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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. Energy West Mining Company

[Docket No. M-96-01-C]

Energy West Mining Company, 15 North Main Street, P.O. Box 310, Huntington, Utah 84528 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.326 (now 75.350) (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Deer Creek Mine (I.D. No. 42-00121) located in Emery County, Utah. The petitioner requests amendments to MSHA's Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) regarding its Petition for Modification, Case No. 86-MSA-3, docket number M-85-127-C, proposal to modify application of the existing standards to conduct longwall mining with two entries in longwall panels under deep cover. The petitioner requests changes to two requirements of the previous decision and order due to changes in circumstances at its Deer Creek Mine. The petitioner requests that paragraph III.(c)(4) be amended to strike the first two clauses of the paragraph, so that the paragraph begins with the phrase ``All diesel powered equipment operated on any two-entry longwall development or two-entry longwall panel,'' and to replace the period at the end of the paragraph with a comma and add at the end of the paragraph the phrase: ``with the exception of the following diesel-powered equipment approved under 30 CFR part 32 (Schedule 24): ambulances used in emergency situations, mantrips, and other vehicles used to transport personnel to and from work areas.'' The petitioner asserts that this amendment would provide a more reliable and safer means of transporting personnel to and from work areas. In paragraph III.(o) of the PDO, the petitioner requests that the word ``on'' be removed from the sentence ``Also, during longwall retreat mining in the two-entry panel, a rock dusting unit shall be installed on the last tailgate shield'', and substitute in the words ``at or near.'' The petitioner asserts that this change would permit the use of other rock dusting systems, such a bulk dusters, installed in the tailgate return entries which were not in use (or available) when the decision and order was issued. In addition, the petitioner asserts that the granting of this petition to amend would provide alternate means of ensuring the safety of the miners based on developments in mining technology at the Deer Creek Mine since the previous decision and order was issued.

2. Ohio County Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-02-C]

Ohio County Coal Company, Inc., 19050 Highway 1078 South, Henderson, Kentucky 42420 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) to its Freedom Mine (I.D. No. 15-17587) located in Hopkins County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to operate the Diesel Powered Generator without an earth referenced ground. The petitioner states that attaching a grounding conductor to the earth reference ground system reduces the mobility and effectiveness of the unit. The petitioner has listed specific stipulations in its petition to support its alternative method for operating the generator. In addition, the petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. D.R. Price Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc., PC

