Fire Extinguishers in Underground Coal Mines, 53124-53128 [E8-21448]

Download as PDF 53124 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 179 / Monday, September 15, 2008 / Rules and Regulations and test the apparatus at intervals not exceeding 30 days and shall certify by signature and date that the inspections and tests were done. (2) When the inspection indicates that a corrective action is necessary, the corrective action shall be made and the person shall record the corrective action taken. (3) The certification and the record of corrective action shall be maintained at the mine rescue station for a period of 1 year and made available on request to an authorized representative of the Secretary. [FR Doc. E8–21449 Filed 9–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR Part 75 RIN 1219–AB40 Fire Extinguishers in Underground Coal Mines Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is revising the existing standard for the quantity and location of firefighting equipment in underground coal mines to assure that it is readily available to quickly extinguish a fire. In lieu of the existing requirements for rock dust and other firefighting equipment, this final rule allows the use of portable fire extinguishers in working sections of underground anthracite coal mines that have no electrical equipment at the working section and produce less than 300 tons of coal per shift. The rule also requires an additional fire extinguisher in lieu of rock dust at temporary electrical installations in all underground coal mines. DATES: This rule is effective October 15, 2008. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES I. Introduction The existing safety standards are designed to assure that firefighting equipment is readily available to quickly extinguish a fire and prevent its spread. Because of the explosive nature of coal dust and the possible presence of methane gas, there is great potential for a fire to spread to other areas of the underground coal mine. Historical records demonstrate that the consequences of a fire in an VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:00 Sep 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 underground coal mine can be disastrous. II. Background The Bureau of Mines in the U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau) promulgated and enforced fire protection standards under the Federal Coal Mine Safety Act (30 U.S.C. 451– 483). These standards continued in effect under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (Coal Act) through a transfer provision in the law. On November 20, 1970 (35 FR 17890), the Bureau revised its standards addressing fire protection in underground coal mines. The revised standards continued in effect under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) through a transfer provision in the Mine Act when the enforcement of mine safety and health was moved from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Labor. The standard addressed in this rule has not changed since that time. MSHA published a proposed rule (72 FR 72301) on December 20, 2007, to allow the use of an additional fire extinguisher in lieu of rock dust in the working sections of underground anthracite mines. The proposal also would have required the use of an additional fire extinguisher in lieu of rock dust at temporary electrical installations in an underground coal mine. MSHA received no comments on the proposal and, therefore, is publishing the final rule without change. A. Petition for Modification of a Mandatory Safety Standard Section 101(c) of the Mine Act allows a mine operator or the representative of miners to petition MSHA for a modification of an existing safety standard. After investigating each petition, MSHA may grant a modification of a safety standard when MSHA determines that— • The alternative method for achieving the desired result will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as the existing standard, or • The application of the existing standard will result in a diminution of safety to miners at that mine. Underground anthracite coal mine operators have filed petitions for modification to use portable fire extinguishers in lieu of rock dust and other firefighting equipment in the working sections of mines that produce less than 300 tons of coal per shift and use no electrical equipment at the face. Also, many underground coal mine operators have filed petitions for PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 modification to use portable fire extinguishers in lieu of rock dust at temporary electrical installations. This final rule eliminates the need to file a petition to use only portable fire extinguishers at these locations. B. Rock Dust for Fire Protection Rock dust is an inorganic, noncombustible dust, such as crushed limestone, that the mine operator spreads on coal surfaces to reduce the chance of stirring up an explosive suspension of coal dust. The rock dust also can work as a fire suppressant by smothering the flame. It is widely used in coal mining to reduce the likelihood of coal dust explosions or flame propagation. A single bag of rock dust weighs about 40 pounds when dry. In damp environments, a bag of rock dust will absorb water, rendering it ineffective for fire prevention or suppression purposes. Damp rock dust becomes somewhat plastic in consistency and dries into a hard, bricklike mass. The presence of bags of rock dust can give a false sense of security for firefighting purposes because the rock dust can absorb water even through a sealed bag. The miner or mine operator can be unaware that the rock dust is useless as a fire suppressant until trying to use it. Bags of rock dust must be protected from moisture, checked frequently, and replaced if wet or hardened. This lifting and moving of heavy bags of rock dust increases the risk of injury to miners. C. Requirements for Portable Fire Extinguishers Existing § 75.1100–1(e) sets requirements for a portable fire extinguisher as follows: (e) Portable fire extinguisher: A portable fire extinguisher shall be either (1) a multipurpose dry chemical type containing a nominal weight of 5 pounds of dry powder and enough expellant to apply the powder or (2) a foam-producing type containing at least 21⁄2 gallons of foam-producing liquids and enough expellant to supply the foam. Only fire extinguishers approved by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., or Factory Mutual Research Corp., carrying appropriate labels as to type and purpose, shall be used. After March 30, 1971, all new portable fire extinguishers acquired for use in a coal mine shall have a 2A 10 BC or higher rating. III. Section-by-Section Analysis Existing § 75.1100–2 sets requirements for the quantity and location of firefighting equipment in underground coal mines. At working sections, paragraph (a) requires 240 pounds of rock dust (about six bags), two portable fire extinguishers, and a ready supply of water or dry chemical. E:\FR\FM\15SER1.SGM 15SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 179 / Monday, September 15, 2008 / Rules and Regulations At permanent electrical installations, paragraph (e)(1) requires two portable fire extinguishers or one having twice the minimum capacity specified for a portable fire extinguisher in existing § 75.1100–1(e). Rock dust is not required at permanent electrical installations. At temporary electrical installations, however, paragraph (e)(2) requires one portable fire extinguisher and 240 pounds of rock dust. A. § 75.1100–2(a): Working Sections Final paragraph § 75.1100–2(a)(3) allows underground anthracite coal mine operators the option to use portable fire extinguishers in lieu of required rock dust, water cars, and other firefighting equipment in working sections. Existing § 75.1100–2(a) includes different requirements for readily available firefighting equipment in working sections based on the mine’s production. Because anthracite coal mines typically produce only 10 to 20 tons of coal per shift, they are covered by existing § 75.1100–2(a)(2), which requires— (2) Each working section of coal mines producing less than 300 tons of coal per shift shall be provided with two portable fire extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust in bags or other suitable containers, and at least 500 gallons of water and at least 3 pails of 10 quart capacity. In lieu of the 500 gallon water supply a waterline with sufficient hose to reach the working places, a portable water car (500 gallons capacity) or a portable allpurpose dry powder chemical car of at least 125-pounds capacity may be provided. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES These options, however, do not address or accommodate the typical conditions in the working sections of underground anthracite coal mines. This final rule adds new paragraph § 75.1100–2(a)(3) to provide an option for underground anthracite coal mines that have no electrical equipment at the working section and makes non-substantive format changes to § 75.1100–2(a)(2). The final rule incorporates the alternative method from granted petitions for modification and further clarifies the mine operator’s responsibility regarding the size of fire extinguishers required. The final rule does not apply to underground anthracite coal mines that use electrical equipment at the working section. MSHA believes that the final rule provides needed flexibility and does not reduce protection for miners. 1. Final § 75.1100–2(a)(3) for Underground Anthracite Coal Mines Final paragraph § 75.1100–2(a)(3) allows underground anthracite operators the option to use portable fire VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:00 Sep 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 extinguishers. Almost all of these mines still use mining methods to address their unique geological characteristics that were developed over 150 years ago. Anthracite coal is a hard coal found in undulating, steeply pitched veins, and mined with slow, non-mechanized mining methods. In contrast, bituminous coal is softer and generally found in horizontal veins. Bituminous coal production uses highly mechanized methods and depends on electricity for face equipment. Anthracite mining uses methods and systems that rely on manual labor. Electricity that can cause or contribute to a fire hazard is usually non-existent near the face. Typically, anthracite coal mines operate face equipment using air driven motors for coal drills, air driven fans to supplement face ventilation, and air driven saws and hoists for the cutting and placement of timber. Mining conditions in underground anthracite coal mines are generally wet and removal of water from the face areas is a major problem. The steep grade permits natural water drainage in open, on-grade ditches from the face area to a slope sump where it is stored and eventually pumped to a suitable water treatment area. Waterlines are seldom installed to the face. Anthracite coal has a low volatile ratio and the dust does not propagate an explosion. Anthracite coal’s ignition temperature is high (925 to 970 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to bituminous coal’s ignition temperature (700 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit). Thus, anthracite coal dust is harder to ignite than bituminous coal dust and the risk of a fire is lower in anthracite coal mines than in bituminous coal mines. There has been only one reported fire underground in an anthracite coal mine since implementation of the Mine Act. This fire occurred at a mine that used electrical equipment at the face. In summary, except for one, underground anthracite coal mines are steeply sloped with little space underground for storage of firefighting equipment; use hand-operated or mechanical equipment, rather than electrical equipment (a potential ignition source), underground at the face where coal is mined; and are wet, causing rock dust to become hard and ineffective for firefighting. Anthracite coal mine dust has low volatility, is difficult to ignite, and does not propagate an explosion. 2. Discussion of Alternative for Underground Anthracite Coal Mines Because of the uniqueness of the mining methods and conditions in underground anthracite mines, PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53125 anthracite mine operators have petitioned MSHA to allow the use of only portable fire extinguishers to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water storage are not practical. The mine operators asserted that the alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the standard. From 1994 through 2007, MSHA granted 35 petitions for modification of existing § 75.1100–2(a)(2) for underground anthracite coal mines that have no electrical equipment at the working section. MSHA granted the petitions for modification with the following conditions. 1. Fire extinguisher(s) having at least four times the minimum capacity specified for a portable fire extinguisher in 30 CFR 75.1100– 1(e) shall be located no greater than 500 feet from the working face. 2. Fire extinguisher(s) having at least six times the minimum capacity specified for a portable fire extinguisher in 30 CFR 75.1100– 1(e) shall be located at the entrance to the gangway at the bottom of the slope. There were no significant adverse comments filed on these petitions. Based on MSHA’s experience and investigation of these petitions for modification, MSHA concluded that the use of fire extinguishers in the situations addressed is a safe alternative to existing requirements. The granted alternative method provides for a quick response to any fire on the section and does not reduce protection for miners. In addition, because there are a variety of fire extinguishers currently available, MSHA anticipates no problems in obtaining fire extinguishers. This final rule incorporates the language from these granted petitions for modification into final paragraph § 75.1100–2(a)(3). In the final rule, the Agency has clarified the mine operator’s responsibility regarding the size of fire extinguishers required. The final rule does not apply to the few underground anthracite coal mines that use electrical equipment at the working section. This final rule does not reduce protection for miners. B. Section 75.1100–2(e): Electrical Installations Final § 75.1100–2(e) is substantively unchanged from the existing standard and the proposal. Like the proposal, the final rule clarifies the regulatory language and specifies the size and rating of fire extinguishers. The required rating was inadvertently omitted from the proposal, which resulted in the inclusion of foam extinguishers. Consistent with the existing standard and the Agency’s intent, the final rule E:\FR\FM\15SER1.SGM 15SER1 53126 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 179 / Monday, September 15, 2008 / Rules and Regulations requires that at each electrical installation, the operator must provide two portable fire extinguishers that have a 2–A:10–B:C or higher rating and a nominal capacity of 5 pounds of dry chemical, or one having at least 10 pounds of dry chemical. This final rule revises existing § 75.1100–2(e) to eliminate the separate requirements for permanent and temporary electrical installations. It removes the requirement for rock dust at temporary underground electrical installations and requires two portable fire extinguishers, or one having twice the minimum capacity, at all electrical installations. MSHA believes that the final rule offers greater flexibility, provides no less protection to affected miners, and does not result in a diminution of safety to miners. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES 1. Characteristics of Underground Electrical Installations The difference between permanent and temporary underground electrical installations can be negligible in regard to their potential fire hazard. For example, MSHA generally considers electrical installations located outby the working section to be permanent and those on the working section to be temporary. However, MSHA considers a battery charging station to be temporary because it moves, even though it is outby the working section. If the electrical installation is in a fire resistant enclosure, then MSHA considers it to be permanent. If not, MSHA considers it temporary. MSHA considers a power center supplying the belt line to be permanent, but one supplying a portable compressor to be temporary. Typically, temporary electrical installations are unattended pumping stations located in remote areas of the mine, battery charging stations, power installation transformers, and section power centers for operating electrical face equipment. 