30 CFR 716.6 - Coal mines in Alaska.
(a) Permittees of surface coal mining operations in Alaska from which coal has been mined on or after August 3, 1977, shall conduct operations in a manner that, at a minimum, meets the performance standards of this chapter.
(b) The Secretary, after consultation with the Governor of Alaska, may modify the applicability of any environmental protection standard to any surface coal mining operation if he determines that it is necessary to ensure the continued operation of the mine.
(c) Any person may petition the Secretary to modify the applicability of a performance standard to a coal mine in Alaska. No particular form of petition is required. However, the petition shall be in writing and shall identify clearly -
(1) The performance standard involved;
(2) The alternative methods to be used to protect the environment and public health and safety;
(3) The reasons why a modification is requested with full descriptions of the impacts continued requirements for compliance with the performance standard to be modified would have on mining and reclamation and of the impacts the proposed method would have on the environment and public health and safety; and
(4) The location of the mine.
(d) If the Secretary determines that the petition presents reasonable justification for modifying the performance standard, he may grant a temporary suspension of enforcement of the performance standard, and he shall publish a notice of intention to modify the applicability of the performance standard in the Federal Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of Alaska where the affected coal mine is located. A public hearing shall be held in Alaska and any person may testify for or against the proposed modification. The Secretary, after considering the public comments, and consulting with the Governor of Alaska, shall publish his decision in the Federal Register and in the same newspaper in which the original notice was published.