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MSHA - Petitions for Modification

[Federal Register: May 12, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 91)]
[Page 25517-25519]
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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. Island Creek Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-022-C]

Island Creek 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)(2) (weekly examination) to its Ohio No. 11 Mine (I.D. No.15-03178) located in Union County, Kentucky. The petitioner states that due to a massive roof fall along the 2nd South Panel return in the #5 entry, including but limited to crosscut 15, the affected area cannot be traveled safely in its entirety to conduct weekly examinations. The petitioner proposes to: (i) Establish evaluation points on the side of the roof fall at crosscut 15; (ii) have a qualified person test for methane and the quantity of air at each evaluation point on a weekly basis; and (iii) have the person conducting the test record the results, date, time, and his/her initials 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.

2. Consolidation Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-023-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)(2) (weekly examination) to its Rend Lake Mine (I.D. No. 11-00601) located in Jefferson County, Illinois. The petitioner states that due to a massive roof fall in the West side return from the B shaft to the Second Main West return air course, the area cannot be traveled safely in its entirety to conduct weekly examinations. The petitioner proposes to: (i) Establish evaluation points A and B to take air and gas measurements; (ii) to maintain the evaluation points and all approaches to the evaluation points in good condition at all times; (iii) have a certified person test for methane and the quantity of air on a weekly basis and record the results, date, time, and his/her initials in a 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.

3. Goodin Creek Contracting, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-024-C]

Goodin Creek Contracting, Inc., Rt 1 Box 419-A1, Gray, Kentucky 40734 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (weekly examination) to its Goodin Creek Mine (I.D. No. 15-17980) located in Knox County, Kentucky. The petitioner states that due to unsafe roof conditions in certain areas of the return air course, traveling the area to conduct examinations would be unsafe. The petitioner proposes to establish monitoring locations in each entry at crosscut 2 in the return to monitor air leaving the affected area of the air course and in each entry at crosscut 16 in the return to monitor air entering the affected area of the air course. The petitioner also proposes to: (i) Have a certified person conduct weekly evaluations at each of the monitoring locations to measure the quality and quantity of air entering and leaving the locations to determine methane and oxygen concentrations; (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) maintain all monitoring locations and approaches to the monitoring locations in a safe condition at all times; (iv) post a sign in the main travelway showing the safe travel route to each monitoring location; (v) maintain methane gas or other harmful, noxious, or poisonous gases at legal limits for return air; (vi) instruct all personnel not to travel in the affected area prior to implementing the proposed alternate method; and (vii) only permit entry to the affected area for investigating significant problems with the air flow being detected through the monitoring process. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

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4. Eighty-Four Mining Company

[Docket No. M-1999-025-C]

Eighty-Four Mining Company, Consol Plaza, 1800 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15241 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its Mine 84 (I.D. No. 36-00958) located in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to increase the maximum lengths of the trailing cables to 900 feet for the mining machine, loading machine, shuttle car, roof bolter, and section ventilation fan. The petitioner has listed specific terms and conditions in this petition for use and maintenance of these trailing cables. The petitioner states that the trailing cables would not be smaller than #4 A.W.G. for the section ventilation fan, roof bolting machine, and shuttle cars, smaller than #2 A.W.G for the loading machine, or smaller than #2/0 A.W.G for the continuous mining machine. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. West Ridge Resources, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-026-C]

West Ridge Resources, Inc., P.O. Box 902, Price, Utah 84501 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its West Ridge Mine (I.D. No. 42- 02233) located in Carbon County, Utah. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to allow the use of two-entry longwall development and to use the belt entry as a return air course during longwall development, and as an intake during longwall extraction to ensure an adequate quantity of ventilation to dilute and render harmless methane or other noxious gases that may accumulate. 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. Eastern Associated Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-1999-027-C]

Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 1990, Henderson, Kentucky 42420 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.360(a)(1) (preshift examination) to its Matewan Tunnel (I.D. No. 46- 08610) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use an alternative method for preshift examinations. The petitioner proposes to: (i) have a certified person examine the tunnel three hours prior to the beginning of the work week (Sunday night) and on an eight- hour interval during the work week at 8:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m., and 12:00 a.m.; (ii) have a three-man crew leave and enter the tunnel after the initial examination each week, as needed, on their shift which is 12:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m., and 4:00 p.m.; (iii) have the supervisor conduct an on-shift examination in the tunnel during his/her travels and note any problems for prompt correction; and (iv) withdraw the three-man crew from the tunnel and fireboss the tunnel in its entirety before power is restored underground prior to the crew returning underground if the fire bossing schedule is interrupted. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

7. Peabody Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-028-C]

Peabody Coal Company, P.O. Box 1990, Henderson, Kentucky 42419 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(4) (weekly examination) to its Camp No. 11 Mine (I.D. No. 15-08357) located in Union County, Kentucky. The petitioner proposes to establish evaluation points to monitor its bleeder system due to hazardous conditions that hinder continued travel to conduct examinations. The petitioner proposes to (i) conduct daily examinations at various evaluation points; (ii) have a certified person check for methane and oxygen concentrations and the volume of air and record the results in a book maintained on the surface of the mine; and (iii) continuously monitor methane concentrations at Bleeder Fan #2, and Bleeder Fan #3 using a Conspec Mine Monitoring System that would be manned around the clock and set to activate an alarm if methane levels are greater than 2.0 percent. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

8. Eastern Associated Coal Corporation

[Docket No. M-1999-029-C]

Eastern Associated Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 1990, Henderson, Kentucky 42420 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1106-2(c) (transportation of liquefied and nonliquefied compressed gas cylinders; requirements) to its Harris No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 46- 01271) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes an alternative method for storage and transportation of compressed gas cylinders. The petitioner proposes to: (i) House the compressed cylinders in a specially designed compartment that is part of a specialized tool car used by the track crew; (ii) have each cylinder encased in a metal housing lined with insulating material equivalent to a Schedule 80 pipe and encapsulated within a metal box made of \1/4\- inch metal; (iii) design storage bays to lay 15 degrees downward from the opening to prevent the cylinders from falling out of the bays and install a strap across the openings to prevent the cylinders from being dislodged; and (iv) install fire extinguishers in the tool car. The petitioner states that the cylinder bay would be isolated from the man compartment by the material storage compartment and tool box for the outby end, and workers would be provided with necessary tools, supplies, and a vehicle readily at the worksite for transporting injured miners. The petitioner asserts that application of the existing 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.

9. Ziegler Chemical and Mineral Corporation

[Docket No. M-1999-003-M]

Ziegler Chemical and Mineral Corporation, 121 West Main Street, Vernal, Utah 84078 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 57.19003 (driving mechanism connections) to its Bonanza Mines #3, #8, #11, and #12; Cowboy Mines #1, and #2 ; Independent Mines #3, #5, #6, and #7; Neal Mine #1; and Tom Taylor Mine #3 (I.D. No. 42-00876) all located in Uintah County, Utah. The petitioner requests that condition 7 of its previously granted petition, docket number M-81-72- M, be amended to allow a 75 horsepower electric motor with a speed of 885 RPM on the hoist instead of 50 horsepower and a motor speed of 1130 RPM. 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

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and Health Administration, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Room 627, Arlington, Virginia 22203. All comments must be postmarked or received in that office on or before June 11, 1999. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: May 4, 1999
Carol J. Jones,
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 99-12028 Filed 5-11-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P
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