Skip to Content


Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document including its time on Public Inspection. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

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

Start Preamble


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. This program helps to ensure 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 Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines.


All comments must be received on or before August 31, 2018.


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-2018-0023.
  • 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.
Start Further Info


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

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information


I. Background

Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 813(h), authorizes MSHA to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners. Further, section 101(a) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 811, authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to develop, promulgate, and revise as may be appropriate, improved mandatory health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in coal or other mines.

Each underground coal mine has an emergency response plan (ERP) and refuge alternatives (RA) that protect miners when escape from a mine during a mine emergency is not possible by providing secure spaces with isolated atmospheres that create life-sustaining environments.

Title 30 CFR 75.1506 requires mine operators to provide refuge alternatives.

Section 75.1507 requires the development and implementation of emergency response plans. It requires that the ERP provide detailed information about the RAs used in the mine. This information assists miners, supervisors, emergency responders, and MSHA in assuring that all essential preparations are made and required materials are readily available and in working order. A mine operator may notify the District Manager and update the existing ERP if there is a need to locate an RA in a different location than the one identified in the ERP for that mine (as required by section 75.1506(c)(2)).

Section 75.1508 requires the mine operator to certify that persons assigned to examine, maintain, and repair RAs and components are trained for those tasks. Training certifications assist MSHA in determining that persons received the required training. The training certification for persons assigned to examine RAs is integrated into existing requirements for preshift examinations of the mine under section 75.360 (OMB 1219-0088). The training certification for persons assigned to maintain and repair RAs is included in this package under section 75.1508(a).

Section 75.1508(b) requires a record of any maintenance and repair performed on an RA. This record assists MSHA in identifying design flaws or other weaknesses in the refuge alternative or its components that could adversely impact the safety of miners.Start Printed Page 30984

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines. 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 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 CONTACT section of this notice.

III. Current Actions

This request for collection of information contains provisions for Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines. 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: 1219-0146.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 10.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 36.

Annual Burden Hours: 159 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $36.

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.

Start Signature

Sheila McConnell,

Certifying Officer.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2018-14091 Filed 6-29-18; 8:45 am]