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Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record 30 CFR 57.8520, § 57.8525 (Pertains to Metal and Nonmetal Underground Mines)

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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 [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to assure 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 for Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record 30 CFR 57.8520, § 57.8525.


All comments must be received by midnight Eastern Daylight Saving Time on November 15, 2010.


Comments must clearly be identified with the rule title and may be submitted to MSHA by any of the following methods:

(1) Electronic mail:

(2) Facsimile: (202) 693-9441.

(3) Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939.

(4) Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor.

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Mario Distasio, Chief of the Economic Analysis Division, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at (e-mail), 202-693-9445 (voicemail), 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

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I. Background

Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 813, authorizes the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners.

Underground 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. A well planned mine ventilation system is necessary to assure a fresh air supply to miners at all working places, to control the amounts of harmful airborne contaminants in the mine atmosphere, and to dilute possible accumulation of explosive gases.

Lack of adequate ventilation in underground mines has resulted in fatalities from asphyxiation and/or explosions due to a buildup of explosive gases. Inadequate ventilation can be a primary factor for deaths caused by disease of the lungs (e.g. silicosis).

In addition, poor working conditions from lack of adequate ventilation contribute to accidents resulting from heat stress, limited visibility, or impaired judgment from exposure to contaminants.

  • The mine operator is required to prepare a written plan of the mine ventilation system. The plan is required to be updated at least annually. Upon written request of the District Manager, the plan or revisions must be submitted to MSHA for review and comment.
  • The main ventilation fans for an underground mine must be maintained either according to manufacturers' recommendations or a written periodic schedule. Upon request of an Authorized Representative of the Secretary of Labor, this fan maintenance schedule must be made available for review. The records assure compliance with the standard and may serve as a warning mechanism for possible ventilation problems before they occur.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

  • 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 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 selecting “Rules & Regs”, and then selecting “FedReg.Docs”. On the next screen, select “Paperwork Reduction Act Supporting Statement” to view documents supporting the Federal Register notice.

III. Current Actions

This request for collection of information contains notification and recordkeeping provisions for the Proposed Information Collection Request Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations; Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record 30 CFR 57.8520, § 57.8525. MSHA does not intend to publish the results from this information collection and is not seeking approval to either display or not display the expiration date for the OMB approval of this information collection.

There are no certification exceptions identified with this information collection and the collection of this information does not employ statistical methods.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0016.

Frequency: On Occasion.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Cost to Federal Government: $6,450.

Total Burden Respondents: 245.

Total Number of Responses: 272.

Total Burden Hours: 5,894.

Total Hour Burden Cost (Operating/maintaining): $382,302.

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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Patricia W. Silvey,

Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.

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[FR Doc. 2010-23082 Filed 9-15-10; 8:45 am]