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Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards

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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 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 information collection for Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards.


All comments must be received on or before September 15, 2015.


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-2015-0016.
  • Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.
  • Hand Delivery: USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.
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Sheila McConnell, Acting 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 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. Section 811(c), provides that a mine operator or a representative of miners may petition the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to modify the application of a mandatory safety standard. A petition for modification may be granted if the Secretary determines (1) that an alternative method of achieving the results of the standard exists and that it will guarantee, at all times, no less than the same measure of protection for the miners affected as that afforded by the standard, or (2) that the application of Start Printed Page 42550the standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners affected.

Under 30 CFR 44.9, mine operators must post a copy of each petition for modification concerning the mine on the mine's bulletin board and maintain the posting until a ruling on the petition becomes final. This applies only to mines for which there is no representative of miners.

Under 30 CFR 44.10, detailed guidance for filing a petition for modification is provided for the operator of the affected mine or any representative of the miners at that mine. The petition must be in writing, filed with the Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, and a copy of the petition served by the filing party (the mine operator or representative of miners) on the other party.

Under 30 CFR 44.11(a), the petition for modification must contain the petitioner's name and address; the mailing address and mine identification number of the mine or mines affected; the mandatory safety standard to which the petition is directed; a concise statement of the modification requested and whether the petitioner (1) proposes to establish an alternate method in lieu of the mandatory safety standard, or (2) alleges that application of the standard will result in diminution of safety to the miners affected, or (3) requests relief based on both grounds; a detailed statement of the facts that show the grounds upon which a modification is claimed or warranted; and, if the petitioner is a mine operator, the identity of any representative of miners at the affected mine.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards. 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.

The information collection request will be available on 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 and

The public may also examine publicly available documents at USDOL-Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator.

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 Petitions for Modification of Mandatory Safety Standards. 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: 1219-0065.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 68.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 68.

Annual Burden Hours: 2,720 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $24,916.

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: July 13, 2015.

Sheila McConnell,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2015-17541 Filed 7-16-15; 8:45 am]