Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 37831-37835 [2011-16083]

Download as PDF 37831 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 28, 2011 / Notices Date Institution .................................................................................................................................................. Report to the Commission:: Draft to Supervisory Investigator ...................................................................................................... Draft to Senior Review ...................................................................................................................... To the Commission ........................................................................................................................... Comments of Parties due 1 ...................................................................................................................... Legal issues memorandum to the Commission ....................................................................................... Briefing and vote (suggested date) .......................................................................................................... Determination and views to Commerce ................................................................................................... 1 If July 13. July 20. July 28. August 2. August 9. August 30. September 13. comments contain business proprietary information, a nonbusiness proprietary version is due the following business day. [FR Doc. 2011–16110 Filed 6–27–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020–02–P FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION [F.C.S.C. Meeting Notice No. 4–11] Sunshine Act Meeting The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, pursuant to its regulations (45 CFR part 503) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b), hereby gives notice in regard to the scheduling of meetings for the transaction of Commission business and other matters specified, as follows: DATE AND TIME: Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at 11 a.m. SUBJECT MATTER: Issuance of Proposed Decisions in claims against Albania and Libya. STATUS: Open. All meetings are held at the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street, NW., Washington, DC. Requests for information, or advance notices of intention to observe an open meeting, may be directed to: Judith H. Lock, Executive Officer, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street, NW.; Suite 6002, Washington, DC 20579. Telephone: (202) 616–6975. Judith H. Lock, Executive Officer. [FR Doc. 2011–16322 Filed 6–24–11; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4410–BA–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES March 1, 2011. Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:46 Jun 27, 2011 Jkt 223001 30 CFR part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the application of existing mandatory safety standards codified in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before July 28, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: 1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHAcomments@dol.gov. Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message. 2. Facsimile: 202–693–9441. 3. Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939, Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. 4. Hand-Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209– 3939, Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. Individuals who submit comments by hand-delivery are required to check in at the receptionist desk on the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances at 202–693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (E-mail), or 202–693–9441 (Telefax). [These are not toll-free numbers]. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary determines that: (1) An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or (2) that the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2011–004–M. Petitioner: Troy Mine, Inc., P.O. Box 1660, Highway 56 South Mine Road, Troy, Montana 59935. Mine: Troy Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 24–01467, located in Lincoln County, Montana. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to not use compressed air lines as the means of providing air for the underground refuge chamber, and not to use waterlines as the means of providing water for the underground refuge chamber. The petitioner states that: (1) The Troy Mine is an underground room and pillar mine with five stratabound copper/silver ore horizons dipping at approximately four (4) degrees (7% grade) and is accessed through adits from the surface. (2) The refuge chamber is designed to sustain 12 miners for 36 hours during a mine emergency. The refuge chamber is presently located in the ‘‘C’’ Bed 59 I crosscut. The unit is portable and future E:\FR\FM\28JNN1.SGM 28JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 37832 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 28, 2011 / Notices plans are to relocate the chamber. The refuge chamber has a battery back-up system in the event of a power failure in the mine. The refuge chamber will be inspected monthly and documented by the Safety Department. A flashing light was installed and is activated when the outer air lock door is initially opened ensuring that the refuge chamber has not been tampered with. All miners affected have received training in the operation of the refuge chamber and will receive refresher training annually and/or when the refuge chamber has been relocated. (3) Compressed air is not in use underground with the exception of a Speed Air 49 CFM air compressor at the underground Shop Pad and integral air compressors on mobile equipment. A Cambel Hausfield-1 CFM pancake air compressor was installed on the refuge chamber. The air compressors are vulnerable to power failure and damage. (4) Two ‘‘T’’ size compressed medical grade oxygen cylinders are provided with the carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber system. In addition, four ‘‘T’’ size compressed breathing quality air cylinders are available in the air-locked area. The compressed medical oxygen and compressed air cylinders are secured within the refuge chamber and would not be vulnerable to damage or power failure. The medical grade oxygen cylinders and CO2 scrubber system will at all times guarantee the miners affected no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard. (5) For waterlines, two groundwater wells feed a water tank at an elevation of 3,830 feet located on the surface. Chlorination of the mine site potable water is not necessary due to the purity of the groundwater. The surface buildings of the mine site are supplied with potable water from the gravity feed water tank. Due to the positive elevation difference between the water tank and the top of the service adit, a water line would not lend itself to gravity feed. The shortage haulage route from the water tank located on the surface to the refuge chamber presently located in the ‘‘C’’ Bed 59 I crosscut is 11,495 feet. Waterlines provided to the refuge chamber from the surface are vulnerable to damage. There can be no guarantee of bacteria-free potable water in the 11,495 foot long waterline, posing a credible threat of disease to miners. (6) Abundant quantities of individually portioned 16.9 fluid ounce bottled water have been provided in the refuge chamber for the miner’s use in an emergency. According to MSHA’s underground coal mine standards, a minimum 2.25 quarts (72 fluid ounces) of water is required per miner per day. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:46 Jun 27, 2011 Jkt 223001 This is equivalent to 1,296 fluid ounces for 12 miners for 36 hours. The bottled water is not vulnerable to damage or power failure. The bottled water will at all times guarantee the miners affected no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard with no diminution of safety to the miners. Docket Number: M–2011–019–C. Petitioner: Tunnel Ridge, LLC, 2596 Battle Run Road, Triadelphia, West Virginia 26059. Mine: Tunnel Ridge Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 46–08864, located in Ohio County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance for leaving barrier pillars around oil and gas wells. The petitioner proposes to mine through oil and gas wells in the Pittsburg 8 coal bed. As an alternative to leaving 300foot diameter coal barriers, the petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging oil and gas wells: (1) Prior to plugging an oil or gas well, a diligent effort will be made to clean the borehole to the original total depth. If this depth cannot be reached, the borehole will be cleaned out to a depth which would permit the placement of at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; (2) when cleaning the borehole, a diligent effort will be made to remove all the casing in the borehole. If it is not possible to remove all casing, the casing that remains will be perforated or ripped at intervals spaced close enough to permit expanding cement slurry to infiltrate the annulus between the casing and the borehole wall for a distance of at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; (3) if the cleaned-out borehole produces gas, a mechanical bridge plug will be placed in the borehole in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, a substantial brush plug may be used in place of the mechanical bridge plug; (4) a suite of logs will be made consisting of a caliper survey, directional deviation survey, and log(s) suitable for determining the top and PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 bottom of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for the bridge plug; (5) if the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 200 feet of the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed, properly placed mechanical bridge plugs or a suitable brush plug will be used to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement plug. Nevertheless, a minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement will be placed below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; and (6) the wellbore will be completely filled and circulated with a gel that inhibits any flow of gas, supports the walls of the borehole, and increases the density of the expanding cement. This gel will be pumped through open-end tubing that will run to a point approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the borehole or bridge plug. In addition, the petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging gas or oil wells to the surface: (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping an expanding cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and fill the borehole to the surface. As an alternative, the cement slurry may be pumped down the tubing so that the borehole is filled with Portland cement or a Portland cement-fly ash mixture from a point approximately 100 feet above the top of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed to the surface with an expanding cement plug extending from at least 200 feet below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed to the bottom of the Portland cement. There will be at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; and (2) a small quantity of steel turnings or other small magnetic particles will be embedded in the top of the cement near the surface to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of the borehole. The petitioner also proposes to use the following procedures when using the vent pipe method for plugging oil and gas wells: (1) A 41⁄2 inch or larger vent pipe will run into the wellbore to a depth of 100 feet below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed and swedged to a smaller diameter pipe, if desired, which will extend to a point approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the borehole or bridge plug; (2) a cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding cement slurry, Portland cement, or a Portland cement-fly ash mixture down the tubing to displace the E:\FR\FM\28JNN1.SGM 28JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 28, 2011 / Notices gel so that the borehole is filled with cement. The borehole and the vent pipe will be filled with expanding cement for a minimum of 200 feet below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point approximately 100 feet above the top of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; (3) all fluid will be evacuated from the vent pipe to facilitate testing for gases. During the evacuation of fluid, the expanding cement will not be disturbed; (4) the top of the vent pipe will be protected to prevent liquids or solids from entering the wellbore, but permit ready access to the full internal diameter of the vent pipe when necessary. Furthermore, the petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging oil or gas wells for subsequent use as degasification boreholes: (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping an expanding cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point above the top of the coal bed being mined. This distance will be based on the average height of the roof strata breakage for the mine; (2) to facilitate methane drainage, degasification casing of suitable diameter, slotted or perforated throughout its lower 150 to 200 feet, will be set in the borehole to a point 10 to 30 feet above the top of the expanding cement; (3) the annulus between the degasification casing and the borehole wall will be cemented from a point immediately above the slots or perforations to the surface; (4) the degasification casing will be cleaned out for its total length; (5) the top of the degasification casing will be fitted with a wellhead equipped as required by the District Manager (DM). Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling ports, flame arrestor equipment and security fencing. The petitioner proposes that: (1) Prior to reducing the safety barrier to a distance less than the DM would approve or proceeding with an intent to cut through a plugged well, the operator will notify the DM or his designee. (2) Mining in close proximity or through a plugged well will be done on a shift approved by the DM or designee. The DM or designee and the representative of miners’ and the appropriate State agency will be notified by the operator in sufficient time prior to the miningthrough operation in order to provide an opportunity to have representatives VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:46 Jun 27, 2011 Jkt 223001 present. (3) When using continuous mining equipment, drivage sights will be installed at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. The drivage sights will not be more than 50 feet from the well. When using longwall mining methods, drivage sights will be installed on 10-foot centers for a distance of 50 feet in advance of the wellbore. The drivage sights will be installed in the headgate and/or tailgate. (4) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mining-through will be available when either the conventional or continuous mining method is used. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. All fire hoses will be ready for operation during the mining-through. (5) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation materials will be available and located at the last open crosscut. In addition, an emergency plug and/or plugs will be available in the immediate area of the cut-through. (6) The quantity of air required by the approved mine ventilation plan, but not less than 6,000 cubic feet per minute for scrubber equipped continuous miners or not less than 9,000 cubic feet per minute for continuous miner sections using auxiliary fans or line brattice only, will be used to ventilate the working face during the mining-through operation. The quantity of air required by the ventilation plan, but not less than 30,000 cubic feet per minute, will reach the working face of each future longwall during the mine-through operation. (7) Equipment will be checked for permissibility and serviced on the shift prior to mining through the well. The methane monitor(s) on the continuous mining machine or the longwall shear and face will be calibrated on the shift prior to mining through the well. (8) When mining is in progress, tests for methane will be made with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time mining with the continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the well until the well is intersected and immediately prior to mining-through. When mining with longwall mining equipment, the tests for methane will be made at least every 10 minutes when the longwall face is within 10 feet of the well. During the actual cutting through process no individual will be allowed on the return side until mining through has been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe. (9) When using continuous mining methods, the working place will be free from PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37833 accumulations of coal dust and coal spillages. Rock dust will be placed on the roof, rib and floor to within 20 feet of the face when mining through or near the well on the shift or shifts during which the cut-through will occur. On longwall sections, rock dusting will be conducted and placed on the roof, rib, and floor up to both headgate and tailgate gob. (10) When the wellbore is intersected, all equipment will be deenergized and the place thoroughly examined and determined safe before mining is resumed. Any well casing will be removed and no open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore. (11) After a well has been intersected and the working place determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a sufficient distance to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the wellbore. (12) No person will be permitted in the mining-through area except those actually engaged in the operation, company personnel, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. (13) The mining-through operation will be under the direct supervision of a certified official. Instructions concerning the mining-through operation will be issued only by the certified official in charge. (14) A copy of the proposed decision and order will be maintained at the mine and available to the miners. (15) The petitioner will file a plugging affidavit setting forth the persons who participated in the work, a description of the plugging work, and a certification by the petitioner that the well has been plugged as described. (16) Within 60 days after the proposed decision and order (PDO) becomes final, proposed revisions for the approved part 48 training plans will be submitted to the DM. The proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2011–020–C. Petitioner: Luminant Mining Company, 500 N. Akard St., Dallas, Texas 75201. Mine: Kosse Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41–04586, located in Limestone County, Texas; Three Oaks Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41–04085, located in Lee County, Texas; Turlington Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41–04802, located in Freestone County, Texas; Leesburg Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41–04444, located in Titus County, Texas; and Bremond E:\FR\FM\28JNN1.SGM 28JNN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 37834 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 28, 2011 / Notices Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41–02788, located in Robertson County, Texas. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.803 (Fail safe ground check circuits on highvoltage resistance grounded systems). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance when the boom/ mast is raised or lowered during necessary repairs. The petitioner state that it realizes that some stages of assembly/disassembly of draglines require special consideration when the boom/mast is raising/lowering into position. The boom is raised/lowered utilizing the on-board motor generator sets, which is critical because during this time power to the machine, as much as possible, must not be interrupted. Power loss may result in the boom becoming uncontrolled and falling, and could injure workers. To address this condition, the following guidelines are proposed to be used to help prevent loss of power to the machine. This procedure only addresses raising/lowering the boom of draglines utilizing the machine’s electrical onboard motor generator sets. It does not replace other mechanical precautions or the requirements of 30 CFR 77.405(b) that are necessary to safely secure booms/masts during construction or maintenance procedures. (1) The petitioner proposes to develop and implement written procedures that will: (a) Limit the number of persons needed on board the machine during the boom/mast raising/ lowering. Only those persons critical to performing necessary functions will be permitted on board the machine. (b) Explain the methods to be used to prevent off-board persons from contacting the frame cable of the machine. The area around the machine would be roped off or guarded. (c) Prohibit other work activities in close proximity to the machine during the boom/mast operation. (d) Establish a responsible person(s) at the work site familiar with all the requirements and able to communicate at all times with the qualified person(s) at the substation. The responsible person(s) must remain at the work site during the boom/mast raising/lowering. (e) Ensure that all persons involved with the boom/mast raising/lowering are familiar with the safety precautions. (2) An MSHAqualified electrician must complete an examination of all electrical components that will be energized during the boom raising/lowering process. The examination must be done within 2 hours prior to the boom raising/lowering process. A record of the examination must be made available VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:46 Jun 27, 2011 Jkt 223001 for review. The machine must be deenergized to perform this examination. (3) After the examination has been completed, electrical components necessary to complete the boom raising/lowering process must be energized to assure they are operating properly as determined by the MSHAqualified electrician. (4) The ground fault and ground check circuits may be disabled provided: (a) the internal ground conductor of the trailing cable has been tested and is continuous from the frame of the dragline to the grounding resistor located at the substation. Utilizing the ground check circuit and disconnecting the pilot circuit and the machine frame and verifying the circuit breaker cannot be closed will be an acceptable test. Resistance measurements can also be used to assure the ground conductor is continuous. The ground resistor must be tested to assure it is properly connected and is not open or shorted; (b) normal short circuit protection must be provided at all times. The overcurrent relay setting may be increased up to 100% above its normal setting. (5) During the boom raising/lowering procedure an MSHA-qualified electrician will be positioned at the substation and dedicated to monitoring the grounding circuit. The qualified person(s) will be able to detect a grounded phase condition or an open ground conductor without being exposed to shock hazards. The person(s) at the substation will at all times maintain communications with a responsible person at the dragline. If a grounded phase condition or an open ground wire should occur during the process, the person at the substation will notify the responsible person at the dragline. All persons on board the machine must be aware of the condition and must remain on board the machine. The boom must be controlled and the electrical circuit deenergized until the condition is corrected. The ground fault and ground check circuits must be reinstalled prior to reenergizing and testing. Once the circuits have been tested and no adverse conditions are present, the boom raising/lowering procedure may be resumed. (6) During the boom raising/lowering procedure, persons are not permitted to get on/off the dragline while the ground check and ground fault circuits are disabled unless the circuit to the dragline is deenergized, locked and tagged out as verified by the qualified person at the substation. (7) After the boom raising/ lowering is completed the responsible person at the dragline will notify the qualified person(s) at the substation. PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The qualified person(s) will deenergized the circuit and restore the protective relays to their normal setting. Prior to reenergizing the circuit for normal operation, the circuit and its protective relays will be tested and examined as described in 30 CFR 77.800–1. The ground check will be tested by opening the ground check circuit at the machine to verify the circuit breaker cannot be closed. A record of the test and examination will be recorded as described in 30 CFR 77.800–1. Following completion of the test and examination, normal work can begin. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide the same degree of safety for the miners as the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2011–021–C. Petitioner: Buckskin Mining Company (Previously Triton Coal Company), P.O. Box 3027, Gillette, Wyoming 82717– 3027. Mine: Buckskin Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 48–01200, located in Campbell County, Wyoming. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1607(u) (Loading and haulage equipment; operation). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance from the existing standard for towing of haul trucks (presently 140–190 tons), and other large off-highway surface mine equipment. The petitioner states that the tow bar presently used for towing weighs 1,500 pounds and requires some type of crane and two or three miners to install. The miners must be close to this suspended load and between two large mobile units to correctly position and pin the tow bar. The petitioner proposes to use a portable hydraulic unit that will supply power to the necessary functions of the disabled equipment to move it safely. The petitioner proposes to provide proper task training to every miner who will have the responsibility of using the equipment, which include training in the steering and braking systems of the equipment and in the towing procedures that will be used. The petitioner states that: (1) During the towing process, if anything should fail, the disabled equipment’s brakes will automatically engage, stopping all towing procedures; (2) one miner only will be needed to attach a choker cable from the towing equipment to the disabled equipment, and the miner will have limited exposure between the equipment; (3) wheel chocks will be used when necessary and radio communication will be maintained between all the miners involved; (4) the maximum grade that would be encountered while towing a piece of E:\FR\FM\28JNN1.SGM 28JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 28, 2011 / Notices equipment is 10 percent, which could be either up or down. The typical rolling resistance varies widely throughout the mine site, as do the grades; and (5) the maximum towing distance anticipated in the foreseeable future is 2.2 miles. The maximum towing distance anticipated during life of the mine is approximately 3 miles (all on mine property). The petitioner provided a complete list of procedures that will be utilizing when towing disabled heavy equipment, and a complete description of the steering and braking systems of the equipment. Persons may review these procedures at the MSHA address listed in this notice. The petitioner asserts that this variance from the existing standards will enhance the safety of the employees at the Buckskin Mine. Dated: June 22, 2011. Patricia W. Silvey, Certifying Officer. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [FR Doc. 2011–16083 Filed 6–27–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and 30 CFR Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the application of existing mandatory safety standards published in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before July 28, 2011. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: 1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHAcomments@dol.gov. Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message. 2. Facsimile: 1–202–693–9441. 3. Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939, mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:46 Jun 27, 2011 Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. 4. Hand-Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209– 3939, Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. Individuals who submit comments by hand-delivery are required to check in at the receptionist desk on the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. Jkt 223001 Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances at 202–693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (E-mail), or 202–693–9441 (Telefax). [These are not toll-free numbers]. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary determines that: (1) An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or (2) that the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2011–016–C. Petitioner: Midland Trail Energy, LLC, 3301 Point Lick Drive, Charleston, West Virginia 25306. Mine: Campbells Creek No. 4 Deep Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 46–08437, located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.214(b) (Refuse piles; general). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit existing mine openings to be covered with coarse coal PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37835 refuse during construction of the subject facility. The petitioner states that: (1) There are four mine openings located within the proposed embankment. The openings are associated with the abandoned Campbells Creek No. 4 Deep Mine in the Stockton coal seam, operated by Point Mining, Inc. The mine dips in the direction of the mine openings. The openings have been sealed and backfilled and underdrains have been installed. The underdrains are 16 square feet in cross-sectional area and consist of rock cobbles with a D50 of 8 inches wrapped in filter fabric. The underdrain flow will discharge beyond the limit of the proposed embankment. Three of the mine openings contain dry seals and the fourth contains a wet seal with a 6-inch diameter PVC pipe. The wet weal is located in the lowest elevation opening. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide the same measure of protection for the miners as the standard. Docket Number: M–2011–017–C. Petitioner: Rosebud Mining Company, 301 Market Street, Kittanning, Pennsylvania 16201. Mine: Starford Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 36–09637, located in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) and 30 CFR 18.35(a)(2) (Portable trailing cables and cords). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of MSHA approved 5 conductor 10 American Gauge Wire (AWG) (SO Cable) with a diameter of .77 with a tolerance of +/¥ 0.03. The petitioner states that: (1) The cable will hang on insulated hangers for the entire length at all times; (2) within 60 days after the proposed decision and order becomes final, proposed revisions of 30 CFR Part 48 will be submitted to the District Manager. The provisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions stated in the proposed decision and order. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the standard. Docket Number: M–2011–018–C. Petitioner: Dominion Coal Corporation, P.O. Box 70, Vansant, Virginia 24656. Mine: Mine No. 36, MSHA Mine I.D No. 44–06759, located in Buchanan County, Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing E:\FR\FM\28JNN1.SGM 28JNN1

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[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 124 (Tuesday, June 28, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37831-37835]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-16083]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 
1977 and 30 CFR part 44 govern the application, processing, and 
disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of 
petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health 
Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the 
application of existing mandatory safety standards codified in Title 30 
of the Code of Federal Regulations.

