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ua14no94 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ)...
<DOC> DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (DOI) Overview Major Objectives The Department of the Interior (DOI) is the Nation's principal conservation agency, responsible for the management of much of our public lands and resources. It also has major responsibility for actions involving American Indians, Alaska Natives, and residents of island territories under the administration of the United States. DOI's mission is to encourage the conservation and responsible management of the Nation's natural resources and to fulfill the trust responsibilities of the U.S. Government. In carrying out these responsibilities, DOI pursues the following major objectives: <bullet> Preserving the nation's national park, wilderness, and fish and wildlife resources, and managing its public lands; <bullet> Managing the supply of quality water resources; <bullet> Improving the Federal Government's relationship with State, local, tribal, and territorial governments; <bullet> Promoting the economic and social well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and people of the U.S. territories; and <bullet> Enhancing America's ability to meet its needs for domestic energy and mineral resources. Major Regulatory Areas Only one of DOI's ten bureaus--the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement--is primarily engaged in activities most often considered ``regulatory.'' Its regulations set environmental standards for coal mining and reclamation operations and ensure that these standards are met through State programs. A number of other bureau activities, however, have regulatory components. Those regulations serve primarily to facilitate DOI programs, which focus upon the management of public or trust lands and natural resources under U.S. ownership or control. Some of the major areas of these regulations include: <bullet> Management of migratory birds and preservation of certain marine mammals and endangered species; <bullet> Management of dedicated lands, such as national parks, wildlife refuges, and American Indian trust lands; <bullet> Management of public lands open to multiple use; <bullet> Leasing and oversight of development of Federal energy, mineral, and renewable resources; <bullet> Management of revenues from American Indian and Federal minerals; <bullet> Fulfillment of trust and other responsibilities pertaining to American Indian tribes; <bullet> Natural resource damage assessments; and <bullet> Management of financial and nonfinancial assistance programs. Regulatory Policy DOI Regulatory Procedures and Consistency With the Administration's Regulatory Policies Within the general requirements and guidance set forth in Executive Orders 12866, 12612, and 12630, DOI's regulatory program seeks to accomplish the following: (1) fulfill all legal requirements as specified by statutes or court orders; (2) perform essential functions that cannot be handled by non-Federal entities; (3) minimize regulatory costs to society while maximizing societal benefits; and (4) operate programs openly, efficiently, and in cooperation with Federal and non- Federal entities. To help meet these objectives, DOI has restructured its regulatory process. In mid-1993, it created the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA) within the Office of the Secretary. A primary function of ORA is to help ensure that regulations are promulgated in a timely and efficient manner. As part of this task, ORA requires that all bureaus/offices establish realistic rulemaking schedules. ORA then monitors the development of all rulemakings to ensure that deadlines are met. This structure allows the public to plan more effectively for anticipated regulatory changes and helps regulators focus more clearly upon issues to be regulated. ORA also coordinates the development of rules that cross bureau or departmental jurisdictional lines and helps ensure that agreements are reached on policy issues early in the rulemaking process. This system substantially reduces delays caused by the late intervention of interested parties. Encouraging Responsible Management of the Nation's Resources One of DOI's fundamental goals is to encourage the responsible management of the Nation's natural heritage. The regulatory program is designed to help achieve this by striking appropriate balances between the use and preservation of natural resources. For example, DOI is seeking ways to provide incentives for users of public resources to adopt long-term strategies designed to meet current needs, while preserving resources for future generations. DOI also is seeking to ensure that the Government receives fair prices for public resources. For instance, DOI is restructuring certain fee schedules so that resource consumption fees more accurately reflect value received, thus promoting responsible stewardship and management of public resources. A specific example planned for fiscal 1995 is mining reform. If the Mining Law of 1872 is amended, DOI will develop regulatory policies to ensure, among other things, that: (1) the American people receive their fair share for the production of minerals from public lands; (2) mining operations are conducted, and abandoned mine sites are restored, in a more environmentally sound manner; (3) claims holdings fees are paid by those seeking to explore for minerals on public lands; and (4) the existing land patent system is eliminated. Minimizing Regulatory Burdens DOI has made a major effort to streamline its regulations and to reduce the burdens that they impose. Planning processes for land use and water development have been substantially modified to reduce unnecessary delays and paperwork associated with agency decisionmaking. Moreover, DOI currently is reviewing existing regulations to determine whether their benefits continue to outweigh their costs to society. Rules will continue to be reassessed periodically, and needed