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MSHA - Petitions for Modification

[Federal Register: May 4, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 85)]
[Page 23873-23875]

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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. Consolidation Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-016-C]

Consolidation Coal Company, Consol Plaza, 1800 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15241-1421 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.804(a) (underground high-voltage cables) to its Rend Lake Mine (I.D. No. 11-00601) located in Jefferson County, Illinois. The petitioner proposes to use a high-voltage cable with an internal ground check conductor smaller than No. 10 (A.W.G.) as part of its longwall mining system. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

2. Lone Mountain Processing, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-017-C]

Lone Mountain Processing, Inc., P.O. Box 40, Pennington Gap, Virginia 24277 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its Darby Fork No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 15-02263) located in Harlan County, Kentucky. Due to deteriorating roof conditions in certain

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areas of the return air course, the petitioner proposes to establish three monitoring locations to evaluate the air entering and leaving the No. 3 East Main and No. 3 North Main return air course used to return air that ventilates the 7, 8, 11, and 12 Right Panels (5 East Main) to the main surface mine fan. The petitioner proposes also to (i) have a certified person conduct weekly evaluations at each monitoring location to measure the quality of air entering and leaving the monitoring location to determine the methane and oxygen concentrations using an MSHA approved hand-held device, and to measure the quantity of air at each monitoring location using an appropriate calibrated anemometer; (ii) have the examiner record the results of the examinations in a book kept on the surface with the date, time, and his/her initials and made available to all interested parties; (iii) conduct an investigation of the affected area whenever there is any significant difference in the quantities of air flow at or between the two monitoring stations; (iv) keep all monitoring locations and all approaches to the locations maintained in safe condition at all time; (v) post a sign in the main travelway that would show the safe travel route to each monitoring location; and (vi) instruct all personnel that no travel into the affected area of the air course is permitted, and fence off or barricade with ``Do Not Enter'' warning signs, all other approaches to these locations. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. Clinchfield Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-018-C]

Clinchfield Coal Company, P.O. Box 7, Dante, Virginia 24237 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1710-1(a) (canopies or cabs; self propelled diesel-powered and electric face equipment; installation requirements) to its Roaring Fork No. 2 Mine (I.D. No. 44-06308) located in Dickenson County, Virginia. The petitioner proposes to operate its Long Airdox Un-A-Haulers Models CH 810 and 828 electric face equipment without canopies in mining heights of less than 50 inches. The petitioner asserts that although the equipment at issue can be operated with canopies in a minimum height of 48 inches, operating equipment with canopies in lesser heights exposes miners to increased danger, such as dislodgment of roof supports by the canopies, resulting in the increased probability of roof falls that could injure the equipment operator and other miners in the area. The petitioner asserts that application of the mandatory standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

4. K and B Coal, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-019-C]

K and B Coal, Inc., P.O. Box 2265, Pikeville, Kentucky 41502 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 15-17984) located in Knott County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use permanently installed spring-loaded locking devices on its mobile battery-powered machines instead of a padlock to prevent unintentional loosening of battery plugs from battery receptacles to eliminate the hazards associated with difficult removal of padlocks during emergency situations. The petitioner asserts that application of the mandatory 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. Webster County Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-1999-020-C]

Webster County Coal Corporation, St. Rt. 2668 120 E, Providence, Kentucky 42450 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.701 (grounding metallic frames, casings, and other enclosures of electric equipment) to its Dotiki Mine (I.D. No. 15-02132) located in Webster County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to use a 200 KW/250 KVA, 480-volt diesel generator system for moving equipment in and out the Dotiki Mine. The petitioner has listed specific procedures, terms, and conditions in this petition to be followed when using this generator system. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

6. Jim Walter Resources, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-021-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. The petitioner states that due to hazardous conditions in the return air course entries, traveling certain areas of the air course would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluation points inby and outby the affected area and have a certified person examine these evaluations 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 mandatory 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. ASARCO, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-002-M]

ASARCO, Inc., P.O. Box 8, Hayden, Arizona 85235 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 56.14100(a) (safety defects; examination, correction and records) to its Ray Complex Mine (I.D. No. 02-00150) located in Pinal County, Arizona. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit the continued use of the procedures already in place for pre-shift examination of their buses. The petitioner proposes to have a qualified and competent driver to pre-shift inspect the buses for the oncoming shift at 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and have the operator drive the bus to the fuel island after the bus is thoroughly inspected, fuel the bus and drive it back to the pit office, and report any defects to the maintenance department for repair before the bus is placed into service. The petitioner states that (i) the buses are not used again until the bus drivers who deliver personnel for the 8:00 a.m. shift drive the bus into the pit at 7:50 a.m.; (ii) the bus drivers who have completed that shift (12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) drive the buses carrying the outgoing shift workers out of the pit; and (iii) by following the cycle for each shift, each bus receives a minimum of three pre-shift inspections every 24 hours, immediately prior to the start of the new shift. The petitioner asserts that application of the mandatory standard would result in 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 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

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Wilson Boulevard, Room 627, Arlington, Virginia 22203. All comments must be postmarked or received in that office on or before June 3, 1999. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: April 26, 1999.
Carol J. Jones,
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 99-11154 Filed 5-3-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-U

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