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before July 28, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov. Include the docket 
number of the petition in the subject line of the message.
    2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.
    3. Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and 
Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209-
3939, Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances.
    4. Hand-Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations 
and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 
22209-3939, Attention: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances.
    MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal 
Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS 
or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. Individuals 
who submit comments by hand-delivery are required to check in at the 
receptionist desk on the 21st floor.
    Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during 
normal business hours at the address listed above.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, 
Regulations and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), 
barron.barbara@dol.gov (E-mail), or 202-693-9441 (Telefax). [These are 
not toll-free numbers].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

 I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 
(Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file 
a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard 
to a coal or other mine if the Secretary determines that: (1) An 
alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists 
which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of 
protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or (2) 
that the application of such standard to such mine will result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the 
regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and 
procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2011-004-M.
    Petitioner: Troy Mine, Inc., P.O. Box 1660, Highway 56 South Mine 
Road, Troy, Montana 59935.
    Mine: Troy Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 24-01467, located in Lincoln 
County, Montana.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to not use compressed air lines as the means of 
providing air for the underground refuge chamber, and not to use 
waterlines as the means of providing water for the underground refuge 
chamber. The petitioner states that: (1) The Troy Mine is an 
underground room and pillar mine with five stratabound copper/silver 
ore horizons dipping at approximately four (4) degrees (7% grade) and 
is accessed through adits from the surface. (2) The refuge chamber is 
designed to sustain 12 miners for 36 hours during a mine emergency. The 
refuge chamber is presently located in the ``C'' Bed 59 I crosscut. The 
unit is portable and future

[[Page 37832]]

plans are to relocate the chamber. The refuge chamber has a battery 
back-up system in the event of a power failure in the mine. The refuge 
chamber will be inspected monthly and documented by the Safety 
Department. A flashing light was installed and is activated when the 
outer air lock door is initially opened ensuring that the refuge 
chamber has not been tampered with. All miners affected have received 
training in the operation of the refuge chamber and will receive 
refresher training annually and/or when the refuge chamber has been 
relocated. (3) Compressed air is not in use underground with the 
exception of a Speed Air 49 CFM air compressor at the underground Shop 
Pad and integral air compressors on mobile equipment. A Cambel 
Hausfield-1 CFM pancake air compressor was installed on the refuge 
chamber. The air compressors are vulnerable to power failure and 
damage. (4) Two ``T'' size compressed medical grade oxygen cylinders 
are provided with the carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber system. 
In addition, four ``T'' size compressed breathing quality air cylinders 
are available in the air-locked area. The compressed medical oxygen and 
compressed air cylinders are secured within the refuge chamber and 
would not be vulnerable to damage or power failure. The medical grade 
oxygen cylinders and CO2 scrubber system will at all times 
guarantee the miners affected no less than the same measure of 
protection afforded by the standard. (5) For waterlines, two 
groundwater wells feed a water tank at an elevation of 3,830 feet 
located on the surface. Chlorination of the mine site potable water is 
not necessary due to the purity of the groundwater. The surface 
buildings of the mine site are supplied with potable water from the 
gravity feed water tank. Due to the positive elevation difference 
between the water tank and the top of the service adit, a water line 
would not lend itself to gravity feed. The shortage haulage route from 
the water tank located on the surface to the refuge chamber presently 
located in the ``C'' Bed 59 I crosscut is 11,495 feet. Waterlines 
provided to the refuge chamber from the surface are vulnerable to 
damage. There can be no guarantee of bacteria-free potable water in the 
11,495 foot long waterline, posing a credible threat of disease to 
miners. (6) Abundant quantities of individually portioned 16.9 fluid 
ounce bottled water have been provided in the refuge chamber for the 
miner's use in an emergency. According to MSHA's underground coal mine 
standards, a minimum 2.25 quarts (72 fluid ounces) of water is required 
per miner per day. This is equivalent to 1,296 fluid ounces for 12 
miners for 36 hours. The bottled water is not vulnerable to damage or 
power failure. The bottled water will at all times guarantee the miners 
affected no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the 
standard. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method 
will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard with no diminution of safety to the 
miners.
    Docket Number: M-2011-019-C.
    Petitioner: Tunnel Ridge, LLC, 2596 Battle Run Road, Triadelphia, 
West Virginia 26059.
