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Notice

Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

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)]. This 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 44.9, 44.10, and 44.11; Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before August 11, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

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 Tarr-Jane@Msha.Gov. Ms. Tarr can be reached at (202) 693-9824 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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 Tarr-Jane@Msha.Gov (Internet E-mail), (202) 693-9824 (voice), or (202) 693-9801 (facsimile).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 811(c), provides that a mine operator or a representative of miners may petition the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to modify the application of a mandatory safety standard. A petition for modification may be granted if the Secretary determines (1) that an alternative method of achieving the results of the standard exists and that it will guarantee, at all times, no less than the same measure of protection for the miners affected as that afforded by the standard, or (2) that the application of the standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners affected.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is particularly interested 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; and
  • 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 (http://www.msha.gov) and then choosing “Statutory and Regulatory Information” and “Federal Register Documents.”

III. Current Actions

Under 30 CFR 44.9, mine operators must post a copy of each petition for modification concerning the mine on the mine's bulletin board and maintain the posting until a ruling on the petition becomes final. This applies only to mines for which there is no representative of miners.

Under 30 CFR 44.10, detailed guidance for filing a petition for modification is provided for the operator of the affected mine or any representative of the miners at that mine. The petition must be in writing, filed with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, and a copy of the petition served by the filing party (the mine operator or Start Printed Page 34653representative of miners) on the other party.

Under 30 CFR 44.11(a), the petition for modification must contain the petitioner's name and address; the mailing address and mine identification number of the mine or mines affected; the mandatory safety standard to which the petition is directed; a concise statement of the modification requested and whether the petitioner (1) proposes to establish an alternate method in lieu of the mandatory safety standard, or (2) alleges that application of the standard will result in diminution of safety to the miners affected, or (3) requests relief based on both grounds; a detailed statement of the facts that show the grounds upon which a modification is claimed or warranted; and, if the petitioner is a mine operator, the identity of any representative of miners at the affected mine.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Title: Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards.

OMB Number: 1219-0065.

Recordkeeping: Under 30 CFR 44.9, mine operators must post a copy of each petition for modification concerning the mine on the mine's bulletin board and maintain the posting until a ruling on the petition becomes final. This applies only to mines for which there is no representative of miners.

Under 30 CFR 44.10 The petition must be in writing, filed with the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, and a copy of the petition served by the filing party (the mine operator or representative of miners) on the other party.

Under 30 CFR 44.11(a), the petition for modification must contain the petitioner's name and address; the mailing address and mine identification number of the mine or mines affected; the mandatory safety standard to which the petition is directed; a concise statement of the modification requested and whether the petitioner (1) proposes to establish an alternate method in lieu of the mandatory safety standard, or (2) alleges that application of the standard will result in diminution of safety to the miners affected, or (3) requests relief based on both grounds; a detailed statement of the facts that show the grounds upon which a modification is claimed or warranted; and, if the petitioner is a mine operator, the identity of any representative of miners at the affected mine.

Frequency: On Occasion.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Respondents: 158.

Estimated Average Time Per Respondent: 35 hours.

Total Burden Hours: 5,520 hours.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintaining): $41.

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 fourth day of June, 2003.

David L. Meyer,

Director, Office of Administration and Management.

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[FR Doc. 03-14527 Filed 6-9-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-43-P