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MSHA - Petitions for Modification

December 17, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 242)
Page 70731-70732

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. Long Branch Energy

[Docket No. M-1999-121-C]

Long Branch Energy, P.O. Box 776, Danville, West Virginia 25033 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.503 (permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) to its #18 Mine (I.D. No. 46-08305) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to replace a padlock on battery plug connectors on mobile battery-powered machines with a threaded ring and a spring loaded device to prevent the plug connector from accidently disengaging while under load. The petitioner asserts that application of the standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners. In addition, the petitioner asserts that the

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proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as the mandatory standard.

2. McElroy Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-122-C]

McElroy 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)(1) and (2) (weekly examination) to its McElroy Mine (I.D. No. 46-01437) located in Marshall County, West Virginia. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit weekly examinations of designated monitoring stations instead of traveling and conducting weekly examinations in certain intake and return entries of the mine. The petitioner states that the area of the mine affected by this petition is subject to previously granted petitions, docket numbers M-91-78-C, M-92-142-C, and M-93-007-C, which established the monitoring stations (``PCS'') to be used instead of traveling the affected return air courses and granted the district manager discretion to relocate the PCS. The petitioner requests that the three existing petitions be withdrawn and consolidated into one petition. The petitioner proposes to: (i) conduct a weekly examination at each monitoring station for methane and to verify direction of air flow; (ii) instruct the person making the examinations and tests to place his/her initials, the date, and time the monitoring station and record the results in a book on the surface and made available for inspection by interested parties; (iii) maintain each monitoring station in a safe condition at all times; and (iv) have the monitoring stations shown on the ventilation and part of the approved ventilation plan. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as the mandatory standard.

3. Blue Mountain Energy, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-123-C]

Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road #65, Rangely, Colorado 81648 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.500(d) (permissible electric equipment) to its Deserado Mine (I.D. No. 05-03505) located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. The petitioner requests a modification of the standard to permit the use of low- voltage and nonpermissible diagnostic equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings in its continuous miners development sections. The petitioner proposes to use the nonpermissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment in or by the last open crosscut. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as the mandatory standard.

4. Independence Coal Company, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-124-C]

Independence Coal Company, Inc., HC 78 Box 1800, Madison, West Virginia 25130 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Justice No. 1 Mine (I.D. No. 46-07273) located in Boone County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use belt air to ventilate active working places. 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 the proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as the mandatory standard.

5. Genwal Resources, Inc.

[Docket No. M-1999-125-C]

Genwal Resources, Inc., P.O. Box 1420, 195 North 100 West, Huntington, Utah 84528 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.350 (air courses and belt haulage entries) to its Crandall Canyon Mine (I.D. No. 42-01715) located in Emery County, Utah. The petitioner requests that some of the language in the Decision and Order (D&O) for its previously granted petition, docket number M-96-71-C, be amended because the petitioner states that certain product availability for the exhaust systems have become limited and require an extensive lead time and to replace these products at frequent intervals would be substantially costly since durability is limited in the mining atmosphere. The petitioner proposes that diesel equipment include a means to prevent spray from ruptured fuel and oil lines from being ignited by contact with engine exhaust systems. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as the granted D&O and will not result in a diminution of safety provided by the existing standard.

6. Mingo Logan Coal Company

[Docket No. M-1999-126-C]

Mingo Logan Coal Company, 1000 Mingo Logan Avenue, Wharncliffe, West Virginia 25651 has filed a petition to modify the application of 30 CFR 75.1002 (location of feeder wires, trolley feeder wires, high- voltage cables and transformers) to its Mountaineer Alma-A Mine (I.D. No. 46-08730) located in Mingo County, West Virginia. The petitioner proposes to use a high-voltage cable within 150 feet of pillar workings to power a 2400 VAC longwall mining machine. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide at least the same measure of protection as 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 January 18, 2000. Copies of these petitions are available for inspection at that address.

Dated: December 9, 1999
Carol J. Jones
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 99-32747 Filed 12-16-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-U

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