Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 3032-3034 [2013-00624]

Download as PDF 3032 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 10 / Tuesday, January 15, 2013 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and 30 CFR Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the application of existing mandatory safety standards codified in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before February 14, 2013. 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: srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with SUMMARY: 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Jan 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 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 No: M–2012–170–C. Petitioner: Prairie State Generating Company, LLC, Three Gateway Center, Suite 1340, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222–1000. Mine: Lively Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11–03193, located in Washington County, Illinois. 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 in by 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) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. 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 in by the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 defined 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. Within 60 days after the 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. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the Proposed Decision and Order. E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 10 / Tuesday, January 15, 2013 / Notices 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–2012–171–C. Petitioner: Prairie State Generating Company, LLC, Three Gateway Center, Suite 1340, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222–1000. Mine: Lively Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11–03193, located in Washington County, Illinois. 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) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. 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. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Jan 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 (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 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 defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of the return. (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. Within 60 days after the 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. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions 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 as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2012–172–C. Petitioner: South Central Coal Company, Inc., P.O. Box 6, Spiro, Oklahoma 74959. Mine: P8 North Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 34–02080, located in Le Flore County, Oklahoma. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). PO 00000 Frm 00095 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 3033 Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to mine through certain active or abandoned plugged wells which may lie in the engineered path of the proposed mining activity. The petitioner further requests that two previously granted petitions for modification, M– 2008–053–C and M–95–151–C, be included in the evaluation of this petition regarding the P8 North Mine. The petitioner states that: (1) The petitions granted for modification (M–2008–053–C and M– 95–151–C) relate to the same reserve block referenced in this petition for the P8 North Mine. (2) The primary reasons for not deviating from the P8 North Mine plan and adhering to the proposed mine plans include: (a) Due to mining through a rock zone to reach coal-bearing strata, the petitioner cannot deviate from the mine plan without exceeding the permit boundary, thus requiring mining through plugged well 29–1H or the required barrier zone. (b) Maintaining proper ventilation systems without complications. (c) Maintaining easy to explain and easy to maintain emergency escape routes for mine personnel. (d) Maintaining a straight-forward, uncomplicated system of ingress, egress and coal removal (belt layout). (e) Maintaining an uncomplicated system of removing any water that may be encountered during mining. (3) The petitioner further states that the procedures to be used when plugging or replugging and mining through hydrocarbon dry holes, gas wells, or oil wells within the mining operations include: (a) All available data has been acquired to identify any hydrocarbon wells within the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management coal lease that is proposed for mining (Lease OKNM 91190 near the town of Spiro, Le Flore County, Oklahoma). (b) Oklahoma Corporation Commission 1002 A forms (well completion records) and 1003 forms (plugging records) have been obtained for the wells within the proposed mine area. These records indicate details of the wells’ completion and plugging procedures. (c) The research well data in conjunction with coal geology information indicates well locations and confirmation of replugging procedures. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1 3034 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 10 / Tuesday, January 15, 2013 / Notices Dated: January 10, 2013. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2013–00624 Filed 1–14–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY Sunshine Act Meetings The Members of the National Council on Disability (NCD) will hold a special meeting of the Council on Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. (ET). PLACE: The meeting will occur by teleconference. Interested parties may join the meeting by phone in a listeningonly capacity using the following callin number: 1–877–446–3914; passcode 4121872. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: The Council will meet to review, discuss, and vote on a letter of policy recommendations and concerns to the interagency taskforce created in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Anne Sommers, NCD, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004; 202–272–2004 (V), 202–272–2074 (TTY). ACCOMMODATIONS: Those who plan to participate by phone and require accommodations should notify NCD as soon as possible to allow time to make arrangements. TIME AND DATES: Dated: January 11, 2013. Aaron Bishop, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2013–00805 Filed 1–11–13; 4:15 pm] standing committees, will discuss and vote on two Medicaid reports (one on self-direction and one on blockgranting), will discuss the agency’s 2013 progress report, will receive a briefing from Administrator Craig Fugate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding the response to Hurricane Sandy, as it pertains to people with disabilities, and will receive public comment. The times provided below are approximations for when each agenda item is anticipated to be discussed (all times Eastern): 9:00–9:30 a.m. Chairman’s Report, Executive Director’s Report 9:30–10:30 a.m. Audit and Finance Committee report, Governance Committee report 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Policy and Program Evaluation Committee Report (including discussion and votes on Medicaid reports) 1:15–2:15 p.m. NCD Progress Report Discussion 2:15–3:15 p.m. Agency briefing with FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate 3:30–4:00 p.m. Public comment period Any individuals interested in providing public comment will be asked to provide their names and their organizational affiliations, if applicable, and to limit their comments to three minutes. Individuals may also provide public comment by sending their comments in writing to Lawrence Carter-Long, Public Affairs Specialist, at lcarterlong@ncd.gov, using the subject line of ‘‘Public Comment.’’ CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: BILLING CODE 6820–MA–P NATIONAL COUNCIL ON DISABILITY Sunshine Act Meetings Notice Anne Sommers, NCD, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004; 202–272–2004 (V), 202–272–2074 (TTY). Those who plan to attend and require accommodations should notify NCD as soon as possible to allow time to make arrangements. Please note: To help reduce exposure to fragrances for those with multiple chemical sensitivities, NCD requests that all those attending the meeting in person please refrain from wearing scented personal care products such as perfumes, hairsprays, colognes, and deodorants. ACCOMMODATIONS: The Members of the National Council on Disability (NCD) will hold a quarterly meeting on Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. (ET). PLACE: The meeting will occur at the Access Board Conference Room, 1331 F Street, NW., Suite 800, Washington, DC. Interested parties may join the meeting in person or may join by phone in a listening-only capacity (with the exception of the public comment period) using the following call-in number: 1–888–523–1228; passcode 3484831. If asked, the conference call host’s name is Jonathan Young. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: The Council will receive updates from the Council’s srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with TIME AND DATES: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:00 Jan 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 Dated: January 10, 2013. Aaron Bishop, Executive Director. PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Sunshine Act Meeting; Agenda 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 29, 2013. PLACE: NTSB Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594. STATUS: The one item is open to the public. MATTER TO BE CONSIDERED: 8371A Aircraft Accident Report—Loss of Control, Sundance Helicopters, Inc., Eurocopter AS350–B2, N37SH, Near Las Vegas, Nevada, December 7, 2011. NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Telephone: (202) 314–6100. The press and public may enter the NTSB Conference Center one hour prior to the meeting for set up and seating. Individuals requesting specific accommodations should contact Rochelle Hall at (202) 314–6305 or by email at Rochelle.Hall@ntsb.gov by Friday, January 25, 2013. The public may view the meeting via a live or archived webcast by accessing a link under ‘‘News & Events’’ on the NTSB home page at www.ntsb.gov. Schedule updates including weatherrelated cancellations are also available at www.ntsb.gov. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Candi Bing, (202) 314–6403 or by email at bingc@ntsb.gov. FOR MEDIA INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter Knudson (202) 314–6219 or by email at peter.knudson@ntsb.gov. TIME AND DATE: Dated: January 11, 2013. Candi R. Bing, Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2013–00822 Filed 1–11–13; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 50–348 and 50–364; NRC– 2012–0309] Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information and Order Imposing Procedures for Access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: License amendment request; opportunity to comment, opportunity to AGENCY: [FR Doc. 2013–00779 Filed 1–11–13; 11:47 am] BILLING CODE 6820–MA–P NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD E:\FR\FM\15JAN1.SGM 15JAN1

