Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 16065-16067 [2017-06340]

Download as PDF sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 61 / Friday, March 31, 2017 / Notices Statistical Association and the American Economic Association. Nominations: BLS is looking for committed TAC members who have a strong interest in, and familiarity with, BLS data. The Agency is looking for nominees who use and have a comprehensive understanding of economic statistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is committed to bringing greater diversity of thought, perspective, and experience to its advisory committees. Nominees from all races, gender, age, and disabilities are encouraged to apply. Interested persons may nominate themselves or may submit the name of another person who they believe to be interested in and qualified to serve on the TAC. Nominations may also be submitted by organizations. Nominations should include the name, address, and telephone number of the candidate. Each nomination should include a summary of the candidate’s training or experience relating to BLS data specifically, or economic statistics more generally. BLS will conduct a basic background check of candidates before their appointment to the TAC. The background check will involve accessing publicly available, Internetbased sources. The economists will have research experience with technical issues related to BLS data and will be familiar with employment and unemployment statistics, price index numbers, compensation measures, productivity measures, occupational and health statistics, or other topics relevant to BLS data series. The statisticians will be familiar with sample design, data analysis, computationally intensive statistical methods, non-sampling errors or other areas which are relevant to BLS work. The behavioral scientists will be familiar with questionnaire design, usability or other areas of survey development. BLS invites persons interested in serving on the TAC to submit their names for consideration for committee membership. Authority: This notice was prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. App. 2, the Secretary of Labor has determined that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee is in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed upon the Commissioner of Labor Statistics by 29 U.S.C. 1 and 2. This determination follows consultation with the Committee Management Secretariat, General Services Administration. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Mar 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 Signed at Washington, DC, this 22nd day of March 2017. Kimberley D. Hill, Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics. [FR Doc. 2017–06341 Filed 3–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–24–P 16065 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: DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Users Advisory Committee will meet on Friday, May 19, 2017. The meeting will be held in the Postal Square Building, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC. The Committee provides advice to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the points of view of data users from various sectors of the U.S. economy, including the labor, business, research, academic, and government communities, on technical matters related to the collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of the Bureau’s statistics, on its published reports, and on the broader aspects of its overall mission and function. The meeting will be held in Meeting Rooms 1, 2, and 3 of the Janet Norwood Conference and Training Center. The schedule and agenda for the meeting are as follows: 8:30 a.m. Registration 9:00 a.m. Commissioner’s welcome and review of agency developments 9:45 a.m. Office of Field Operations data user conferences 10:30 a.m. The next generation of BLS news releases 11:30 a.m. Publishing BLS response rates 1:15 p.m. Update on BLS communications efforts 2:15 p.m. Productivity 101: feedback on the BLS productivity user’s guide 3:30 p.m. Communicating the results of the new separations method for Occupational Employment Projections 4:30 p.m. Meeting wrap-up The meeting is open to the public. Any questions concerning the meeting should be directed to Kathy Mele, Data Users Advisory Committee, on 202.691.6102. Individuals who require special accommodations should contact Ms. Mele at least two days prior to the meeting date. Signed at Washington, DC, this 20th day of March 2017. Kimberley D. Hill Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics. [FR Doc. 2017–06345 Filed 3–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–24–P PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 1, 2017. 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, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk in Suite 4E401. 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: Data Users Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting and Agenda 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 E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 16066 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 61 / Friday, March 31, 2017 / Notices sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 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–2016–036–C. Petitioner: Pennyrile Energy, LLC, 7386 State Route 593, Calhoun, KY 42327. Mine: Riveredge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19424, located in McLean County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to mine through oil and gas wells in all mineable coal beds. (a) As an alternative to leaving 300 feet in diameter coal barriers, the petitioner proposes the following procedures for District Manager (DM) approval: (1) A safety barrier of 300 feet in diameter (150 feet between any mined area and a well) will be maintained around all oil and gas wells (to include all active, inactive, abandoned, shut-in, and previously plugged wells, and including water injection wells) until approval to proceed with mining has been obtained from the DM. (2) Prior to mining within the safety barrier around any well, the mine operator will provide the DM a sworn affidavit or declaration executed by a company official stating that all mandatory procedures for cleaning out, preparing, and plugging each oil or gas well has been completed as described by the terms and conditions of this petition. (b) The petitioner proposes the following procedures for cleaning out and preparing oil and gas wells prior to plugging or replugging: (1) Completely clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, unless the DM requires cleaning to a greater depth based on his judgment as to what is required due to the geological strata or due to the pressure within the well. Provide the DM all information concerning the geological nature of the strata and the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Mar 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 pressure of the well and remove all material from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall. (2) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of a caliper survey and log(s) suitable for determining the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing strata and the location for a bridge plug. The DM may approve the use of a down-hole camera survey in lieu of down-hole logs. In addition, a journal will be maintained describing the depth and nature of each material encountered; bit size and type used to drill each portion of the hole; length and type of each material used to plug the well; length of casing(s) 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. Invoices, work-orders, and other records related to all work on the well will be maintained as part of the journal and provided to MSHA on request. (3) When clearing out the well, make a diligent effort to remove all of the casing, and take appropriate steps to ensure the annulus between the casing and between the casings and the well are filled with expanding cement (minimum 0.5 percent expansion upon setting) and contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, the petitioner will cut or mill it at all mineable coal seam levels and perforate or rip it at least every 50 feet from 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal seam. Any casing that remains will be perforated or ripped. If it can be demonstrated to the DM using a casing bond log that all annuli in the well are already adequately sealed with cement, the petitioner will not be required to perforate or rip the casing for that particular well. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal horizon(s), the petitioner will perforate or rip any casing that remains and fill with expanding cement and keep an acceptable casing bond log for each casing and tubing string used in lieu of ripping or perforating multiple strings. (4) If the DM concludes that the completely cleaned-out well is emitting excessive amounts of gas, a mechanical bridge plug must be placed in the well. The plug must be placed in a competent stratum at least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, but above the top of the upper most hydrocarbon-producing stratum, unless the DM requires a greater distance based on his or her judgment that it is within PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the well. If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge plug, an appropriately sized packer may be used. (5) The petitioner will properly place mechanical bridge plugs to isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement plug, if the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 300 feet of the base of the lowest mineable coal seam. A minimum of 200 feet of expanding cement will be placed below the lowest mineable coal seam, unless the DM requires a greater distance based on his or her judgment that it is required due to the geological strata or due to the pressure within the well. (c) After completely cleaning out the well, the petitioner proposes the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil or gas wells to the surface: (1) The operator will 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. The expanding cement will be placed in the well under 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 to the surface. (2) The operator will 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, a 4.5 inch or larger casing, set in cement, will extend at least 36 inches above the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on the casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (i.e. prime farmland), high-resolution GPS coordinates (one-half meter resolution) are required. (d) The petitioner proposes the following procedures after approval has been granted by the DM to mine within the safety barrier, or to mine through a plugged or replugged well: (1) Prior to mining through a well, notify the DM and the miners’ representative in sufficient time for them to have a representative present. (2) Install drivage sights at the last open crosscut near the place to be mined to ensure intersection of the well. (3) Ensure firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of the mine-through is available and operable during all well mine-through. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the entry or room. Maintain the water line to the belt conveyor tailpiece along with E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 61 / Friday, March 31, 2017 / Notices a sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of penetration of the section. (4) Keep available at the last open crosscut a sufficient supply of roof support and ventilation materials. In addition, emergency plugs and suitable sealing materials will be available in the immediate area of the well intersection. (5) Service all equipment and check permissibility on the shift before mining through the well. (6) Calibrate the methane monitors on the continuous mining machines on the shift before mining through the well. (7) When mining is in progress, test methane levels with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time the mining with that continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the well until the well is intersected and immediately before mining through it. During the actual cutting process, no individual will be allowed on the return side until the mine-through has been completed and the area has been examined and declared safe. (8) 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 mining machines. (9) Deenergize all equipment when the well is intersected and thoroughly examine and determine the area is safe before mining is resumed. (10) 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 well. (11) If the casing is cut or milled at the coal seam level, the use of torches would not be necessary. However, in rare instances, torches may be used for inadequately or inaccurately cut or milled casings. No open flames will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation has been established around the wellbore and methane levels of less than 1.0 percent are present in all areas that will be exposed to flames and sparks from the torch. The operator will apply a thick layer of rock dust to the roof, face, floor ribs and any exposed coal within 20 feet of the casing before using any torches. (12) Non-sparking (brass) tools will be located on the working section and will be used to expose and examine cased wells. (13) No person will be permitted in the area of the mine-through operation except those actually engaged in the operation, including company personnel, miners’ representatives, VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:31 Mar 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 16067 MSHA personnel, and personnel from the appropriate State agency. (14) 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. This warning will be repeated for all shifts until the well has been mined through. (15) A certified individual will directly supervise the mine-through operation and only that certified individual in charge will issue instructions concerning the minethrough operation. MSHA personnel may interrupt or halt the mine-through operation when it is necessary for miners’ safety. A copy of the approved petition will be maintained at the mine and be available to the miners. Within 30 days after this proposed decision and order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved part 48 training plan to the DM. These revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and conditions stated in the PDO. The petitioner will provide training to all miners involved in the mine-through of a well regarding the requirements of the PDO before mining within 150 feet of the next well to be mined through. Within 30 days after the PDO becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency evacuation and firefighting plan required by 30 CRFR 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. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide a measure of protection greater than the existing standard to all miners at the Riveredge Mine. SUMMARY: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. 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. [FR Doc. 2017–06340 Filed 3–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–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: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 1, 2017. 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, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk in Suite 4E401. 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: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. I. Background E:\FR\FM\31MRN1.SGM 31MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 61 (Friday, March 31, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16065-16067]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-06340]


