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[Federal Register: December 24, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 247); Page 67411-67413]
[Notices]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Fee Adjustments for Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of Mining Products

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

ACTION: Notice of fee adjustments.

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SUMMARY: This notice revises MSHA's user fees for testing, evaluation, and approval of certain products manufactured for use in underground mines. These fees are based on fiscal

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year 1997 data and reflect changes in approval processing operations as well as costs incurred to process approval actions.

DATES: These fee schedules are effective from January 1, 1998 through December 31, 1998. Approval applications postmarked before January 1, 1998 will be chargeable under the fee schedules as published on December 27, 1996.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven J. Luzik, Chief, Approval and Certification Center, R.R. 1, Box 251, Triadelphia, West Virginia 26059, (304) 547-2029 or (304) 547-0400.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In general, MSHA has computed the revised fees based on the cost to the government to provide testing, evaluation, and approval of products manufactured for use in underground mines. On May 8, 1987 (52 FR 17506), MSHA published a final rule, 30 CFR Part 5--Fees for Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of Mining Products, which established the specific procedures for fee calculation, administration, and revisions. This revised fee schedule is established in accordance with the procedures of that rule. For a majority of the services provided by A & CC, fees are charged on an hourly basis. The hourly rates are recalculated each year and published in the Federal Register. This calculation involves an assessment of the direct and indirect costs associated with the services performed. Direct costs are based on current compensation and benefit costs for technical and support personnel directly involved in providing the services. Indirect costs are based on a proportionate share of the cost of activities which support the approval service, including management and administration of the A&CC, facility operating costs and amortization and depreciation of facilities and equipment. Indirect costs have been applied uniformly in computing the hourly rates for the various services provided.

Direct costs, however, have been separately computed for each product approval program. This has resulted in the inclusion of over 100 different fee categories being published in the annual Federal Register notice. The intent of this breakdown has been to establish hourly rates which reflect as accurately as possible the actual cost of performing services by product type.

Experience has shown that since 1987, the year in which 30 CFR Part 5 was promulgated, there has been a relatively small range of difference in the separately computed direct costs for each product approval program. The result has been the annual publication of an unnecessarily complicated listing of separate hourly rates with relatively little variation. This has undoubtedly created confusion and frustration for those mining product manufacturers who submit requests for A&CC services under more than one product category.

A&CC is simplifying the computation of direct costs for 1998 so as to produce a uniform hourly rate across all of the product approval categories. This has been accomplished by simply calculating a weighted average direct cost for all the services provided by A&CC in the processing of requests for testing, evaluation and approval of mining products. The result is a single hourly rate which is now uniformly applied regardless of product type.

Programs that were previously administered using a flat rate billing convention will remain in the schedule as such. See the schedule for the appropriate flat/hourly rates.

Dated: December 18, 1997.
J. Davitt McAteer,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.

                 Fee Schedule Effective January 1, 1998                 
                        [(Based on FY 1997 data]                        
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Action Title                   Hourly Rate   Flat Rate 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of all                                
 products.....................................          $59  ...........
30 CFR PART 15--EXPLOSIVES                                              
    12  Approval Evaluation \1\...............           59  ...........
        Permissibility Tests for Explosives:                            
            Weigh-in..........................  ...........          462
            Physical Exam: First size.........  ...........          325
            Chemical Analysis.................  ...........        1,977
            Air Gap--Minimum Product Firing                             
             Temperature......................  ...........          460
            Air Gap--Room Temperature.........  ...........          352
            Pendulum Friction Test............  ...........          163
            Detonation Rate...................  ...........          352
            Gallery Test 7....................  ...........        7,436
            Gallery Test 8....................  ...........        5,533
            Toxic Gases (Large Chamber).......  ...........          805
        Permissibility Tests for Sheathed                               
         Explosives:                                                    
            Physical Examination..............  ...........          128
            Chemical Analysis.................  ...........        1,044
            Gallery Test 9....................  ...........        1,944
            Gallery Test 10...................  ...........        1,944
            Gallery Test 11...................  ...........        1,944
            Gallery Test 12...................  ...........        1,944
            Drop Test.........................  ...........          648
            Temperature Effects/Detonation....  ...........          672
            Toxic Gases.......................  ...........          580
    14  Approval Extension....................           59  ...........
    15  Statement of Test and Evaluation                                
     (ST&E)...................................  ...........           54
    17  Statement of Test and Evaluation                                
     (ST&E) Extension.........................  ...........           54
    20  Stamped Revision Acceptance (SRA)\2\..  ...........          403
    23  Field Approval........................  ...........          103
    29  Dust Collector Approval with Cert. of                           
     Performance..............................  ...........          297
    40  Stamped Notification Acceptance                                 
     Program (SNAP)...........................  ...........          443
    40  Stamped Notification Acceptance                                 
     Program (SNAP) ST&E......................  ...........           33
    47  Permit--Extension of Time.............  ...........          276
    52  Mine Wide Monitoring System (MWMS)                              
     Barrier Classification...................  ...........           87

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    00  Retesting for Approval as a Result of                           
     Post-Approval Product Audit \3\..........  ...........  ...........
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Full approval fee consists of evaluation cost plus applicable test costs.
\2\ Fee covers SRA application accompanied by up to five documents.
\3\ Fee based upon the approval schedule in effect at the time of retest.

Note: When testing and evaluation are required at locations other than MSHA's premises, the applicant shall reimburse MSHA for traveling, subsistence, and incidental expenses of MSHA's representation in accordance with standardized government travel regulations. This reimbursement is in addition to the fees charged for evaluation and testing.

[FR Doc. 97-33585 Filed 12-23-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P