Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 27086-27092 [2012-11033]

Download as PDF srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 27086 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices determination was signed on February 17, 2012. The Notice of Determination was published in the Federal Register on March 6, 2012 (77 FR 13355). Pursuant to 29 CFR 90.18(c) reconsideration may be granted under the following circumstances: (1) If it appears on the basis of facts not previously considered that the determination complained of was erroneous; (2) If it appears that the determination complained of was based on a mistake in the determination of facts not previously considered; or (3) If in the opinion of the Certifying Officer, a mis-interpretation of facts or of the law justified reconsideration of the decision. The negative determination of the TAA petition filed on behalf of workers at the subject firm was based on the findings that the subject firm did not, during the period under investigation, shift to a foreign country production of articles like or directly competitive with the fence boards produced by the workers or acquire such production from a foreign country. Additionally, the findings revealed that the workers’ separation, or threat of separation, was not related to any increase in imports, by the subject firm or its customers, of articles like or directly competitive with fence boards; and that the workers’ firm is not a supplier or a downstream producer to a firm that employed a group of workers who are eligible to apply for TAA. In the request for reconsideration, the petitioner stated that worker separations are attributable to increased import competition of articles like or directly competitive with the fence boards produced by the workers, to foreign competition of raw material used in the production of fence boards, and to the Canadian practice of using Bark Beetle affected timber. The documentation supplied by the petitioner included import and export data, news and opinion articles, printed web pages, and a copy of a certification of another fencing company (based on increased imports by that company’s major declining customers). The Department has carefully reviewed the petitioner’s allegations and support documentation, as well as previously-submitted information. The petitioner did not supply facts not previously considered; nor provide additional documentation indicating that there was either (1) a mistake in the determination of facts not previously considered or (2) a misinterpretation of facts or of the law justifying reconsideration of the initial determination. Based on these findings, VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 the Department determines that 29 CFR 90.18(c) has not been met. Conclusion After careful review of the application and investigative findings, I conclude that there has been no error or misinterpretation of the law or of the facts which would justify reconsideration of the Department of Labor’s prior decision. Accordingly, the application is denied. Signed in Washington, DC, this 24th day of April 2012. Del Min Amy Chen, Certifying Officer, Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance. [FR Doc. 2012–11056 Filed 5–7–12; 8:45 am] 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 June 7, 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 or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209– 3939, Attention: George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk on the 21st floor. Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions and comments SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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–2012–062–C. Petitioner: Signal Peak Energy, LLC, 100 Portal Drive, Roundup, Montana 59072. Mine: Bull Mountain Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 24–01950, 100 Portal Drive, Roundup, Montana 59072, located in Musselshell County, Montana. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic testing or diagnostic equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. The equipment includes laptop computers, oscilloscopes, vibration analysis machines, cable fault detectors, point temperature probes, infrared temperature devices, insulation testers (meggers), voltage, current, and power measurement devices, signal analyzer devices, ultrasonic thickness gauges, electronic component testers, electronic tachometers, total stations, E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices laser distance meters, 36-volt battery drills, and data collectors. Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in advance by MSHA’s District Office. The petitioner states that: (1) All other test and diagnostic equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut will be permissible. (2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, prior to use to ensure that the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The results of the examinations will be recorded in the weekly examination book and will be made available to an authorized representative of the Secretary and miners at the mine. (3) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic test and diagnostic equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. (4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When 1.0 percent or more of methane is detected while the nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment will be withdrawn to outby the last open crosscut. (5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (6) Except for time necessary to troubleshoot under actual mining conditions, coal production in the section will cease. However, coal may remain in or on the equipment to test and diagnose the equipment under ‘‘load.’’ (7) Nonpermissible electronic test and diagnostic equipment will not be used to test equipment when float coal dust is in suspension. (8) All electronic test and diagnostic equipment will be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended safe use procedures. (9) Qualified personnel who use electronic test and diagnostic equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with the use of electronic test diagnostic equipment. (10) Any piece of equipment subject to this petition will not be put in service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment. (11) Within 60 days after this Proposed Decision and Order becomes VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. In addition to the requirements specified in this petition, these proposed revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions stated in the Proposed Decision and Order. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–063–C. Petitioner: Sebree Mining, LLC, 2668 State Route 120E, Providence, Kentucky 42450. Mine: Sebree Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19264, located in Webster County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance for leaving barrier pillars around oil and gas wells. The petitioner proposes to mine through oil and gas wells in all mineable coalbeds. As alternative to leaving 300foot coal barriers, the petitioner proposes the following terms and conditions: The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for cleaning out, preparing, plugging, and replugging oil and gas wells: (1) A diligent effort will be made to completely clean out the well from the surface to at least 100 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam. A diligent effort will be made to remove all material from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall, with the exception of clearly defined surface casing. (2) For each well, a diligent effort will be made to 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. A downhole camera survey may be used in lieu of down-hole logs. (3) If it is not possible to remove all the casing, appropriate steps will be taken to ensure the annulus between the casing and the well walls are filled with expanding cement and contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, it will be cut or milled at all minable coal seams. Perforations or rips will be made 50 feet above and below the coal seams. If determined by the use of a casing bond log that the annulus at the coal seams to be mined are already adequately sealed with cement, then PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27087 perforating or ripping will not be required. (4) If the cleaned-out well produces gas, or the uppermost hydrocarbonproducing stratum is within 500 feet of the lowest minable coal seam, either a mechanical bridge plug or a cal-seal plug will be placed in competent stratum 100 feet below the lowest minable coal seam, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, an appropriately sized packer may be used. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil and gas wells to the surface: (1) Expanding slurry cement will be pumped down the well to form a plug that runs from at least 100 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal seam to the surface. (2) Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture may be used to fill the area from 100 feet above the top of the uppermost minable coal seam to the surface. (3) Steel turnings or other magnetic particles will be embedded in the top of the cement near the surface or, if the surface casing is present, it can be used to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of the well. (4) If the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (i.e., prime farmland), high resolution GPS coordinates will be used. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after approval has been granted by the District Manager to mine within the safety barrier or to mine through a plugged or replugged well: (1) A representative of the operator, a representative of the Kentucky OMSL, or the MSHA District Manager may request that a conference be conducted prior to mining through a plugged well. The purpose of the conference will be to review, evaluate, and accommodate any abnormal or unusual circumstances related to the condition of the well or surrounding strata when such conditions are encountered. (2) The District Manager will be notified at least a week prior to mining through a well to provide an opportunity to have an MSHA representative present. (3) When using continuous mining methods, drivage sights will be installed at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. The drivage sights will not be more than 100 feet from the well. (4) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 27088 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices face area will be available. The fire hose will be located near the working face. (5) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation materials will be available and located near the working face. In addition, an emergency plug and/or plugs will be available within the immediate area of the well intersection. (6) Equipment involved in mining through the well will be checked for permissibility and serviced on the maintenance shift prior to mining through the well. The methane monitor on the continuous mining machine involved in mining through the well will also be calibrated on the maintenance shift prior to mining through the well. (7) When mining is in progress, tests for methane will be made with a handheld methane detector at least every 10 minutes, from the time that mining with the continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the well until the well is intersected, and immediately prior to mining through. During the actual cutting-through process, no individual will be allowed on the return side until mining-through has been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe. (8) The working 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. (9) When the well is intersected, all equipment will be deenergized and the place thoroughly examined and determined safe before mining is resumed. (10) Any casing will be removed and no open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the well. (11) After a well has been intersected and the working place determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a distance sufficient to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the well. (12) No person will be permitted in the area of the mining-through operation except those actually engaged in the operation, company personnel, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the Kentucky OMSL. (13) The mining-through operation will be under the direct supervision of a certified individual. Instructions concerning the mining-through operation will be issued only by the certified individual in charge. MSHA personnel may interrupt or halt the mining through operation when necessary for the safety of the miners. (14) Within 30 days after this Order becomes final, the petitioner will submit VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency evacuation and firefighting plan required by 30 CFR 75.1501. The petitioner will revise the plans to include the hazards and evacuation procedures to be used for well intersections. The petitioner further states that this petition will apply to all types of mining (conventional, continuous, and longwall) and asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times provide a measure of protection no less than that of the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–064–C. Petitioner: Lone Mountain Processing, Inc., Drawer C, St. Charles, Virginia 24282. Mine: Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 15– 18734, Route 636 Benedict Road, St. Charles, Virginia 24282, located in Harlan County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.208 (Warning devices). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit a readily visible warning to be posted at the second row of permanent roof support outby unsupported roof or a physical barrier to be installed to impede travel beyond permanent support, except during the installation of roof supports. The petitioner states that: (1) The Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing requires ‘‘a warning device to be installed on the second row of permanent roof support outby unsupported roof.’’ (2) MSHA’s approved Precautions for Remote Control Operation of Continuous Mining Machines states that ‘‘While using remote controls, the continuous mining machine operator and all other persons will position themselves no closer than the second ‘full row’ of installed roof bolts outby the face.’’ (3) This petition is necessary to improve safety and to attain commonality between State and Federal regulations. (4) Safety increases when the distance an employee keeps from unsupported roof increases. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–065–C. Petitioner: ICG Tygart Valley, LLC, 1200 Tygart Drive, Grafton, West Virginia 26354. Mine: Tygart #1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09192, located in Taylor County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard requiring that barriers be established and maintained around oil and gas wells penetrating coalbeds or underground areas of coal mines to permit an alternative method of compliance. The petitioner states that: (1) The mine is projected to encounter vertical in-seam boreholes, typical to oil and natural gas wells, as mine development progresses. (2) The active development section is approaching these boreholes, and is projected to encounter additional boreholes in the future as mining operations continue. (3) The procedure presented in this petition will be used to ensure that mining through these boreholes is accomplished safely and, as an alternative to compliance with 30 CFR 75.1700, will provide no less than the same measure of protection to the miners, as required by the MSHA standard. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging oil or gas wells: (1) Prior to plugging an oil or gas well, a diligent effort will be made to clean the borehole to the original total depth. If this depth cannot be reached, the borehole will be cleaned out to a depth that would permit the placement of at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the base of the lowest minable coal bed. (2) When cleaning the borehole, a diligent effort will be made to remove all of the casing in the borehole. If it is not possible to remove all of the casing, the casing that remains will be perforated or ripped at intervals spaced close enough to permit expanding cement slurry to infiltrate the annulus between the casing and the borehole wall for a distance of at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal bed. (3) If the cleaned-out borehole produces gas, a mechanical bridge plug will be placed in the borehole in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal bed, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, a substantial brush plug may be used in its place. The District Manager may allow the use of other effective methods of stopping any and all gas flow emitting from the wellbore before placement of cement through the minable coal seam(s). Such approval will be documented in a written response to the operators’ submittal of a detailed explanation of the method to be used E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices and an engineering evaluation of the relative effectiveness of the alternative. (4) A suite of logs will be made, consisting of a caliper survey, directional deviation survey, and log(s) suitable for determining the top and bottom of the lowest minable coal bed and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for the bridge plug. (5) If the uppermost hydrocarbonproducing stratum is within 200 feet of the base of the lowest minable coal bed, properly placed mechanical bridge plugs or a suitable brush plug described in paragraph (3) above will be used to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement plug. Nevertheless, a minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement will be placed below the lowest minable coal bed. (6) The wellbore will be completely filled and circulated with a gel that inhibits any flow of gas, supports the walls of the borehole, and increases the density of the expanding cement. This gel will be pumped through open-end tubing run to a point approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the borehole or bridge plug. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging gas and oil wells to the surface: (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and fill the borehole to the surface. As an alternative, the cement slurry may be pumped down the tubing so that the borehole is filled. There will be at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the base of the lowest minable coal bed. (2) A marker conforming to the requirements of the state regulatory authority will be installed at the borehole, or a small quantity of steel turnings or other small magnetic particles will be embedded in the top of the cement near the surface. The method used will be suitable to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of the borehole. The following procedures will be used for the vent pipe method for plugging oil and gas wells: (1) A 41⁄2-inch or larger pipe will be run into the wellbore to a depth of 100 feet below the lowest minable coal bed and wedged to a smaller diameter pipe that, if desired, will extend to a point approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned-out area of the borehole or bridge plug. (2) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding cement slurry, Portland cement, or a Portland cement-fly ash mixture down the tubing to displace the gel so that the borehole is filled with cement. The borehole and VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 the vent pipe will be filled with expanding cement for a minimum of 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point approximately 100 feet above the top of the lowest minable coal bed. (3) All fluid will be evacuated from the vent pipe to facilitate testing for gases. During the evacuation of fluid, the expanding cement will not be disturbed. (4) The top of the vent pipe will be protected to prevent liquids or solids from entering the wellbore, but permit ready access to the full internal diameter of the vent pipe when necessary. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when plugging oil or gas wells for subsequent use as degasification boreholes: (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest minable coal bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point above the top of the coal bed being mined. This distance will be based on the average height of the roof strata breakage for the mine. (2) To facilitate methane drainage, degasification casing of suitable diameter, slotted or perforated throughout its lower 150 to 200 feet, will be set in the borehole to a point 10 to 30 feet above the top of the expanding cement. (3) The annulus between the degasification casing and the borehole wall will be cemented from a point immediately above the slots or perforations to the surface. (4) The degasification casing will be cleaned out for its total length. (5) The top of the degasification casing will be fitted with a wellhead equipped as required by the District Manager. Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling port, flame arrestor equipment, and security fencing. The following alternative procedures for preparing and plugging oil and gas wells will apply to wells that the petitioner and the District Manager agree cannot be completely cleaned out due to damage to the well caused by subsidence, caving, or other factors; as determined by the petitioner and agreed to by the District Manager. These provisions will apply unless alternative measures are agreed upon and based upon a plan submitted to the District Manager: (1) The petitioner will drill a hole adjacent and parallel to the well to a PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27089 depth of at least 200 feet below the lowest minable coal seam. (2) The petitioner will use a geophysical sensing device to locate any casing that may remain in the well. (3) If the well contains casing(s), the petitioner will drill into the well from the parallel hole. From 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 feet above the coal seam, the petitioner will perforate or rip all casings at intervals of at least 5 feet. Beyond this distance, the petitioner will perforate or rip at least every 50 feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal seam up to 100 feet above the seam being mined. The petitioner will fill the annulus between the casing, and between the casings and the well wall with expanding cement (minimum 0.5 percent expansion upon setting), and will ensure that these areas contain no voids. If the petitioner, using a casing bond log, can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the District Manager that the annulus of the well is adequately sealed with cement, then the petitioner will not be required to perforate or rip the casing for that 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 as indicated above. An acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing string is needed if used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (4) Where the petitioner determines and the District Manager agrees that there is insufficient casing in the well to allow the method outlined in paragraph (3) above to be used, then the petitioner will use a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique to intercept the original well. From at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above the seam being mined, the petitioner will fracture at least six places at intervals to be agreed upon by the petitioner and the District Manager after considering the geological strata and the pressure within the well. The petitioner will then pump expanding cement into the fractured well in sufficient quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids. (5) The petitioner will prepare downhole logs for each well. The logs 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 the bridge plug. The petitioner may obtain the logs from the adjacent hole rather than the well if the condition of the well makes it impractical to insert the equipment E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 27090 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices necessary to obtain the log. The District Manager may approve the use of a down-hole cameral survey in lieu of down-hole logs if, in his or her judgment, such logs would not be suitable for obtaining the data or are impractical to obtain due to the condition of the drill hole. A journal will be maintained describing the length and type material used to plug the well; the length of casing(s) removed, perforated, or ripped or left in place; and other pertinent information concerning sealing the well. (6) After the petitioner has plugged the well, the petitioner will plug the open portions of both holes from the bottom to the surface with Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture. The petitioner will embed steel turnings or other small magnetic particles 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. A combination of the methods outlined in paragraph (3) and (4) above may have to be used in a single well, depending upon the conditions of the hole and the presence of casings. The petitioner and the District Manager may discuss the nature of each hole and the District Manager may require the use of more than one method. The petitioner proposes to use the following cut-through procedures whenever the safety barrier diameter is reduced to a distance less than the District Manager would approve pursuant to § 75.1700 or the petitioner proceeds with an intent to cut through a plugged well: (1) Prior to reducing the safety barrier to a distance less than the District Manager would approve or proceeding with intent to cut through a plugged well, the petitioner will notify the District Manager. (2) Mining in close proximity to or through a plugged well will be done on a shift approved by the District Manager. (3) The District Manager, a representative of the miners, and the appropriate States agency will be notified by the operator in sufficient time prior to the mining-through operation to provide an opportunity for them to have a representative present. (4) When using continuous mining equipment, drivage sights will be installed at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. The drivage sights will not be more that 50 feet from the well. When using longwall mining methods, drivage sights will be installed VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 on 10-foot centers for a distance of 50 feet in advance of the well bore. The drivage sights will be installed in the headgate and tailgate. (5) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mining-through will be available when either the conventional or continuous mining method is used. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. All fire hoses will be ready for operation during the mining-through. (6) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation materials will be available and located at the last open crosscut. In addition, an emergency plug and/or plugs will be available in the immediate area of the cut-through. (7) The quantity of air required by the approved mine ventilation plan, but not less than 6,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air for scrubber-equipped continuous miners or not less than 9,000 cfm for continuous miner sections using auxiliary fans or line brattice only, will be used to ventilate the working face during the mining-through operation. The quantity of air required by the ventilation plan, but not less than 30,000 cfm, will reach the working face of each longwall during the miningthrough operation. (8) Equipment will be checked for permissibility and serviced on the shift prior to mining-through the well. The methane monitors on the continuous mining machine or the longwall shear and face will be calibrated on the shift prior to mining through the well. (9) When mining is in progress, tests for methane will be made with a handheld methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time that mining with the continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the well until the well is intersected and immediately prior to mining through. When mining with longwall mining equipment, tests for methane will be made at least every 10 minutes when the longwall face is within 10 feet of the well. During the actual cutting-through process, no individual will be allowed on the return side until mining through has been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe. (10) When using continuous mining methods, the working 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 or near the well on the shift or shifts during which the cut-through will occur. On longwall sections, rockdusting will be conducted and placed PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 on the roof, rib, and floor up to both headgate and tailgate gob. (11) When the wellbore is intersected, all equipment will be deenergized and the area thoroughly examined and determined safe before mining is resumed. Any well casing will be removed and no open flame will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore. (12) After a well has been intersected and the working area determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a distance sufficient to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the wellbore. (13) No person will be permitted in the area of the mining-through operation except those actually engaged in the operation, company personnel, representatives of the miners, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. (14) The mining-through operation will be under the direct supervision of a certified official. Instructions concerning the mining-through operation will be issued only by the certified official in charge. MSHA personnel may interrupt or halt the mining-through operation when necessary for the safety of the miners. (15) The petitioner will file a plugging affidavit setting forth the persons who participated in the work, a description of the plugging work, and a certification by the petitioner that the well has been plugged as described. (16) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The provisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions stated in the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee miners no less than the same measure of protection as afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–002–M. Petitioner: Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company, P.O. Box 32199, Juneau, Alaska 99803. Mine: Greens Creek Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 50–01267, located in Juneau County, Alaska. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.14130 (Roll-over protective structures (ROPS) and seat belts for surface equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit employees to be transported 1,600 feet to and from the surface dry facility to work sites underground using underground mine E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices tractors, due to the increase in injuries from slips, trips, and falls, and an increase of human-to-bear encounters. The petitioner states that: (1) It is common practice at many U.S. mines to transport personnel from surface dry facilities to work sites underground with tractors equipped with rear man-baskets for standing passengers, fender seats with seat belts, a driver’s seat with seat belts, and ROPS designed to protect the driver. The tractors are used because they have more robust drivelines and braking systems and are elevated to better handle underground conditions. (2) At Greens Creek Mine, the route between the dry area (miner shower facilities and meeting area) and the mine portal is flat, and the entire 1,600foot distance is surfaced with cement and protected by guardrails with a posted speed limit of 10 miles per hour or less depending on road conditions. (3) The tractors used at Greens Creek Mine are equipped with ROPS designed for the driver only and are fitted with manufactured rear baskets to accommodate standing riders. Some of the tractors also have fender seats. All seats are equipped with seat belts and seat belt use is mandatory. (4) Since becoming aware of a citation given to a neighboring mine, the petitioner asserts that they have been proactive in complying with § 57.14130. However, the petitioner believes that this compliance has proven to be harmful to employees as they have seen an increase of slips, trips, and falls during the winter months with snow and ice accumulations. Employees have also been placed at risk during the spring and summer months because of the large population of brown bears that inhabit the Greens Creek mine site. Admiralty Island, where the Greens Creek mine is located, has a larger brown bear population per square mile than any other location in the world. Wildlife biologist estimates suggest a brown bear population of 2.34 bears per square mile on Admiralty Island. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–003–M. Petitioner: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, 144 Rosecrans Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401. Mine: 3M Wausau Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 47–02918; Graystone Plant, MSHA I.D. No. 47–00119, 144 Rosecrans Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401, located in Marathon County, Wisconsin. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.13020 (Use of compressed air). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of clothes cleaning booths at the Wausau Mine and Graystone Plant. The petitioner proposes to implement a clothes cleaning booth process that has been jointly developed with and successfully tested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). That process uses controlled compressed air for cleaning miners’ dust-laden clothing. The petitioner states that: (1) Data has been obtained from NIOSH that has determined that contaminated worker clothing can be a major contributor to increased employee dust exposure. (2) The clothes cleaning process uses a regulated compressed air nozzle manifold at ≤ 30 pounds per square inch (psig) to blow dust from a worker’s clothing. The process is performed in an enclosed booth, capturing the dust and then delivering it to a stack located outside of the plant. (3) The booth is under negative pressure, with air moving downward, away from the worker’s breathing zone and, therefore, no dust escapes to contaminate the work environment or other workers. (4) The worker entering the booth is required to wear full-seal eye goggles, hearing protection, and a half-mask respirator. No significant safety or health concerns have been identified because the eyes are protected by fullseal goggles, the skin is protected by work clothes, hearing is protected by ear plugs or muffs, the lungs are protected by a respirator, and air is limited to 30 psig, which is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s limit for cleaning purposes. (5) Air monitoring has shown minimal to no respirable dust contamination inside the respirator during this process. The testing also showed no increase in respirable dust levels anywhere inside the plant. (6) The engineering controls and mandatory personal protective equipment associated with this NIOSHtested clothes cleaning process will afford miners a more effective clothes cleaning method. This will provide a direct reduction of miners’ exposures to respirable crystalline silica dust, thus reducing their health risks while providing no less a degree of safety than that provided by the standard. The petitioner further states that the following provisions will be provided if this petition is approved: (1) Only miners trained in the operation of the NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth process will be PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 27091 permitted to use the clothes cleaning process. (2) The petitioner will incorporate clothes cleaning booth process training in its Part 46 training plan. (3) In lieu of 30 CFR 56.13020, whereby compressed air is not permitted to be directed towards a person, all miners entering the NIOSHtested clothes cleaning booth process will be required to wear full-seal goggles for eye protection, ear plugs or muffs for hearing protection, and fit-tested respirators for respiratory protection. (4) The NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth process will have a caution sign, conspicuously posted, indicating that the use of respiratory protection, hearing protection, and safety goggles are required before entering the booth. (5) The air pressure through the spray manifold will be limited to 30 psig. The air spray manifold will consist of 2-foot square, 1⁄4-inch hot rolled steel tubing, capped at the base, actuated by an electrically controlled ball valve at the top, providing a yield strength safety factor of more than 20 when compared to the 30 psig operating pressure. (6) The air spray manifold will contain 27 total nozzles of which 26 will be Spraying Systems Co. Nozzle No. AA727–23, 18.4 SCFM @ 30 psig. The 27th and lowermost nozzle will be Spraying Systems Co. Nozzle No. AA707–23, 19.2 SCFM @ 30 psig. (7) The uppermost spray nozzle will be located at a height of not more than 56 inches. This places the nozzle height at shoulder height for the 50th percentile male U.S. worker according to ‘‘Ergonomics—How to Design for Ease and Efficiency,’’ 2nd Edition, Kroemer, K.H., Kroemer, H.B., Kroemer, Elbert, K.D., Prentice Hall, NJ, 2001. Those miners with a shoulder height less than the 50th percentile male will use the mechanical air spray deflector, which is quick, effective, and easy to use. (8) Spray nozzles have been recessed into the manifold, which is designed to eliminate the possibility of incidental contact with the air nozzles during use of the clothes cleaning process. (9) Airflow through the manifold during the cleaning cycle will occur only if the measured differential pressure on the exhaust system and pressure on the main air line are within proper operating ranges. If at any time either the differential pressure or line pressure falls outside preset limits, the cleaning cycle will automatically stop via an electrical interlock system. (10) The NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth is permanently ducted to the outside of the plant. Airflow through the clothes cleaning booth will be E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1 27092 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 89 / Tuesday, May 8, 2012 / Notices sufficient to maintain negative pressure during use of the clothes cleaning system to prevent contamination of the environment outside of the booth. (11) The air receiver tank supplying air to the manifold system will be of sufficient volume to permit not less than 20 seconds of continuous cleaning time. Airflow through the booth will be in the downward direction, thereby moving contaminants away from the miners’ breathing zone. Miners entering the NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth will perform regular user checks, examining the valves and nozzle for damage or malfunction and ensuring that the door is fully closed before opening the air valve. (12) The petitioner will ensure that periodic maintenance checks are performed in accordance with the NIOSH recommendations contained within the ‘‘Clothes Cleaning Process Instruction Manual.’’ The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Dated: May 3, 2012. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2012–11033 Filed 5–7–12; 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 June 7, 2012. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 May 07, 2012 Jkt 226001 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 or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209– 3939, Attention: George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. Persons delivering documents 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–2012–066–C. Petitioner: Perry County Coal Corporation, 1845 S. KY Hwy. 15, Hazard, Kentucky 41701. Mine: E3–1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15– 18662; E4–1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15– 18565; and E4–2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19015, located in Perry County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 standard to permit the use of batterypowered nonpermissible surveying equipment in and inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and laptop computers. The petitioner proposes to use up-todate, practical, and accurate technology in the preparation of mine maps to ensure the safety of the miners by providing proper and accurate mining directional control in the mine. The petitioner states that: (1) Underground mining, by its nature, size, and complexity, and the relative closeness to other abandoned mines, gas/oil wells, and other features, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The use of currently available non-electronic equipment is less accurate and less dependable than the available electronic equipment and requires more exposure of surveyors to hazardous mining environments. (2) Application of the existing standard will result in a diminution of safety to the miners. (3) As an alternative method, the petitioner will examine all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to ensure that the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition prior to use in or inby the last open crosscut. The petitioner will have a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153, to examine the equipment at intervals not to exceed 7 days. Results of the examinations will be recorded in the weekly examination of electrical equipment book. The examinations will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case; (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion and damage; (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery; (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down the instrument to ensure proper connections; and (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (4) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut or in the return. (5) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When 1.0 percent or more E:\FR\FM\08MYN1.SGM 08MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 89 (Tuesday, May 8, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27086-27092]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11033]


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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 June 7, 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 or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, 
Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, 
Virginia 22209-3939, Attention: George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances. Persons delivering documents 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-2012-062-C.
    Petitioner: Signal Peak Energy, LLC, 100 Portal Drive, Roundup, 
Montana 59072.
