West Virginia Regulatory Program, 12984-12987 [2019-06494]

Download as PDF 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 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 64 / Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / Proposed Rules We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the West Virginia permanent regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA or the Act). On June 14, 2016, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) submitted a program amendment to OSMRE that includes regulatory revisions, authorized under the West Virginia Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act (WVSCMRA), relating to bonding requirements for operations seeking permit renewals, topsoil, inactive status, and contemporaneous reclamation. This document gives the times and locations that the West Virginia 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 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time (e.d.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 p.m., e.d.t. on April 18, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WV–124–FOR, by any of the following methods: • Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, Charleston Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East Charleston, West Virginia 25301. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been assigned the Docket ID OSM–2016–0012. 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 West Virginia 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 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Apr 02, 2019 Jkt 247001 one free copy of the amendment by contacting OSMRE’s Charleston Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at www.regulations.gov. Charleston Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East, Charleston, West Virginia 25301, Email: chfo@osmre.gov. West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, 601 57th Street, SE, Charleston, WV 25304, Telephone: (304) 926–0490. In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular business hours at the following locations: Morgantown Area Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 604 Cheat Road, Suite 150, Morgantown, West Virginia 26508, Telephone: (304) 291–4004. (By Appointment Only) Beckley Area Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 313 Harper Park Drive, Suite 3, Beckley, West Virginia 25801, Telephone: (304) 255–5265. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, Charleston Field Office, Telephone: (304) 347– 7158. Email: chfo@osmre.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the West Virginia Program II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment III. Public Comment Procedures IV. Procedural Determinations I. Background on the West Virginia 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 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 West Virginia program on January 21, 1981. You can find background information on the West Virginia program, including the Secretary’s findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the West Virginia program in the January 21, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 5915). You can also find later actions concerning the West Virginia program and program amendments at 30 CFR 948.10, 948.12, 948.13, 948.15, and 948.16. PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 12985 II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment By letter dated June 14, 2016, and received by OSMRE on June 21, 2016 (Administrative Record No. WV–1606), WVDEP submitted an amendment to its permanent regulatory program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). The proposed amendment consists of regulatory revisions to West Virginia’s Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations at Code of State Regulations (CSR) Title 38, Series 2. The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES. Senate Bill No. 357 (SB 357) was adopted by the West Virginia Legislature on March 3, 2015, and was approved by the Governor on March 12, 2015. On March 25, 2015, WVDEP notified OSMRE of the passage of SB 357 (Administrative Record No. WV– 1604). Senate Bill 357 authorized WVDEP to promulgate several revisions to its Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations. The bill amended West Virginia Code Sections 22–3–13 and 19 and authorized WVDEP to promulgate revisions to its contemporaneous reclamation and inactive status regulations. Committee Substitute for House Bill 117 (HB 117) was passed by the West Virginia Legislature on June 2, 2016. With the passage of HB 117, the Legislature authorized a legislative rule filed by WVDEP in the State Register on July 27, 2015, that includes revisions regarding contemporaneous reclamation, inactive status and topsoil. In addition, the Legislature authorized amendments regarding bonding requirements for permit renewals and incremental bonding for permit renewals. In accordance with HB 117, WVDEP filed revised regulations with the Secretary of State on June 10, 2016. 1. CSR 38–2–3.27—Permit Renewals WVDEP proposes to amend its regulations at CSR 38–2–3.27. As proposed, once an operation has received a waiver of the permit renewal requirement, it is exempt from the restriction contained in paragraph 11.4.a.2 regarding changing from full permit bonding to incremental bonding, and the operation may submit a bonding revision to the Secretary for approval. This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 800.11 and section 509 of SMCRA. 2. CSR 38–2–7.6—Forest land WVDEP is proposing to amend its Forest land requirements at subsection 7.6.c, Soil placement and Substitute E:\FR\FM\03APP1.SGM 03APP1 12986 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 64 / Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / Proposed Rules material, by replacing the word topsoil with soil before the word substitute and after the word volume in subparagraph c.2, adding soil substitute after the words soil in subparagraph c.3, and deleting the word soil after the words uniform and minimum in subparagraph 7.6.d.1 relating to Liming and Fertilizing. These proposed revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 779.21, 780.18, 816/817.71(e), 816/817.22(b), 816/817.22(d), 816/817.71(e) and 816/ 817.102(a) and section 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA. 3. CSR 38–2–7.7—Wildlife WVDEP is proposing to amend its wildlife requirements at subsection 7.7.c, Soil placement and Substitute material, by replacing the word topsoil with soil before the word substitute and after the word volume in subparagraph c.2, adding soil substitute after the words soil in subparagraph c.3, and deleting the word soil after the words uniform and minimum in subparagraph 7.7.d.1 relating to Liming and Fertilizing. These proposed revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 779.21, 780.18, 816/817.71(e), 816/817.22(b), 816/817.22(d), 816/817.71(e) and 816/ 817.102(a) and section 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 4. CSR 38–2–11.4.a.2—Incremental Bonding The State is proposing to amend its regulations at CSR 38–2–11.4.a.2. As amended, a proviso was added to this subparagraph which provides that operations that have received a waiver of the permit renewal requirements are exempt, and the operation [operator] may submit a bonding revision to the Secretary for approval. This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 800.11 and section 509 of SMCRA. 