Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 49774-49780 [2013-19767]

Download as PDF emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 49774 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices No. 33–04509, located in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. Twin Rocks Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–08836, located in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) and 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i) (Portable trailing cables and cords). • Docket Number: M–2011–016–C. FR Notice: 76 FR 37835 (June 28, 2011). Petitioner: Midland Trail Energy, LLC, 3301 Point Lick Drive, Charleston, West Virginia 25306. Mine: Campbells Creek No. 4 Deep Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–08437, located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.214(b) (Refuse piles; general). • Docket Number: M–2011–033–C. FR Notice: 76 FR 64385 (October 18, 2011). Petitioner: ACI Tygart Complex, 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 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) and 30 CFR 18.35 (Portable trailing cables and cords). • Docket Number: M–2011–034–C. FR Notice: 76 FR 69765 (November 9, 2011). Petitioner: Greenfields Coal Company, LLC, 550 North Eisenhower Drive, Suite B, Beckley, West Virginia 25801. Mine: Alpheus Refuse Site, MSHA Mine I.D. No. 46–08438, located in McDowell County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.214(a) (Refuse piles; general). • Docket Number: M–2011–035–C. FR Notice: 76 FR 69765 (November 9, 2011). Petitioner: West Virginia Mine Power, Inc., P.O. Box 574, Rupert, West Virginia 25984–0574. Mine: Midland Trail Mine No. 2, MSHA I.D. No. 46–08909, located in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1101– 1(b) (Deluge-type water spray system). • Docket Number: M–2011–039–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 812 (January 6, 2012). Petitioner: Midland Trail Energy, LLC, 42 Rensford Star Route, Charleston, West Virginia 25306. Mine: Blue Creek No. 1 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09297, located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance). • Docket Number: M–2011–004–M. FR Notice: 76 FR 37831 (June 28, 2011). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 Petitioner: Troy Mine, Inc., P.O. Box 1660, Highway 56 South Mine Road, Troy, Montana 59935. Mine: Troy Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 24– 01467, located in Lincoln County, Montana. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas). • Docket Number: M–2012–065–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 27088 (May 8, 2012). 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). • Docket Number: M–2012–067–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 27093 (May 8, 2012). Petitioner: Sunrise Coal, LLC, 1183 East Canvasback Drive, Terre Haute, Indiana 47802. Mine: Carlisle Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 12–02349, located in Sullivan County, Indiana. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.705 (Work on high-voltage lines; deenergizing and grounding). • Docket Number: M–2012–068–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 27093 (May 8, 2012). Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company #2, 33 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Mt. Slope Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09860, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d) and (i) (Mine maps). • Docket Number: M–2012–069–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 27094 (May 8, 2012). Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company #2, 33 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Buck Mt. Slope Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09860, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202 and 75.1202–1(a) (Temporary notations, revisions, and supplements). • Docket Number: M–2012–076–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 30556 (May 23, 2012). Petitioner: Mountain Coal Company, LLC, P.O. Box 591, 5174 Highway 133, Somerset, Colorado 81434. Mine: West Elk Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05–03672, located in Gunnison County, Colorado. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002 (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). • Docket Number: M–2012–095–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 37935 (June 25, 2012). Petitioner: Bledsoe Coal Corporation, Route 2008, Box 351A, Big Laurel, Kentucky 40808. Mine: Mine No. 4, MSHA I.D. No. 15– 11065, located in Leslie County, Kentucky. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.214(a) (Refuse piles; general). • Docket Number: M–2012–096–C. FR Notice: 77 FR 38325 (June 27, 2012). Petitioner: Mountain Coal Company, LLC, P.O. Box 591, 5174 Highway 133, Somerset, Colorado 81434. Mine: West Elk Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05–03672, located in Gunnison County, Colorado. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance) and 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i) (Portable trailing cables and cords). • Docket Number: M–2012–172–C. FR Notice: 78 FR 3033 (January 15, 2013). 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). • Docket Number: M–2012–008–M. FR Notice: 77 FR 59674 (September 28, 2012). Petitioner: U.S. Silica Company, 2496 Hancock Road, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia 25411. Mine: Berkeley Plant, MSHA I.D. No. 46–02805, located in Morgan County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 56.13020 (Use of compressed air). Dated: August 9, 2013. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2013–19768 Filed 8–14–13; 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. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before September 16, 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: DATES: emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that: (1) An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or (2) That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket No: M–2013–029–C. Petitioner: Brooks Run Mining Company, LLC, 208 Business Street, Beckley, West Virginia 25801. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 Mine: Cucumber Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09066, located in McDowell County, West Virginia. 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 achieving the results of the existing standard. The petitioner states that: (1) This petition will apply only to trailing cables supplying three-phase, 575-volt power for permissible pumps. (2) The maximum length of the 575volt trailing cables supplying power for permissible pumps will be 4,000 feet. (3) All circuit breakers used to protect trailing cables exceeding the trailing cables approval length or Table 9 in Appendix I to Subpart D (specifications for portable cables longer than 500 feet) of 30 CFR part 18 will have an instantaneous trip unit calibrated to trip at 70 percent of phase-to-phase shortcircuit current. The trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed or locked, and the circuit breakers will have permanent, legible labels. Each label will identify the circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting the trailing cables. This label will be maintained to remain legible. (4) In instances where a 70 percent instantaneous set point will not allow a pump to start due to motor inrush, a thermal magnetic breaker will be no greater than 70 percent of the available short-circuit current and the instantaneous setting will be adjusted one setting above the motor inrush trip point. This setting will also be sealed or locked. (5) Replacement instantaneous trip units used to protect pump trailing cables exceeding required lengths of cables will be calibrated to trip at 70 percent of the available phase-to-phase short-circuit current. This setting will be sealed or locked. (6) Permanent warning labels will be installed and maintained on the covers of the power center to identify the location of each sealed or locked shortcircuit protection device. These labels are intended to warn miners not to change or alter these short-circuit settings. (7) All pump installations with cable lengths that are specified in Table 9 in Appendix I to 30 CFR part 18 subpart D will have short-circuit surveys conducted and paragraphs (1)–(5) will be implemented. A copy of each pump short-circuit survey will be available at the mine site for inspection. PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49775 (8) The alternative method will not be implemented until miners who have been designated to examine the integrity of seals or locks, verify the short-circuit setting, and follow proper procedures for examining trailing cables for defects and damage have received the elements of training in paragraph (9). (9) Within 60 days after this petition is granted, proposed revisions for approved 30 CFR part 48 training plans will be submitted to the District. The proposed training will include the following elements: (a) Training in mining methods and operating procedures that will protect the trailing cables against damage. (b) Training in the proper procedures for examining the trailing cables to ensure the cables are in a safe operating condition. (c) Training in hazards of setting the instantaneous circuit breakers too high to adequately protect the trailing cables. (d) Training in how to verify the circuit interrupting device(s) protecting the trailing cable(s) are properly set and maintained. The petitioner further states that the procedures of 30 CFR 48.3 for approval of proposed revisions to already approved training cables will apply. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will guarantee no less than the same measure of protection to the miners as would be provided by the existing standard. Docket No: M–2013–030–C. Petitioner: Newtown Energy, Inc., P.O. Box 189, Comfort, West Virginia 25049. Mine: Peerless Rachel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09258, 4449 Left Fork of Joe’s Creek, Comfort, West Virginia, located in Boone County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance with respect to oil and gas wells. 1. The petitioner proposes, prior to mining through any oil or gas well at its Peerless Rachel Mine, to provide the District Manager (DM) a declaration stating that all mandatory procedures for cleaning out, preparing, and plugging each gas or oil well have been completed. The declaration will be accompanied by down-hole logs. 2. The techniques and procedures in this petition are limited to oil and gas wells that have a maximum depth of 5,000 feet or less. a. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when cleaning out and preparing oil and gas wells prior to plugging or replugging: (1) Clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 feet below the base of the E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 49776 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices lowest mineable coal seam. Remove material from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall, to the extent feasible and practicable. (2) Remove all of the casing in the well or, if it is not possible to remove all of the casing, fill the annulus between the casings and between the casings and the well walls with expanding cement (minimum 0.5 percent expansion on setting) and ensure that these areas contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, cut or mill it at all mineable coal seam levels and perforate or rip it at least every 50 feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal seam. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), perforate or rip any casing that remains and fill with expanding cement. Keep an acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing string used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (3) Place a mechanical bridge plug in the well, if a cleaned-out well emits excessive amounts of gas. Place the mechanical bridge plug in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum. (4) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of a caliper survey and be suitable for determining the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbonproducing strata and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, maintain a journal describing the length and type of each material used to plug the well; the length of casings removed, perforated or ripped, or left in place; any sections where casing was cut or milled; and other pertinent information concerning cleaning and sealing the well. (5) Properly place mechanical bridge plugs to isolate the hydrocarbonproducing stratum from the expanding cement plug, if the upper-most hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 300 feet of the base of the lowest mineable coal seam. Nevertheless, place a minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest mineable coal seam. b. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil or gas wells to the surface: (1) Pump expanding cement slurry down the well to form a plug that runs from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam to the surface. Place the expanding cement in the well under a pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch. Portland VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 cement or a lightweight cement mixture may be used to fill the area from 100 feet above the top of the uppermost mineable coal seam. A gel that supports the wall of the borehole and increases the density of the expanding cement may be used to provide the placement pressure. (2) 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, extend a 41⁄2inch or larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground level with the American Petroleum Institute (API) well number either engraved or welded on the casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (e.g., prime farmland), use high-resolution GPS coordinates (onehalf meter resolution) to locate the hole. c. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil and gas wells for subsequent use as degasification boreholes: (1) Set a cement plug in the well by pumping expanding cement slurry down the tubing to provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement below the lowest mineable coal seam. Place the expanding cement in the well under a pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch. Extend the top of the expanding cement at least 30 feet above the top of the coal seam being mined. (2) Securely grout a suitable casing into the bedrock of the upper portion of the degasification well to protect it. The remainder of this well may be cased or uncased. (3) Cement the annulus between the degasification casing and the borehole wall from a point immediately above the slots or perforations in the pipe to the surface. (4) Clean out the degasification casing to its total length. (5) Fit the top of the degasification casing with a wellhead, equipped as required by the DM in the approved ventilation plan. Such equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling ports, flame arrestor equipment, and security fencing. (6) After the area of the coal mine that is degassed by a well is sealed or the coal mine is abandoned, seal the degas holes using the following procedures: (i) Insert a tube to the bottom of the drill hole or, if not possible, to at least 100 feet above the coal seam. Remove any blockage to ensure that the tube is inserted to this depth. (ii) Set a cement plug in the well by pumping Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture down the PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 tubing until the well is filled to the surface. (iii) 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, extend a 41⁄2inch or larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on the casing. d. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for preparing and plugging or replugging oil or gas wells that cannot be completely cleaned out: (1) Drill a hole adjacent and parallel to the well to a depth of at least 200 feet below the lowest mineable coal seam. (2) Locate any casing that may remain in the well using a geophysical sensing device. (3) If the well contains casings, drill into the well from the parallel hole and perforate or rip all casings at intervals of at least 5 feet from 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 feet above the coal seam. Beyond that distance, perforate or rip all casings at least every 50 feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the seam being mined. Fill the annulus between the casings and between the casings and the well wall with expanding cement (minimum of 0.5% expansion on setting), and ensure that these areas contain no voids. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizons, rip or perforate any casing that remains and fill with expanding cement. Provide an acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (4) Use a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique to intercept the original well where there is sufficient casing in the well to allow use of the method outlined in subparagraph (3) above. Fracture the original well in at least six places from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above the seam being mined at intervals to be agreed on by the petitioner and the DM after considering the geological strata and the pressure within the well. Pump expanding cement into the fractured well in sufficient quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids. (5) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of a caliper survey and be suitable for determining the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbonproducing strata and the location for the bridge plug. Maintain a journal describing the length and type of each material used to plug the well; length of E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped, or left in place; and other pertinent information concerning sealing the well. (6) After plugging the well, plug the open portions of both holes from the bottom to the surface with Portland cement or a lightweight cement mixture. (7) 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, extend a 41⁄2inch or larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground level. e. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after approval has been granted by the DM to mine through a plugged or replugged well: (1) Prior to cutting-through a plugged well, notify the DM or designee, representative of the miners, and the appropriate State agency in sufficient time for them to have a representative present. (2) Install drivage spads at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well when mining through wells using continuous mining equipment. The drivage spads will not be more than 50 feet from the well. Install distance markers along the headgate on 5-feet centers for 20 feet in advance of the well when using longwall-mining methods. (3) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mine-through (when either the conventional or continuous mining method is used), will be available and operable during each well mine-through. Locate the fire hose in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. Maintain the water line to the belt conveyor tailpiece along with a sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of penetration on the section. (4) Keep available at the last open crosscut, a supply of roof support and ventilation materials sufficient to ventilate and support around the well on cut-through. In addition, keep emergency plugs available in the immediate area of the cut-through. (5) Maintain the quantity of air required by the approved mine ventilation plan for both continuous and longwall mining. (6) Check equipment for permissibility if it will be in by the last open crosscut during mine-through and service it on the shift prior to mining through the well. (7) Calibrate the methane monitors on the longwall, continuous mining machine, or cutting machine and loading machine on the shift prior to mining through the well. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 (8) When mining is in progress, test methane levels with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time that mining with the continuous mining machine is within 20 feet of the well until the well is intersected and immediately prior to mining through it or from the time that mining with longwall mining equipment is within 10 feet of the well. No individual is allowed on the return side during the actual cutting process until the mine-through has been completed and the area examined and declared safe. (9) Keep the working place free from accumulations of coal dust and coal spillages, and place rock dust on the roof, rib, and floor to within 20 feet of the face when mining through the well when using continuous or conventional mining methods. Conduct rock dusting on longwall sections on the roof, rib, and floor up to both the headgate and tailgate gob. (10) Deenergize all equipment when the wellbore is intersected and thoroughly examine the place and determined it safe before resuming mining. No open flame is permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore. (11) In rare instances, torches may be used for inadequately or inaccurately cut or milled casings at the coal seam level. No open flame is permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore and methane levels are less than 1.0 percent in all areas that will be exposed to flames and sparks from the torch. Apply a thick layer of rock dust to the roof, face, floor, ribs, and any exposed coal within 20 feet of the casing prior to any use of torches. (12) After a well has been intersected and the working place determined safe, continue mining 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 cut-through operation except those actually engaged in the mining operation, mine management, representative of the miners, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. (14) A certified official will directly supervise the cut-through operation and only the certified official in charge will issue instructions concerning the cutthrough operation. (15) Locate non-sparking (brass) tools on the working section in the event they are needed to expose and examine cased wells. (16) Alert all personnel in the mine to the planned intersection of the well PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49777 prior to their going underground if the planned intersection is to occur during their shift. Repeat this warning for all shifts until the well has been mined through. Mining may be conducted in other working sections during the intersection of the well. (17) The responsible person required in 30 CFR 75.1501 will be responsible for well intersection emergencies. The responsible person will review the well intersection procedures prior to any planned intersection. Within 60 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved part 48 training plan to the DM. Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency evacuation and firefighting plan required in 30 CFR 75.1501. The petitioner will revise the plans to include the hazards and evacuation procedures to be used for well intersections. All underground miners will be trained in this revised plan within 30 days of the DM’s approval of the revised evacuation plan. Such training may be done in a weekly safety meeting or other type of appropriate setting. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure or protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket No: M–2013–031–C. Petitioner: Oak Grove Resources, LLC, 8360 Taylor’s Ferry Rd., Hueytown, Alabama 35023. Mine: Oak Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 01–00851, located in Jefferson County, Alabama. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507 (Power connection points). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit nonpermissible pumps to be used in boreholes in areas of the Oak Grove Mine where water has accumulated and that are not on intake air. The petitioner states that: (1) Nonpermissible pumps will be located within the boreholes and the electrical components of the pump will always be separated from the mine atmosphere. The pump electric motors will be under water continuously. (2) The three-phase 480, 2,400, or 4,160 voltage alternating-current electric power circuits for the pump(s) will be designed and installed to: (a) Contain either a direct or a derived neutral that will be grounded through a suitable resistor at the source transformer or power center. A grounding circuit originating at the grounded side of the grounding resistor E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 49778 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices must extend along with the power conductors and serve as the grounding conductor for the frame of the pump(s) and all associated electric equipment that may be supplied power from this circuit. The borehole casing will be bonded to the system grounding medium. (b) Contain a grounding resistor that limits the ground-fault current to not more than 6.5 amperes. The grounding resistor must be rated for the maximum fault current available and must be insulated from ground for a voltage equal to the phase-to-phase voltage of the system. (3) The following protections for the pump power circuits will be provided by a suitable circuit interrupting device of adequate interrupting capacity with devices to provide protection against undervoltage, grounded phase, short circuit, and overload. (a) The undervoltage protection device will operate on a loss of voltage to prevent automatic restarting of the equipment. (b) The grounded phase protection device will be set not to exceed 50 percent of the current rating of the neutral grounding resistor. (c) The short circuit protection device will not be set to exceed the required short circuit protection for the power cable or 75 percent of the minimum available phase-to-phase short circuit current, whichever is less. (d) Each power circuit will contain a disconnecting device located on the surface and installed in conjunction with the circuit breakers to provide visual evidence that the power is disconnected. (e) The disconnecting device(s) will include a means to visually determine if the pump power circuit(s) are disconnected and will be provided with a means to lock, tag-out, and ground the system(s). (f) The disconnecting device(s) will be designed to prevent entry unless the disconnect handle is in the ‘‘off’’ position and the circuit is grounded. (g) The disconnecting device(s) will be clearly identified and provided with warning signs stating, ‘‘Danger. Do not enter unless the circuit is opened, locked, tagged-out, and grounded.’’ (4) The three-phase alternating current system will be provided with a low resistance grounding medium for the grounding of the lightning/surge arrestors for the high-voltage pump power circuit(s) that is separated from the neutral grounding medium by a distance of not less than 25 feet. (5) The electric control circuit(s) for the pumps will meet the following requirements: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 (a) The control circuit will be equipped with a probe circuit that determines a high and low water level. (b) The low water probe will be located not less than 30 feet above the pump inlet and motor and electrical connections of the pump(s). When the water level reaches the low water probe, the pump(s) will cease operation and the pump(s) will not start in either the manual or the automatic mode. (c) When the water level reaches the high water probe, the pump will start operation. (d) The high and low water probes must consist of redundant electronic pressure transducers that are suitable for submersible pump control applications. (e) All probe circuits will be protected by MSHA-approved intrinsically safe barriers. (f) The grounded-phase protective circuit for pump(s) will be able to be tested by injecting a test current through the grounded phase current transformer. (g) A remote control and monitoring system can be used with the pump system for condition monitoring and for remote startup and shutdown control of the pumps. The remote control and monitoring system will not allow reset of the pump power system when fault conditions (e.g., grounded phase, short circuit, or overload) exist on the system. (h) Splices and connections made in submersible pump cables will be made in a workmanlike manner and will meet the requirements of 30 CFR 75.604. (6) The surface pump control and power circuit(s) will be examined as required by 30 CFR 77.502. (7) The power cable to the submersible pump motor(s) will be suitable for this application, have a current carrying capacity not less than 125 percent of the full load motor current of the submersible pump motor, and have an outer jacket suitable for a wet location. The power cable must be supported at the entrance to the borehole and throughout its length. The power pump cable will be secured, and with clamps, spaced approximately 25 feet apart, affixed to the discharge pipe casing. (8) The pump installations will comply with all applicable 30 CFR requirements. Within 60 days after this petition is granted, the petitioner will submit to the DM proposed revisions for their proposed part 48 training plan. These revisions will specify task training for all qualified mine electricians who perform electric work, monthly electrical examinations as required by 30 CFR 77.502, refresher training regarding the alternative method outlined in this petition, and the terms PO 00000 Frm 00057 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and conditions stated in the Proposed Decision and Order. The procedures of 30 CFR 48.3 for approval of proposed revisions to already approved training plans will apply. The petitioner asserts that use of the proposed system described in this petition would prevent exposure of miners to unnecessary hazards, thereby increasing the measure of protection to the miners. Such submersible pumps have performed readily and are superior to the underground pumping systems that they replaced. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection to all miners as would be provided by the existing standard. Docket No: M–2013–032–C. Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West Virginia 26416. Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–04168, located in Barbour County, West Virginia. 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 allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. 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. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transit distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case; E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices (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; and (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 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 must 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. 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 No: M–2013–033–C. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West Virginia 26416. . Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–04168, located in Barbour County, West Virginia. 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 allow 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 in return airways. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes, but is not limited to, portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transit distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in return airways will be examined 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; and (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. PO 00000 Frm 00058 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49779 (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 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. (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 DM. 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 No: M–2013–034–C. Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West Virginia 26416. . Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–04168, located in Barbour County, West Virginia. 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 allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings, including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES 49780 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 158 / Thursday, August 15, 2013 / Notices 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 to protect miners in future mines that may mine in close proximity to these same active mines, 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 within 150 feet of pillar workings. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes, but is not limited to, portable battery-operated total station surveying equipment, mine transit distance meters, and data loggers. (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined 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; and (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. (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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:43 Aug 14, 2013 Jkt 229001 will be deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings. (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. (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations 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 DM. The revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the Proposed Decision and Order. 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. Dated: August 9, 2013. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2013–19767 Filed 8–14–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P MORRIS K. UDALL AND STEWART L. UDALL FOUNDATION Sunshine Act Meetings Electronic meeting to be held via email exchanges Tuesday, August 27, 2013, 8:00 a.m. (PDT), through Friday, August 30, 2013. PLACE: Executive Session held via email. STATUS: This special meeting of the Board of Trustees, to be held Electronically (in accordance with Foundation Operating Procedures), is closed to the public since it is necessary for the Board to consider items in Executive Session. TIME AND DATE: PO 00000 Frm 00059 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Discuss and vote on the candidate for Executive Director of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, Philip J. Lemanski, as proposed by the Executive Committee as appointed and acting as the required Selection Committee. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Stephanie Zimmt-Mack, General Counsel, 130 South Scott Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85701, (520) 901–8500. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Dated: August 9, 2013. Elizabeth E. Monroe, Executive Assistant, Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, and Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 2013–19812 Filed 8–14–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820–FN–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 13–095] Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive License National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Grant Exclusive License. AGENCY: This notice is issued in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209(e) and 37 CFR 404.7(a)(1)(i). NASA hereby gives notice of its intent to grant an exclusive license in the United States to practice the inventions described and claimed in U.S. Patent No. 7,790,787; NASA Case No. KSC–12890 entitled ‘‘Aerogel/ Polymer Composite Materials;’’ U.S. Patent No. 7,309,738; NASA Case No. KSC–12697 entitled ‘‘Approach for Achieving Flame Retardancy While Retaining Physical Properties in a Compatible Polymer Matrix;’’ and U.S. Patent No. 7,968,648; KSC–12697–3 entitled ‘‘Approach for Achieving Flame Retardancy While Retaining Physical Properties in a Compatible Polymer Matrix;’’ to AeroPlastic LP, having its principal place of business at 1325 White Drive, Titusville, FL 32780. The patent rights in these inventions have been assigned to the United States of America as represented by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The prospective exclusive license will comply with the terms and conditions of 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR 404.7. DATES: The prospective exclusive license may be granted unless, within fifteen (15) days from the date of this published notice, NASA receives written objections including evidence and argument that establish that the grant of the license would not be SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15AUN1.SGM 15AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 158 (Thursday, August 15, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49774-49780]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-19767]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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

[[Page 49775]]


DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before September 16, 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-2013-029-C.
