Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 57157-57160 [2012-22805]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2012 / Notices public/do/PRAMain, on the day following publication of this notice or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202–693–4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or sending an email to DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov. Submit comments about this request to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL–MSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Fax: 202–395–6881 (this is not a toll-free number), email: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Michel Smyth by telephone at 202–693– 4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email at DOL_PRA_PUBLIC@dol.gov. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). Accidents involving falls of roof, face, and rib in underground mines or falls of highwall in surface mines have historically been among the leading causes of mining injuries and deaths. Prevention or control of falls of roof, face, and rib is uniquely difficult because of the variety of conditions encountered in mines that can affect the stability of various types of strata and the changing nature of the forces affecting ground stability at any given operation and time. Roof and rock bolts and accessories are an integral part of ground control systems and are used to prevent the fall of roof, face, and rib. Advancements in technology of roof and rock bolts and accessories have aided in reducing the hazards associated with falls of roof, face, and rib. This ICR addresses recordkeeping requirements associated with regulations 30 CFR 56.3203, 57.3203, and 75.204(a) and (f)(6). This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of information does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1219–0121. The current approval is scheduled to expire on September 30, 2012; however, it should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:43 Sep 14, 2012 Jkt 226001 extension while they undergo review. For additional information, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on June 1, 2012 (77 FR 32698). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1219– 0121. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: DOL–MSHA. Title of Collection: Safety Standards for Roof Bolts in Metal and Nonmetal Mines and Underground Coal Mines. OMB Control Number: 1219–0121. Affected Public: Private Sector— businesses or other for profits. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,215. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 129,060. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 785. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. Dated: September 11, 2012. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. 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. PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Notice. 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 October 17, 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 during normal business hours at the address listed above. MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances at 202–693– 9447 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (Email), or 202–693–9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background [FR Doc. 2012–22863 Filed 9–14–12; 8:45 a.m.] AGENCY: ACTION: 57157 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 E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1 57158 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2012 / Notices (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. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Petitions for Modification Docket No: M–2012–158–C. Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road #65, Rangely, Colorado 81648. Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05–03505, located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing standard: (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable batteryoperated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following steps: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:43 Sep 14, 2012 Jkt 226001 (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) 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. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment withdrawn outby the last open crosscut. (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee the miners no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–159–C. Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road #65, Rangely, Colorado 81648. Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05–03505, located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507– 1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways, including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing standard: (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable batteryoperated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following steps: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) 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 return airways. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2012 / Notices the nonpermissible electronic equipment withdrawn out of the return airways. (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of the return airways. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–160–C. Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road #65, Rangely, Colorado 81648. Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05–03505, located in Rio Blanco County, Colorado. 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 an alternative method of compliance to permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces, including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372, 75.1002(a), and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the miners in active mines, and in future mines that may be in close proximity, it is necessary to determine the exact location and extent of the mine workings. (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:43 Sep 14, 2012 Jkt 226001 prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing standard: (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable batteryoperated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following steps: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is securely fastened. (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (d) 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 within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings or longwall faces. (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings or longwall faces. