[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 183 (Friday, September 22, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44313-44317]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-20265]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Part 914

[SATS No. IN-164-FOR; Docket ID: OSM-2016-0004; S1D1S SS08011000 
SX064A000 178S180110; S2D2S SS08011000 SX064A000 17XS501520]


Indiana Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

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

ACTION: Final rule; approval of amendment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 
(OSMRE), are approving an amendment to the Indiana Abandoned Mine Land 
Reclamation (AML) Plan (Indiana Plan) under the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act). Updates to the Indiana 
Plan were proposed to be consistent with changes required by the 2006 
amendment to SMCRA.

DATES: Effective October 23, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Len V. Meier, Chief, Alton Field 
Division, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 501 
Belle Street, Suite 216, Alton, IL 62002-6169. Telephone: (618) 463-
6463. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background on the Indiana Plan
II. Submission of the Amendment
III. OSMRE's Findings
IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments
V. OSMRE's Decision
VI. Procedural Determinations

I. Background on the Indiana Plan

    The Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program (AML) was established 
by Title IV of the Act, in response to concerns over extensive 
environmental damage caused by past coal mining activities. The program 
is

[[Page 44314]]

funded by a reclamation fee collected on each ton of coal that is 
produced. The money collected is used to finance the reclamation of 
abandoned coal mines and for other authorized activities. Section 405 
of the Act allows States and Indian Tribes to assume exclusive 
responsibility for reclamation activity within the State or on Indian 
lands if they develop and submit, to the Secretary of the Interior for 
approval, a program (often referred to as a Plan) for the reclamation 
of abandoned coal mines. You can find background information on the 
Indiana Plan, including the Secretary's findings, the disposition of 
comments, and the approval of the Plan in the July 26, 1982, Federal 
Register (47 FR 32108). You can find later actions concerning the 
Indiana Plan and amendments to the Indiana Plan at 30 CFR 914.20 and 
914.25.

II. Description of the Proposed Amendment

    By letter dated March 14, 2016 (Administrative Record No. IN-1773), 
Indiana sent OSMRE an amendment to the Indiana Plan at its own 
initiative.
    On July 14, 2016, we announced receipt of the proposed amendment in 
the Federal Register (81 FR 45425). In the same document, we opened the 
public comment period and provided an opportunity for a public hearing 
or meeting on the adequacy of the amendment. We did not hold a public 
hearing or meeting because no one requested one. The public comment 
period ended on August 15, 2016. We did not receive any public 
comments.

III. OSMRE's Findings

    We are approving the amendment as described below. The following 
are the findings we made concerning Indiana's amendment under SMCRA and 
the Federal regulations at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15. Any revisions that 
we do not specifically discuss below concerning non-substantive wording 
or editorial changes can be found in the full text of the Plan 
amendment available at www.regulations.gov.