    Mine: Bull Mountain Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 24-01950, 100 Portal 
Drive, Roundup, Montana 59072, located in Musselshell County, Montana.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of nonpermissible electronic 
testing or diagnostic equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. The 
equipment includes laptop computers, oscilloscopes, vibration analysis 
machines, cable fault detectors, point temperature probes, infrared 
temperature devices, insulation testers (meggers), voltage, current, 
and power measurement devices, signal analyzer devices, ultrasonic 
thickness gauges, electronic component testers, electronic tachometers, 
total stations,

[[Page 27087]]

laser distance meters, 36-volt battery drills, and data collectors. 
Other testing and diagnostic equipment may be used if approved in 
advance by MSHA's District Office. The petitioner states that:
    (1) All other test and diagnostic equipment used in or inby the 
last open crosscut will be permissible.
    (2) All nonpermissible testing and diagnostic equipment used in or 
inby the last open crosscut will be examined by a qualified person, as 
defined in 30 CFR 75.153, prior to use to ensure that the equipment is 
being maintained in a safe operating condition. The results of the 
examinations will be recorded in the weekly examination book and will 
be made available to an authorized representative of the Secretary and 
miners at the mine.
    (3) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible electronic test and diagnostic equipment in or inby 
the last open crosscut.
    (4) Nonpermissible electronic testing and diagnostic equipment will 
not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 
percent. When 1.0 percent or more of methane is detected while the 
nonpermissible electronic equipment is being used, the equipment will 
be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
will be withdrawn to outby the last open crosscut.
    (5) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (6) Except for time necessary to troubleshoot under actual mining 
conditions, coal production in the section will cease. However, coal 
may remain in or on the equipment to test and diagnose the equipment 
under ``load.''
    (7) Nonpermissible electronic test and diagnostic equipment will 
not be used to test equipment when float coal dust is in suspension.
    (8) All electronic test and diagnostic equipment will be used in 
accordance with the manufacturer's recommended safe use procedures.
    (9) Qualified personnel who use electronic test and diagnostic 
equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and 
limitations associated with the use of electronic test diagnostic 
equipment.
    (10) Any piece of equipment subject to this petition will not be 
put in service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment.
    (11) Within 60 days after this Proposed Decision and Order becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. In addition to 
the requirements specified in this petition, these proposed revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions stated in the Proposed Decision and Order.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-063-C.
    Petitioner: Sebree Mining, LLC, 2668 State Route 120E, Providence, 
Kentucky 42450.
    Mine: Sebree Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15-19264, located in Webster 
County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance for 
leaving barrier pillars around oil and gas wells. The petitioner 
proposes to mine through oil and gas wells in all mineable coalbeds. As 
alternative to leaving 300-foot coal barriers, the petitioner proposes 
the following terms and conditions:
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
cleaning out, preparing, plugging, and replugging oil and gas wells:
    (1) A diligent effort will be made to completely clean out the well 
from the surface to at least 100 feet below the base of the lowest 
mineable coal seam. A diligent effort will be made to remove all 
material from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall, with the 
exception of clearly defined surface casing.
    (2) For each well, a diligent effort will be made to 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. A down-hole camera survey may be used in lieu of down-hole 
logs.
    (3) If it is not possible to remove all the casing, appropriate 
steps will be taken to ensure the annulus between the casing and the 
well walls are filled with expanding cement and contain no voids. If 
the casing cannot be removed, it will be cut or milled at all minable 
coal seams. Perforations or rips will be made 50 feet above and below 
the coal seams. If determined by the use of a casing bond log that the 
annulus at the coal seams to be mined are already adequately sealed 
with cement, then perforating or ripping will not be required.
    (4) If the cleaned-out well produces gas, or the uppermost 
hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 500 feet of the lowest minable 
coal seam, either a mechanical bridge plug or a cal-seal plug will be 
placed in competent stratum 100 feet below the lowest minable coal 
seam, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. 
If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, an appropriately 
sized packer may be used.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
plugging or replugging oil and gas wells to the surface:
    (1) Expanding slurry cement will be pumped down the well to form a 
plug that runs from at least 100 feet below the base of the lowest 
minable coal seam to the surface.
    (2) Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture may be used to 
fill the area from 100 feet above the top of the uppermost minable coal 
seam to the surface.
    (3) Steel turnings or other magnetic particles will be embedded in 
the top of the cement near the surface or, if the surface casing is 
present, it can be used to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of 
the well.
    (4) If the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (i.e., 
prime farmland), high resolution GPS coordinates will be used.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after 
approval has been granted by the District Manager to mine within the 
safety barrier or to mine through a plugged or replugged well:
    (1) A representative of the operator, a representative of the 
Kentucky OMSL, or the MSHA District Manager may request that a 
conference be conducted prior to mining through a plugged well. The 
purpose of the conference will be to review, evaluate, and accommodate 
any abnormal or unusual circumstances related to the condition of the 
well or surrounding strata when such conditions are encountered.
    (2) The District Manager will be notified at least a week prior to 
mining through a well to provide an opportunity to have an MSHA 
representative present.
    (3) When using continuous mining methods, drivage sights will be 
installed at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to 
ensure intersection of the well. The drivage sights will not be more 
than 100 feet from the well.
    (4) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock 
dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working

[[Page 27088]]

face area will be available. The fire hose will be located near the 
working face.
    (5) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation materials 
will be available and located near the working face. In addition, an 
emergency plug and/or plugs will be available within the immediate area 
of the well intersection.
    (6) Equipment involved in mining through the well will be checked 
for permissibility and serviced on the maintenance shift prior to 
mining through the well. The methane monitor on the continuous mining 
machine involved in mining through the well will also be calibrated on 
the maintenance shift prior to mining through the well.
    (7) When mining is in progress, tests for methane will be made with 
a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes, from the time 
that mining with the continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the 
well until the well is intersected, and immediately prior to mining 
through. During the actual cutting-through process, no individual will 
be allowed on the return side until mining-through has been completed 
and the area has been examined and declared safe.
    (8) The working 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.
    (9) When the well is intersected, all equipment will be deenergized 
and the place thoroughly examined and determined safe before mining is 
resumed.
    (10) Any casing will be removed and no open flame will be permitted 
in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the 
well.
    (11) After a well has been intersected and the working place 
determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a distance 
sufficient to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the well.
    (12) No person will be permitted in the area of the mining-through 
operation except those actually engaged in the operation, company 
personnel, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the Kentucky OMSL.
    (13) The mining-through operation will be under the direct 
supervision of a certified individual. Instructions concerning the 
mining-through operation will be issued only by the certified 
individual in charge. MSHA personnel may interrupt or halt the mining 
through operation when necessary for the safety of the miners.
    (14) Within 30 days after this Order becomes final, the petitioner 
will submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency 
evacuation and firefighting plan required by 30 CFR 75.1501. The 
petitioner will revise the plans to include the hazards and evacuation 
procedures to be used for well intersections.