2. Elimination of Separate Requirements for Permanent and Temporary Electrical Installations Underground coal mine operators petitioned MSHA for modification of § 75.1100–2(e)(2) to allow the use of only portable fire extinguishers at temporary electrical installations. The petitioners asserted that it is difficult to comply with the existing standard in wet and damp environments, such as pumping stations, because the rock dust becomes unusable for firefighting purposes. The petitioners asserted that the exclusive use of portable fire extinguishers as an alternative means of extinguishing fires is at least as effective as the existing standard. They also VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:00 Sep 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 asserted that portable fire extinguishers may be a safer fire suppressant because lifting the heavy bags of rock dust increases the risk of injury. From 1994 through 2007, MSHA granted about 42 petitions for modification of § 75.1100–2(e)(2). In granting these petitions, MSHA acknowledged the tendency of rock dust to harden over time and become bricklike when exposed to humidity, which greatly reduces the value of the rock dust as a firefighting tool. MSHA has no evidence of adverse outcomes associated with these granted petitions. Although MSHA did not receive any comments contesting the granted petitions, MSHA received a few comments on the petitions requesting that the Agency require a minimum of two fire extinguishers as an alternative method. Two fire extinguishers may be preferable in some situations to allow two miners to fight the fire simultaneously or to provide a backup should one of the portable fire extinguishers fail. IV. Executive Order 12866 Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 requires that regulatory agencies assess both the costs and benefits of a significant regulatory action. Under the Executive Order, a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ is one meeting any of the following: Having an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; creating a serious inconsistency or interfering with an action of another agency; materially altering the budgetary impact of entitlements or the rights of entitlement recipients; or raising novel legal or policy issues. MSHA has determined that this final rule will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the economy and, therefore, it is not an economically ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. MSHA, however, has concluded that the final rule is otherwise significant under E.O. 12866 because it raises novel legal or policy issues. A. Population-at-Risk Based on the most recent MSHA data, this final rule applies to 624 underground coal mine operators employing 42,207 miners (excluding office workers). This data includes 16 underground anthracite coal mines of which 15, employing a total of 72 miners, use no electric equipment at the face. B. Costs This final rule potentially affects all coal mines that have temporary electrical installations underground and about 15 active underground anthracite PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 coal mines. MSHA experience indicates that a 10- to 20-pound fire extinguisher is the industry standard. In addition, 14 of the 15 active underground anthracite coal mines with no electrical equipment at the face are operating under an alternative method that allows them to use portable fire extinguishers for firefighting. MSHA considers the maintenance of portable fire extinguishers to be a normal business practice for underground coal mines. MSHA assumes that all mine operators have fire extinguishers meeting the requirements of the final rule and has estimated no cost for the final rule. MSHA estimates that, under the final rule, several mines will not need to file a petition for modification, resulting in a reduction of paperwork and associated costs. However, the Agency estimates that any reductions would be negligible. C. Benefits The final rule allows the use of portable fire extinguishers in certain locations in the mine without the need for a mine operator to file a petition for modification. A significant benefit is that rock dust, which is ineffective when damp, can be replaced by a portable fire extinguisher, which is an effective and reliable fire suppressant. In addition, portable fire extinguishers are easier to transport. A mine operator will usually be able to replace a fire extinguisher more quickly than 240 pounds of rock dust. MSHA also anticipates a decreased risk of injury related to lifting and moving heavy bags of rock dust. Based on MSHA injury data between January 1999 and September 2005, 120 injuries or about 17 per year occurred that involved lifting, carrying, or moving rock dust or bags of rock dust. D. Feasibility MSHA has concluded that the requirements of the final rule are both technologically and economically feasible. This final rule is technologically feasible because it is not technology-forcing and does not involve activities on the frontiers of scientific knowledge. V. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980, as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the E:\FR\FM\15SER1.SGM 15SER1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 179 / Monday, September 15, 2008 / Rules and Regulations agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. MSHA analyzed the impact of this final rule. This analysis complies with the legal requirements of the RFA for an analysis of the impacts on ‘‘small entities.’’ MSHA certifies that the final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Factual Basis for Certification This final rule will provide at least the same level of protection for miners as the existing standard. It will result in a net cost savings and have no adverse economic impact on the underground coal mining industry. VI. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Due to this rulemaking, mine operators will no longer have to file a petition for modification of existing § 75.1100–2(a)(2) and (e)(2) to use only fire extinguishers for firefighting purposes. Existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) paperwork package 1219–0065 includes the annual paperwork burden related to the preparation and filing of petitions with MSHA, including petitions for modification to use fire extinguishers. This final rule will reduce the annual paperwork burden in OMB paperwork package 1219–0065 and MSHA estimates that this reduction will be negligible. VII. Other Regulatory Considerations jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES A. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and Executive Order 12875: Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership (58 FR 58093) This final rule does not include any Federal mandate that may result in increased expenditures by State, local, or tribal governments; does not increase private sector expenditures by more than $100 million annually; and does not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Accordingly, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) requires no further agency action or analysis. B. The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999: Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families This final rule does not have an affect on family well-being or stability, marital commitment, parental rights or authority, or income or poverty of families and children. Accordingly, section 654 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 (5 U.S.C. 601 note) requires no further agency action, analysis, or assessment. VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:00 Sep 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 C. Executive Order 12630: Government Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (53 FR 8859) This final rule does not implement a policy with ‘‘takings’’ implications. Accordingly, Executive Order 12630 requires no further agency action or analysis. D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform (61 FR 4729) This final rule was written to provide a clear legal standard for affected conduct and was carefully reviewed to eliminate drafting errors and ambiguities, so as to minimize litigation and undue burden on the federal court system. Accordingly, this final rule meets the applicable standards provided in section 3 of Executive Order 12988. E. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885) This final rule does not have an adverse impact on children. Accordingly, Executive Order 13045, as amended by Executive Orders 13229 and 13296, requires no further agency action or analysis. F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism (64 FR 43255) This final rule does not have ‘‘federalism implications’’ because it does not ‘‘have substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.’’ Accordingly, Executive Order 13132 requires no further agency action or analysis. G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (63 FR 27655) This final rule does not have ‘‘tribal implications’’ because it does not ‘‘have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the federal government and Indian tribes.’’ Accordingly, Executive Order 13175 requires no further agency action or analysis. H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355) This final rule is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ because it is not ‘‘likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 53127 energy (including a shortfall in supply, price increases, and increased use of foreign supplies).’’ Accordingly, Executive Order 13211 requires no further agency action or analysis. I. Executive Order 13272: Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking (67 FR 53461) MSHA has thoroughly reviewed this final rule to assess and take appropriate account of its potential impact on small businesses, small governmental jurisdictions, and small organizations. As discussed in section V of this preamble, MSHA has determined and certified that this final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Accordingly, Executive Order 13272 requires no further agency action or analysis. VIII. Petitions for Modification On the effective date of this final rule, all existing granted petitions for modification for the use of fire extinguishers in lieu of rock dust and other firefighting equipment on working sections in underground anthracite coal mines and at temporary electrical installations in underground coal mines under existing § 75.1100–2(a)(2) and (e)(2), respectively, will be revoked. Thereafter, mine operators will be required to comply with the provisions of the final rule. List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 75 Coal mines, Fire prevention, Mine safety and health, Safety, Underground mining. Dated: September 8, 2008. Richard E. Stickler, Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is amending 30 CFR part 75 as follows: ■ PART 75—MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS—UNDERGROUND COAL MINES 1. The authority citation for part 75 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811. 2. Amend § 75.1100–2 by revising paragraph (a)(2), adding paragraph (a)(3), and revising paragraph (e) to read as follows: ■ § 75.1100–2 Quantity and location of firefighting equipment. (a) * * * (2) Each working section of coal mines producing less than 300 tons of E:\FR\FM\15SER1.SGM 15SER1 53128 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 179 / Monday, September 15, 2008 / Rules and Regulations coal per shift shall be provided with the following: (i) Two portable fire extinguishers; and (ii) 240 pounds of rock dust in bags or other suitable containers; and (iii) At least 500 gallons of water and at least three pails of 10-quart capacity; or a waterline with sufficient hose to reach the working places; or a portable water car of at least 500-gallons capacity; or a portable, all-purpose, drypowder chemical car of at least 125pounds capacity. (3) As an alternative to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each working section with no electrical equipment at the face of an anthracite coal mine producing less than 300 tons of coal per shift shall be provided with the following: (i) Portable fire extinguishers containing a total capacity of at least 30 pounds of dry chemical or 15 gallons of foam and located at the entrance to the gangway at the bottom of the slope; and (ii) Portable fire extinguishers containing a total capacity of at least 20 pounds of dry chemical or 10 gallons of foam and located within 500 feet from the working face. * * * * * (e) Electrical installations. At each electrical installation, the operator shall provide two portable fire extinguishers that have a nominal capacity of 5 pounds of dry chemical, or one extinguisher that has a nominal capacity of at least 10 pounds of dry chemical, and which have a 2–A:10–B:C or higher rating. * * * * * [FR Doc. E8–21448 Filed 9–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P appeared in the Rules and Regulations section. [FR Doc. Z8–15489 Filed 9–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505–01–D DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 105 [Docket Nos. TSA–2006–24191; USCG– 2006–24196] Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Implementation in the Maritime Sector, Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver’s License Correction Document E8-10244 was inadvertently published in the Notices section of Wednesday, May 7, 2008, beginning on page 25757. It should have appeared in the Rules and Regulations section. [FR Doc. Z8–10244 Filed 9–12–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1505–01–D DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket No. USCG–2008–0837] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zone; Agat Bay and Outer Apra Harbor, GU Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 105 [Docket Nos. TSA–2006–24191; USCG– 2006–24196] jlentini on PROD1PC65 with RULES Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Implementation in the Maritime Sector, Hazardous Materials Endorsement for a Commercial Driver’s License Correction Document E8-15489 was inadvertently published in the Notices section of Wednesday, July 9, 2008, beginning on page 39323. It should have VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:00 Sep 12, 2008 Jkt 214001 SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone in the waters of Agat Bay and Outer Apra Harbor, Guam. The zone will encompass two distinct areas, each area bounded by a circle with a 300-meter radius on the surface and a 2750-meter radius underwater, centered at 13°23′00″ N and 144°35′00″ E (NAD 1983) and 13°27′42″ N and 144°38′30″ E (NAD 1983) respectively. This safety zone is necessary to protect mariners who would otherwise transit or be within the affected area from possible safety hazards associated with an underwater detonation operation. Entry of persons or vessels into this temporary safety zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 This rule is effective beginning September 15, 2008, through September 17, 2008, daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. ADDRESSES: Documents indicated in this preamble as being available in the docket are part of docket USCG–2008– 0837 and are available online at www.regulations.gov. They are also available for inspection or copying at two locations: The Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, and the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, Naval Base Guam, between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this temporary rule, contact Lieutenant Krissy Marlin, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam, at (671) 355–4835. If you have questions on viewing the docket, call Renne V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT’s ‘‘Privacy Act’’ paragraph below. DATES: Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2008–0837), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason for each comment. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, and e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. You may submit your comments and material by electronic means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit your comments by only one means. If you submit them by mail or delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or E:\FR\FM\15SER1.SGM 15SER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 179 (Monday, September 15, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53124-53128]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-21448]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Part 75

