Petition - Docket No. M-2019-054-C

JAN 30 2020
In the matter of:                                                 Petition for Modification
Castle Valley Mining LLC
Castle Valley Mine #3 1.D. No. 42-02263
Castle Valley Mine #4 I.D. No. 42-02335         Docket No. M-2019-054-C

PROPOSED DECISION AND ORDER

On September?, 2019, Castle Valley Mining LLC, filed a petition seeking a modification of the application of 30 C.F.R. § 75.1909(b)(6) to its Castle Valley Mine #3 and Castle Valley Mine #4 located in Emery County, Utah. The Petitioner proposes an alternative method outlined in the petition that will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard.

The standard reads, in relevant part, (b)(6) Service brakes that act on each wheel of the vehicle and that are designed such that failure of any single component, except the brake actuation pedal or other similar actuation device, must not result in a complete loss of service braking capability; The petitioner proposes an alternate method of modifying the equipment and providing additional training, in lieu of installing brakes on the front two wheels.

On January 2, 2020, MSHA personnel conducted an investigation of the petition and filed a report of their findings with the Administrator for Mine Safety and Health Enforcement. After a careful review of the entire record, including the petition and MSHA's investigative report, this Proposed Decision and Order is issued.

Finding of Fact and Conclusion of Law

Castle Valley Mining LLC has been the mine operator since August 25, 2010. There are two producing mines on this property, #3 Mine, ID 42-02263 and #4 Mine, ID 42-02335. There is also one surface facility, ID 42-02395. #3 and #4 Mines are interconnected through a lined coal transfer shaft through which no air communicates between the respective mines.

Castle Valley Mine #4 is physically above the Castle Valley Mine #3 approximately 223 feet. Castle Valley Mine #4 has two drift openings and is ventilated with one exhausting main mine fan. At this time, Castle Valley Mine #4 has one mining section doing development mining in the Tank seam, and is using one mining crew. The operator is planning for the discontinuance of mining and the sealing of the Castle Valley Mine #4 in April of 2020. Castle Valley Mine #3 has three drift openings and is ventilated with one exhausting main mine fan. Castle Valley Mine #3 has two mining sections at this time operating in the Bear Canyon and Blind Canyon coal seams. Castle Valley Mine #3 plans to have a third miner section mining in the Hiawatha coal seam when Castle Valley Mine #4 is sealed.

The mines employs approximately 96 personnel underground and 28 on the surface, including office employees. The mine operates with two production shifts per day, five days per week, and only work a small downshift crew on the weekends. The current production is approximately 4287 tons per day.
Electric powered shuttle cars transport coal from the continuous mining machines to conveyor belts in order to transport coal out of the mine. Diesel powered mantrips are used to transport the miners in and out of the mine. Currently neither mine liberates any methane in a 24 hour period.

There are no representative of miners at the mine; however the petition was discussed with the grader operator, Terry Erickson, who is in favor of the petition.

Section 75.1909(b)(6) provides that all self-propelled non-permissible diesel-powered equipment must have, in addition to all other requirements, service brakes that act on each wheel of the vehicle such that failure of any single component, except the brake actuation pedal or other similar actuation device, must not result in complete loss of service braking capability.
Petitioner proposes an alternate method in lieu of the front wheel brakes on the dieselpowered, six-wheeled Getman Roadbuilder, Model RDG-1504-C (Serial Number 6579).

The grader has dual brake systems on the four rear wheels and the braking system would not be disabled due to a single component, except the brake actuation pedal. Petitioner proposes to limit the speed of the diesel grader to 10 miles per hour (mph) by permanently blocking out any gear that would provide higher speed or use transmission and differential ratios that would limit the maximum speed to 10 mph; provide training for the operator to recognize appropriate speeds for different road conditions and slopes; and to provide training for the operators to lower the grader blade to provide additional stopping capability in emergency situations.

The alternative method proposed by Castle Valley Mining LLC (as amended by MSHA) will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under 30 C.F.R. § 75.1909(b)(6). The diesel grader will be equipped with devices that limit speed to 10 mph and the grader operator(s) will be trained to lower the grader blade in emergency conditions to stop the grader.

These terms and conditions will provide an equivalent level of safety to the standard requirement that each wheel of the grader be equipped with service brakes.

On the basis of the petition and the findings of MSHA's investigation, Castle Valley Mining LLC is granted a modification of the application of 30 C.F.R. § 75.1909(b)(6) to its Castle Valley Mine #3 and Castle Valley Mine #4 .

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 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, 30 U.S.C. § 811(c), it is ordered that Castle Valley Mining LLC's Petition for Modification of the application of 30 C.F.R.
§ 75.1909(b)(6) in Castle Valley Mine #3 and Castle Valley Mine #4 is hereby:

GRANTED, conditioned upon compliance with the following terms and conditions:

1. This Proposed Decision and Order is limited in application to the dieselpowered, six-wheeled Getman Roadbuilder, Model RDG 1504-C (Serial Number 6579).

2. The maximum speed on the diesel grader shall be limited to 10 mph by:
(a) Permanently blocking out any gear or any gear ratio that provides higher speeds. The device must limit the vehicle speed in both forward and reverse; or (b) Using transmission(s) and differential(s) geared in accordance with the equipment manufacturer that limit(s) the maximum speed to 10 mph.

3. Prior to implementing the alternative method:
(a) The diesel graders must be inspected by MSHA to determine compliance with the terms and conditions of the Proposed Decision and Order.
(b) Grader operators must be trained to recognize appropriate levels of speed for different road conditions and slopes.
(c) Grader operators must be trained to lower the grader blade to provide additional stopping capability in emergencies.
(d) Grader operators must be trained to recognize the transmission gear blocking device and its proper application and requirements.

4. The grader must comply with all other applicable requirements of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and the applicable requirements of 30 C.F.R. Parts 75 and 77. Within 60 days after this Proposed Decision and Order becomes final, the Petitioner must submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 C.F.R. Part 48 training plan to the Coal Mine Safety and Health District Manager. These revisions must specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions stated in the Proposed Decision and Order.

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 must 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 Order will become final and must be posted by the operator on the mine bulletin board at the mine.

/s/
David L. Weaver
Deputy Administrator for
Mine Safety and Health Enforcement

Certificate of Service
I hereby certify that a copy of this proposed decision was served personally or mailed, postage prepaid, or provided by other electronic means this 30th day of January , 2020, to:

Mr. Ken Defa,
Safety Director
Castle Valley Mining LLC
5550 West Hwy 31
Huntington, UT 84528
KDefa@rhinolp.com

/s/
Michele Gussie
Secretary

cc: Mr. David Houghton, Director Utah Office of Coal Mine Safety 940 S. Carbon Ave. Price, UT 84501
dhoughton@utah.gov