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

D. R. Price Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc., PC, an MSHA Contractor (I.D. No. NAW), P.O. Box 270, Swords Creek, Virginia 24649 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.501-2(a)(2) (permissible electric face equipment) for Dominion Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 70, Vansant, Virginia 24656 for its Dominion No. 7 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06499) VA MI No. 13963AA; its Dominion No. 8 Mine (I.D. No. 44- 06555) VA MI No. 14024AA; its Dominion No. 16 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06643) VA MI No. 14160AA; its Dominion No. 18 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06577) VA MI No. 14045AA; its Dominion No. 21 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06644) VA MI No. 14161AA; and its Dominion No. 22 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06645) VA MI 14162AA; the Chad Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 890, Oakwood, Virginia 24631 for its Mine No. 4 (I.D. No. 44-06592) VA MI No. 14061AB; and its Mine No. 6 (I.D. No 44-06709) VA MI No. 14247AC all located in Buchanan County, Virginia; the Mackie J. Coal Company, Inc., Rt. 2, Box 530, Grundy, Virginia 24614 for its Mine No. 4 (I.D. No. 44-06051) VA MI No. 12681AD; the Classic Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 1025, Grundy, Virginia for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06195) VA MI No. 13256AB; the Blake Coal Company, Rt. 1, Box 566, Swords Creek, Virginia 24649 for its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-06486) VA MI No. 04940AB; and its Mine No. 3 (I.D. No. 44-06748) VA MI 14293AC; the Red Baron, Inc., P.O. Box 295, Swords Creek, Virginia 24649 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06719) VA MI No. 14259AD; and its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-06779) VA MI No. 14301AC; the Nufac Mining, Inc., for its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-06758) VA MI No. 14313AB; the East Star Mining, Inc., P.O. Box 189, Swords Creek, Virginia 24649 for its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-06613) VA MI No. 14100AB; the Rat Contractors, Inc., P.O. Box 768, Grundy, Virginia 24614 for its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-06793) VA MI No. 14353AB; the Lick Branch Mining, Inc., Rt. 2, Box 50, Oakwood, Virginia 24631 for its Mine No. 4 (I.D. No. 44-06702) VA MI No. 14236AB all located in Buchanan County, Virginia; the C. J. & L Mining, Inc., 315 Railroad Avenue, Box 388, Richlands, Virginia 24641 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-08445); its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-08518); and its Mine No. 3 (I.D. No. 44-08444) located in McDowell County, West Virginia; the Sea B Mining, Inc., P.O. Box 26, Jewell Ridge, Virginia 24622 for its Seaboard Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 44-03479) VA MI No. 07168AA; the C & O Mining Company, Inc., P.O. Box 249, Richlands, Virginia 24641 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06606) VA MI No. 14110AC: the Donna Jean Mining, 126 West Main Street, Tazewell, Virginia 24651 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06649) VA MI 14176AD; the Westfork No. 3, P.O. Box 309, Cedar Bluff, Virginia 24609 for its Mine No. 3 (I.D. No. 44-06708) VA MI No. 14092AF; the Canada Coal, P.O. Box 1697, Richlands, Virginia 24641 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-06713) VA MI No. 14251AB; and the Middle Creek Energy, P.O. Box 1174, Cedar Bluff, Virginia 24609 for its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 44-05772) VA MI No. 12308AA located in Tazewell County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use a low-voltage (14.4 V DC maximum), low-amperage (5.65 amps maximum), and low-wattage (81.36 watts maximum) hand-held battery powered drill inby the last open crosscut for drilling holes in the mine roof to install survey spads, instead of using a permissible hand-held battery powered drill. The petitioner states that permissible hand-held battery powered drills are not commercially available and that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

4. Copperas Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-96-04-C]

Copperas Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 679, Texas, West Virginia 25569 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (18.41)(f) (permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its Jacks Branch Mine (I.D. No. 46-08513) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to replace a padlock on battery plug connectors on mobile battery-powered machines used inby the last open cross-cut with a threaded ring and a spring loaded device to prevent the plug connector from accidently disengaging while under load. The petitioner states that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. Buck Creek Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-05-C]

Buck Creek Coal Company, R.R. 5, Box 203, Sullivan, Indiana 47882 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(4) (weekly examination) to its Buck Creek Mine (I.D. No. 12-02033) located in Sullivan County, Indiana. Due to deteriorating roof conditions in the intersection outby the approach to the #4 Seal in the northwest Sub Main off the Main North, the area cannot be examined because access to the #4 Seal is blocked. The petitioner proposes to establish a monitoring point to continuously monitor the air quality outby (return side) of the seal; and to examine the monitoring point weekly for air quality and direction. The petitioner states that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

6. Amax Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-06-C]

Amax Coal Company has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its Wabash Mine (I.D. No. 11-00877) located in Wabash County, Illinois. Due to deteriorating roof conditions in certain parts of the 5 West area of the mine and certain areas of the return air course, traveling these areas in its entirety would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluation points at crosscuts No. 24-25 to measure for methane and the quantity of air, and at crosscuts No. 11-12 to measure the quantity of air; to have a certified person evaluate the air course at each evaluation point once each day where coal production occurs and place their initial, date, and time at each evaluation point and record the results of the examination in a record book kept on the surface and made available for inspection by interested persons. The petitioner states that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to 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. Consolidation Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-07-C]