    Petitioner: Brooks Run Mining Company, LLC, 208 Business Street, 
Beckley, West Virginia 25801.
    Mine: Cucumber Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09066, located in McDowell 
County, West Virginia.
    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 achieving the 
results of the existing standard. The petitioner states that:
    (1) This petition will apply only to trailing cables supplying 
three-phase, 575-volt power for permissible pumps.
    (2) The maximum length of the 575-volt trailing cables supplying 
power for permissible pumps will be 4,000 feet.
    (3) All circuit breakers used to protect trailing cables exceeding 
the trailing cables approval length or Table 9 in Appendix I to Subpart 
D (specifications for portable cables longer than 500 feet) of 30 CFR 
part 18 will have an instantaneous trip unit calibrated to trip at 70 
percent of phase-to-phase short-circuit current. The trip setting of 
these circuit breakers will be sealed or locked, and the circuit 
breakers will have permanent, legible labels. Each label will identify 
the circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting the trailing 
cables. This label will be maintained to remain legible.
    (4) In instances where a 70 percent instantaneous set point will 
not allow a pump to start due to motor inrush, a thermal magnetic 
breaker will be no greater than 70 percent of the available short-
circuit current and the instantaneous setting will be adjusted one 
setting above the motor inrush trip point. This setting will also be 
sealed or locked.
    (5) Replacement instantaneous trip units used to protect pump 
trailing cables exceeding required lengths of cables will be calibrated 
to trip at 70 percent of the available phase-to-phase short-circuit 
current. This setting will be sealed or locked.
    (6) Permanent warning labels will be installed and maintained on 
the covers of the power center to identify the location of each sealed 
or locked short-circuit protection device. These labels are intended to 
warn miners not to change or alter these short-circuit settings.
    (7) All pump installations with cable lengths that are specified in 
Table 9 in Appendix I to 30 CFR part 18 subpart D will have short-
circuit surveys conducted and paragraphs (1)-(5) will be implemented. A 
copy of each pump short-circuit survey will be available at the mine 
site for inspection.
    (8) The alternative method will not be implemented until miners who 
have been designated to examine the integrity of seals or locks, verify 
the short-circuit setting, and follow proper procedures for examining 
trailing cables for defects and damage have received the elements of 
training in paragraph (9).
    (9) Within 60 days after this petition is granted, proposed 
revisions for approved 30 CFR part 48 training plans will be submitted 
to the District. The proposed training will include the following 
elements:
    (a) Training in mining methods and operating procedures that will 
protect the trailing cables against damage.
    (b) Training in the proper procedures for examining the trailing 
cables to ensure the cables are in a safe operating condition.
    (c) Training in hazards of setting the instantaneous circuit 
breakers too high to adequately protect the trailing cables.
    (d) Training in how to verify the circuit interrupting device(s) 
protecting the trailing cable(s) are properly set and maintained.
    The petitioner further states that the procedures of 30 CFR 48.3 
for approval of proposed revisions to already approved training cables 
will apply.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
guarantee no less than the same measure of protection to the miners as 
would be provided by the existing standard.
    Docket No: M-2013-030-C.
    Petitioner: Newtown Energy, Inc., P.O. Box 189, Comfort, West 
Virginia 25049.
    Mine: Peerless Rachel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09258, 4449 Left Fork 
of Joe's Creek, Comfort, West Virginia, located in Boone County, West 
Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance with 
respect to oil and gas wells.
    1. The petitioner proposes, prior to mining through any oil or gas 
well at its Peerless Rachel Mine, to provide the District Manager (DM) 
a declaration stating that all mandatory procedures for cleaning out, 
preparing, and plugging each gas or oil well have been completed. The 
declaration will be accompanied by down-hole logs.
    2. The techniques and procedures in this petition are limited to 
oil and gas wells that have a maximum depth of 5,000 feet or less.
    a. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures when 
cleaning out and preparing oil and gas wells prior to plugging or 
replugging:
    (1) Clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 feet below 
the base of the

[[Page 49776]]

lowest mineable coal seam. Remove material from the entire diameter of 
the well, wall to wall, to the extent feasible and practicable.
