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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 

<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 
<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 
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 
Encouraging Public Participation and Involvement in the Regulatory 
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 

<bullet> Continuing outreach activities with interested groups during 
            the rulemaking process to increase the quality of the 

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