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of PO 00000 Frm 00090 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57159 nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be present. (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–005–M. Petitioner: Intrepid Potash–New Mexico, LLC, Post Office Box 101, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88221. Mine: Intrepid Potash East Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 29–00170 and Intrepid Potash West Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 29– 00175, located in Eddy County, New Mexico. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11050(a) and (b) (Escapeways and Refuges). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit exit from the Intrepid East Mine to the Intrepid West Mine and from the Intrepid West Mine to the Intrepid East Mine. The petitioner proposes to provide an escapeway to the surface where the East Mine connects to the West Mine, and where the West Mine connects to the East Mine. The petitioner states that: (1) The Intrepid East Mine and the Intrepid Potash West Mine are connected via airlock doors at an underground location. (2) For each mine there are three escape routes, one of which directs personnel to the adjacent East or West Mine. After personnel pass through the airlock located at the connection between the mines, they are in a mine that operates on separate ventilation, electrical, and pager phone systems. (3) The isolation provides protection for evacuating personnel equal to or better than escape to the surface through one of the two escapeways in the originating mine. (4) The capability of exiting to the adjacent mine improves safety in that it provides a third alternative escape route that is closer in proximity to the mining areas than the two escape shafts. (5) The petitioner proposes to provide: (a) Electronic communication to both mines at the connection between the mines. (b) Airlock doors separating the mines such that: (i) Only one set of airlock doors will be open at any time and air currents E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1 57160 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 180 / Monday, September 17, 2012 / Notices from each mine are maintained separate and distinct; (ii) The airlock doors will be constructed of fire-resistant materials and/or protected with a fire-resistant coating; and (iii) The condition of the airlock doors will be inspected monthly. (c) Instructions will be provided for checking out of the East Mine and into the West Mine, and out of the West Mine into the East Mine using electronic communication at the connection between the mines. (d) Instructions will be provided for personnel on how to navigate to the escape shafts of the adjacent mine at the connection between the mines. (e) A mine map showing the escape routes of the West Mine will be posted at the connection in the West Mine and a mine map showing the escape routes of the East Mine will be posted at the connection in the East Mine. The petitioner further states that training on escape using the connection between the mines will be provided for affected personnel at least semiannually. In addition, at least one annual evacuation drill, as required by 30 CFR 57.4361, will direct personnel to escape to the other mine via the connection. Dated: September 12, 2012. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2012–22805 Filed 9–14–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment Request ACTION: Notice. The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 19:43 Sep 14, 2012 Jkt 226001 properly assessed. Currently, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Pharmacy Billing Requirements. A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice. DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before November 16, 2012. ADDRESSES: Ms Yoon Ferguson, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Room S–3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693–0701, fax (202) 693–2447, Email ferguson. yoon@dol.gov. Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or Email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is the agency responsible for administration of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq., the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq., and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), 42 U.S.C. 7384 et seq. All three of these statutes require that OWCP pay for covered medical treatment provided to beneficiaries; this medical treatment can include medicinal drugs dispensed by pharmacies. In order to determine whether amounts billed for drugs are appropriate, OWCP must receive the required data elements, including the name of the patient/beneficiary, the National Drug Code (NDC) number of the drugs prescribed, the quantity provided, the prescription number and the date the prescription was filled. The regulations implementing these statutes require the collection of information needed to enable OWCP to determine if bills for drugs submitted directly by pharmacies, or reimbursement requests submitted by claimants, should be paid. There is no standardized paper form for submission of the billing information collected in this Information Collection Request (ICR). Over the past several years, almost all pharmacy bills submitted to OWCP have been submitted electronically using one of the industry-wide standard formats for the electronic transmission of billing data through nationwide data clearinghouses devised by the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP). None of the electronic billing formats have been designed by or provided by OWCP; they are billing formats commonly accepted by other PO 00000 Frm 00091 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Federal programs and in the private health insurance industry for drugs. Nonetheless, the three programs (FECA, BLBA and EEOICPA) provide instructions for the submission of necessary pharmacy bill data elements in provider manuals distributed or made available to all pharmacies enrolled in the programs. This information collection is currently approved for use through December 31, 2012. II. Review Focus: The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. III. Current Actions: The Department of Labor is seeking public comments on the extension of this currently approved information collection. Type of Review: Extension. Agency: Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Title: Pharmacy Billing Requirements. OMB Number: 1240–0050. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit. Total Respondents: 4,128. Total Responses: 1,489,532. Time per Response: 1–5 Minutes. Frequency: On Occasion. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 26,917. Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0. Total Burden Cost (operating/ maintenance): $0. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record. E:\FR\FM\17SEN1.SGM 17SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 180 (Monday, September 17, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57157-57160]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-22805]


