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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Safety Standards for Underground Coal Mine Ventilation-Belt Entry Used as an Intake Air Course To Ventilate Working Sections and Areas Where Mechanized Mining Equipment Is Being Installed or Removed

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Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.


60-Day Notice.


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 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 information collections related to the provisions of 30 CFR 75.350, 75.351, 75.352 and 75.371.


All comments must be postmarked or received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on August 13, 2013.


Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice must be clearly identified with “OMB 1219-0138” and sent to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Comments may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

  • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number [MSHA-2013-0138].
  • Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, 21st Floor, Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939.
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Sheila McConnell, Deputy Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

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I. Background

Under MSHA standards, MSHA allows operators to use air from a belt air course to ventilate a working section, or an area where mechanized mining equipment is being installed or removed, only under certain conditions. The belt air use must be evaluated and approved by the district manager in the mine ventilation plan and operators must follow a number of other requirements that provide additional protection.

Section 75.350(b) requires that the mine operator must include in a ventilation plan a justification that the use of air from a belt entry would afford at least the same measure of protection as where belt haulage entries are not used. The plan also must include information regarding point feeds and regulators and designated areas for dust and air velocity measurements.

Sections 75.351(b)(3) and 75.351(b)(4) require a mine operator to post a map or schematic, at a designated surface location, which shows the locations and type of Atmospheric Monitoring System (AMS) sensors at each location and the intended air flow direction at these locations. This map or schematic must be updated within 24 hours of any change in this information. Contact information for AMS and other appropriate personnel also must be posted at this location.

Section 75.351(j) requires approval of the CO ambient levels, and the means to determine those levels, in the mine ventilation plan.

Section 75.351(m) permits a mine to incorporate time delays into the AMS, or to use other methods for reducing non-fire alerts and alarm levels, provided they are specified and approved in the mine ventilation plan. Permission for such time delays, or other methods of reducing non-fire alerts and alarms, would be granted based on associated documentation that justifies these changes.

Sections 75.351(n)(2) and 75.351(n)(3) require that alarms for AMS be tested every seven days and CO, smoke, or methane sensors be calibrated, every 31 days, respectively.

Section 75.351(o)(1)(i) requires that a record be made if the AMS emits an alert or alarm signal. The record would consist of the date, time, location, and type of sensor, and the reason for its activation.

Section 75.351(o)(1)(ii) requires that, if an AMS malfunctions, a record be made of the date, the extent and cause of the malfunction, and the corrective Start Printed Page 35976action taken to return the system to proper operating condition.

Section 75.351(o)(1)(iii) requires that the persons doing the weekly test of alert and alarm signals, the monthly calibration, or maintenance of the system make a record of these tests, calibrations, or maintenance.

Section 75.351(o)(3) requires that all records concerning the AMS be kept in a book or electronically in a computer system that is secure and not susceptible to alteration.

Section 75.351(p) requires the mine operator to keep these records for at least one year at a surface location and to make them available for inspection by authorized representatives of the Secretary and representatives of miners.

Section 75.351(q)(3) requires that a record of annual AMS operator training be kept. The record will include the content of training, the person conducting the training, and the date the training is conducted. The record needs to be maintained at the mine site by the mine operator for at least one year.

Sections 75.352(a), 75.352(b), and 75.352(c) require the designated AMS operator or other appropriate personnel to notify, investigate, or evacuate when malfunction, alert, or alarm signals are received.

Section 75.371(hh) requires reporting within the mine ventilation plan of the “ambient level in parts per million of carbon monoxide, and the method for determining the ambient level, in all areas where carbon monoxide sensors are installed.” This provision is impacted by § 75.351(j).

Section 75.371(kk) requires the locations where air quantities are measured as set forth in § 75.350(b)(6) be included in the mine ventilation plan.

Section 75.371(ll) requires the locations and use of point feed regulators, in accordance with Sections 75.350(c) and 75.350(d)(5), to be in the mine ventilation plan.

Section 75.371(mm) requires the location of any diesel-discriminating sensor and additional carbon monoxide or smoke sensors installed in the belt air course to be included in the mine ventilation plan.

Sections 75.371(nn), 75.371(oo), and 75.371(pp) require modification of the mine ventilation plan to show the length of the time delay or any other method used for reducing the number of non-fire related alert and alarm signals from CO sensors, the lower alert and alarm setting for CO sensors, and the alternate instrument and the alert and alarm levels associated with the instrument, respectively.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the information collection related to the Safety Standards for Underground Coal Mine Ventilation—Belt Entry Used as an Intake Air Course to Ventilate Working Sections and Areas Where Mechanized Mining Equipment is Being Installed or Removed. MSHA is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the MSHA's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Suggest methods to 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.

OMB clearance requests are available on MSHA's Web site at under “Federal Register Documents” on the right side of the screen by selecting “New and Existing Information Collections and Supporting Statements”. The document will be available on MSHA's Web site for 60 days after the publication date of this notice, and on Comments submitted in writing or in electronic form will be made available for public inspection on Because comments will not be edited to remove any identifying information, MSHA cautions the commenter against including any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed.

The public also may examine publicly available documents at MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939.

Questions about the information collection requirements may be directed to the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice.

III. Current Actions

The information obtained from applicants will be used to determine compliance with safety and health standards.

MSHA has updated the number of respondents and responses, as well as the total burden hours and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

MSHA does not intend to publish the results from this information collection and is not seeking approval to 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 without change of a currently approved information collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Title: Safety Standards for Underground Coal Mine Ventilation—Belt Entry Used as an Intake Air Course to Ventilate Working Sections and Areas Where Mechanized Mining Equipment is Being Installed or Removed.

OMB Number: 1219-0138.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Total Number of Respondents: 21.

Frequency: Various.

Total Number of Responses: 251.

Total Burden Hours: 4,245 hours.

Total Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $343,624.

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: June 10, 2013.

George F. Triebsch,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-14106 Filed 6-13-13; 8:45 am]