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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection Requests

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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 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 on the proposed extension of the information collection requests (ICRs) contained in the documents described below. A copy of the ICRs may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

DATES:

All comments must be received on or before July 10, 2015.

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-2015-0006.
  • Regular Mail: Send comments to MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939.
  • Hand Delivery: MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, VA. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the information collection requests contained in this notice. 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 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 2350, Arlington, VA. Sign 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 section of this notice.

II. Current Actions

This request for collection of information contains provisions for the proposed extension of the information collection requests contained in this notice. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0040.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 13,683.

Frequency: On occasion.Start Printed Page 26954

Number of Responses: 104,919.

Annual Burden Hours: 9,539 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $576.

MSHA Forms: MSHA Form 7000-52, Contractor Identification (ID) Request.

Description. Independent contractors perform services or construction at a mine. They may be engaged in virtually every type of work performed at a mine, including activities such as clearing land, excavating ore, processing minerals, maintaining or repairing equipment, or constructing new buildings or new facilities, such as shafts, hoists, conveyors, or kilns. Independent contractors vary in size, the type of work performed, and the time spent working at mine sites. Some contractors work exclusively at mining operations, others may work a single contract at a mine and never return to MSHA jurisdiction. MSHA uses the contractor information in this information collection request during inspections to determine the responsibility for compliance with safety and health standards.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0073.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 1,631.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 711.

Annual Burden Hours: 13,872 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $17,573,769.

Description. The information collection addressed by this notice is intended to protect miners by assuring that up-to-date, accurate mine maps contain the information needed to clarify the best alternatives for action during an emergency operation. Coal mine operators routinely use maps to create safe and effective development plans.

Mine maps are schematic depictions of critical mine infrastructure, such as water, power, transportation, ventilation, and communication systems. Using accurate, up-to-date maps during a disaster, mine emergency personnel can locate refuges for miners and identify sites of explosion potential; they can know where stationary equipment was placed, where ground was secured, and where they can best begin a rescue operation. During a disaster, maps can be crucial to the safety of the emergency personnel who must enter a mine to begin a search for survivors.

Mine maps may describe the current status of an operating mine or provide crucial information about a long-closed mine that is being reopened.

Title 30 CFR 75.1200 requires each underground coal mine operator to have an accurate and up-to-date map of such mine drawn to scale and stored in a fireproof repository in an area on the surface of the mine chosen by the mine operator to minimize the danger of destruction by fire or other hazards. Sections 75.1200-1, 75.1201, 75.1202, 75.1202-1, and 75.1203 specify the information which must be shown on the map. The maps must be certified by a registered engineer or surveyor; kept continuously up-to-date by temporary notations and revised and supplemented to include the temporary notations at intervals not more than 6 months; and made available for inspection by a representative of the Secretary, State coal mine inspectors, miners and their representatives, operators of adjacent coal mines, and persons owning, leasing, or residing on surface areas of such mines or areas adjacent to such mines. These maps are essential to the planning and safe operation of the mine. In addition, these maps provide a graphic presentation of the locations of working sections and the locations of fixed surface and underground mine facilities and equipment, escapeway routes, coal haulage and man and materials haulage entries and other information essential to mine rescue or mine fire fighting activities in the event of mine fire, explosion or inundations of gas or water. The information is essential to the safe operation of adjacent mines and mines approaching the worked out areas of active or abandoned mines. Section 75.372 requires underground mine operators to submit three copies of an up-to-date mine map to the District Manager at intervals not exceeding 12 months during the operating life of the mine.

Title 30 CFR 75.1204 and 75.1204-1 require that whenever an underground coal mine operator permanently closes or abandons a coal mine, or temporarily closes a coal mine for a period of more than 90 days, the operator shall file with MSHA a copy of the mine map revised and supplemented to the date of closure. Maps are retained in a repository and are made available to mine operators of adjacent properties. The maps are necessary to provide an accurate record of underground areas that have been mined to help prevent active mine operators from mining into abandoned areas that may contain water or harmful gases.