Indiana Plan

1. Letter of Designation From the Governor [30 CFR 884.13(a)(1)]
    Indiana resubmitted a 1981 letter from the Governor designating the 
Indiana Department of Natural Resources (Indiana DNR) as the agency 
responsible for the abandoned mine lands reclamation program in the 
state of Indiana. This letter was submitted and approved as part of the 
original proposed Indiana Plan and is consistent with the Federal 
requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(1).
2. Legal Opinion [30 CFR 884.13(a)(2)]
    Indiana resubmitted a 1981 legal opinion from the Attorney General 
of Indiana authorizing the Indiana DNR, under the legal authority of 
the Indiana Code, to conduct its reclamation program in accordance with 
the requirements of Title IV of the Act. This legal opinion was 
submitted and approved as part of the original proposed Indiana Plan 
and is consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(2).
3. Goals and Objectives [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(i)]
    Part 884.13(c)(1) of the Indiana Plan, states that the goal of its 
AML program is to address the adverse effects of past coal mining 
conducted prior to August 3, 1977, which impact public health, safety, 
or general welfare, and cause environmental degradation. The stated 
objectives of the AML program are to identify and prioritize these 
adverse impacts, provide planning procedures, and ensure their ultimate 
reclamation. Indiana also stated that, although the primary purpose of 
the program is the reclamation of coal mine lands, any non-coal AML 
issues will be dealt with in accordance with OSMRE policies. Indiana 
DNR sets aside a percentage of each year's allocation of AML funds into 
separate funds for both the restoration of eligible lands and waters 
and for the abatement of the causes and treatment of the effects of 
acid mine drainage. Both funds are used in accordance with the 
requirements and priorities of SMCRA. These program goals and 
objectives are consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 
884.13(a)(3)(i). Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
4. Reclamation Project Ranking and Selection Procedures [30 CFR 
884.13(a)(3)(ii)]
    Part 884.13(c)(2) of the Indiana Plan, describes the priority 
system and the specific criteria for identifying and ranking all sites 
eligible for reclamation under Title IV of the Act. Examples of 
eligible site problems include: Open and unprotected mine entries; 
water filled, or partially filled shafts; dangerous highwalls and other 
steep embankments; hazardous mine structures; underground mine 
subsidence; trash dumps; water bodies impaired by coal mine drainage; 
coal refuse areas; spoil areas; and any other mine related danger. The 
sites given highest priority are those exhibiting extreme danger of 
adverse effects of coal mining practices. The sites given the second 
highest priority are those adversely impacting public health and 
safety. The sites given third priority are those which cause the 
environmental degradation of soil, water, air quality, woodlands, fish 
and wildlife, recreational resources, and agricultural productivity. 
Indiana also describes Indiana DNR's data acquisition procedures in 
determining site eligibility, which include the review of past mining 
records, surveys, field investigations, and public input. Indiana 
explains that site priority will be determined for all eligible sites, 
regardless of resource recovery potential, and that any resource 
recovery will be undertaken in accordance with Federal rules. Any 
remined sites will remain eligible for AML reclamation. Part 
884.13(e)(1)(2) of the Indiana Plan, includes a list of documents and 
data sources concerning known or suspected eligible lands and waters 
within the state of Indiana. These descriptions are consistent with the 
Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(ii). Therefore, we are 
approving their inclusion.
5. Coordination With Other Programs [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(iii)]
    Part 884.13(c)(3) of the Indiana Plan describes Indiana DNR's 
coordination with other agencies. Indiana DNR coordinates with the 
Sycamore Trails Resource Conservation & Development Group, a non-profit 
organization that maintains its own AML program. The two programs share 
information via a liaison and an Abandoned Mine Land Inventory System 
database, which lists sites identified by personnel from both programs. 
Eligibility of these potential sites for the expenditure of AML funds 
is determined by committee review. Additional coordination with local 
tribes is not necessary because there are no known Indian lands within 
the Indiana Coal Region. Indiana also describes the purpose of its AML 
Emergency Program, which is to stabilize the emergency aspects of an 
AML problem by eliminating the immediate danger to public health, 
safety, or general welfare. The AML Emergency Program is discussed 
further in Section 8, ``Rights of Entry.'' This description of agency 
coordination is consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 
884.13(a)(3)(iii). Therefore, we are approving its inclusion.
6. Land Acquisition, Management, and Disposal [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(iv)]
    Part 884.13(c)(4) of the Indiana Plan describes its policies and 
procedures

[[Page 44315]]