5. CSR 38–2–14.3—Topsoil This proposed amendment addresses a conflicting use and misinterpretation of the terms ‘‘topsoil’’, ‘‘topsoil substitute’’, ‘‘soil’’, and ‘‘soil substitute’’ that was apparent in a 30 CFR part 733 review of a petition to OSMRE dated June 24, 2013 (Administrative Record Number WV–1609). The proposed topsoil revisions include a reference, in Subsection 14.3.a, to the State’s definition of topsoil, which is already part of the approved State program. This paragraph is also amended to provide that where the topsoil is less than six inches thick, topsoil and unconsolidated materials below it may be removed and treated, in combination, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Apr 02, 2019 Jkt 247001 as topsoil. Subsection 14.3.c. would allow the use of substitutes where it can be shown that the existing topsoil is inadequate in quality or quantity to support and maintain the approved postmining land use. These proposed State revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.22 and 817.22 and subsections 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA. 6. CSR 38–2–14.11—Inactive Status West Virginia seeks to revise its regulations at CSR 38–2–14.11 by addressing and clarifying the time limits including inactive status (renewable), bonding requirements, and procedure for inactive status. The proposed revisions to the State’s inactive status requirements include revisions to subparagraphs 14.11.a.6, d, d.1., d.2., d.3, e, f, g, and h, and the deletion of subparagraph 14.11.c in its entirety and portions of subparagraph 14.11.d. The changes include the proposed elimination of public notice and opportunity for public comment on an application for inactive status, as well as a proposal to change the period within which inactive operations must be capable of restarting from 60 days to 180 days and not allowing the total time for inactive status to exceed three years. Finally, full cost reclamation bonds for permits on inactive status will not have to remain in effect for the life of the operation. These proposed State revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.131 and 817.131 and sections 501, 503, 509, 510, 515 and 516 of SMCRA. 7. CSR 38–2–14.15—Contemporaneous Reclamation, Backfilling and Grading, Excess Spoil Disposal, Variance West Virginia also seeks to revise program requirements at CSR 38–2– 14.15 by addressing and clarifying time, distance and acreage requirements for contemporaneous reclamation standards. It also clarifies the bonding requirements for a contemporaneous reclamation variance and a procedure to remove it once the variance is no longer needed. WVDEP proposes to revise subparagraph 14.15.b.1 to eliminate the maximum exceeding acreage requirement of 35 acres, provided that the requirements stipulated in subparagraphs 14.15.d and 14.15.c.2 are met. Subparagraph 14.15.b.3 is proposed to be revised to extend the timeframe within which grading and backfilling is to be completed from 35 to 60 days and to increase the distance for the same activity from one thousand (1000) feet to one thousand five hundred (1500) feet. PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Subparagraph 14.15.b.4 contains a revision to clarify for a stair step mining approach with multiple steps that the subsequent cut of the underlying seam occurs within one hundred eighty (180) days from the initial pit excavation with backfilling and regrading to follow within one hundred eighty (180) days of removal of the lowest seam in the operation. Subparagraphs 14.15.b.5, 14.15.b6.A and 14.15.b.6.B.2 are proposed to change similar language as addressed in 14.15.b.4. The proposed revision to subparagraph 14.15.b.6.B.1 seeks to eliminate redundancy, as this stipulation is already addressed in subparagraph 14.15.b.6.A. The proposed State revisions regarding contemporaneous reclamation fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.100, 816.101, 816.102, and subsections 515(b)(16), (c), (d) and (e) of SMCRA. The proposed State revisions regarding excess spoil disposal fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.71, 816.100, 816.101, 816.102 and subsections 515(b)(16), and (b)(22) of SMCRA. The proposed State revisions regarding variances fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 785.14, 785.15, 785.16, 816.100, 816.101, 816.102, and subsections 515(b)(16), (c), (d) and (e) of SMCRA. 8. CSR 38–2–22.3.t.4—Coal Refuse— Abandonment Plan WVDEP proposes to delete the word ‘‘topsoiling’’ near the end of this requirement. Instead of topsoiling refuse, an operator will cover fine refuse in an impoundment with coarse refuse or other fill material prior to it being covered with the non-toxic and noncombustible material. The proposed State revision regarding coal refuse disposal abandonment plans fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 780.25(d), 784.16(d), 816/817.81, 816/817.83, and 816/817.84, and subsections 515(b)(11), (13), and (f) and 516(b)(5) of SMCRA. IV. 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, they should be specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the E:\FR\FM\03APP1.SGM 03APP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 64 / Wednesday, April 3, 2019 / Proposed Rules 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. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with PROPOSALS 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.d.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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:58 Apr 02, 2019 Jkt 247001 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. V. Procedural Determinations Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance and 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 948 Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining. Dated: October 12, 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. 2019–06494 Filed 4–2–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–05–P FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 47 CFR Parts 1, 2, 20, 27 and 90 [WT Docket No. 17–200; FCC 19–18] Commission Proposes To Reconfigure the 900 MHz Band To Facilitate Broadband Services Federal Communications Commission. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 ACTION: 12987 Proposed rule. In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) proposes and seeks comment on facilitating broadband deployment in the 896–901/935–940 MHz band (900 MHz band) currently configured for narrowband operations. Specifically, the Commission proposes to realign the band to create a paired 3⁄3 megahertz broadband segment, licensed on a geographic basis, while reserving two remaining segments for continued narrowband operations. The Commission proposes to authorize a market-driven voluntary exchange process that would allow existing licensees in the band to mutually agree to a plan for clearing of the broadband segment by relocating site-based incumbents to narrowband spectrum. The Commission also seeks comment on two other transition methods—an auction of overlay licenses and an incentive auction, options that might be needed to effectuate 900 MHz band realignment in certain markets. This proposed action is consistent with the Commission’s ongoing recent efforts to increase access to flexible-use spectrum. DATES: Interested parties may file comments on or before May 3, 2019, and reply comments on or before June 3, 2019. SUMMARY: You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 17–200, by any of the following methods: • Federal Communications Commission’s Website: https:// apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St. SW, Room TW–A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of before entering the building. Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202–418–0530 or TTY: 202– 418–0432. ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\03APP1.SGM 03APP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 64 (Wednesday, April 3, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 12984-12987]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-06494]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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