RIN 1219-AB40


Fire Extinguishers in Underground Coal Mines

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is revising 
the existing standard for the quantity and location of firefighting 
equipment in underground coal mines to assure that it is readily 
available to quickly extinguish a fire. In lieu of the existing 
requirements for rock dust and other firefighting equipment, this final 
rule allows the use of portable fire extinguishers in working sections 
of underground anthracite coal mines that have no electrical equipment 
at the working section and produce less than 300 tons of coal per 
shift. The rule also requires an additional fire extinguisher in lieu 
of rock dust at temporary electrical installations in all underground 
coal mines.

DATES: This rule is effective October 15, 2008.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The existing safety standards are designed to assure that 
firefighting equipment is readily available to quickly extinguish a 
fire and prevent its spread. Because of the explosive nature of coal 
dust and the possible presence of methane gas, there is great potential 
for a fire to spread to other areas of the underground coal mine. 
Historical records demonstrate that the consequences of a fire in an 
underground coal mine can be disastrous.

II. Background

    The Bureau of Mines in the U.S. Department of the Interior (Bureau) 
promulgated and enforced fire protection standards under the Federal 
Coal Mine Safety Act (30 U.S.C. 451-483). These standards continued in 
effect under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (Coal 
Act) through a transfer provision in the law. On November 20, 1970 (35 
FR 17890), the Bureau revised its standards addressing fire protection 
in underground coal mines. The revised standards continued in effect 
under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) through 
a transfer provision in the Mine Act when the enforcement of mine 
safety and health was moved from the Department of the Interior to the 
Department of Labor. The standard addressed in this rule has not 
changed since that time.
    MSHA published a proposed rule (72 FR 72301) on December 20, 2007, 
to allow the use of an additional fire extinguisher in lieu of rock 
dust in the working sections of underground anthracite mines. The 
proposal also would have required the use of an additional fire 
extinguisher in lieu of rock dust at temporary electrical installations 
in an underground coal mine. MSHA received no comments on the proposal 
and, therefore, is publishing the final rule without change.

A. Petition for Modification of a Mandatory Safety Standard

    Section 101(c) of the Mine Act allows a mine operator or the 
representative of miners to petition MSHA for a modification of an 
existing safety standard. After investigating each petition, MSHA may 
grant a modification of a safety standard when MSHA determines that--
     The alternative method for achieving the desired result 
will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
as the existing standard, or
     The application of the existing standard will result in a 
diminution of safety to miners at that mine.
    Underground anthracite coal mine operators have filed petitions for 
modification to use portable fire extinguishers in lieu of rock dust 
and other firefighting equipment in the working sections of mines that 
produce less than 300 tons of coal per shift and use no electrical 
equipment at the face. Also, many underground coal mine operators have 
filed petitions for modification to use portable fire extinguishers in 
lieu of rock dust at temporary electrical installations. This final 
rule eliminates the need to file a petition to use only portable fire 
extinguishers at these locations.

B. Rock Dust for Fire Protection

    Rock dust is an inorganic, non-combustible dust, such as crushed 
limestone, that the mine operator spreads on coal surfaces to reduce 
the chance of stirring up an explosive suspension of coal dust. The 
rock dust also can work as a fire suppressant by smothering the flame. 
It is widely used in coal mining to reduce the likelihood of coal dust 
explosions or flame propagation. A single bag of rock dust weighs about 
40 pounds when dry. In damp environments, a bag of rock dust will 
absorb water, rendering it ineffective for fire prevention or 
suppression purposes. Damp rock dust becomes somewhat plastic in 
consistency and dries into a hard, brick-like mass. The presence of 
bags of rock dust can give a false sense of security for firefighting 
purposes because the rock dust can absorb water even through a sealed 
bag. The miner or mine operator can be unaware that the rock dust is 
useless as a fire suppressant until trying to use it. Bags of rock dust 
must be protected from moisture, checked frequently, and replaced if 
wet or hardened. This lifting and moving of heavy bags of rock dust 
increases the risk of injury to miners.

C. Requirements for Portable Fire Extinguishers

    Existing Sec.  75.1100-1(e) sets requirements for a portable fire 
extinguisher as follows:

    (e) Portable fire extinguisher: A portable fire extinguisher 
shall be either (1) a multipurpose dry chemical type containing a 
nominal weight of 5 pounds of dry powder and enough expellant to 
apply the powder or (2) a foam-producing type containing at least 
2\1/2\ gallons of foam-producing liquids and enough expellant to 
supply the foam. Only fire extinguishers approved by the 
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., or Factory Mutual Research Corp., 
carrying appropriate labels as to type and purpose, shall be used. 
After March 30, 1971, all new portable fire extinguishers acquired 
for use in a coal mine shall have a 2A 10 BC or higher rating.

III. Section-by-Section Analysis

    Existing Sec.  75.1100-2 sets requirements for the quantity and 
location of firefighting equipment in underground coal mines. At 
working sections, paragraph (a) requires 240 pounds of rock dust (about 
six bags), two portable fire extinguishers, and a ready supply of water 
or dry chemical.

[[Page 53125]]

At permanent electrical installations, paragraph (e)(1) requires two 
portable fire extinguishers or one having twice the minimum capacity 
specified for a portable fire extinguisher in existing Sec.  75.1100-
1(e). Rock dust is not required at permanent electrical installations. 
At temporary electrical installations, however, paragraph (e)(2) 
requires one portable fire extinguisher and 240 pounds of rock dust.

