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MSHA - Petitions for Modification

August 18, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 159)

Page 44291-44292

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

Petitions for Modification

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. Primrose Coal Company

[Docket No. M-98-53-C]

Primrose Coal Company, 475 High Road, Ashland, Pennsylvania 17921 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1400 (hoisting equipment; general) to its Buck Mountain Vein Slope (I.D. No. 36-08698) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to use a slope conveyance (gunboat) in transporting persons without installing safety catches or other no less effective devices but instead use increased rope strength 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.

2. Shamrock Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-54-C]

Shamrock Coal Company, P.O. Box 1360, London, Kentucky 40743 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1902(c)(2)(i)(underground diesel fuel storage--general requirements) to its No. 18 Mine (I.D. No. 15-02502) located in Leslie County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to have a temporary underground diesel fuel storage area located within 500 feet of the longwall section track loading area; to have the track loading area for the longwall section within 200 to 1200 foot range outby the active longwall face as the longwall section retreats; and to have the loading point for the longwall crews within the normal daily work and travel area. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. Twentymile Coal Company

[Docket No. M-98-55-C]

Twentymile Coal Company, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, 20th Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.500(d) (permissible electric equipment) to its Foidel Creek Mine (I.D. No. 05-03836) located in Routt County, Colorado. The petitioner proposes to measure the thickness of the deck plate and related components on its longwall face conveyor using a hand-held, double insulated 7.5 volt non-permissible ultrasonic thickness gauge during idle shifts when mining is not occurring; to deenergize all electrical equipment, except lighting, on the longwall face and follow all appropriate lockout and tagout procedures prior to using the gauge; and to have a certified person examine for methane in the immediate area of the longwall face conveyor and record the results, as a special examination, in the onshift examination books after the shift on which the examination is performed. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

4. Twentymile Coal Company

[Docket No. M-98-56-C]

Twentymile Coal Company, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, 20th Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 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 Foidel Creek Mine (I.D. No. 05-03836) located in Routt County, Colorado. The petitioner proposes to use a portable diesel powered generator to move electrically powered mining equipment from one section of the mine to another. The petitioner proposes to incorporate a ground fault system for the power circuits that would deenergize mining equipment if a phase to frame fault occurs. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. Blue Mountain Energy, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-57-C]

Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., P.O. Box 1067, Rangely, Colorado 81648 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1002-1(a) (location of other electric equipment; requirements for permissibility) to its Deserado Mine (I.D. No. 05-03505) located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow the use of non-permissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings. The petitioner asserts 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.

6. Rustler Coal Company

[Docket No. M-98-58-C]

Rustler Coal Company, 66 South Tremont Street, Zerby, Pennsylvania 17981 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1405 (automatic couplers) to its Orchard Slope (I.D. No. 36-08346) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow the use of bar and pin, or link and pin couplers on underground haulage equipment. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

7. CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-59-C]

CONSOL of Kentucky, Inc., Consol Plaza, 1800 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15241-1421 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1101-8 (water sprinkler system; arrangement of sprinklers) to its Big Springs No. 17 Mine (I.D. No. 15-17996) located in Knott County, Kentucky. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow the use of a single line of automatic sprinklers for its fire protection system on main and secondary belt conveyors in the Big Springs No. 1 Mine . 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 adjacent to the belt drive, with actuation temperatures between 200 and 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and with water pressure equal to or greater than 10 psi. The petitioner proposes to have the automatic sprinklers located not more than 10 feet apart so that the discharge of water would extend over the belt drive, belt take-up, electrical control, and gear reducing unit. The petitioner states that the water sprinkler system would be tested annually. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

8. ANR Coal Company, LLC

[Docket No. M-98-60-C]

ANR Coal Company, LLC, P.O. Box 1578, Coeburn, Virginia 24230 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Sargent Hollow Mine (I.D. No. 44-06795) located in

[[Page 44292]]

Wise County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use belt air to ventilate active working faces. 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 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.

9. Independence Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket Nos. M-98-61-C, M-98-62-C, and M-98-63-C]

Independence Coal Company, Inc., HC 78 Box 1800, Madison, West Virginia 25130 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 Buffalo Creek Mine (I.D. No. 46-08514); its Justice No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 46-07273); and its Twilight Chilton-R Mine (I.D. No. 46-08513) all located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use high-voltage longwall mining equipment. The nominal voltage of power circuits for this equipment would not exceed 2,400 volts. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

10. Southern Edge, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-64-C]

Southern Edge, Inc., HC 63 Box 22B, Bandy, Virginia 24602 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its Mine No. 2 (I.D. No. 46-08362) located in McDowell County, West Virginia. Due to a roof fall in the third crosscut in by the portals, the Right return air course is unsafe to travel in its entirety. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluation monitoring points A and B to monitor the affected area. The petitioner asserts that adverse roof conditions at the roof fall prevent any clean-up work to be safely performed at the roof fall.

11. Leeco, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-65-C]

Leeco, Inc., 1374 Highway 192 East, London, Kentucky 40741-3123 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its Maces Creek Mine (I.D. No. 15-17911) located in Perry County, Kentucky. Due to deteriorating roof conditions in the Fan Mains return air course, traveling the area to examine for hazardous conditions would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish monitoring stations in the return air course instead of traveling the affected area in its entirety; to have a certified person evaluate the monitoring stations on a weekly basis to determine the quantity and quality of air entering and exiting the monitoring stations; to have the examiners record the date, their initials, the time, and the results of the examination in a book kept on the surface available to all interested parties; to maintain all monitoring stations and approaches to the monitoring stations in a safe condition at all times; and to have the monitoring station locations and air quantity and quality measurements at each monitoring station on the mine ventilation map; and not to remove the monitoring stations without prior approval from the District Manager as part of the mine 's ventilation plan. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

12. G and A Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-66-C]

G and A Coal Company, Inc., P.O. Box 250, Raven, Virginia 24639 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06239) located in Tazewell County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use belt air to ventilate the working faces. The petitioner proposes to install carbon monoxide monitoring devices to monitor the air at each belt drive and tailpiece and at intervals not to exceed 2,000 feet along each conveyor belt entry, and to have an audible alarm that would sound at the surface master station and that would give the location and type of alarm on a computer screen located at the surface master station. The petitioner states that the alarm system would be capable of giving a warning of a fire for a minimum of four (4) hours after the power to the belt is removed, except when the power is removed during a fan stoppage or the belt haulageway is examined. 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 are encouraged to submit comments via e-mail to ``zzMSHA-Comments@dol.gov'', or on a computer disk along with an original hard copy to the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, Mine Safety and Health Administration, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Room 627, Arlington, Virginia 22203. All comments must be postmarked or received in that office on or before September 17, 1998. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: August 10, 1998.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 98-22164 Filed 8-17-98; 8:45 am]
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