[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 200 (Thursday, October 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 62047-62052]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-24305]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Natural Resources Revenue

30 CFR Part 1290

Office of Hearings and Appeals

43 CFR Part 4

[Docket No. ONRR-2011-0017; DS63610000 DR2PS0000.CH7000 145D0102R2]
RIN 1012-AA08


Clarification of Appeal Procedures

AGENCY: Office of Natural Resources Revenue and Office of Hearings and 
Appeals, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) and Office of 
Hearing and Appeals (OHA) are amending and clarifying regulations 
concerning certain aspects of appeals of ONRR correspondence and 
clarifying the final administrative nature of ONRR orders that are not 
paid or appealed.

DATES: Effective Date: November 17, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions on technical issues, 
contact Bonnie Robson, Office of Enforcement and Appeals, ONRR, 
telephone (303) 231-3729, or email bonnie.robson@onrr.gov. For other 
questions, contact Armand Southall, Regulatory Specialist, ONRR, 
telephone (303) 231-3221, or email armand.southall@onrr.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    ONRR is amending its appeal regulations. On May 13, 1999, the 
Department of the Interior (Department) published in the Federal 
Register (64 FR 26240) a final rule governing the appeal of the former 
Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Minerals Revenue Management (MRM) 
orders. In this rule, ONRR clarifies the appeal regulations by removing 
ambiguity regarding the ONRR definition of an Order, the timing of 
appeals of orders to perform restructured accounting, and the orders 
that have become final for the Department that the recipient has not 
paid or appealed.

II. Reorganization of Title 30 CFR

    On May 19, 2010, the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) 
separated the responsibilities previously performed by the former MMS 
and reassigned those responsibilities to three separate organizations. 
As part of this reorganization, the Secretary renamed MMS's MRM the 
Office of Natural Resources Revenue and directed that ONRR transition 
from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals 
Management to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, 
Management and Budget (PMB). This change required the reorganization of 
title 30, Code of Federal Regulations (30 CFR). In response, ONRR 
published a direct final rule on October 4, 2010 (75 FR 61051), to 
establish a new chapter XII in 30 CFR; to remove certain regulations 
from chapter II; and to recodify these regulations in the new chapter 
XII. Therefore, all references to ONRR in this rule include its 
predecessor MRM, and all references to 30 CFR part 1290 in this rule 
include former 30 CFR part 290, subpart B.

III. Comments on the Proposed Amendments

    ONRR published the proposed rule on July 22, 2013 (78 FR 43843). We 
received comments on the proposed rule from 1 oil and gas producer, 1 
Indian Tribe, and 1 trade association. We have analyzed these comments, 
which are discussed below:

A. 30 CFR Part 1290--Appeals

1. Sec.  1290.102 Definition of ``order.''
    Public Comments: Both the company and trade association expressed 
concern over the definition of an ``order.'' Specifically, they believe 
that paragraph 2(vi) which states that ``[a]ny correspondence that does 
not include the right to appeal in writing'' is not an ``order,'' is 
too broad, confusing, and unnecessary. Their primary concern is that 
correspondence that contains a requirement to pay or other 
``substantive obligation to perform,'' but does not set out the right 
to appeal, forces the recipient to either (1) comply with the 
correspondence ``but have no right to appeal'' or (2) call ONRR to find 
out if ONRR intentionally left out the appeals language. The trade 
association thus suggests that we delete paragraph 2(vi) in the final 
rule or add language to paragraph 2(vi) that correspondence ``without 
express appeal language has no immediate legal effect on the 
recipient.'' The company suggests that ONRR correspondence state 
whether it is appealable or not instead of stating in the rule that 
correspondence is not appealable if it does not contain appeal rights.
    ONRR Response: In the proposed rule we explained that ``the rule 
proposes to amend existing appeal regulations in titles 30 and 43 to 
clarify which ONRR correspondence are appealable orders . . . [because] 
ONRR has received appeals filed in response to ``Dear

[[Page 62048]]

Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' and ``Dear Reporter'' letters. These 
letters contain policy and guidance that do not contain mandatory or 
ordering language, and, thus, are not ONRR orders.'' In addition to 
clarifying that such correspondence are not appealable ``orders,'' we 
also proposed to add new language stating that any ONRR correspondence 
that does not set out the right to appeal in writing is not an 
appealable ``order'' consistent with the Interior Board of Land Appeals 
(IBLA) decision in Xanadu Exploration Company, 157 IBLA 183, 186 
(2002).
    With respect to our proposal to add a new paragraph 2(vi) that 
provides an order does not include ``[a]ny correspondence that does not 
include the right to appeal in writing'' we disagree with removing 
paragraph 2(vi) in the final rule for a several reasons.
    First, the concern that a company could receive correspondence that 
actually was an ``order'' with a ``substantive obligation to perform,'' 
but would have no right to appeal is unfounded. If you receive 
correspondence from ONRR that does not contain the right to appeal, 
then by definition under paragraph 2(vi) of Sec.  1290.102 it is not an 
``order'' and, thus, the company need not comply. Simply stated, if you 
received a document from ONRR that tells you to take some action, but 
does not contain appeal rights, you have no obligation to comply with 
that correspondence and may not appeal that correspondence because 
under new paragraph 2(iv), it is not an ``order.'' However, if you 
received a document from ONRR that tells you to take some action and 
sets out the right to appeal, you have an obligation to comply with 
that correspondence and may appeal that ``order.''
    Second, we do not believe we need to add language to paragraph 
2(vi) to state that correspondence without appeal rights has no legal 
effect. By definition, as explained above, such correspondence is not 
an ``order,'' and, thus, has no legal effect. We also do not agree that 
adding language to the final rule that documents without express appeal 
language have no legal effect would clarify the definition of what 
constitutes an ``order''. We agree that ONRR correspondence should 
state whether it is appealable or not--and often does. For example, 
Preliminary Determination Letters--so-called ``Issue Letters''--that 
ONRR, States, and Tribes send to companies prior to an order do not 
state they are appealable--because they are not. On the other hand, 
Dear Payor Letters that merely provide guidance state they are not 
appealable. Finally, some ONRR correspondence such as orders to pay or 
report or interest bills, do state that they are appealable, and thus 
are appealable ``orders.'' Nevertheless, we decline to codify that all 
ONRR correspondence must state whether it is appealable or not because 
if a company received correspondence that was silent on the right to 
appeal, it would create the same problem this rule is remedying--the 
company would be forced to appeal the correspondence in case ONRR 
merely omitted language providing a right to appeal. Whereas, under 
this rule, if the correspondence does not set out the right to appeal, 
as stated above, the recipient is not legally required to comply with 
the correspondence because, under this final rule the correspondence is 
not an ``order.'' Therefore, we are retaining paragraph 2(vi) in the 
final rule.
    Public Comments: The trade association suggests that we also 
clarify the portion of the definition of an order that states an order 
``means any document issued by the ONRR Director or a delegated state. 
. . .'' Specifically, it recommends removing the word ``Director'' from 
the quoted portion of the definition because it allows an appeal of a 
Director's Order to the Director. The trade association believes this 
language conflicts with Sec.  1290.110(b)(1) which states an appellant 
does not have to exhaust administrative remedies (i.e. appeal to the 
IBLA) if an order was made effective by the Director.
    ONRR Response: We agree that inclusion of the word ``Director'' in 
the definition of ``order'' is confusing and are removing it in the 
final rule. An order or decision the ONRR Director issues is appealable 
to the IBLA, not the Director. Therefore, we are making that clear in 
the final rule. Also, we are making a corresponding change to Sec.  
1290.110(b) which states appellants do not have to exhaust 
administrative remedies if an order was made effective by the Director. 
Appellants do have to exhaust administrative remedies if an order is 
made effective by the Director. The ONRR Director and the BIA Director 
are not delegated authority to issue orders or decisions that are final 
for the Department and nonappealable. Paragraph (b)(1) conflicts with 
the requirement to appeal orders to perform a restructured accounting 
the Director issues to the IBLA under 1290.105(a)(2) and orders and 
decisions the ONRR Director issues to the IBLA under Sec.  1290.108. 
Accordingly, we are removing paragraph (b)(1) in this final rule.
2. 1290.105(a)(1)(i) How do I appeal an order?
    Upon reviewing revised 30 CFR 1290.105(a)(1)(i), we determined we 
inadvertently omitted the phrase ``Indian mineral leases'' from the 
portion of this subparagraph pertaining to appeals of Orders to Perform 
Restructured Accounting. We have added this phrase to clarify that the 
30-day appeal period applies to Orders to Perform Restructured 
Accounting involving Indian mineral leases.
3. Sec.  1290.108 How do I appeal to the IBLA?
    Public Comments: The trade association suggests that we also 
clarify proposed 30 CFR 1290.108(a) covering appeals to the IBLA. 
Specifically, it recommends removing the statement that a party may 
appeal ``a final decision of the ONRR Director or the Director, Bureau 
of Indian Affairs'' to the IBLA and instead state that a party may 
appeal ``an order issued or made effective by the Director.'' The trade 
association believes that the term ``final decision'' should be 
reserved for decisions that are final for the Department--such as IBLA 
and Assistant Secretary's decisions.
    Both the company and trade association disagree with our proposal 
to extend the period for ONRR to file an answer in an appeal to the 
IBLA in proposed 1290.108(b). The trade association believes ONRR's 
stated premise for the change ``to allow ONRR to assemble the 
administrative record in royalty appeals'' is flawed because it 
believes ``ONRR should have already prepared and submitted the 
administrative record in support of its order prior to the due date for 
the appellant's Statement of Reasons.'' It also is concerned that 
allowing ONRR more time to assemble the administrative record could 
``impair'' an appellant's access to the administrative record. The 
company believes that ONRR should already have all of the information 
so no time is necessary to assemble the administrative record.
    ONRR Response: We agree that ONRR and BIA Director's decisions and 
orders are not ``final for the Department''--which, as discussed above, 
is why we are removing Sec.  1290.110(b)(1) in this final rule. 
Therefore, in the final rule, we are also revising section 1290.108(a) 
to state that a party may appeal to the IBLA ``an order the ONRR 
Director issues or a decision the ONRR Director or Director, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs issues under this part.''
    With respect to 1290.108(b), ONRR will retain the extended period 
for it to