regarding land acquisition, management, and disposal. Under the Indiana 
Plan, all lands that have been adversely affected by coal mining 
activity are eligible for acquisition, if deemed necessary. These 
acquisition, management, and disposition policies and procedures are 
consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(iv). 
Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
7. Reclamation of Private Land [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(v)]
    Part 884.13(c)(5) of the Indiana Plan describes Indiana's policies 
and procedures for reclamation on private land. Under the Indiana Plan, 
the Indiana DNR has the authority to place or waive a lien against 
private property if the owner has consented to, participated in, or 
exercised control over the mining operation, and if reclamation will 
result in a significant increase in property value. If an initial 
evaluation suggests an increase in property value of $25,000 or more, 
the land appraisal may be conducted by an independent appraiser. These 
policies and procedures are consistent with the Federal requirements of 
30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(v). Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
8. Rights of Entry [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(vi)]
    Part 884.13(c)(6) and Part 884.13(c)(3) of the Indiana Plan states 
its policies and procedures regarding rights of entry to lands or 
property. Indiana DNR will take all reasonable actions to obtain 
advanced written consent from the property owner for the purposes of 
reclamation. In the event that permission cannot be obtained on 
property where reclamation is needed and there is an immediate danger 
to public health, safety, or general welfare, police power entry is 
authorized under the AML Emergency Program. If police power entry is 
necessary, a written notice shall be mailed to the property owner at 
least 30 days prior to entry. If the property owner's address is not 
known, the notice shall be posted on the property and advertised in the 
newspaper. These policies and procedures are consistent with the 
Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(vi). Therefore, we are 
approving their inclusion.
9. Public Participation Policies [30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(vii)]
    Part 884.13(c)(7) of the Indiana Plan, describes its public 
participation policies in the development and operation of the Indiana 
Plan. Indiana DNR encourages the public to contact their office with 
any questions or concerns regarding mining related problems or the AML 
program. For future projects, Indiana DNR distributes informational 
letters to Federal, State, and local elected officials, and publishes 
public notices to news outlets within the county where the proposed 
activity is located. If sufficient public response is received, DNR 
will offer public meetings to provide information on proposed 
activities. Additional public involvement in the preparation of any 
revisions or amendments to the Indiana Plan will be coordinated and 
executed by OSMRE during the public comment and review period. These 
policies and procedures are consistent with the Federal requirements of 
30 CFR 884.13(a)(3)(vii). Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
10. Organization of the Designated Agency [30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(i)]
    Part 884.13(d)(1) of the Indiana Plan describes the organization of 
the Indiana DNR and its relationship to other state organizations that 
may become involved in Indiana's AML program. The Indiana DNR Division 
of Reclamation reports to the DNR Director, via the Deputy Director to 
the Regulatory Management Team. The Indiana DNR Director reports 
directly to the Governor. The AML program also coordinates with other 
DNR divisions on proposed projects and reclamation activities. This 
description of agency organization is consistent with the Federal 
requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(i). Therefore, we are approving its 
inclusion.
11. Personnel Staffing Policies [30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(ii)]
    Part 884.13(d)(2) of the Indiana Plan describes Indiana's personnel 
staffing policies that will govern the assignment of personnel to its 
AML program. The program's staff is selected on the basis of applicable 
academic and professional experience. The Indiana DNR will be 
responsible for complying with all pertinent Federal and State laws. 
This description of agency personnel policies is consistent with the 
Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(ii). Therefore, we are 
approving its inclusion.
12. Purchasing and Procurement [30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(iii)]
    Part 884.13(d)(3) of the Indiana Plan states that the purchasing 
and procurement systems used by the Indiana DNR will be in accordance 
with the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Circular A-102, Attachment 0 and the Uniform Administrative 
Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local 
Governments (43 CFR part 12, subpart C). Indiana also described its AML 
Applicant/Violator System, which ensures that no company owners, 
director, or major shareholders bidding on AML federally-funded 
projects have any Federal coal mining violations or state cessation 
orders that would render them ineligible. These systems are consistent 
with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(iii). Therefore, 
we are approving their inclusion.
13. Accounting [30 CFR 884.13(a)(4)(iv)]
    Part 884.13(d)(4) of the Indiana Plan describes Indiana DNR's 
accounting system, including procedures for the operation of the 
Indiana Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. AML projects are grant-funded, 
and detailed financial records are maintained for auditing purposes, in 
accordance with 30 CFR 886 and OMB Circular A-102. This system 
description is consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 
884.13(a)(4)(iv). Therefore, we are approving its inclusion.
14. Environmental Problems and Reclamation Techniques [30 CFR 
884.13(a)(5)(ii)] [30 CFR 884.13(a)(5)(iii)]
    Part 884.13(e)(3) of the Indiana Plan describes the problems 
occurring on known or suspected lands and waters which require 
reclamation. A report published by Indiana DNR describes these problems 
and the suggested reclamation techniques to restore the site to an 
environmentally stable condition. These descriptions are consistent 
with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(5)(ii) and 30 CFR 
884.13(a)(5)(iii). Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
15. The Economic Base [30 CFR 884.13(a)(6)(i)]
    Part 884.13(f)(1) of the Indiana Plan, describes the economic base 
for Indiana's primary coal producing region, including population size, 
market accessibility, economic activities, such as agricultural 
products and manufacturing, and available mining resources. This 
description is consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 
884.13(a)(6)(i). Therefore, we are approving its inclusion.
16. Significant Aesthetic, Historic, or Cultural, and Recreational 
Values [30 CFR 884.13(a)(6)(ii)]
    Part 884.13(f)(2) of the Indiana Plan describes the aesthetic, 
historic, and recreational values of southwestern

