Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 14426-14430 [2012-5712]

Download as PDF srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 14426 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 47 / Friday, March 9, 2012 / Notices to expire on April 30, 2012; however, it should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a monthto-month extension while they undergo review. Any changes would only become effective upon OMB approval. For additional information, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on November 16, 2011 (76 FR 71073). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should reference OMB Control Number 1220– 0164. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics. Title of Collection: National Compensation Survey. OMB Control Number: 1220–0164. Affected Public: Private sector— Businesses and Other For-Profits and Not-For-Profit Institutions; State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 12,539. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 38,813. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 36,930. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. Dated: March 5, 2012. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–5745 Filed 3–8–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–24–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Mar 08, 2012 Jkt 226001 Avenue NW., Room N–4716, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone: 202–693–3322. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Notice of Availability of Funds and Solicitation for Grant Applications for Senior Community Service Employment Program National Grants for Program Year 2012 Employment and Training Administration, Labor. ACTION: Solicitation for Grant Applications (SGA). Funding Opportunity Number: SGA/DFA PY– 11–04. AGENCY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA), U.S. Department of Labor announces a grant competition for national grantees funded under the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) authorized under title V of the Older Americans Act (OAA) as amended in 2006, Public Law 109–365. Approximately $346,000,000 in grant funds will be available for national grantees. SCSEP grant funds are awarded to states and territories, and to competitively-chosen national grantees. This funding opportunity is for national grantees. SCSEP is the only Federallysponsored employment and training program targeted specifically to unemployed low-income older individuals who want to enter or reenter the workforce. Program participants receive work experience at local public or non-profit agencies and are paid the higher of the Federal, State, or local minimum wage, or the prevailing wage for similar employment, for approximately 20 hours per week while in community service and other job training (OAA Amendments § 502(b)(1)(J); 20 CFR 641.565(a)). The dual goals of the program are to promote useful opportunities in community service job training and to move SCSEP participants into unsubsidized employment, where appropriate. The complete SGA and any subsequent SGA amendments, in connection with this solicitation are described in further detail on ETA’s Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/ grants/ or on http://www.grants.gov. The Web sites provide application information, eligibility requirements, review and selection procedures and other program requirements governing this solicitation. DATES: The closing date for receipt of applications is May 10, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeannette Flowers, 200 Constitution SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Signed March 5, 2012 in Washington, DC by. B. Jai Johnson, Grant Officer, Employment and Training Administration. [FR Doc. 2012–5685 Filed 3–8–12; 8:45 a.m.] BILLING CODE 4510–FN–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 April 9, 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 47 / Friday, March 9, 2012 / Notices 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: srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 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–2011–015–M. Petitioner: Swenson Granite Company, LLC, 369 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. Mine: Swenson Granite gray Quarry, MSHA I.D. No. 27–00083, 369 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, located in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.19090 (Dual signaling system). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance from the existing standard at the Concord, New Hampshire, site for their Pellegrini stiffleg derrick used for hoisting personnel. The petitioner states that: (1) The Swenson Granite Gray Quarry is an open dimensional granite quarry operating fixed stiffleg derricks to lift stone and equipment. Personnel hoisting will be done as has been for many years before with equipment that has since been replaced by a newer stiffleg derrick. (2) The derrick reaches all areas of the quarry floor and walls and the operator has full view of the hook and load. (3) The derrick operator relies on a constant view of the hook and load and the operation is stopped until conditions improve to 100 percent visibility. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Mar 08, 2012 Jkt 226001 (4) Hoisting personnel would require the personnel to be placed at many different locations on the quarry floor. The standard 30 CFR 56.19090 requires at least two effective approved methods of signaling as a means of communication between the hoist room and the shaft stations. The petitioner notes that it appears that nothing follows the man box or skip physically—the standard requires either a telephone or speaking tube at each station. (5) The petitioner will provide the same level of safety in communication for the two methods through use of the company’s VHF radios and primary method of communication, hand signals. The petitioner will forego personnel hoisting if the hoist operator/ signalman cannot see the bottom of the quarry, the same as they halt lifting operations of the granite product if it can not be seen. (6) The quarry employees direct all derrick moves and positioning exclusively by the use of hand signals, a method used for many years without incident. Hoist equipment or stone could not be safely moved if visibility was lost and as in many years past, would not lift personnel if the personnel or the bottom of the quarry could not be seen. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection allowed by the existing standard by using the primary and proven means of communication, hand signals, and the back up, VHF radios while lifting personnel. Docket Number: M–2011–016–M. Petitioner: Swenson Granite Company, LLC, 369 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301. Mine: Swenson Granite gray Quarry, MSHA I.D. No. 27–00083, 369 North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, located in Merrimack County, New Hampshire. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.19009 (position indicators). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance for the existing standard at the Concord, New Hampshire, site for the Pellegrini stiffleg derrick used for hoisting personnel. The petitioner states that: (1) The Swenson Granite Gray Quarry is an open dimensional granite quarry operating fixed stiffleg derricks to lift stone and equipment. Personnel hoisting will be done as have been for many years before with equipment that has since been replaced by a newer stiffleg derrick. (2) The petitioner notes that this standard, requiring that an accurate and PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14427 reliable indicator of the position of cage, skip, bucket or cars in the shaft be provided, also applies to underground mines where there may not be visual contact at all, and safety and position indicators rely on limit switches and proximity devices. The petitioner asserts that the derrick operator has a full view of the hook and load at all times. (3) The quarry floor is not flat and personnel would need to be set down in many different locations. The quarry maintains high walls and inspects for loose material on a regular basis. (4) The petitioner would rely 100 percent on the hand signal system to swing lower and stop movement of the man-box at the exclusive direction of the hand signal from the miner in the man-box. (5) With no fixed location for stopping while lifting men, as changes in the quarry floor are always occurring, a fixed stopping with redundant switches and stops is not practical for the operation. With a fixed stopping location redundant switches and stops would allow for positive bottom limit protection. (6) The petitioner’s reliance on signaling by hand provides a minimum of two sets of eyes watching the movement and directing the man box. (7) The petitioner states that all persons involved in signaling while hoisting personnel understand that a miner’s health and safety are dependent on the use of clear hand signals as they convey their requests for moving and stopping. The petitioner asserts that the system of hand signals to direct the derrick would at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Numbers: M–2012–001–C and M–2012–002–C. Petitioner: Arch Coal, Inc., Wolf Run Mining Company, 99 Edmiston Way, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201. Mines: Imperial Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09115, Route 9, Box 576, Grassy Run Road Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201, located in Upshur County, West Virginia; Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–04168, Route 3, Box 146, Philippi, West Virginia 26416, located in Barbour 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 plugging and replugging of gas and oil wells, and mining through or intersecting certain oil and gas wells within the projected workings of the Imperial Mine and E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 14428 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 47 / Friday, March 9, 2012 / Notices Sentinel Mine after plugging or replugging. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for cleaning out and preparing vertical oil and gas wells prior to plugging or replugging: (1) Completely clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, unless MSHA requires cleaning to a greater depth. All material will be removed from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall. (2) Prepare down-hole logs for each well that will consist of a caliper survey and log(s) suitable for determining the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbonproducing strata and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, a journal will be maintained describing the depth and nature of each material encountered, bit size and type used to drill each portion of the hole, length and type of each material used to plug the well, length of casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped or left in place, any sections where casing was cut or milled, and other pertinent information concerning cleaning and sealing the well. Invoices, work orders, and other records relating to all work on the well will be maintained as part of the journal and provided to MSHA upon request. (3) When cleaning out the well, the petitioner will make a diligent effort to remove all of the casing in the well. If the casing cannot be removed, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the annulus between the casings and the casings and the well walls are filled with expanding cement (minimum of 0.5 percent expansion upon setting) and contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, it will be cut or milled at all mineable coal seam levels and any remaining casing will be perforated or ripped. Perforations or rips will be at least every 50 feet from 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal seam. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), any casing that remains will be ripped or perforated and filled with expanding cement. An acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing string, if used, is in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (4) If the completely cleaned-out well emits excessive amounts of gas, a mechanical bridge plug will be placed in the well. The bridge plug will be placed in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbonproducing stratum, unless the MSHA VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Mar 08, 2012 Jkt 226001 requires a greater distance. If a mechanical bridge cannot be set, an appropriate size packer will be used. (5) If the uppermost hydrocarbonproducing stratum is within 300 feet of the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, mechanical bridge plugs will be properly placed to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement plug. A minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement will be placed below the lowest mineable coal seam, unless MSHA requires a greater distance. