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Petition – Docket No. M-95-156-C

In the matter of
AMAX Coal Company
Indiana Operations and Clipmate Corporation Chinook Mine
I.D. No. 12-00322

Petition for Modification
Docket No. M-95-156-C

Date Issued: 01/05/1997


On October 24, 1995, a petition was filed jointly by AMAX Coal Company (AMAX) and Clipmate Corporation seeking a modification of the application of 30 CFR 77.1303(y)(1 and 2) to AMAX's Chinook Mine, located in Clay County, Indiana. After discussions and preliminary investigation, an amended petition was filed on July 3, 1996. The amended petition seeks modification of 30 CFR 77.1303(y)(1) only. The Petitioners allege that the alternative method outlined in the amended petition will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

MSHA personnel conducted investigations of the petition and amended petition and filed reports of their findings and recommendations with the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health. After a careful review of the entire record, including the amended petition and MSHA's investigative reports and recommendation, this Proposed Decision and Order is issued.

Finding of Fact and Conclusion of Law

The alternative method proposed by the Petitioners (as amended by the recommendations of MSHA) will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under 30 CFR 77.1303(y)(1).

On the basis of the petition and the findings of MSHA's investigation, AMAX Coal Company Indiana Operations and Clipmate Corporation are jointly granted a modification of the application of 30 CFR 77.1301(y)

  1. at the Chinook Mine.


    Wherefore, pursuant to the authority delegated by the Secretary of Labor to the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, and pursuant to Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C., sec. 811(c), it is ordered that AMAX Coal CompanyIndiana Operations' and Clipmate Corporation's Petition for Modification of the application of 30 CFR 77.1303 (y)(1) at the Chinook Mine is hereby:

    GRANTED, for the use of protected open circuit detonators, conditioned upon compliance with the following terms and conditions:

    1. Only Rozdet, protected open circuit detonators which are packaged, transported and/or stored in accordance with DOT Report Reference Number EX9309092, shall be used in a blast round. In compliance with 30 CFR 77.1303(w), different brands of detonators shall not be intermixed in a blast round.
    2. Each Rozdet (detonator) shall remain in its approved shipping tray until removed and immediately connected to a shunted downline. The DOT approved shipping tray is a preformed polystyrene tray which contains twenty five electric detonators each with short length (2 1/2inch) leg wires attached to an ACD5 Connector. Each detonator in the tray is separated by 20 mm or greater and each tray is separated by two
  2. 20 mm thick solid polystyrene pad. No more than eight (8) trays are packed in the fiberboard box and

       the trays within the box are further padded on all sides with high density fire retarded polystyrene sheets at least 12 mm thick vertically and 5 mm horizontally.

  1. Only cast boosters which are capable of housing the Rozdet (detonator) completely inside the booster shall be used.
  2. Only twisted wire with dielectric properties which meet or exceed the dielectric properties specified in MM Cable Code A530 and have insulation of a minimum dielectric strength of 12 kV/mm and wire diameters equal to or greater than twenty (20) AWG gage shall be used with the Rozdet (detonator) and the ACD5 Connector.
  3. Only ACD5 Connectors which are injected with dielec tric grease with a minimum 450 volts/mil shall be used to connect blasthole downlines to surface "round" wires. The downlines shall be attached using either of two blast round circuit configurations (Methods 1 or 2 attached with this Proposed Decision and Order). The unshunting of downlines shall be delayed until all blast holes are loaded such that the time required to test the circuit(s) continuity with an appropriate blasting galvanometer and reshunt the blast round circuit is minimized.
  4. The manufacturer shall provide written instructions as to the proper and safe use of Rozdet (detonators) with each package as well as instructions related to the tiein of the blasting round.
  5. All mine personnel who engage in or supervise the load ing of blast holes and preparation of blast rounds shall be task trained in the terms and conditions of this Proposed Decision and Order and any and all manufacturer's recommendations pertaining to the use of Rozdet (detonators) prior to implementation of this Proposed Decision and Order. Appropriate task training records shall be available for inspection by MSHA personnel.
  6. Any misfire, or any unintentional loss of electrical continuity in the blasting circuit or in a blast round in which Rozdet (detonators) or ACD5 Connectors are used, shall be investigated and a written report made to the MSHA District Manager within 5 working days of the event.
  7. Within 60 days after this Proposed Decision and Order becomes final, the Petitioner shall submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR Part 48 training plan to the Coal Mine Safety and Health District Manager. These proposed revisions shall include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the Proposed Decision and Order.

Any party to this action desiring a hearing on this matter must file in accordance with 30 CFR 44.14, within 30 days. The request for hearing must be filed with the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, 4015 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22203.

If a hearing is requested, the request shall contain a concise summary of position on the issues of fact or law desired to be raised by the party requesting the hearing, including specific objections to the proposed decision. A party other than Petitioner who has requested a hearing shall also comment upon all issues of fact or law presented in the petition, and any party to this action requesting a hearing may indicate a desired hearing site. If no request for a hearing is filed within 30 days after service thereof, the Decision and Order will become final and must be posted by the operator on the mine bulletin board at the mine.



Robert A. Elam
Deputy Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health