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[May 16, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 93)]
[Unified Agenda]
[Page 27192]

Department of Labor (DOL)
Final Rule Stage


Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

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1916. HIGH-VOLTAGE CONTINUOUS MINING MACHINE STANDARDS FOR UNDERGROUND COAL MINES

Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 30 USC 811; 30 USC 957; 30 USC 961

CFR Citation: 30 CFR 18; 30 CFR 75

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: Our current standards require that high-voltage equipment and transformers be kept at least 150 feet from coal extraction areas in underground coal mines. These requirements are intended to eliminate an ignition source for methane and coal dust in close proximity to the work area. The use of new mining technology, in the form of high- voltage continuous mining machines, is becoming more widespread in the mining industry. This equipment uses high-voltage electrical equipment and associated cables. Mine operators, however, must apply to MSHA for a petition for modification from the existing standards if they want to use this high-voltage equipment. The rule will eliminate the need for a modification to use this equipment, and will establish safety requirements for its use. The rule will also include design approval requirements for high-voltage continuous mining machines operated in face areas of underground coal mines.

Timetable:
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Action                            Date                      FR Cite

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NPRM                            07/16/04                    69 FR 42812
NPRM Comment Period End         08/23/04                    69 FR 51784
Final Action                    09/00/05
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No

Government Levels Affected: None

Agency Contact: Rebecca J. Smith, Acting Director, Office of Standards,
Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, 1100 Wilson
Boulevard, Rm 2350, Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: 202 693-9440
Fax: 202 693-9441
Email: smith.rebecca@dol.gov

RIN: 1219-AB34