Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 59066-59068 [2013-23266]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59066 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 25, 2013 / Notices 2013. The DOL seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection for three (3) more years, without any change to existing requirements. It should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on May 22, 2013 (78 FR 30333). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1210– 0123. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; • evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; • enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and • minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: DOL–EBSA. Title of Collection: Notice Requirements of the Health Care Continuation Coverage Provisions. OMB Control Number: 1210–0123. Affected Public: Private Sector— businesses or other for-profits. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 599,000. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 20,712,556. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 0. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $26,554,404. Dated: September 18, 2013. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2013–23260 Filed 9–24–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:20 Sep 24, 2013 Jkt 229001 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and 30 CFR part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the application of existing mandatory safety standards codified in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before October 25, 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: SUMMARY: I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that: 1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or 2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2013–039–C. Petitioner: Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc., P.O. Box 142, Justice, West Virginia 24851. Mines: Mine No. 3, MSHA I.D. No. 46–08646 and Mine No. 7, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09093, located in McDowell County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1101– 1(b) (Deluge-type water spray systems). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to eliminate the use of blowoff dust covers for the spray nozzles of a deluge-type water spray system. In support of the alternative method, the petitioner proposes to continue performing the weekly inspections and functional testing of the complete deluge-type water spray system. The petitioner states that: (1) The system consists of an average of thirty (30) sprays along each of approximately ten primary beltconveyor drives and an average of sixty (60) sprays along each eight secondary drives. (2) The company currently complies with the requirements of the existing standard by providing each nozzle with a blow-off dust cover. In view of the frequent inspections and functional testing of the system, the dust covers are not necessary because nozzles can be maintained in an unclogged condition through weekly use. (3) It is burdensome to recap the large number of covers weekly after each inspection and functional test. The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners employed at the Rock and Roll Coal Company, as the standard. Docket Number: M–2013–040–C. Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, Pennsylvania 17921. E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 25, 2013 / Notices Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10062, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1100– 2(a)(2) (Quantity and location of firefighting equipment). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of portable fire extinguishers only to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other water storage equipped with three 10-quart pails is not practical. The petitioner states that: (1) Equipping its small anthracite mine with two portable fire extinguishers near the slope bottom and an additional portable fire extinguisher within 500 feet of the working face will provide equivalent fire protection. (2) Anthracite coal is low in volatile matter and dust is not explosive. (3) The working section is at or below mine pool elevation with frequent pumping required to de-water the work area. (4) All up-pitch workings of moderate to steep pitch are accessed only through ladders making the carrying of water in pails impractical. (5) Electric face equipment is nonexistent in this hand-loading anthracite mine and only air-operated equipment is used in or inby the last open crosscut. (6) The history of underground mines shows that fires occurring in the working faces are nonexistent in recent years due to improved explosives and low volatile matter in anthracite coal. (7) This anthracite mine produces far less than the 300 ton per shift criteria using the hand-loading method. (8) Belt conveyor haulage is not used in this underground mine for section/ main haulage minimizing fire potential. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–041–C. Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, Pennsylvania 17921. Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10062, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d) & (i) (Mine maps). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of crosssections in lieu of contour lines on mine maps through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000 feet intervals of advance from the intake slope. In addition, the petitioner VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:20 Sep 24, 2013 Jkt 229001 proposes to limit the required mapping of mine workings above and below to those present within 100 feet of the vein(s) being mined unless the veins are interconnected to other veins beyond the 100 feet limit through rock tunnels. The petitioner states that: (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal veins, contours provide no useful information and their presence would make portions of the map illegible. (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been practiced since the late 1800’s and provides critical information about spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which fluctuate considerably. (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining