Pennsylvania Regulatory Program, 12983-12984 [2019-06489]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 64 / Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 938 [PA–167–FOR; Docket ID: OSM–2017–0009 S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 19S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 19XS501520] Pennsylvania Regulatory Program Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment. AGENCY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Through this proposed amendment, Pennsylvania seeks to revise its regulatory program to include statutory provisions that permit reclamation bond coverage for no cost to surface mining operators who remine and then reclaim the area with biofuel crops and establish a Land Reclamation Financial Guarantee program that provides for land reclamation financial guarantees as a form of reclamation bond. Implementing regulations are also included. This document gives the times and locations that the Pennsylvania program and this 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., Eastern Standard Time (e.s.t.), May 3, 2019. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the amendment on April 29, 2019. We will accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on April 18, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. PA–167–FOR; Docket ID: OSM–2017–0009, by any of the following methods: • Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. • Fax: (412) 937–2177. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned the khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Apr 02, 2019 Jkt 247001 Docket ID OSM–2017–0009. If you would like to submit comments go to https://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 Pennsylvania 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 Pittsburgh Field Division or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov. Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, Telephone: (412) 937–2827, Email: bowens@osmre.gov. In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following location: Thomas Callaghan, P.G., Director, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105–8461, Telephone: (717) 787– 5015, Email: tcallaghan@pa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, Telephone: (412) 937–2827, Email: bowens@osmre.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program II. Description of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the Pennsylvania 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 PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12983 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 Pennsylvania program on July 30, 1982. You can find additional background information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary’s findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval in the July 30, 1982, Federal Register, (47 FR 33050). You can also find later actions concerning Pennsylvania’s program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.13, 938.15 and 938.16. II. Description of the Proposed Amendment By letter dated July 26, 2017 (Administrative Record No. PA 900.00), Pennsylvania sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The amendment to the Pennsylvania program includes two statutory changes to the Pennsylvania Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (PA SMCRA, 52 P.S. §§ 1396.1–1396.31); Act 95 of 2012 relating to biofuels incentives for remining sites; and Act 157 of 2012, relating to financial guarantees and funding for reclamation obligations. Implementing regulations at 25 Pennsylvania Code (Pa Code) Chapter 86, Surface and Underground Coal Mining, which were adopted in 2015, are also included. Statutory Changes: Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, Act 95 of 2012: An amendment to the PA SMCRA, House bill (H.B.) 608, entitled Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, was enacted on July 5, 2012, Public Law 918, No. 95 and became effective September 3, 2012. The new statutory provisions encourage and promote the use of bioenergy crops as part of the reclamation plan that addresses revegetation of the lands affected by surface mining activities. The provisions also provide sum-certain financial guarantees for this purpose. Statutory Changes: Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and Bond and Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees, Act 157 of 2012: An amendment to the PA SMCRA, H.B. 1813, entitled Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and Bond and Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees (LRFG), was enacted on October 24, 2012, Public Law 1276, No. 157 and became effective December 23, 2012. The new statutory provisions incorporate a land reclamation financial guarantee as a form of bond or collateral that may be available to the operator for the reclamation of land affected by surface mining operations. The financial guarantee is provided by the E:\FR\FM\03APP1.SGM 03APP1 12984 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 64 / Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS Commonwealth to qualified operators to satisfy the required bond obligation. The LRFG program provides for the assessment and collection of premiums from operators for such guarantees in an amount sufficient to assure the financial stability of the financial guarantee program and to cover the Commonwealth’s cost to administer the program. This program replaces the Commonwealth’s Conversion Assistance Program (CAP) of 2001. The new statutory provisions address site and operator eligibility, the establishment of an account for this purpose, the transfer of funds from the CAP program to the LRFG account, the authorizations to transfer funds from the LRFG account into the Remining Financial Assurance Fund and the Reclamation Fee Operation and Maintenance account, interest earned on the account, conditions for dissolution of the program, and management of the account. Regulatory Changes: 25 Pa Code: The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board adopted changes to mining regulations at 25 Pennsylvania Code on April 21, 2015, and the changes became effective on August 22, 2015. These changes include the addition of sections 86.162b and 86.162c, which implement the statutory changes resulting from Act 95 of 2012, Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, and Act 157 of 2012, Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and Bond and Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees. In addition, chapters 86–90 were amended to correct citations to the PA SMCRA to account for the addition of section 19.2 of the SMCRA, which was added by Act 157, to correct other citation errors, and to address other minor changes. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at www.regulations.gov. 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 (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. 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 State program. 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., e.s.t. on April 18, 2019. 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 a 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. Electronic or Written Comments If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule, 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 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Apr 02, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 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 Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance dated October 12, 1993, the approval of State program amendments is exempted from OMB review 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 938 Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining. Dated: October 11, 2018. Thomas D. Shope, Regional Director, Appalachian Region. Editorial note: This document was received for publication by the Office of the Federal Register on March 29, 2019. [FR Doc. 2019–06489 Filed 4–2–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–05–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30 CFR Part 948 [WV–124–FOR; Docket ID: OSM–2016–0012; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 190S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 19XS501520] West Virginia Regulatory Program Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public hearing on proposed amendment. AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\03APP1.SGM 03APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 64 (Wednesday, April 3, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12983-12984]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06489]



[[Page 12983]]

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DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 938

[PA-167-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2017-0009 S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 
19S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 19XS501520]


Pennsylvania Regulatory Program

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), 
Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public 
hearing on proposed amendment.