[[Page 44316]]

Indiana. Indiana DNR stated that, to ensure that all potential impacts 
of the reclamation process are mitigated, the Division of Reclamation 
will consult with the Division of Historic Preservation and 
Archaeology. This statement is consistent with the Federal requirements 
of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(6)(ii). Therefore, we are approving its inclusion.
17. Flora and Fauna of Southwestern Indiana [30 CFR 884.13(a)(6)(iii)]
    Indiana stated that, during the planning stages of proposed AML 
reclamation projects, evaluations are conducted by Indiana DNR to 
determine the presence of wetlands, endangered species, and other 
environmental concerns. Recommendations are then provided to enhance or 
improve wetlands and critical wildlife habitat. During this process, 
Indiana DNR consults with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to 
determine whether the project will adversely affect any Federally-
listed threatened or endangered species. Indiana DNR also coordinates 
with the Indiana Division of Nature Preserves to identify any unique 
natural habitats for protection and mitigation. These descriptions are 
consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 CFR 884.13(a)(6)(iii). 
Therefore, we are approving their inclusion.
18. Locations of Documented Surface and Underground Coal Mines in 
Southwestern Indiana [30 CFR 884.13(a)(5)(i)]
    Indiana included a map showing the general location of known or 
suspected eligible lands and waters within Indiana which require 
reclamation. This map is consistent with the Federal requirements of 30 
CFR 884.13(a)(5)(i). Therefore, we are approving its inclusion.

IV. Summary and Disposition of Comments

Public Comments

    OSMRE solicited public comments and provided an opportunity for a 
public hearing on the amendment of the Indiana Plan. No public comments 
were received and because no one requested an opportunity to speak at a 
public hearing, no hearing was held.

Federal Agency Comments

    On May 4, 2016, under 30 CFR 884.14(a)(2), we requested comments on 
the amendment from various Federal agencies with an actual or potential 
interest in the Indiana plan (Administrative Record No. IN-1773). We 
did not receive any comments.

State Historical Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council 
on Historic Preservation (ACHP)

    On May 4, 2016, we requested comments on the Indiana Plan amendment 
(Administrative Record No. IN-1773), from the SHPO and the ACHP, but 
neither responded to our request.

V. OSMRE's Decision

    Based on the above findings, we approve the amendment Indiana sent 
us on March 14, 2016 (Administrative Record No. IN-1773).
    To implement this decision, we are amending the Federal regulations 
at 30 CFR part 914, which codify decisions concerning the Indiana Plan. 
In accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, this rule will 
take effect 30 days after the date of publication. Section 503(a) of 
SMCRA requires that the State's program demonstrate that the State has 
the capability of carrying out the provisions of the Act and meeting 
its purposes. SMCRA requires consistency of State and Federal 
standards.

VI. Procedural Determinations

Executive Order 12630--Takings

    This rulemaking does not have takings implications. This 
determination is based on the analysis performed for the counterpart 
Federal regulation.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rulemaking is exempted from review by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under Executive Order 12866.

