Texas Regulatory Program, 64019-64022 [2019-25186]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / Rules and Regulations Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requirements for notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date. 5. Because a notice of proposed rulemaking and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be given for this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required, and none has been prepared. (c) Authorized transactions. This temporary general license allows, from May 20, 2019, through February 16, 2020, the following: List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 744 Exports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Terrorism. Accordingly, part 744 of the Export Administration Regulations (15 CFR parts 730 through 774) is amended as follows: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement * * * * * Dated: November 15, 2019. Matthew S. Borman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–25189 Filed 11–18–19; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 3510–33–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 30 CFR Part 943 [SATS No. TX–068–FOR; Docket ID: OSM– 2018–0002; S1D1S SS08011000 SX064A000 201S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 20XS501520] PART 744—[AMENDED] Texas Regulatory Program 1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 744 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 50 U.S.C. 4801–4852; 50 U.S.C. 4601 et seq.; 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 3201 et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 2139a; 22 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.; 22 U.S.C. 7210; E.O. 12058, 43 FR 20947, 3 CFR, 1978 Comp., p. 179; E.O. 12851, 58 FR 33181, 3 CFR, 1993 Comp., p. 608; E.O. 12938, 59 FR 59099, 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 950; E.O. 13026, 61 FR 58767, 3 CFR, 1996 Comp., p. 228; E.O. 13099, 63 FR 45167, 3 CFR, 1998 Comp., p. 208; E.O. 13222, 66 FR 44025, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 783; E.O. 13224, 66 FR 49079, 3 CFR, 2001 Comp., p. 786; Notice of September 19, 2019, 83 FR 49633 (September 20, 2019); Notice of November 12, 2019, 84 FR 61817 (November 13, 2019). 2. Supplement No. 7 to part 744 is amended by revising the first sentence of the introductory text, paragraph (b)(1), and paragraph (c) introductory text to read as follows: ■ Supplement No. 7 to Part 744— Temporary General License Notwithstanding the requirements and other provisions of Supplement No. 4 to this part, which became effective as to Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei), Shenzhen, Guangdong, China on May 16, 2019, and its non-U.S. affiliates listed in Supplement No. 4 to this part on, as applicable, May 16, 2019 or August 19, 2019, the licensing and other requirements in the EAR as of May 15, 2019, are restored in part as of May 20, 2019, and through February 16, 2020, pertaining to exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) of items subject to the EAR to any of the listed Huawei entities. * * * * * * * * (b) * * * (1) This temporary general license is effective from May 20, 2019, through February 16, 2020. * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 * * 16:02 Nov 19, 2019 Jkt 250001 Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior. ACTION: Final rule; approval of amendment. AGENCY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), are approving an amendment to the Texas regulatory program (Texas program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Texas proposed revisions to its program regarding annual permit fees for calendar years 2017 and 2018. Texas also proposed to remove a restriction in its rules that conflicts with the United States Bankruptcy Code. DATES: The effective date is December 20, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Joseph, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128–4629. Telephone: (918) 581–6430. Email: bjoseph@osmre.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background on the Texas Program II. Submission of the Amendment III. OSMRE’s Findings IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments V. OSMRE’s Decision VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. Background on the Texas 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 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 64019 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 Texas program effective February 16, 1980. You can find background information on the Texas program, including the Secretary’s findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the Texas program in the February 27, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 12998). You can also find later actions concerning the Texas program and program amendments at 30 CFR 943.10, 943.15 and 943.16. II. Submission of the Amendment By letter dated February 7, 2018 (Administrative Record No. TX–706), Texas sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.) at its own initiative. We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the August 29, 2018, Federal Register (83 FR 44012). In the same document, we opened the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing or meeting on the adequacy of the amendment. We did not hold a public hearing or meeting because no one requested one. The public comment period ended on September 28, 2018. We received three public comments (Administrative Record No. TX–706–03) that are addressed in the Public Comments section of part IV, Summary and Disposition of Comments, below. III. OSMRE’s Findings We are approving the amendment as described below. The following are findings we made concerning Texas’s amendment under SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. Any revisions that we do not specifically discuss below concerning non-substantive wording or editorial changes can be found in the full text of the program amendment available at https:// www.regulations.gov. A. 16 Texas Administrative Code— Section 12.108. Permit Fees Texas proposed revising its regulations at Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 16, section 12.108(b), regarding annual permit fees by: (1) Amending the calendar years specified in paragraph (b) to calendar years 2017 and 2018; E:\FR\FM\20NOR1.SGM 20NOR1 64020 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / Rules and Regulations (2) Decreasing the amount of the fee, from $13.05 to $12.85, for each acre of land within a permit area covered by a reclamation bond on December 31 of the year; and (3) Decreasing the amount of the fee, from $6,600 to $6,170, for each permit in effect on December 31 of the year. Texas fully funds its share of costs to regulate the coal mining industry with fees paid by the coal industry. To meet these costs, Texas charges a permit application fee and two annual fees, as mentioned above. The proposed fee revisions are intended to provide adequate funding to pay the State’s cost of operating its regulatory program while continuing to provide incentives for industry to accomplish reclamation and achieve bond release as quickly as possible. We find that Texas’s proposed fee changes are consistent with the discretionary authority provided by the Federal regulation at 30 CFR 777.17. The Federal regulations allow the regulatory authority to determine the fee for an application for a surface coal mining and reclamation permit as long as the fee does not exceed the actual or anticipated cost of reviewing, administering, and enforcing the permit. Texas has determined that the permit fees assessed do not exceed the actual or anticipated cost of reviewing, administering, and enforcing the permit. This is evident as Texas is requesting a decrease in the fees previously assessed based on an assessment of the cost to review, administer, and enforce Texas permits. Therefore, we are approving Texas’s revision as it is no less effective than the Federal regulations. B. 16 Texas Administrative Code— Section 12.309. Terms and Conditions of the Bond Texas proposed to revise its regulation at Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 16, section 12.309(j)(2)(B), by: (1) Removing the condition that selfbond applicants must not have been subject to bankruptcy proceedings during the 5-year period immediately preceding the date of application. Texas proposed this revision to conform to the self-bonding regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b) and the United States Bankruptcy Code protections against discriminatory treatment for debtors at 11 U.S.C. 525(a). The regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b) have no requirement that the self-bond applicant must not have been subject to a bankruptcy proceeding. This provision was within the approved Texas program and deemed to be more stringent than SMCRA or more effective than the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Nov 19, 2019 Jkt 250001 regulations thereunder. However, based upon the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 525, discriminating against a self-bond applicant on the basis of participation in a bankruptcy proceeding is not permissible. Therefore, Texas proposed to remove this requirement from its approved program. The provisions of proposed 16 TAC section 12.309(j)(2)(B) mirror the provisions of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2) that require the applicant for a self-bond to have been in continuous operation as a business entity for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the time of application. The Texas proposed amendment also mirrors the provisions of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2)(i) that allow a joint venture or syndicate with less than five years of continuous operation to qualify under the requirement of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2) if each member of the joint venture or syndicate has been in continuous operations for at least five years immediately preceding the time of application. Therefore, the removal of the provision precluding consideration of and reference to bankruptcy provisions renders the Texas regulations consistent with the OSMRE self-bonding regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b). Additionally, the proposed amendment is conformity with the broad provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code section 525(a) that forbid a governmental unit from discriminating against a person that has been a debtor or associated with a debtor. This prohibition extends only to discrimination or other action based solely on the basis of the bankruptcy, on the basis of the insolvency, before or during bankruptcy prior to determination of discharge, or on the basis of nonpayment of a debt discharged in the bankruptcy case. Therefore, we find that Texas’s proposed amendment renders its rules or regulations no less effective than the Federal self-bonding regulations found at 30 CFR 800.23(b) and we are approving Texas’s revision. Effective Date The Texas regulatory authority’s February 7, 2018, letter suggests that the proposed rule changes were effective November 23, 2015; December 25, 2017; and April 25, 2017. A state program amendment is not effective until approved by OSMRE. 30 CFR 732.17(g); see also U.S. v. E&C Coal Co., Inc., 846 F.2d 247, 249 (4th Cir. 1988). The approved amendments will become effective on the date specified in this document. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments Public Comments We asked for public comments on the amendment. As noted in Section II, we received three comments (Administrative Record No. TX–706– 03). The comments related to the Security Exchange commission, global warming, and radioactive free steel. The three comments were outside the scope of the proposed amendment and not germane to the topic of surface coal mining in general. We are not addressing these comments in this final rule for these reasons. These comments are available in their entirety at https:// www.regulations.gov. Federal Agency Comments On March 21, 2018, pursuant to 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 Texas program (Administrative Record No. TX–706– 02). We did not receive any comments. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence and Comments Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to receive a written 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 et seq.) or the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). None of the revisions that Texas proposed to make in this amendment pertain to air or water quality standards. Therefore, we did not ask EPA to concur on the amendment. However, on March 21, 2018, under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i), we requested comments from the EPA on the amendment (Administrative Record No. TX–706–02). The EPA provided no comments and did not respond to our request. State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), we are required to request comments from the SHPO and ACHP on amendments that may have an effect on historic properties. On March 21, 2018, we requested comments on the amendment (Administrative Record No. TX–706– 02). We did not receive any comments. V. OSMRE’s Decision Based on the above finding, we are approving the Texas amendment that E:\FR\FM\20NOR1.SGM 20NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / Rules and Regulations was submitted on February 7, 2018 (Administrative Record No. TX–706). To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations at 30 CFR part 943 that codify decisions concerning the Texas program. In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), this rule will take effect 30 days after the date of publication. Section 503(a) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253(a)) requires that the State’s program must demonstrate that the State has the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. SMCRA requires consistency of State and Federal standards. VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews Executive Order 12630—Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights This rule would not effect a taking of private property or otherwise have taking implications that would result in public property being taken for government use without just compensation under the law. Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required. This determination is based on an analysis of the corresponding Federal regulations. Executive Order 12866—Regulatory Planning and Review and 13563— Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. Pursuant to OMB guidance, dated October 12, 1993, the approval of State program amendments is exempted from OMB review under Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13563, which reaffirms and supplements Executive Order 12866, retains this exemption. Executive Order 13771—Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs State program amendments are not regulatory actions under Executive Order 13771 because they are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 12988—Civil Justice Reform The Department of the Interior has reviewed this rule as required by Section 3 of Executive Order 12988. The Department has determined that this Federal Register document meets the criteria of Section 3 of Executive Order 12988, which is intended to ensure that VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:02 Nov 19, 2019 Jkt 250001 the agency reviews its legislation and regulations to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguity; that the agency write its legislation and regulations to minimize litigation; and that the agency’s legislation and regulations provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, rather than a general standard, and promote simplification and burden reduction. Because Section 3 focuses on the quality of Federal legislation and regulations, the Department limited its review under this Executive Order to the quality of this Federal Register document and to changes to the Federal regulations. The review under this Executive Order did not extend to the language of the State regulatory program or to the program amendment that the State of Texas drafted. Executive Order 13132—Federalism This rule is not a ‘‘[p]olicy that [has] Federalism implications’’ as defined by Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132 because it does not have ‘‘substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Instead, this rule approves an amendment to the Texas program submitted and drafted by that State. OSMRE reviewed the submission with fundamental federalism principles in mind as set forth in Section 2 and 3 of the Executive Order and with the principles of cooperative federalism as set forth in SMCRA. See, e.g., 30 U.S.C. 1201(f). As such, pursuant to section 503(a)(1) and (7) (30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7)), OSMRE reviewed the program amendment to ensure that it is ‘‘in accordance with’’ the requirements of SMCRA and ‘‘consistent with’’ the regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA. Executive Order 13175—Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-togovernment relationship with Tribes through a commitment to consultation with Tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under the Department’s consultation policy and under the criteria in Executive Order 13175, and have determined that it has no substantial direct effects on federally recognized Tribes or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Tribes. Therefore, consultation under the Department’s tribal consultation policy is not PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 64021 required. The basis for this determination is that our decision is on the Texas program that does not include Tribal lands or regulation of activities on Tribal lands. Tribal lands are regulated independently under the applicable, approved Federal program. Executive Order 13211—Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rulemaking 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 a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 13211, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required. Executive Order 13045—Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this is not an economically significant regulatory action as defined by Executive Order 