[Federal Register: May 29, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 103)]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration
30 CFR Parts 70, 72, 75, and 90
Verification of Underground Coal Mine Operators' Dust Control
Plans and Compliance Sampling for Respirable Dust
AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor.
ACTION: Extension of comment periods.
SUMMARY: We are extending the period for public and post-hearing
comment on the proposed rule addressing Verification of Underground
Coal Mine Operators' Dust Control Plans and Compliance Sampling for
Respirable Dust (Plan Verification), published in the Federal Register
on March 6, 2003 and on March 17, 2003, respectively.
DATES: We must receive your comments by July 3, 2003.
ADDRESSES: You may use mail, facsimile (fax), or electronic mail to
send us your comments. Clearly identify them as comments and send them
(1) by mail to MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances,
1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2313, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939; (2) by
fax to (202) 693-9441; or (3) by electronic mail to: zzMSHA-Comments@dol.gov.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marvin W. Nichols, Jr., Director,
Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, MSHA; phone: (202) 693-
9440; facsimile: (202) 693-9441; e-mail: Nichols-Marvin@dol.gov.
On March 6, 2003, (68 FR 10784), MSHA published a proposed rule in
the Federal Register that would require mine operators to verify
through sampling the effectiveness of the dust control parameters for
each mechanized mining unit (MMU) specified in the approved mine
ventilation plan. For samples to be valid, the operator would be
required to sample on a production shift during which the amount of
material produced by an MMU is at or above the verification production
level using only the dust control parameters listed in the ventilation
The use of approved powered, air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and/
or verifiable administrative controls would be allowed as a
supplemental means of compliance when MSHA determines that all feasible
engineering or environmental controls are being used. The proposed rule
would also rescind operator compliance sampling in underground coal
mines. The use of a personal, continuous dust monitor (PCDM), once
developed and approved, could be used by an operator in conjunction
with the dust control parameters specified in the mine ventilation
plan. The proposed rule would significantly improve miners' health
protection by limiting the exposure of individual miners to respirable
coal mine dust.
II. Extension of Comment Periods
The comment periods for the Plan Verification rule were scheduled
to close on June 4, 2003 (68 FR 10784, 68 FR 12641). However, in
response to requests from the public for additional time to prepare
their comments, the comment periods have been extended 30 days until
July 3, 2003. All comments must be submitted to MSHA by this date.
Dated: May 9, 2003.
Dave D. Lauriski,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 03-13528 Filed 5-28-03; 8:45 am]
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