    Mine: Tunnel Ridge Mine, MSHA Mine I.D No. 46-08864, located in 
Ohio County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance for 
leaving barrier pillars around oil and gas wells. The petitioner 
proposes to mine through oil and gas wells in the Pittsburg 8 coal bed. 
As an alternative to leaving 300-foot diameter coal barriers, the 
petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging oil 
and gas wells: (1) Prior to plugging an oil or gas well, a diligent 
effort will be made to clean the borehole to the original total depth. 
If this depth cannot be reached, the borehole will be cleaned out to a 
depth which would permit the placement of at least 200 feet of 
expanding cement below the base of the lowest economically feasible 
mineable coal bed; (2) when cleaning the borehole, a diligent effort 
will be made to remove all the casing in the borehole. If it is not 
possible to remove all casing, the casing that remains will be 
perforated or ripped at intervals spaced close enough to permit 
expanding cement slurry to infiltrate the annulus between the casing 
and the borehole wall for a distance of at least 200 feet below the 
base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed; (3) if the 
cleaned-out borehole produces gas, a mechanical bridge plug will be 
placed in the borehole in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below 
the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed, but 
above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. If it is 
not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, a substantial brush plug 
may be used in place of the mechanical bridge plug; (4) a suite of logs 
will be made consisting of a caliper survey, directional deviation 
survey, and log(s) suitable for determining the top and bottom of the 
lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed and potential 
hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for the bridge plug; (5) 
if the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 200 feet of 
the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed, 
properly placed mechanical bridge plugs or a suitable brush plug will 
be used to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding 
cement plug. Nevertheless, a minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement 
will be placed below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal 
bed; and (6) the wellbore will be completely filled and circulated with 
a gel that inhibits any flow of gas, supports the walls of the 
borehole, and increases the density of the expanding cement. This gel 
will be pumped through open-end tubing that will run to a point 
approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the 
borehole or bridge plug. In addition, the petitioner proposes to use 
the following procedures when plugging gas or oil wells to the surface: 
(1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping an expanding 
cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and fill the borehole 
to the surface. As an alternative, the cement slurry may be pumped down 
the tubing so that the borehole is filled with Portland cement or a 
Portland cement-fly ash mixture from a point approximately 100 feet 
above the top of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed to 
the surface with an expanding cement plug extending from at least 200 
feet below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed to the 
bottom of the Portland cement. There will be at least 200 feet of 
expanding cement below the base of the lowest economically feasible 
mineable coal bed; and (2) a small quantity of steel turnings or other 
small magnetic particles will be embedded in the top of the cement near 
the surface to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of the borehole. 
The petitioner also proposes to use the following procedures when using 
the vent pipe method for plugging oil and gas wells: (1) A 4\1/2\ inch 
or larger vent pipe will run into the wellbore to a depth of 100 feet 
below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed and swedged to 
a smaller diameter pipe, if desired, which will extend to a point 
approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the 
borehole or bridge plug; (2) a cement plug will be set in the wellbore 
by pumping expanding cement slurry, Portland cement, or a Portland 
cement-fly ash mixture down the tubing to displace the

[[Page 37833]]

gel so that the borehole is filled with cement. The borehole and the 
vent pipe will be filled with expanding cement for a minimum of 200 
feet below the base of the lowest economically feasible mineable coal 
bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point 
approximately 100 feet above the top of the lowest economically 
feasible mineable coal bed; (3) all fluid will be evacuated from the 
vent pipe to facilitate testing for gases. During the evacuation of 
fluid, the expanding cement will not be disturbed; (4) the top of the 
vent pipe will be protected to prevent liquids or solids from entering 
the wellbore, but permit ready access to the full internal diameter of 
the vent pipe when necessary. Furthermore, the petitioner proposes to 
use the following procedures when plugging oil or gas wells for 
subsequent use as degasification boreholes: (1) A cement plug will be 
set in the wellbore by pumping an expanding cement slurry down the 
tubing to displace the gel and provide at least 200 feet of expanding 
cement below the lowest economically feasible mineable coal bed. The 
top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point above the top 
of the coal bed being mined. This distance will be based on the average 
height of the roof strata breakage for the mine; (2) to facilitate 
methane drainage, degasification casing of suitable diameter, slotted 
or perforated throughout its lower 150 to 200 feet, will be set in the 
borehole to a point 10 to 30 feet above the top of the expanding 
cement; (3) the annulus between the degasification casing and the 
borehole wall will be cemented from a point immediately above the slots 
or perforations to the surface; (4) the degasification casing will be 
cleaned out for its total length; (5) the top of the degasification 
casing will be fitted with a wellhead equipped as required by the 
District Manager (DM). Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in 
valves, sampling ports, flame arrestor equipment and security fencing. 
