Program Policy Letter P06-V-9: Section 2 of MINER Act; Emergency Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air, 51638-51639 [06-7260]

Download as PDF 51638 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 30, 2006 / Notices strive to achieve some common purposes shared with government— reduction of welfare dependency, attainment of occupational skills, and entry and retention of all our citizens in good-paying jobs. Faith-based and community organizations benefit from having equal access to federal funds. DOL CFBCI intends to use this data to examine the impact that receiving and managing federal grants has on grassroots, faith-based and community organizations. II. Review Focus The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • 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 submissions of responses. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES III. Current Actions Type of Review: New collection of information. Agency: Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Title: Survey of PY 2002–2006 ETA Grassroots Grant Recipients OMB Number: 1290–0NEW. Affected Public: Non-profit. Frequency: Annually. Number of Respondents: 183. Number of Responses: 183. Average Time Per Response: 5 minutes. Estimated Burden Hours: 91.5. Total Annualized Capital/startup costs: $0. Total Initial Annual Costs: $0. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and included in the agency’s request for OMB approval of the information collection request. Comments will become a matter of public record. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:39 Aug 29, 2006 Jkt 208001 Dated: August 25, 2006. Jedd Medefind, Director, Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. [FR Doc. E6–14435 Filed 8–29–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–23–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Program Policy Letter P06–V–9: Section 2 of MINER Act; Emergency Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor. ACTION: Request for information. AGENCY: SUMMARY: On June 15, 2006, the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006 was enacted. In accordance with Section 2 of the MINER Act, each underground coal mine operator must submit an emergency response plan (ERP) to the appropriate MSHA District Manager. The ERP provides for the evacuation of all individuals endangered by an emergency and also for the maintenance of individuals trapped underground in the event that miners are unable to evacuate the mine. MSHA is soliciting comments that address the availability of readily accessible breathable air that would be sufficient to maintain miners trapped underground over a sustained period of time. MSHA will consider these comments in developing guidance to assist in assuring that the ERPs provide safe and reliable post-accident breathable air supplies for trapped miners. DATES: Comments must be received by MSHA on or before October 16, 2006. ADDRESSES: Comments must be clearly identified with ‘‘PPL P06–V–9— Emergency Response Plan, PostAccident Breathable Air’’ and may be sent to MSHA by any of the following methods: (1) Electronic mail: zzMSHAcomments@dol.gov. Include ‘‘PPL P06– V–9—Emergency Response Plan, PostAccident Breathable Air’’ in the subject line of the message. (2) Telefax: (202) 693–9441. Include ‘‘PPL P06–V–9—Emergency Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air’’ in the subject line. (3) Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia. (4) Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939. Stop by the 21st floor and sign in at the receptionist’s desk. Docket: Comments can be accessed electronically at www.msha.gov under the ‘‘Program Policy Letter (P06–V–9)’’ link on the MINER Act single source page. MSHA will post all comments on the Web site without change, including any personal information provided. Comments may also be reviewed at the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia W. Silvey, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, 1100 Wilson Blvd, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209– 3939, silvey.patricia@dol.gov (e-mail), (202) 693–9440 (voice), or (202) 693– 9441 (telefax). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MINER Act (Pub. L. 109–236) became effective on June 15, 2006. Section 2 of the MINER Act amends Section 316 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) to require that every underground coal mine operator have an emergency response plan which is to be approved by MSHA. The Act further requires MSHA, in determining whether to approve a particular plan, to consider comments from miners and miners’ representatives. The ERP must provide for the evacuation of miners endangered by an emergency and for the maintenance of miners trapped underground in the event that they are unable to evacuate the mine. The MINER Act requires that the ERP provide for ‘‘emergency supplies of breathable air for individuals trapped underground sufficient to maintain such individuals for a sustained period of time.’’ On June 27, 2006, MSHA solicited comments related to the implementation of emergency response plans for underground coal mines. Following review of these comments, MSHA issued Program Policy Letter (PPL) Number P06–V–8 on July 21, 2006, which established MSHA policy and guidance for mine operators to facilitate the development of their ERPs. In the PPL, MSHA stated that the ERP should address the amount of postaccident breathable air necessary to maintain individuals for a sustained period of time. The Agency suggested oxygen, compressed air, or other alternatives to meet the breathable air requirement. Further, MSHA stated that the Agency will need to review thoroughly and evaluate alternatives to ensure that all safety and health risks are taken into consideration. In the PPL, E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 168 / Wednesday, August 30, 2006 / Notices the Agency also noted that additional time and information is needed to make decisions on the type, amount, and location of post-accident breathable air to be furnished for trapped miners. On August 4, 2006, MSHA reissued the PPL (as PPL Number P06–V–9) to include an alternative to the distance table for self-contained self-rescuer (SCSR) storage locations