[[Page 62049]]

file its answer in the final rule for two reasons. First, any 
assumption that ONRR has all of the records already in its possession, 
and the administrative record is already assembled, is incorrect. When 
a party appeals an order to the Director, the Director's decision is 
based on the order, issue letter, responses to the issue letter, 
appellant's statement of reasons, field reports if requested, and 
additional information either the appellant or office that issued the 
order provides. Also, the Director's decision is limited to only the 
issues the appellant raises on appeal. However, appellants often raise 
new issues or arguments on appeal to the IBLA. In order to ensure we 
provide a complete record to the IBLA and appellant, the Office of 
Enforcement and Appeal's Litigation Support Branch (LSB) asks the 
office that issued the order to send the LSB all audit and compliance 
review records, even if portions of those audits or compliance reviews 
were not at issue in the appeal to the Director (for example, schedules 
not at issue in the appeal). Because an order may be issued by ONRR 
satellite offices, a delegated State, or by ONRR based on a delegated 
State or Tribal audit, it takes time for LSB to gather all of the 
documents to include in the record. LSB then organizes, indexes, and 
bates stamps the record--a service that benefits not only ONRR, but 
also the appellant and IBLA.
    Second, we believe the concern that allowing ONRR more time to 
assemble the administrative record could somehow ``impair'' an 
appellant's access to the administrative record is unwarranted. As 
stated above, ONRR's goal is to provide the most complete, well-
organized record possible. Moreover, the appellant should already have 
most of the documents necessary to prepare its statement of reasons. 
And, to the extent the administrative record contains information the 
appellant did not have prior to filing its statement of reasons, which 
is not likely, the appellant may file a reply brief within 15 days of 
ONRR filing an answer. 43 CFR 4.412(d).
4. Sec.  1290.111 What happens if I do not pay or appeal an order?
    Public Comments: The Tribe submitted a comment in support of 
proposed Sec.  1290.111. Section 1290.111 makes clear that, if you 
receive an ONRR order and you neither pay nor appeal that order under 
30 CFR part 1290, the order is the final decision of the Department, 
and you may not contest the merits of that order in any subsequent 
proceeding seeking to enforce the order under 30 CFR part 1241. For 
example, if ONRR issued a Notice of Noncompliance (NONC) under 30 CFR 
part 1241 to enforce an order you did not pay or appeal, you may not 
contest your liability under the order in a hearing on the NONC. 
However, if you did not comply with the NONC enforcing the order, and 
ONRR assessed civil penalties for your failure to comply with the NONC, 
you could contest the amount of the penalty assessment.
    ONRR Response: ONRR appreciates the Tribe's support and will retain 
Sec.  1290.111 in the final rule.