Consolidation Coal Company, Consol Plaza, 1800 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15241-1421 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(4) (weekly examination) to its Shoemaker Mine (I.D. No. 46-01436) located in Marshall County, West Virginia. Due to deteriorating roof conditions in the No. 3 Seal in 1 North of the air course, the area would be unsafe to travel in its entirety. The petitioner proposes to establish a checkpoint and make a weekly examination where an extended probe would be used to examine the No. 3 Seal for methane and a smoke tube would be used to verify the direction of air flow; to have the person making the examination and tests record their initials, date and time in a record book which would be kept on the surface and made available for inspection by interested parties; and to maintain the checkpoint and all approaches to the checkpoint in safe condition at all times. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

8. Pehem Industries, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-08-C]

Pehem Industries, Inc., Route 2, Box 294-C, Delbarton, West Virginia 25670 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.388(a)(3) (boreholes in advance of mining) to its Pehem No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 46-08530) located in Nicholas County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to mine within 50 feet of the highwall mining holes without drilling boreholes. The petitioner states that this mine would be driven into the Winifrede Seam from a location adjacent to the High Power Energy highwall miner workings; and that the purpose for this request for modification is to avoid the dangers presented by abandoned mine openings and adjacent mines known or suspected of dangerous quantities of water or noxious or explosive gases. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

9. Peabody Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-09-C]

Peabody Coal Company, 1951 Barrett Court, P.O. Box 1990, Henderson, Kentucky 42420-1990 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1100-2(b) (quantity and location of firefighting equipment) to its Camp No. 11 Mine (I.D. No. 15-08357) located in Union County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to install firehouse outlets with valves in the longwall gate entries every fourth cross-cut at intervals of approximately 440 feet instead of at intervals of 300 feet. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

10. Monterey Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-10-C]

Monterey Coal Company, R. Rt. 4, Box 235, Carlinville, Illinois 62626 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1100- 2(i)(1) (quantity and location of firefighting equipment) to its No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 11-00726) located in Macoupin County, Illinois. The petitioner proposes to use the following emergency materials instead of emergency materials required by the mandatory safety standard: 112 Kennedy Metal Shopping Panels with associated head sills and twist clamps; 24 Kennedy Stopping Rib Angles; 3 rolls of tape; 3 twist tools; 2 rolls of brattice cloth; 3 stopping jacks; 3 picks; 3 shovels; 9 buckets of Celtite 10-12 (or equivalent material for stopping; and 5 tons of rock dust. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

11. Peabody Coal Company

[Docket No. M-96-11-C]

Peabody Coal Company, R.R. 2, Box 56B2, Carlisle, Indiana 47838 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 77.1304(a) (blasting agents; special provisions) to its Hawthorn Mine (I.D. No. 12-00326) located in Greene County, Indiana. The petitioner proposes to used waste petroleum-based lubrication oil recycled from equipment at its mine, blended with diesel fuel oil to create an ANFO blasting agent. The petitioner has outlined in this petition for modification specific procedures for implementing its alternative method of creating the ANFO blasting agent. The petitioner states that Material Safety Data Sheets for the used oil and diesel fuel oil would be maintained on its mine property and made available to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) upon request; that records would be maintained for a period of three years and made available to MSHA and the miners' representative when requested; that within 60 days after this petition becomes final, proposed revisions to its training plan would be submitted to the District Manager which would include initial and refresher training and emergency procedures for compliance with the conditions stated in this petition; and that this modification follows MSHA's guidelines for combining used oil and ANFO with a few variations.

12. Torie Mining, Inc.

[Docket No. M-96-12-C]

Torie Mining, Inc., P.O. Box 490, Virgie, Kentucky 41572 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.342 to its Torie No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17163) located in Pike County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a hand-held continuous-duty methane detector on its permissible DC-powered S&S Model 482 scoop machines. The petitioner states that each operator working underground would be certified in the proper use of the hand-held detector. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would not diminish the level of safety provided by 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 April 29, 1996. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: March 21, 1996.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 96-7497 Filed 3-27-96; 8:45 am]
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