12866; and this action does not address environmental health or safety risks disproportionately affecting children. National Environmental Policy Act Consistent with sections 501(a) and 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1251(a) and 1292(d), respectively) and the U.S. Department of the Interior Departmental Manual, part 516, section 13.5(A), State program amendments are not major Federal actions within the meaning of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C). National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.) directs OSMRE to use voluntary consensus standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. (OMB Circular A–119 at p. 14). This action is not subject to the requirements of section 12(d) of the NTTAA because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with SMCRA. Paperwork Reduction Act This rule does not include requests and requirements of an individual, partnership, or corporation to obtain E:\FR\FM\20NOR1.SGM 20NOR1 64022 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 224 / Wednesday, November 20, 2019 / Rules and Regulations information and report it to a Federal agency. As this rule does not contain information collection requirements, a submission to the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) is not required. Regulatory Flexibility Act 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 et seq.). The Texas submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon corresponding Federal regulations for which an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to whether this rule would have a significant economic impact, the Department relied upon the data and assumptions for the corresponding Federal regulations. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. Original amendment submission date BILLING CODE 4310–05–P DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 324 [Docket ID: DOD–2019–OS–0054] RIN 0790–AK70 DFAS Privacy Act Program Defense Finance and Accounting Service, DoD. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This final rule removes DoD’s regulation concerning the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Privacy Program. On April 11, 2019, the Department of Defense published a revised DoD-level Privacy Program rule, which contains the necessary information for an agency-wide privacy program regulation under the Privacy 16:02 Nov 19, 2019 Jkt 250001 This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. This determination is based on an analysis of the corresponding Federal regulations, which were determined not to impose an unfunded mandate. Therefore, a statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates * 11/20/2019 [FR Doc. 2019–25186 Filed 11–19–19; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Date of final publication * * February 7, 2018 ....................................... SUMMARY: 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; and (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 on an analysis of the corresponding Federal regulations, which were determined not to constitute a major rule. List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 943 Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining. Dated: September 9, 2019. Alfred L. Clayborne, Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 943 is amended as set forth below: PART 943—TEXAS 1. The authority citation for part 943 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq. 2. Section 943.15 is amended in the table by adding an entry for ‘‘16 Texas Administrative Code—Section 12.108, related to permit fees; and Section 12.309, related to self-bonding applications’’ in chronological order by ‘‘Date of final publication’’ to read as follows: ■ § 943.15 Approval of Texas regulatory program amendments. * * * * * Citation/description * * * * 16 Texas Administrative Code—Section 12.108, related to permit fees; and Section 12.309, related to self-bonding applications. Act and now serves as the single Privacy Program rule for the Department. That revised Privacy Program rule also includes all DoD component exemption rules. Therefore, the part concerning the Defense Finance and Accounting Service Privacy Program is now unnecessary and may be removed from the CFR. DATES: This rule is effective on November 20, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Outlaw at 317–212–4591. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DoD now has a single DoD-level Privacy Program rule at 32 CFR part 310 (84 FR 14728) that contains all the codified information required for the Department. The DFAS Privacy Act Program regulation at 32 CFR part 324, last updated on May 22, 1996 (61 FR 25561), is no longer required and can be removed. It has been determined that publication of this CFR part removal for public comment is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to public PO 00000 Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required. Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 interest since it is based on the removal of policies and procedures that are now reflected in another CFR part, 32 CFR part 310. This rule is one of 20 separate component Privacy rules. With the finalization of the DoD-level Privacy rule at 32 CFR part 310, the Department eliminated the need for this component Privacy rule, thereby reducing costs to the public as explained in the preamble of the DoD-level Privacy rule published on April 11, 2019, at 84 FR 14728– 14811. This rule is not significant under Executive Order (E.O.) 12866, ‘‘Regulatory Planning and Review.’’ Therefore, E.O. 13771, ‘‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’’ does not apply. List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 324 Privacy. PART 324—[REMOVED] Accordingly, by the authority of 5 U.S.C. 301, 32 CFR part 324 is removed. E:\FR\FM\20NOR1.SGM 20NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 224 (Wednesday, November 20, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 64019-64022]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25186]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 943

