[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 97 (Tuesday, May 20, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28860-28862]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-11678]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 948

[WV-121-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2013-0010; 
S1D1SSS08011000SX066A00067F144S180110; 
S2D2SSS08011000SX066A00033F14XS501520]


West Virginia Regulatory Program

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public 
hearing on proposed amendment.

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SUMMARY: 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 submitting a proposed amendment to revise its West 
Virginia Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act (WVSCMRA).
    Senate Bill 497 creates a new section in the West Virginia Code, 
designated as section 22-3-33, relating to the award of attorney fees 
and costs by the Surface Mine Board and courts in appeals from actions 
taken by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection 
(WVDEP) under the approved State surface mining program.

DATES: We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4:00 
p.m. (EST), on June 19, 2014. If requested, we will hold a public 
hearing on the amendment on June 16, 2014. We will accept requests to 
speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m. (EST), on June 4, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ``WV-121-FOR; Docket 
ID OSM-2013-0010'' by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: The proposed rule has been 
assigned Docket ID OSM-2013-0010. If you would like to submit comments 
though the Federal eRulemaking Portal, go to http://www.regulations.gov 
and follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, 
Charleston Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East, Charleston, West Virginia 
25301. Please include the rule identifier (WV-121-FOR; Docket ID OSM-
2013-0010) with your written comments.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency 
Docket ID

[[Page 28861]]

OSM-2013-0010 for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on 
submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking 
process, see the Public Comment Procedures heading in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document. You may also request to speak at 
a public hearing by any of the methods listed above or by contacting 
the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Docket: The proposed rule and any comments that are submitted may 
be viewed over the internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Look for 
Docket ID OSM-2013-0010. In addition, you may review copies of the West 
Virginia program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public 
hearings, and all written comments received in response to this 
document at the addresses listed below during normal business hours, 
Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may also receive one 
free copy of this amendment by contacting OSM's Charleston Field Office 
listed below.
    Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, Charleston Field Office, Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 1027 Virginia Street, East, 
Charleston, West Virginia 25301, Telephone: (304) 347-7158. Email: 
chfo@osmre.gov.
    West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, 601 57th 
Street, SE., Charleston, WV 25304, Telephone: (304) 926-0490.
    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at the following locations:
    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Morgantown 
Area Office, 604 Cheat Road, Suite 150, Morgantown, West Virginia 
26508, Telephone: (304) 291-4004 (By Appointment Only).
    Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Beckley Area 
Office, 313 Harper Park Drive, Suite 3, Beckley, West Virginia 25801, 
Telephone: (304) 255-5265.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Roger W. Calhoun, Director, 
Charleston Field Office, Telephone: (304) 347-7158. Email: 
chfo@osmre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the West Virginia Program
II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment
III. Description of OSM's Proposed Action
IV. Public Comment Procedures
V. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the West Virginia Program

    Section 503(a) of the Act provides a State with the authority to 
assume primacy to regulate surface coal mining and reclamation 
operations on non-Federal and non-Indian lands within its borders by 
demonstrating that its 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 the Act; 
. . . [and] rules and regulations consistent with regulations issued by 
the Secretary pursuant to the Act.'' See 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). 
On the basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior (the 
Secretary) conditionally approved the West Virginia program on January 
21, 1981. You can find background information on the West Virginia 
program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of 
comments, and conditions of approval of the West Virginia program in 
the January 21, 1981, Federal Register (46 FR 5915). You can also find 
later actions concerning West Virginia's program and program amendments 
at 30 CFR 948.10, 948.12, 948.13, 948.15, and 948.16.

