Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 69135-69137 [2013-27546]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 222 / Monday, November 18, 2013 / Notices information collection. The BLS conducts the Current Population Survey Displaced Worker, Job Tenure, and Occupational Mobility supplement biennially, and the supplement was last collected in January 2012. This supplement gathers information on workers who have lost or left their jobs because their plant or company closed or moved, there was insufficient work for the workers to perform, or their position or shift was abolished. The BLS will collect data on the extent to which displaced workers received advance notice of job cutbacks or the closing of their plant or business. The supplement also gathers data on the types of jobs reemployed workers have found and will compare current earnings with those from the lost job. In addition, the supplement will query for the incidence and nature of occupational changes in the preceding year. The survey also probes for the length of time workers, including those who have not been displaced, have been with their current employer. The BLS will collect additional data on the receipt of unemployment compensation, the loss of health insurance coverage, and the length of time spent without a job. Information collected by this survey will be used to estimate the size and nature of the population affected by job displacements and to determine the needs and scope of programs serving adult displaced workers. The information will also will be used to assess employment stability by determining the length of time workers have been with their current employer and to estimate the incidence of occupational change over the course of a year. Combining the questions on displacement, job tenure, and occupational mobility will enable analysts to obtain a more complete picture of employment stability. This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. For additional information, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on July 29, 2013 (78 FR 50450). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Nov 15, 2013 Jkt 232001 69135 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 1220– 0104. 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–BLS. Title of Collection: Current Population Survey—Displaced Worker, Job Tenure, and Occupational Mobility Supplement. OMB Control Number: 1220–0104. Affected Public: Individuals or households. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 55,000. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 55,000. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 7,333. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. Dated: November 12, 2013. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. 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 December 18, 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: I. Background [FR Doc. 2013–27424 Filed 11–15–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–24–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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00096 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 E:\FR\FM\18NON1.SGM 18NON1 69136 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 222 / Monday, November 18, 2013 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2013–047–C. Petitioner: Carter Roag Coal Company, LLC, 1023 Lanham Cemetery Road, Tallmansville, West Virginia 26237. Mine: Pleasant Hill Mine, MSHA I.D. No.46–08194, located in Randolph 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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner states that: (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the water delugetype fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the following: (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems in the affected mine. (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems by actuating the system and observing its performance. (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the manufacturer’s specifications. (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine for one year after the last recorded examination. (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected immediately. (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a delugetype water spray fire suppression system. The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as well as initial and VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Nov 15, 2013 Jkt 232001 refresher training (including addressing any necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order granting approval). The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–048–C. Petitioner: Pocahontas Coal Company, LLC, 109 Appalachian Drive, Beckley, West Virginia 25801. Mine: Josephine 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–07191, located in Raleigh 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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner states that: (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the water delugetype fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the following: (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems in the affected mine. (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems by actuating the system and observing its performance. (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the manufacturer’s specifications. (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine for one year after the last recorded examination. (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected immediately. (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a delugetype water spray fire suppression system. PO 00000 Frm 00097 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as well as initial and refresher training (including addressing any necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order granting approval). The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–049–C. Petitioner: Affinity Coal Company, LLC, 111 Affinity Complex Road, Sophia, West Virginia 25921. Mine: Affinity Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–08878, located in Raleigh 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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner states that: (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the water delugetype fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the following: (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems in the affected mine. (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression systems by actuating the system and observing its performance. (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the manufacturer’s specifications. (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine for one year after the last recorded examination. (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected immediately. E:\FR\FM\18NON1.SGM 18NON1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 222 / Monday, November 18, 2013 / Notices (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a delugetype water spray fire suppression system. The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as well as initial and refresher training (including addressing any necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order granting approval). The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2013–011–M. Petitioner: Ruby Gold, Inc., P.O. Box 1241, Grass Valley, California 95945. Mine: Ruby Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 04– 03108, located in Nevada County, California. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit 12 gallons of bottled water to be stored inside the refuge chamber of the Ruby Mine for use in an emergency. The petitioner states that: (1) The mention of waterlines in the standard implies that there must be a steady flow of drinking water from an outside source. The house and fire protection water for the Ruby Mine currently taps a spring located above the portal. This water and conveyance pipeline has not yet been tested for potability. (2) The refuge chamber is approximately 3,000 feet from the nearest exit at the Ruby portal, running a dedicated potable water line to the refuge chamber will incur considerable expense. (3) There is no mention of 30 CFR 57.11052 in the Program Policy Manual to provide further guidance to the standard. Procedures pertaining to drinking water are mentioned in 30 CFR 71.602(a) and (b). (4) Bottled water would be just as safe if not safer than a waterline, because there is a chance that the water can become polluted from some external event such as a fire or some other situation that causes the source of a waterline to become undrinkable or unavailable for any number of possible reasons. (5) No more than five miners are anticipated to seek refuge in the chamber during a mine emergency. The duration of any mine emergency is not expected to exceed one or two days. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:33 Nov 15, 2013 Jkt 232001 Each miner would require up to 64 ounces of water per day, so that over a 2-day period five miners would require an aggregate of five gallons of water. (6) The refuge chamber at the Ruby Mine is expected to be only a temporary facility since a primary project of the current operation is the restoration of a safe and usable second exit for the mine. (7) The current operations at the mine are extremely low risk for the occurrence of any incident which could require the need to use the refuge chamber for the following reasons: (a) There are no electrical power lines underground; (b) No internal combustion equipment is in use underground; and (c) The tunnel is being rehabilitated. All activities are being conducted in, as well as immediately adjacent to, the sections of the tunnel that have been recently retimbered to provide new and reinforced ground support. (8) While it appears that the standard in 30 CFR 71.602 provides an acceptable alternative to the use of a dedicated waterline in a refuge chamber, we are respectively requesting a variance of 30 CFR 57.11052(d) so that bottled water may be stored for use in the refuge chamber at the Ruby Mine. (9) Application of the standard will reduce the safety of the miners affected, as a dedicated waterline extending from the portal to the refuge chamber is subject to interruption and is inherently less safe than sanitary bottled water stored inside the refuge chamber. (10) An external water supply could be interrupted from any number of conditions within or outside the mine. (11) The nature of any emergency itself could cause an external water supply to be polluted, choked, or cutoff entirely if the pipeline were to be compromised. If the external supply of water is interrupted for any reason the miners will be at extreme risk with no other sources of drinking water available. The petitioner further states that: (1) As an alternative method, a sufficient supply of bottled water stored in the refuge chamber for use in an emergency represents 100 percent certainty that the miners will have sanitary drinking water available to them regardless of the nature of any emergency that might require the use of the refuge chamber. (2) Bottled water is sanitary and cannot be compromised by any emergency situation outside of the refuge chamber. (3) By having bottled water stored inside the chamber there is virtually no opportunity for the water supply to be compromised from normal mining PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 69137 operations (e.g., blasting, scaling, etc.) such as what could potentially occur with an external water line, and thus stored bottled water represents a significant safety improvement. (4) We understand that the intent of the standard is to provide a supply of drinking water in the event of an emergency that may last for an extended period of time beyond a few days, but as stated, in the event an external water line is compromised then water will be unavailable from the very outset of an emergency let alone whatever may develop over the course of time. (5) Stored bottled water provides miners with the absolute certainty that water will be available immediately whenever needed, and in the very first hours of an emergency that are often the most critical. (6) The Ruby Mine is not a shaft that extends vertically to depth. It is a drift mine that extends by way of flat tunnel into the earth laterally to follow the course of ancient river channels. In the event of an emergency requiring the use of the refuge chamber, we believe a rescue can be effected within a relatively short period of time such that any emergency would not have a long duration. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that afforded by the existing standard. Dated: November 13, 2013. George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances. [FR Doc. 2013–27546 Filed 11–15–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–43–P NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Sunshine Act; Notice of Agency Meeting STATUS: Open. 10:00 a.m., Thursday, November 21, 2013. PLACE: Board Room, 7th Floor, Room 7047, 1775 Duke Street (All visitors must use Diagonal Road Entrance), Alexandria, VA 22314–3428. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: 1. Quarterly Report on Corporate Stabilization Fund. 2. Board Briefing, Estimated Range of Premiums for the NCUSIF and Assessment for the Corporate Stabilization Fund. 3. NCUA’s Rules and Regulations, Credit Union Service Organizations. 4. 2014 Operating Budget. TIME AND DATE: E:\FR\FM\18NON1.SGM 18NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 222 (Monday, November 18, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 69135-69137]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-27546]


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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 December 18, 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

[[Page 69136]]

requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2013-047-C.