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for plugging and replugging vertical oil or gas wells to the surface: (1) After completely cleaning out the well, expanding cement slurry will be pumped down the well to form a plug that runs from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam to the surface, or lower if required by MSHA. The expanding cement will be placed in the well under a pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch (psi). Portland cement or lightweight cement mixture will be used to fill the area from 100 feet above the top of the uppermost mineable coal seam to the surface, or higher if required by MSHA. (2) 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 well. In the alternative, a 41⁄2-inch or larger casing, set in cement, will extend at least 36 inches above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on the casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (i.e., prime farmland), high-resolution GPS coordinates (half-meter resolution) will be required. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil and gas wells for use as degasification boreholes: (1) After completely cleaning out the well, a cement plug will be set in the well by pumping expanding cement slurry down the tubing to provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest mineable coal seam unless MSHA requires a greater depth. The expanding cement will be placed in the well under a pressure of at least 200 psi. The top of the expanding cement will extend at least 30 feet above the top of the coal seam being mined unless MSHA requires a greater distance. (2) A suitable casing will be securely grouted into the bedrock of the upper portion of the degasification well to protect it. The remainder of this well may be cased or uncased. PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (3) The top of the degasification casing will be fitted with a wellhead, equipped as required by MSHA in the approved ventilation plan. Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling ports, flame arrestor equipment, and security fencing. (4) Operation of the degasification well will be addressed in the approved ventilation plan. This may include periodic tests of methane levels and limits on the minimum methane concentration that may be extracted. (5) After the area of the coal mine degassed by a well is sealed or the coal mine is abandoned, the degassed holes will be sealed as follows: (i) A tube will be inserted to the bottom of the drill hole or, if not possible, to no greater than 100 feet above the coal seam. Any blockage will be removed to ensure that the tube can be inserted. (ii) A cement plug will be set in the well by pumping Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture down the tubing until the well is filled to the surface. (iii) 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 well. In the alternative, a 41⁄2-inch or larger casing set in cement will extend at least 36 inches above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on the casing. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for preparing and plugging or replugging vertical oil and gas wells. This will apply to all wells that cannot be completely cleaned out due to damage to the well caused by subsidence, caving, or other factors: (1) A hole will be drilled adjacent and parallel to the well to a depth of at least 200 feet below the lowest mineable coal seam, unless MSHA requires a greater depth. (2) A geophysical sensing device will be used to locate any casing that may remain in the well. (3) If the well contains casing(s), the well will be drilled into from the parallel hole. From 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 feet above the coal seam, all casings will be perforated or ripped at intervals of at least 5 feet. Beyond this distance, at least every 50 feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the seam being mined will be ripped or perforated, unless MSHA requires a greater distance. The annulus between the casings and the casings and the well wall will be filled with expanding cement (minimum 0.5 E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 47 / Friday, March 9, 2012 / Notices percent expansion upon setting) and contain no voids. If it can be demonstrated to MSHA, using a casing bond log, that all annuli in the well are already adequately sealed with cement, then the petitioner will not perforate or rip the casing for the particular well or fill these areas with cement. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), any casing that remains will be ripped or perforated and filled with expanding cement. An acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing string will be needed if used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (4) Where the petitioner determines and MSHA agrees that there is insufficient casing in the well to allow the use of the method outlined in this petition, a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique will be used to intercept the original well. From at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above the seam being mined, at least six places will be fractured at intervals to be agreed upon by the petitioner and MSHA after considering the geological strata and the pressure within the well. Expanding cement will then be pumped into the fractured well in sufficient quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids. (5) Down-hole logs for each well will be prepared. The logs will consist of a caliper survey and logs(s) suitable for determining the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, a journal will be maintained describing the depth of each material encountered, the nature of each material encountered, bit size and type used to plug the well, length of casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped, or left in place, any sections where casing was cut or milled, and other pertinent information concerning cleaning and sealing the well. Invoices, work-orders, and other records relating to all work on the well will be maintained as part of the journal and provided to MSHA upon request. (6) After the well has been plugged, open portions of both holes will be plugged from the bottom to the surface with Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture. 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 well. In the alternative, a 41⁄2-inch or larger casing set in cement will extend at least 36 inches above the ground level. