NOV 13 2019
In the matter of Petition for Modification
Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc.
Mine No. 7
I.D. No. 46-09093 Docket No. M-2019-049-C
PROPOSED DECISION AND ORDER
On July 16, 2019, a petition was filed seeking a modification of the application of 30
C.F.R. § 75.1101-1(b) to Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc.'s, Mine no. 7 located in McDowell County, West Virginia. The petitioned standard, 30 C.F.R. § 75.1101-1(b) states, in relevant part:
Nozzles attached to the branch lines shall be full cone, corrosion resistant and be provided with blow off dust covers.
Petitioner proposes to conduct weekly examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire suppression systems as an alternative method of complying with the standard. 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.
On October 21, 2019, MSHA personnel conducted an investigation of the petition and filed a report of their findings 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 this Proposed Decision and Order is issued.
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc., Mine No.7, mines bituminous coal from the Douglas Red Ash seam. This mine employs 18 persons, including supervisory personnel, of which 16 persons work underground. The average mining height is 36 to 40 inches and is ventilated with one blowing fan. The mine has 4 openings and liberates O cubic feet of methane in a 24 hour period. There is one continuous miner section with one mechanized mining unit (001-0 MMU). The mine produces 460 tons of raw material each day and operates one 9 hour shift per day, five days per week. The mine has one belt drive installed underground equipped with a deluge type fire suppression system. Additional belt drives will be installed as the mine advances which also will have deluge type fire suppression systems. The mine currently keeps a record of the weekly inspections and functional testing of the deluge type fire suppression system.
The Petitioner avers that there are no requirements for the mine to conduct regular inspections and functional tests of the deluge-type fire suppression systems described under 30 C.F.R. § 75.1101-1(b). The Petitioner alleges that frequent inspections and functional testing of the systems will maintain the nozzles in an unclogged condition.
Contaminated mine water systems and corrosion deposits create restrictions which result in reduction or closure of the water spray orifices on fire suppression systems.
In order to ensure that the fire suppression system is functional and adequate, a method
of visual examination coupled with a measuring mechanism of the residual water pressure is necessary.
The proposed alternative method, as amended by MSHA, will at all times provide the same measure of protection to the miners as afforded the miners under 30 C.F.R.§ 75.1101-1(b). On the basis of the petition and the findings of MSHA's investigation, Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc. is granted a modification of the application of 30 C.F.R.§ 75.1101-1(b) to its Mine No. 7.
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., as amended, Sec. 811(c), it is ordered that Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc.'s, Petition for Modification of the application of 30 C.F.R. § 75.1101-1(b) to its Mine No. 7 is hereby:
GRANTED, for weekly examination and functional testing of deluge type fire suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives in lieu of dust covers for nozzles on branch lines of water deluge fire suppression systems conditioned upon compliance with the following terms and conditions:
1. Once every 7 days, a person trained in the testing procedures specific to the water deluge type fire suppression ·systems utilized at each belt drive shall:
a. Conduct a visual examination of each of the water deluge type fire suppression systems.
b. Conduct a functional test of the water deluge type fire suppression systems by actuating the system and observing its performance.
c. Take residual water pressure measurements at the most hydraulic demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the manufacturer's specifications.
d. Record the results of the examination, functional test and residual water pressure measurements in a book maintained on the surface for that purpose.
The record shall be made available to the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine for one year.
2. Any malfunction or clogged nozzle detected as a result of the weekly examination or functional test shall be corrected immediately.
3. The procedure used to perform the functional tests shall be posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a water deluge fire suppression system.
4. Within 60 days after this Proposed Decision and Order becomes final, the Petitioner shall submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 C.F.R. Part 48 training plan to the Coal Mine Safety and Health District Manager. These proposed revisions shall specify the procedures used to conduct the weekly· functional test during initial and refresher training.
Any party to this action desiring a hearing on this matter must file in accordance with 30 C.F.R. § 44.14 within 30 days. The request for hearing must be filed with the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452.
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 may 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 Oi·.d er will become final and must be posted by the operator on the mine bulletin board at the mine.
David L. Weaver
Deputy Administrator for
Mine Safety and Health Enforcement