    The petitioner further states that this petition will apply to all 
types of mining (conventional, continuous, and longwall) and asserts 
that the proposed alternative method will at all times provide a 
measure of protection no less than that of the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-064-C.
    Petitioner: Lone Mountain Processing, Inc., Drawer C, St. Charles, 
Virginia 24282.
    Mine: Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 15-18734, Route 636 Benedict Road, 
St. Charles, Virginia 24282, located in Harlan County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.208 (Warning devices).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit a readily visible warning to be posted at 
the second row of permanent roof support outby unsupported roof or a 
physical barrier to be installed to impede travel beyond permanent 
support, except during the installation of roof supports. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) The Kentucky Office of Mine Safety and Licensing requires ``a 
warning device to be installed on the second row of permanent roof 
support outby unsupported roof.''
    (2) MSHA's approved Precautions for Remote Control Operation of 
Continuous Mining Machines states that ``While using remote controls, 
the continuous mining machine operator and all other persons will 
position themselves no closer than the second `full row' of installed 
roof bolts outby the face.''
    (3) This petition is necessary to improve safety and to attain 
commonality between State and Federal regulations.
    (4) Safety increases when the distance an employee keeps from 
unsupported roof increases.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-065-C.
    Petitioner: ICG Tygart Valley, LLC, 1200 Tygart Drive, Grafton, 
West Virginia 26354.
    Mine: Tygart 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09192, located in 
Taylor County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard requiring that barriers be established and maintained 
around oil and gas wells penetrating coalbeds or underground areas of 
coal mines to permit an alternative method of compliance. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) The mine is projected to encounter vertical in-seam boreholes, 
typical to oil and natural gas wells, as mine development progresses.
    (2) The active development section is approaching these boreholes, 
and is projected to encounter additional boreholes in the future as 
mining operations continue.
    (3) The procedure presented in this petition will be used to ensure 
that mining through these boreholes is accomplished safely and, as an 
alternative to compliance with 30 CFR 75.1700, will provide no less 
than the same measure of protection to the miners, as required by the 
MSHA standard.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when 
plugging oil or gas wells:
    (1) Prior to plugging an oil or gas well, a diligent effort will be 
made to clean the borehole to the original total depth. If this depth 
cannot be reached, the borehole will be cleaned out to a depth that 
would permit the placement of at least 200 feet of expanding cement 
below the base of the lowest minable coal bed.
    (2) When cleaning the borehole, a diligent effort will be made to 
remove all of the casing in the borehole. If it is not possible to 
remove all of the casing, the casing that remains will be perforated or 
ripped at intervals spaced close enough to permit expanding cement 
slurry to infiltrate the annulus between the casing and the borehole 
wall for a distance of at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest 
minable coal bed.
    (3) If the cleaned-out borehole produces gas, a mechanical bridge 
plug will be placed in the borehole in a competent stratum at least 200 
feet below the base of the lowest minable coal bed, but above the top 
of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. If it is not possible 
to set a mechanical bridge plug, a substantial brush plug may be used 
in its place.
    The District Manager may allow the use of other effective methods 
of stopping any and all gas flow emitting from the wellbore before 
placement of cement through the minable coal seam(s). Such approval 
will be documented in a written response to the operators' submittal of 
a detailed explanation of the method to be used

[[Page 27089]]

and an engineering evaluation of the relative effectiveness of the 
alternative.
    (4) A suite of logs will be made, consisting of a caliper survey, 
directional deviation survey, and log(s) suitable for determining the 
top and bottom of the lowest minable coal bed and potential 
hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for the bridge plug.
    (5) If the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 200 
feet of the base of the lowest minable coal bed, properly placed 
mechanical bridge plugs or a suitable brush plug described in paragraph 
(3) above will be used to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum 
from the expanding cement plug. Nevertheless, a minimum of 200 feet of 
expanding cement will be placed below the lowest minable coal bed.
    (6) The wellbore will be completely filled and circulated with a 
gel that inhibits any flow of gas, supports the walls of the borehole, 
and increases the density of the expanding cement. This gel will be 
pumped through open-end tubing run to a point approximately 20 feet 
above the bottom of the cleaned out area of the borehole or bridge 
plug.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when 
plugging gas and oil wells to the surface:
    (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding 
cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and fill the borehole 
to the surface. As an alternative, the cement slurry may be pumped down 
the tubing so that the borehole is filled. There will be at least 200 
feet of expanding cement below the base of the lowest minable coal bed.
    (2) A marker conforming to the requirements of the state regulatory 
authority will be installed at the borehole, or a small quantity of 
steel turnings or other small magnetic particles will be embedded in 
the top of the cement near the surface. The method used will be 
suitable to serve as a permanent magnetic monument of the borehole.
    The following procedures will be used for the vent pipe method for 
plugging oil and gas wells:
    (1) A 4\1/2\-inch or larger pipe will be run into the wellbore to a 
depth of 100 feet below the lowest minable coal bed and wedged to a 
smaller diameter pipe that, if desired, will extend to a point 
approximately 20 feet above the bottom of the cleaned-out area of the 
borehole or bridge plug.
    (2) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding 
cement slurry, Portland cement, or a Portland cement-fly ash mixture 
down the tubing to displace the gel so that the borehole is filled with 
cement. The borehole and the vent pipe will be filled with expanding 
cement for a minimum of 200 feet below the base of the lowest minable 
coal bed. The top of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point 
approximately 100 feet above the top of the lowest minable coal bed.
    (3) All fluid will be evacuated from the vent pipe to facilitate 
testing for gases. During the evacuation of fluid, the expanding cement 
will not be disturbed.
    (4) The top of the vent pipe will be protected to prevent liquids 
or solids from entering the wellbore, but permit ready access to the 
full internal diameter of the vent pipe when necessary.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when 
plugging oil or gas wells for subsequent use as degasification 
boreholes:
    (1) A cement plug will be set in the wellbore by pumping expanding 
cement slurry down the tubing to displace the gel and provide at least 
200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest minable coal bed. The top 
of the expanding cement will extend upward to a point above the top of 
the coal bed being mined. This distance will be based on the average 
height of the roof strata breakage for the mine.
    (2) To facilitate methane drainage, degasification casing of 
suitable diameter, slotted or perforated throughout its lower 150 to 
200 feet, will be set in the borehole to a point 10 to 30 feet above 
the top of the expanding cement.
    (3) The annulus between the degasification casing and the borehole 
wall will be cemented from a point immediately above the slots or 
perforations to the surface.
    (4) The degasification casing will be cleaned out for its total 
length.
    (5) The top of the degasification casing will be fitted with a 
wellhead equipped as required by the District Manager. Such equipment 
may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling port, flame arrestor 
equipment, and security fencing.
    The following alternative procedures for preparing and plugging oil 
and gas wells will apply to wells that the petitioner and the District 
Manager agree cannot be completely cleaned out due to damage to the 
well caused by subsidence, caving, or other factors; as determined by 
the petitioner and agreed to by the District Manager. These provisions 
will apply unless alternative measures are agreed upon and based upon a 
plan submitted to the District Manager:
    (1) The petitioner will drill a hole adjacent and parallel to the 
well to a depth of at least 200 feet below the lowest minable coal 
seam.
