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[Federal Register: May 21, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 98)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 27863-27864]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Part 57

RIN 1219-AB11

Diesel Particulate Matter Exposure of Underground Metal and Nonmetal Miners; Delay of Effective Dates

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective dates and conforming amendments.

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SUMMARY: The Mine Safety and Health Administration is delaying for 45 days the effective date of the rule entitled, "Diesel Particulate Matter Exposure of Underground Metal and Nonmetal Miners," published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2001 (66 FR 5706). This temporary delay will allow the Department an opportunity to engage in further negotiations to settle the legal challenges to this rule.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The effective date of the rule amending 30 CFR Part 57 published on January 19, 2001, at 66 FR 5706 and delayed on March 15, 2001 at 66 FR 15032, is further delayed from May 21, 2001, until July 5, 2001. The amendment to Sec. 57.5067 in this final rule will become effective July 5, 2001. However, Sec. 57.5060(a) will continue to apply on July 19, 2002, and Sec. 57.5060(b) will continue to apply on January 19, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David L. Meyer, Director; Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances; MSHA, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1984. Mr. Meyer can be reached at Meyer.David@dol.gov (E-mail), 703-235-1910 (Voice), or 703-235-5551 (Fax).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 19, 2001, MSHA published a final rule addressing the exposure of underground metal and nonmetal miners to diesel particulate matter (dpm). The final rule establishes new health standards for underground metal and nonmetal mines that use equipment powered by diesel engines and requires operators of these underground mines to train miners about the hazards of being exposed to diesel particulate matter. In accordance with the January 20, 2001, memorandum from Andrew H. Card, MSHA announced a 60-day delay of the effective date of certain provisions of the final regulations to permit the Secretary of Labor to further consider the provisions of the rule. An additional delay of 45 days to July 5, 2001 is necessary to give the parties an opportunity to continue negotiations to settle the legal challenge to the rule described below.
   On January 29, 2001, Anglogold (Jerritt Canyon) Corp. and Kennecott Greens Creek Mining Company filed a petition for review of the rule in the District of Columbia Circuit. On February 7, 2001, the Georgia Mining Association, the National Mining Association, the Salt Institute, and MARG Diesel Coalition filed a similar petition in the Eleventh Circuit. On March 14, 2001, Getchell Gold Corporation petitioned for review of the rule in the District of Columbia Circuit. The three petitions have been consolidated and are pending in the District of Columbia Circuit. The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) has intervened in the Anglogold case. The parties to the litigation have begun settlement negotiations, and the Department is hopeful that, within the next 45 days, agreement will be reached on many of the issues in dispute.

I. Delayed Effective Dates

   To the extent that 5 U.S.C. 553 applies to this action, it is exempt from notice and comment because it constitutes a rule of procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). The delay of the effective date of the rule is effective immediately upon publication of this notice in the Federal Register. Publication of this notice without the opportunity for public comment is based on the good cause exceptions in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3), in that seeking public comment is impracticable, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. The 45- day delay of the effective dates is necessary to give the parties an opportunity to engage in negotiations to settle the legal challenges to the rule. Given the imminence of the effective date, seeking prior public comment on this delay is impractical, as well as contrary to the public interest in the orderly promulgation and implementation of regulations. See also, 5 U.S.C. 705 ("When an agency finds that justice so requires, it may postpone the effective date of action taken by it, pending judicial review").

II. Revisions to the Regulatory Text of the Final Rule Addressing Diesel Particulate Matter Exposure of Underground Metal and Nonmetal Miners

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Parts 57


   Diesel particulate matter, Metal and Nonmetal, Mine Safety and Health, Underground mines.

   The final rule published on January 19, 2001 (66 FR 5526) is amended as follows:

PART 57--[AMENDED] Sec. 57.5067 [Amended]    Signed at Arlington, VA, this 16th day of May, 2001.
David D. Lauriski,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 01-12767 Filed 5-18-01; 8:45 am]
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