or the mining of veins of lower quality in proximity to inaccessible and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or may not be mapped. (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the petitioner’s contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock tunnels between veins in relation to the mine, and a hazard analysis is done when mapping indicates the presence of known or potentially flooded workings. (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that exist beyond 100 feet from the mine, are recognized as presenting no hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation. (6) Additionally, the mine workings above and below are usually inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually subject to changes during the life of the mine. (7) Where evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a vein above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine mapping, the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate precautions will be taken through § 75.388, which addresses drilling boreholes in advance of mining, where possible. (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the affected area. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–042–C. Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, Pennsylvania 17921. PO 00000 Frm 00077 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59067 Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10062, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202– 1(a) (Temporary notations, revisions and requirements). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the interval of survey to be established on an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 6 months as required. The petitioner proposes to continue to update the mine map by hand notations on a daily basis and conduct subsequent surveys prior to commencing retreat mining, and whenever either a drilling program under § 75.388 or plan for mining into inaccessible areas under § 75.389 is required. The petitioner states that: (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. In most cases annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of gangway advance with associated up-pitch development. (2) The vast majority of small anthracite mines are non-mechanized and use hand-loading mining methods. (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient control between both surveyed gangways. (4) The available engineering/ surveyor resources are limited in the anthracite coal fields and surveying on an annual basis is difficult to achieve with four individual contractors currently available. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–043–C. Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, Pennsylvania 17921. Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10062, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400 (Hoisting equipment; general). Modification Request: The petitioner seeks to permit the use of a slope conveyance (gunboat) to transport persons without safety catches or other no less effective devices but instead use an increased rope strength/safety factor and secondary safety rope connection in place of such devices. The petitioner states that: (1) The haulage slope of the Mammoth Mine is typical of those in the anthracite region, having a relatively high angle and frequently changing pitches. E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59068 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 186 / Wednesday, September 25, 2013 / Notices (2) A functional safety catch capable of working in slopes with knuckles and curves is not commercially available. If a makeshift device is installed it would activate on knuckles or curves when no emergency existed, causing a tumbling effect on the conveyance which would increase rather than decrease the hazard to miners. (3) A safer alternative is to operate the man cage or steel gunboat with secondary safety connections securely fastened around the gunboat and to the hoisting rope above the main connecting device and use hoisting ropes having a factor of safety greater than the American Standards Specifications for the Use of Wire Rope in Mines. (4) Furthermore, the slope and haulage system at this mine are essentially the same as those to which petitions granting the use of the alternative suggestion have been approved since 1973. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–044–C. Petitioner: Rosebud Mining Company, P.O. Box 1025, Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania 15714. Mines: Parkwood Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–08785, located in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania and Kocjancic Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09436, located in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face equipment; maintenance), 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i)(ii) (Portable (trailing) cables and cords). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of 480-volt trailing cables with a maximum length of 1200 feet when No. 2 American Gauge Wire (AWG) cable is used and 480-volt trailing cables with a maximum length of 950 feet when No. 4 AWG cable is used on roof bolters. The petitioner states that: (1) The trailing cable for the 480-volt roof bolters will not be smaller than No. 4 AWG cable. (2) All circuit breakers used to protect the No. 2 AWG trailing cable and No. 4 AWG trailing cable exceeding 700 feet in length will have instantaneous trip units calibrated to trip at 500 amperes. The trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed to insure that the settings on these breakers cannot be changed, and these breakers will have permanent, legible labels. Each label will identify the circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting the cables. (3) Replacement circuit breakers and/ or instantaneous trip units used to VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:20 Sep 24, 2013 Jkt 229001 protect No. 2 AWG trailing cable or No. 4 AWG trailing cable will be calibrated to trip at 500 amperes and will be sealed. (4) All components that provide shortcircuit protection will have a sufficient interruption rating in accordance with the maximum