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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 October 17, 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

[[Page 57158]]

    (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 No: M-2012-158-C.
    Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road 
65, Rangely, Colorado 81648.
    Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05-03505, located in Rio Blanco 
County, Colorado.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
or inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable 
battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, 
distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity 
of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be 
completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the 
following as an alternative to the existing standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-
operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance 
meters, and data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) 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.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard 
would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the 
proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee the miners no 
less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the 
existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-159-C.
    Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road 
65, Rangely, Colorado 81648.
    Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05-03505, located in Rio Blanco 
County, Colorado.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
return airways, including, but not limited to, portable battery-
operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance 
meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity 
of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be 
completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the 
following as an alternative to the existing standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-
operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance 
meters, and data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
These examinations will include the following steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) 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 return airways.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and

[[Page 57159]]

the nonpermissible electronic equipment withdrawn out of the return 
airways.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return airways.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard 
would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the 
proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than 
the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing 
standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-160-C.
    Petitioner: Blue Mountain Energy, Inc., 3607 County Road 
65, Rangely, Colorado 81648.
    Mine: Deserado Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05-03505, located in Rio Blanco 
County, Colorado.
    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 an alternative method of compliance to 
permit the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces, including, but 
not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station 
surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372, 75.1002(a), and 75.1200, use of the most 
practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the 
safety of the miners in active mines, and in future mines that may be 
in close proximity, it is necessary to determine the exact location and 
extent of the mine workings.
    (2) Underground mining by its nature and size, and the complexity 
of mine plans, requires that accurate and precise measurements be 
completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The petitioner proposes the 
following as an alternative to the existing standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be used when 
equivalent permissible electronic surveying equipment is not available. 
Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-
operated total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance 
meters, and data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined by surveying 
personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a 
safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) 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 within 150 feet of pillar 
workings or longwall faces.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings or longwall faces.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as required in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings or 
longwall faces.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that application of the existing standard 
would result in a diminution of safety to the miners and that the 
proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than 
the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing 
standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-005-M.
    Petitioner: Intrepid Potash-New Mexico, LLC, Post Office Box 101, 
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88221.
    Mine: Intrepid Potash East Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 29-00170 and 
Intrepid Potash West Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 29-00175, located in Eddy 
County, New Mexico.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11050(a) and (b) (Escapeways and 
Refuges).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit exit from the Intrepid East Mine to the 
Intrepid West Mine and from the Intrepid West Mine to the Intrepid East 
Mine. The petitioner proposes to provide an escapeway to the surface 
where the East Mine connects to the West Mine, and where the West Mine 
connects to the East Mine. The petitioner states that:
    (1) The Intrepid East Mine and the Intrepid Potash West Mine are 
connected via airlock doors at an underground location.
    (2) For each mine there are three escape routes, one of which 
directs personnel to the adjacent East or West Mine. After personnel 
pass through the airlock located at the connection between the mines, 
they are in a mine that operates on separate ventilation, electrical, 
and pager phone systems.
    (3) The isolation provides protection for evacuating personnel 
equal to or better than escape to the surface through one of the two 
escapeways in the originating mine.
    (4) The capability of exiting to the adjacent mine improves safety 
in that it provides a third alternative escape route that is closer in 
proximity to the mining areas than the two escape shafts.
    (5) The petitioner proposes to provide:
    (a) Electronic communication to both mines at the connection 
between the mines.
    (b) Airlock doors separating the mines such that:
    (i) Only one set of airlock doors will be open at any time and air 
currents

[[Page 57160]]

from each mine are maintained separate and distinct;
    (ii) The airlock doors will be constructed of fire-resistant 
materials and/or protected with a fire-resistant coating; and
    (iii) The condition of the airlock doors will be inspected monthly.
    (c) Instructions will be provided for checking out of the East Mine 
and into the West Mine, and out of the West Mine into the East Mine 
using electronic communication at the connection between the mines.
    (d) Instructions will be provided for personnel on how to navigate 
to the escape shafts of the adjacent mine at the connection between the 
mines.
    (e) A mine map showing the escape routes of the West Mine will be 
posted at the connection in the West Mine and a mine map showing the 
escape routes of the East Mine will be posted at the connection in the 
East Mine.
    The petitioner further states that training on escape using the 
connection between the mines will be provided for affected personnel at 
least semi-annually. In addition, at least one annual evacuation drill, 
as required by 30 CFR 57.4361, will direct personnel to escape to the 
other mine via the connection.

    Dated: September 12, 2012.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2012-22805 Filed 9-14-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P