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Volume 61, Number 78, Page 17732-17734

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. Pace Mining and Processing, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-13-C]

Pace Mining and Processing, Inc., 10448 Robinson Creek Road, Virgie, Kentucky 41572 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.342 (methane monitors) to its Patrick No. 2 Mine (I.D. No. 15-13308) located in Knott County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use hand- held continuous-duty methane detectors instead of machine-mounted methane monitors on S & S Model 482 scoops (permissible DC-powered machines) used to haul coal from the working face to the section tailpiece. The petitioner states that each scoop operator would be certified in the proper use of the detector; and that this petition for modification is submitted based on an economic and safety point of view.

2. Tennessee Energy Corp.
[Docket No. M-96-14-C]

Tennessee Energy Corp., 1000 Pocket Road, Whitwell, Tennessee 37397 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1405 (automatic couplers) to its Mine No. 43 (I.D. No. 40-02972) located in Sequatchie County, Tennessee. The petitioner proposes to use a 9-foot steel tongue with a hole on each end aligned with existing holes in the frame of the motor and flatcar and secured with a pin, to couple the motor to the flatcar instead of using automatic couplers. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would not diminish the safety of the miners.

3. Roberts Brothers Coal Company
[Docket No. M-96-15-C]

Roberts Brothers Coal Company, P.O. Box 397, Mortons Gap, Kentucky 42440 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 Cardinal No. 2 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17216) located in Hopkins County, Kentucky. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow two belt flights to be monitored by one identification line. The petitioner states that the alternative method of monitoring the conveyor belt would not diminish the safety of the miners.

4. Pilgrim Mining Company, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-16-C]

Pilgrim Mining Company, Inc., P.O. Box 2046, Inez, Kentucky 41224 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.388 (boreholes in advance of mining) to its Voyager Mine Number Two (I.D. No. 15-17639) located in Martin County, Kentucky. The petitioner requests relief from drilling boreholes horizontally into the coal seam when approaching within 200 feet of an adjacent mine. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. Shell Energy Co., Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-17-C]

Shell Energy Co., Inc., P.O. Box 423, Fairmont, West Virginia 26554 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.380(d)(3) and (d)(4) (escapeways; bituminous and lignite mines) to its Stacey- Meranda Mine (I.D. No. 46-08086) located in Harrison County, West Virginia. The petitioner has installed roof support along the No. 2 belt conveyor between Nos. 4 & 5 blocks for a distance of about 30 feet and has installed post and cribs for additional roof supports due to a safeguard notice issued on October 31, 1995. The petitioner proposes to maintain the affected area by installing belt crossover or crossunder at each end of the clearance area; to post luminous warning signs that state "Danger Close Clearance" at each end of the affected area; to install start and stop switches for the belt conveyor on the inby and outby ends of the affected area; and to deenergize, lockout and tag the disconnect drives when maintenance or cleaning is done in the affected area. The petitioner states that modification of the standard would result in enhanced safety and reduced exposure to hazardous conditions for mine personnel.

6. Eagle Nest, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-18-C]

Eagle Nest, Inc., P.O. Box 270, Van, West Virginia 25206 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (18.41) (permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its Eagle Nest Inc. Mine (I.D. No. 46-07711) 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 crosscut with a threaded ring and a spring loaded device to prevent the plug connector from accidently disengaging while under load; to have a tag that states "DO NOT DISENGAGE PLUGS UNDER LOAD" on all battery plug connectors used on the machines; and to provide instructions in the safe practices and provisions to all persons who are required to operate or maintain the machines. 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-96-19-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)(1) (weekly examination) to its Robinson Run No. 95 Mine (I.D. No. 46-01318) located in Harrison County, West Virginia. Due to deteriorating roof conditions, traveling the intake air course from 45 block Main North to 3 block to make weekly examinations would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish check points to monitor methane and to ensure passage of air; to maintain the check points in safe condition at all times; to have a certified person test for methane and the quantity of air at each check point on a weekly basis; and to have the certified person making the examinations and tests place their initials, date, and time in a record book kept on the surface and made available for inspection by interested persons. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

8. Kedco, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-20-C]

Kedco, Inc., P.O. Box 1358, Gilbert, West Virginia 25621 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Kedco No. 2 Mine (I.D. No. 46-08019) located in Mingo County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to allow belt air to be blended with the air to the faces from the intake entries to accommodate the split-tail system for ventilation. The petitioner proposes to install a low-level carbon monoxide detection system capable of providing both visual and audible alarm signals 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.

9. Eagle Nest, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-21-C]

Eagle Nest, Inc., P.O. Box 270, Van, West Virginia 25206 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1403-5(g) (criteria- belt conveyors) to its Eagle Nest Mine (I.D. No. 46-07711) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to clearly mark the outby and inby ends of all areas with signs where 24 inches of unobstructed clearance cannot be provided as a clear travelway on both sides of all belt conveyors; to provide belt crossings for adequate clearance adjacent to areas of less than 24 inches of clearance, man doors to adjacent entries, access through a crosscut to an adjacent entry, and control switches to shut off the belt; to identify alternate access routes with appropriate signs; to have the areas clear of persons working or traveling while the belt is in operation where there is less than 24 inches of clearance; to have a minimum of 24 inches of clearance on the tight side of the belt conveyors for all future mine development except where secondary roof or rib support is installed outby the section loading point; and to submit proposed revisions including initial and refresher training for the Part 48 Training Plan to the District Manager within 60 days after the proposed decision becomes final. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

10. KenAmerican Resources, Inc.
[Docket No. M-96-22-C]

KenAmerican Resources, Inc., 7590 State Highway 181, Central City, Kentucky 42330 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.380(g) (escapeways; bituminous and lignite mines) to its Paradise No. 11 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17606) located in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a two phase initial development stage outlined in this petition during and until completion of the initial development stage for its No. 9 Slope. The petitioner states that the initial development stage is the normal course of mining in the No. 9 seam from the time of commencement of mining until connection to the airshaft and to be completed when the connection is made to the airshaft. The petitioner specifically requests modification of the standard so that the primary escapeway for the No. 9 slope would not be required to be separated from the belt entries until completion of the initial development stage. The petitioner is currently operating in the No. 11 seam with the No. 9 seam approximately 100 feet below and construction of a slope into the No. 9 seam commenced on the surface. The petitioner intends to maintain works in the No. 11 seam on an active status and to shift operations to the No. 9 seam when the (No. 9 slope) is completed. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

11. BHP Minerals
[Docket No. M-96-23-C]

BHP Minerals, P.O. Box 155, Fruitland, New Mexico 87416 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 77.807-3 (movement of equipment; minimum distance from high-voltage lines) to its Navajo Mine (I.D. No. 29-00097) located in San Juan County, New Mexico. The petitioner proposes to use within three feet of the 25,000-volt railway trolley system equipment that do not contain a boom or mast or that is capable of extension into the railway trolley in normal operation. 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.

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 May 22, 1996. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: April 12, 1996.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.

[FR Doc. 96-9764 Filed 4-19-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P