changes will be made as existing operations are evaluated. DOI's review of potential rules focuses both on assuring consistency with broad regulatory policies and goals and on making certain that rules are technically feasible and understandable. DOI is encouraging the use of performance standards rather than traditional command-and- control regulations, providing regulated entities with greater flexibility to develop more efficient and less burdensome compliance procedures. The Department also has undertaken an intiative to reform the style in which regulations are drafted. Too often, rules are poorly written, unclear, and difficult to understand. This causes confusion for the public and the agencies responsible for implementng the regulations. To remedy this problem, the Department is encouraging the use of ``plain English'' in rulemakings. A number of seminars have been held on this rule-drafting technique, and several promising pilot projects are underway. Encouraging Public Participation and Involvement in the Regulatory Process One of the goals of Executive Order 12866 is to ensure that the public has full and adequate opportunities to participate in the development of regulations. Encouraging increased public participation in the regulatory process so as to make regulatory policies more responsive to our customers' needs is a priority under this Adminstration. DOI is reaching out to communities and seeking their input on a variety of regulatory issues. For example, the Secretary and other high-ranking Departmental officials have held numerous public meetings around the country to solicit views on grazing reform regulations. In conjunction with the Indian Health Service, three regional meetings and one national meeting have been held to solicit input on proposed regulations to implement amendments to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act. Currently, DOI and the Indian Health Service are developing a process to permit tribes to continue working with the Departments to develop the final rule. DOI also is encouraging the use of negotiated rulemaking to develop rules with the full participation of affected communities. Several bureaus currently are either employing negotiated rulemaking techniques or are exploring whether negotiated rulemaking is appropriate and feasible for particular rules. Finally, Departmental policies are designed to delegate decisionmaking, including development and operation of DOI's regulatory programs, to the lowest appropriate level. With decentralization, management procedures can be developed that are sensitive to the various local needs and interests affected by DOI programs. Bureaus and Offices Within DOI The following are brief descriptions of the regulatory functions of DOI's major regulatory bureaus and offices. Office of the Secretary, Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance The regulatory functions of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance (OEPC) stem from requirements under section 301(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA). Section 301(c) requires the development of natural resource damage assessment rules and the biennial review and revision, as appropriate, of these rules. Rules have been promulgated for the optional use of natural resource trustees to assess compensation for damages to natural resources caused by oil or hazardous substances. OEPC is overseeing the study and possible promulgation of additional rules pursuant to section 301(c)(2) and the review and possible revision of the existing rules in compliance with section 301(c)(3). In undertaking DOI's responsibilities under section 301(c), OEPC is striving to meet three regulatory objectives: (1) that the minimal amount of regulation necessary be developed; (2) that the assessment process provide for tailoring to specific discharges or releases; and (3) that the process not be considered punitive, but rather a system to achieve fair and just compensation for injuries sustained. Bureau of Indian Affairs The philosophy of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is to encourage the development and management of human and other resources among American Indians and Alaska Natives, to encourage tribal assumption of BIA programs, and to fulfill trust and other responsibilities of the U.S. Government. BIA regulatory actions serve to balance its dual role as (1) advocate in assisting tribes and encouraging their participation in BIA programs, and (2) trustee protecting and/or enhancing American Indian trust resources. Important BIA programs are promulgated through regulations, rather than informal guidelines, so that American Indians are aware of, and have an opportunity to participate in, the development of standards and procedures affecting them. BIA regulatory policies seek to accomplish the following: (1) ensure consistent policies throughout American Indian Country; (2) promote American Indian involvement in the operation, management, planning, and evaluation of BIA programs and services; (3) provide guidance to applicants for BIA services; and (4) govern the development of American Indian lands and provide for the protection of American Indian treaty and statutory rights. BIA's regulatory program is designed: (1) to promote American Indian self-determination; (2) to provide American Indians and Alaska Natives with high-quality education and tribal development opportunities; (3) to meet BIA's trust responsibilities; and (4) to meet the needs of tribes and their members. Bureau of Land Management The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for the development, management, and protection of public land resources that traditionally have been subject to multiple use. The principal authorities for the BLM's activities are the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, the Mining Law of 1872, the Wild and Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, and the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. BLM's programs