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Submission for OMB Review: Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble February 20, 2007.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has submitted the following public information collection requests (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35). A copy of each ICR, with applicable supporting documentation, may be obtained from at​public/​do/​PRAMain or by contacting Darrin King on 202-693-4129 (this is not toll-free number) / e-mail:

Comments should be sent to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, Telephone: 202-395-7316 / Fax: 202-395-6974 (these are not toll-free numbers), within 30 days from the date of this publication in the Federal Register.

The OMB 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 submission of responses.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Type of Review: Extension without change of currently approved collection.

Title: Ventilation Plans, Tests and Examinations in Underground Coal Mines.

OMB Number: 1219-0088.

Type of Response: Recordkeeping and Reporting.

Affected Public: Private Sector: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 612.

Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 1,848,393.

Average Response Time: varies by task and size of mine.

Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 1,824,456.

Total Annualized capital/startup costs: $0.

Total Annual Costs (operating/maintaining systems or purchasing services): $160,203.

Description: Section 303 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 requires that all coal mines shall be ventilated by mechanical ventilation equipment installed and operated in a manner approved by an authorized representative of the Secretary and such equipment shall be examined daily and a record shall be kept of such examination.

Underground coal mines usually present harsh and hostile working environments. The ventilation system is the most vital life support system in underground mining and a properly operating ventilation system is essential for maintaining a safe and healthful working environment. Lack of adequate ventilation in underground mines has resulted in fatalities from asphyxiation and explosions.

An underground mine is a maze of tunnels that must be adequately Start Printed Page 8403ventilated with fresh air to provide a safe environment for miners. Methane is liberated from the strata, and noxious gases and dusts from blasting and other mining activities may be present. The explosive and noxious gases and dusts must be diluted, rendered harmless, and carried to the surface by the ventilating currents. Sufficient air must be provided to maintain the level of respirable dust at or below 2 milligrams per cubic meter of air and air quality must be maintained in accordance with MSHA standards. Mechanical ventilation equipment of sufficient capacity must operate at all times while miners are in the mine. Ground conditions are subject to frequent changes, thus sufficient tests and examinations are necessary to ensure the integrity of the ventilation system and to detect any changes that may require adjustments in the system. Records of tests and examinations are necessary to ensure that the ventilation system is being maintained and that changes which could adversely affect the integrity of the system or the safety of the miners are not occurring. These examination, reporting and recordkeeping requirements of §§ 75.310, 75.312, 75.342, 75.351, 75.360 through 75.364, 75.370, 75.371, and 75.382 also incorporate examinations of other critical aspects of the underground work environment such as roof conditions and electrical equipment which have historically caused numerous fatalities if not properly maintained and operated.

The records give notice to mine management and the miners on the oncoming shift of mine conditions, identify hazards on working sections during the previous shift, and verify that proper ventilation is being maintained. The information is available to all interested persons at the mine to assure them that the integrity of the ventilation system is being provided for the miners. MSHA inspectors use the records to determine that tests and examinations, required by the standards, are made.

Start Signature

Darrin A. King,

Acting Departmental Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-3141 Filed 2-23-07; 8:45 am]