Indiana Regulatory Program
We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM), are approving an amendment to the Indiana regulatory program (Indiana program) under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Reclamation (IDNR, Indiana, or department) made revisions to its rules to allow commercial forestry (trees) to be planted on reclaimed prime farmland provided all remaining reclamation requirements for prime farmland soil reconstruction and restoration are met. Indiana also restructured several of its provisions and made some minor language changes. Indiana intends to revise its program to improve operational efficiency.
West Virginia Regulatory Program
We are announcing receipt of a proposed 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 is re-submitting a proposed amendment to revise the West Virginia Code of State Regulations (CSR) concerning the hydrologic impacts of surface mining operations. The amendments are intended to repeal a definition of ``cumulative impact,'' and add a definition of ``material damage'' to the hydrologic balance outside the permit area. OSM had approved an earlier submittal of these same amendments on December 1, 2003 (68 FR 67035), but that approval was vacated and remanded by the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on September 30, 2005. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court's ruling on December 12, 2006. We are expressly seeking comment on whether the proposed amendments and the supporting arguments and explanations presented by the State are consistent with the Federal hydrologic protection requirements under SMCRA.
Placement of Coal Combustion Byproducts in Active and Abandoned Coal Mines
We are extending the comment period for the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) published in the March 14, 2007 Federal Register for 30 days. The ANPR is related to the placement of coal combustion byproducts (CCBs) in active and abandoned coal minesites.
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 review of a decision not to inspect or enforce. The amendment is intended to specify the time limit for filing a request for review of a decision, and to identify to whom a request for review should be filed.
Ohio Regulatory Program
We are approving an amendment to the Ohio regulatory program (the ``Ohio program'') under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). This amendment is intended to remove certain Conflict of Interest provisions from the approved Ohio program that were previously approved by OSM but have not been promulgated by Ohio through their rulemaking process.