    Petitioner: Carter Roag Coal Company, LLC, 1023 Lanham Cemetery 
Road, Tallmansville, West Virginia 26237.
    Mine: Pleasant Hill Mine, MSHA I.D. No.46-08194, located in 
Randolph 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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire 
suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the 
water deluge-type fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive 
of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, 
functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the 
following:
    (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire 
suppression systems in the affected mine.
    (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression 
systems by actuating the system and observing its performance.
    (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically 
demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the 
manufacturer's specifications.
    (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function 
tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the 
surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to 
the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine 
for one year after the last recorded examination.
    (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of 
the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected 
immediately.
    (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be 
posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a deluge-type water 
spray fire suppression system.
    The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed 
provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying 
the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as 
well as initial and refresher training (including addressing any 
necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order 
granting approval).
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-048-C.
    Petitioner: Pocahontas Coal Company, LLC, 109 Appalachian Drive, 
Beckley, West Virginia 25801.
    Mine: Josephine 2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-07191, located in Raleigh 
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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire 
suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the 
water deluge-type fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive 
of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, 
functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the 
following:
    (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire 
suppression systems in the affected mine.
    (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression 
systems by actuating the system and observing its performance.
    (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically 
demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the 
manufacturer's specifications.
    (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function 
tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the 
surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to 
the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine 
for one year after the last recorded examination.
    (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of 
the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected 
immediately.
    (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be 
posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a deluge-type water 
spray fire suppression system.
    The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed 
provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying 
the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as 
well as initial and refresher training (including addressing any 
necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order 
granting approval).
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-049-C.
    Petitioner: Affinity Coal Company, LLC, 111 Affinity Complex Road, 
Sophia, West Virginia 25921.
    Mine: Affinity Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-08878, located in Raleigh 
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 examinations and functional testing of the deluge fire 
suppression systems installed at conveyor belt drives. The petitioner 
states that:
    (1) A person trained in the testing procedures specific to the 
water deluge-type fire suppression systems utilized at each belt drive 
of the mine affected by this petition will conduct an examination, 
functional test, and residual pressure measurements consisting of the 
following:
    (a) A visual examination of each of the water deluge-type fire 
suppression systems in the affected mine.
    (b) A functional test of the water deluge-type fire suppression 
systems by actuating the system and observing its performance.
    (c) Taking residual pressure measurements at the most hydraulically 
demanding nozzle to determine whether the system meets the 
manufacturer's specifications.
    (d) Keeping a record of the results of the examinations, function 
tests, and residual pressure measurements in a book maintained on the 
surface for that purpose. Such record book will be made available to 
the authorized representative of the Secretary and retained at the mine 
for one year after the last recorded examination.
    (2) Any malfunctioning or clogged nozzle(s) detected as a result of 
the weekly examination or functional test will be corrected 
immediately.

[[Page 69137]]

    (3) The procedure used to perform the functional test will be 
posted at or near each belt drive that utilizes a deluge-type water 
spray fire suppression system.
    The petitioner will submit to the District Manager proposed 
provisions for each applicable 30 CFR part 48 training plan specifying 
the procedures to be used to conduct the weekly functional test, as 
well as initial and refresher training (including addressing any 
necessary conditions specified in the proposed decision and order 
granting approval).
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-011-M.
    Petitioner: Ruby Gold, Inc., P.O. Box 1241, Grass Valley, 
California 95945.