calculated fault currents available. (5) During each production day, the trailing cables, and the circuit breakers will be examined in accordance with all 30 CFR provisions. (6) Permanent warning labels will be installed and maintained on the load center to identify the location of each sealed short-circuit protection device. These labels will warn miners not to change or alter the sealed short-circuit settings of these devices. (7) If the affected trailing cables are damaged in any way during the shift, the cable will be de-energized and repairs made. (8) The petitioner’s alternative method will not be implemented until all miners who have been designated to operate the bolters, or any other person designated to examine the trailing cables or trip settings on the circuit breakers have received proper training as to the performance of their duties. (9) Within 60 days after this proposed decision and order becomes final, the proposed revisions for the petitioner’s approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan will be submitted to the District Manager. The training plan will include the following: (a) The hazards of setting the shortcircuit device(s) too high to adequately protect the trailing cables. (b) How to verify that the circuit interrupting device(s) protecting the trailing cable(s) are properly set and maintained. (c) Mining methods and operating procedures for protecting the trailing cables against damage. (d) Proper procedures for examining the trailing cables to ensure safe operating condition by visual inspection of the entire cable, observing the insulation, the integrity of the splices, nicks and abrasions. The petitioner further states that procedures specified in 30 CFR 48.3 for proposed revisions to approved training plans will apply. The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will guarantee no less than the same measure of protection for all miners than that of the existing standard. PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: September 19, 2013. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2013–23266 Filed 9–24–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [EA–12–189; NRC–2013–0220] Chicago Bridge and Iron; Confirmatory Order (Effective Immediately) I. Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I), is a large multinational conglomerate engineering, procurement and construction company serving various industries in the United States and overseas; some of which are regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). CB&I’s main office is located in The Woodlands, Texas. II. This Confirmatory Order (referenced as Confirmatory Order or Order) is the result of an agreement reached during alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mediation sessions conducted on June 11, 2013, and July 29, 2013, in Rockville Maryland. On June 4, 2011, the NRC’s Office of Investigations (OI) issued its report of investigation (OI Report No. 2–2011– 047). The investigation related to a nuclear construction site in South Carolina, operated by CB&I, formerly known as Shaw Nuclear Services, Inc. and hereafter referred to as Shaw. Based upon evidence developed during its investigation, the NRC identified an apparent violation of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR) 52.5, ‘‘Employee protection,’’ involving a former Shaw employee who was terminated, in part, for notifying Shaw and Louisiana Energy Service (at the direction of the individual’s supervisor, a Shaw official), of a potential 10 CFR part 21 issue regarding selected heats of rebar that had failed the ASME bend test and may have been shipped to the Louisiana Energy Service facility. In addition, the NRC found Shaw’s Code of Corporate Conduct to be overly restrictive and may prevent employees from raising nuclear safety concerns. By letter dated October 19, 2012, the NRC identified to CB&I the apparent violation of 10 CFR 52.5 and offered CB&I the opportunity to provide a response in writing, attend a predecisional enforcement conference, or to request ADR in which a neutral mediator with no decision-making E:\FR\FM\25SEN1.SGM 25SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 186 (Wednesday, September 25, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59066-59068]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-23266]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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

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

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before October 25, 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 Number: M-2013-039-C.
    Petitioner: Rock N Roll Coal Company, Inc., P.O. Box 142, Justice, 
West Virginia 24851.
    Mines: Mine No. 3, MSHA I.D. No. 46-08646 and Mine No. 7, MSHA I.D. 
No. 46-09093, located in McDowell County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1101-1(b) (Deluge-type water spray 
systems).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to eliminate the use of blow-off dust covers for the 
spray nozzles of a deluge-type water spray system. In support of the 
alternative method, the petitioner proposes to continue performing the 
weekly inspections and functional testing of the complete deluge-type 
water spray system. The petitioner states that:
    (1) The system consists of an average of thirty (30) sprays along 
each of approximately ten primary belt-conveyor drives and an average 
of sixty (60) sprays along each eight secondary drives.
    (2) The company currently complies with the requirements of the 
existing standard by providing each nozzle with a blow-off dust cover. 
In view of the frequent inspections and functional testing of the 
system, the dust covers are not necessary because nozzles can be 
maintained in an unclogged condition through weekly use.
    (3) It is burdensome to recap the large number of covers weekly 
after each inspection and functional test.
    The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will at all 
times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded 
the miners employed at the Rock and Roll Coal Company, as the standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-040-C.
    Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, 
Pennsylvania 17921.