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

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 12985]]

SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the West 
Virginia permanent regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act (SMCRA or the Act). On June 14, 2016, West Virginia 
Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) submitted a program 
amendment to OSMRE that includes regulatory revisions, authorized under 
the West Virginia Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act (WVSCMRA), 
relating to bonding requirements for operations seeking permit 
renewals, topsoil, inactive status, and contemporaneous reclamation. 
This document gives the times and locations that the West Virginia 
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 p.m., 
Eastern Daylight Time (e.d.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 p.m., e.d.t. on April 18, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WV-124-FOR, by any of 
the following methods:
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, 
Charleston Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East Charleston, West Virginia 
25301.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been 
assigned the Docket ID OSM-2016-0012. 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 West 
Virginia 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 Charleston 
Field Office or the full text of the program amendment is available for 
you to read at www.regulations.gov.

Charleston Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East, Charleston, West Virginia 
25301, Email: [email protected].
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, 601 57th Street, 
SE, Charleston, WV 25304, Telephone: (304) 926-0490.

    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at the following locations:

Morgantown Area Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 604 Cheat Road, Suite 150, Morgantown, West Virginia 
26508, Telephone: (304) 291-4004. (By Appointment Only)
Beckley Area Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 313 Harper Park Drive, Suite 3, Beckley, West Virginia 
25801, Telephone: (304) 255-5265.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, 
Charleston Field Office, Telephone: (304) 347-7158. Email: 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background on the West Virginia Program
II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment
III. Public Comment Procedures
IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the West Virginia 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 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 West Virginia 
program on January 21, 1981. You can find background information on the 
West Virginia program, including the Secretary's findings, the 
disposition of comments, and conditions of approval of the West 
Virginia program in the January 21, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 
5915). You can also find later actions concerning the West Virginia 
program and program amendments at 30 CFR 948.10, 948.12, 948.13, 
948.15, and 948.16.

