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[Federal Register: June 13, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 114)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 32252]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Parts 56, 57, 62, 70, and 71

RIN 1219-AA53

Health Standards for Occupational Noise Exposure

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period and close of record.

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SUMMARY: MSHA is extending the post-hearing comment period and close of record regarding the Agency's proposed rule for occupational noise exposure, which was published in the Federal Register on December 17, 1996.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 1, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the proposed rule may be transmitted by electronic mail, fax, or mail. Comments by electronic mail must be clearly identified as such and sent to this e-mail address: zzMSHA-Comments@dol.gov. Comments by fax must be clearly identified as such and sent to: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 703- 235-5551. Send mail comments to: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, Room 631, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22203-1984.

MSHA will also accept written comments from the mining public in the field and district offices and technical support centers. These comments will be a part of the official rulemaking record. Interested persons are encouraged to supplement written comments with computer files or disks; please contact the Agency with any questions about format.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, phone 703-235-1910.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 17, 1996, MSHA published in the Federal Register (61 FR 66348) a proposed rule to revise the Agency's existing health standards for occupational noise exposure. The comment period was scheduled to close on February 18, 1997. On February 6, 1997, MSHA published in the Federal Register (62 FR 5554) a notice extending the comment period to April 21, 1997, and announcing that the rulemaking record would close on June 16, 1997. On March 3, 1997, MSHA published a notice in the Federal Register (62 FR 9404) extending the close of the record to June 20, 1997.

The Agency held six public hearings on the noise proposal: May 6 in Beaver, West Virginia; May 8 in St. Louis, Missouri; May 13, in Denver, Colorado; May 15, in Las Vegas, Nevada; May 28 in Atlanta, Georgia; and May 30 in Washington, DC. During this time frame, MSHA received several requests from the mining community to extend the time for the close of the record for an additional 60 days.

MSHA has evaluated these requests within the context of the time that the Agency has already provided for comment and testimony on the noise proposal. The Agency believes that an extension to August 1, 1997, which results in a post-hearing comment period of 60 days, is both adequate and reasonable. Further, MSHA believes that this additional 60-day period will provide sufficient time for all interested parties to review and comment on the proposal, and written comments, and testimony the Agency has received thus far. All interested members of the mining public are encouraged to submit comments prior to August 1, 1997.

     Dated: June 6, 1997.
J. Davitt McAteer,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 97-15614 Filed 6-12-97; 8:45 am]
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