Skip to content
MSHA - Petitions for Modification

June 17, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 116)
Page 32551-32554

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. Snyder Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-030-C]

Snyder Coal Company, 66 Snyder Lane, Hegins, Pennsylvania 17938 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.360 (preshift examination) to its Rattling Run Slope (I.D. No. 36-08713) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to permit: (i) An alternative method of examination and evaluation including a visual examination of each seal for physical damage from the slope gunboat during the preshift examination after an air quantity reading is taken just inby the intake portal; (ii) an additional air reading and gas test for methane, carbon dioxide and oxygen deficiency to be taken at the intake air split location(s) just off the slope in the gangway portion of the working section; and (iii) the examiner reading the air and gas test to record the date, time, his/her initials, and the results of the readings at these locations prior to anyone entering the mine. The petitioner states that regardless of conditions found at the section evaluation point, the slope will be traveled and physically examined in its entirety on a monthly basis with the dates, times, and initials placed at sufficient locations, the results of the examination will be maintained on the surface, and all hazards will be corrected prior to transporting personnel into the slope. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

2. Snyder Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-031-C]

Snyder Coal Company, 66 Snyder Lane, Hegins, Pennsylvania 17938 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.364(b)(1), (4)

[[Page 32552]]

and (5) (weekly examination) to its Rattling Run Slope (I.D. No. 36- 08713) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to: (i) Preshift examine the intake haulage slope and primary escapeway areas from the gunboat/slope car with an alternative air quality evaluation at the section's intake gangway level; (ii) travel and thoroughly examine these areas for hazardous conditions once a month; and (iii) have the examiner place the dates, times, and his/her initials at appropriate locations and maintain records of the examination on the surface. The petitioner states that due to significant fall hazards, it would be unsafe to stop at every ventilation control or opening along the steeply pitching intake haulage and primary escapeway to conduct daily or weekly examinations. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

3. Snyder Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-032-C]

Snyder Coal Company, 66 Snyder Lane, Hegins, Pennsylvania 17938 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1100-2 (quantity and location of firefighting equipment) to its Rattling Run Slope (I.D. No. 36-08713) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to permit the use of portable fire extinguishers to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water storage equipped with three 10 quart pails is not practical. The petitioner proposes to have two portable fire extinguishers near the slope bottom and an additional portable fire extinguisher within 500 feet of the working face. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

4. Snyder Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-033-C]

Snyder Coal Company, 66 Snyder Lane, Hegins, Pennsylvania 17938 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1202 and 75.1201-1(a) (temporary notations, revisions, and supplements) to its Rattling Run Slope (I.D. No. 36-08713) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to conduct mine surveys and revise and supplement mine maps annually instead of every 6 months as required, and to update maps daily by hand notations. The petitioner also proposes to conduct surveys prior to commencing retreat mining and whenever a drilling program under 30 CFR 75.388 or plan for mining into inaccessible areas under 30 CFR 75.389 is required. The petitioner asserts that low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

5. Snyder Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-034-C]

Snyder Coal Company, 66 Snyder Lane, Hegins, Pennsylvania 17938 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1400 (hoisting equipment; general) to its Rattling Run Slope (I.D. No. 36-08713) 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 an increased rope strength/safety factor 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.

6. Sea "B'' Mining Company

[Docket No. M-1999-035-C]

Sea "B'' Mining 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 Silver Creek Mine (I.D. No. 44-06895) located in Tazewell County, Virginia. The petitioner requests that the Proposed Decision and Order for its previously granted petition, docket number M-98-033-C, modifying the application of 30 CFR 75.1710(1)(a), be amended to include the following equipment: three center-driven Joy 21SC shuttle cars, Serial Nos. ET10956, ET11195, ET14880; Long Airdox Scoop 482, Serial No. 482-2229; and Fletcher Roof Bolting Machine, Model RRII-15 W/T-Bar ATRS, Serial No. 96053. The petitioner asserts that using canopies on this equipment in mining heights less that 46 inches would result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

7. Mountain Coal Company, L.L.C

[Docket No. M-1999-036-C]

