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U.S. Department of Labor


Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939

ISSUE DATE: February 7, 2012

PROGRAM INFORMATION BULLETIN NO. P12-02

FROM:             NEAL H. MERRIFIELD   NEAL H. MERRIFIELD
                       Administrator for
                       Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health

SUBJECT:     New Notification Alternatives to Comply with
                    30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.1000

Scope
This Program Information Bulletin (PIB) applies to metal and nonmetal mine operators.

Purpose
The purpose of this PIB is to remind operators of the requirement in 30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.1000 concerning the notification of commencement of operations and closing of mines.

Information
30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.1000 require mine operators to notify the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) before starting operations of the approximate or actual date mine operation will commence. The notification shall include the mine name, location, the company name, mailing address, person in charge, and whether operations will be continuous or intermittent. When any mine is closed, the person in charge shall notify MSHA and indicate whether the closure is temporary or permanent.

Metal and nonmetal operators must comply with this existing requirement. MSHA suggests that operators can send MSHA the mine's physical location, street address, map coordinates, or mileage and direction from the nearest town. Metal and nonmetal operators of portable plants are reminded that the existing standard requires notification when a move is made from one pit or location to another. To be in compliance, the notification must be prior to opening or closing a mine. MSHA recommends and encourages operators to notify the Agency at least two weeks prior to the actual or anticipated date for commencement or closure of mine operations.

Effective February 1, 2012, two new alternatives are available to aid in meeting the requirements of 30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.1000 reporting, in addition to the existing process. The two new alternatives are:

1. Online Reporting: Effective February 1, 2012, the MSHA "Forms and Online Filing" internet web page (http://www.msha.gov/forms/forms.asp) will have a new link for reporting commencement or closing of operations. This interface will allow you to notify MSHA using your existing e-gov account and password. If you do not already have an e-gov account, you may create one at any time.

2. Toll Free Telephone Call: Effective February 1, 2012, mine operators will be able to call MSHA's toll free number (1-800-746-1553) to report operating status changes. When a call is made, an option will be provided to leave your information via a recorded message. Your information will be forwarded to your district and field office.

In addition to the two new notification options, mine operators will still be able to notify the local field office or the district office by telephone, fax, email or U. S. mail.

We have attached a chart to this bulletin which outlines the information you should provide when using one of these two new alternatives.

Background
In carrying out MSHA's enforcement requirements, inspectors travel to mines they believe to be operational, only to find the mine temporarily or permanently closed. 30 C.F.R. §§ 56/57.1000 require operator notification for either commencement of operations (intermittent/ continuous) or closure (temporary/permanent).

Authority
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.; 30 C.F.R. § 56.1000 and 30 C.F.R. § 57.1000.

Internet Availability
This PIB may be viewed on the Internet by accessing MSHA home page (http://www.msha.gov) and then choosing "Compliance Assistance," "Compliance Info" and "Program Information Bulletin."

Issuing Office and Contact Person
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health
Marvin Lichtenfels, (202) 693-9600
E-mail: lichtenfels.marvin@dol.gov

Distribution
Metal and Nonmetal Underground Operators
Metal and Nonmetal Surface Mine or Mill Operators
Special Interest Groups

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