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Petition - Docket No. M-98-076-C

Inthe matter of
Manna Coal Company Mine No. 1
l.D. No. 44-04248
Petition for Modification
Docket No. M-98-076-C

PROPOSED DECISION AND ORDER

On August 12, 1998, a petition was filed seeking a modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.1710-l(a) to Petitioner's Mine No.I, located in Buchanan County, Virginia. The Petitioner alleges that application of this standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners and requests that mobile face equipment be required to have substantially constructed cabs or canopies only when the mining height is greater than 48 inches rather than the 42 inches specified in the standard.

MSHA personnel conducted an investigation of the petition and filed a report of their fmdings 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 recommendation, this Proposed Decision and Order is issued.

Finding of Fact and Conclusion of Law

The investigation determined that the Manna Coal Corporation was opened into the Jawbone coal seam and has operated extensively since March 1976. The mine development employed has been room and pillar type mining. Mining height ranges from 48 inches to 108 inches. Insuch heights, MSHA has consistently interpreted 30 CFR 75.1710- l(a) to mean "new electric face equipment or used equipment new to the mine is required to have cabs or canopies if the bottom to top measurement is 42 inches or greater." A full statement of MSHA's position is presented in the Mine Safety and Health Administration's Program Policy Manual, Volume V, Part 75, pages 137 through 140 (07/01/88 Release V-1).

MSHA's investigation found that the floor to roof mining height at Manna's Mine No.I normally exceeded 42- inches and the face equipment was all low profile equipment, designed to be equipped with substantially constructed cabs and canopies meeting the requirements of 30 CFR 75.1710-1(d). Furthermore, a map of the active section shows the seam height to range from 48 to 108 inches. According to the investigative personnel the equipment in question is limited to the 001 mechanized mining unit (mmu). This mining is occurring adjacent to the outcrop that will eventually be cut to the outside. With the 001-0 mmu mining toward the outcrop, cabs and canopies are needed because roof conditions can deteriorate due to surface cracks, slickenslides, water, and tree trunks which can be encountered making it dificult to maintain the immediate roof. This indicates that the mobile face equipment at the mine needs cabs or canopies to protect the operator when operating the equipment. MSHA has concluded that appropriate cabs and canopies are required and need to be installed at the Manna Mine No. I whenever mining equipment is operated in mining heights in excess of 42 inches. Therefore, application of 30 CFR 75.1710-l(a) to the subject mine will not result in a diminution of safety to the miners.

On the basis of the petition and the findings of MSHA's investigation, Manna Coal Corporation is not granted a modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.1710-l(a) for its Mine No.I.

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., Section 811(c), it is ordered that Manna Coal Corporation's Petition for Modification of th application of 30 CFR 75.1710-1(a) in  Mine No. 1, is hereby:

DENIED

Any party to this action desiring a hearing must file a request for hearing within 30 days after service of the Proposed Decision and Order, in accordance with 30 CFR.44.14, with the Administrator of Coal Mine Safety and Health, 201 12th Street South, Suite 401, Arlington, VA 22202-5450.

If a hearing is requested, the reqest shall contain a concise summary of position on the issues of fact or law desired to be raised by the party requesting the hearing, inc!uding specific objections to the Proposed Decision and Order. A party other than the petitioner who requested a hearing shall also comment upon all itsues of fact or law presented in the petition. 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, this Proposed Decision and Order will become final and must be posted by the operator on the mine bulletin board at the mine.

 

Robert A. Elam

Deputy Administrator for Coal Mine Safety and Health