to allow mine operators to use a functionality test to establish distances between SCSR storage locations. At this time, MSHA is soliciting information from the mining community on topics related to postaccident breathable air that would be sufficient to maintain miners trapped underground for a sustained period of time. The MINER Act requires that all approved plans: (1) Afford miners a level of safety protection at least consistent with the existing standards, including standards mandated by law and regulation; (2) Reflect the most recent credible scientific research; (3) Be technologically feasible, make use of current commercially available technology, and account for the specific physical characteristics of the mine; and (4) Reflect the improvements in mine safety gained from experience under this Act and other worker safety and health laws. In making decisions on requirements for post-accident breathable air provisions in the plan, MSHA will take these factors into consideration. Please consider these factors as you develop your responses. When answering the questions below, please key your response to the topic and number of the question, and explain the reasons supporting your views. Please provide relevant information on which you rely, including, but not limited to, past experience, as well as data, studies and articles, and standard professional practices. Include any data related to technological feasibility or other related issues. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Issues on Which Information is Requested MSHA requests information on the following issues related to the breathable air provision of the MINER Act: A. Emergency Supply of Breathable Air 1. What factors should MSHA consider in determining a ‘‘sustained period of time?’’ Should a specific time period be adopted? If so, what is the appropriate time period and why? The Agency has received suggestions ranging from one hour of post-accident VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:39 Aug 29, 2006 Jkt 208001 breathable air to a continuous supply. Please include the rationale for the recommended period of time. 2. Should factors such as mine size, mine design and layout, number of miners potentially affected, and distance from the portals to the working section be used, and if so, how, in determining the sufficient quantity of breathable air? What other factors should be considered and how should they be considered? 3. Where should the post-accident breathable air supply be located in relation to: working sections; outby work stations; and along travel routes? 4. The MINER Act requires that plans be periodically updated to reflect changes in operations in the mine. What specific changes in operations would result in a need to update the breathable air provision of the plan? B. Oxygen Sources 1. Please provide information and make recommendations on the best way to provide breathable air. Please elaborate on the arguments for and against using oxygen, compressed air, or chemically-induced oxygen to maintain trapped miners for a sustained period of time. What other available means of technology appropriate to maintain miners would you recommend, and why? 2. MSHA solicits information on how compressed air lines routed through mine openings could be protected against damage from explosion or fire. How could techniques such as burying or armoring air lines provide adequate protection? 3. MSHA solicits information on availability and possible obstacles in developing and deploying systems for providing oxygen. C. Emergency Shelters Section 13 of the MINER Act requires the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct research concerning various types of refuge alternatives, including commercially-available portable refuge chambers. In the interim, MSHA solicits comments on the use of emergency shelters which contain sufficient quantities of post-accident breathable air to maintain trapped miners. 1. Until specifications for refuge alternatives are developed, what type of emergency shelters (e.g., inflatable or other portable quick-deploy designs) should be provided, what safety features should they offer, where should they be located, and why? 2. How should the use of emergency shelters be tied to emergency supplies of breathable air? PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 51639 3. If post-accident breathable air is provided through emergency shelters, provide information on appropriate distances between installations and proximity to working sections. Please provide specific feasibility considerations, if any. 4. Under what circumstances, if any, could a barricade be used as an emergency shelter to provide postaccident breathable air? Dated: August 25, 2006. David G. Dye, Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 06–7260 Filed 8–29–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. ICR–1218–0184 (2006)] Standard on 4,4′-Methylenedianiline (MDA) in General Industry; Extension of the Office of Management and Budget’s Approval of Information Collection (Paperwork) Requirements Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor. ACTION: Request for public comment. AGENCY: SUMMARY: OSHA requests public comment concerning its proposed extension of the information collection requirements specified by the Standard on 4,4′-Methylenedianiline in General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1050). The standard protects employees from the adverse health effects that may result from occupational exposure to MDA, including cancer and liver disease. DATES: Comments must be submitted by the following dates: Hard copy: Your comments must be submitted (postmarked or received) by October 30, 2006. Facsimile and electronic transmission: Your comments must be received by October 30, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by OSHA Docket No. ICR– 1218–0184 (2006), by any of the following methods: I. Submission of Comments Regular mail, express delivery, hand delivery, and messenger service: Submit your comments and attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Room N–2625, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone (202) 693–2350 (OSHA’s TTY number is (877) 889– 5627). OSHA Docket Office and E:\FR\FM\30AUN1.SGM 30AUN1

