MSHA - Code of Federal Regulations - 30 CFR 75.350
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MSHA - Title 30 CFR
30 CFR § 75.350
Belt air course ventilation.

(a) The belt air course must not be used as a return air course; and except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the belt air course must not be used to provide air to working sections or to areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed.

    (1)The belt air course must be separated with permanent ventilation controls from return air courses and from other intake air courses except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (2) Effective December 31, 2009, the air velocity in the belt entry must be at least 50 feet per minute. When requested by the mine operator, the district manager may approve lower velocities in the ventilation plan based on specific mine conditions. Air velocities must be compatible with all fire detection systems and fire suppression systems used in the belt entry.

    (b) The use of air from a belt air course to ventilate a working section, or an area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, shall be permitted only when evaluated and approved by the district manager in the mine ventilation plan. The mine operator must provide justification in the plan that the use of air from a belt entry would afford at least the same measure of protection as where belt haulage entries are not used to ventilate working places. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

    (1) The belt entry must be equipped with an AMS that is installed, operated, examined, and maintained as specified in § 75.351.

    (2) All miners must be trained annually in the basic operating principles of the AMS, including the actions required in the event of activation of any AMS alert or alarm signal. This training must be conducted prior to working underground in a mine that uses belt air to ventilate working sections or areas where mechanized mining equipment is installed or removed. It must be conducted as part of a miner's 30 CFR part 48 new miner training ( § 48.5), experienced miner training ( § 48.6), or annual refresher training ( § 48.8).

    (3)(i) The average concentration of respirable dust in the belt air course, when used as a section intake air course, must be maintained at or below 1.0 mg/m3.

    (ii) Where miners on the working section are on a reduced standard below 1.0 mg/m3, the average concentration of respirable dust in the belt entry must be at or below the lowest applicable respirable dust standard on that section.

    (iii) A permanent designated area (DA) for dust measurements must be established at a point no greater than 50 feet upwind from the section loading point in the belt entry when the belt air flows over the loading point or no greater than 50 feet upwind from the point where belt air is mixed with air from another intake air course near the loading point. The DA must be specified and approved in the ventilation plan.

    (4) The primary escapeway must be monitored for carbon monoxide or smoke as specified in § 75.351(f).

    (5) The area of the mine with a belt air course must be developed with three or more entries.

    (6) In areas of the mine developed after the effective date of this rule, unless approved by the district manager, no more than 50% of the total intake air, delivered to the working section or to areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, can be supplied from the belt air course. The locations for measuring these air quantities must be approved in the mine ventilation plan.

    (7) The air velocity in the belt entry must be at least 100 feet per minute. When requested by the mine operator, the district manager may approve lower velocities in the ventilation plan based on specific mine conditions.

    (8) The air velocity in the belt entry must not exceed 1,000 feet per minute. When requested by the mine operator, the district manager may approve higher velocities in the ventilation plan based on specific mine conditions.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 75.380(g), additional intake air may be added to the belt air course through a point-feed regulator. The location and use of point feeds must be approved in the mine ventilation plan.

(d) If the air through the point-feed regulator enters a belt air course which is used to ventilate a working section or an area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, the following conditions must be met:

    (1) The air current that will pass through the point-feed regulator must be monitored for carbon monoxide or smoke at a point within 50 feet upwind of the point-feed regulator. A second point must be monitored 1,000 feet upwind of the point-feed regulator unless the mine operator requests that a lesser distance be approved by the district manager in the mine ventilation plan based on mine specific conditions;

    (2) The air in the belt air course must be monitored for carbon monoxide or smoke upwind of the point-feed regulator. This sensor must be in the belt air course within 50 feet of the mixing point where air flowing through the point-feed regulator mixes with the belt air;

    (3) The point-feed regulator must be provided with a means to close the regulator from the intake air course without requiring a person to enter the crosscut where the point-feed regulator is located. The point-feed regulator must also be provided with a means to close the regulator from a location in the belt air course immediately upwind of the crosscut containing the point-feed regulator;

    (4) A minimum air velocity of 300 feet per minute must be maintained through the point-feed regulator;

    (5) The location(s) and use of a point-feed regulator(s) must be approved in the mine ventilation plan and shown on the mine ventilation map; and

    (6) An AMS must be installed, operated, examined, and maintained as specified in § 75.351.