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Proposed Extension of Existing Information Collection; Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records (Pertains to Underground Metal and Nonmetal Mines)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.


Notice of request for public comments.


The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce Start Printed Page 79034paperwork 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 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 Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records, 30 CFR 57.5037 and 57.5040.


All comments must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on February 15, 2011.


Comments must be identified clearly 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

Under the authority of Section 103 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, MSHA is required to—

* * * issue regulations requiring operators to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be monitored or measured under any applicable mandatory health or safety standard promulgated under this Act.

Airborne radon and radon daughters exist in every uranium mine and can exist in several other mining commodities. Radon is radioactive gas. It diffuses into the underground mine atmosphere through the rock and the ground water. Radon decays in a series of steps into other radioactive elements, which are solids, called radon daughters. Radon and radon daughters are invisible and odorless. Decay of radon and its daughters results in emissions of alpha energy. Medical doctors and scientists have associated high radon daughter exposures with lung cancer. The health hazard arises from breathing air contaminated with radon daughters which are in turn deposited in the lungs. The lung tissues are sensitive to alpha radioactivity.

Standard 30 CFR 57.5037 establishes the procedures to be used by the mine operator in sampling mine air for the presence and concentrations of radon daughters. Operators are required to conduct weekly sampling where concentrations of radon daughters exceed 0.3 working levels (WL). Sampling is required bi-weekly where uranium mines have readings of 0.1 WL to 0.3 WL and every 3 months in non-uranium underground mines where the readings are 0.1 WL to 0.3 WL. Mine operators are required to make a record of the sampling and retain it for 2 years.

Standard 30 CFR 57.5040 requires mine operators to calculate, record, and report to MSHA individual exposures to radon daughters on MSHA Form 4000-9 “Record of Individual Exposure to Radon Daughters”. The calculations are based on the results of the weekly sampling required by 30 CFR 57.5037.

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 notice contains a request for public comment on the extension of the information collection for existing notification, recordkeeping, and reporting provisions for radiation sampling and exposure records. 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: 1219-0003.

Frequency: On occasion.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Cost to Federal Government: $747.

Total Burden Respondents: 5.

Total Number of Responses: 255.

Total Burden Hours: 502 hours.

Total Hour Burden Cost: $17,018.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and 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: December 14, 2010.

Patricia W. Silvey,

Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.

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[FR Doc. 2010-31750 Filed 12-16-10; 8:45 am]