[SATS No. TX-068-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2018-0002; S1D1S SS08011000 
SX064A000 201S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 20XS501520]


Texas Regulatory Program

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

ACTION: Final rule; approval of amendment.

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SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are approving an amendment to the Texas regulatory program 
(Texas program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 
1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Texas proposed revisions to its program 
regarding annual permit fees for calendar years 2017 and 2018. Texas 
also proposed to remove a restriction in its rules that conflicts with 
the United States Bankruptcy Code.

DATES: The effective date is December 20, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Joseph, Director, Tulsa Field 
Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1645 
South 101st East Avenue, Suite 145, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128-4629. 
Telephone: (918) 581-6430. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Texas Program
II. Submission of the Amendment
III. OSMRE's Findings
IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments
V. OSMRE's Decision
VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

I. Background on the Texas 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 Texas program 
effective February 16, 1980. You can find background information on the 
Texas program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of 
comments, and the conditions of approval of the Texas program in the 
February 27, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 12998). You can also find 
later actions concerning the Texas program and program amendments at 30 
CFR 943.10, 943.15 and 943.16.

II. Submission of the Amendment

    By letter dated February 7, 2018 (Administrative Record No. TX-
706), Texas sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 
1201 et seq.) at its own initiative.
    We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the August 29, 
2018, Federal Register (83 FR 44012). In the same document, we opened 
the public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public 
hearing or meeting on the adequacy of the amendment. We did not hold a 
public hearing or meeting because no one requested one. The public 
comment period ended on September 28, 2018. We received three public 
comments (Administrative Record No. TX-706-03) that are addressed in 
the Public Comments section of part IV, Summary and Disposition of 
Comments, below.

III. OSMRE's Findings

    We are approving the amendment as described below. The following 
are findings we made concerning Texas's amendment under SMCRA and the 
Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. Any revisions that we 
do not specifically discuss below concerning non-substantive wording or 
editorial changes can be found in the full text of the program 
amendment available at https://www.regulations.gov.

A. 16 Texas Administrative Code--Section 12.108. Permit Fees

    Texas proposed revising its regulations at Texas Administrative 
Code (TAC), Title 16, section 12.108(b), regarding annual permit fees 
by:
    (1) Amending the calendar years specified in paragraph (b) to 
calendar years 2017 and 2018;

[[Page 64020]]

    (2) Decreasing the amount of the fee, from $13.05 to $12.85, for 
each acre of land within a permit area covered by a reclamation bond on 
December 31 of the year; and
    (3) Decreasing the amount of the fee, from $6,600 to $6,170, for 
each permit in effect on December 31 of the year.
    Texas fully funds its share of costs to regulate the coal mining 
industry with fees paid by the coal industry. To meet these costs, 
Texas charges a permit application fee and two annual fees, as 
mentioned above. The proposed fee revisions are intended to provide 
adequate funding to pay the State's cost of operating its regulatory 
program while continuing to provide incentives for industry to 
accomplish reclamation and achieve bond release as quickly as possible.
    We find that Texas's proposed fee changes are consistent with the 
discretionary authority provided by the Federal regulation at 30 CFR 
777.17. The Federal regulations allow the regulatory authority to 
determine the fee for an application for a surface coal mining and 
reclamation permit as long as the fee does not exceed the actual or 
anticipated cost of reviewing, administering, and enforcing the permit. 
Texas has determined that the permit fees assessed do not exceed the 
actual or anticipated cost of reviewing, administering, and enforcing 
the permit. This is evident as Texas is requesting a decrease in the 
fees previously assessed based on an assessment of the cost to review, 
administer, and enforce Texas permits. Therefore, we are approving 
Texas's revision as it is no less effective than the Federal 
regulations.

B. 16 Texas Administrative Code--Section 12.309. Terms and Conditions 
of the Bond

    Texas proposed to revise its regulation at Texas Administrative 
Code (TAC), Title 16, section 12.309(j)(2)(B), by:
    (1) Removing the condition that self-bond applicants must not have 
been subject to bankruptcy proceedings during the 5-year period 
immediately preceding the date of application.
    Texas proposed this revision to conform to the self-bonding 
regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b) and the United States Bankruptcy Code 
protections against discriminatory treatment for debtors at 11 U.S.C. 
525(a). The regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b) have no requirement that 
the self-bond applicant must not have been subject to a bankruptcy 
proceeding. This provision was within the approved Texas program and 
deemed to be more stringent than SMCRA or more effective than the 
regulations thereunder. However, based upon the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 
525, discriminating against a self-bond applicant on the basis of 
participation in a bankruptcy proceeding is not permissible. Therefore, 
Texas proposed to remove this requirement from its approved program.
    The provisions of proposed 16 TAC section 12.309(j)(2)(B) mirror 
the provisions of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2) that require the applicant for a 
self-bond to have been in continuous operation as a business entity for 
a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the time of 
application. The Texas proposed amendment also mirrors the provisions 
of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2)(i) that allow a joint venture or syndicate with 
less than five years of continuous operation to qualify under the 
requirement of 30 CFR 800.23(b)(2) if each member of the joint venture 
or syndicate has been in continuous operations for at least five years 
immediately preceding the time of application. Therefore, the removal 
of the provision precluding consideration of and reference to 
bankruptcy provisions renders the Texas regulations consistent with the 
OSMRE self-bonding regulations at 30 CFR 800.23(b).
    Additionally, the proposed amendment is conformity with the broad 
provisions of the United States Bankruptcy Code section 525(a) that 
forbid a governmental unit from discriminating against a person that 
has been a debtor or associated with a debtor. This prohibition extends 
only to discrimination or other action based solely on the basis of the 
bankruptcy, on the basis of the insolvency, before or during bankruptcy 
prior to determination of discharge, or on the basis of nonpayment of a 
debt discharged in the bankruptcy case. Therefore, we find that Texas's 
proposed amendment renders its rules or regulations no less effective 
than the Federal self-bonding regulations found at 30 CFR 800.23(b) and 
we are approving Texas's revision.