II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated June 14, 2016, and received by OSMRE on June 21, 
2016 (Administrative Record No. WV-1606), WVDEP submitted an amendment 
to its permanent regulatory program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et 
seq.). The proposed amendment consists of regulatory revisions to West 
Virginia's Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations at Code of State 
Regulations (CSR) Title 38, Series 2. The full text of the program 
amendment is available for you to read at the locations listed above 
under ADDRESSES.
    Senate Bill No. 357 (SB 357) was adopted by the West Virginia 
Legislature on March 3, 2015, and was approved by the Governor on March 
12, 2015. On March 25, 2015, WVDEP notified OSMRE of the passage of SB 
357 (Administrative Record No. WV-1604). Senate Bill 357 authorized 
WVDEP to promulgate several revisions to its Surface Mining Reclamation 
Regulations. The bill amended West Virginia Code Sections 22-3-13 and 
19 and authorized WVDEP to promulgate revisions to its contemporaneous 
reclamation and inactive status regulations.
    Committee Substitute for House Bill 117 (HB 117) was passed by the 
West Virginia Legislature on June 2, 2016. With the passage of HB 117, 
the Legislature authorized a legislative rule filed by WVDEP in the 
State Register on July 27, 2015, that includes revisions regarding 
contemporaneous reclamation, inactive status and topsoil. In addition, 
the Legislature authorized amendments regarding bonding requirements 
for permit renewals and incremental bonding for permit renewals. In 
accordance with HB 117, WVDEP filed revised regulations with the 
Secretary of State on June 10, 2016.

1. CSR 38-2-3.27--Permit Renewals

    WVDEP proposes to amend its regulations at CSR 38-2-3.27. As 
proposed, once an operation has received a waiver of the permit renewal 
requirement, it is exempt from the restriction contained in paragraph 
11.4.a.2 regarding changing from full permit bonding to incremental 
bonding, and the operation may submit a bonding revision to the 
Secretary for approval.
    This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 
30 CFR 800.11 and section 509 of SMCRA.

2. CSR 38-2-7.6--Forest land

    WVDEP is proposing to amend its Forest land requirements at 
subsection 7.6.c, Soil placement and Substitute

[[Page 12986]]

material, by replacing the word topsoil with soil before the word 
substitute and after the word volume in subparagraph c.2, adding soil 
substitute after the words soil in subparagraph c.3, and deleting the 
word soil after the words uniform and minimum in subparagraph 7.6.d.1 
relating to Liming and Fertilizing.
    These proposed revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 
CFR 779.21, 780.18, 816/817.71(e), 816/817.22(b), 816/817.22(d), 816/
817.71(e) and 816/817.102(a) and section 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA.

3. CSR 38-2-7.7--Wildlife

    WVDEP is proposing to amend its wildlife requirements at subsection 
7.7.c, Soil placement and Substitute material, by replacing the word 
topsoil with soil before the word substitute and after the word volume 
in subparagraph c.2, adding soil substitute after the words soil in 
subparagraph c.3, and deleting the word soil after the words uniform 
and minimum in subparagraph 7.7.d.1 relating to Liming and Fertilizing.
    These proposed revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 30 
CFR 779.21, 780.18, 816/817.71(e), 816/817.22(b), 816/817.22(d), 816/
817.71(e) and 816/817.102(a) and section 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA.

4. CSR 38-2-11.4.a.2--Incremental Bonding

    The State is proposing to amend its regulations at CSR 38-2-
11.4.a.2. As amended, a proviso was added to this subparagraph which 
provides that operations that have received a waiver of the permit 
renewal requirements are exempt, and the operation [operator] may 
submit a bonding revision to the Secretary for approval.
    This proposed State revision falls under the Federal provisions at 
30 CFR 800.11 and section 509 of SMCRA.

5. CSR 38-2-14.3--Topsoil

    This proposed amendment addresses a conflicting use and 
misinterpretation of the terms ``topsoil'', ``topsoil substitute'', 
``soil'', and ``soil substitute'' that was apparent in a 30 CFR part 
733 review of a petition to OSMRE dated June 24, 2013 (Administrative 
Record Number WV-1609). The proposed topsoil revisions include a 
reference, in Subsection 14.3.a, to the State's definition of topsoil, 
which is already part of the approved State program. This paragraph is 
also amended to provide that where the topsoil is less than six inches 
thick, topsoil and unconsolidated materials below it may be removed and 
treated, in combination, as topsoil. Subsection 14.3.c. would allow the 
use of substitutes where it can be shown that the existing topsoil is 
inadequate in quality or quantity to support and maintain the approved 
postmining land use.
    These proposed State revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 
30 CFR 816.22 and 817.22 and subsections 515(b)(5) and (b)(6) of SMCRA.