cover three main program areas: energy and minerals, renewable resources, and lands, including conducting Federal land surveys and maintaining the official records for all Federal and former Federal lands and minerals. BLM's fundamental regulatory philosophy is that public resources should be managed responsibly, providing maximum benefits to the public, while conserving scarce resources for future generations. BLM's regulatory program is designed to ensure that: <bullet> The resources in the Nation's lands are effectively and efficiently managed in accordance with law; <bullet> The public's concern for the resources will be reflected in significant opportunity for participation in the development of rules; <bullet> The regulatory compliance burden on individuals, firms, and other affected entities is kept to a minimum; and <bullet> Individuals and firms operating under BLM regulations are given the opportunity to respond to, and make decisions based upon, assessments of market situations. Minerals Management Service The Minerals Management Service (MMS) has two major responsibilities: (1) timely and accurate collection, distribution, accounting for, and auditing of revenues owed by holders of Federal onshore, offshore, and tribal land mineral leases in a manner that meets or exceeds Federal financial integrity requirements and recipient expectations; and (2) management of the resources of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in a manner that provides for safety, protection of the environment, and conservation of natural resources. These responsibilities are carried out under the provisions of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act, the Minerals Leasing Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the Indian Mineral Leasing Act, and other related statutes. The regulatory philosophy of MMS is to develop clear, enforceable rules that support the missions of each program. MMS will continue periodic reviews of offshore regulations to identify changes needed as a result of changes in technology, operating practices, or other factors. Specific revisions to rules to be pursued include ensuring ability of lessee to meet end-of-lease obligations, issuing final rules to implement authority pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to require spill response plans in State and Federal waters, and development of regulations for certification of financial responsibility for offshore facilities. MMS also plans to continue its review and revision of existing regulations and to issue certain rulemakings designed to perform needed ``housekeeping'' and other refinements to the royalty management regulations (30 CFR chapter II, subchapter A). Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) was created by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) to ``strike a balance between protection of the environment and agricultural productivity and the Nation's need for coal as an essential source of energy.'' The principal regulatory provisions contained in Title V of SMCRA set minimum requirements for obtaining a permit for surface coal mining operations, set standards for surface coal mining operations, require land reclamation once mining ends, and require rules and enforcement procedures to ensure that the standards are met. Under SMCRA, OSM serves as the primary enforcer of SMCRA until the States achieve ``primacy,'' that is, until they demonstrate that their regulatory program meets all the specifications in SMCRA and has regulations consistent with those issued by OSM. A primacy State takes over the permitting, inspection, and enforcement activities of the Federal Government. OSM changes its role from regulating mining activities directly to overseeing and evaluating State programs. Today, 24 of the 27 key coal-producing States have primacy. In return for assuming primacy, States are entitled to regulatory grants and to grants for reclaiming abandoned mine lands. In addition, under cooperative agreements, some primacy States have agreed to regulate mining on Federal lands within their borders. Thus, OSM regulates mining directly only in nonprimacy States, on Federal lands in States where no cooperative agreements are in effect, and on American Indian lands. SMCRA charges OSM with the responsibility of publishing rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act. Clearly, the most fundamental mechanism for ensuring that the purposes of SMCRA are achieved is the basic policy and guidance established through OSM's permanent regulatory program and related rulemakings. Its regulatory framework is developed, reviewed, and applied according to policy directives and legal requirements. Litigation by the coal industry and environmental groups is responsible for some of the rules now being considered by OSM. Others are the result of efforts by OSM to address areas of concern that have arisen during the course of implementing OSM's regulatory program. OSM has strived to develop an economical, safe, and environmentally sound program for the surface mining of coal by providing a stable regulatory framework. To achieve stability, OSM has endeavored to create a regulatory program that provides a high degree of continuity in its requirements and creates minimal uncertainty concerning the nature and pace of changes to existing provisions. OSM also has strived to create a consistent regulatory framework. At the same time, however, OSM has recognized the need: (1) to respond to local conditions; (2) to provide flexibility to react to technological change; (3) to be sensitive to geographic diversity; and (4) to eliminate burdensome recordkeeping and reporting requirements that over time have proved unnecessary to ensure an effective regulatory program. Major regulatory objectives regarding the mining of surface coal include: <bullet> Continuing outreach activities with interested groups during the rulemaking process to increase the quality of the
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