43 CFR Part 4 Subpart J--Special Rules Applicable to Appeals Concerning 
Federal Oil and Gas Royalties and Related Matters

5. Sec.  43 CFR 4.903 Definition of ``order.''
    Public Comments: The trade association and company made the same 
comments to the definition of ``order'' in section 4.903 as those they 
made for 30 CFR 1290.102. Definition of ``order'' discussed above.
    ONRR Response: See our response to the comments to 30 CFR 1290.102 
above.

IV. Procedural Matters

1. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. OIRA has determined 
that this rule is not significant.
    Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while 
calling for improvements in the Nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches 
that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for 
the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and 
consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 emphasizes further 
that regulations must be based on the best available science and that 
the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements.

2. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department certifies that this rule will not have a significant 
economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).
    This rule will affect lessees under Federal and Indian mineral 
leases and other recipients of ONRR orders or other official 
correspondence. Lessees of Federal and Indian mineral leases are 
generally companies classified under the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) Code 211111, which includes companies 
that extract crude petroleum and natural gas. For this NAICS code 
classification, a small company is one with fewer than 500 employees. 
Because this rule applies to all mineral leases, even though the NAICS 
classification only applies to oil and gas leases, we are using the 
same classification system for all mineral leases. The Department 
believes that a meaningful number of businesses affected by this rule 
will be small businesses.
    This rule will have no economic effect on small businesses. 
Businesses will not lose any opportunity to appeal any orders which may 
have an economic effect. This rule only will serve to clarify the 
proper forum for certain appeals, conform with other regulations, and 
codify previously enacted Federal law. A Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis will not be required. Accordingly, a Small Entity Compliance 
Guide will not be required.
    Your comments are important. The Small Business and Agriculture 
Regulatory Enforcement Ombudsman and ten Regional Fairness Boards 
receive comments from small businesses about Federal agency enforcement 
actions. The Ombudsman annually evaluates the enforcement activities 
and rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish 
to comment on the actions of ONRR, call 1-888-734-3247. You may comment 
to the Small Business Administration without fear of retaliation. 
Allegations of discrimination/retaliation filed with the Small Business 
Administration will be investigated for appropriate action.

3. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). 
This rule:
    (a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (c) Does not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or

[[Page 62050]]

the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 
enterprises.

4. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
Tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. This rule will not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local, or Tribal governments, or the private sector. A statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) is not required.

5. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    Under the criteria in section 2 of E.O. 12630, this rule does not 
have any significant takings implications. This rule is not a 
governmental action capable of interference with constitutionally 
protected property rights. A Takings Implication Assessment is not 
required.

6. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule does not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
Federalism summary impact statement. This rule does not substantially 
and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State 
governments. To the extent that State and local governments have a role 
in Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities, this rule does not affect 
that role. A Federalism summary impact statement is not required.

7. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    a. Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    b. Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

8. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian Tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian Tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. Under the Department's 
consultation policy and the criteria in E.O. 13175, we evaluated this 
rule and determined that it will have no substantial direct effects on 
federally recognized Indian Tribes. Indian Tribes will be unaffected by 
clarifications to this appeals rule because the changes would affect 
the procedures for appeal by lessees, but not the rights of lessors, 
such as individual Indian mineral owners and Tribes.

9. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission to OMB is not required under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

10. National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. We are not required to 
provide a detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA) because this rule qualifies for categorical 
exclusion under 43 CFR 46.210(c) and (i) and the DOI Departmental 
Manual, part 516, section 15.4.D: ``(c) Routine financial transactions 
including such things as . . . audits, fees, bonds, and royalties . . . 
(i) Policies, directives, regulations, and guidelines: That are of an 
administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature.'' 
See 43 CFR 46.210(i) and the DOI Departmental Manual, part 516, section 
15.4.D (2004). We have also determined that this rule is not involve in 
any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215 that 
requires further analysis under NEPA. The procedural changes resulting 
from these amendments have no consequences with respect to the physical 
environment. This rule will not alter, in any material way, natural 
resource exploration, production, or transportation.

11. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in E.O. 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

List of Subjects

30 CFR Part 1290

    Administrative practice and procedure.

43 CFR Part 4

    Administrative practice and procedure, Civil rights, Claim, Equal 
access to justice, Estates, Government contracts, Grazing lands, 
Indians, Lawyers, Mines, Penalties, Public lands, Surface mining, 
Whistleblowing.

    Dated: October 2, 2014.
Rhea Suh,
Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget.

Authority and Issuance

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, the Department of the 
Interior amends 30 CFR part 1290 and 43 CFR part 4, subpart J, as 
follows:

TITLE 30--MINERAL RESOURCES

CHAPTER XII--OFFICE OF NATURAL RESOURCES REVENUE, DEPARTMENT OF THE 
INTERIOR

Subchapter B--Appeals

PART 1290--APPEAL PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1290 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1331.


0
2. Amend the definition of Order in Sec.  1290.102 by revising the 
introductory text and paragraphs (1)(i), (1)(ii), (2)(iii), and (2)(iv) 
and adding paragraphs (2)(v) and (2)(vi) to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.102  What definitions apply to this part?

* * * * *
    Order, for purposes of this part only, means any document issued by 
ONRR or a delegated State that contains mandatory or ordering language 
that requires the recipient to do any of the following for any lease 
subject to this part: Report, compute, or pay royalties or other 
obligations, report production, or provide other information.
    (1) * * *
    (i) An order to pay (Order to Pay) or to compute and pay (Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting); and
    (ii) An ONRR or delegated State decision to deny a lessee's, 
designee's, or payor's written request that asserts an obligation due 
the lessee, designee, or payor (Denial).
    (2) * * *
    (iii) An order to pay that ONRR issues to a refiner or other person 
involved in disposition of royalty taken in kind;
    (iv) A Notice of Noncompliance or a Notice of Civil Penalty issued 
under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and 30 CFR part 1241, or a decision of an 
administrative law judge or of the IBLA following a hearing on the 
record on a Notice of Noncompliance or Notice of Civil Penalty;
    (v) A ``Dear Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' or ``Dear Reporter'' 
letter unless it explicitly includes the right to appeal in writing; or
    (vi) Any correspondence that does not include the right to appeal 
in writing.
* * * * *

[[Page 62051]]


0
3. Amend Sec.  1290.105 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.105  How do I appeal an order?

