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Federal Register: May 26, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 100)
Page 28496

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration

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

Health Standards for Occupational Noise Exposure in Coal, Metal and Nonmetal Mines

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; Notice of preliminary determination of no significant environmental impact; request for comments; limited reopening of rulemaking record.

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SUMMARY: This notice announces the preliminary determination by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) that the proposed rule for occupational noise exposure in coal, metal and nonmetal mines will have no significant environmental impact. MSHA is reopening the rulemaking record for the limited purpose of receiving comment on its preliminary determination.

DATES: Submit written comments on or before June 25, 1998.

ADDRESSES: Comments 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: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 703- 235-5551. Send mail comments to: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, Room 631, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1984. 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, 703-235-1910.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 17, 1996, MSHA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (61 FR 66348) revising its health standards for occupational noise exposure in coal, metal and nonmetal mines. The Agency concluded that the existing rules are inadequate to prevent the occurrence of occupational noise-induced hearing loss among miners (NIHL).

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.), requires each Federal agency to consider the environmental effects of proposed actions and to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement on major actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. MSHA has reviewed the proposed standard in accordance with the requirements of the NEPA, the regulation of the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR Part 1500), and the Department of Labor's NEPA procedures (29 CFR Part 11). As a result of this review, MSHA has preliminarily determined that this proposed standard will have no significant environmental impact.

Commenters are encouraged to submit their comments on this determination on or before June 25, 1998.

Dated: May 19, 1998.
J. Davitt McAteer,
Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 98-13895 Filed 5-22-98; 8:45 am]
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