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[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 168 (Wednesday, August 30, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51638-51639]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-7260]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Program Policy Letter P06-V-9: Section 2 of MINER Act; Emergency 
Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Request for information.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On June 15, 2006, the Mine Improvement and New Emergency 
Response (MINER) Act of 2006 was enacted. In accordance with Section 2 
of the MINER Act, each underground coal mine operator must submit an 
emergency response plan (ERP) to the appropriate MSHA District Manager. 
The ERP provides for the evacuation of all individuals endangered by an 
emergency and also for the maintenance of individuals trapped 
underground in the event that miners are unable to evacuate the mine. 
MSHA is soliciting comments that address the availability of readily 
accessible breathable air that would be sufficient to maintain miners 
trapped underground over a sustained period of time. MSHA will consider 
these comments in developing guidance to assist in assuring that the 
ERPs provide safe and reliable post-accident breathable air supplies 
for trapped miners.

DATES: Comments must be received by MSHA on or before October 16, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Comments must be clearly identified with ``PPL P06-V-9--
Emergency Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air'' and may be sent 
to MSHA by any of the following methods:
    (1) Electronic mail: zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov. Include ``PPL P06-V-
9--Emergency Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air'' in the 
subject line of the message.
    (2) Telefax: (202) 693-9441. Include ``PPL P06-V-9--Emergency 
Response Plan, Post-Accident Breathable Air'' in the subject line.
    (3) Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and 
Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia.
    (4) Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, 
Virginia 22209-3939. Stop by the 21st floor and sign in at the 
receptionist's desk.
    Docket: Comments can be accessed electronically at www.msha.gov 
under the ``Program Policy Letter (P06-V-9)'' link on the MINER Act 
single source page. MSHA will post all comments on the Web site without 
change, including any personal information provided. Comments may also 
be reviewed at the Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 
1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia W. Silvey, Acting Director, 
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, 1100 Wilson 
Blvd, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3939, 
silvey.patricia@dol.gov (e-mail), (202) 
693-9440 (voice), or (202) 693-9441 (telefax).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The MINER Act (Pub. L. 109-236) became 
effective on June 15, 2006. Section 2 of the MINER Act amends Section 
316 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) to 
require that every underground coal mine operator have an emergency 
response plan which is to be approved by MSHA. The Act further requires 
MSHA, in determining whether to approve a particular plan, to consider 
comments from miners and miners' representatives. The ERP must provide 
for the evacuation of miners endangered by an emergency and for the 
maintenance of miners trapped underground in the event that they are 
unable to evacuate the mine. The MINER Act requires that the ERP 
provide for ``emergency supplies of breathable air for individuals 
trapped underground sufficient to maintain such individuals for a 
sustained period of time.''
    On June 27, 2006, MSHA solicited comments related to the 
implementation of emergency response plans for underground coal mines. 
Following review of these comments, MSHA issued Program Policy Letter 
(PPL) Number P06-V-8 on July 21, 2006, which established MSHA policy 
and guidance for mine operators to facilitate the development of their 
ERPs.
    In the PPL, MSHA stated that the ERP should address the amount of 
post-accident breathable air necessary to maintain individuals for a 
sustained period of time. The Agency suggested oxygen, compressed air, 
or other alternatives to meet the breathable air requirement. Further, 
MSHA stated that the Agency will need to review thoroughly and evaluate 
alternatives to ensure that all safety and health risks are taken into 
consideration. In the PPL,