[[Page 59067]]

    Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10062, located in Schuylkill 
County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1100-2(a)(2) (Quantity and location 
of firefighting equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of portable fire extinguishers only 
to replace existing requirements where rock dust, water cars, and other 
water storage equipped with three 10-quart pails is not practical. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) Equipping its small anthracite mine with two portable fire 
extinguishers near the slope bottom and an additional portable fire 
extinguisher within 500 feet of the working face will provide 
equivalent fire protection.
    (2) Anthracite coal is low in volatile matter and dust is not 
explosive.
    (3) The working section is at or below mine pool elevation with 
frequent pumping required to de-water the work area.
    (4) All up-pitch workings of moderate to steep pitch are accessed 
only through ladders making the carrying of water in pails impractical.
    (5) Electric face equipment is nonexistent in this hand-loading 
anthracite mine and only air-operated equipment is used in or inby the 
last open crosscut.
    (6) The history of underground mines shows that fires occurring in 
the working faces are nonexistent in recent years due to improved 
explosives and low volatile matter in anthracite coal.
    (7) This anthracite mine produces far less than the 300 ton per 
shift criteria using the hand-loading method.
    (8) Belt conveyor haulage is not used in this underground mine for 
section/main haulage minimizing fire potential.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-041-C.
    Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, 
Pennsylvania 17921.
    Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10062, located in Schuylkill 
County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d) & (i) (Mine maps).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of cross-sections in lieu of 
contour lines on mine maps through the intake slope, at locations of 
rock tunnel connections between veins, and at 1,000 feet intervals of 
advance from the intake slope. In addition, the petitioner proposes to 
limit the required mapping of mine workings above and below to those 
present within 100 feet of the vein(s) being mined unless the veins are 
interconnected to other veins beyond the 100 feet limit through rock 
tunnels. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal 
veins, contours provide no useful information and their presence would 
make portions of the map illegible.
    (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been 
practiced since the late 1800's and provides critical information about 
spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which 
fluctuate considerably.
    (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining 
involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining 
or the mining of veins of lower quality in proximity to inaccessible 
and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or may not be 
mapped.
    (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the 
petitioner's contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock 
tunnels between veins in relation to the mine, and a hazard analysis is 
done when mapping indicates the presence of known or potentially 
flooded workings.
    (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that 
exist beyond 100 feet from the mine, are recognized as presenting no 
hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation.
    (6) Additionally, the mine workings above and below are usually 
inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually subject to 
changes during the life of the mine.
    (7) Where evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a vein 
above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine mapping, 
the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate 
precautions will be taken through Sec.  75.388, which addresses 
drilling boreholes in advance of mining, where possible.
    (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities 
limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the 
workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the 
affected area.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-042-C.
    Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, 
Pennsylvania 17921.
    Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10062, located in Schuylkill 
County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202-1(a) (Temporary notations, 
revisions and requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the interval of survey to be established on 
an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 6 months as 
required. The petitioner proposes to continue to update the mine map by 
hand notations on a daily basis and conduct subsequent surveys prior to 
commencing retreat mining, and whenever either a drilling program under 
Sec.  75.388 or plan for mining into inaccessible areas under Sec.  
75.389 is required. The petitioner states that:
    (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite 
mining make surveying on 6-month intervals impractical. In most cases 
annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of 
gangway advance with associated up-pitch development.
    (2) The vast majority of small anthracite mines are non-mechanized 
and use hand-loading mining methods.
    (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into 
the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient 
control between both surveyed gangways.
    (4) The available engineering/surveyor resources are limited in the 
anthracite coal fields and surveying on an annual basis is difficult to 
achieve with four individual contractors currently available.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-043-C.
    Petitioner: Blackwood Mining, 540 East Center Street, Ashland, 
Pennsylvania 17921.
    Mine: Mammoth Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10062, located in Schuylkill 
County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400 (Hoisting equipment; general).