    Mine: Ruby Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 04-03108, located in Nevada County, 
California.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.11052(d) (Refuge areas).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit 12 gallons of bottled water to be stored 
inside the refuge chamber of the Ruby Mine for use in an emergency. The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) The mention of waterlines in the standard implies that there 
must be a steady flow of drinking water from an outside source. The 
house and fire protection water for the Ruby Mine currently taps a 
spring located above the portal. This water and conveyance pipeline has 
not yet been tested for potability.
    (2) The refuge chamber is approximately 3,000 feet from the nearest 
exit at the Ruby portal, running a dedicated potable water line to the 
refuge chamber will incur considerable expense.
    (3) There is no mention of 30 CFR 57.11052 in the Program Policy 
Manual to provide further guidance to the standard. Procedures 
pertaining to drinking water are mentioned in 30 CFR 71.602(a) and (b).
    (4) Bottled water would be just as safe if not safer than a 
waterline, because there is a chance that the water can become polluted 
from some external event such as a fire or some other situation that 
causes the source of a waterline to become undrinkable or unavailable 
for any number of possible reasons.
    (5) No more than five miners are anticipated to seek refuge in the 
chamber during a mine emergency. The duration of any mine emergency is 
not expected to exceed one or two days. Each miner would require up to 
64 ounces of water per day, so that over a 2-day period five miners 
would require an aggregate of five gallons of water.
    (6) The refuge chamber at the Ruby Mine is expected to be only a 
temporary facility since a primary project of the current operation is 
the restoration of a safe and usable second exit for the mine.
    (7) The current operations at the mine are extremely low risk for 
the occurrence of any incident which could require the need to use the 
refuge chamber for the following reasons:
    (a) There are no electrical power lines underground;
    (b) No internal combustion equipment is in use underground; and
    (c) The tunnel is being rehabilitated. All activities are being 
conducted in, as well as immediately adjacent to, the sections of the 
tunnel that have been recently retimbered to provide new and reinforced 
ground support.
    (8) While it appears that the standard in 30 CFR 71.602 provides an 
acceptable alternative to the use of a dedicated waterline in a refuge 
chamber, we are respectively requesting a variance of 30 CFR 
57.11052(d) so that bottled water may be stored for use in the refuge 
chamber at the Ruby Mine.
    (9) Application of the standard will reduce the safety of the 
miners affected, as a dedicated waterline extending from the portal to 
the refuge chamber is subject to interruption and is inherently less 
safe than sanitary bottled water stored inside the refuge chamber.
    (10) An external water supply could be interrupted from any number 
of conditions within or outside the mine.
    (11) The nature of any emergency itself could cause an external 
water supply to be polluted, choked, or cutoff entirely if the pipeline 
were to be compromised. If the external supply of water is interrupted 
for any reason the miners will be at extreme risk with no other sources 
of drinking water available.
    The petitioner further states that:
    (1) As an alternative method, a sufficient supply of bottled water 
stored in the refuge chamber for use in an emergency represents 100 
percent certainty that the miners will have sanitary drinking water 
available to them regardless of the nature of any emergency that might 
require the use of the refuge chamber.
    (2) Bottled water is sanitary and cannot be compromised by any 
emergency situation outside of the refuge chamber.
    (3) By having bottled water stored inside the chamber there is 
virtually no opportunity for the water supply to be compromised from 
normal mining operations (e.g., blasting, scaling, etc.) such as what 
could potentially occur with an external water line, and thus stored 
bottled water represents a significant safety improvement.
    (4) We understand that the intent of the standard is to provide a 
supply of drinking water in the event of an emergency that may last for 
an extended period of time beyond a few days, but as stated, in the 
event an external water line is compromised then water will be 
unavailable from the very outset of an emergency let alone whatever may 
develop over the course of time.
    (5) Stored bottled water provides miners with the absolute 
certainty that water will be available immediately whenever needed, and 
in the very first hours of an emergency that are often the most 
critical.
    (6) The Ruby Mine is not a shaft that extends vertically to depth. 
It is a drift mine that extends by way of flat tunnel into the earth 
laterally to follow the course of ancient river channels. In the event 
of an emergency requiring the use of the refuge chamber, we believe a 
rescue can be effected within a relatively short period of time such 
that any emergency would not have a long duration.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Dated: November 13, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-27546 Filed 11-15-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P