[[Page 51639]]

the Agency also noted that additional time and information is needed to 
make decisions on the type, amount, and location of post-accident 
breathable air to be furnished for trapped miners.
    On August 4, 2006, MSHA reissued the PPL (as PPL Number P06-V-9) to 
include an alternative to the distance table for self-contained self-
rescuer (SCSR) storage locations to allow mine operators to use a 
functionality test to establish distances between SCSR storage 
locations.
    At this time, MSHA is soliciting information from the mining 
community on topics related to post-accident breathable air that would 
be sufficient to maintain miners trapped underground for a sustained 
period of time.
    The MINER Act requires that all approved plans:
    (1) Afford miners a level of safety protection at least consistent 
with the existing standards, including standards mandated by law and 
regulation;
    (2) Reflect the most recent credible scientific research;
    (3) Be technologically feasible, make use of current commercially 
available technology, and account for the specific physical 
characteristics of the mine; and
    (4) Reflect the improvements in mine safety gained from experience 
under this Act and other worker safety and health laws.
    In making decisions on requirements for post-accident breathable 
air provisions in the plan, MSHA will take these factors into 
consideration. Please consider these factors as you develop your 
responses.
    When answering the questions below, please key your response to the 
topic and number of the question, and explain the reasons supporting 
your views. Please provide relevant information on which you rely, 
including, but not limited to, past experience, as well as data, 
studies and articles, and standard professional practices. Include any 
data related to technological feasibility or other related issues.

Issues on Which Information is Requested

    MSHA requests information on the following issues related to the 
breathable air provision of the MINER Act:

A. Emergency Supply of Breathable Air

    1. What factors should MSHA consider in determining a ``sustained 
period of time?'' Should a specific time period be adopted? If so, what 
is the appropriate time period and why? The Agency has received 
suggestions ranging from one hour of post-accident breathable air to a 
continuous supply. Please include the rationale for the recommended 
period of time.
    2. Should factors such as mine size, mine design and layout, number 
of miners potentially affected, and distance from the portals to the 
working section be used, and if so, how, in determining the sufficient 
quantity of breathable air? What other factors should be considered and 
how should they be considered?
    3. Where should the post-accident breathable air supply be located 
in relation to: working sections; outby work stations; and along travel 
routes?
    4. The MINER Act requires that plans be periodically updated to 
reflect changes in operations in the mine. What specific changes in 
operations would result in a need to update the breathable air 
provision of the plan?

B. Oxygen Sources

    1. Please provide information and make recommendations on the best 
way to provide breathable air. Please elaborate on the arguments for 
and against using oxygen, compressed air, or chemically-induced oxygen 
to maintain trapped miners for a sustained period of time. What other 
available means of technology appropriate to maintain miners would you 
recommend, and why?
    2. MSHA solicits information on how compressed air lines routed 
through mine openings could be protected against damage from explosion 
or fire. How could techniques such as burying or armoring air lines 
provide adequate protection?
    3. MSHA solicits information on availability and possible obstacles 
in developing and deploying systems for providing oxygen.

C. Emergency Shelters

    Section 13 of the MINER Act requires the National Institute for 
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to conduct research concerning 
various types of refuge alternatives, including commercially-available 
portable refuge chambers. In the interim, MSHA solicits comments on the 
use of emergency shelters which contain sufficient quantities of post-
accident breathable air to maintain trapped miners.
    1. Until specifications for refuge alternatives are developed, what 
type of emergency shelters (e.g., inflatable or other portable quick-
deploy designs) should be provided, what safety features should they 
offer, where should they be located, and why?
    2. How should the use of emergency shelters be tied to emergency 
supplies of breathable air?
    3. If post-accident breathable air is provided through emergency 
shelters, provide information on appropriate distances between 
installations and proximity to working sections. Please provide 
specific feasibility considerations, if any.
    4. Under what circumstances, if any, could a barricade be used as 
an emergency shelter to provide post-accident breathable air?

    Dated: August 25, 2006.
David G. Dye,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 06-7260 Filed 8-29-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P