    (a)(1) You may appeal to the Director, Office of Natural Resources 
Revenue (ONRR Director), by filing a Notice of Appeal in the office of 
the official issuing the Order:
    (i) Within 30 days from service of an Order to Pay or a Denial 
involving Federal or Indian mineral leases, or an Order to Perform a 
Restructured Accounting involving Indian mineral leases or Federal 
solid mineral or geothermal leases; or
    (ii) Within 60 days from service of an Order to Perform a 
Restructured Accounting involving Federal oil and gas leases if a 
delegated State issued the Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting.
    (2) If the ONRR Director, or other most senior career professional 
responsible for the ONRR royalty management program, issued the Order 
to Perform a Restructured Accounting for a Federal oil and gas lease, 
then you may appeal that order to the IBLA within 60 days under Sec.  
1290.108.
    (3) For appeals to the ONRR Director under paragraph (a)(1) of this 
section, within the same 30-day or 60-day period, whichever is 
applicable, you must file in the office of the official issuing the 
Order to Pay, Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting, or Denial, a 
statement of reasons, or written arguments, or brief that includes the 
arguments on the facts or law that you believe justify reversal or 
modification of the Order to Pay, Order to Perform a Restructured 
Accounting, or Denial.
    (4) If you are a designee, when you file your Notice of Appeal, you 
must concurrently serve your Notice of Appeal on the lessees for the 
leases in the Order to Pay, Order to Perform a Restructured Accounting, 
or Denial you appealed.
* * * * *

0
4. Revise Sec.  1290.108 to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.108  How do I appeal to the IBLA?

    (a) Any party to a case adversely affected by an order the ONRR 
Director issues or a decision the ONRR Director or Director, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs issues under this part shall have a right of appeal to 
the IBLA under the procedures provided in 43 CFR part 4, subpart E.
    (b) Notwithstanding 43 CFR 4.414(a), a party shall file an answer 
or appropriate motion within 60 days after service of the statement of 
reasons for appeal unless an extension of time is requested and 
granted.

0
5. Amend Sec.  1290.110 by revising paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), and 
(b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.110  How do I exhaust administrative remedies?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (1) The Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget;
    (2) The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs; or
    (3) The Interior Board of Land Appeals under 43 CFR part 4.
* * * * *

0
6. Add new Sec.  1290.111 to read as follows:


Sec.  1290.111  What happens if I do not pay or appeal an order?

    If you neither pay nor appeal an order under this part, that order 
is the final decision of the Department, you have failed to exhaust 
administrative remedies as required under Sec.  1290.110(a), and you 
may not contest the validity or merits of that order in any subsequent 
proceeding to enforce that order under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and part 1241 of 
this chapter.

TITLE 43--PUBLIC LANDS: INTERIOR

SUBTITLE A--Office of the Secretary of the Interior

PART 4--DEPARTMENT HEARINGS AND APPEALS PROCEDURES

Subpart J--Special Rules Applicable to Appeals Concerning Federal 
Oil and Gas Royalties and Related Matters

0
7. The authority citation for subpart J continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301 et seq.; 25 U.S.C. 396 et seq., 396a et 
seq., 2101 et seq.; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq., 351 et seq., 1001 et 
seq., 1701 et seq.; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 43 U.S.C. 1301 et seq., 1331 et 
seq., and 1801 et seq.


0
8. Amend the sections in part 4 indicated in the left column of the 
table by removing the text in the center column and adding in its place 
the text in the right column.


Sec. Sec.  4.902, 4.903, 4.906, 4.907, and 4.908   [Amended]

