[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 38 (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13002-13004]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04373]



Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 938

[PA-162-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2012-0022]

Pennsylvania Regulatory Program

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (``OSM''), 

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


SUMMARY: OSM announces receipt of a proposed amendment to the 
Pennsylvania regulatory program under the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (``SMCRA'' or the ``Act''). Pennsylvania's 
proposed amendment consists of the addition of new definitions and 
revisions to Pennsylvania's regulations on the use of the Coal Refuse 
Disposal Control Fund (``CRDCF'') and permit and reclamation fees.
    This document provides the times and locations that the 
Pennsylvania program and proposed amendment are available for public 
inspection, the comment period during which you may submit written 
comments, and the public hearing procedures if a hearing is requested.

DATES: We will accept written comments on these amendments until 4:00 
p.m., Eastern Standard Time (``EST'') March 28, 2013. If requested, we 
will hold a public hearing on the amendment on March 25, 2013. We will 
accept requests to speak at a hearing until 4:00 p.m., EST on March 13, 

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. PA-162-FOR 
by any of the following methods:
     Mail/Hand Delivery: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field 
Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 
Parkway Center, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220
     Fax: (412) 937-2888
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: The amendment has been 
assigned Docket ID OSM-2012-0022. If you would like to submit comments, 
go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions.
    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 
Pennsylvania regulations, 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 amendments by contacting OSM's Pittsburgh 
Field Division Office; or you can view the full text of the program 
amendment available for you to read at www.regulations.gov.
    In addition, you may review a copy of the amendment during regular 
business hours at one of the following locations:

Appalachian Regional Coordinating Center, Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh 
Field Division, Office of Surface

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Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, 3rd Floor, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: 
[email protected].
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Thomas Callaghan, 
P.G., Director, Bureau of Mining and Reclamation, Rachel Carson State 
Office Building, P.O. Box 8461, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17105-8461, 
Telephone: (717) 787-5015, Email: t[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field 
Division; Telephone: (412) 937-2827. Email: [email protected].


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

I. Background on the Pennsylvania Program

    Section 503(a) of the SMCRA 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.'' 30 U.S.C. 1253(a)(1) and (7). On the 
basis of these criteria, the Secretary of the Interior conditionally 
approved the Pennsylvania program, effective July 30, 1982. You can 
find background information on the Pennsylvania program, including the 
Secretary's findings, the disposition of comments, and the conditions 
of approval of the Pennsylvania program in the July 30, 1982, Federal 
Register (47 FR 33050). You can also find later actions concerning the 
Pennsylvania program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 
938.13, 938.15, and 938.16.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated December 19, 2012, (Administrative Record Number PA 
895.00), Pennsylvania sent OSM a request to approve regulations related 
to Pennsylvania coal fees. Pennsylvania is requesting approval of 
regulations found at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 86, sections 1, 3, and 17.
    Pennsylvania proposes the addition of two terms to the 
``Definitions'' section of Chapter 86, of the Pennsylvania regulations 
dealing with general aspects of surface and underground coal mining. 
Pennsylvania proposes to add the terms ``major permit revision'' and 
``permit application fee'' to this section. The definition of ``major 
permit revision'' is proposed to be, a revision to a coal mining permit 
that requires public notice. The definition of ``permit application 
fee'' is proposed to be, a nonrefundable filing fee due at the time of 
submission of an application. The permit application fee is required 
for an application to be considered complete.
    Additionally, Pennsylvania proposes to add a subsection to section 
86.3, regarding the use of the CRDCF. The new subsection (b) will, if 
approved, require permit application fees submitted under the Coal 
Refuse and Disposal Act to be used to finance the costs of review of 
the applications.
    Further, Pennsylvania proposes to increase the permit application 
fees. Currently, a permit application for coal mining activities or an 
application for a coal preparation plant is required to be submitted 
with an application fee of $250. Currently, coal refuse disposal 
activities require a fee of $500 plus an additional $10 per acre for 
acreage in excess of 50 acres. The proposed amendment increases the 
fees and creates new categories of permits with differing fees. Surface 
mining and coal refuse disposal permits will be assessed a fee of 
$3,250; coal refuse reprocessing permits will be assessed a fee of 
$1,900; coal preparation plant, anthracite underground mining, and 
incidental extraction permits will be assessed a fee of $1,650; 
bituminous underground mining permits will be assessed a fee of $5,750; 
and post-mining activity permits will be assessed a fee of $300. Under 
subsection (b)(2) of the proposed amendment, a new fee is imposed for 
major permit revisions. This fee is either $300 or $1,250, dependent 
upon the permit type. The proposed subsection (b)(3) introduces a new 
fee of $250 for permit transfers. The renewal fee assessed under the 
current regulation still exists at the rate of $250. The details of 
this fee are detailed in proposed subsection (b)(4). Additionally, a 
new fee for auger safety and bond liability revisions is proposed to be 
assessed in the amount of $200 and $100, respectively.
    The proposed subsection (c) describes how the collected fees will 
be allocated. Permit application fees collected for surface coal mine 
facilities, coal refuse reprocessing facilities, and coal mining 
activity facilities will be deposited in the Surface Mining 
Conservation and Reclamation Fund. Permit application fees for 
bituminous underground mines will be deposited in the Bituminous Mine 
Subsidence and Land Reclamation Fund. The fees collected for coal 
refuse disposal facilities are to be deposited in the CRDCF. The 
proposed amendment also proposes adding a new component at subsection 
(d). This subsection requires the Department of Environmental 
Protection to review the adequacy of the permit application fees at 
least once every three years. The results of this review must be 
submitted in writing to the Environmental Quality Board. Specifically, 
the proposed report will identify and reconcile any disparity between 
the amount of income generated by the fees and the costs to administer 
these programs as well as recommend a fee increase, if necessary.
    Subsection (e) of the current regulation will remain unaltered.

III. Public Comment Procedures

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

[[Page 13004]]

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 
March 13, 2013. 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; 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 938

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

     Dated: January 29, 2013.
Thomas Shope,
Regional Director, Appalachian Region.
[FR Doc. 2013-04373 Filed 2-25-13; 8:45 am]