Mountain Coal Company, L.L.C, P.O. Box 591, Somerset, Colorado 81434 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.325(g)(1) (air quantity) to its West Elk Mine (I.D. No. 05-03672) located in Gunnison County, Colorado. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to allow the minimum ventilating air quantity in the last open crosscut of each set of entries or rooms in a working section or areas where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed to be a summation of the air quantity measured in both the last open crosscut and in the ventilation tubing which is periodically located one crosscut outby the last open crosscut. The petitioner proposes to: (i) Have an auxiliary exhaust fan and ventilation tubing in a working section with a large percentage of the section's total air quantity coursed through the fan's tubing thereby routing diesel emissions directly to the return air course; (ii) have the ventilation tubing located one crosscut outby the last open crosscut after connecting the return side crosscut, which then becomes the last open crosscut, and prior to connecting the entire line of the adjacent crosscuts; and (iii) maintain a minimum air quantity of 9,500 CFM through the newly developed last open crosscut to account for minimal diesel usage in the newly developed entry and crosscut. The petitioner states that the total air volume in the newly developed last open crosscut and in the ventilation tubing located one crosscut outby will meet or exceed the sum of the approval plates of all diesel powered equipment operating in the working section; after the entire line of the adjacent crosscuts are developed, the auxiliary fan and associated tubing will be advanced prior to completing the second preparation shift in the section; and 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.

8. Mingo Logan Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-037-C]

Mingo Logan Coal Company, 1000 Mingo Logan Avenue, Wharncliffe, West Virginia 25651 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Mountaineer Alma A Mine (I.D. No. 46-08730) located in Mingo County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use an automatic fire detection system based on carbon monoxide monitoring of underground conveyor belt entries to allow air coursed through such entries to be used to ventilate

[[Page 32553]]

working faces. The petitioner proposes to install a carbon monoxide monitoring system as an early warning fire detection system in all conveyor belt entries used to course intake air to a working place. The petitioner has outlined in this petition specific installation, design, and maintenance procedures for using its carbon monoxide monitoring system. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

9. Cyprus Emerald Resources Corporation

[Docket No. M-1999-038-C]

Cyprus Emerald Resources Corporation, One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, 20th Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.351(c) (Atmospheric Monitoring System (AMS)) to its Emerald Mine No. 1 (I.D. No. 36-05466) located in Greene County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard as it pertains to the location of the CO sensors for power centers and battery charging stations. The petitioner proposes to install sensors in the most appropriate location to detect products of combustion in an area between 0 and 100 feet of the power center or battery charging station where power centers or battery charging stations are located in crosscuts along intake air courses and where CO monitors or smoke sensors are used. The petitioner states that because of the relatively low airflow in crosscuts in the intake air courses, carbon monoxide or smoke would be monitored with sensors and/ or smoke detectors operated in accordance with 30 CFR 75.351, and located closer to the power center or battery charging station than required by the standard. 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.

10. Canyon Fuel Company, LLC

[Docket No. M-1999-039-C]

Canyon Fuel Company, LLC, 397 South 800 West, Salina, Utah 84654 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 SUFCO Mine (I.D. No.42-00089) located in Sevier County, Utah. The petitioner proposes to use a 420 KW/525 KVA, 480-volt diesel-powered generator system to move equipment in and out of and to perform minor mining activities in the mine. The petitioner has listed in this petition specific terms and conditions for using the generator system. The petitioner states that proper testing procedures training will be conducted for all operators prior to using the generator system. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

11. Canyon Fuel Company, LLC

[Docket No. M-1999-040-C]

Canyon Fuel Company, LLC, 397 South 800 West, Salina, Utah 84654 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.901 (protection of low- and medium-voltage three-phase circuits used underground) to its SUFCO Mine (I.D. No.42-00089) located in Sevier County, Utah. The petitioner proposes to use a 420 KW/525 KVA, 480-volt diesel-powered generator system to move equipment in and out of and to perform minor mining activities in the mine. The petitioner has listed in this petition specific terms and conditions that would be implemented when using the generator system. The petitioner states that proper testing procedures training will be conducted for all operators prior to using the generator system. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

12. Five Star Mining, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-041-C]

Five Star Mining, Inc., 6594 West State Road 56, Petersburg, Indiana 47567 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1700 (oil and gas wells) to its Prosperity Mine (I.D. No. 12-02249) located in Pike County, Indiana. The petitioner proposes to plug oil and gas wells and then mine through or near the plugged wells whenever the safety barrier diameter is reduced to a distance less than the District Manager would approve under 30 CFR 75.1700. The petitioner has described in this petition the techniques that would be used to plug oil and gas wells, and has listed specific procedures that would be used when mining through or near plugged wells. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard and will not result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

13. R S & W Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-042-C]

R S & W Coal Company, Inc., R.D. 1, Box 36, Klingerstown, Pennsylvania 17941 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1312(e)(1) (explosives and detonators in underground magazines) to its R S & W Drift (I.D. No. 36-01818) anthracite mine located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to store explosives and detonators in gangways at least 10 feet from roadways and any source of electrical current rather than the minimum distance of 25 feet required by the standard. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