    Modification Request: The petitioner seeks to permit the use of a 
slope conveyance (gunboat) to transport persons without safety catches 
or other no less effective devices but instead use an increased rope 
strength/safety factor and secondary safety rope connection in place of 
such devices. The petitioner states that:
    (1) The haulage slope of the Mammoth Mine is typical of those in 
the anthracite region, having a relatively high angle and frequently 
changing pitches.

[[Page 59068]]

    (2) A functional safety catch capable of working in slopes with 
knuckles and curves is not commercially available. If a makeshift 
device is installed it would activate on knuckles or curves when no 
emergency existed, causing a tumbling effect on the conveyance which 
would increase rather than decrease the hazard to miners.
    (3) A safer alternative is to operate the man cage or steel gunboat 
with secondary safety connections securely fastened around the gunboat 
and to the hoisting rope above the main connecting device and use 
hoisting ropes having a factor of safety greater than the American 
Standards Specifications for the Use of Wire Rope in Mines.
    (4) Furthermore, the slope and haulage system at this mine are 
essentially the same as those to which petitions granting the use of 
the alternative suggestion have been approved since 1973.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-044-C.
    Petitioner: Rosebud Mining Company, P.O. Box 1025, Northern 
Cambria, Pennsylvania 15714.
    Mines: Parkwood Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-08785, located in Armstrong 
County, Pennsylvania and Kocjancic Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09436, 
located in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.503 (Permissible electric face 
equipment; maintenance), 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i)(ii) (Portable (trailing) 
cables and cords).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of 480-volt trailing cables with a 
maximum length of 1200 feet when No. 2 American Gauge Wire (AWG) cable 
is used and 480-volt trailing cables with a maximum length of 950 feet 
when No. 4 AWG cable is used on roof bolters. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) The trailing cable for the 480-volt roof bolters will not be 
smaller than No. 4 AWG cable.
    (2) All circuit breakers used to protect the No. 2 AWG trailing 
cable and No. 4 AWG trailing cable exceeding 700 feet in length will 
have instantaneous trip units calibrated to trip at 500 amperes. The 
trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed to insure that 
the settings on these breakers cannot be changed, and these breakers 
will have permanent, legible labels. Each label will identify the 
circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting the cables.
    (3) Replacement circuit breakers and/or instantaneous trip units 
used to protect No. 2 AWG trailing cable or No. 4 AWG trailing cable 
will be calibrated to trip at 500 amperes and will be sealed.
    (4) All components that provide short-circuit protection will have 
a sufficient interruption rating in accordance with the maximum 
calculated fault currents available.
    (5) During each production day, the trailing cables, and the 
circuit breakers will be examined in accordance with all 30 CFR 
provisions.
    (6) Permanent warning labels will be installed and maintained on 
the load center to identify the location of each sealed short-circuit 
protection device. These labels will warn miners not to change or alter 
the sealed short-circuit settings of these devices.
    (7) If the affected trailing cables are damaged in any way during 
the shift, the cable will be de-energized and repairs made.
    (8) The petitioner's alternative method will not be implemented 
until all miners who have been designated to operate the bolters, or 
any other person designated to examine the trailing cables or trip 
settings on the circuit breakers have received proper training as to 
the performance of their duties.
    (9) Within 60 days after this proposed decision and order becomes 
final, the proposed revisions for the petitioner's approved 30 CFR part 
48 training plan will be submitted to the District Manager. The 
training plan will include the following:
    (a) The hazards of setting the short-circuit device(s) too high to 
adequately protect the trailing cables.
    (b) How to verify that the circuit interrupting device(s) 
protecting the trailing cable(s) are properly set and maintained.
    (c) Mining methods and operating procedures for protecting the 
trailing cables against damage.
    (d) Proper procedures for examining the trailing cables to ensure 
safe operating condition by visual inspection of the entire cable, 
observing the insulation, the integrity of the splices, nicks and 
abrasions.
    The petitioner further states that procedures specified in 30 CFR 
48.3 for proposed revisions to approved training plans will apply.
    The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will guarantee 
no less than the same measure of protection for all miners than that of 
the existing standard.

    Dated: September 19, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-23266 Filed 9-24-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P