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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 Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations 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.

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 1, 2017.

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, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, 
Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, 
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering 
documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 
4E401. 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

[[Page 16066]]

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-2016-036-C.
    Petitioner: Pennyrile Energy, LLC, 7386 State Route 593, Calhoun, 
KY 42327.
    Mine: Riveredge Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15-19424, located in McLean 
County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to mine through oil and gas wells in all mineable 
coal beds.
    (a) As an alternative to leaving 300 feet in diameter coal 
barriers, the petitioner proposes the following procedures for District 
Manager (DM) approval:
    (1) A safety barrier of 300 feet in diameter (150 feet between any 
mined area and a well) will be maintained around all oil and gas wells 
(to include all active, inactive, abandoned, shut-in, and previously 
plugged wells, and including water injection wells) until approval to 
proceed with mining has been obtained from the DM.
    (2) Prior to mining within the safety barrier around any well, the 
mine operator will provide the DM a sworn affidavit or declaration 
executed by a company official stating that all mandatory procedures 
for cleaning out, preparing, and plugging each oil or gas well has been 
completed as described by the terms and conditions of this petition.
    (b) The petitioner proposes the following procedures for cleaning 
out and preparing oil and gas wells prior to plugging or replugging:
    (1) Completely clean out the well from the surface to at least 200 
feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, unless the DM 
requires cleaning to a greater depth based on his judgment as to what 
is required due to the geological strata or due to the pressure within 
the well. Provide the DM all information concerning the geological 
nature of the strata and the pressure of the well and remove all 
material from the entire diameter of the well, wall to wall.
    (2) Prepare down-hole logs for each well. The logs will consist of 
a caliper survey and log(s) suitable for determining the top, bottom, 
and thickness of all coal seams and potential hydrocarbon-producing 
strata and the location for a bridge plug. The DM may approve the use 
of a down-hole camera survey in lieu of down-hole logs. In addition, a 
journal will be maintained describing the depth and nature of each 
material encountered; bit size and type used to drill each portion of 
the hole; length and type of each material used to plug the well; 
length of casing(s) 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. Invoices, work-
orders, and other records related to all work on the well will be 
maintained as part of the journal and provided to MSHA on request.
    (3) When clearing out the well, make a diligent effort to remove 
all of the casing, and take appropriate steps to ensure the annulus 
between the casing and between the casings and the well are filled with 
expanding cement (minimum 0.5 percent expansion upon setting) and 
contain no voids. If the casing cannot be removed, the petitioner will 
cut or mill it at all mineable coal seam levels and perforate or rip it 
at least every 50 feet from 200 feet below the base of the lowest 
mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above the uppermost mineable coal 
seam. Any casing that remains will be perforated or ripped. If it can 
be demonstrated to the DM using a casing bond log that all annuli in 
the well are already adequately sealed with cement, the petitioner will 
not be required to perforate or rip the casing for that particular 
well. When multiple casing and tubing strings are present in the coal 
horizon(s), the petitioner will perforate or rip any casing that 
remains and fill with expanding cement and keep an acceptable casing 
bond log for each casing and tubing string used in lieu of ripping or 
perforating multiple strings.
    (4) If the DM concludes that the completely cleaned-out well is 
emitting excessive amounts of gas, a mechanical bridge plug must be 
placed in the well. The plug must be placed in a competent stratum at 
least 200 feet below the base of the lowest mineable coal seam, but 
above the top of the upper most hydrocarbon-producing stratum, unless 
the DM requires a greater distance based on his or her judgment that it 
is within the well. If it is not possible to set a mechanical bridge 
plug, an appropriately sized packer may be used.
    (5) The petitioner will properly place mechanical bridge plugs to 
isolate the hydrocarbon-producing stratum from the expanding cement 
plug, if the uppermost hydrocarbon-producing stratum is within 300 feet 
of the base of the lowest mineable coal seam. A minimum of 200 feet of 
expanding cement will be placed below the lowest mineable coal seam, 
unless the DM requires a greater distance based on his or her judgment 
that it is required due to the geological strata or due to the pressure 
within the well.
    (c) After completely cleaning out the well, the petitioner proposes 
the following procedures for plugging or replugging oil or gas wells to 
the surface:
    (1) The operator will 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. The expanding cement will be 
placed in the well under 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 to the surface.
    (2) The operator will 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, a 4.5 inch 
or larger casing, set in cement, will extend at least 36 inches above 
the ground level with the API well number engraved or welded on the 
casing. When the hole cannot be marked with a physical monument (i.e. 
prime farmland), high-resolution GPS coordinates (one-half meter 
resolution) are required.
    (d) The petitioner proposes the following procedures after approval 
has been granted by the DM to mine within the safety barrier, or to 
mine through a plugged or replugged well:
    (1) Prior to mining through a well, notify the DM and the miners' 
representative in sufficient time for them to have a representative 
present.
    (2) Install drivage sights at the last open crosscut near the place 
to be mined to ensure intersection of the well.
    (3) Ensure firefighting equipment, including fire extinguishers, 
rock dust, and sufficient fire hose to reach the working face area of 
the mine-through is available and operable during all well mine-
through. The fire hose will be located in the last open crosscut of the 
entry or room. Maintain the water line to the belt conveyor tailpiece 
along with

