MSHA - Code of Federal Regulations - 30 CFR 75.323
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MSHA - Title 30 CFR
30 CFR § 75.323
Actions for excessive methane.

(a)Location of tests. Tests for methane concentrations under this section shall be made at least 12 inches from the roof, face, ribs, and floor.

(b)Working places and intake air courses.

(1) When 1.0 percent or more methane is present in a working place or an intake air course, including an air course in which a belt conveyor is located, or in an area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed--

(i) Except intrinsically safe atmospheric monitoring systems (AMS), electrically powered equipment in the affected area shall be deenergized, and other mechanized equipment shall be shut off;

(ii) Changes or adjustments shall be made at once to the ventilation system to reduce the concentration of methane to less than 1.0 percent; and

(iii) No other work shall be permitted in the affected area until the methane concentration is less than 1.0 percent.

(2) When 1.5 percent or more methane is present in a working place or an intake air course, including an air course in which a belt conveyor is located, or in an area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed--

(i) Everyone except those persons referred to in §104(c) of the Act shall be withdrawn from the affected area; and

(ii) Except for intrinsically safe AMS, electrically powered equipment in the affected area shall be disconnected at the power source.

(c)Return air split. (1) When 1.0 percent or more methane is present in a return air split between the last working place on a working section and where that split of air meets another split of air, or the location at which the split is used to ventilate seals or worked-out areas changes or adjustments shall be made at once to the ventilation system to reduce the concentration of methane in the return air to less than 1.0 percent.

(2) When 1.5 percent or more methane is present in a return air split between the last working place on a working section and where that split of air meets another split of air, or the location where the split is used to ventilate seals or worked-out areas--

(i) Everyone except those persons referred to in §104(c) of the Act shall be withdrawn from the affected area;

(ii) Other than intrinsically safe AMS, equipment in the affected area shall be deenergized, electric power shall be disconnected at the power source, and other mechanized equipment shall be shut off; and
(iii) No other work shall be permitted in the affected area until the methane concentration in the return air is less than 1.0 percent.

(d)Return air split alternative. (1) The provisions of this paragraph apply if--

(i) The quantity of air in the split ventilating the active workings is at least 27,000 cubic feet per minute in the last open crosscut or the quantity specified in the approved ventilation plan, whichever is greater;

(ii) The methane content of the air in the split is continuously monitored during mining operations by an AMS that gives a visual and audible signal on the working section when the methane in the return air reaches 1.5 percent, and the methane content is monitored as specified in §75.351; and

(iii) Rock dust is continuously applied with a mechanical duster to the return air course during coal production at a location in the air course immediately outby the most inby monitoring point.

(2) When 1.5 percent or more methane is present in a return air split between a point in the return opposite the section loading point and where that split of air meets another split of air or where the split of air is used to ventilate seals or worked-out areas--

(i) Changes or adjustments shall be made at once to the ventilation system to reduce the concentration of methane in the return air below 1.5 percent;

(ii) Everyone except those persons referred to in §104(c) of the Act shall be withdrawn from the affected area;

(iii) Except for intrinsically safe AMS, equipment in the affected area shall be deenergized, electric power shall be disconnected at the power source, and other mechanized equipment shall be shut off; and

(iv) No other work shall be permitted in the affected area until the methane concentration in the return air is less than 1.5 percent.

(e)Bleeders and other return air courses. The concentration of methane in a bleeder split of air immediately before the air in the split joins another split of air, or in a return air course other than as described in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, shall not exceed 2.0 percent.