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after approval has been granted by MSHA to mine within VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Mar 08, 2012 Jkt 226001 the safety barrier (50 feet from any well), or mine through a plugged or replugged well: (1) The petitioner will mine through a well on a shift approved by MSHA, and notify MSHA in sufficient time prior to mining through a well to provide an opportunity to have a representative present. (2) When continuous mining methods are being used, drivage sights will be installed not more than 50 feet from the well at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. When longwall mining methods are being used, drivage sights will be installed on 10-foot centers for a distance of 50 feet in advance of the well. The drivage sights will be installed in the headgate and tailgate. (3) Fire-fighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mine-through (when either the conventional or continuous mining method is used) will be available and operable during all well mine-throughs. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. The water line will be maintained to the belt-conveyor tailpiece along with sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of penetration of the section. (4) Sufficient roof support supplies and ventilation materials will be available and located at the last open crosscut. In addition, emergency plugs and suitable sealing materials will be available in the immediate area of the well intersection. (5) The ventilation plan will specify minimum ventilation air quantities to be maintained in the working face during the period from when mining is within 50 feet of the well location until the post-cut-through inspection or mining progresses at least 50 feet past the well location. (6) All equipment will be serviced and checked for permissibility on the shift prior to mining through the well. (7) Methane monitor(s) will be calibrated on the continuous mining machine or cutting machine and loading machine on the shift prior to mining through the well. (8) When mining is in progress, the petitioner will test for methane 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 mine-through. During the actual cutting process, no individual will be allowed on the return side until the minethrough is complete and the area has been examined and declared safe. PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 14429 (9) When continuous or conventional mining methods are being used, the work area will be free from accumulations of coal dust and coal spillages, and rock dust will be placed on the roof, rib, and floor to within 20 feet of the face when mining through the well. (10) When the well is intersected, the petitioner will deenergize all equipment, thoroughly examine the equipment, and determine that the area is safe before mining is resumed. (11) After a well has been intersected and the work area determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a sufficient distance to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the well. (12) If the casing is cut or milled at the coal seam level, the use of torches will not be necessary. However, in rare instances, torches may be used for inadequately or inaccurately cut or milled casings. No open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore and methane levels of less than 1.0 percent are present in all areas exposed to flames and sparks from the torch. The petitioner will apply thick layer of rock dust to the roof, face, floor, ribs, and any exposed coal within 20 feet of the casing prior to any use of torches. (13) Non-sparking (brass) tools will be located on the working section and will be used to expose and examine cased wells. (14) No person will be permitted in the area of the mine-through operation except those actually engaged in the operation, including company personnel, representative of the miners, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. (15) All personnel in the mine will be alerted to the planned intersection of the well prior to going underground if the planned intersection is to occur during their shift. This alert will be repeated for all shifts until the well has been mined through. (16) The mine-through operation will be under the direct supervision of a certified individual. Instructions concerning the mine-through operation will be issued only by the certified individual in charge. The petitioner states that: (1) Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions in the petition. All miners involved in the mine-through of a well will be trained regarding the E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1 14430 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 47 / Friday, March 9, 2012 / Notices requirements of this petition prior to mining within 150 feet of the next well to be mined through. (2) The person responsible for well intersection emergencies will review the well intersection procedures prior to any planned intersection. (3) Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for the approved mine emergency and firefighting plan. These plans will include the hazards and evacuation procedures to be used for well intersections. Within 30 days of submittal of the revised evacuation plan, all underground miners will be trained on the revised plan. Persons may review a compete description of the petitioner’s proposed alternative method and procedures at the MSHA address listed in this petition. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Dated: March 5, 2012. Patricia W. Silvey, Certifying Officer. [FR Doc. 2012–5712 Filed 3–8–12; 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 April 9, 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. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:21 Mar 08, 2012 Jkt 226001 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–2012–001–M. Petitioner: Montana Resources, LLP, 1801 California Street, Suite 4900, Denver, Colorado 80202. Mine: Continental Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 24–00338, 600 Shields Avenue, Butte, Montana 59701–2705, located in Silver Bow County, Montana. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.12028 (Testing grounding systems). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing PO 00000 Frm 00092 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 standard to permit the use of visual examinations of its grounding conductors in accordance with the language of the Program Policy Manual (PPM), (Volume IV, Metal and Nonmetal Mines, Interpretation, Application, and Guidelines on Enforcement of 30 CFR) 30 CFR 56/57.12028, Testing Grounding Systems. The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miner by the standard. Docket Number: M–2012–008–C. Petitioner: Arch Coal, Hazard, 1021 Tori Drive, Hazard, Kentucky 41701. Mines: East Mac & Nellie Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–18966, Rowdy Gap Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–18048, and Kentucky River Loading, MSHA I.D. No. 15–13495, located in Perry County, Kentucky; Thunder Ridge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–17746, located in Leslie County, Kentucky; Bearville Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19416, located in Knott County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1607(u) (Loading and hauling equipment; operation). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of an AmSteel-Blue Rope or Belly Pan Nylon Strap in lieu of a tow bar for pulling a stuck or disabled truck for short distances. The petitioner states that: (1) The ropes or strap will have a strength rate greater than the weight of the truck to be pulled. (2) The ropes or straps do not store energy and, therefore, do not pose a risk of recoil. (3) Tow bars pose an unnecessary risk to the miner’s safety based on the sheer size and weight. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide a level of safety equal to that provided by the existing standard. Docket Numbers: M–2012–009–C, M– 2012–012–C, and M–2012–015–C. Petitioner: Eastern Associated Coal, LLC, Three Gateway Center, Suite 1340, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222–1000. Mines: Federal No. 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–01456, Docket No. M–2012– 009–C, 1044 Miracle Run Road, Fairview, West Virginia 26570, located in Monongalia County, West Virginia; Wharton No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–05071, Docket No. M–2012–012–C and Black Oak Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09152, Docket No. M–2012–015–C, 54912 Pond Fork Road, Wharton, West E:\FR\FM\09MRN1.SGM 09MRN1

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[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 47 (Friday, March 9, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14426-14430]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5712]


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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 April 9, 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

[[Page 14427]]

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-2011-015-M.
    Petitioner: Swenson Granite Company, LLC, 369 North State Street, 
Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
    Mine: Swenson Granite gray Quarry, MSHA I.D. No. 27-00083, 369 
North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, located in Merrimack 
County, New Hampshire.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.19090 (Dual signaling system).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance from the 
existing standard at the Concord, New Hampshire, site for their 
Pellegrini stiffleg derrick used for hoisting personnel. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) The Swenson Granite Gray Quarry is an open dimensional granite 
quarry operating fixed stiffleg derricks to lift stone and equipment. 
Personnel hoisting will be done as has been for many years before with 
equipment that has since been replaced by a newer stiffleg derrick.
    (2) The derrick reaches all areas of the quarry floor and walls and 
the operator has full view of the hook and load.
    (3) The derrick operator relies on a constant view of the hook and 
load and the operation is stopped until conditions improve to 100 
percent visibility.
    (4) Hoisting personnel would require the personnel to be placed at 
many different locations on the quarry floor. The standard 30 CFR 
56.19090 requires at least two effective approved methods of signaling 
as a means of communication between the hoist room and the shaft 
stations. The petitioner notes that it appears that nothing follows the 
man box or skip physically--the standard requires either a telephone or 
speaking tube at each station.
    (5) The petitioner will provide the same level of safety in 
communication for the two methods through use of the company's VHF 
radios and primary method of communication, hand signals. The 
petitioner will forego personnel hoisting if the hoist operator/
signalman cannot see the bottom of the quarry, the same as they halt 
lifting operations of the granite product if it can not be seen.
    (6) The quarry employees direct all derrick moves and positioning 
exclusively by the use of hand signals, a method used for many years 
without incident. Hoist equipment or stone could not be safely moved if 
visibility was lost and as in many years past, would not lift personnel 
if the personnel or the bottom of the quarry could not be seen.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection allowed 
by the existing standard by using the primary and proven means of 
communication, hand signals, and the back up, VHF radios while lifting 
personnel.
    Docket Number: M-2011-016-M.
    Petitioner: Swenson Granite Company, LLC, 369 North State Street, 
Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
    Mine: Swenson Granite gray Quarry, MSHA I.D. No. 27-00083, 369 
North State Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301, located in Merrimack 
County, New Hampshire.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.19009 (position indicators).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a variance for the 
existing standard at the Concord, New Hampshire, site for the 
Pellegrini stiffleg derrick used for hoisting personnel. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) The Swenson Granite Gray Quarry is an open dimensional granite 
quarry operating fixed stiffleg derricks to lift stone and equipment. 
Personnel hoisting will be done as have been for many years before with 
equipment that has since been replaced by a newer stiffleg derrick.
    (2) The petitioner notes that this standard, requiring that an 
accurate and reliable indicator of the position of cage, skip, bucket 
or cars in the shaft be provided, also applies to underground mines 
where there may not be visual contact at all, and safety and position 
indicators rely on limit switches and proximity devices. The petitioner 
asserts that the derrick operator has a full view of the hook and load 
at all times.
