[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 46 (Wednesday, March 9, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 12857-12859]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5388]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 926

[SATS No. MT-031-FOR; Administrative Record No. OSM-2010-0010]


Montana Regulatory Program

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

ACTION: Final rule; approval of amendment.

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SUMMARY: We are approving an amendment to the Montana regulatory 
program (the ``Montana program'') under the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (``SMCRA'' or ``the Act''). Montana proposed 
revisions to the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) at Chapter 
17.24.1109 (BONDING: LETTERS OF CREDIT). Montana is revising its 
program to incorporate the additional flexibility afforded by the 
revised Federal regulations and SMCRA, as amended, and to improve 
operational efficiency.

DATES: Effective Date: March 9, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffery Fleischman, Field Office 
Director, Casper Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 150 East B Street, Room 1018, Casper, Wyoming 82604-1018, 
307-261-6552, jfleischman@osmre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Montana Program
II. Submission of the Proposed Amendment
III. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement's (OSM's) 
Findings
IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments
V. OSM's Decision
VI. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Montana 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 State program includes, among other things, ``a State law which 
provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation 
operations in accordance with the requirements of this Act * * *; and 
rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by the 
Secretary pursuant to this Act.'' See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On 
the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior 
conditionally approved the Montana program on April 1, 1980. You can 
find background information on the Montana program, including the 
Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and conditions of 
approval in the April 1, 1980, Federal Register (45 FR 21560). You can 
also find later actions concerning Montana's program and program 
amendments at 30 CFR 926.15, 926.16, and 926.30.

II. Submission of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated July 14, 2010, Montana sent us an amendment to its 
program (Administrative Record Docket ID: OSM-2010-0010) under SMCRA 
(30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.). Montana sent the amendment to include the 
changes made at its own initiative. The amendment changes a condition 
for irrevocable letters of credit issued by banks as collateral in 
order to correct an error in the definition.
    Specifically, in ARM 17.24.1109(1)(e)(iii), Montana (1) substitutes 
``capital stock'' for ``shareholder equity'' to tailor the definition 
of ``total stockholder's equity'' to that used by the banking industry; 
and (2) deletes the criterion to evaluate the financial strength of a 
bank issuing a letter of credit set forth in ARM 17.24.1109(1)(f). The 
deletion of requirements in subsection (1)(f) recognizes that credit 
rating agencies change over time and that not all credit rating 
agencies use a rating scale that includes a `B+' rating as required by 
the regulation. In addition, credit rating agencies rate national banks 
and not state chartered banks. The deletion of subsection (1)(f) now 
allows qualifying state chartered banks to issue letters of credit as 
collateral for reclamation bonds. With the deletion of subsection (f), 
(g) through (j)(iii) will remain the same, but are renumbered (f) 
through (i)(iii).
    We announced receipt of the proposed amendment in the October 5, 
2010, Federal Register (Vol. 75, No. 192 FR 61366). In the same 
document, we opened the public comment period and provided an 
opportunity for a public hearing or meeting on the amendment's adequacy 
(Administrative Record No. OSM-2010-0010-0004).
    We did not receive any comments. We did not hold a public hearing 
or meeting because no one requested one. The public comment period 
ended on November 4, 2010.

III. OSM's Findings

    Following are the findings we made concerning the amendment under 
SMCRA and the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 732.15 and 732.17. We are 
approving the amendment as described below.

A. Revisions to Montana's Rules With No Corresponding Federal 
Regulation

    The following are proposed revisions to the Montana regulations 
that have no corresponding Federal regulation.
    Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 17.24.1109, BONDING: LETTERS 
OF CREDIT.
    The substitution of the term ``capital stock'' for ``shareholders 
equity'' brings subsection (1)(e)(iii) in line with the standard 
definition used by the banking and financial institutions.
    The deletion of the requirements in subsection (1)(f) recognizes 
that credit rating agencies change over time and that not all credit 
rating agencies use a rating scale that includes a B+ rating as 
required by the regulation. In addition, credit rating agencies rate 
national banks and not state chartered banks. The deletion of 
subsection (1)(f) now allows qualifying state chartered banks to issue 
letters of credit as collateral for reclamation bonds.
    We find that Montana's revision of ARM 17.24.1109 BONDING: LETTERS 
OF CREDIT adds specificity beyond that contained in the Federal 
regulations and is no less effective. Accordingly, we are approving 
Montana's revision.

IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments

Public Comments

    We asked for public comments on the amendment (Administrative 
Record Docket ID: OSM-2010-0010), but did not receive any.

[[Page 12858]]

Federal Agency Comments

    Under 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 Montana program (Administrative 
Record No. OSM-2010-0010-0003), but did not receive any.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concurrence and Comments

    Under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(i) and (ii), we are required to get 
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.).
    We note that none of the proposed changes relate to air or water 
quality standards. Nevertheless, under 30 CFR 732.17(h)(11)(ii), OSM 
requested comments on the amendment from EPA (Administrative Record No. 
OSM-2010-0010-0003). EPA did not respond to our request.

State Historic 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 July 26, 2010, we requested comments on Montana's 
amendment (Administrative Record No. OSM-2010-0010-0003), but neither 
responded to our request.

V. OSM's Decision

    Based on the above finding, we approve Montana's July 14, 2010, 
amendment.
    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations 
at 30 CFR part 926, which codify decisions concerning the Montana 
program. We find that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to 
make this final rule effective immediately. Section 503(a) of SMCRA 
requires that the State's program demonstrates that the State has the 
capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting its 
purposes. Making this regulation effective immediately will expedite 
that process. SMCRA requires consistency of State and Federal 
standards.

VI. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 12630--Takings

    This rule does not have takings implications. This determination is 
based on the analysis performed for the counterpart Federal regulation.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule is exempted from review by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and 
Review).

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required 
by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that this rule 
meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of that 
section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual 
language of State regulatory programs and program amendments because 
each program is drafted and promulgated by a specific State, not by 
OSM. Under sections 503 and 505 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1253 and 1255) and 
the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 730.11, 732.15, and 732.17(h)(10), 
decisions on proposed State regulatory programs and program amendments 
submitted by the States must be based solely on a determination of 
whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and its implementing 
Federal regulations and whether the other requirements of 30 CFR Parts 
730, 731, and 732 have been met.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA delineates 
the roles of the Federal and State governments with regard to the 
regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. One of 
the purposes of SMCRA is to ``establish a nationwide program to protect 
society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal 
mining operations.'' Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that State 
laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be ``in 
accordance with'' the requirements of SMCRA, and section 503(a)(7) 
requires that State programs contain rules and regulations ``consistent 
with'' regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

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

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the 
potential effects of this rule on Federally recognized Indian Tribes 
and have determined that the rule does not have substantial direct 
effects on one or more Indian Tribes, on the relationship between the 
Federal government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities between the Federal government and Indian Tribes. 
The rule does not involve or affect Indian Tribes in any way.

Executive Order 13211--Regulations That Significantly Affect the 
Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    On May 18, 2001, the President issued Executive Order 13211 which 
requires agencies to prepare a Statement of Energy Effects for a rule 
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 expected to have a significant 
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a 
Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement 
because section 702(d) of SMCRA (30 CFR U.S.C. 1292(d)) provides that 
agency decisions on proposed State regulatory program provisions do not 
constitute major Federal actions within the meaning of section 
102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 
4332(2)(C) et seq.).

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements that 
require approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that 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 State submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon 
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 Federal regulations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    a. Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million.

[[Page 12859]]

    b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    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 upon the fact that the State submittal 
which is the subject of this rule is based upon counterpart Federal 
regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a determination made 
that the Federal regulation was not considered a major rule.

Unfunded Mandates

    This rule will not impose an unfunded Mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or more in any 
given year. This determination is based upon the fact that the State 
submittal, which is the subject of this rule, is based upon counterpart 
Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and a 
determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an 
unfunded mandate.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 926

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: January 3, 2011.
Allen D. Klein,
Regional Director, Western Region.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 926 is amended 
as set forth below:

PART 926--MONTANA

0
1. The authority citation for part 926 continues to read as follows:

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


0
2. Section 926.15 is amended in the table by adding a new entry in 
chronological order by ``Date of Final Publication'' to read as 
follows:


Sec.  926.15  Approval of Montana regulatory program amendments.

* * * * *

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  Original amendment submission date     Date of final publication               Citation/description
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                                                  * * * * * * *
July 14, 2010........................  March 9, 2011................  ARM 17.24.1109.
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[FR Doc. 2011-5388 Filed 3-8-11; 8:45 am]
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