A. Sec.  75.1100-2(a): Working Sections

    Final paragraph Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(3) allows underground anthracite 
coal mine operators the option to use portable fire extinguishers in 
lieu of required rock dust, water cars, and other firefighting 
equipment in working sections.
    Existing Sec.  75.1100-2(a) includes different requirements for 
readily available firefighting equipment in working sections based on 
the mine's production. Because anthracite coal mines typically produce 
only 10 to 20 tons of coal per shift, they are covered by existing 
Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(2), which requires--

    (2) Each working section of coal mines producing less than 300 
tons of coal per shift shall be provided with two portable fire 
extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust in bags or other suitable 
containers, and at least 500 gallons of water and at least 3 pails 
of 10 quart capacity. In lieu of the 500 gallon water supply a 
waterline with sufficient hose to reach the working places, a 
portable water car (500 gallons capacity) or a portable all-purpose 
dry powder chemical car of at least 125-pounds capacity may be 
provided.

These options, however, do not address or accommodate the typical 
conditions in the working sections of underground anthracite coal 
mines. This final rule adds new paragraph Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(3) to 
provide an option for underground anthracite coal mines that have no 
electrical equipment at the working section and makes non-substantive 
format changes to Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(2).
    The final rule incorporates the alternative method from granted 
petitions for modification and further clarifies the mine operator's 
responsibility regarding the size of fire extinguishers required. The 
final rule does not apply to underground anthracite coal mines that use 
electrical equipment at the working section. MSHA believes that the 
final rule provides needed flexibility and does not reduce protection 
for miners.
1. Final Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(3) for Underground Anthracite Coal Mines
    Final paragraph Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(3) allows underground anthracite 
operators the option to use portable fire extinguishers. Almost all of 
these mines still use mining methods to address their unique geological 
characteristics that were developed over 150 years ago. Anthracite coal 
is a hard coal found in undulating, steeply pitched veins, and mined 
with slow, non-mechanized mining methods. In contrast, bituminous coal 
is softer and generally found in horizontal veins. Bituminous coal 
production uses highly mechanized methods and depends on electricity 
for face equipment.
    Anthracite mining uses methods and systems that rely on manual 
labor. Electricity that can cause or contribute to a fire hazard is 
usually non-existent near the face. Typically, anthracite coal mines 
operate face equipment using air driven motors for coal drills, air 
driven fans to supplement face ventilation, and air driven saws and 
hoists for the cutting and placement of timber.
    Mining conditions in underground anthracite coal mines are 
generally wet and removal of water from the face areas is a major 
problem. The steep grade permits natural water drainage in open, on-
grade ditches from the face area to a slope sump where it is stored and 
eventually pumped to a suitable water treatment area. Waterlines are 
seldom installed to the face.
    Anthracite coal has a low volatile ratio and the dust does not 
propagate an explosion. Anthracite coal's ignition temperature is high 
(925 to 970 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to bituminous coal's ignition 
temperature (700 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit). Thus, anthracite coal dust 
is harder to ignite than bituminous coal dust and the risk of a fire is 
lower in anthracite coal mines than in bituminous coal mines. There has 
been only one reported fire underground in an anthracite coal mine 
since implementation of the Mine Act. This fire occurred at a mine that 
used electrical equipment at the face.
    In summary, except for one, underground anthracite coal mines are 
steeply sloped with little space underground for storage of 
firefighting equipment; use hand-operated or mechanical equipment, 
rather than electrical equipment (a potential ignition source), 
underground at the face where coal is mined; and are wet, causing rock 
dust to become hard and ineffective for firefighting. Anthracite coal 
mine dust has low volatility, is difficult to ignite, and does not 
propagate an explosion.
2. Discussion of Alternative for Underground Anthracite Coal Mines
    Because of the uniqueness of the mining methods and conditions in 
underground anthracite mines, anthracite mine operators have petitioned 
MSHA to allow the use of only portable fire extinguishers to replace 
existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water 
storage are not practical. The mine operators asserted that the 
alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same 
measure of protection as that afforded by the standard. From 1994 
through 2007, MSHA granted 35 petitions for modification of existing 
Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(2) for underground anthracite coal mines that have 
no electrical equipment at the working section. MSHA granted the 
petitions for modification with the following conditions.

    1. Fire extinguisher(s) having at least four times the minimum 
capacity specified for a portable fire extinguisher in 30 CFR 
75.1100-1(e) shall be located no greater than 500 feet from the 
working face.
    2. Fire extinguisher(s) having at least six times the minimum 
capacity specified for a portable fire extinguisher in 30 CFR 
75.1100-1(e) shall be located at the entrance to the gangway at the 
bottom of the slope.

    There were no significant adverse comments filed on these 
petitions. Based on MSHA's experience and investigation of these 
petitions for modification, MSHA concluded that the use of fire 
extinguishers in the situations addressed is a safe alternative to 
existing requirements. The granted alternative method provides for a 
quick response to any fire on the section and does not reduce 
protection for miners. In addition, because there are a variety of fire 
extinguishers currently available, MSHA anticipates no problems in 
obtaining fire extinguishers.
    This final rule incorporates the language from these granted 
petitions for modification into final paragraph Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(3). 
In the final rule, the Agency has clarified the mine operator's 
responsibility regarding the size of fire extinguishers required. The 
final rule does not apply to the few underground anthracite coal mines 
that use electrical equipment at the working section. This final rule 
does not reduce protection for miners.