Title 30 CFR 77.1200, 77.1201 and 77.1202 require surface coal mine operators to maintain an accurate and up-to-date map of the mine and specifies the information to be shown on the map, the acceptable range of map scales, that the map be certified by a registered engineer or surveyor, that the map be available for inspection by the Secretary or his authorized representative. These maps are essential for the safe operation of the mine and provide essential information to operators of adjacent surface and underground mines. Properly prepared and effectively utilized surface mine maps can prevent outbursts of water impounded in underground mine workings and/or inundations of underground mines by surface impounded water or water and or gases impounded in surface auger mining worked out areas.

Title 30 CFR 75.373 and 75.1721 require that after a mine is abandoned or declared inactive and before it is reopened, mine operations shall not begin until MSHA has been notified and has completed an inspection. Section 75.1721 specifies that once the mine operator notifies the MSHA District Manager on the intent to reopen a mine all preliminary plans must be submitted in writing prior to development of the coalbed unless or until all preliminary plans are approved.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0119.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 151.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 177,659.

Annual Burden Hours: 14,422 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $322,624.

Description. MSHA requires mine operators to provide important safety and health protections to underground coal miners who work on and around diesel-powered equipment. The engines powering diesel equipment are potential contributors to fires and explosion hazards in the confined environment of an underground coal mine where combustible coal dust and explosive methane gas are present. Diesel equipment operating in underground coal mines also can pose serious health risks to miners from exposure to diesel exhaust emissions, including diesel particulates, oxides of nitrogen, and carbon monoxide. Diesel exhaust is a lung carcinogen in animals.

Information collection requirements are found in: section 75.1901(a) Diesel fuel requirements; section 75.1911(j) Fire suppression systems for diesel-Start Printed Page 26955powered equipment and fuel transportation units; section 75.1912(i) Fire suppression systems for permanent underground diesel fuel storage facilities; sections 75.1914(f)(1), (f)(2), (g)(5), (h)(1), and (h)(2) Maintenance of diesel-powered equipment; sections 75.1915(b)(5), (c)(1), and (c)(2) Training and qualification of persons working on diesel-powered equipment.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0120.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 12,493.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 179,186.

Annual Burden Hours: 13,295 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $27,861.

Description. Noise is a harmful physical agent and one of the most pervasive health hazards in mining. Repeated exposure to high levels of sound over time causes occupational noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), a serious, often profound physical impairment in mining, with far-reaching psychological and social effects. NIHL can be distinguished from aging and other factors that can contribute to hearing loss and it can be prevented. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), NIHL is among the “top ten” leading occupational illnesses and injuries.

For many years, NIHL was regarded as an inevitable consequence of working in a mine. Mining, an intensely mechanized industry, relies on drills, crushers, compressors, conveyors, trucks, loaders, and other heavy-duty equipment for the excavation, haulage, and processing of material. This equipment creates high sound levels, exposing machine operators as well as miners working nearby. MSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the military, and other organizations around the world have established and enforced standards to reduce the loss of hearing. Quieter equipment, isolation of workers from noise sources, and limiting the time workers are exposed to noise are among the many well-accepted methods that will prevent the costly incidence of NIHL.

Records of miner exposures to noise are necessary so that mine operators and MSHA can evaluate the need for and effectiveness of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment to protect miners from harmful levels of noise that can result in hearing loss. However, the Agency believes that extensive records for this purpose are not needed. These requirements are a performance-oriented approach to monitoring. Records of miner hearing examinations enable mine operators and MSHA to ensure that the controls are effective in preventing NIHL for individual miners. Records of training are needed to confirm that miners receive the information they need to become active participants in hearing conservation efforts.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0131.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 11,657.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 1,157,241.

Annual Burden Hours: 155,240 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $356,004.

Description. Training informs miners of safety and health hazards inherent in the workplace and enables them to identify and avoid such hazards. Training becomes even more important in light of certain conditions that can exist when production demands increase, such as: an influx of new and less experienced miners and mine operators; longer work hours to meet production demands; and increased demand for contractors who may be less familiar with the dangers on mine property.

MSHA's health and safety training requirements ensure that all miners receive the required training, which would result in a decrease in accidents, injuries, and fatalities. The information obtained from mine operators is used by MSHA during inspections to determine compliance with the requirements concerning the training and retraining of miners engaged in shell dredging, or employed at sand, gravel, surface stone, surface clay, colloidal phosphate, and surface limestone mines.

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: May 5, 2015.

Sheila McConnell,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2015-11293 Filed 5-8-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-43-P