Effective Date

    The Texas regulatory authority's February 7, 2018, letter suggests 
that the proposed rule changes were effective November 23, 2015; 
December 25, 2017; and April 25, 2017. A state program amendment is not 
effective until approved by OSMRE. 30 CFR 732.17(g); see also U.S. v. 
E&C Coal Co., Inc., 846 F.2d 247, 249 (4th Cir. 1988). The approved 
amendments will become effective on the date specified in this 
document.

IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments

Public Comments

    We asked for public comments on the amendment. As noted in Section 
II, we received three comments (Administrative Record No. TX-706-03). 
The comments related to the Security Exchange commission, global 
warming, and radioactive free steel. The three comments were outside 
the scope of the proposed amendment and not germane to the topic of 
surface coal mining in general. We are not addressing these comments in 
this final rule for these reasons. These comments are available in 
their entirety at https://www.regulations.gov.

Federal Agency Comments

    On March 21, 2018, pursuant to 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 Texas 
program (Administrative Record No. TX-706-02). We did not receive any 
comments.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence and Comments

    Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), we are required to receive a 
written 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 et seq.) or the 
Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.). None of the revisions that 
Texas proposed to make in this amendment pertain to air or water 
quality standards. Therefore, we did not ask EPA to concur on the 
amendment. However, on March 21, 2018, under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i), 
we requested comments from the EPA on the amendment (Administrative 
Record No. TX-706-02). The EPA provided no comments and did not respond 
to our request.

State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council 
on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

    Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(4), we are required to request comments from 
the SHPO and ACHP on amendments that may have an effect on historic 
properties. On March 21, 2018, we requested comments on the amendment 
(Administrative Record No. TX-706-02). We did not receive any comments.

V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based on the above finding, we are approving the Texas amendment 
that

[[Page 64021]]

was submitted on February 7, 2018 (Administrative Record No. TX-706).
    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations 
at 30 CFR part 943 that codify decisions concerning the Texas program. 
In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), 
this rule will take effect 30 days after the date of publication. 
Section 503(a) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253(a)) requires that the State's 
program must demonstrate that the State has the capability of carrying 
out the provisions of the Act and meeting its purposes. SMCRA requires 
consistency of State and Federal standards.

VI. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Executive Order 12630--Governmental Actions and Interference With 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights

    This rule would not effect a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications that would result in public property 
being taken for government use without just compensation under the law. 
Therefore, a takings implication assessment is not required. This 
determination is based on an analysis of the corresponding Federal 
regulations.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review and 13563--
Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will 
review all significant rules. Pursuant to OMB guidance, dated October 
12, 1993, the approval of State program amendments is exempted from OMB 
review under Executive Order 12866. Executive Order 13563, which 
reaffirms and supplements Executive Order 12866, retains this 
exemption.

Executive Order 13771--Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory 
Costs

    State program amendments are not regulatory actions under Executive 
Order 13771 because they are exempt from review under Executive Order 
12866.