14. R S & W Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-043-C]

R S & W Coal Company, Inc., R.D. 1, Box 36, Klingerstown, Pennsylvania 17941 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1310(a) (explosives and blasting equipment) to its R S & W Drift (I.D. No. 36-01818) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to use non-permissible primacord in each borehole to ensure detonation of the entire column of powder in the underground long hole method of mining anthracite coal used at the mine. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

15. Energy West Mining Company

[Docket No. M-1999-044-C]

Energy West Mining Company, P.O. Box 310, Huntington, Utah 84528 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Deer Creek Mine (I.D. No. 42- 00121) located in Emery County, Utah. The petitioner requests that some of the requirements in the Decision and Order (D&O) for it previously granted petition, docket number M-96-01-C, be amended because the requirements have proven to be outdated due to changes in circumstances that originally supported the terms and conditions of the D&O. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the granted D&O and will not result in a diminution of safety provided by the existing standard.

[[Page 32554]]

16. B. and B. Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-045-C]

B. and B. Coal Company, 225 Main Street, Joliett, Tremont, Pennsylvania 17981 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1312(e)(1) (explosives and detonators in underground magazines) to its Rock Ridge No. 1 Slope (I.D. No. 36-07741) anthracite mine located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to store explosives and detonators in gangways at least 10 feet from roadways and any source of electric current rather than the 25 feet required by the standard. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

17. Twentymile Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-046-C]

Twentymile Coal Company, One Oxford Centre, 30 Grant Street, 20th Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-1410 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 requests a modification of the mandatory standard to permit use of low voltage or battery operated non-permissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment inby the last open crosscut and in its continuous miner development sections. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

18. Little Buck Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-047-C]

Little Buck Coal Company, R.D. #4, Box 395, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1200(d) & (i) (mine map) to its #3 Slope Buck Mtn. (I.D. No. 36- 08568) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to use cross-sections instead of contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000 foot intervals of advance from the intake slope; and to limit the required mapping of the mine workings above and below to those present within 100 feet of the veins being mined except when veins are interconnected to other veins beyond the 100-foot limit through rock tunnels. The petitioner asserts that due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal veins, contours provide no useful information and their presence would make portions of the mine illegible. The petitioner further asserts that use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been practiced since the late 1800's thereby providing critical information relative to the spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings which fluctuate considerably. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

19. Little Buck Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-048-C]

Little Buck Coal Company, R.D. #4, Box 395, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1202 and 75.1202-1(a) (temporary notations, revisions, and supplements) to its #3 Slope Buck Mtn. Mine (I.D. No. 36-08568) located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner proposes to survey, revise, and supplement mine maps annually instead of every 6 months, as required, to update maps daily by hand notations, and to conduct additional surveys prior to commencing retreat mining and whenever either a drilling program under 30 CFR 75.388 or plan for mining into inaccessible areas under 30 CFR 75.389 is required. The petitioner asserts that the low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

20. Dally Slate Company and American Bangor Slate & Stone

[Docket No. M-1999-004-C]

Dally Slate Company and American Bangor Slate & Stone, P.O. Box 27, Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania 18072 have filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 57.19007 (overtravel and overspeed devices) to the Dally 2 Pit; Diamond Mine (I.D. No. 36-08597) and the American Bangor Slate & Stone Mine (I.D. No. 36-04864) located in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to permit the use of a stand-by engineer, instead of a mechanical device, to prevent overtravel or overspeed in the event of a sudden health problem of the operating engineer that impairs his/her ability to operate the hoist. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method would provide at least the same measure of protection as would the mandatory standard.

21. Williams & Sons Slate & Tile, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-005-M]

Williams & Sons Slate & Tile, Inc., 6596 Sullivan Trail, Wind Gap, Pennsylvania 18091-9798 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 57.19007 (overtravel and overspeed devices) to its Sreebs Slate 7 Stone Co., Inc. Mine (I.D. No. 36-07156) located in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. The petitioner requests a modification of the mandatory standard to permit the use of a stand-by engineer, instead of a mechanical device, to prevent overtravel or overspeed in the event of a sudden health problem of the operating engineer that impairs his/her ability to operate the hoist. The petitioner asserts that application of the standard would result in a diminution of safety.

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 July 19, 1999. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: June 10, 1999.
Carol J. Jones,
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 99-15424 Filed 6-16-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-U

Top of Page Button