    (2) Remove all of the casing in the well or, if it is not possible 
to remove all of the casing, fill the annulus between the casings and 
between the casings and the well walls with expanding cement (minimum 
0.5 percent expansion on setting) and ensure that these areas contain 
no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, cut or mill it at all 
mineable coal seam levels and perforate or rip it at least every 50 
feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal 
seam up to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal seam. When 
multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), 
perforate or rip any casing that remains and fill with expanding 
cement. Keep an acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing 
string used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings.
    (3) Place a mechanical bridge plug in the well, if a cleaned-out 
well emits excessive amounts of gas. Place the mechanical bridge plug 
in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest 
mineable coal seam, but above the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-
producing stratum.
    (4) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of 
a caliper survey and be suitable for determining the top, bottom, and 
thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata 
and the location for a bridge plug. In addition, maintain a journal 
describing the length and type of each material used to plug the well; 
the length of casings removed, perforated or ripped, or left in place; 
any sections where casing was cut or milled; and other pertinent 
information concerning cleaning and sealing the well.
    (5) Properly place mechanical bridge plugs to isolate the 
hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement plug, if the 
upper-most hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 300 feet of the base 
of the lowest mineable coal seam. Nevertheless, place a minimum of 200 
feet of expanding cement below the lowest mineable coal seam.
    b. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
plugging or replugging oil or gas wells to the surface:
    (1) Pump expanding cement slurry down the well to form a plug that 
runs from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal 
seam to the surface. Place the expanding cement in the well under a 
pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch. Portland cement or a 
lightweight cement mixture may be used to fill the area from 100 feet 
above the top of the uppermost mineable coal seam. A gel that supports 
the wall of the borehole and increases the density of the expanding 
cement may be used to provide the placement pressure.
    (2) 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, extend a 4\1/2\-inch or 
larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground level 
with the American Petroleum Institute (API) well number either engraved 
or welded on the casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical 
monument (e.g., prime farmland), use high-resolution GPS coordinates 
(one-half meter resolution) to locate the hole.
    c. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
plugging or replugging oil and gas wells for subsequent use as 
degasification boreholes:
    (1) Set a cement plug in the well by pumping expanding cement 
slurry down the tubing to provide at least 200 feet of expanding cement 
below the lowest mineable coal seam. Place the expanding cement in the 
well under a pressure of at least 200 pounds per square inch. Extend 
the top of the expanding cement at least 30 feet above the top of the 
coal seam being mined.
    (2) Securely grout a suitable casing into the bedrock of the upper 
portion of the degasification well to protect it. The remainder of this 
well may be cased or uncased.
    (3) Cement the annulus between the degasification casing and the 
borehole wall from a point immediately above the slots or perforations 
in the pipe to the surface.
    (4) Clean out the degasification casing to its total length.
    (5) Fit the top of the degasification casing with a wellhead, 
equipped as required by the DM in the approved ventilation plan. Such 
equipment may include check valves, shut-in valves, sampling ports, 
flame arrestor equipment, and security fencing.
    (6) After the area of the coal mine that is degassed by a well is 
sealed or the coal mine is abandoned, seal the degas holes using the 
following procedures:
    (i) Insert a tube to the bottom of the drill hole or, if not 
possible, to at least 100 feet above the coal seam. Remove any blockage 
to ensure that the tube is inserted to this depth.
    (ii) Set a cement plug in the well by pumping Portland cement or a 
lightweight cement mixture down the tubing until the well is filled to 
the surface.
    (iii) 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, extend a 4\1/2\-inch or 
larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground level 
with the API well number engraved or welded on the casing.
    d. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures for 
preparing and plugging or replugging oil or gas wells that cannot be 
completely cleaned out:
    (1) Drill a hole adjacent and parallel to the well to a depth of at 
least 200 feet below the lowest mineable coal seam.
    (2) Locate any casing that may remain in the well using a 
geophysical sensing device.
    (3) If the well contains casings, drill into the well from the 
parallel hole and perforate or rip all casings at intervals of at least 
5 feet from 10 feet below the coal seam to 10 feet above the coal seam. 
Beyond that distance, perforate or rip all casings at least every 50 
feet from at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal 
seam up to 100 feet above the seam being mined. Fill the annulus 
between the casings and between the casings and the well wall with 
expanding cement (minimum of 0.5% expansion on setting), and ensure 
that these areas contain no voids. When multiple casing and tubing 
strings are present in the coal horizons, rip or perforate any casing 
that remains and fill with expanding cement. Provide an acceptable 
casing bond log for each casing and tubing used in lieu of ripping or 
perforating multiple strings.
    (4) Use a horizontal hydraulic fracturing technique to intercept 
the original well where there is sufficient casing in the well to allow 
use of the method outlined in subparagraph (3) above. Fracture the 
original well in at least six places from at least 200 feet below the 
base of the lowest mineable coal seam to a point at least 50 feet above 
the seam being mined at intervals to be agreed on by the petitioner and 
the DM after considering the geological strata and the pressure within 
the well. Pump expanding cement into the fractured well in sufficient 
quantities and in a manner that fills all intercepted voids.
    (5) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of 
a caliper survey and be suitable for determining the top, bottom, and 
thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata 
and the location for the bridge plug. Maintain a journal describing the 
length and type of each material used to plug the well; length of

[[Page 49777]]

casing(s) removed, perforated, ripped, or left in place; and other 
pertinent information concerning sealing the well.
    (6) After plugging the well, plug the open portions of both holes 
from the bottom to the surface with Portland cement or a lightweight 
cement mixture.
