[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 46 (Friday, March 10, 2017)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13268-13269]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-04747]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 46 / Friday, March 10, 2017 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 13268]]


Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 938

[PA-164-FOR, Docket ID: OSM-2016-0013; S1D1S SS08011000 DX064A000 
178S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 17X501520]

Pennsylvania Regulatory Program

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE), 

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


SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are announcing receipt of a proposed amendment to the 
Pennsylvania program under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation 
Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Through this proposed amendment, 
Pennsylvania seeks to revise its program to further define the 
implementation process for the reclamation of alternative bonding 
system (ABS) ``Legacy Sites'', and to clearly identify the current list 
of Legacy Sites, as well as sites that may qualify in the future as 
Legacy Sites.
    This document gives the times and locations that the Pennsylvania 
program and this 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., 
Eastern Standard Time (EST), April 10, 2017. If requested, we will hold 
a public hearing on the amendment on April 4, 2017. We will accept 
requests to speak at a hearing until 4 p.m., EST. on March 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by SATS No. PA-164-FOR; 
Docket ID: OSM-2016-0013 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, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: 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: In addition to obtaining copies of documents at 
www.regulations.gov, you may receive one free copy of the amendment by 
contacting OSMRE's Pittsburgh Field Division. For access to the docket 
to review copies of the Pennsylvania program, this amendment, a listing 
of any scheduled public hearings, and all written comments received in 
response to this document, you may go to the address listed below 
during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, excluding 
    Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field Division, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 
15220, Telephone: (412) 937-2827, Email: [email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ben Owens, Chief, Pittsburgh Field 
Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 3 
Parkway Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15220, 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 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 State program includes, among other things, State laws and 
regulations that govern surface coal mining and reclamation operations 
in accordance with the Act and consistent with the Federal regulations. 
See 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 on July 30, 1982.
    You can find additional background information on the Pennsylvania 
program, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of 
comments, and conditions of approval in the July 30, 1982, Federal 
Register, at 47 FR 33050. You can also find later actions concerning 
Pennsylvania's program and program amendments at 30 CFR 938.11, 938.12, 
938.13, 938.15 and 938.16.
    By letter dated August 1, 2008 (Administrative Record Number PA 
802.43), Pennsylvania sent us a proposed program amendment that was 
intended to satisfy a required amendment that was imposed by OSMRE in a 
final rule published in the Federal Register on May 31, 1991, at 56 FR 
24687, and codified in the Federal Regulations at 30 CFR 938.16(h). 
This proposed program amendment, hereinafter referred to as the ``ABS 
Program Amendment,'' was also intended to satisfy requirements of an 
October 1, 1991, letter sent to the state pursuant to the Federal 
regulations at 30 CFR 732.17. (the ``732 letter''). Among other things, 
the August 1, 2008, amendment proposed significant changes to the 
State's revenue raising mechanism for the treatment of pollutional 
discharges at ABS Legacy Sites. The term ``Legacy Sites'' is defined in 
Section II, below. On August 10, 2010, we published a Federal Register 
notice announcing our partial approval of the ABS program amendment. 
See 75 FR 48526.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated November 14, 2016 (Administrative Record No. PA 
897.00), Pennsylvania sent us an amendment to its program under SMCRA 
(30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.).
    Pennsylvania is providing this program amendment to further define 
how the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection 
(``Department'') will implement its obligation under the approved ABS 
Program Amendment consistent with OSMRE oversight. As defined in 25 Pa. 
Code Sec.  86.1, ``ABS Legacy Sites'' are ``[m]ine sites, permitted 
under the Primacy Alternate Bonding System

[[Page 13269]]

[ABS], that have a postmining pollutional discharge where the operator 
has defaulted on its obligation to adequately treat the discharge and, 
either the bond posted for the site is insufficient to cover the cost 
of treating the discharge, or a trust to cover the costs of treating 
the discharge was not fully funded and is insufficient to cover the 
cost of treating the discharge.''
    A. The proposed program amendment contains a current list of ABS 
Legacy Sites.
    B. The proposed program amendment provides a process for moving 
sites from the list of potential ABS Legacy Sites to the list of ABS 
Legacy Sites.
    C. The proposed program amendment includes the mechanisms by which 
a site can be added to the list of ABS Legacy Sites if bond release was 
improperly granted.
    D. The proposed amendment provides the criteria that must be met in 
order for a mine to be removed from the list of ABS Legacy Sites.
    E. The proposed program amendment requires the Department to 
request concurrence from OSMRE consistent with its oversight authority 
when sites are being added or removed from the list of ABS Legacy Sites 
or from the list of potential ABS Legacy Sites. This concurrence will 
be requested in writing through a letter or email message to the 
Pittsburgh Field Division, Harrisburg Area Office. The concurrence 
request will include a justification of the action. After the 
concurrence is received, the Department will initiate the notice in the 
Pennsylvania Bulletin.
    The full text of the program amendment is available for you to read 
at the locations listed above under ADDRESSES or at 

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 Pennsylvania's State Program.

Electronic or Written Comments

    If you submit written or electronic comments on the proposed rule 
during the 30-day comment period, 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) 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 4:00 p.m., e.s.t. on 
March 27, 2017. 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 OSMRE 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: February 24, 2017.
Glenda H. Owens,
Acting Director, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 2017-04747 Filed 3-9-17; 8:45 am]