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SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the 
Pennsylvania program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Through this proposed amendment, 
Pennsylvania seeks to revise its regulatory program to include 
statutory provisions that permit reclamation bond coverage for no cost 
to surface mining operators who remine and then reclaim the area with 
biofuel crops and establish a Land Reclamation Financial Guarantee 
program that provides for land reclamation financial guarantees as a 
form of reclamation bond. Implementing regulations are also included. 
This document gives the times and locations that the Pennsylvania 
program and this 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., Eastern Standard Time (e.s.t.), May 3, 2019. If requested, we 
will hold a public hearing on the amendment on April 29, 2019. We will 
accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on April 
18, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. PA-167-FOR; 
Docket ID: OSM-2017-0009, by any of the following methods:
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field 
Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 
Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.
     Fax: (412) 937-2177.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been 
assigned the Docket ID OSM-2017-0009. If you would like to submit 
comments go to https://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 
Pennsylvania 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 Pittsburgh 
Field Division or the full text of the program amendment is available 
for you to read at www.regulations.gov.

Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 
15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: [email protected].

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at the following location: Thomas Callaghan, P.G., 
Director, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Pennsylvania Department of 
Environmental Protection, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 
8461, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8461, Telephone: (717) 787-5015, Email: 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field 
Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 
Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. Background on the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania 
program on July 30, 1982. You can find additional background 
information on the Pennsylvania program, including the Secretary's 
findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval in 
the July 30, 1982, Federal Register, (47 FR 33050). You can also find 
later actions concerning Pennsylvania's program and program amendments 
at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 938.13, 938.15 and 938.16.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated July 26, 2017 (Administrative Record No. PA 
900.00), Pennsylvania sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA 
(30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The amendment to the Pennsylvania program 
includes two statutory changes to the Pennsylvania Surface Mining 
Conservation and Reclamation Act (PA SMCRA, 52 P.S. Sec. Sec.  1396.1-
1396.31); Act 95 of 2012 relating to biofuels incentives for remining 
sites; and Act 157 of 2012, relating to financial guarantees and 
funding for reclamation obligations. Implementing regulations at 25 
Pennsylvania Code (Pa Code) Chapter 86, Surface and Underground Coal 
Mining, which were adopted in 2015, are also included.
    Statutory Changes: Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, Act 95 
of 2012: An amendment to the PA SMCRA, House bill (H.B.) 608, entitled 
Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, was enacted on July 5, 2012, 
Public Law 918, No. 95 and became effective September 3, 2012. The new 
statutory provisions encourage and promote the use of bioenergy crops 
as part of the reclamation plan that addresses revegetation of the 
lands affected by surface mining activities. The provisions also 
provide sum-certain financial guarantees for this purpose.
    Statutory Changes: Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and Bond and 
Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees, Act 157 of 2012: An amendment to 
the PA SMCRA, H.B. 1813, entitled Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and 
Bond and Land Reclamation Financial Guarantees (LRFG), was enacted on 
October 24, 2012, Public Law 1276, No. 157 and became effective 
December 23, 2012. The new statutory provisions incorporate a land 
reclamation financial guarantee as a form of bond or collateral that 
may be available to the operator for the reclamation of land affected 
by surface mining operations. The financial guarantee is provided by 
the

[[Page 12984]]

Commonwealth to qualified operators to satisfy the required bond 
obligation. The LRFG program provides for the assessment and collection 
of premiums from operators for such guarantees in an amount sufficient 
to assure the financial stability of the financial guarantee program 
and to cover the Commonwealth's cost to administer the program. This 
program replaces the Commonwealth's Conversion Assistance Program (CAP) 
of 2001. The new statutory provisions address site and operator 
eligibility, the establishment of an account for this purpose, the 
transfer of funds from the CAP program to the LRFG account, the 
authorizations to transfer funds from the LRFG account into the 
Remining Financial Assurance Fund and the Reclamation Fee Operation and 
Maintenance account, interest earned on the account, conditions for 
dissolution of the program, and management of the account.
    Regulatory Changes: 25 Pa Code: The Pennsylvania Environmental 
Quality Board adopted changes to mining regulations at 25 Pennsylvania 
Code on April 21, 2015, and the changes became effective on August 22, 
2015. These changes include the addition of sections 86.162b and 
86.162c, which implement the statutory changes resulting from Act 95 of 
2012, Mining Permit and Bioenergy Crop Bonding, and Act 157 of 2012, 
Mining Permit, Reclamation Plan, and Bond and Land Reclamation 
Financial Guarantees. In addition, chapters 86-90 were amended to 
correct citations to the PA SMCRA to account for the addition of 
section 19.2 of the SMCRA, which was added by Act 157, to correct other 
citation errors, and to address other minor changes.
    The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read 
at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at 
www.regulations.gov.

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 State program.

Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule, 
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 (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., e.s.t. on 
April 18, 2019. 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 a 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

    Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance dated 
October 12, 1993, the approval of State program amendments is exempted 
from OMB review 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 938

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: October 11, 2018.
Thomas D. Shope,
Regional Director, Appalachian Region.

    Editorial note:  This document was received for publication by 
the Office of the Federal Register on March 29, 2019.

[FR Doc. 2019-06489 Filed 4-2-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-05-P