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Volume 61, Number 216, Page 57458-57461

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Petitions for Modification
The following parties have filed petitions to modify the application of mandatory safety standards under section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

1. Sidney Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-98-C]

Sidney Coal Company, Inc., 115 North Big Creek Road, P.O. Box 299, Sidney, Kentucky 41564 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.901(a) (protection of low- and medium-voltage three-phase circuits used underground) for its Sidney Coal Company, No. 1 Preparation Plant (I.D. No. 15-09724) and their subsidiaries: The Black Diamond Coal Company, Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 15-17356); Clean Energy Mining Company, Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 15-10753); Freedom Energy Mining Company, No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 15-07082); Rockhouse Energy Mining Company, Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 15-17651); and Solid Energy Mining Company, Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 15-07475) all located in Pike County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a diesel generator to move equipment in and out of its underground mines. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

2. Dominion Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-96-99-C]

Dominion Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 70, Vansant, Virginia 24656 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.360(a)(1) (preshift examination) to its Dominion No. 7 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06499) VA MI #13963AA, Dominion No. 8 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06555) VA MI #14024AA, Dominion No. 16 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06643) VA MI #14160AA, Dominion No. 21 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06644) VA MI #14161AA, Dominion No. 22 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06645) VA MI #14162AA, Dominion No. 30 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06748) VA MI #14293AD, Dominion No. 35 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06793) VA MI #14353AC, and its Dominion 36B Mine (I.D. No. 44-06759) VA MI #14314AA all located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to have a certified person designated by the operator make a preshift examination within 3 hours preceding the beginning of any 8\1/2\ hour interval during which any person is scheduled to work or travel underground. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. Dominion Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-96-100-C]

Dominion Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 70, Vansant, Virginia 24656 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.388 (boreholes in advance of mining) to its Dominion No. 7 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06499) VA MI #13963AA, Dominion No. 8 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06555) VA MI #14024AA, Dominion No. 16 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06643) VA MI #14160AA, Dominion No. 21 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06644) VA MI #14161AA, Dominion No. 22 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06645) VA MI #14162AA, Dominion No. 30 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06748) VA MI #14293AD, Dominion No. 35 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06793) VA MI #14353AC, and its Dominion 36B Mine (I.D. No. 44-06759) VA MI #14314AA, all located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to take cuts from a 50-foot barrier block of coal created by parallel paneling without test drilling each individual cut taken. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

4. Dominion Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-96-101-C]

Dominion Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 90, Vansant, Virginia 24656 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.501-2(a)(2) (permissible electric face equipment) to its Dominion No. 7 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06499) VA MI #13963AA, Dominion No. 8 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06555) VA MI #14024AA, Dominion No. 16 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06643) VA MI #14160AA, Dominion No. 21 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06644) VA MI #14161AA, Dominion No. 22 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06645) VA MI #14162AA, Dominion No. 30 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06748) VA MI #14293AD, Dominion No. 35 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06793) VA MI #14353AC, and its Dominion 36B Mine (I.D. No. 44- 06759) VA MI #14314AA, all located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The petitioner requests relief from the requirement that hand-held battery- powered drills taken inby the last open crosscut or returns for use in drilling holes in the mine roof for installing survey spads be permissible. The petitioner states that application of the mandatory safety standard would result in diminution of safety to the miners. In addition, petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-102-C]

CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc., has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1101-8 to its Mill Creek E-3 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17720) located in Letcher County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a single overhead pipe system with \1/2\-inch orifice automatic sprinklers located on 10-foot centers, to cover 50 feet of fire- resistant belt or 150 feet of non-fire-resistant belt, with actuation temperatures between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and with water pressure equal to or greater than 10 psi. The sprinklers would be located to discharge water over the belt drive, belt take-up, electrical control, and gear reducing unit. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

6. Left Fork Mining, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-103-C]

Left Fork Mining, Inc., P.O. Box 405, Arjay, Kentucky 40902 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1103-4 (automatic fire sensor and warning device systems installation; minimum requirements) to its Straight Creek No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 15-12564) located in Bell County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use one carbon monoxide monitoring device to monitor a belt head and tail piece when located adjacent to each other. The petitioner is presently using the Pyott-Boone Model 950 Monitor and Control system instead of the conventional heat type sensors. The petitioner states that the monitoring device would be located at each belt and tail piece and at intervals not to exceed 2,000 feet along each conveyor belt

[[Page 57459]]

entry. The petitioner asserts that the elimination of an additional monitor would not diminish the safety of the miners. In addition, the petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

7. Little Buck Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-105-C]

Little Buck Coal Company, RR 4, Box 395, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1400 (hoisting equipment; general) to its No. 3 Slope (Buck Mountain Vein) (I.D. No. 36-08568) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit the use of the slope conveyance (gunboat) in transporting persons without installing safety catches or other no less effective devices, but instead use an increased rope strength/safety factor and secondary safety rope connection in place of such devices. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

