Topsoil Redistribution and Revegetation Success Standards
We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are finalizing minor changes to our regulations to improve the quality and diversity of revegetation in the reclamation of coal mined lands. These revisions govern topsoil redistribution and revegetation success standards and will: Encourage species diversity on reclaimed lands by allowing replacement of soil in variable thicknesses; provide more flexibility to States in using new vegetative success standards and sampling techniques by removing the current requirement that such changes be included in the approved regulatory program; define success standards for lands with an undeveloped land postmining land use; remove shelter belts from the list of postmining land uses subject to success standards; provide more flexibility to operators when they demonstrate compliance with time-in-place requirements by allowing them to consider all trees and shrubs in place at bond release, including volunteer trees and shrubs, and not requiring them to verify the length of time that individual trees and shrubs have been in placethis change will remove a significant impediment to reforestation of mined lands; and make the timing of revegetation success measurements in areas receiving 26 inches of annual precipitation or less consistent with those in areas receiving more than 26 inches of annual precipitation.
Pennsylvania Regulatory Program
We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania regulatory program (hereinafter, the ``Pennsylvania program'') under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Pennsylvania proposes to revise its program concerning reclamation fees, financial guarantees for bonding, money received from fees, the definition of reclamation, reclamation of bond forfeiture sites, alternate reclamation plans for bond forfeiture sites, bond forfeiture sites where reclamation is unreasonable, unnecessary or impossible, and evaluation of bond sites. The proposed amendments are intended to revise the Pennsylvania program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations and to amend provisions at its own initiative. This document gives the times and locations that the Pennsylvania program and this submittal are available for your inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written comments, and the procedures that we will follow for the public hearing.
West Virginia Regulatory Program
We are approving an amendment to the West Virginia regulatory program (the West Virginia program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). West Virginia revised the Code of West Virginia (W. Va. Code) as amended by Senate Bill 461 concerning water rights and replacement, and revised the Code of State Regulations (CSR) as amended by Committee Substitute for House Bill 4135 by adding a postmining land use of bio-oil cropland, and the criteria for approving bio-oil cropland as a postmining land use for mountaintop removal mining operations.
Wyoming Regulatory Program
We are approving an amendment to the Wyoming regulatory program (``Program'' or ``Wyoming program'') under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). It involves revisions to and additions of rules about bonding, revegetation and highwall retention. Wyoming intends to revise its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations, and clarify ambiguities and improve operational efficiency.
State Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan
We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are approving a partial abandoned mine land reclamation (AMLR) plan under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Mississippi proposed revisions to and addition of statutes to the Mississippi Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Law in order to authorize and establish an AMLR plan. The purpose of this amendment is to demonstrate both the intent and capability to assume responsibility for administering and conducting an AMLR plan.
Notice of Proposed Information Collection for 1029-0094, 1029-0098 and 1029-0119
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is announcing its intention to request approval to continue the collections of information for 30 CFR part 700general provisions, 30 CFR part 769the petition process for the designation of Federal lands as unsuitable for all or certain types of surface coal mining operations and for termination of previous designations, and 30 CFR 874.16contractor eligibility requirements for general reclamation and its Abandoned Mine Land Contractor Information form. These information collection activities were previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and assigned clearance numbers 1029-0094, 1029-0098, and 1029-0119, respectively.