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Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Roof Control Plan

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. The program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed.

Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments concerning the extension of the information collection related to the 30 CFR Sections

75.215—Longwall mining systems;

75.220—Roof control plan;

75.221—Roof control plan information;

75.222—Roof control plan-approval criteria; and

75.223—Evaluation and revision of roof control plan.


Submit comments on or before March 24, 2003.


Send comments to Jane Tarr, Management Analyst, Administration and Management, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2171, Arlington, VA 22209-3939. Commenters are encouraged to send their comments on computer disk, or via Internet E-mail to Ms. Tarr can be reached at (202) 693-9824 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

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Jane Tarr, Management Analyst, Records Management Group, U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, Room 2171, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209-3939. Ms. Tarr can be reached at (Internet-E-mail), (202) 693-9824 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

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I. Background

Section 302(a) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 846, requires that a roof control plan and revisions thereof suitable to the roof conditions and mining system of each coal mine be first approved by the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) before implementation by the operator. The plan must show the type of support and spacing approved by the Secretary, and the plan must be reviewed at least every 6 months by the Secretary.

Under 30 CFR 75.221, the information required to be submitted and approved in the roof control plan includes the following: (1) The name and address of the company; (2) the name, address, mine identification number, and location of the mine; (3) the name and title of the company official responsible for the plan; (4) a description of the mine strata; (5) a description and drawings of the sequence of installation and spacing of supports for each method of mining used; (6) the maximum distance that an ATRS system is to be set beyond the last row of permanent support (if appropriate); (7) specifications and installation procedures for liners or arches (if appropriate); (8) drawings indicating the planned width of openings, size of pillars, method of pillar recovery, and the sequence of mining pillars; (9) a list of all support materials required to be used in the roof, face and rib control system; (10) the intervals at which test holes will be drilled (if appropriate); and (11) a description of the methods to be used for the protection of persons. Under 30 CFR 75.215, the roof control plan for each longwall mining section is required to specify the methods that will be used to maintain a safe travelway out of the section through the tailgate side of the longwall and the procedures that will be followed if a ground failure prevents travel out of the section through the tailgate side of the longwall.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is particularly interest in comments which:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; the
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the employee listed in the “For Further Information Contact” section of this notice, or viewed on the Internet by accessing the MSHA home page ( and then choosing “Statutory and Regulatory Information” and “Federal Register Documents.”

III. Current Actions

Falls of roof, face and rib continue to be a cause of injuries and death in underground coal mines. All underground coal mine operators are required to develop and submit roof control plans to MSHA for evaluation and approval. These plans provide the means to instruct miners, who install roof supports, and the minimum requirements and placement of roof supports. The plan also provides a reference for mine supervisors to assist them in compliance with the plan requirements. In that regard the plan is a working document for the miners.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Title: Roof Control Plan.

OMB Number: 1219-0004.

Recordkeeping: Indefinite.

Frequency: On Occasion.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

SectionTotal respondentsFrequencyTotal responsesAvg. time/ response (hours)Burden hours
75.22047On occasion47241,128
75.223893On occasion95754,785
75.223(b)893On occasion1,753.08140
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Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $5,020.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated at Arlington, Virginia, this 16th day of January, 2003.

Thomas Charboneau,

Financial Manager, Office of Administration and Management.

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[FR Doc. 03-1428 Filed 1-22-03; 8:45 am]