8. S & M Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-106-C]

S & M Coal Company, 189 North Street, Lykens, Pennsylvania 17048 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1002-1 (location of other electrical equipment; requirements for permissibility) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-02022) located in Daupin County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit use of nonpermissible electric equipment within 150 feet of the pillar line due in part to the method of mining used in pitching anthracite mines. As an alternative, the petitioner proposes to evaluate the mine air quality for methane on an hourly basis during operation and record one of the gas test results in the on-shift examination record. The petitioner also proposes to suspend equipment operation anytime the methane concentration at the equipment reaches 0.5 percent or when found during a preshift examination. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

9. Old Ben Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-107-C]

Old Ben Coal Company, 50 Jerome Lane, Fairview Heights, Illinois 62208 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Ziegler No. 11 Mine (I.D. No. 11-02408) located in Randolph County, Illinois. The petitioner proposes to use the split-tail system of face ventilation allowing the belt to be blended with the air to the faces from the intake entries. The petitioner proposes to install a low-level carbon monoxide detection system as an early warning fire detection system in all belt entries used as intake air courses. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

10. Maple Creek Mining, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-108-C]

Maple Creek Mining, Inc., P.O. Box 517, 981 Route 917, Bentleyville, Pennsylvania 15314 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1002 (location of trolley wires, trolley feeder wires, high-voltage cables and transformers) to its Maple Creek Mine (I.D. No. 36-00970) located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests that Item 24 of the MSHA Proposed Decision and Order for its previously granted Petition for Modification, Docket No. M-95-029-C, be amended to read as follows: The maximum width of longwall panels shall not exceed 1,000 feet and maximum length shall not exceed 14,000 feet. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

11. The Ohio Valley Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-109-C]

The Ohio Valley Coal Company, 56854 Pleasant Ridge Road, Alledonia, Ohio 43902 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364 (weekly examinations) to its Powhatan No. 6 Mine (I.D. No. 33- 01159) located in Belmont County, Ohio. Due to deteriorating roof and riblines in certain areas of the mine, the area cannot be traveled safely. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluations stations to monitor the affected area; to have a certified person to: (1) Test the evaluation stations on a weekly basis to determine the volume of air, and methane and oxygen concentrations; and (2) record on a date board located at each checkpoint the initials of the examiner and the date and time of the examination; and to maintain the air measurement stations in a safe and travelable condition. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

12. Harlan Cumberland Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-110-C]

Harlan Cumberland Coal Company, Grays Knob, Kentucky 40829 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1711-2 (sealing of slope or drift openings) to its D-1 Mine (I.D. No. 15-08415) located in Harlan County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use the water that has filled the mine and that is flowing out of the fan entry at approximately 50 gallons per minute in conjunction with barricades, as an alternative to filling slope and drift openings with incombustible material. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

13. CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-111-C]

CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc., Consol Plaza, 1800 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15241 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1101-8 (water sprinkler systems; arrangement of sprinklers) to its Loves Branch H-4 (I.D. No. 15-17814) located in Letcher County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a single overhead pipe system with \1/2\-inch orifice automatic sprinklers located on 10-foot centers, to cover 50 feet of fire-resistant belt or 150 feet of nonfire- resistant belt, with actuation temperatures between 200 and 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and with water pressure equal to or greater than 10 psi. The sprinklers would be located to discharge water over the belt drive, belt take-up, electrical control, and gear reducing unit. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

14. K & M Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-112-C]

K & M Coal Company, Inc., H.C. 73, Box 194, Barbourville, Kentucky 40906 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.342 (methane monitors) to its No. 18 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17823) located in Knox County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use hand-held continuous-duty methane and oxygen indicators instead of machine mounted methane monitors on permissible three-wheel tractors with drag type buckets. The petitioner asserts that this petition for modification is

[[Page 57460]]

based on the safety of the miners involved.

15. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-113-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.335 (construction of seals) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit alternative methods of construction using wooden materials of moderate size and weight due to the difficulty in accessing previously driven headings and breasts containing the inaccessible abandoned workings; to accept a design criteria in the 10 psi range; and to permit the water trap to be installed in the gangway seal and sampling tube in the monkey seal for seals installed in pairs. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

16. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-114-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.360 (preshift examination) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to visually examine each seal for physical damage from the slope gunboat during the preshift examination after an air quantity reading is taken in by the intake portal and to test for the quantity and quality of air at the intake air split locations off the slope in the gangway portion of the working section. The petitioner proposes to physically examine the entire length of the slope once a month. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

17. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-115-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b) (1), (4), and (5) (weekly examinations) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Due to hazardous conditions and roof falls, certain areas of the intake haulage slope and primary escapeway cannot be traveled safely. The petitioner proposes to examine these areas from the gunboat/slope car with an alternative air quality evaluation at the section's intake level, and to travel and throughly examine these areas for hazardous conditions once a month. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

18. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-116-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1100- 2 (quantity and location of firefighting equipment) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to use only portable fire extinguishers to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water storage are not practical. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

19. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-117-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1200 (d) & (i) (mine map) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to use cross-sections instead of contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000- foot intervals of advance from the intake slope; and to limit the required mapping of the mine workings above and below to those present within 100 feet of the veins being mined except when veins are interconnected to other veins beyond the 100-foot limit through rock tunnels. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

20. Jackstone Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-118-C]

Jackstone Coal Company, 21 Wood Street, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1202- 1(a) (temporary notations, revisions, and supplements) to its Buck Mountain Slope (I.D. No. 36-01889) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to revise and supplement mine maps annually instead of every 6 months, as required, and to update maps daily by hand notations. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

21. Utah Fuel Company

[Docket No. M-96-119-C]

Utah Fuel Company, P.O. Box 719, Helper, Utah 84526 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.360(b)(9) (preshift examination) to its Skyline Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 42-01435), and its Skyline Mine No. 3 (I.D. No. 42-01566) both located in Carbon County, Utah. The petitioner proposes to continuously monitor electrical installations for carbon monoxide or temperature rather than conduct preshift examinations and to physically examine these installations for other hazardous conditions at least weekly; and to have the miners entering these areas certified and conduct an examination for themselves or to have a certified person examine the areas prior to other employees entering these areas. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

22. Red Baron, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-120-C and M-96-121-C]

Red Baron, Inc., P.O. Box 728, Rosedale, Virginia 24280 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1710-1 (canopies or cabs; self-propelled electric face equipment; installation requirements) to its Mine No. 3 (I.D. No. 44-06758) VA MI #14313AC, and its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06719) VA MI #14259AD, both located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to operate self- propelled electric face equipment without cabs or canopies in seam heights of 48 inches or less. The petitioner states that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to the equipment operator.

23. Keystone Coal Mining Corporation

[Docket No. M-96-122-C]

Keystone Coal Mining Corporation, P.O. Box 729, Indiana, Pennsylvania 15701 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(1) (weekly examinations) to its Urling No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 36-04852) located in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Due to hazardous conditions in the intake air course between the 002 air seals and the 2 right air seals, the area cannot be

[[Page 57461]]

traveled safely to make weekly examinations. The petitioner proposes to establish two monitoring stations to evaluate the affected area; to post a sign in an adjacent travel entry indicating the safe travel route to each monitoring station; to have a certified person conduct weekly examinations at each of the monitoring station to measure the quantity and quality of air entering or exiting the monitoring station; to post at each monitoring station, a diagram showing the normal quantity and quality of methane, oxygen measurements, and the direction of the air flow; to have the examiner record their initials, date and time of examinations on a date board provided at the monitoring stations; and to record the results of the tests in a weekly examination book kept on the surface and made available to all interested parties. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

24. Eagle Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-123-C]

Eagle Coal Company, P.O. Box 399, Lovely, Kentucky 41231 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.388(3) to its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 15-16724) located in Martin County, Kentucky. The petitioner requests a variance to mine adjacent to old works leaving a 50-foot unmined barrier without boring test holes within 200 feet of old works at all times. The petitioner states that Beech Fork Processing, Inc. is in the process of permitting a boundary of coal adjacent to the Eagle Coal Company's No. 2 Mine; that check survey controls and conventional levels was maintained by Abbott Engineering, Inc., at the Eagle No. 2 Mine and would be maintained at the proposed new mine; and that underground surveys at the Eagle No. 2 Mine are tied into permanent outside control stations and would be ran to the proposed new mine face-up from these common control stations. Because this is the same mining company and the same engineering company, essentially using the same control surveys in the same seam of coal, the petitioner requests that the mandatory standard be waived or modified for the new mine. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

25. Akzo Salt, Inc. [Docket No. M-96-02-M] Azko Salt, Inc., P.O. Box 6920, Cleveland, Ohio 44101 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 57.19109 to its Cleveland Mine (I.D. No. 33-01994) located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow regular inspections of the production lined-shaft prior to all maintenance assignments instead of providing additional overhead protection, regarding Citation No. 4546277 of January 29, 1996. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

26. Tintic Utah Metals LLC (formerly Chief Consolidated Mining Company)

[Docket No. M-96-03-M]

Tintic Utah Metals LLC, P.O. Box 51, Eureka, Utah 84628 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 57.19054 to its Burgin Mine (I.D. No. 42-00148) located in Utah County, Utah. The petitioner requests a variance from the standard. The petitioner was issued Citation No. 3908636 on June 17, 1996, which stated that the guide ropes used on the Apex No. 2 Auxiliary Emergency hoist conveyance was not of a lock coil construction. The petitioner requests modification of the standard to allow the use of non-lock coil ropes on their emergency hoist. The primary and sole purpose of the hoist is an emergency hoist; it is used infrequently, and inspected and maintained regularly. The petitioner states that the safety of the miners would not be enhanced by installing lock coil construction rope guides. In addition, the petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

Request for Comments

Persons interested in these petitions may furnish written comments. These comments must be filed with the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Room 627, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22203. All comments must be postmarked or received in that office on or before December 6, 1996. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: October 29, 1996.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 96-28463 Filed 11-5-96; 8:45 am]
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