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    The Department of the Interior has conducted the reviews required 
by section 3 of Executive Order 12988 and has determined that this 
rulemaking meets the applicable standards of subsections (a) and (b) of 
that section. However, these standards are not applicable to the actual 
language of State AML programs and program amendments because each 
program is drafted and promulgated by a specific state, not by OSMRE. 
Under section 405 of SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1235) and the Federal regulations 
at 30 CFR 884.14 and 884.15, decisions on proposed State AML programs 
and program amendments submitted by the states must be based solely on 
a determination of whether the submittal is consistent with SMCRA and 
its implementing Federal regulations and whether the other requirements 
of 30 CFR part 884 have been met.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rulemaking does not have Federalism implications. SMCRA 
delineates the roles of the Federal and state governments with regard 
to the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations. 
One of the purposes of SMCRA is to ``establish a nationwide program to 
protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface 
coal mining operations.'' Section 503(a)(1) of SMCRA requires that 
state laws regulating surface coal mining and reclamation operations be 
``in accordance with'' the requirements of SMCRA, and section 503(a)(7) 
requires that state programs contain rules and regulations ``consistent 
with'' regulations issued by the Secretary pursuant to SMCRA.

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the 
potential effects of this rulemaking on Federally-recognized Tribes and 
have determined that the rulemaking does not have substantial direct 
effects on one or more Tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
government and Tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal government and Tribes. The basis 
for this determination is that our decision is on a state AML program 
and does not involve Federal regulations involving Indian lands.

Executive Order 13211--Regulations That Significantly Affect the 
Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    Executive Order 13211 of May 18, 2001, requires agencies to prepare 
a Statement of Energy Effects for a rulemaking that is (1) considered 
significant under Executive Order 12866, and (2) likely to have a 
significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of 
energy. Because this rulemaking is exempt from review under Executive 
Order 12866 and is not expected to have a significant adverse effect on 
the supply, distribution, or use of energy, a Statement of Energy 
Effects is not required.

National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not require an environmental impact statement 
because it is deemed a categorical exclusion within the meaning of the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C)). It is 
documented in

[[Page 44317]]

the DOI Departmental Manual 516 DM 13.5(B)(29), that agency decisions 
on approval of state reclamation plans for abandoned mine lands do not 
constitute major Federal actions.

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 certifies that this rulemaking 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 State submittal, which is the subject of this rulemaking, is based 
upon counterpart 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. In making the determination as to whether this rule would 
have a significant economic impact, the Department relied upon the data 
and assumptions for the counterpart Federal regulations.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rulemaking is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rulemaking: 
(a) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million; (b) 
Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, 
individual industries, Federal, state, or local government agencies, or 
geographic regions; and (c) Does not have significant adverse effects 
on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or 
the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based 
enterprises. This determination is based upon the fact that the State 
submittal, which is the subject of this rulemaking, is based upon 
counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared and 
a determination made that the Federal regulation was not considered a 
major rulemaking.

Unfunded Mandates

    This rulemaking will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, 
local, or Tribal governments or the private sector of $100 million or 
more in any given year. This determination is based upon the fact that 
the State submittal, which is the subject of this rulemaking, is based 
upon counterpart Federal regulations for which an analysis was prepared 
and a determination made that the Federal regulation did not impose an 
unfunded mandate.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 914

    Intergovernmental relations, Surface mining, Underground mining.

    Dated: September 12, 2017.
Alfred L. Clayborne,
Regional Director, Mid-Continent Region.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR part 914 is amended 
as set forth below:

PART 914--INDIANA

0
1. The authority citation for part 914 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.


0
2. Section 914.25 is amended in the table by adding an entry in 
chronological order by ``Date of final publication'' to read as 
follows:


Sec.  914.25   Approval of Indiana abandoned mine land reclamation plan 
amendments.

* * * * *

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Original amendment submission    Date of final
             date                  publication      Citation/description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
March 14, 2016................  September 22,      Abandoned Mine Land
                                 2017.              Reclamation Plan for
                                                    the State of
                                                    Indiana.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2017-20265 Filed 9-21-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-05-P