Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 810-812 [2011-33860]

Download as PDF 810 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2012 / Notices STC members will participate in up to fifteen 2-day meetings over an 18-month time period with the goal of completing development of the standard and certification program requirements. It is anticipated that STC meetings will begin in March 2012. Travel expenses and per diem will be reimbursed for all STC meetings; however, participation time will not be funded. NIJ is seeking representatives from (1) certification bodies and (2) test laboratories with experience in programs for similar types of ballisticresistant personal protective equipment. Additional preferred knowledge includes experience with law enforcement and corrections operations. There are up to four positions to be filled on the STC, and NIJ will accept the first 20 submissions for peer review. Interested parties should nominate individuals from their organizations and submit an application describing the nominee’s relevant experience, preferred knowledge, and affiliations with standards development organizations. To be considered, there must not be any conflict of interest in which the proposed STC member has a direct financial relationship with manufacturers of ballistic-resistant armor. Debra Stoe is the NIJ Program Manager responsible for this work, and Casandra Robinson is the point of contact for Ms. Stoe. Interested parties must contact Casandra Robinson at casandra.robinson@usdoj.gov to request further information on what must be submitted. Any submissions must be emailed to Casandra Robinson by January 20, 2012. The submissions will be peer reviewed, and selected participants will be notified regarding the results of the peer review by February 6, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Casandra Robinson by telephone at (202) 305–2596 [Note: this is not a tollfree telephone number] or by email at casandra.robinson@usdoj.gov. Any submissions must be emailed to Casandra Robinson by January 20, 2012. The submissions will be peer reviewed, and selected participants will be notified regarding the results of the peer review by February 6, 2012. pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES DATES: John H. Laub, Director, National Institute of Justice. [FR Doc. 2012–66 Filed 1–5–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–18–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Jan 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 I. Background 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 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 February 6, 2012. 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. Individuals who submit comments by hand-delivery are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk on the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at (202) 693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (email), or (202) 693–9441 (facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers]. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 of Labor 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–2011–040–C. Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Drift #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09963, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1100– 2(a)(2) (Quantity and location of firefighting equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of portable fire extinguishers only to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water storage equipped with three 10-quart pails is not practical. The petitioner states that: (1) Equipping its small anthracite mine with two portable fire extinguishers near the slope bottom and an additional portable fire extinguisher within 500 feet of the working face will provide equivalent fire protection. (2) Anthracite coal is low in volatile matter and dust is not explosive. (3) The working section is at or below mine pool elevation with frequent pumping required to de-water the work area. (4) All up-pitch workings of moderate to steep pitch are accessed only through ladders making the carrying of water in pails impractical. (5) Electric face equipment is nonexistent in this hand-loading anthracite mine and only air-operated equipment is used in or in by the last open crosscut. (6) The history of underground anthracite mines shows that fires occurring in the working faces are E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1 pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2012 / Notices nonexistent in recent years due to improved explosives and low volatile matter in anthracite coal. (7) This anthracite mine produces far less than the 300 ton per shift criteria using the hand-loading method. (8) Belt conveyor haulage is not used in this underground mine for section/ main haulage minimizing fire potential. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2011–041–C. Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Drift #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09963, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d) & (i) (Mine map). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of crosssections on mine maps in lieu of contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000-foot intervals of advance from the intake slope. In addition, the petitioner proposes to limit the required mapping of mine workings above and below to those present within 100 feet of the vein(s) being mined unless the veins are interconnected through rock tunnels to other veins beyond the 100-foot limit. The petitioner states that: (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal veins, contours provide no useful information and their presence would make portions of the map illegible. (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been practiced since the late 1800s and provides critical information about spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which fluctuate considerably. (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining/mine operators or the mining of veins of lower quality in proximity to inaccessible and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or may not be mapped. (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the petitioner’s contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock tunnels between veins in relation to the Petitioner’s mine, and a hazard analysis is done when mapping indicates the presence of known or potentially flooded workings. (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that exist VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Jan 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 beyond 100 feet from the mine are recognized as presenting no hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation. (6) Additionally, the mine workings above and below are usually inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually subject to changes during the life of the mine. (7) Where evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a vein above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine mapping, the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate precautions will be taken through § 75.388, which addresses drilling boreholes in advance of mining, where possible. (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the affected area. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2011–042–C. Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Drift #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09963, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202 and 1202–1(a) (Temporary notations, revisions and requirements). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the interval of survey to be established on an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 6 months as required. The petitioner proposes to continue to update the mine map by hand notations on a daily basis and conduct subsequent surveys prior to commencing retreat mining, and whenever either a drilling program under § 75.388 or plan for mining into accessible areas under § 75.389 is required. The petitioner states that: (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. In most cases annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of gangway advance with associated up-pitch development. (2) The vast majority of small anthracite mines is non-mechanized and use hand-loading mining methods. (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient control between both surveyed gangways. PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 811 (4) The available engineering/ surveyor resources are very limited in the anthracite coal fields and surveying on an annual basis is difficult to achieve, with four individual contractors currently available. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2011–043–C. Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Drift #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No 36–09963, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400 (Hoisting equipment; general). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard for cages, platforms or other devices used to transport persons in shafts or slopes in underground coal mines. The petitioner seeks to permit the use of a slope conveyance (gunboat) to transport persons without installing safety catches or other no less effective devices but instead use an increased rope strength/safety factor and secondary safety rope connection in place of such devices. The petitioner states that: (1) The haulage slope of this anthracite mine is typical of those in the anthracite region, with a relatively high angle and frequently changing pitches. (2) A functional safety catch capable of working in slopes with knuckles and curves is not commercially available. A makeshift device would be activated on or by knuckles or curves when no emergency exists. Activation of a safety catch can or will damage the haulage system and subject persons being transported to hazards from dislodged timbering, roof material, or guide rails, and to being battered about within the conveyance. (3) A safer alternative is to provide secondary safety connections securely fastened around the gunboat and to the hoisting rope above the main termination and use a hoisting rope having a safety factor greater than that recommended in the American Standards Specifications for the Use of Wire Rope in Mines or at least three times greater than the strength required under section § 75.1431(a). The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1 812 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 4 / Friday, January 6, 2012 / Notices Dated: December 30, 2011. Patricia W. Silvey, Certifying Officer. Regulations, and Variances at (202) 693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (Email), or (202) 693–9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers]. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: [FR Doc. 2011–33860 Filed 1–05–12; 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 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 February 6, 2012. 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. Individuals who submit comments by hand-delivery are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk on the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, pmangrum on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:40 Jan 05, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 of Labor 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 Numbers: M–2011–038–C and M–2011–039–C. Petitioner: Midland Trail Energy, LLC, 42 Rensford Star Route, Charleston, West Virginia 25306. Mines: Campbells Creek No. 7 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09107, and Blue Creek No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46– 09297, 3301 Point Lick Road, Charleston, West Virginia 25306, located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of 900-feetmaximum length cables to supply power to its shuttle cars, roof bolters, and mobile roof supports at the Campbells Creek No. 7 Mine and Blue Creek No. 1 Mine. The petitioner states that: (1) The maximum length trailing cables supplying the 575-volt shuttle cars, 480-volt roof bolters, and 480-volt mobile roof supports will not exceed 900 feet. (2) The trailing cable(s) for the shuttle car(s) and the roof bolter(s) will not be smaller than No. 2 American Wire Gauge (AWG), and the trailing cable(s) for mobile roof support(s) will not be smaller than No. 4 AWG. (3) All circuit breakers used to protect the No. 2 AWG trailing cables that exceed 700 feet in length will have PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 instantaneous trip units calibrated to trip at 800 amperes. The trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed and will have permanent, legible labels. The labels will identify the circuit breaker as being a specially calibrated circuit breaker suitable for protecting No. 2 AWG cables. This label will be maintained legible. (4) All circuit breakers used to protect No. 4 AWG trailing cables that exceed 600 feet in length will have instantaneous trip units calibrated to trip at 500 amperes. The trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed and will have permanent, legible labels. The labels will identify the circuit breakers as being a specially calibrated circuit breaker and suitable for protecting No. 4 AWG cables. This label will be maintained legible. (5) All components that provide short circuit protection for the No. 4 AWG and No. 2 AWG cables will have an interruption rating in accordance with the maximum available fault current. A short-circuit study, available as part of the petition, indicates the maximum fault current available on the coal producing section. Circuit breakers of sufficient interrupting rating will be provided in accordance with the study. (6) Replacement circuit breakers and/ or instantaneous trip units used to protect No. 2 AWG cables will be calibrated to trip at 800 amperes. This setting will be sealed. (7) Replacement circuit breakers and/ or instantaneous trip units used to protect No. 4 AWG cables will be calibrated to trip at 500 amperes. This setting will be sealed. (8) Any trailing cable that is not in safe operating condition will be removed from service immediately and repaired or replaced. (9) Each splice or repair in the trailing cable to the shuttle cars, roof bolters, and mobile roof supports will be made in a workmanlike manner and in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer of the splice or repair materials. The outer jacket of each splice or repair will be sealed or made with material that has been accepted by MSHA as flame-resistant. (10) If the mining methods or operating procedures cause or contribute to the damage of any trailing cable, the cable will be removed from service immediately and repaired or replaced, and additional precautions will be taken to ensure that in the future the cable is protected and maintained in safe operating condition. (11) Permanent warning labels will be installed and maintained on the cover(s) of the power center identifying the location of each sealed short-circuit E:\FR\FM\06JAN1.SGM 06JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 4 (Friday, January 6, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 810-812]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-33860]


