[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 198 (Friday, October 12, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 62269-62270]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25115]


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NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

[NRC-2012-0235]


Draft Tribal Protocol Manual and Scoping for Proposed Policy 
Statement

AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC or the Commission) 
is seeking comments on its draft ``Tribal Protocol Manual'' dated 
September 2012. After the Tribal Protocol Manual is issued, the NRC 
intends to use it as a starting point for developing a policy statement 
on consultation with Native American tribes. The NRC is committed to an 
open and collaborative regulatory environment in the development of its 
policies and licensing actions, and therefore is committed to 
meaningful consultation and coordination with Native American tribes.
    In addition to the request for comments on the draft Tribal 
Protocol Manual, the NRC also seeks suggestions on the development of 
the proposed tribal consultation policy statement from tribal 
governments and organizations, the public, and other interested 
parties. The questions found in section II are offered for 
consideration. Respondents are not limited to these questions and are 
encouraged to submit any comments/feedback they think would benefit the 
NRC in developing a tribal consultation policy statement.

DATES: Submit comments on the draft Tribal Protocol Manual or on the 
proposed tribal consultation policy statement by April 1, 2013. 
Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical 
to do so, but the NRC is able to assure consideration only for comments 
received on or before this date.

ADDRESSES: You may access information and comment submissions related 
to this document, which the NRC possesses and are publicly available, 
by searching on http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID NRC-2012-
0235. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0235. Address 
questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-492-
3668; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov.
     NRC Home Page: A graphic displaying the Tribal Protocol 
Manual will be prominently displayed on the NRC home page (http://www.nrc.gov) for a period of time, after which it will be moved to the 
``Spotlight'' Section.
     Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, 
Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB), Office of Administration, 
Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, 
DC 20555-0001.
     Fax comments to: RADB at 301-492-3446.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cardelia H. Maupin, Office of Federal 
and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, U.S. Nuclear 
Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-
2312; email: Cardelia.Maupin@nrc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Accessing Information and Submitting Comments

A. Accessing Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2012-0235 when contacting the NRC 
about the availability of information regarding this draft Tribal 
Protocol Manual or the proposed tribal consultation policy statement. 
You may access information related to these documents, which the NRC 
possesses and is publicly available, by any of the following methods:
     Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2012-0235.
     NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System 
(ADAMS): You may access publicly-available documents online in the NRC 
Library at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the 
search, select ``ADAMS Public Documents'' and then select ``Begin Web-
based ADAMS Search.'' For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC 
Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-
4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number 
for each document referenced in this document (if that document is 
available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is 
referenced. The draft ``Tribal Protocol Manual'' dated September 2012, 
is available electronically under ADAMS Accession Number: ML12261A423.
     NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public 
documents at the NRC PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 
Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2012-0235 in the subject line of your 
comment submission, in order to ensure that the NRC is able to make 
your comment submission available to the public in this docket.
    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact 
information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your 
comment submission. The NRC will post all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as enter the comment submissions into 
ADAMS, and the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove identifying or contact information.
    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons 
for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to 
include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be 
publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should 
state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to 
remove such information before making the comment submissions available 
to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

II. Discussion

    In January 2009, the Commission directed the staff to develop an 
internal protocol for interactions with Native American tribal 
governments \1\ that allows for custom tailored approaches to address 
the interests of both the NRC and the tribal governments on a case-by-
case basis.\2\ On November 5, 2009, President Obama issued a 
Presidential Memorandum that reaffirmed Executive Order 13175, 
``Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments,'' and 
emphasized the importance of strengthening government-to-government 
relationships with Native American tribes. In SECY-09-0180, ``U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission Interaction with Native American 
Tribes,'' (ADAMS Accession No. ML092800263), dated

[[Page 62270]]