    (3) The quarry floor is not flat and personnel would need to be set 
down in many different locations. The quarry maintains high walls and 
inspects for loose material on a regular basis.
    (4) The petitioner would rely 100 percent on the hand signal system 
to swing lower and stop movement of the man-box at the exclusive 
direction of the hand signal from the miner in the man-box.
    (5) With no fixed location for stopping while lifting men, as 
changes in the quarry floor are always occurring, a fixed stopping with 
redundant switches and stops is not practical for the operation. With a 
fixed stopping location redundant switches and stops would allow for 
positive bottom limit protection.
    (6) The petitioner's reliance on signaling by hand provides a 
minimum of two sets of eyes watching the movement and directing the man 
box.
    (7) The petitioner states that all persons involved in signaling 
while hoisting personnel understand that a miner's health and safety 
are dependent on the use of clear hand signals as they convey their 
requests for moving and stopping.
    The petitioner asserts that the system of hand signals to direct 
the derrick would at all times guarantee no less than the same measure 
of protection afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Numbers: M-2012-001-C and M-2012-002-C.
    Petitioner: Arch Coal, Inc., Wolf Run Mining Company, 99 Edmiston 
Way, Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201.
    Mines: Imperial Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09115, Route 9, Box 576, 
Grassy Run Road Buckhannon, West Virginia 26201, located in Upshur 
County, West Virginia; Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-04168, Route 3, 
Box 146, Philippi, West Virginia 26416, located in Barbour 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 plugging and replugging of gas and oil 
wells, and mining through or intersecting certain oil and gas wells 
within the projected workings of the Imperial Mine and

[[Page 14428]]

Sentinel Mine after plugging or replugging.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
cleaning out and preparing vertical oil and gas wells prior to plugging 
or replugging:
    (1) Completely clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 
feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, unless MSHA 
requires cleaning to a greater depth. All material will be removed from 
the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall.
    (2) Prepare down-hole logs for each well that will consist of a 
caliper survey and log(s) suitable for determining the top, bottom, and 
thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata 
and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, a journal will be 
maintained describing the depth and nature of each material 
encountered, bit size and type used to drill each portion of the hole, 
length and type of each material used to plug the well, length of 
casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped or left in place, any sections 
where casing was cut or milled, and other pertinent information 
concerning cleaning and sealing the well. Invoices, work orders, and 
other records relating to all work on the well will be maintained as 
part of the journal and provided to MSHA upon request.
    (3) When cleaning out the well, the petitioner will make a diligent 
effort to remove all of the casing in the well. If the casing cannot be 
removed, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure that the annulus 
between the casings and the casings and the well walls are filled with 
expanding cement (minimum of 0.5 percent expansion upon setting) and 
contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, it will be cut or 
milled at all mineable coal seam levels and any remaining casing will 
be perforated or ripped. Perforations or rips will be at least every 50 
feet from 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up 
to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal seam. When multiple 
casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), any 
casing that remains will be ripped or perforated and filled with 
expanding cement. An acceptable casing bond log for each casing and 
tubing string, if used, is in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple 
strings.
    (4) If the completely cleaned-out well emits excessive amounts of 
gas, a mechanical bridge plug will be placed in the well. The bridge 
plug will be placed in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the 
base of the lowest mineable coal seam, but above the top of the 
uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum, unless the MSHA requires a 
greater distance. If a mechanical bridge cannot be set, an appropriate 
size packer will be used.
    (5) If the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 300 
feet of the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, mechanical bridge 
plugs will be properly placed to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing 
stratum from the expanding cement plug. A minimum of 200 feet of 
expanding cement will be placed below the lowest mineable coal seam, 
unless MSHA requires a greater distance.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
plugging and replugging vertical oil or gas wells to the surface:
    (1) After completely cleaning out the well, expanding cement slurry 
will be pumped down the well to form a plug that runs from at least 200 
feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam to the surface, or 
lower if required by MSHA. The expanding cement will be placed in the 
well under a pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch (psi). 
Portland cement or lightweight cement mixture will be used to fill the 
area from 100 feet above the top of the uppermost mineable coal seam to 
the surface, or higher if required by MSHA.