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[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3032-3034]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-00624]



[[Page 3032]]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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

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

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before February 14, 2013.

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 No: M-2012-170-C.
    Petitioner: Prairie State Generating Company, LLC, Three Gateway 
Center, Suite 1340, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-
1000.
    Mine: Lively Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03193, located in 
Washington County, Illinois.
    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 in by 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) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. 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 in by 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 defined 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.
    Within 60 days after the 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. The revisions will 
specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions in the Proposed Decision and Order.

[[Page 3033]]

    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-2012-171-C.
    Petitioner: Prairie State Generating Company, LLC, Three Gateway 
Center, Suite 1340, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-
1000.
    Mine: Lively Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03193, located in 
Washington County, Illinois.
    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) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. 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 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 defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return.
    (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.
    Within 60 days after the 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. The revisions will 
specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions 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 as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2012-172-C.
    Petitioner: South Central Coal Company, Inc., P.O. Box 6, Spiro, 
Oklahoma 74959.
    Mine: P8 North Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 34-02080, located in Le Flore 
County, Oklahoma.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to mine through certain active or abandoned plugged 
wells which may lie in the engineered path of the proposed mining 
activity. The petitioner further requests that two previously granted 
petitions for modification, M-2008-053-C and M-95-151-C, be included in 
the evaluation of this petition regarding the P8 North Mine. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) The petitions granted for modification (M-2008-053-C and M-95-
151-C) relate to the same reserve block referenced in this petition for 
the P8 North Mine.
    (2) The primary reasons for not deviating from the P8 North Mine 
plan and adhering to the proposed mine plans include:
    (a) Due to mining through a rock zone to reach coal-bearing strata, 
the petitioner cannot deviate from the mine plan without exceeding the 
permit boundary, thus requiring mining through plugged well 29-1H or 
the required barrier zone.
    (b) Maintaining proper ventilation systems without complications.
    (c) Maintaining easy to explain and easy to maintain emergency 
escape routes for mine personnel.
    (d) Maintaining a straight-forward, uncomplicated system of 
ingress, egress and coal removal (belt layout).
    (e) Maintaining an uncomplicated system of removing any water that 
may be encountered during mining.
    (3) The petitioner further states that the procedures to be used 
when plugging or replugging and mining through hydrocarbon dry holes, 
gas wells, or oil wells within the mining operations include:
    (a) All available data has been acquired to identify any 
hydrocarbon wells within the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land 
Management coal lease that is proposed for mining (Lease OKNM 91190 
near the town of Spiro, Le Flore County, Oklahoma).
    (b) Oklahoma Corporation Commission 1002 A forms (well completion 
records) and 1003 forms (plugging records) have been obtained for the 
wells within the proposed mine area. These records indicate details of 
the wells' completion and plugging procedures.
    (c) The research well data in conjunction with coal geology 
information indicates well locations and confirmation of replugging 
procedures.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded 
by the existing standard.


[[Page 3034]]


    Dated: January 10, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-00624 Filed 1-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P