    (2) The petitioner will use a geophysical sensing device to locate 
any casing that may remain in the well.
    (3) If the well contains casing(s), the petitioner will drill into 
the well from the parallel hole. From 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 
feet above the coal seam, the petitioner will perforate or rip all 
casings at intervals of at least 5 feet. Beyond this distance, the 
petitioner will perforate or rip at least every 50 feet from at least 
200 feet below the base of the lowest minable coal seam up to 100 feet 
above the seam being mined. The petitioner will fill the annulus 
between the casing, and between the casings and the well wall with 
expanding cement (minimum 0.5 percent expansion upon setting), and will 
ensure that these areas contain no voids. If the petitioner, using a 
casing bond log, can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the District 
Manager that the annulus of the well is adequately sealed with cement, 
then the petitioner will not be required to perforate or rip the casing 
for that 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 as indicated above. An acceptable casing bond log for 
each casing and tubing string is needed if used in lieu of ripping or 
perforating multiple strings.
    (4) Where the petitioner determines and the District Manager agrees 
that there is insufficient casing in the well to allow the method 
outlined in paragraph (3) above to be used, then the petitioner will 
use a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique to intercept the 
original well. From at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest 
minable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above the seam being 
mined, the petitioner will fracture at least six places at intervals to 
be agreed upon by the petitioner and the District Manager after 
considering the geological strata and the pressure within the well. The 
petitioner will then pump expanding cement into the fractured well in 
sufficient quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids.
    (5) The petitioner will prepare down-hole logs for each well. The 
logs 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 the bridge 
plug. The petitioner may obtain the logs from the adjacent hole rather 
than the well if the condition of the well makes it impractical to 
insert the equipment

[[Page 27090]]

necessary to obtain the log. The District Manager may approve the use 
of a down-hole cameral survey in lieu of down-hole logs if, in his or 
her judgment, such logs would not be suitable for obtaining the data or 
are impractical to obtain due to the condition of the drill hole. A 
journal will be maintained describing the length and type material used 
to plug the well; the length of casing(s) removed, perforated, or 
ripped or left in place; and other pertinent information concerning 
sealing the well.
    (6) After the petitioner has plugged the well, the petitioner will 
plug the open portions of both holes from the bottom to the surface 
with Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture. The petitioner 
will embed steel turnings or other small magnetic particles 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. A combination of the methods outlined in paragraph (3) and (4) 
above may have to be used in a single well, depending upon the 
conditions of the hole and the presence of casings. The petitioner and 
the District Manager may discuss the nature of each hole and the 
District Manager may require the use of more than one method.
    The petitioner proposes to use the following cut-through procedures 
whenever the safety barrier diameter is reduced to a distance less than 
the District Manager would approve pursuant to Sec.  75.1700 or the 
petitioner proceeds with an intent to cut through a plugged well:
    (1) Prior to reducing the safety barrier to a distance less than 
the District Manager would approve or proceeding with intent to cut 
through a plugged well, the petitioner will notify the District 
Manager.
    (2) Mining in close proximity to or through a plugged well will be 
done on a shift approved by the District Manager.
    (3) The District Manager, a representative of the miners, and the 
appropriate States agency will be notified by the operator in 
sufficient time prior to the mining-through operation to provide an 
opportunity for them to have a representative present.
    (4) When using continuous mining equipment, drivage sights will be 
installed at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to 
ensure intersection of the well. The drivage sights will not be more 
that 50 feet from the well. When using longwall mining methods, drivage 
sights will be installed on 10-foot centers for a distance of 50 feet 
in advance of the well bore. The drivage sights will be installed in 
the headgate and tailgate.
    (5) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock 
dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the 
mining-through will be available when either the conventional or 
continuous mining method is used. The fire hose will be located in the 
last open crosscut of the entry or room. All fire hoses will be ready 
for operation during the mining-through.
    (6) Sufficient supplies of roof support and ventilation materials 
will be available and located at the last open crosscut. In addition, 
an emergency plug and/or plugs will be available in the immediate area 
of the cut-through.
    (7) The quantity of air required by the approved mine ventilation 
plan, but not less than 6,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air for 
scrubber-equipped continuous miners or not less than 9,000 cfm for 
continuous miner sections using auxiliary fans or line brattice only, 
will be used to ventilate the working face during the mining-through 
operation. The quantity of air required by the ventilation plan, but 
not less than 30,000 cfm, will reach the working face of each longwall 
during the mining-through operation.
    (8) Equipment will be checked for permissibility and serviced on 
the shift prior to mining-through the well. The methane monitors on the 
continuous mining machine or the longwall shear and face will be 
calibrated on the shift prior to mining through the well.
    (9) When mining is in progress, tests for methane will be made with 
a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time 
that mining with the continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the 
well until the well is intersected and immediately prior to mining 
through. When mining with longwall mining equipment, tests for methane 
will be made at least every 10 minutes when the longwall face is within 
10 feet of the well. During the actual cutting-through process, no 
individual will be allowed on the return side until mining through has 
been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe.
    (10) When using continuous mining methods, the working 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 or near the well on the shift or shifts during 
which the cut-through will occur. On longwall sections, rock-dusting 
will be conducted and placed on the roof, rib, and floor up to both 
headgate and tailgate gob.
    (11) When the wellbore is intersected, all equipment will be 
deenergized and the area thoroughly examined and determined safe before 
mining is resumed. Any well casing will be removed and no open flame 
will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been 
established around the wellbore.
    (12) After a well has been intersected and the working area 
determined safe, mining will continue inby the well at a distance 
sufficient to permit adequate ventilation around the area of the 
wellbore.
    (13) No person will be permitted in the area of the mining-through 
operation except those actually engaged in the operation, company 
personnel, representatives of the miners, personnel from MSHA, and 
personnel from the appropriate State agency.
    (14) The mining-through operation will be under the direct 
supervision of a certified official. Instructions concerning the 
mining-through operation will be issued only by the certified official 
in charge. MSHA personnel may interrupt or halt the mining-through 
operation when necessary for the safety of the miners.
    (15) The petitioner will file a plugging affidavit setting forth 
the persons who participated in the work, a description of the plugging 
work, and a certification by the petitioner that the well has been 
plugged as described.
    (16) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) 
becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its 
approved 30 CFR Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The 
provisions will include initial and refresher training regarding 
compliance with the terms and conditions stated in the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee miners no less than the same measure of protection 
as afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-002-M.
    Petitioner: Hecla Greens Creek Mining Company, P.O. Box 32199, 
Juneau, Alaska 99803.