B. Section 75.1100-2(e): Electrical Installations

    Final Sec.  75.1100-2(e) is substantively unchanged from the 
existing standard and the proposal. Like the proposal, the final rule 
clarifies the regulatory language and specifies the size and rating of 
fire extinguishers. The required rating was inadvertently omitted from 
the proposal, which resulted in the inclusion of foam extinguishers. 
Consistent with the existing standard and the Agency's intent, the 
final rule

[[Page 53126]]

requires that at each electrical installation, the operator must 
provide two portable fire extinguishers that have a 2-A:10-B:C or 
higher rating and a nominal capacity of 5 pounds of dry chemical, or 
one having at least 10 pounds of dry chemical.
    This final rule revises existing Sec.  75.1100-2(e) to eliminate 
the separate requirements for permanent and temporary electrical 
installations. It removes the requirement for rock dust at temporary 
underground electrical installations and requires two portable fire 
extinguishers, or one having twice the minimum capacity, at all 
electrical installations. MSHA believes that the final rule offers 
greater flexibility, provides no less protection to affected miners, 
and does not result in a diminution of safety to miners.
1. Characteristics of Underground Electrical Installations
    The difference between permanent and temporary underground 
electrical installations can be negligible in regard to their potential 
fire hazard. For example, MSHA generally considers electrical 
installations located outby the working section to be permanent and 
those on the working section to be temporary. However, MSHA considers a 
battery charging station to be temporary because it moves, even though 
it is outby the working section. If the electrical installation is in a 
fire resistant enclosure, then MSHA considers it to be permanent. If 
not, MSHA considers it temporary. MSHA considers a power center 
supplying the belt line to be permanent, but one supplying a portable 
compressor to be temporary. Typically, temporary electrical 
installations are unattended pumping stations located in remote areas 
of the mine, battery charging stations, power installation 
transformers, and section power centers for operating electrical face 
equipment.
2. Elimination of Separate Requirements for Permanent and Temporary 
Electrical Installations
    Underground coal mine operators petitioned MSHA for modification of 
Sec.  75.1100-2(e)(2) to allow the use of only portable fire 
extinguishers at temporary electrical installations. The petitioners 
asserted that it is difficult to comply with the existing standard in 
wet and damp environments, such as pumping stations, because the rock 
dust becomes unusable for firefighting purposes. The petitioners 
asserted that the exclusive use of portable fire extinguishers as an 
alternative means of extinguishing fires is at least as effective as 
the existing standard. They also asserted that portable fire 
extinguishers may be a safer fire suppressant because lifting the heavy 
bags of rock dust increases the risk of injury.
    From 1994 through 2007, MSHA granted about 42 petitions for 
modification of Sec.  75.1100-2(e)(2). In granting these petitions, 
MSHA acknowledged the tendency of rock dust to harden over time and 
become brick-like when exposed to humidity, which greatly reduces the 
value of the rock dust as a firefighting tool. MSHA has no evidence of 
adverse outcomes associated with these granted petitions. Although MSHA 
did not receive any comments contesting the granted petitions, MSHA 
received a few comments on the petitions requesting that the Agency 
require a minimum of two fire extinguishers as an alternative method. 
Two fire extinguishers may be preferable in some situations to allow 
two miners to fight the fire simultaneously or to provide a backup 
should one of the portable fire extinguishers fail.

IV. Executive Order 12866

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 requires that regulatory agencies 
assess both the costs and benefits of a significant regulatory action. 
Under the Executive Order, a ``significant regulatory action'' is one 
meeting any of the following: Having an annual effect on the economy of 
$100 million or more; creating a serious inconsistency or interfering 
with an action of another agency; materially altering the budgetary 
impact of entitlements or the rights of entitlement recipients; or 
raising novel legal or policy issues. MSHA has determined that this 
final rule will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more on 
the economy and, therefore, it is not an economically ``significant 
regulatory action'' under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. MSHA, however, 
has concluded that the final rule is otherwise significant under E.O. 
12866 because it raises novel legal or policy issues.

A. Population-at-Risk

    Based on the most recent MSHA data, this final rule applies to 624 
underground coal mine operators employing 42,207 miners (excluding 
office workers). This data includes 16 underground anthracite coal 
mines of which 15, employing a total of 72 miners, use no electric 
equipment at the face.

B. Costs

    This final rule potentially affects all coal mines that have 
temporary electrical installations underground and about 15 active 
underground anthracite coal mines. MSHA experience indicates that a 10- 
to 20-pound fire extinguisher is the industry standard. In addition, 14 
of the 15 active underground anthracite coal mines with no electrical 
equipment at the face are operating under an alternative method that 
allows them to use portable fire extinguishers for firefighting. MSHA 
considers the maintenance of portable fire extinguishers to be a normal 
business practice for underground coal mines.
    MSHA assumes that all mine operators have fire extinguishers 
meeting the requirements of the final rule and has estimated no cost 
for the final rule. MSHA estimates that, under the final rule, several 
mines will not need to file a petition for modification, resulting in a 
reduction of paperwork and associated costs. However, the Agency 
estimates that any reductions would be negligible.

C. Benefits

    The final rule allows the use of portable fire extinguishers in 
certain locations in the mine without the need for a mine operator to 
file a petition for modification. A significant benefit is that rock 
dust, which is ineffective when damp, can be replaced by a portable 
fire extinguisher, which is an effective and reliable fire suppressant. 
In addition, portable fire extinguishers are easier to transport. A 
mine operator will usually be able to replace a fire extinguisher more 
quickly than 240 pounds of rock dust. MSHA also anticipates a decreased 
risk of injury related to lifting and moving heavy bags of rock dust. 
Based on MSHA injury data between January 1999 and September 2005, 120 
injuries or about 17 per year occurred that involved lifting, carrying, 
or moving rock dust or bags of rock dust.

D. Feasibility

    MSHA has concluded that the requirements of the final rule are both 
technologically and economically feasible. This final rule is 
technologically feasible because it is not technology-forcing and does 
not involve activities on the frontiers of scientific knowledge.

V. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) and the Small Business 
Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA)

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980, as amended by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 
generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking 
requirements unless the

[[Page 53127]]

agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. MSHA analyzed the impact of this 
final rule. This analysis complies with the legal requirements of the 
RFA for an analysis of the impacts on ``small entities.'' MSHA 
certifies that the final rule does not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Factual Basis for Certification

    This final rule will provide at least the same level of protection 
for miners as the existing standard. It will result in a net cost 
savings and have no adverse economic impact on the underground coal 
mining industry.

