Ohio Regulatory Program
We (OSM) are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Ohio regulatory program (the ``Ohio program'') under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Ohio proposes to revise the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) regarding changes to the State's alternate bonding system (bond pool), funding for its regulatory and abandoned mine land programs and its bond pool, permitting procedures for determining the potential that proposed mine sites may or may not produce acid-mine drainage, and authorizes rule-making if Ohio becomes covered by a State programmatic general permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States by coal mining operations. The amendment is primarily intended to satisfy a program condition codified in the Federal regulations. This amendment replaces the State's bond pool amendment that the State previously submitted and that OSM announced, and requested public comments on, in the Federal Register dated February 13, 2006 (71 FR 7480). This document gives the times and locations that the Ohio program and 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.
Texas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan
We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Texas regulatory program (Texas program) and the Texas abandoned mine land plan (Texas plan) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Texas proposes revisions to its regulations regarding postmining land uses; terms and conditions of the bond; topsoil redistribution; standards for revegetation success; public hearings; review of notice of violation or cessation order; determination of amount of penalty; assessment of separate violation for each day; request for hearing; and liens. Texas also proposes revisions to its statute regarding liens and administrative penalties for violation of permit conditions. Texas intends to revise its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations and/or SMCRA, to clarify ambiguities, and to improve operational efficiency. This document gives the times and locations that the Texas program and Texas plan and the proposed amendment are available for your inspection, the 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.
Indian and Federal Lands
We, OSM, have decided not to adopt a proposed rule that would have revised the definition of ``Indian lands'' for purposes of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The proposed rule also would have revised both the Federal lands program and the Indian lands program. If adopted as proposed, the definition of Indian Lands would have included allotted lands located within an approved tribal land consolidation area but outside the boundaries of a reservation. Such allotments would then have been subject to OSM's regulatory authority under the Indian Lands Program. The only lands approved for coal mining that would have been brought within the scope of our jurisdiction if the proposed rule were adopted are 48 Navajo allotments overlying leased Federal coal within the existing McKinley Mine permit area in New Mexico. These allotments are currently regulated by the State. We conclude that the record before us neither adequately supports nor clearly precludes a finding of supervision in fact or in law. Therefore, we conclude that off-reservation Navajo allotted lands may be supervised by the Navajo Nation and thus may be Indian lands; but that any determination as to supervision of specific off-reservation Navajo allotted lands is more properly made on a case-by-case basis. In this notice of final action, we are setting out our analysis of the applicable law and the record before us. We are publishing this analysis for two reasons. First, we intend this analysis to inform the Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe and the public of the reasons for our decision not to adopt the proposed rule. Second, we intend this analysis to advise the public of how we anticipate addressing any pending or future actions concerning supervision of allotted lands.
Pennsylvania Regulatory Program
We are removing five required amendments to the Pennsylvania regulatory program (the ``Pennsylvania program'') regulations under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act) related to alternative reclamation plans; alternative postmining land use determinations; and bond forfeiture sites where reclamation is unreasonable, unnecessary, or impossible. Pennsylvania revised its program to be consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations and SMCRA. We are also approving two of four additional requested changes (not required) to the Pennsylvania program. Pennsylvania revised its program at its own initiative to clarify ambiguities and initiate changes in its fee collection calculations. The two approved changes are in regard to a typographical reference error and the evaluation of bond forfeiture sites. We are deferring our decision on two changes in regard to the discontinuation of a $100 per acre reclamation fee.
Notice of Proposed Information Collection for 1029-0030 and 1029-0049
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 for the collections of information for 30 CFR 764-State processes for designating areas unsuitable for surface coal mining operations, and 30 CFR Part 822- Special permanent program performance standards-operations in alluvial valley floors.
Virginia Regulatory Program
We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Virginia regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). The program amendment revises the Virginia Coal Surface Mining Reclamation Regulations concerning the distribution of topsoil and subsoil materials, revegetation standards for success, and to allow approval of natural stream restoration channel design, as developed in consultation with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Virginia Regulatory Program
We are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Virginia regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Virginia is proposing to revise its remining regulations to make three provisions permanent by deleting a termination date of September 30, 2004, from the regulations. The amendments are intended to render the State's regulations consistent with recent amendments to SMCRA.