December 11, 2009, NRC staff reviewed its various interactions with 
Native American tribes, and noted that these interactions were limited 
to a small number of activities under the NRC regulatory authority. At 
that time, staff concluded that a ``case-by-case'' approach had proven 
effective in interactions with Native American tribes by allowing for 
custom-tailored approaches that met Commission and tribal needs, and 
that no formal policy was needed. The NRC staff also noted that the 
internal guidance on tribal protocol would further enhance staff's 
engagement with Native American tribes. The internal NRC guidance, 
``Tribal Protocol Manual: Guidance for NRC Employees'' was developed 
and issued in March 2010.
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    \1\ For the purposes of this notice, the terms ``Native American 
tribal governments'' and ``Native American tribes'' are used 
interchangeably. In addition, these terms also include the term 
``Native Hawaiian organization,'' as that term is defined in 36 CFR 
800.16(s)(1).
    \2\ Staff Requirements Memorandum, ``Briefing on Uranium 
Recovery,'' M081211 (ML090080206) January 8, 2009.
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    As described in enclosure 1 to SECY-09-0180, the NRC has consulted 
with several tribes, including some instances of government-to-
government meetings, regarding various NRC regulatory and licensing 
activities. The subjects of these actions have included reactor 
inspections of the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant (PINGP) in 
Welsh, Minnesota, the renewal of PINGP's operating license, the 
proposed Yucca Mountain high-level waste repository in Nevada, uranium 
milling operations in New Mexico and Arizona, the potential placement 
of a power reactor in Galena, Alaska, and the reclamation of the 
Sequoyah Fuels Corporation site in Gore, Oklahoma. Recently, a 
heightened interest in uranium recovery development and new nuclear 
reactor construction has resulted in a significant increase in the 
number and complexity of consultations between the NRC and Native 
American tribes in order to address the obligations and requirements of 
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
    The NHPA was enacted in 1966 to coordinate and support public and 
private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect historic properties. 
Section 106 of the NHPA directs Federal agencies to consider the 
effects of their proposed actions on historic properties as a part of 
their decisionmaking process. Specifically, the regulations of the 
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which implement Section 106, 
set forth requirements for a Federal agency's consultation with Native 
American tribes.\3\
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    \3\ 36 CFR 800.2(c)(2).
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    In light of these increased interactions with Native American 
tribes and to improve communication with tribal governments, the 
Commission, by Staff Requirements Memorandum (COMWDM-12-0001), ``Tribal 
Consultation Policy Statement and Protocol,'' (ADAMS Accession No. 
ML121430233), dated May 22, 2012, directed the NRC staff to develop a 
proposed policy statement and protocol on consultation with Native 
American tribal governments. As a part of these efforts, the NRC staff 
identified minor revisions to the March 2010 ``Tribal Protocol Manual: 
Guidance for NRC Employees,'' and produced the draft Tribal Protocol 
Manual, dated September 2012. The NRC staff recognizes that additional 
changes to improve the draft Tribal Protocol Manual may be needed and 
is thus seeking public comment on the document in order to consider a 
broad range of experiences and perspectives on tribal interactions, 
including consultation and government-to-government meetings. 
Therefore, the NRC is requesting comments on the draft Tribal Protocol 
Manual and the development of a proposed tribal consultation policy 
statement from tribal governments and organizations, the public, and 
other interested parties. The questions in section III are intended to 
assist the NRC in developing an effective tribal consultation policy 
statement.

III. Questions on the proposed policy statement

    Tribal governments and organizations, the public, and other 
interested parties submitting comments are not limited to responding to 
the questions set forth below and are encouraged to submit any comments 
or other feedback they think would benefit the NRC in developing a 
tribal consultation policy statement.
     How can the NRC strengthen government-to-government 
relationships with Native American tribes?
     What practices have the NRC or other Federal agencies 
employed that have been effective in identifying tribal interests and 
resolving tribal concerns about proposed agency actions?
     Are there specific Tribal Policy Statements in other 
Federal agencies that could serve as
     A starting point for the NRC efforts?
     What unique tribal issues should the NRC be aware of as a 
non-landholding,\4\ regulatory agency that issues licenses under the 
Atomic Energy Act?
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    \4\ A landholding agency, such as the Bureau of Land Management, 
holds or controls land as part of carrying out its agency mission.

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    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 4th day of October 2012.
Larry W. Camper,
Acting Director, Office of Federal and State Materials and 
Environmental Management Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-25115 Filed 10-11-12; 8:45 am]
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