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Due to this rulemaking, mine operators will no longer have to file 
a petition for modification of existing Sec.  75.1100-2(a)(2) and 
(e)(2) to use only fire extinguishers for firefighting purposes. 
Existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) paperwork package 1219-
0065 includes the annual paperwork burden related to the preparation 
and filing of petitions with MSHA, including petitions for modification 
to use fire extinguishers. This final rule will reduce the annual 
paperwork burden in OMB paperwork package 1219-0065 and MSHA estimates 
that this reduction will be negligible.

VII. Other Regulatory Considerations

A. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and Executive Order 12875: 
Enhancing the Intergovernmental Partnership (58 FR 58093)

    This final rule does not include any Federal mandate that may 
result in increased expenditures by State, local, or tribal 
governments; does not increase private sector expenditures by more than 
$100 million annually; and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. Accordingly, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 
U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) requires no further agency action or analysis.

B. The Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999: 
Assessment of Federal Regulations and Policies on Families

    This final rule does not have an affect on family well-being or 
stability, marital commitment, parental rights or authority, or income 
or poverty of families and children. Accordingly, section 654 of the 
Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 1999 (5 U.S.C. 
601 note) requires no further agency action, analysis, or assessment.

C. Executive Order 12630: Government Actions and Interference with 
Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (53 FR 8859)

    This final rule does not implement a policy with ``takings'' 
implications. Accordingly, Executive Order 12630 requires no further 
agency action or analysis.

D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice Reform (61 FR 4729)

    This final rule was written to provide a clear legal standard for 
affected conduct and was carefully reviewed to eliminate drafting 
errors and ambiguities, so as to minimize litigation and undue burden 
on the federal court system. Accordingly, this final rule meets the 
applicable standards provided in section 3 of Executive Order 12988.

E. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks (62 FR 19885)

    This final rule does not have an adverse impact on children. 
Accordingly, Executive Order 13045, as amended by Executive Orders 
13229 and 13296, requires no further agency action or analysis.

F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism (64 FR 43255)

    This final rule does not have ``federalism implications'' because 
it does not ``have substantial direct effects on the states, on the 
relationship between the national government and the states, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government.'' Accordingly, Executive Order 13132 requires no further 
agency action or analysis.

G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments (63 FR 27655)

    This final rule does not have ``tribal implications'' because it 
does not ``have substantial direct effects on one or more Indian 
tribes, on the relationship between the federal government and Indian 
tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between 
the federal government and Indian tribes.'' Accordingly, Executive 
Order 13175 requires no further agency action or analysis.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use (66 FR 28355)

    This final rule is not a ``significant energy action'' because it 
is not ``likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy (including a shortfall in supply, price 
increases, and increased use of foreign supplies).'' Accordingly, 
Executive Order 13211 requires no further agency action or analysis.

I. Executive Order 13272: Proper Consideration of Small Entities in 
Agency Rulemaking (67 FR 53461)

    MSHA has thoroughly reviewed this final rule to assess and take 
appropriate account of its potential impact on small businesses, small 
governmental jurisdictions, and small organizations. As discussed in 
section V of this preamble, MSHA has determined and certified that this 
final rule does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Accordingly, Executive Order 13272 requires 
no further agency action or analysis.

VIII. Petitions for Modification

    On the effective date of this final rule, all existing granted 
petitions for modification for the use of fire extinguishers in lieu of 
rock dust and other firefighting equipment on working sections in 
underground anthracite coal mines and at temporary electrical 
installations in underground coal mines under existing Sec.  75.1100-
2(a)(2) and (e)(2), respectively, will be revoked. Thereafter, mine 
operators will be required to comply with the provisions of the final 
rule.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 75

    Coal mines, Fire prevention, Mine safety and health, Safety, 
Underground mining.

    Dated: September 8, 2008.
Richard E. Stickler,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.

0
For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Mine Safety and Health 
Administration is amending 30 CFR part 75 as follows:

PART 75--MANDATORY SAFETY STANDARDS--UNDERGROUND COAL MINES

0
1. The authority citation for part 75 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811.


0
2. Amend Sec.  75.1100-2 by revising paragraph (a)(2), adding paragraph 
(a)(3), and revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:


Sec.  75.1100-2  Quantity and location of firefighting equipment.

    (a) * * *
    (2) Each working section of coal mines producing less than 300 tons 
of

[[Page 53128]]

coal per shift shall be provided with the following:
    (i) Two portable fire extinguishers; and
    (ii) 240 pounds of rock dust in bags or other suitable containers; 
and
    (iii) At least 500 gallons of water and at least three pails of 10-
quart capacity; or a waterline with sufficient hose to reach the 
working places; or a portable water car of at least 500-gallons 
capacity; or a portable, all-purpose, dry-powder chemical car of at 
least 125-pounds capacity.
    (3) As an alternative to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each 
working section with no electrical equipment at the face of an 
anthracite coal mine producing less than 300 tons of coal per shift 
shall be provided with the following:
    (i) Portable fire extinguishers containing a total capacity of at 
least 30 pounds of dry chemical or 15 gallons of foam and located at 
the entrance to the gangway at the bottom of the slope; and
    (ii) Portable fire extinguishers containing a total capacity of at 
least 20 pounds of dry chemical or 10 gallons of foam and located 
within 500 feet from the working face.
* * * * *
    (e) Electrical installations. At each electrical installation, the 
operator shall provide two portable fire extinguishers that have a 
nominal capacity of 5 pounds of dry chemical, or one extinguisher that 
has a nominal capacity of at least 10 pounds of dry chemical, and which 
have a 2-A:10-B:C or higher rating.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. E8-21448 Filed 9-12-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P