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Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards

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Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.




Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below.


All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before October 12, 2016.


You may submit your comments, identified by “docket number” on the subject line, by any of the following methods:

1. Electronic Mail: Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message.

2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.

3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Start Printed Page 62766Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above.

MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments.

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Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.]

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I. Background

Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that:

1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or

2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.

In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

Docket Number: M-2016-026-C.

Petitioner: Mountain Coal Company, P.O. Box 591, 5174 Highway 133, Somerset, Colorado 81434.

Mine: West Elk Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05-03672, located in Gunnison County, Colorado.

Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1108(c) (Approved conveyor belts).

Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit continued use of an in-service underground conveyor belt approved under Part 18 for the E Seam development and longwall mining of panels 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 utilizing the stipulations specified in below.

In the alternative to compliance with 30 CFR 75.1108(c), the petitioner proposes the following:

(1) All underground conveyor belts used in B and F Seam will be approved under Part 14.

(2) A Part 14 approved underground conveyor belt will be utilized to replace any E seam underground conveyor belt that requires replacement due to damage.

(3) Spacing between existing carbon monoxide sensors in the E Seam belt entries will be reduced from 1,000 feet to 800 feet.

(4) E Seam belt entries will be traveled in their entirety by a trained person at least every four hours when the belt(s) are operating.

The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide a level of safety equal to that provided by the existing standard.

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Sheila McConnell,

Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.

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[FR Doc. 2016-21793 Filed 9-9-16; 8:45 am]