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Notice

Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards

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AGENCY:

Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below.

DATES:

All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

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

1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov. 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, Regulations, 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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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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.

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.Start Printed Page 16068

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-2017-001-C.

Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550.

Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia.

Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment).

Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment inby the last open crosscut. The petitioner states that:

(1) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be used includes: Laptop computers; oscilloscopes; vibration analysis machines; cable fault detectors; point temperature and distance probes; infrared temperature devices; insulation testers (meggers); voltage, current, resistance meters and power testers; electronic tachometers; signal analyzer devices; and ultrasonic measuring devices. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager.

(2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, before use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The examinations results will be recorded weekly in the examination book and will be made available to MSHA and the miners at the mine.

(3) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment in or inby the last open crosscut.

(4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When a 1.0 percent or more methane concentration is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible equipment withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.

(5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320.

(6) Except for time necessary to troubleshoot under actual mining conditions, coal production in the section will cease. However, coal may remain in or on the equipment to test and diagnose the equipment under “load.”

(7) All electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

(8) Qualified personnel who use electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of the equipment.

The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard.

Docket Number: M-2017-002-C.

Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550.

Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia.

Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements).

Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment in return air outby the last open crosscut. The petitioner states that:

(1) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be used includes: Laptop computers; oscilloscopes; vibration analysis machines; cable fault detectors; point temperature and distance probes; infrared temperature devices; insulation testers (meggers); voltage, current, resistance meters and power testers; electronic tachometers; signal analyzer devices; and ultrasonic measuring devices. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager.

(2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in return air outby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, before use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations results will be recorded weekly in the examination book and will be made available to MSHA and the miners at the mine.

(3) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment in return air outby the last open crosscut.

(4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When a 1.0 percent or more methane concentration is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn from the return air outby the last open crosscut.

(5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320.

(6) All electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

(7) Qualified personnel who use electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of the equipment.

The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard.

Docket Number: M-2017-003-C.

Petitioner: Mettiki Coal WV, LLC, 293 Table Rock Road, Oakland, Maryland 21550.

Mine: Mountain View Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09028, located in Tucker County, West Virginia.

Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility).

Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. The petitioner states that:

(1) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment to be used includes: Laptop computers; oscilloscopes; vibration analysis machines; cable fault detectors; point temperature and distance probes; infrared temperature devices; insulation testers (meggers); voltage, current, resistance meters and power testers; electronic tachometers; signal analyzer devices; and ultrasonic measuring devices. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager.

(2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces Start Printed Page 16069will be examined by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, before use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations results will be recorded in the weekly examination book and will be made available to MSHA and the miners at the mine.

(3) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces.

(4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When a 1.0 percent or more methane concentration is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn to fresh air (intake air entry) more than 150 feet from pillar workings and longwall faces.

(5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320.

(6) Except for time necessary to troubleshoot under actual mining conditions, coal production in the section will cease. Accumulations of coal and combustible materials referenced in 30 CFR 75.400 will be removed before testing begins to provide additional safety to miners.

(7) All electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.

(8) Qualified personnel who use electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of the equipment.

The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard.

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Sheila McConnell,

Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.

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[FR Doc. 2017-06343 Filed 3-30-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4520-43-P