[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 200 (Monday, October 18, 1999)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 56179-56180]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-27107]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 904

[SPATS No. AR-035-FOR]

Arkansas Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

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

ACTION: Proposed rule; public comment period and opportunity for public 


SUMMARY: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) 
is announcing receipt of an amendment to the Arkansas abandoned mine 
land reclamation plan (Arkansas plan) under the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA). The amendment consists of an 
addition to the Arkansas plan relating to the exclusion of certain 
noncoal reclamation sites. Arkansas intends to revise its plan to be 
consistent with the corresponding Federal regulations.
    This document gives the times and locations that the Arkansas plan 
and the amendment to that plan are available for your inspection, the 
comment period during which you may submit written comments on the 
amendment, and the procedures that will be followed for the public 
hearing, if one is requested.

DATES: We will accept written comments until 4:00 p.m., c.s.t., 
November 17, 1999. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on the 
amendment on November 12, 1999. We will accept requests to speak at the 
hearing until 4:00 p.m., c.s.t. on November 2, 1999.

ADDRESSES: You should mail or hand deliver written comments and 
requests to speak at the hearing to Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa 
Field Office, at the address listed below.
    You may review copies of the Arkansas plan, the 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 receive one free copy of the amendment by contacting 
OSM's Tulsa Field Office.
    Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining, 5100 East Skelly Drive, Suite 470, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-6547, 
Telephone: (918) 581-6430.
    Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, Russellville Field 
Office, 1220 West 2nd Street, Russellville, Arkansas 72801, Telephone: 
(501) 968-7339.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael C. Wolfrom, Director, Tulsa 
Field Office. Telephone: (918) 581-6430. Internet: 
[email protected].


I. Background on the Arkansas Plan

    On May 2, 1983, the Secretary of the Interior approved the Arkansas 
plan. You can find background information on the Arkansas plan, 
including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and 
the approval of the plan in the May 2, 1983, Federal Register (48 FR 
19710). You can find later actions on the Arkansas plan at 30 CFR 
904.25 and 904.26.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated September 22, 1999 (Administrative Record No. AAML-
27.08), Arkansas sent us an amendment to its plan under SMCRA. Arkansas 
sent the amendment in response to our letter dated September 8, 1999 
(Administrative Record No. AAML-27.07). Below is a summary of the 
changes proposed by Arkansas. The full text of the amendment is 
available for your inspection at the locations listed above under 

[[Page 56180]]

Policies and Procedures of the State Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation 
Program [30 CFR 884.13(c)

    Under subheading B. Identification of Eligible Lands and Water [30 
CFR 884.13(c)(2)], Arkansas proposes to add the following language as a 
counterpart to our Federal regulation at 30 CFR 875.16, Exclusion of 
certain noncoal reclamation sites:

    Money from the Fund shall not be used for the reclamation of 
sites and areas designated for remedial action pursuant to the 
Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 U.S.C. 7901 
et seq.) or that have been listed for remedial action pursuant to 
the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability 
Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 884.15(a), we are requesting 
comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable State 
reclamation plan approval criteria of 30 CFR 884.14. If we approve the 
amendment, it will become part of the Arkansas plan.

Written Comments

    We will make comments, including names and addresses of 
respondents, available for public review during normal business hours. 
We will not consider anonymous comments. If individual respondents 
request confidentiality, we will honor their request to the extent 
allowable by law. Individual respondents who wish to withhold their 
name or address from public review, except for the city or town, must 
state this prominently at the beginning of their comments. We will make 
all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public review in their entirety.
    Your written comments should be specific and pertain only to the 
issues proposed in this rulemaking. You should explain the reason for 
any recommended change. In the final rulemaking, we will not 
necessarily consider or include in the Administrative Record any 
comments received after the time indicated under DATES or at locations 
other than the Tulsa Field Office.
    Please submit Internet comments as an ASCII file avoiding the use 
of special characters and any form of encryption. Please also include 
``Attn: SPATS No. AR-035-FOR'' and your name and return address in your 
Internet message. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have 
received your Internet message, contact the Tulsa Field Office at (918) 

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., c.s.t. on 
November 2, 1999. We will arrange the location and time of the hearing 
with those persons requesting the hearing. If you are disabled and need 
special accommodation to attend a public hearing, contact the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The hearing 
will not be held if no one requests an opportunity to speak at the 
public hearing.
    To assist the transcriber and ensure an accurate record, we request 
that you provide us with a written copy of your testimony. The public 
hearing will continue on the specified date until all persons scheduled 
to speak have been 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 all 
persons scheduled to speak and persons present in the audience who wish 
to speak have spoken.

Public Meeting

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

IV. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 12866

    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempts this rule from 
review under Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review).

Executive Order 12988

    The Department of the Interior conducted the reviews required by 
section 3 of Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform) and 
determined that, to the extent allowed by law, 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 and Tribal abandoned mine land reclamation plans and revisions 
since each such plan is drafted and promulgated by a specific State or 
Tribe, not by OSM. Decisions on proposed abandoned mine land 
reclamation plans and revisions submitted by a State or Tribe are based 
on a determination of whether the submittal meets the requirements of 
Title IV of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1231-1243) and 30 CFR Part 884.

National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement since 
agency decisions on proposed State and Tribal abandoned mine land 
reclamation plans and revisions are categorically excluded from 
compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332) 
by the Manual of the Department of the Interior (516 DM 6, appendix 8, 
paragraph 8.4B(29)).

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. 
3507 et seq.).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior determined 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 submittal which is the subject of this rule is based upon 
corresponding 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. Accordingly, this rule will ensure that existing requirements 
previously promulgated by OSM will be implemented. In making the 
determination as to whether this rule would have a significant economic 
impact, the Department relied upon the data and assumptions in the 
analyses for the corresponding Federal regulations.

Unfunded Mandates

    OSM determined and certifies under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1502 et seq.) that this rule will not impose a cost of $100 
million or more in any given year on local, state, or tribal 
governments or private entities.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 904

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: October 8, 1999.
Brent Wahlquist,
Regional Director, Mid-Continent Regional Coordinating Center.
[FR Doc. 99-27107 Filed 10-15-99; 8:45 am]