The petitioner proposes that: (1) Prior to reducing the safety barrier 
to a distance less than the DM would approve or proceeding with an 
intent to cut through a plugged well, the operator will notify the DM 
or his designee. (2) Mining in close proximity or through a plugged 
well will be done on a shift approved by the DM or designee. The DM or 
designee and the representative of miners' and the appropriate State 
agency will be notified by the operator in sufficient time prior to the 
mining-through operation in order to provide an opportunity to have 
representatives present. (3) When using continuous mining equipment, 
drivage sights will be installed at the last open crosscut near the 
place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. The drivage 
sights will not be more than 50 feet from the well. When using longwall 
mining methods, drivage sights will be installed on 10-foot centers for 
a distance of 50 feet in advance of the wellbore. The drivage sights 
will be installed in the headgate and/or tailgate. (4) Firefighting 
equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire 
hose to reach the working face area of the mining-through will be 
available when either the conventional or continuous mining method is 
used. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the 
entry or room. All fire hoses will be ready for operation during the 
mining-through. (5) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation 
materials will be available and located at the last open crosscut. In 
addition, an emergency plug and/or plugs will be available in the 
immediate area of the cut-through. (6) The quantity of air required by 
the approved mine ventilation plan, but not less than 6,000 cubic feet 
per minute for scrubber equipped continuous miners or not less than 
9,000 cubic feet per minute for continuous miner sections using 
auxiliary fans or line brattice only, will be used to ventilate the 
working face during the mining-through operation. The quantity of air 
required by the ventilation plan, but not less than 30,000 cubic feet 
per minute, will reach the working face of each future longwall during 
the mine-through operation. (7) Equipment will be checked for 
permissibility and serviced on the shift prior to mining through the 
well. The methane monitor(s) on the continuous mining machine or the 
longwall shear and face will be calibrated on the shift prior to mining 
through the well. (8) When mining is in progress, tests for methane 
will be made with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 
minutes from the time mining with the continuous mining machine is 
within 30 feet of the well until the well is intersected and 
immediately prior to mining-through. When mining with longwall mining 
equipment, the tests for methane will be made at least every 10 minutes 
when the longwall face is within 10 feet of the well. During the actual 
cutting through process no individual will be allowed on the return 
side until mining through has been completed and the area has been 
examined and declared safe. (9) When using continuous mining methods, 
the working place will be free from accumulations of coal dust and coal 
spillages. Rock dust will be placed on the roof, rib and floor to 
within 20 feet of the face when mining through or near the well on the 
shift or shifts during which the cut-through will occur. On longwall 
sections, rock dusting will be conducted and placed on the roof, rib, 
and floor up to both headgate and tailgate gob. (10) When the wellbore 
is intersected, all equipment will be deenergized and the place 
thoroughly examined and determined safe before mining is resumed. Any 
well casing will be removed and no open flame will be permitted in the 
area until adequate ventilation has been established around the 
wellbore. (11) After a well has been intersected and the working place 
determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a sufficient 
distance to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the 
wellbore. (12) No person will be permitted in the mining-through area 
except those actually engaged in the operation, company personnel, 
personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. 
(13) The mining-through operation will be under the direct supervision 
of a certified official. Instructions concerning the mining-through 
operation will be issued only by the certified official in charge. (14) 
A copy of the proposed decision and order will be maintained at the 
mine and available to the miners. (15) The petitioner will file a 
plugging affidavit setting forth the persons who participated in the 
work, a description of the plugging work, and a certification by the 
petitioner that the well has been plugged as described. (16) Within 60 
days after the proposed decision and order (PDO) becomes final, 
proposed revisions for the approved part 48 training plans will be 
submitted to the DM. The proposed revisions will include initial and 
refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions 
in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method 
will at all times provide no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2011-020-C.
    Petitioner: Luminant Mining Company, 500 N. Akard St., Dallas, 
Texas 75201.
    Mine: Kosse Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41-04586, located in 
Limestone County, Texas; Three Oaks Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41-04085, 
located in Lee County, Texas; Turlington Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41-
04802, located in Freestone County, Texas; Leesburg Strip Mine, MSHA 
I.D. No. 41-04444, located in Titus County, Texas; and Bremond

[[Page 37834]]

Strip Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 41-02788, located in Robertson County, Texas.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.803 (Fail safe ground check circuits 
on high-voltage resistance grounded systems).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance when 
the boom/mast is raised or lowered during necessary repairs. The 
petitioner state that it realizes that some stages of assembly/
disassembly of draglines require special consideration when the boom/
mast is raising/lowering into position. The boom is raised/lowered 
utilizing the on-board motor generator sets, which is critical because 
during this time power to the machine, as much as possible, must not be 
interrupted. Power loss may result in the boom becoming uncontrolled 
and falling, and could injure workers. To address this condition, the 
following guidelines are proposed to be used to help prevent loss of 
power to the machine. This procedure only addresses raising/lowering 
the boom of draglines utilizing the machine's electrical onboard motor 
generator sets. It does not replace other mechanical precautions or the 
requirements of 30 CFR 77.405(b) that are necessary to safely secure 
booms/masts during construction or maintenance procedures. (1) The 
petitioner proposes to develop and implement written procedures that 
will: (a) Limit the number of persons needed on board the machine 
during the boom/mast raising/lowering. Only those persons critical to 
performing necessary functions will be permitted on board the machine. 