    Mine: Greens Creek Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 50-01267, located in Juneau 
County, Alaska.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.14130 (Roll-over protective 
structures (ROPS) and seat belts for surface equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit employees to be transported 1,600 feet to 
and from the surface dry facility to work sites underground using 
underground mine

[[Page 27091]]

tractors, due to the increase in injuries from slips, trips, and falls, 
and an increase of human-to-bear encounters. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) It is common practice at many U.S. mines to transport personnel 
from surface dry facilities to work sites underground with tractors 
equipped with rear man-baskets for standing passengers, fender seats 
with seat belts, a driver's seat with seat belts, and ROPS designed to 
protect the driver. The tractors are used because they have more robust 
drivelines and braking systems and are elevated to better handle 
underground conditions.
    (2) At Greens Creek Mine, the route between the dry area (miner 
shower facilities and meeting area) and the mine portal is flat, and 
the entire 1,600-foot distance is surfaced with cement and protected by 
guardrails with a posted speed limit of 10 miles per hour or less 
depending on road conditions.
    (3) The tractors used at Greens Creek Mine are equipped with ROPS 
designed for the driver only and are fitted with manufactured rear 
baskets to accommodate standing riders. Some of the tractors also have 
fender seats. All seats are equipped with seat belts and seat belt use 
is mandatory.
    (4) Since becoming aware of a citation given to a neighboring mine, 
the petitioner asserts that they have been proactive in complying with 
Sec.  57.14130. However, the petitioner believes that this compliance 
has proven to be harmful to employees as they have seen an increase of 
slips, trips, and falls during the winter months with snow and ice 
accumulations. Employees have also been placed at risk during the 
spring and summer months because of the large population of brown bears 
that inhabit the Greens Creek mine site. Admiralty Island, where the 
Greens Creek mine is located, has a larger brown bear population per 
square mile than any other location in the world. Wildlife biologist 
estimates suggest a brown bear population of 2.34 bears per square mile 
on Admiralty Island.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-003-M.
    Petitioner: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, 144 Rosecrans 
Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401.
    Mine: 3M Wausau Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 47-02918; Graystone Plant, MSHA 
I.D. No. 47-00119, 144 Rosecrans Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54401, 
located in Marathon County, Wisconsin.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.13020 (Use of compressed air).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of clothes cleaning booths at the 
Wausau Mine and Graystone Plant. The petitioner proposes to implement a 
clothes cleaning booth process that has been jointly developed with and 
successfully tested by the National Institute for Occupational Safety 
and Health (NIOSH). That process uses controlled compressed air for 
cleaning miners' dust-laden clothing. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Data has been obtained from NIOSH that has determined that 
contaminated worker clothing can be a major contributor to increased 
employee dust exposure.
    (2) The clothes cleaning process uses a regulated compressed air 
nozzle manifold at <= 30 pounds per square inch (psig) to blow dust 
from a worker's clothing. The process is performed in an enclosed 
booth, capturing the dust and then delivering it to a stack located 
outside of the plant.
    (3) The booth is under negative pressure, with air moving downward, 
away from the worker's breathing zone and, therefore, no dust escapes 
to contaminate the work environment or other workers.
    (4) The worker entering the booth is required to wear full-seal eye 
goggles, hearing protection, and a half-mask respirator. No significant 
safety or health concerns have been identified because the eyes are 
protected by full-seal goggles, the skin is protected by work clothes, 
hearing is protected by ear plugs or muffs, the lungs are protected by 
a respirator, and air is limited to 30 psig, which is the Occupational 
Safety and Health Administration's limit for cleaning purposes.
    (5) Air monitoring has shown minimal to no respirable dust 
contamination inside the respirator during this process. The testing 
also showed no increase in respirable dust levels anywhere inside the 
plant.
    (6) The engineering controls and mandatory personal protective 
equipment associated with this NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning process 
will afford miners a more effective clothes cleaning method. This will 
provide a direct reduction of miners' exposures to respirable 
crystalline silica dust, thus reducing their health risks while 
providing no less a degree of safety than that provided by the 
standard.
    The petitioner further states that the following provisions will be 
provided if this petition is approved:
    (1) Only miners trained in the operation of the NIOSH-tested 
clothes cleaning booth process will be permitted to use the clothes 
cleaning process.
    (2) The petitioner will incorporate clothes cleaning booth process 
training in its Part 46 training plan.
    (3) In lieu of 30 CFR 56.13020, whereby compressed air is not 
permitted to be directed towards a person, all miners entering the 
NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth process will be required to wear 
full-seal goggles for eye protection, ear plugs or muffs for hearing 
protection, and fit-tested respirators for respiratory protection.
    (4) The NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth process will have a 
caution sign, conspicuously posted, indicating that the use of 
respiratory protection, hearing protection, and safety goggles are 
required before entering the booth.
    (5) The air pressure through the spray manifold will be limited to 
30 psig. The air spray manifold will consist of 2-foot square, \1/4\-
inch hot rolled steel tubing, capped at the base, actuated by an 
electrically controlled ball valve at the top, providing a yield 
strength safety factor of more than 20 when compared to the 30 psig 
operating pressure.
    (6) The air spray manifold will contain 27 total nozzles of which 
26 will be Spraying Systems Co. Nozzle No. AA727-23, 18.4 SCFM @ 30 
psig. The 27th and lowermost nozzle will be Spraying Systems Co. Nozzle 
No. AA707-23, 19.2 SCFM @ 30 psig.
    (7) The uppermost spray nozzle will be located at a height of not 
more than 56 inches. This places the nozzle height at shoulder height 
for the 50th percentile male U.S. worker according to ``Ergonomics--How 
to Design for Ease and Efficiency,'' 2nd Edition, Kroemer, K.H., 
Kroemer, H.B., Kroemer, Elbert, K.D., Prentice Hall, NJ, 2001. Those 
miners with a shoulder height less than the 50th percentile male will 
use the mechanical air spray deflector, which is quick, effective, and 
easy to use.
    (8) Spray nozzles have been recessed into the manifold, which is 
designed to eliminate the possibility of incidental contact with the 
air nozzles during use of the clothes cleaning process.
    (9) Airflow through the manifold during the cleaning cycle will 
occur only if the measured differential pressure on the exhaust system 
and pressure on the main air line are within proper operating ranges. 
If at any time either the differential pressure or line pressure falls 
outside preset limits, the cleaning cycle will automatically stop via 
an electrical interlock system.
    (10) The NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth is permanently ducted 
to the outside of the plant. Airflow through the clothes cleaning booth 
will be

[[Page 27092]]

sufficient to maintain negative pressure during use of the clothes 
cleaning system to prevent contamination of the environment outside of 
the booth.
    (11) The air receiver tank supplying air to the manifold system 
will be of sufficient volume to permit not less than 20 seconds of 
continuous cleaning time. Airflow through the booth will be in the 
downward direction, thereby moving contaminants away from the miners' 
breathing zone. Miners entering the NIOSH-tested clothes cleaning booth 
will perform regular user checks, examining the valves and nozzle for 
damage or malfunction and ensuring that the door is fully closed before 
opening the air valve.
    (12) The petitioner will ensure that periodic maintenance checks 
are performed in accordance with the NIOSH recommendations contained 
within the ``Clothes Cleaning Process Instruction Manual.''
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Dated: May 3, 2012.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2012-11033 Filed 5-7-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P