Administrative Record ID No. MT-31-3).
By letter dated November 1, 2011, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) responded to our request (Administrative Record ID No. MT-31-08). MSHA concurs with the proposed revisions. We agree with MSHA that the proposed revisions are acceptable.
By letter dated November 1, 2011, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Montana State Office responded to our request (Administrative Record ID No. MT-31-09). The BLM stated that the proposed changes appear to be substantially in agreement with the corresponding Federal regulations and are therefore no less stringent than SMCRA. The BLM has no objection to the proposed amendments. We agree with BLM's assessment.
Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to obtain concurrence from EPA for those provisions of the program amendment that relate to air or water quality standards issued under the authority of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251
Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i), OSM requested comments on the amendment from EPA (Administrative Record Document ID No. MT-31-3) by letter dated September 28, 2011. EPA did not respond to our request.
Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), we are required to request comments from the
Based on the above findings, we approve Montana's August 19, 2011 amendment. To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations at 30 CFR Part 926, which codify decisions concerning the Montana program. We find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this final rule effective immediately. Section 503(a) of SMCRA requires that the State's program demonstrates that the State has the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. Making this regulation effective immediately will expedite that process. SMCRA requires consistency of State 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 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 State regulatory programs and program amendments because each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by OSM. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR parts 730, 731, and 732 have been met.
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, oruse of energy, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.
This rule does not require an environmental impact statement because section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1292(d)) provides that agency decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)
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
Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 926 is amended as set forth below:
30 U.S.C. 1201