6. CSR 38-2-14.11--Inactive Status

    West Virginia seeks to revise its regulations at CSR 38-2-14.11 by 
addressing and clarifying the time limits including inactive status 
(renewable), bonding requirements, and procedure for inactive status. 
The proposed revisions to the State's inactive status requirements 
include revisions to subparagraphs 14.11.a.6, d, d.1., d.2., d.3, e, f, 
g, and h, and the deletion of subparagraph 14.11.c in its entirety and 
portions of subparagraph 14.11.d. The changes include the proposed 
elimination of public notice and opportunity for public comment on an 
application for inactive status, as well as a proposal to change the 
period within which inactive operations must be capable of restarting 
from 60 days to 180 days and not allowing the total time for inactive 
status to exceed three years. Finally, full cost reclamation bonds for 
permits on inactive status will not have to remain in effect for the 
life of the operation.
    These proposed State revisions fall under the Federal provisions at 
30 CFR 816.131 and 817.131 and sections 501, 503, 509, 510, 515 and 516 
of SMCRA.

7. CSR 38-2-14.15--Contemporaneous Reclamation, Backfilling and 
Grading, Excess Spoil Disposal, Variance

    West Virginia also seeks to revise program requirements at CSR 38-
2-14.15 by addressing and clarifying time, distance and acreage 
requirements for contemporaneous reclamation standards. It also 
clarifies the bonding requirements for a contemporaneous reclamation 
variance and a procedure to remove it once the variance is no longer 
needed.
    WVDEP proposes to revise subparagraph 14.15.b.1 to eliminate the 
maximum exceeding acreage requirement of 35 acres, provided that the 
requirements stipulated in subparagraphs 14.15.d and 14.15.c.2 are met. 
Subparagraph 14.15.b.3 is proposed to be revised to extend the 
timeframe within which grading and backfilling is to be completed from 
35 to 60 days and to increase the distance for the same activity from 
one thousand (1000) feet to one thousand five hundred (1500) feet.
    Subparagraph 14.15.b.4 contains a revision to clarify for a stair 
step mining approach with multiple steps that the subsequent cut of the 
underlying seam occurs within one hundred eighty (180) days from the 
initial pit excavation with backfilling and regrading to follow within 
one hundred eighty (180) days of removal of the lowest seam in the 
operation.
    Subparagraphs 14.15.b.5, 14.15.b6.A and 14.15.b.6.B.2 are proposed 
to change similar language as addressed in 14.15.b.4. The proposed 
revision to subparagraph 14.15.b.6.B.1 seeks to eliminate redundancy, 
as this stipulation is already addressed in subparagraph 14.15.b.6.A.
    The proposed State revisions regarding contemporaneous reclamation 
fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.100, 816.101, 816.102, 
and subsections 515(b)(16), (c), (d) and (e) of SMCRA.
    The proposed State revisions regarding excess spoil disposal fall 
under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 816.71, 816.100, 816.101, 
816.102 and subsections 515(b)(16), and (b)(22) of SMCRA.
    The proposed State revisions regarding variances fall under the 
Federal provisions at 30 CFR 785.14, 785.15, 785.16, 816.100, 816.101, 
816.102, and subsections 515(b)(16), (c), (d) and (e) of SMCRA.

8. CSR 38-2-22.3.t.4--Coal Refuse--Abandonment Plan

    WVDEP proposes to delete the word ``topsoiling'' near the end of 
this requirement. Instead of topsoiling refuse, an operator will cover 
fine refuse in an impoundment with coarse refuse or other fill material 
prior to it being covered with the non-toxic and non-combustible 
material.
    The proposed State revision regarding coal refuse disposal 
abandonment plans fall under the Federal provisions at 30 CFR 
780.25(d), 784.16(d), 816/817.81, 816/817.83, and 816/817.84, and 
subsections 515(b)(11), (13), and (f) and 516(b)(5) of SMCRA.

IV. 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, they should be 
specific, confined to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and 
explain the

[[Page 12987]]

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.d.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.

V. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    Pursuant to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidance and 
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 948

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: October 12, 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. 2019-06494 Filed 4-2-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-05-P