PROCEDURE INSTRUCTION LETTER NO. I09-V-3
FROM: KEVIN G. STRICKLIN
Roof Control (30 C.F.R. § 75.220) (see PIL No. I08-V-2) with mandatory 6 month review
Mine Ventilation (30 C.F.R. § 75.370) with mandatory 6 month review
Mine Emergency Evacuation and Firefighting Program of Instruction
(30 C.F.R. § 75.1502)
Emergency Response Plan (ERP) (Required by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act) with mandatory 6 month review
Smoking Prevention (30 C.F.R. § 75.1702-1)
Part 48 Subpart A Training
Part 48 Subpart B Training
Part 75 Training
Part 48 Subpart B Training
Part 77 Training
MSHA, CMS&H and TS issued a PIL (PIL No. I08-V-2, effective May 29, 2008) which instructs District Managers to use TS ground control expertise in reviewing roof control plans of select mines. TS is to provide reviews and comments for roof control plans or plan supplements proposed for mines that are bounce and bump-prone; that utilize room and pillar retreat mining at overburden depths of 1000 feet and greater; or, that do not meet or exceed the stability factors used in the Analysis of Retreat Mining Pillar Stability (ARMPS) program. TS is also asked to evaluate specific design criteria listed in Program Information Bulletin (PIB) P08-08 or that do not meet or exceed minimum safety criteria for other computer models used; and, at the discretion of the District Manager, roof control plans for mines that are complex, non-typical, or present unique or novel situations (e.g. potentially increased roof and pillar loading from mining over or under existing mine workings.)
The district is to record in the comments section of the MPA district level data entry screen the date and pertinent information regarding such base plans or plan supplements that were sent to TS as well as the date and summary of the TS recommendations. The MPA system will be modified to allow specific identifiers such as special roof control/ground control plans and the tracking and transmittal of documents and recommendations to and from TS. However, at the present time, the only means of tracking TS involvement is by making notations in the comment field. Procedure instructions concerning the use of the MPA system for tracking impoundment plans are in the MSHA Coal Mine Impoundment Inspection and Plan Review Handbook PH07-01.
Data concerning the receipt, evaluation, and recommendations for approval of training plans shall be entered by the district or Educational Field Service (EFS) representatives who are assigned to review training plans and forward such documents to the CMS&H districts. In addition, data concerning the receipt, review, and recommendations for approval of impoundment or refuse pile plans shall be entered by district personnel or by Technical Support personnel in the Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center, Mine Waste and Geotechnical Engineering Division.
The data that must be entered into the system for each of the required plans include:
The development of ERPs since 2006 has been implemented such that for some mines there may be separate elements submitted and approved. These plans are to be consolidated into a single approved ERP. This consolidated ERP must address all SCSRs stored underground, communications and tracking, lifelines, refuge alternatives, the training program for emergency procedures, and procedures for coordinating local emergency response. The consolidated ERP must be reviewed every six-months.
The six-month review period applies to the Self Contained Self Rescuer (SCSR) Storage Plan (30 C.F.R. § 75.1714-2(c)) and Verification of the approved outby SCSR storage and Map Locations for all SCSRs Stored Underground as required by 30 C.F.R. § 75.1714-5 (applies to SCSR stored in accordance with 30 C.F.R. § 75.1714-2(c) and 30 C.F.R. § 75.1714-4). As mentioned, these plans are now a part of the consolidated ERP.
The MPA system will calculate the due dates for periodic reviews based on the dates the plans were approved for at least the ten plans listed on page two that are required to be tracked in the system. Additional data and comments may also be stored in the system.
The MPA system, as now installed on the MSIS, allows data to be entered anywhere a connection to the MSHA computer network can be made and by all persons with prearranged permissions, regardless of organization affiliation or location. Some adjustments are being made to the system to accommodate unusual plan characteristics. Examples of system adjustments include the ability to enter training plan data submitted by contractors that do not have identification numbers, provisions for tracking impoundments by both mine ID and/or impoundment ID numbers, and the ability to handle multiple approved base plans for impoundments so as to accommodate the approval of designs for different stages of construction at the same dam construction site. Each change or refinement to the MPA system will be announced as it is introduced to the system.
The CMS&H Division of Safety and District Managers shall monitor plan review and approval activity, including mines with no record of required plans, mines with overdue reviews, and plan processing time. These National level reports are accessible at Headquarters to personnel with appropriate permissions. Similar District level reports are available to the districts as oversight and managerial tools for their plan approval system.
CMS&H has maintained a database system to track certain mine plans and periodic reviews on personal computers in district offices since 1990. The system was implemented in response to recommendations made by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to improve Agency management of the plan approval and review process. As a result of the recommendations, CMS&H made a commitment to systematically track plan approvals and reviews in the districts and to monitor district activity at the national level. Subsequent events have resulted in other internal and external reviews of the plan approval process. In addition, reports by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) emphasized the Agency's need to maintain and improve Headquarters oversight of the mine inspection process, including mine plan approvals, especially as they pertain to high hazard impoundments, ventilation and roof control in underground coal mines and plans for emergency responses required by new legislation and existing regulations for emergency evacuation, SCSR storage locations and fire fighting. This PIL adds requirements for the ERP and consolidates information previously issued during the implementation of the system and recognizes the desired data entry by organizations other than the CMS&H using the web-based MSIS.
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, as amended, 30 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. at §§ 115(a), 302(a), 303(o), 303(t), 316(b) 317(c), 317 (i) and 317(m); and 30 C.F.R. Parts 48, 75, and 77.
MSHA Handbook Series:
MSHA Coal Impoundments Inspection Procedures and Plan Review, Handbook
General Coal Mine Inspection Procedures and Inspection Tracking, Handbook
Education and Training Procedure, Handbook Number PH03-III-1
MSHA personnel should file this letter behind the tab marked "Procedure Instruction Letters" in the binder titled MSHA Program Policy Handbooks and Procedure Instruction Letters.
Issuing Office and Contact Person
Coal Mine Safety and Health, Safety Division
Stephen Gigliotti, Chief, Safety Division
Phone: (202) 693-9479
CMS&H Principal Officials
Pittsburgh Safety and Health Technology Center, TS