(b) Explain the methods to be used to prevent off-board persons from 
contacting the frame cable of the machine. The area around the machine 
would be roped off or guarded. (c) Prohibit other work activities in 
close proximity to the machine during the boom/mast operation. (d) 
Establish a responsible person(s) at the work site familiar with all 
the requirements and able to communicate at all times with the 
qualified person(s) at the substation. The responsible person(s) must 
remain at the work site during the boom/mast raising/lowering. (e) 
Ensure that all persons involved with the boom/mast raising/lowering 
are familiar with the safety precautions. (2) An MSHA- qualified 
electrician must complete an examination of all electrical components 
that will be energized during the boom raising/lowering process. The 
examination must be done within 2 hours prior to the boom raising/
lowering process. A record of the examination must be made available 
for review. The machine must be deenergized to perform this 
examination. (3) After the examination has been completed, electrical 
components necessary to complete the boom raising/lowering process must 
be energized to assure they are operating properly as determined by the 
MSHA-qualified electrician. (4) The ground fault and ground check 
circuits may be disabled provided: (a) the internal ground conductor of 
the trailing cable has been tested and is continuous from the frame of 
the dragline to the grounding resistor located at the substation. 
Utilizing the ground check circuit and disconnecting the pilot circuit 
and the machine frame and verifying the circuit breaker cannot be 
closed will be an acceptable test. Resistance measurements can also be 
used to assure the ground conductor is continuous. The ground resistor 
must be tested to assure it is properly connected and is not open or 
shorted; (b) normal short circuit protection must be provided at all 
times. The overcurrent relay setting may be increased up to 100% above 
its normal setting. (5) During the boom raising/lowering procedure an 
MSHA-qualified electrician will be positioned at the substation and 
dedicated to monitoring the grounding circuit. The qualified person(s) 
will be able to detect a grounded phase condition or an open ground 
conductor without being exposed to shock hazards. The person(s) at the 
substation will at all times maintain communications with a responsible 
person at the dragline. If a grounded phase condition or an open ground 
wire should occur during the process, the person at the substation will 
notify the responsible person at the dragline. All persons on board the 
machine must be aware of the condition and must remain on board the 
machine. The boom must be controlled and the electrical circuit 
deenergized until the condition is corrected. The ground fault and 
ground check circuits must be reinstalled prior to reenergizing and 
testing. Once the circuits have been tested and no adverse conditions 
are present, the boom raising/lowering procedure may be resumed. (6) 
During the boom raising/lowering procedure, persons are not permitted 
to get on/off the dragline while the ground check and ground fault 
circuits are disabled unless the circuit to the dragline is de-
energized, locked and tagged out as verified by the qualified person at 
the substation. (7) After the boom raising/lowering is completed the 
responsible person at the dragline will notify the qualified person(s) 
at the substation. The qualified person(s) will deenergized the circuit 
and restore the protective relays to their normal setting. Prior to 
reenergizing the circuit for normal operation, the circuit and its 
protective relays will be tested and examined as described in 30 CFR 
77.800-1. The ground check will be tested by opening the ground check 
circuit at the machine to verify the circuit breaker cannot be closed. 
A record of the test and examination will be recorded as described in 
30 CFR 77.800-1. Following completion of the test and examination, 
normal work can begin. The petitioner asserts that the proposed 
alternative method will provide the same degree of safety for the 
miners as the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2011-021-C.
    Petitioner: Buckskin Mining Company (Previously Triton Coal 
Company), P.O. Box 3027, Gillette, Wyoming 82717-3027.
    Mine: Buckskin Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 48-01200, located in Campbell 
County, Wyoming.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1607(u) (Loading and haulage 
equipment; operation).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance from the 
existing standard for towing of haul trucks (presently 140-190 tons), 
and other large off-highway surface mine equipment. The petitioner 
states that the tow bar presently used for towing weighs 1,500 pounds 
and requires some type of crane and two or three miners to install. The 
miners must be close to this suspended load and between two large 
mobile units to correctly position and pin the tow bar. The petitioner 
proposes to use a portable hydraulic unit that will supply power to the 
necessary functions of the disabled equipment to move it safely. The 
petitioner proposes to provide proper task training to every miner who 
will have the responsibility of using the equipment, which include 
training in the steering and braking systems of the equipment and in 
the towing procedures that will be used. The petitioner states that: 
(1) During the towing process, if anything should fail, the disabled 
equipment's brakes will automatically engage, stopping all towing 
procedures; (2) one miner only will be needed to attach a choker cable 
from the towing equipment to the disabled equipment, and the miner will 
have limited exposure between the equipment; (3) wheel chocks will be 
used when necessary and radio communication will be maintained between 
all the miners involved; (4) the maximum grade that would be 
encountered while towing a piece of

[[Page 37835]]

equipment is 10 percent, which could be either up or down. The typical 
rolling resistance varies widely throughout the mine site, as do the 
grades; and (5) the maximum towing distance anticipated in the 
foreseeable future is 2.2 miles. The maximum towing distance 
anticipated during life of the mine is approximately 3 miles (all on 
mine property). The petitioner provided a complete list of procedures 
that will be utilizing when towing disabled heavy equipment, and a 
complete description of the steering and braking systems of the 
equipment. Persons may review these procedures at the MSHA address 
listed in this notice. The petitioner asserts that this variance from 
the existing standards will enhance the safety of the employees at the 
Buckskin Mine.

    Dated: June 22, 2011.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Certifying Officer.
[FR Doc. 2011-16083 Filed 6-27-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P