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Notice

Proposed 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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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION:

Request for public comments.

SUMMARY:

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 Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records.

DATES:

All comments must be postmarked or received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on February 25, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below.

  • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number [MSHA-2013-0003].
  • Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Start Printed Page 79010Regulations, 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sheila McConnell, Deputy Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at McConnell.Sheila.A@dol.gov (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-9441 (facsimile).

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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 in several other underground 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.

The amounts of airborne radon daughters to which most miners can be exposed with no adverse effects have been established and are expressed as working levels (WL). The current MSHA standard is a maximum personal exposure of 4 working level months (WLM) per year.

Excess lung cancer in uranium miners, just as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and other debilitating occupational diseases, has been recognized for many years. Thus, an adequate base of accurate exposure level data is essential to control miners' exposures and permit an evaluation of the effectiveness of existing regulations.

The standard at 30 CFR 57.5037 established 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 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 keep records of all mandatory samplings. Records must include the sample date, location, and results, and must be retained at the mine site or nearest mine office for at least 2 years.

The standard at 30 CFR 57.5040 requires mine operators to calculate and record 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. Records must be maintained by the operator and submitted to MSHA annually.

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 http://www.msha.gov/​regs/​fedreg/​informationcollection/​informationcollection.asp. The information collection request will be available on MSHA's Web site and on http://www.regulations.gov. MSHA cautions the commenter against providing any information in the submission that should not be publicly disclosed. Full comments, including personal information provided, will be made available on www.regulations.gov and www.reginfo.gov.

The public may also examine publicly available documents at MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2176, Arlington, VA.

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

III. Current Actions

This request for collection of information contains provisions for the Proposed Information Collection Request, Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records. 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: Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records (pertains to underground metal and nonmetal mines).

OMB Number: 1219-0003.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Form: MSHA Form 4000-9.

Total Number of Respondents: 5.

Frequency: Various.

Total Number of Responses: 505.

Total Burden Hours: 502 hours.

Total Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost Burden: $25.

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 20, 2013.

George F. Triebsch,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2013-30922 Filed 12-26-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-43-P