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Proposed Information Collection; Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record (Pertains to Metal and Nonmetal Underground Mines)

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Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.


Request for public comments.


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 proposed information collection for updating Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record 30 CFR 57.8520, and 57.8525.


All comments must be postmarked or received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on October 21, 2013.


Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice 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-2013-0025].
  • Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor.
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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

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 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 the 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 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.

This information collection request is 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 information collection request will be available on MSHA's Web site for 60 days after the publication date of this notice, and on Because Start Printed Page 51750comments will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information, MSHA cautions the commenter against including any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed.

The public may also examine this information collection request at MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington VA 22209-3939 by signing in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor.

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

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, and 57.8525. MSHA has updated the data in respect to the number of respondents and responses, as well as the total burden hours and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Title: Ventilation Plan and Main Fan Maintenance Record.

OMB Number: 1219-0016.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Total Number of Respondents: 270.

Frequency: Various.

Total Number of Responses: 286.

Total Burden Hours: 6,617 hours.

Total Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost Burden: $0.

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: August 16th, 2013.

George F. Triebsch,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-20362 Filed 8-20-13; 8:45 am]