                       Amendment Table for Part 4
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    By removing the       And adding in
             Amend                   reference to:         its place:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sec.   4.902(a)...............  30 CFR part 290 in      30 CFR part
                                 effect prior to May     1290.
                                 13, 1999 and
                                 contained in the 30
                                 CFR, parts 200 to
                                 699, edition revised
                                 as of July 1, 1998,
                                 30 CFR part 290
                                 subpart B.
Sec.   4.902(a)...............  Minerals Management     Office of
                                 Service (MMS).          Natural
                                                         Resources
                                                         Revenue (ONRR).
Sec.   4.903, definition of     MMS...................  ONRR.
 Delegated State.
Sec.   4.903, definition of     30 CFR part 227.......  30 CFR part
 Delegated State.                                        1227.
Sec.   4.903, definition of     30 CFR 218.52.........  30 CFR 1218.52.
 Designee.
Sec.   4.903, definition of     MMS...................  ONRR.
 Monetary obligation.
Sec.   4.903, definition of     MMS...................  ONRR.
 Notice of Order (two times).
Sec.   4.903, definition of     MMS...................  ONRR.
 Party.
Sec.   4.903, definition of     30 CFR part 290         30 CFR part
 Party (two times).              subpart B.              1290.
Sec.   4.906(b)(1)............  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.906(b)(2)............  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.906(d) (three times).  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.907 (table of          MMS...................  ONRR.
 contents and section heading).
Sec.   4.907(a) (two times)...  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.907(b)...............  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.907(c)...............  MMS's.................  ONRR's.
Sec.   4.908(a)...............  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.908(b)...............  MMS...................  ONRR.
Sec.   4.908(c)...............  MMS...................  ONRR.
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[[Page 62052]]


0
9. Revise the definitions of Order and Payor in Sec.  4.903 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  4.903  What definitions apply to this subpart?

* * * * *
    Order means any document or portion of a document issued by ONRR or 
a delegated State that contains mandatory or ordering language 
regarding any monetary or nonmonetary obligation under any Federal oil 
and gas lease or leases.
    (1) Order includes:
    (i) An order to pay (Order to Pay) or to compute and pay (Order to 
Perform a Restructured Accounting); and
    (ii) An ONRR or delegated State decision to deny a lessee's, 
designee's, or payor's written request that asserts an obligation due 
the lessee, designee, or payor.
    (2) Order does not include:
    (i) A non-binding request, information, or guidance, such as:
    (A) Advice or guidance on how to report or pay, including valuation 
determination, unless it contains mandatory or ordering language; and
    (B) A policy determination;
    (ii) A subpoena;
    (iii) An order to pay that ONRR issues to a refiner or other person 
involved in disposition of royalty taken in kind; or
    (iv) A Notice of Noncompliance or a Notice of Civil Penalty issued 
under 30 U.S.C. 1719 and 30 CFR part 1241, or a decision of an 
administrative law judge or of the IBLA following a hearing on the 
record on a Notice of Noncompliance or Notice of Civil Penalty.
    (v) A ``Dear Payor,'' ``Dear Operator,'' or ``Dear Reporter'' 
letter unless it explicitly includes the right to appeal in writing; or
    (vi) Any correspondence that does not include the right to appeal 
in writing.
* * * * *
    Payor means any person responsible for reporting and paying 
royalties for Federal oil and gas leases.

0
10. Revise Sec.  4.904 to read as follows:


Sec.  4.904  When does my appeal commence and end?

    For purposes of the period in which the Department must issue a 
final decision in your appeal under Sec.  4.906:
    (a) Your appeal commences on the date ONRR receives your Notice of 
Appeal.
    (b) Your appeal ends on the same day of the 33rd calendar month 
after your appeal commenced under paragraph (a) of this section, plus 
the number of days of any applicable time extensions under Sec.  4.909 
or 30 CFR 1290.109. If the 33rd calendar month after your appeal 
commenced does not have the same day of the month as the day of the 
month your appeal commenced, then the initial 33-month period ends on 
the last day of the 33rd calendar month.

0
11. Amend Sec.  4.906 by revising paragraph (b)(3) to read as follows:


Sec.  4.906  What if the Department does not issue a decision by the 
date my appeal ends?

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) If the ONRR Director issues an order or a decision in your 
appeal, and if you do not appeal the Director's order or decision to 
IBLA within the time required under 30 CFR part 1290, then the ONRR 
Director's order or decision is the final decision of the Department 
and 30 U.S.C. 1724(h)(2) has no application.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-24305 Filed 10-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-T2-P