[[Page 16067]]

a sufficient amount of fire hose to reach the farthest point of 
penetration of the section.
    (4) Keep available at the last open crosscut a sufficient supply of 
roof support and ventilation materials. In addition, emergency plugs 
and suitable sealing materials will be available in the immediate area 
of the well intersection.
    (5) Service all equipment and check permissibility on the shift 
before mining through the well.
    (6) Calibrate the methane monitors on the continuous mining 
machines on the shift before mining through the well.
    (7) When mining is in progress, test methane levels with a hand-
held methane detector at least every 10 minutes from the time the 
mining with that continuous mining machine is within 30 feet of the 
well until the well is intersected and immediately before mining 
through it. During the actual cutting process, no individual will be 
allowed on the return side until the mine-through has been completed 
and the area has been examined and declared safe.
    (8) 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 mining machines.
    (9) Deenergize all equipment when the well is intersected and 
thoroughly examine and determine the area is safe before mining is 
resumed.
    (10) 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 well.
    (11) If the casing is cut or milled at the coal seam level, the use 
of torches would not be necessary. However, in rare instances, torches 
may be used for inadequately or inaccurately cut or milled casings. No 
open flames will be permitted in the area until adequate ventilation 
has been established around the wellbore and methane levels of less 
than 1.0 percent are present in all areas that will be exposed to 
flames and sparks from the torch. The operator will apply a thick layer 
of rock dust to the roof, face, floor ribs and any exposed coal within 
20 feet of the casing before using any torches.
    (12) Non-sparking (brass) tools will be located on the working 
section and will be used to expose and examine cased wells.
    (13) No person will be permitted in the area of the mine-through 
operation except those actually engaged in the operation, including 
company personnel, miners' representatives, MSHA personnel, and 
personnel from the appropriate State agency.
    (14) 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. This warning will be repeated for all 
shifts until the well has been mined through.
    (15) A certified individual will directly supervise the mine-
through operation and only that certified individual in charge will 
issue instructions concerning the mine-through operation. MSHA 
personnel may interrupt or halt the mine-through operation when it is 
necessary for miners' safety.
    A copy of the approved petition will be maintained at the mine and 
be available to the miners.
    Within 30 days after this proposed decision and order (PDO) becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
part 48 training plan to the DM. These revisions will include initial 
and refresher training regarding compliance with the terms and 
conditions stated in the PDO. The petitioner will provide training to 
all miners involved in the mine-through of a well regarding the 
requirements of the PDO before mining within 150 feet of the next well 
to be mined through.
    Within 30 days after the PDO becomes final, the petitioner will 
submit proposed revisions for its approved mine emergency evacuation 
and firefighting plan required by 30 CRFR 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.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide a measure of protection greater than the existing standard to 
all miners at the Riveredge Mine.

Sheila McConnell,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2017-06340 Filed 3-30-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4520-43-P