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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.

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

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 February 6, 2012.

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. Individuals who submit comments by 
hand-delivery are required to check in at the receptionist's desk on 
the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and 
comments during normal business hours at the address listed above.
    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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances at (202) 693-9447 (Voice), 
barron.barbara@dol.gov (email), or (202) 693-9441 (facsimile). [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 of Labor 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-2011-040-C.
    Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Buck Drift 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09963, 15 Motter 
Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, 
Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1100-2(a)(2) (Quantity and location 
of firefighting equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of portable fire extinguishers only 
to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other 
water storage equipped with three 10-quart pails is not practical. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) Equipping its small anthracite mine with two portable fire 
extinguishers near the slope bottom and an additional portable fire 
extinguisher within 500 feet of the working face will provide 
equivalent fire protection.
    (2) Anthracite coal is low in volatile matter and dust is not 
explosive.
    (3) The working section is at or below mine pool elevation with 
frequent pumping required to de-water the work area.
    (4) All up-pitch workings of moderate to steep pitch are accessed 
only through ladders making the carrying of water in pails impractical.
    (5) Electric face equipment is nonexistent in this hand-loading 
anthracite mine and only air-operated equipment is used in or in by the 
last open crosscut.
    (6) The history of underground anthracite mines shows that fires 
occurring in the working faces are

[[Page 811]]

nonexistent in recent years due to improved explosives and low volatile 
matter in anthracite coal.
    (7) This anthracite mine produces far less than the 300 ton per 
shift criteria using the hand-loading method.
    (8) Belt conveyor haulage is not used in this underground mine for 
section/main haulage minimizing fire potential. The petitioner asserts 
that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same 
measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2011-041-C.
    Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Buck Drift 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09963, 15 Motter 
Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, 
Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d) & (i) (Mine map).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of cross-sections on mine maps in 
lieu of contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock 
tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000-foot intervals of 
advance from the intake slope. In addition, the petitioner proposes to 
limit the required mapping of mine workings above and below to those 
present within 100 feet of the vein(s) being mined unless the veins are 
interconnected through rock tunnels to other veins beyond the 100-foot 
limit. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal 
veins, contours provide no useful information and their presence would 
make portions of the map illegible.
    (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been 
practiced since the late 1800s and provides critical information about 
spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which 
fluctuate considerably.
    (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining 
involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining/
mine operators or the mining of veins of lower quality in proximity to 
inaccessible and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or 
may not be mapped.
    (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the 
petitioner's contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock 
tunnels between veins in relation to the Petitioner's mine, and a 
hazard analysis is done when mapping indicates the presence of known or 
potentially flooded workings.
    (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that 
exist beyond 100 feet from the mine are recognized as presenting no 
hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation.
    (6) Additionally, the mine workings above and below are usually 
inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually subject to 
changes during the life of the mine.
    (7) Where evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a vein 
above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine mapping, 
the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate 
precautions will be taken through Sec.  75.388, which addresses 
drilling boreholes in advance of mining, where possible.
    (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities 
limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the 
workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the 
affected area.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2011-042-C.
    Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Buck Drift 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09963, 15 Motter 
Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, 
Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202 and 1202-1(a) (Temporary 
notations, revisions and requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the interval of survey to be established on 
an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 6 months as 
required. The petitioner proposes to continue to update the mine map by 
hand notations on a daily basis and conduct subsequent surveys prior to 
commencing retreat mining, and whenever either a drilling program under 
Sec.  75.388 or plan for mining into accessible areas under Sec.  
75.389 is required. The petitioner states that:
    (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite 
mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. In most cases 
annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of 
gangway advance with associated up-pitch development.
    (2) The vast majority of small anthracite mines is non-mechanized 
and use hand-loading mining methods.
    (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into 
the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient 
control between both surveyed gangways.
    (4) The available engineering/surveyor resources are very limited 
in the anthracite coal fields and surveying on an annual basis is 
difficult to achieve, with four individual contractors currently 
available.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2011-043-C.
    Petitioner: D & F Deep Mine, 15 Motter Drive, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Buck Drift 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No 36-09963, 15 Motter 
Drive, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963, located in Schuylkill County, 
Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400 (Hoisting equipment; general).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard for cages, platforms or other devices used to 
transport persons in shafts or slopes in underground coal mines. The 
petitioner seeks to permit the use of a slope conveyance (gunboat) to 
transport persons without installing safety catches or other no less 
effective devices but instead use an increased rope strength/safety 
factor and secondary safety rope connection in place of such devices. 
The petitioner states that:
    (1) The haulage slope of this anthracite mine is typical of those 
in the anthracite region, with a relatively high angle and frequently 
changing pitches.
    (2) A functional safety catch capable of working in slopes with 
knuckles and curves is not commercially available. A makeshift device 
would be activated on or by knuckles or curves when no emergency 
exists. Activation of a safety catch can or will damage the haulage 
system and subject persons being transported to hazards from dislodged 
timbering, roof material, or guide rails, and to being battered about 
within the conveyance.
    (3) A safer alternative is to provide secondary safety connections 
securely fastened around the gunboat and to the hoisting rope above the 
main termination and use a hoisting rope having a safety factor greater 
than that recommended in the American Standards Specifications for the 
Use of Wire Rope in Mines or at least three times greater than the 
strength required under section Sec.  75.1431(a).
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.


[[Page 812]]


    Dated: December 30, 2011.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Certifying Officer.
[FR Doc. 2011-33860 Filed 1-05-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P