    (7) 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, extend a 4\1/2\-inch or 
larger casing, set in cement, at least 36 inches above the ground 
level.
    e. The petitioner proposes to use the following procedures after 
approval has been granted by the DM to mine through a plugged or 
replugged well:
    (1) Prior to cutting-through a plugged well, notify the DM or 
designee, representative of the miners, and the appropriate State 
agency in sufficient time for them to have a representative present.
    (2) Install drivage spads at the last open crosscut near the place 
to be mined to ensure intersection of the well when mining through 
wells using continuous mining equipment. The drivage spads will not be 
more than 50 feet from the well. Install distance markers along the 
headgate on 5-feet centers for 20 feet in advance of the well when 
using longwall-mining methods.
    (3) Firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock 
dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the 
mine-through (when either the conventional or continuous mining method 
is used), will be available and operable during each well mine-through. 
Locate the fire hose in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. 
Maintain the water line to the belt conveyor tailpiece along with a 
sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of 
penetration on the section.
    (4) Keep available at the last open crosscut, a supply of roof 
support and ventilation materials sufficient to ventilate and support 
around the well on cut-through. In addition, keep emergency plugs 
available in the immediate area of the cut-through.
    (5) Maintain the quantity of air required by the approved mine 
ventilation plan for both continuous and longwall mining.
    (6) Check equipment for permissibility if it will be in by the last 
open crosscut during mine-through and service it on the shift prior to 
mining through the well.
    (7) Calibrate the methane monitors on the longwall, continuous 
mining machine, or cutting machine and loading machine on the shift 
prior to mining through the well.
    (8) When mining is in progress, test methane levels with a hand-
held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time that 
mining with the continuous mining machine is within 20 feet of the well 
until the well is intersected and immediately prior to mining through 
it or from the time that mining with longwall mining equipment is 
within 10 feet of the well. No individual is allowed on the return side 
during the actual cutting process until the mine-through has been 
completed and the area examined and declared safe.
    (9) Keep the working place free from accumulations of coal dust and 
coal spillages, and place rock dust on the roof, rib, and floor to 
within 20 feet of the face when mining through the well when using 
continuous or conventional mining methods. Conduct rock dusting on 
longwall sections on the roof, rib, and floor up to both the headgate 
and tailgate gob.
    (10) Deenergize all equipment when the wellbore is intersected and 
thoroughly examine the place and determined it safe before resuming 
mining. No open flame is permitted in the area until adequate 
ventilation has been established around the wellbore.
    (11) In rare instances, torches may be used for inadequately or 
inaccurately cut or milled casings at the coal seam level. No open 
flame is permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been 
established around the wellbore and methane levels are less than 1.0 
percent in all areas that will be exposed to flames and sparks from the 
torch. Apply a thick layer of rock dust to the roof, face, floor, ribs, 
and any exposed coal within 20 feet of the casing prior to any use of 
torches.
    (12) After a well has been intersected and the working place 
determined safe, continue mining 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 cut-through 
operation except those actually engaged in the mining operation, mine 
management, representative of the miners, personnel from MSHA, and 
personnel from the appropriate State agency.
    (14) A certified official will directly supervise the cut-through 
operation and only the certified official in charge will issue 
instructions concerning the cut-through operation.
    (15) Locate non-sparking (brass) tools on the working section in 
the event they are needed to expose and examine cased wells.
    (16) Alert all personnel in the mine to the planned intersection of 
the well prior to their going underground if the planned intersection 
is to occur during their shift. Repeat this warning for all shifts 
until the well has been mined through. Mining may be conducted in other 
working sections during the intersection of the well.
    (17) The responsible person required in 30 CFR 75.1501 will be 
responsible for well intersection emergencies. The responsible person 
will review the well intersection procedures prior to any planned 
intersection.
    Within 60 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner 
will submit proposed revisions for its approved part 48 training plan 
to the DM.
    Within 30 days after this petition becomes final, the petitioner 
will submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency 
evacuation and firefighting plan required in 30 CFR 75.1501. The 
petitioner will revise the plans to include the hazards and evacuation 
procedures to be used for well intersections. All underground miners 
will be trained in this revised plan within 30 days of the DM's 
approval of the revised evacuation plan. Such training may be done in a 
weekly safety meeting or other type of appropriate setting.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure or protection 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket No: M-2013-031-C.
    Petitioner: Oak Grove Resources, LLC, 8360 Taylor's Ferry Rd., 
Hueytown, Alabama 35023.
    Mine: Oak Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 01-00851, located in Jefferson 
County, Alabama.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507 (Power connection points).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit nonpermissible pumps to be used in 
boreholes in areas of the Oak Grove Mine where water has accumulated 
and that are not on intake air. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Nonpermissible pumps will be located within the boreholes and 
the electrical components of the pump will always be separated from the 
mine atmosphere. The pump electric motors will be under water 
continuously.
    (2) The three-phase 480, 2,400, or 4,160 voltage alternating-
current electric power circuits for the pump(s) will be designed and 
installed to:
    (a) Contain either a direct or a derived neutral that will be 
grounded through a suitable resistor at the source transformer or power 
center. A grounding circuit originating at the grounded side of the 
grounding resistor

[[Page 49778]]

must extend along with the power conductors and serve as the grounding 
conductor for the frame of the pump(s) and all associated electric 
equipment that may be supplied power from this circuit. The borehole 
casing will be bonded to the system grounding medium.
    (b) Contain a grounding resistor that limits the ground-fault 
current to not more than 6.5 amperes. The grounding resistor must be 
rated for the maximum fault current available and must be insulated 
from ground for a voltage equal to the phase-to-phase voltage of the 
system.
