Petition - Docket No. M-96-059-C

Inthe matter of
Cyprus Plateau Mining Corporation Star Point No. 2 Mine
l.D. No. 42-00171
Petition for Modification

Docket No. M-96-059-C

Date Issued: 0912611997


On May 17, 1996, Cyprus Plateau Mining Corporation filed a petition pursuant to 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. sec. 811(c), and 30 CFR 44 et seq., for the modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.364(a)(l), a mandatory safety standard. On November 26, 1996, the Petitioner submitted an amendment (consisting of maps showing adjustments to the proposed evaluation points) to the petition following MSHA's investigation of October 21, 1996.

Upon review of the amended petition and MSHA's investigation report, a determination has been made that the petitioned area can be regarded as a worked-out area and is subject to 30 CFR 75.364(a)(l). Inaddition, available information supports that the area has experienced roof falls and roof deterioration which have resulted in making travel to the points of deepest penetration unsafe for the certified persons conducting the weekly examinations. However, the petitioned standard [30 CFR 75.364(a)(l)] provides that "An alternative method of evaluating the ventilation of the area may be approved in the ventilation plan." The petitioner's amended proposed alternative method has not been submitted as a proposed alternative method to the MSHA District Manager for consideration as a proposed revision to the mine's ventilation plan. MSHA believes where specific safety standards incorporate the delegation of approval authority to the District Manager, that avenue of presenting alternative methods of compliance must be pursued and the proposed alternative method formally denied approval prior to submitting a petition for modification of the standard. Furthermore, it is MSHA's belief that the combined experience of the mine operator and MSHA District personnel can produce a mutually acceptable alternative method that is best suited to the specific mining conditions and location.

Therefore, pursuant to the authority delegated by the Secretary of Labor to the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health, Cyprus Plateau Mining Corporation's Petition for Modification of 30 CFR 75.364(a)(l) to its Star Point No. 2 Mine is dismissed without prejudice.

Any party to this action desiring a hearing on this matter must file in accordance with 30 CFR 44 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.

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 Order of Dismissal will become fmal.

Allyn Davis
Chief, Division of Safety Coal Mine Safety and Health