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has reviewed this rule as required 
by Section 3 of Executive Order 12988. The Department has determined 
that this Federal Register document meets the criteria of Section 3 of 
Executive Order 12988, which is intended to ensure that the agency 
reviews its legislation and regulations to eliminate drafting errors 
and ambiguity; that the agency write its legislation and regulations to 
minimize litigation; and that the agency's legislation and regulations 
provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct, rather than a 
general standard, and promote simplification and burden reduction. 
Because Section 3 focuses on the quality of Federal legislation and 
regulations, the Department limited its review under this Executive 
Order to the quality of this Federal Register document and to changes 
to the Federal regulations. The review under this Executive Order did 
not extend to the language of the State regulatory program or to the 
program amendment that the State of Texas drafted.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule is not a ``[p]olicy that [has] Federalism implications'' 
as defined by Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13132 because it does not 
have ``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.'' 
Instead, this rule approves an amendment to the Texas program submitted 
and drafted by that State. OSMRE reviewed the submission with 
fundamental federalism principles in mind as set forth in Section 2 and 
3 of the Executive Order and with the principles of cooperative 
federalism as set forth in SMCRA. See, e.g., 30 U.S.C. 1201(f). As 
such, pursuant to section 503(a)(1) and (7) (30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and 
(7)), OSMRE reviewed the program amendment to ensure that it is ``in 
accordance with'' the requirements of SMCRA and ``consistent with'' the 
regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Tribes through a commitment 
to consultation with Tribes and recognition of their right to self-
governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this rule under 
the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria in 
Executive Order 13175, and have determined that it has no substantial 
direct effects on federally recognized Tribes or on the distribution of 
power and responsibilities between the Federal government and Tribes. 
Therefore, consultation under the Department's tribal consultation 
policy is not required. The basis for this determination is that our 
decision is on the Texas program that does not include Tribal lands or 
regulation of activities on Tribal lands. Tribal lands are regulated 
independently under the applicable, approved Federal program.

Executive Order 13211--Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare a Statement of 
Energy Effects for a rulemaking 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 
a significant energy action under the definition in Executive Order 
13211, a Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

Executive Order 13045--Protection of Children From Environmental Health 
Risks and Safety Risks

    This rule is not subject to Executive Order 13045 because this is 
not an economically significant regulatory action as defined by 
Executive Order 12866; and this action does not address environmental 
health or safety risks disproportionately affecting children.

National Environmental Policy Act

    Consistent with sections 501(a) and 702(d) of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 
1251(a) and 1292(d), respectively) and the U.S. Department of the 
Interior Departmental Manual, part 516, section 13.5(A), State program 
amendments are not major Federal actions within the meaning of section 
102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 
4332(2)(C).

National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act (15 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.) directs OSMRE to use voluntary consensus 
standards in its regulatory activities unless to do so would be 
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. (OMB 
Circular A-119 at p. 14). This action is not subject to the 
requirements of section 12(d) of the NTTAA because application of those 
requirements would be inconsistent with SMCRA.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not include requests and requirements of an 
individual, partnership, or corporation to obtain

[[Page 64022]]

information and report it to a Federal agency. As this rule does not 
contain information collection requirements, a submission to the Office 
of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.) is not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    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 et seq.). The Texas submittal, which is the subject 
of this rule, is based upon corresponding Federal regulations for which 
an economic analysis was prepared and certification made that such 
regulations would not have a significant economic effect upon a 
substantial number of small entities. In making the determination as to 
whether this rule would have a significant economic impact, the 
Department relied upon the data and assumptions for the corresponding 
Federal regulations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), 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; and (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 on an analysis of the 
corresponding Federal regulations, which were determined not to 
constitute a major rule.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
Tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local, or Tribal governments or the private sector. This determination 
is based on an analysis of the corresponding Federal regulations, which 
were determined not to impose an unfunded mandate. Therefore, a 
statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 943

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 9, 2019.
Alfred L. Clayborne,
Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 943 is amended 
as set forth below:

PART 943--TEXAS

0
1. The authority citation for part 943 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.


0
2. Section 943.15 is amended in the table by adding an entry for ``16 
Texas Administrative Code--Section 12.108, related to permit fees; and 
Section 12.309, related to self-bonding applications'' in chronological 
order by ``Date of final publication'' to read as follows:


Sec.  943.15   Approval of Texas regulatory program amendments.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Original amendment submission    Date of final
              date                 publication     Citation/description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
February 7, 2018...............      11/20/2019  16 Texas Administrative
                                                  Code--Section 12.108,
                                                  related to permit
                                                  fees; and Section
                                                  12.309, related to
                                                  self-bonding
                                                  applications.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2019-25186 Filed 11-19-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-05-P