Petition - Docket No. M-97-09-M

April 22, 1999

In the matterof
Morton Interational, Inc.and Inc.
Markel Mine

Petition for Modification

Docbt No. M-97-09-M


On September 24, 1991, Morton International, Inc.(Morton) the owner/operator and Miners Inc.(Miners) an independent contractor, 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.Part 44 et seq., for the modification of the application of mandatory safety stanndard 30 CFR.§57.11050(a), at Morton's Markel Mine. Morton Salt and Miners asked that they be allowed to maintain a six (6) foot wide secondary escapeway in the center of the mine's Diamond Drift in lieu of maintaining the total entry width of 18 'to  20' in the second escapeway.

On February 5, 1999, the Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health issued a Proposed Order of Dismissal, dismissing the Petition for Modiification No. M-97-09-M, based upon information provided by the MSHA's South Central District Office that the mine had been permanently closed and the work by Miners Inc, was completed. After the proposed Order of Dismissal was issued, addtional information was provided to the Administrator, that the mine was still open with a different contractor performing work. The mine is being prepared for permanent abandonment. Also it has abeen determined by the Administrator, that the Petitioner has been in comliance with 30 CFR § 57.11050(a), and maintaining the 6-foot wide secondary escapeway proposed in the Petition for Modification is not in violation of the mandatory standard. Therefore, this Amended Proposed Decision and Order of Dismissal is being issued by the Administrator to change the reason for dismissing the petition for modification.

Therefore, pursuant to the authority delegated by the Secretary of Labor to the Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Safety and Health, Petition No. M-97-09-M, seeking modification of 30 CFR § 57.11050(a), at the Markel Mine is DISMISSED.

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

A hearing 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 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.


Earnest C. Teaster, Jr.
Administrator for Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health