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MSHA - Petitions for Modification

August 27, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 166)
Page 45865-45866

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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. Mettiki Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-98-67-C]

Mettiki Coal Corporation, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.500(b) (permissible electric equipment) to its Mettiki Mine (I.D. No. 18-00621) located in Garrett County, Maryland. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow nonpermissible hand- held, battery-powered drills and nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be taken into or used inby the last open crosscut. 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.

2. Jewell Smokeless Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-98-68-C]

Jewell Smokeless Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 70, Vansant, Virginia 24656 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 77.214(a) (refuse piles; general) to its Dominion Mine No. 25 (I.D. No. 44-00649) located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to construct a refuse bench fill in an area containing abandoned mine openings. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. Arclar Company

[Docket No. M-98-69-C]

Arclar Company, 29 West Raymond, P.O. Box 444, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503

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(permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its Big Ridge Mine (I.D. No. 11-02879) located in Saline County, Illinois. The petitioner proposes to use fabricated metal locking devices with a locking screw threaded through a steel bracket instead of padlocks to lock battery plugs to machine-mounted battery receptacles on permissible, mobile, battery-powered machines. The petitioner states that initial and refresher training will be provided to all operators of these machines, and to all miners who couple and uncouple battery plugs on the machines. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

4. Jim Walter Resources, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-70-C]

Jim Walter Resources, Inc., P.O. Box 133, Brookwood, Alabama 35444 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its No. 4 Mine (I.D. No. 01-01247) located in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Due to hazardous conditions in certain areas of the air course, traveling the affected area would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluation points inby and outby the deteriorated return; and to have a certified person examine these evaluation points for methane and oxygen concentrations and the volume of air and record the results in a book maintained on the surface of the mine. 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.

5. Mettiki Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-98-71-C]

Mettiki Coal Corporation, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.804(a) (underground high-voltage cables) to its Mettiki Mine (I.D. No. 18-00621) located in Garrett County, Alabama. The petitioner proposes to use specially designed high-voltage cables for longwall mining equipment. The petitioner states that the cables would have a center ground check conductor not smaller than 16 A.W.G. and constructed of symmetrical 3/C, 3/G, and 1/GC; the type would be CABLEC/BICC Anaconda Brand 5KV, 3/C type SHD&GC, Americable Tiger Brand, 3/C, 5KV, type SHD-CGC; Pirelli 5KV, 3/C, type SHD-CENTER-GC, or similar 5,000-volt cable with a center ground check conductor, but otherwise manufactured to the ICEA Standard S-75-381 for type SHD, three-conductor cables; that the cables would be MSHA accepted as flame-resistant and used only for high-voltage longwall equipment; and that all miners performing electrical maintenance on high-voltage cables on the longwall would be trained to safely install, splice, and repair the specially designed high-voltage cables. The petitioner asserts 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.

6. Independence Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-72-C]

Independence Coal Company, Inc., HC 78 Box 1800, Madison, West Virginia 25130 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1700 (oil and gas wells) to its Justice # 1 Mine (I.D. No. 46-07273) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow plugging of oil and gas wells using specific procedures outlined in this petition for modification. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

7. Powell Mountain Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-98-73-C]

Powell Mountain Coal Company, Inc., Rt., 1, Box 140, St. Charles, Virginia 24282 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1710-1 (canopies or cabs; self-propelled diesel-powered and electric face equipment; installation of requirements) to its Wallins A Mine (I.D. No. 44-06364) located in Lee County, Virginia. Due to low coal seam heights, the petitioner proposes to operate its electric face equipment such as the Simmons-Rand 828 Unahauler battery coal haulers and Simmons-Rand Model 482 scoops, without canopies. The petitioner asserts that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

8. Hecla Mining Company

[Docket No. M-98-04-C]

Hecla Mining Company, 6500 Mineral Drive, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83815-8788 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 49.8(b) (training for mine rescue teams) to its Rosebud Mine (I.D. No. 26-02241) located in Pershing County, Nevada. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to allow miners who have qualified as mine rescue personnel in mining districts that are subject to MSHA jurisdiction, to be considered as fulfilling the requirement of the standard; to allow similarly trained miners who are not designated as mine rescue personnel, including back-up mine rescue personnel from Getchell Gold Corporation's mine to be considered as fulfilling the requirements of the standard; to allow training for the mine rescue personnel to be not less than five (5) total sessions per year with at least three (3) of the five (5) sessions to be conducted underground; and to allow a minimum of two and one-half (2\1/2\) hours per session during each of the five (5) sessions to be spent using oxygen. The petitioner states that the total annual cumulative amount of training would equal to 12\1/2\ hours under oxygen, and a total training regimen of 50 hours per year; and that all miners who have not had the required training would have to complete the training or complete training required of mine rescue personnel before being allowed to assume any positions for mine rescue personnel. The petitioner asserts that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety 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 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 28, 1998. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: August 14, 1998.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 98-22956 Filed 8-26-98; 8:45 am]
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