[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 172 (Wednesday, September 5, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54490-54491]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-21864]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 901

[SATS No. AL-077-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2012-0016]

Alabama Regulatory Program

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

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


SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSM), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the Alabama 
regulatory program (Alabama program) under the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Alabama proposes 
revisions to its Program regarding revegetation success guidelines. 
Alabama intends to revise its program to improve operational 
    This document gives the times and locations that the Alabama 
program and proposed amendment to that program are available for your 
inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written 
comments on the amendment, and the procedures that we will follow for 
the public hearing, if one is requested.

DATES: We will accept written comments on this amendment until 4 p.m., 
c.d.t., October 5, 2012. If requested, we will hold a public hearing on 
the amendment on October 1, 2012. We will accept requests to speak at a 
hearing until 4 p.m., c.d.t. on September 20, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. AL-077-FOR 
by any of the following methods:
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham 
Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 
Gemini Circle, Suite 215, Homewood, Alabama 35209.
     Fax: (205) 290-7280.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been 
assigned Docket ID OSM-2012-0016. If you would like to submit comments 
go to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for 
submitting comments.
    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name 
and docket number for this rulemaking. For detailed instructions on 
submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking 
process, see the ``Public Comment Procedures'' heading of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
    Docket: For access to the docket to review copies of the Alabama 
program, this amendment, a listing of any scheduled public hearings, 
and all written comments received in response to this document, you 
must go to the address listed below during normal business hours, 
Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. You may receive one free 
copy of the amendment by contacting OSM's Birmingham Field Office or 
going to www.regulations.gov.
    Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham Field Office, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 135 Gemini Circle, Suite 215, 
Homewood, Alabama 35209, Telephone: (205) 290-7282, Email: 
[email protected].
    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at the following location:
    Alabama Surface Mining Commission, 1811 Second Ave., P.O. Box 2390, 
Jasper, Alabama 35502-2390, Telephone: (205) 221-4130.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sherry Wilson, Director, Birmingham 
Field Office. Telephone: (205) 290-7282. Email: [email protected].

I. Background on the Alabama Program
II. Description of the Proposed Amendment
III. Public Comment Procedures
IV. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Alabama 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 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 Alabama program effective May 20, 1982. You can find background 
information on the Alabama program, including the Secretary's findings, 
the disposition of comments, and the conditions of approval of the 
Alabama program in the May 20, 1982, Federal Register (47 FR 22030). 
You can also find later actions concerning the Alabama program and 
program amendments at 30 CFR 901.10, 901.15, and 901.16.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated June 26, 2012 (Administrative Record No. AL-0664), 
Alabama sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1201 
et seq.) at its own initiative. Below is a summary of the changes 
proposed by Alabama. The full text of the program amendment is 
available for you to read at the locations listed above under 

Alabama 880-X-10C-.62 Revegetation: Standards for Success Alabama 880-
X-10D-.56 Revegetation: Standards for Success

    Alabama proposes to add new language in both sections 880-X-
10C-.62(1)(c) and (d) and 880-X-10D-.56(1)(c) and (d) regarding 
herbaceous ground cover and trees and shrubs for determining the 
success of stocking. Additionally, Alabama proposes to delete and 
revise specific language in both sections of 880-X-10C-.62(2)(c), (e), 
and (g) and 880-X-10D-.56(2)(c), (e) and (g) regarding herbaceous 
ground cover and woody plant standards for areas developed for post-
mining landuse of forest land, recreation, wildlife habitat, and 
undeveloped land.

III. Public Comment Procedures

    Under the provisions of 30 CFR 732.17(h), we are seeking your 
comments on whether the amendment satisfies the applicable program 
approval criteria of 30 CFR 732.15. If we approve the amendment, it 
will become part of the State program.

Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written comments, they should be specific, confined 
to issues pertinent to the proposed regulations, and explain the reason 
for any recommended change(s). We appreciate any and all comments, but 
those most useful and likely to influence decisions on the final 
regulations will be those that either involve personal experience or 
include citations to and analyses of SMCRA, its legislative history, 
its implementing regulations, case law, other pertinent State or 
Federal laws or regulations, technical literature, or other relevant 
    We cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the 
comment period (see DATES) or sent to an address other than those 
listed (see ADDRESSES)

[[Page 54491]]

will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered.

Public 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.

Public Hearing

    If you wish to speak at the public hearing, contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT by 4 p.m., c.d.t. on 
September 20, 2012. 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 
are 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.

IV. Procedural Determinations

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.

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 901

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: June 29, 2012.
Ervin J. Barchenger,
Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.
[FR Doc. 2012-21864 Filed 9-4-12; 8:45 am]