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Petition - Docket No. M-2002-068-C

In the matter of
R & T Coal Company, Inc. No. 1 Mine
I.D. No. 15-18523
Docket No. M-2002-068-C 30 CFR 75.800

PROPOSED DECISION AND ORDER

On August 6, 2002, R & T Coal Company, Inc., filed a petition seeking a modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.800 to its No. 1 Mine, located in Morgan County, Kentucky. The petitioner alleges that the alternative method outlined in the petition will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

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

Finding of Fact and Conclusion of Law

The alternative method proposed by the petitioner will not at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under 30 CFR 75.800.

Section 75.800 of 30 CFR essentially restates the requirements of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (Mine Act), 30 USC 868(a). Under section 30 CFR 75.800, High-voltage circuits entering the underground area of any coal mine are to be protected by suitable circuit breakers of adequate interrupting capacity which are properly tested and maintained as prescribed by the Secretary. Such breakers shall be equipped with devices to provide protection against under-voltage grounded phase, short circuit, and overcurrent.

The petitioner is seeking to use a contactor in lieu of a circuit breaker to provide the above mentioned protections. Contactors differ from circuit breakers in that they generally have lower continuous current ratings than circuit breakers and lower interrupting and making capacities. Contactors are not intended to interrupt fault currents on its own and are often used in conjunction with fuses and circuit breakers.

On the basis of the petition and the findings of MSHA's investigation, R & T Coal Company, Inc., is not granted a modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.800 to its No. 1 Mine.

ORDER

Wherefore, pursuant to the authority delegated by the Secretary of Labor to the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, and pursuant to Section lOl(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C., sec. 811(c), it is ordered that R & T Coal Company, Inc.'s Petition for Modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.800 in the No. 1 Mine is hereby:

DENIED

Any party to this action desiring a hearing on tbis 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, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939.

Ifa 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.

John F. Langton Acting Deputy Administrator

for Coal Mine Safety and Health