    (3) The following protections for the pump power circuits will be 
provided by a suitable circuit interrupting device of adequate 
interrupting capacity with devices to provide protection against 
undervoltage, grounded phase, short circuit, and overload.
    (a) The undervoltage protection device will operate on a loss of 
voltage to prevent automatic restarting of the equipment.
    (b) The grounded phase protection device will be set not to exceed 
50 percent of the current rating of the neutral grounding resistor.
    (c) The short circuit protection device will not be set to exceed 
the required short circuit protection for the power cable or 75 percent 
of the minimum available phase-to-phase short circuit current, 
whichever is less.
    (d) Each power circuit will contain a disconnecting device located 
on the surface and installed in conjunction with the circuit breakers 
to provide visual evidence that the power is disconnected.
    (e) The disconnecting device(s) will include a means to visually 
determine if the pump power circuit(s) are disconnected and will be 
provided with a means to lock, tag-out, and ground the system(s).
    (f) The disconnecting device(s) will be designed to prevent entry 
unless the disconnect handle is in the ``off'' position and the circuit 
is grounded.
    (g) The disconnecting device(s) will be clearly identified and 
provided with warning signs stating, ``Danger. Do not enter unless the 
circuit is opened, locked, tagged-out, and grounded.''
    (4) The three-phase alternating current system will be provided 
with a low resistance grounding medium for the grounding of the 
lightning/surge arrestors for the high-voltage pump power circuit(s) 
that is separated from the neutral grounding medium by a distance of 
not less than 25 feet.
    (5) The electric control circuit(s) for the pumps will meet the 
following requirements:
    (a) The control circuit will be equipped with a probe circuit that 
determines a high and low water level.
    (b) The low water probe will be located not less than 30 feet above 
the pump inlet and motor and electrical connections of the pump(s). 
When the water level reaches the low water probe, the pump(s) will 
cease operation and the pump(s) will not start in either the manual or 
the automatic mode.
    (c) When the water level reaches the high water probe, the pump 
will start operation.
    (d) The high and low water probes must consist of redundant 
electronic pressure transducers that are suitable for submersible pump 
control applications.
    (e) All probe circuits will be protected by MSHA-approved 
intrinsically safe barriers.
    (f) The grounded-phase protective circuit for pump(s) will be able 
to be tested by injecting a test current through the grounded phase 
current transformer.
    (g) A remote control and monitoring system can be used with the 
pump system for condition monitoring and for remote startup and 
shutdown control of the pumps. The remote control and monitoring system 
will not allow reset of the pump power system when fault conditions 
(e.g., grounded phase, short circuit, or overload) exist on the system.
    (h) Splices and connections made in submersible pump cables will be 
made in a workmanlike manner and will meet the requirements of 30 CFR 
75.604.
    (6) The surface pump control and power circuit(s) will be examined 
as required by 30 CFR 77.502.
    (7) The power cable to the submersible pump motor(s) will be 
suitable for this application, have a current carrying capacity not 
less than 125 percent of the full load motor current of the submersible 
pump motor, and have an outer jacket suitable for a wet location. The 
power cable must be supported at the entrance to the borehole and 
throughout its length. The power pump cable will be secured, and with 
clamps, spaced approximately 25 feet apart, affixed to the discharge 
pipe casing.
    (8) The pump installations will comply with all applicable 30 CFR 
requirements.
    Within 60 days after this petition is granted, the petitioner will 
submit to the DM proposed revisions for their proposed part 48 training 
plan. These revisions will specify task training for all qualified mine 
electricians who perform electric work, monthly electrical examinations 
as required by 30 CFR 77.502, refresher training regarding the 
alternative method outlined in this petition, and the terms and 
conditions stated in the Proposed Decision and Order. The procedures of 
30 CFR 48.3 for approval of proposed revisions to already approved 
training plans will apply.
    The petitioner asserts that use of the proposed system described in 
this petition would prevent exposure of miners to unnecessary hazards, 
thereby increasing the measure of protection to the miners. Such 
submersible pumps have performed readily and are superior to the 
underground pumping systems that they replaced.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection to all 
miners as would be provided by the existing standard.
    Docket No: M-2013-032-C.
    Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West 
Virginia 26416.
    Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-04168, located in Barbour 
County, West Virginia.
    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 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
or inby the last open crosscut. 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. 
Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-
operated total station surveying equipment, mine transit distance 
meters, and data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined prior to use to ensure 
the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. These 
examinations will include the following:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case;

[[Page 49779]]

    (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; and
    (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 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 must 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.
    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 No: M-2013-033-C.
    Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West 
Virginia 26416. .
    Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-04168, located in Barbour 
County, West Virginia.
    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 
allow 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 in 
return airways. Such nonpermissible surveying equipment includes, but 
is not limited to, portable battery-operated total station surveying 
equipment, mine transit distance meters, and data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined 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; and
    (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 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.
    (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 DM. 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 No: M-2013-034-C.
    Petitioner: Wolf Run Mining Company, Rt. 3, Box 146, Philippi, West 
Virginia 26416. .
    Mine: Sentinel Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-04168, located in Barbour 
County, West Virginia.
    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 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
within 150 feet of pillar workings, including, but not limited to, 
portable battery-operated

[[Page 49780]]

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 to protect miners in future 
mines that may mine in close proximity to these same active mines, 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 
within 150 feet of pillar workings. Such nonpermissible surveying 
equipment includes, but is not limited to, portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transit distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined 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; and
    (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.
    (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.
    (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.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations 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 DM. The revisions will specify initial and 
refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the Proposed 
Decision and Order.
    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.

     Dated: August 9, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-19767 Filed 8-14-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P