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Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Mine Mapping and Records of Opening, Closing, and Reopening of Mines

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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 request for comment 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 request 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 Mine Mapping and Records of Opening, Closing, and Reopening of Mines.


All comments must be received on or before September 20, 2021.


You may submit comment as follows. Please note that late, untimely filed comments will not be considered.

Electronic Submissions: Submit electronic comments in the following way:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA-2021-0021. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to will be posted to the docket, with no changes. Because your comment will be made public, you are responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as your or anyone else's Social Security number or confidential business information.
  • If your comment includes confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission.

Written/Paper Submissions: Submit written/paper submissions in the following way:

  • Mail/Hand Delivery: Mail or visit DOL-MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452.
  • MSHA will post your comment as well as any attachments, except for information submitted and marked as confidential, in the docket at
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Jessica Senk, 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 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.

The information collection addressed by this notice is intended to protect miners by ensuring that up-to-date, accurate mine maps contain the information needed to clarify the best alternatives for action during an emergency operation. Coal mine operators routinely use maps to create safe and effective development plans.

Mine maps are schematic depictions of critical mine infrastructure, such as water, power, transportation, ventilation, and communication systems. Using accurate, up-to-date maps during a disaster, mine emergency personnel can locate refuges for miners and identify sites of explosion potential. Emergency personnel use the maps to know where stationary equipment was placed, where ground was secured, and where they can best begin a rescue operation. During a disaster, maps can be crucial to the safety of the emergency personnel who must enter a mine to begin a search for survivors.

Mine maps may describe the current status of an operating mine or provide crucial information about a closed mine that is being reopened.

Title 30 CFR 75.1200 requires each underground coal mine operator to have an accurate and up-to-date map of such mine drawn to scale and stored in a fireproof repository in an area on the surface of the mine chosen by the mine operator to minimize the danger of destruction by fire or other hazards. Sections 75.1200-1, 75.1201, 75.1202, 75.1202-1, and 75.1203 specify the information which must be shown on the map. The maps must be certified by a registered engineer or surveyor and be kept up-to-date by temporary notations and revised and supplemented to include the temporary notations at intervals of not more than 6 months. Maps must be made available for inspection by a representative of the Secretary, State coal mine inspectors, miners and their representatives, operators of adjacent coal mines, and persons owning, leasing, or residing on surface areas of such mines or areas Start Printed Page 38505adjacent to such mines. Mine maps are essential to the planning and safe operation of the mine. In addition, these maps provide a graphic presentation of the locations of working sections and the locations of fixed surface and underground mine facilities and equipment, escapeway routes, coal haulage and man and materials haulage entries and other information essential to mine rescue or mine firefighting activities in the event of mine fires, explosions or inundations of gas or water. The information is essential to the safe operation of adjacent mines and mines approaching the worked out areas of active or abandoned mines. Section 75.372 requires underground mine operators to submit three copies of an up-to-date mine map to the District Manager at intervals not exceeding 12 months during the operating life of the mine.

Title 30 CFR 75.1204 and 75.1204-1 require that whenever an underground coal mine operator permanently closes or abandons a coal mine, or temporarily closes a coal mine for a period of more than 90 days, the operator must file with MSHA a copy of the mine map revised and supplemented to the date of closure. Maps are retained in a repository and are made available to mine operators of adjacent properties. The maps are necessary to provide an accurate record of underground areas that have been mined to help prevent active mine operators from mining into abandoned areas that may contain water or harmful gases.

Title 30 CFR 77.1200, 77.1201, and 77.1202 require surface coal mine operators to maintain an accurate and up-to-date map of the mine and specifies the information to be shown on the map, the acceptable range of map scales, that the map be certified by a registered engineer or surveyor, and that the map be available for inspection by the Secretary or his authorized representative. These maps are essential for the safe operation of the mine and provide essential information to operators of adjacent surface and underground mines. Properly prepared and effectively utilized surface mine maps can prevent outbursts of water impounded in underground mine workings and/or inundations of underground mines by surface impounded water or water and/or gases impounded in surface auger mining worked-out areas.

Title 30 CFR 75.373 and 75.1721 require that after a mine is abandoned or declared inactive and before it is reopened, mine operations must not begin until MSHA has been notified and has completed an inspection. Section 75.1721 specifies that once the mine operator notifies the MSHA District Manager of the intent to reopen a mine all preliminary plans must be submitted in writing and approved prior to development of the coalbed.

II. Desired Focus of Comments

MSHA is soliciting comments concerning the proposed information collection related to Mine Mapping and Records of Opening, Closing, and Reopening of 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.

Background documents related to this information collection request are available at and at DOL-MSHA located at 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202-5452. 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 information collection request concerns provisions for Mine Mapping and Records of Opening, Closing, and Reopening of Mines. MSHA has updated the data with respect to the number of respondents, responses, burden hours, and burden costs supporting this information collection request from the previous information collection request.

Type of Review: Extension, without change, of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Mine Safety and Health Administration.

OMB Number: 1219-0073.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 580.

Frequency: On occasion.

Number of Responses: 1,190.

Annual Burden Hours: 6,274 hours.

Annual Respondent or Recordkeeper Cost: $3,204,898.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the proposed information collection request; they will become a matter of public record and will be available at

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Jessica Senk,

Certifying Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2021-15458 Filed 7-20-21; 8:45 am]