II. Description and Submission of the Proposed Amendment

    West Virginia is submitting a proposed amendment to revise WVSCMRA.
    Senate Bill 497 creates a new section in the West Virginia Code, 
designated as section 22-3-33, relating to the award of attorney fees 
and costs by the Surface Mine Board and courts in appeals from actions 
taken by the WVDEP under the approved State surface mining program. 
Senate Bill 497 was adopted by the West Virginia Legislature on March 
10, 2012, and signed by the Governor on March 30, 2012. These changes 
became effective under State law on June 8, 2012.
    This action is being taken due to the apparent deletion of State 
statutory provisions from the approved State program which provided 
that any person involved in any administrative or judicial proceeding 
is entitled to reimbursement of all costs and expenses, including 
attorney fees, incurred by his participation in proceedings as 
determined by the Surface Mine Board or State court.
    The WVDEP requests that we approve the changes in the approved 
State program made by Senate Bill 497. In addition, the WVDEP requests 
that we approve the deletion of former appeal provisions at West 
Virginia Code sections 22-4-2 and 22-4-3 regarding the Reclamation 
Board of Review from the approved State program.

III. Description of OSM's Proposed Action

    The purpose of these changes is to provide authorization to the 
State Surface Mine Board or any reviewing State court to award attorney 
fees and costs in administrative proceedings arising under WVSCMRA. The 
proposed State revisions are intended to conform to the Federal 
requirements at 30 CFR 840.15, 43 CFR 4.1290-1296 and section 525(e) of 
SMCRA. The full text of the amendment is available for your review in 
the docket or online at www.regulations.gov.

IV. Public Comment Procedures

    Pursuant to 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your comments on 
whether these amendments satisfy the applicable program approval 
criteria within 30 CFR 732.15. If approved, these revisions will become 
part of the West Virginia program.

Written Comments

    Send your written or electronic comments to OSM at the address 
given above. Your written comments should be specific, pertain only to 
the issues proposed in this rulemaking, and include explanations in 
support of your recommendations. We may not consider or respond to your 
comments when developing the final rule if they are received after the 
close of the comment period (see DATES). We will make every attempt to 
log all comments into the administrative record, but comments delivered 
to an address other than the Charleston Field Office may not be logged 
in.

Electronic Comments

    Please submit Internet comments as an Email or Word file avoiding 
the use of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also 
include ``Attn: SATS NO. WV-121-FOR; Docket ID OSM-2013-0010'' and your 
name and return address in your Internet message. If you do not receive 
a confirmation that we received your Internet message, contact the 
Charleston Field Office at (304) 347-7158.

Availability of Comments

    Before including your address, phone number, email address, or 
other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be 
aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

[[Page 28862]]

Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4:00 p.m. (EST), on 
June 4, 2014. If you are disabled and need reasonable accommodations to 
attend a public hearing, contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. We will arrange the location and time of the 
hearing with those persons requesting the hearing. If no one requests 
an opportunity to speak, we will not hold a hearing.
    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we 
request, if possible, that each person who speaks at the public hearing 
provide us with a written copy of his or her comments. The public 
hearing will continue on the specified date until everyone scheduled to 
speak has been given an opportunity to be heard. If you are in the 
audience and have not been scheduled to speak and wish to do so, you 
will be allowed to speak after those who have been scheduled. We will 
end the hearing after everyone scheduled to speak and others present in 
the audience who wish to speak, have been heard.

Public Meeting

    If only one person requests an opportunity to speak, we may hold a 
public meeting rather than a public hearing. If you wish to meet with 
us to discuss the amendment, please request a meeting by contacting the 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All such meetings 
will be open to the public and, if possible, we will post notices of 
meetings at the locations listed under ADDRESSES. We will make a 
written summary of each meeting a part of the Administrative Record.

V. Procedural Determinations

Other Laws and Executive Orders Affecting Rulemaking

    When a State submits a program amendment to OSM for review, our 
regulations at 30 CFR 732.17(h) require us to publish a notice in the 
Federal Register indicating receipt of the proposed amendment, its text 
or a summary of its terms, and an opportunity for public comment. We 
conclude our review of the proposed amendment after the close of the 
public comment period and determine whether the amendment should be 
approved, approved in part, or not approved. At that time, we will also 
make the determinations and certifications required by the various laws 
and executive orders governing the rulemaking process and include them 
in the final rule.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 948

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface Mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: March 28, 2014.
Thomas D. Shope,
Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
[FR Doc. 2014-11678 Filed 5-19-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-05-P