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MSHA - Federal Register Documents - Proposed Rules

Technical Amendments; Removal of Unnecessary Regulations [08/30/96]

Volume 61, Number 170, Page 5925-45926

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Parts 21, 24, and 75

RIN 1219-AA98

Technical Amendments; Removal of Unnecessary Regulations

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; technical amendments.

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SUMMARY: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is proposing to remove approval regulations on flame safety lamps and single-shot blasting units which have become obsolete because of advances in technology. Removal of these obsolete parts would not reduce protection for miners. This proposal also would make conforming amendments to safety regulations for underground coal mines which require the use of this approved equipment.

DATES: Submit written comments on or before November 29, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Room 631, Arlington, VA 22203. Commenters are encouraged to send comments on a computer disk or via e-mail to psilvey along with an original printed copy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, 703-235-1910 (voice), 703-235-5551 (facsimile), psilvey (Internet e-mail).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Purpose

In response to the Administration's regulatory reinvention initiative, MSHA has conducted a page-by-page review of its existing regulations to identify provisions that are obsolete, outdated, redundant, or unnecessary. As part of this review, the Agency has identified two regulations that could be removed immediately without any adverse effect on miner safety and health. These regulations are obsolete. Conforming amendments to other 30 CFR parts would be made, as appropriate. Equipment approved by MSHA under parts being proposed for elimination can continue to be manufactured by the approval-holder and distributed for use in mines, as long as they continue to be manufactured in full compliance with the drawings and specifications upon which the approval was based. No changes in approved devices can be made once the 30 CFR parts being proposed for elimination are deleted.

For the reasons discussed below, the Agency is proposing to remove 30 CFR parts 21 and 24. MSHA specifically solicits comments on the impact of this action both on the mining community and on other government agencies if they reference these parts of 30 CFR.

II. Discussion

A. Part 21--Flame Safety Lamps

Part 21 addresses the requirements for approval of flame safety lamps used to detect oxygen deficiency and methane in mine atmospheres. Part 21 repeats the requirements for approval of flame safety lamps from Bureau of Mines' Schedule 7C, dated August 30, 1935. Advances in technology have produced oxygen and methane detecting devices which are more accurate and reliable than flame safety lamps. As a result, methane and oxygen detectors have replaced flame safety lamps as the required source for detecting these gases in mines. As required by 30 CFR 75.320, methane and oxygen detectors approved by MSHA must be used to make these tests and a permissible flame safety lamp may continue to be used only as a supplemental testing device for oxygen deficiency. These MSHA-approved flame safety lamps can continue to be manufactured by the approval-holder and distributed for use in mines, as long as they continue to be manufactured in full compliance with the drawings and specifications upon which the approval was based and there are no changes in the approved devices. Further, there have been no new applications for approval of flame safety lamps for more than 40 years. For these reasons, MSHA has determined that the approval requirements for flame safety lamps are obsolete and unnecessary and, therefore, is proposing to remove this part.

B. Part 24--Single-Shot Blasting Units

Part 24 addresses the requirements for approval of single-shot blasting units used in mines, especially mines that can contain methane or flammable dust in dangerous concentrations. Part 24 repeats the requirements for approval of single-shot blasting units from Bureau of Mines' Schedule 12D, dated November 27, 1945. Advances in technology have produced multiple-shot blasting units

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which are safer, more versatile, and more reliable than single-shot blasting units. Multiple-shot blasting units can be used to fire single shots. As a result, single-shot blasting units are rarely used in underground mines. The approval requirements for single-shot blasting units have been replaced by part 7, subpart D, Multiple-Shot Blasting Units. MSHA-approved single-shot blasting units can continue to be manufactured by the approval-holder and distributed for use in mines, as long as they continue to be manufactured in full compliance with the drawings and specifications upon which the approval was based and there are no changes in the approved devices. Further, no new applications for approval of a single-shot blasting unit have been submitted in 25 years. For these reasons, MSHA has determined that the requirements for approval of single-shot blasting units are obsolete and unnecessary and, therefore, is proposing to remove this part.

List of Subjects

30 CFR Part 21
Mine safety and health.

30 CFR Part 24
Explosives, Mine safety and health.

30 CFR Part 75
Mine safety and health, Underground mining.

Dated: August 23, 1996.

J. Davitt McAteer,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.

For the reasons set out in the preamble, and under the authority of 30 U.S.C. 957 and 961, title 30, chapter I, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as set forth below:

PART 21--FLAME SAFETY LAMP APPROVAL [REMOVED]

PART 24--SINGLE-SHOT BLASTING UNITS [REMOVED]

PART 75--MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS--UNDERGROUND COAL MINES

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(d) The following equipment will be permissible electric face equipment only if it is approved under the appropriate Bureau of Mines schedules or parts of this chapter, as listed here, and it is in permissible condition.

[FR Doc. 96-22078 Filed 8-29-96; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-43-M