    (2) 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 well. In the alternative, a 4\1/2\-
inch or larger casing, set in cement, will extend at least 36 inches 
above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on 
the casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument 
(i.e., prime farmland), high-resolution GPS coordinates (half-meter 
resolution) will be required.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
plugging or replugging oil and gas wells for use as degasification 
boreholes:
    (1) After completely cleaning out the well, a cement plug will be 
set in the well by pumping expanding cement slurry down the tubing to 
provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest mineable 
coal seam unless MSHA requires a greater depth. The expanding cement 
will be placed in the well under a pressure of at least 200 psi. The 
top of the expanding cement will extend at least 30 feet above the top 
of the coal seam being mined unless MSHA requires a greater distance.
    (2) A suitable casing will be securely grouted into the bedrock of 
the upper portion of the degasification well to protect it. The 
remainder of this well may be cased or uncased.
    (3) The top of the degasification casing will be fitted with a 
wellhead, equipped as required by MSHA in the approved ventilation 
plan. Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling 
ports, flame arrestor equipment, and security fencing.
    (4) Operation of the degasification well will be addressed in the 
approved ventilation plan. This may include periodic tests of methane 
levels and limits on the minimum methane concentration that may be 
extracted.
    (5) After the area of the coal mine degassed by a well is sealed or 
the coal mine is abandoned, the degassed holes will be sealed as 
follows:
    (i) A tube will be inserted to the bottom of the drill hole or, if 
not possible, to no greater than 100 feet above the coal seam. Any 
blockage will be removed to ensure that the tube can be inserted.
    (ii) A cement plug will be set in the well by pumping Portland 
cement or a lightweight cement mixture down the tubing until the well 
is filled to the surface.
    (iii) 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 well. In the alternative, a 4\1/2\-
inch or larger casing set in cement will extend at least 36 inches 
above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on 
the casing.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
preparing and plugging or replugging vertical oil and gas wells. This 
will apply to all wells that cannot be completely cleaned out due to 
damage to the well caused by subsidence, caving, or other factors:
    (1) A hole will be drilled adjacent and parallel to the well to a 
depth of at least 200 feet below the lowest mineable coal seam, unless 
MSHA requires a greater depth.
    (2) A geophysical sensing device will be used to locate any casing 
that may remain in the well.
    (3) If the well contains casing(s), the well will be drilled into 
from the parallel hole. From 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 feet 
above the coal seam, all casings will be perforated or ripped at 
intervals of at least 5 feet. Beyond this distance, at least every 50 
feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal 
seam up to 100 feet above the seam being mined will be ripped or 
perforated, unless MSHA requires a greater distance. The annulus 
between the casings and the casings and the well wall will be filled 
with expanding cement (minimum 0.5

[[Page 14429]]

percent expansion upon setting) and contain no voids. If it can be 
demonstrated to MSHA, using a casing bond log, that all annuli in the 
well are already adequately sealed with cement, then the petitioner 
will not perforate or rip the casing for the particular well or fill 
these areas with cement. When multiple casing and tubing strings are 
present in the coal horizon(s), any casing that remains will be ripped 
or perforated and filled with expanding cement. An acceptable casing 
bond log for each casing and tubing string will be needed if used in 
lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings.
    (4) Where the petitioner determines and MSHA agrees that there is 
insufficient casing in the well to allow the use of the method outlined 
in this petition, a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique will be 
used to intercept the original well. From at least 200 feet below the 
base of the lowest mineable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above 
the seam being mined, at least six places will be fractured at 
intervals to be agreed upon by the petitioner and MSHA after 
considering the geological strata and the pressure within the well. 
Expanding cement will then be pumped into the fractured well in 
sufficient quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids.
    (5) Down-hole logs for each well will be prepared. The logs will 
consist of a caliper survey and logs(s) suitable for determining the 
top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-
producing strata and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, a 
journal will be maintained describing the depth of each material 
encountered, the nature of each material encountered, bit size and type 
used to plug the well, length of casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped, 
or left in place, any sections where casing was cut or milled, and 
other pertinent information concerning cleaning and sealing the well. 
Invoices, work-orders, and other records relating to all work on the 
well will be maintained as part of the journal and provided to MSHA 
upon request.
