MSHA - Code of Federal Regulations - 30 CFR 49.13
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MSHA - Title 30 CFR
30 CFR § 49.13

Alternative mine rescue capability for small and remote mines.


    (a) If an underground mine is small and remote, an operator may provide for an alternative mine rescue capability consistent with statutory requirements. For the purposes of this subpart only, consideration for small and remote shall be given where the total underground employment of the operator's mine and any surrounding mine(s) within 1 hour ground travel time of the operator's mine is less than 36.
    (b) An application for alternative mine rescue capability shall be submitted to the District Manager for the district in which the mine is located for review and approval.
    (c) Each application for an alternative mine rescue capability shall contain:
    (1) The number of miners employed underground at the mine on each shift;
    (2) The location of the designated mine rescue station serving the mine;
    (3) The total underground employment of mines within 1 hour ground travel time of the operator's mine;
    (4) The operator's mine fire, ground, and roof control history;
    (5) The operator's established escape and evacuation plan;
    (6) A statement by the operator evaluating the usefulness of additional refuge chambers to supplement those which may exist;
    (7) A statement by the operator as to the number of miners willing to serve on a mine rescue team;
    (8) The operator's alternative plan for assuring that a suitable mine rescue capability is provided at all times when miners are underground; and
    (9) Other relevant information about the operator's mine which may be requested by the District Manager.
    (d) A copy of the operator's application shall be posted at the mine. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the application.
    (e) In determining whether to approve an application for alternative compliance, the District Manager shall consider:
    (1) The individual circumstances of the small and remote mine;
    (2) Comments submitted by, or on behalf of, any affected miner; and
    (3) Whether the alternative mine rescue plan provides a suitable rescue capability at the operator's mine.
    (f) Where alternative compliance is approved by MSHA, the operator shall adopt the alternative plan and post a copy of the approved plan (with appropriate MSHA mine emergency telephone numbers) at the mine for the miners' information. Where a miners' representative has been designated, the operator shall also provide the representative with a copy of the approved plan.
    (g) The operator shall notify the District Manager of any changed condition or factor materially affecting information submitted in the application for alternative mine rescue capability.
    (h)(1) An approved plan for alternative mine rescue capability shall be subject to revocation or modification for cause by MSHA, where it is determined that a condition or factor has changed which would materially alter the operator's mine rescue capability. If such action is contemplated, the operator will be notified, and given an opportunity to be heard before the appropriate District Manager.
    (2) If an application for alternative compliance is denied or revoked, the District Manager shall provide the reason for such denial or revocation in writing to the operator. The operator may appeal this decision in writing to the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health.