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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records

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Notice of availability; request for comments.


The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting this Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)-sponsored information collection request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). Public comments on the ICR are invited.


The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before July 23, 2020.


Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) if the information will be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) the accuracy of the agency's estimates of the burden and cost of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (4) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collection; and (5) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Anthony May by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at

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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 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 and metal and nonmetal mines. Under the authority of Section 103 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, MSHA is required to issue regulations requiring operators to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents which are required to be monitored or measured under any applicable mandatory health or safety standard promulgated under this Act.

Airborne radon and radon daughters exist in every uranium mine and in several other underground mining commodities. Radon is radioactive gas. It diffuses into the underground mine atmosphere through the rock and the ground water. Radon decays in a series of steps into other radioactive elements, which are solids, called radon daughters. Radon and radon daughters are invisible and odorless. Decay of radon and its daughters results in emissions of alpha energy. Medical doctors and scientists have associated high radon daughter exposures with lung cancer. The health hazard arises from breathing air contaminated with radon daughters which are in turn deposited in the lungs. The lung tissues are sensitive to alpha radioactivity. The amounts of airborne radon daughters to which most miners can be exposed with no adverse effects have been established and are expressed as working levels (WL).

The current MSHA standard is a maximum personal exposure of 4 working level months per year. Excess lung cancer in uranium miners, just as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, silicosis, and other debilitating occupational diseases, has been recognized for many years. Thus, an adequate base of accurate exposure level data is essential to control miners' exposures and permit an evaluation of the effectiveness of existing regulations. The standard at 30 CFR 57.5037 established the procedures to be used by the mine operator in sampling mine air for the presence and concentrations of radon daughters. Operators are required to conduct weekly sampling where concentrations of radon daughters exceed 0.3 WL. Sampling is required biweekly where uranium mines have readings of 0.1 WL to 0.3 WL and every 3 months in non-Start Printed Page 37693uranium underground mines where the readings are 0.1 WL to 0.3 WL. Mine operators are required to keep records of all mandatory samplings. Records must include the sample date, location, and results, and must be retained at the mine site or nearest mine office for at least 2 years. The standard at 30 CFR 57.5040 requires mine operators to calculate and record individual exposures to radon daughters on MSHA Form 4000-9 “Record of Individual Exposure to Radon Daughters.” The calculations are based on the results of the weekly sampling required by 30 CFR 57.5037. Records must be maintained by the operator and submitted to MSHA annually. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2020 (85 FR 13189).

This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless the OMB approves it and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid OMB Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6.

DOL seeks PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) years. OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal. The DOL notes that information collection requirements submitted to the OMB for existing ICRs receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review.

Agency: DOL-MSHA.

Title of Collection: Radiation Sampling and Exposure Records.

OMB Control Number: 1219-0003.

Affected Public: Private Sector: Businesses or other for-profits.

Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 4.

Total Estimated Number of Responses: 404.

Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 402 hours.

Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $20.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

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Dated: June 16, 2020.

Anthony May,

Acting Departmental Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2020-13410 Filed 6-22-20; 8:45 am]