    (6) After the well has been plugged, open portions of both holes 
will be plugged from the bottom to the surface with Portland cement or 
a lightweight cement mixture. 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 well. In the alternative, 
a 4\1/2\-inch or larger casing set in cement will extend at least 36 
inches above the ground level.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after 
approval has been granted by MSHA to mine within the safety barrier (50 
feet from any well), or mine through a plugged or replugged well:
    (1) The petitioner will mine through a well on a shift approved by 
MSHA, and notify MSHA in sufficient time prior to mining through a well 
to provide an opportunity to have a representative present.
    (2) When continuous mining methods are being used, drivage sights 
will be installed not more than 50 feet from the well at the last open 
crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. 
When longwall mining methods are being used, drivage sights will be 
installed on 10-foot centers for a distance of 50 feet in advance of 
the well. The drivage sights will be installed in the headgate and 
tailgate.
    (3) Fire-fighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock 
dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the 
mine-through (when either the conventional or continuous mining method 
is used) will be available and operable during all well mine-throughs. 
The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or 
room. The water line will be maintained to the belt-conveyor tailpiece 
along with sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point 
of penetration of the section.
    (4) Sufficient roof support supplies and ventilation materials will 
be available and located at the last open crosscut. In addition, 
emergency plugs and suitable sealing materials will be available in the 
immediate area of the well intersection.
    (5) The ventilation plan will specify minimum ventilation air 
quantities to be maintained in the working face during the period from 
when mining is within 50 feet of the well location until the post-cut-
through inspection or mining progresses at least 50 feet past the well 
location.
    (6) All equipment will be serviced and checked for permissibility 
on the shift prior to mining through the well.
    (7) Methane monitor(s) will be calibrated on the continuous mining 
machine or cutting machine and loading machine on the shift prior to 
mining through the well.
    (8) When mining is in progress, the petitioner will test for 
methane 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 
mine-through. During the actual cutting process, no individual will be 
allowed on the return side until the mine-through is complete and the 
area has been examined and declared safe.
    (9) When continuous or conventional mining methods are being used, 
the work area will be free from accumulations of coal dust and coal 
spillages, and rock dust will be placed on the roof, rib, and floor to 
within 20 feet of the face when mining through the well.
    (10) When the well is intersected, the petitioner will deenergize 
all equipment, thoroughly examine the equipment, and determine that the 
area is safe before mining is resumed.
    (11) After a well has been intersected and the work area determined 
safe, mining will continue inby the well at a sufficient distance to 
permit adequate ventilation around the area of the well.
    (12) If the casing is cut or milled at the coal seam level, the use 
of torches will not be necessary. However, in rare instances, torches 
may be used for inadequately or inaccurately cut or milled casings. No 
open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has 
been established around the wellbore and methane levels of less than 
1.0 percent are present in all areas exposed to flames and sparks from 
the torch. The petitioner will apply thick layer of rock dust to the 
roof, face, floor, ribs, and any exposed coal within 20 feet of the 
casing prior to any use of torches.
    (13) Non-sparking (brass) tools will be located on the working 
section and will be used to expose and examine cased wells.
    (14) No person will be permitted in the area of the mine-through 
operation except those actually engaged in the operation, including 
company personnel, representative of the miners, personnel from MSHA, 
and personnel from the appropriate State agency.
    (15) All personnel in the mine will be alerted to the planned 
intersection of the well prior to going underground if the planned 
intersection is to occur during their shift. This alert will be 
repeated for all shifts until the well has been mined through.
    (16) The mine-through operation will be under the direct 
supervision of a certified individual. Instructions concerning the 
mine-through operation will be issued only by the certified individual 
in charge. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the 
petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 
48 training plan to the District Manager. The revisions will include 
initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and 
conditions in the petition. All miners involved in the mine-through of 
a well will be trained regarding the

[[Page 14430]]

requirements of this petition prior to mining within 150 feet of the 
next well to be mined through.
    (2) The person responsible for well intersection emergencies will 
review the well intersection procedures prior to any planned 
intersection.
    (3) Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the 
petitioner will submit proposed revisions for the approved mine 
emergency and firefighting plan. These plans will include the hazards 
and evacuation procedures to be used for well intersections. Within 30 
days of submittal of the revised evacuation plan, all underground 
miners will be trained on the revised plan. Persons may review a 
compete description of the petitioner's proposed alternative method and 
procedures at the MSHA address listed in this petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded the miners under the existing standard.

    Dated: March 5, 2012.
Patricia W. Silvey,
Certifying Officer.
[FR Doc. 2012-5712 Filed 3-8-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P