Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 49683-49686 [2017-23263]

Download as PDF ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 206 / Thursday, October 26, 2017 / Notices Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) to be held December 6 through December 8, 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals) Coordinating Group, plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. Government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting. OSHA also will give an update on the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Department of Transportation (DOT), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will conduct a public meeting (See Docket No. PHMSA–2017–0037 Notice No. 2017– 06) to discuss proposals in preparation for the 52nd session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNSCE TDG) to be held November 27 to December 6, 2017, in Geneva, Switzerland. During this meeting, PHMSA is also requesting comments relative to potential new work items that may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda. PHMSA will also provide an update on recent actions to enhance transparency and stakeholder interaction through improvements to the international standards portion of its Web site. DATES: Tuesday, November 14, 2017. ADDRESSES: Both meetings will be held at the DOT Headquarters Conference Center, West Building, Oklahoma City Conference Room, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Times and Locations: PHMSA public meeting: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EDT, Oklahoma City Conference Room, OSHA public meeting: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT, Oklahoma City Conference Room Advanced Meeting Registration: The DOT requests that attendees pre-register for these meetings by completing the form at: https:// www.surveymonkey.com/r/GHSZ2Q9 . Attendees may use the same form to pre-register for both meetings. Failure to pre-register may delay your access into the DOT Headquarters building. Additionally, if you are attending inperson, arrive early to allow time for security checks necessary to access the building. Conference call-in and ‘‘Skype meeting’’ capability will be provided for both meetings. Specific information on such access will be posted when available at: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Oct 25, 2017 Jkt 244001 hazmat/regs/international, under Upcoming Events. This information will also be posted on OSHA’s Hazard Communication Web site on the international tab at: https:// www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/hazcom_ international.html#meeting-notice. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: At the Department of Transportation, please contact: Mr. Steven Webb or Mr. Aaron Wiener, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590, telephone: (202) 366–8553. At the Department of Labor, please contact: Ms. Maureen Ruskin, OSHA Directorate of Standards and Guidance, Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210, telephone: (202) 693–1950, email: ruskin.maureen@dol.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The OSHA Meeting: OSHA is hosting an open informal public meeting of the U.S. Interagency GHS Coordinating Group to provide interested groups and individuals with an update on GHSrelated issues and an opportunity to express their views orally and in writing for consideration in developing U.S. Government positions for the upcoming UNSCEGHS meeting. General topics on the agenda include: • Review of Working/Informal papers • Correspondence Group updates • Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Update Information on the work of the UNSCEGHS, including meeting agendas, reports, and documents from previous sessions, can be found on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Transport Division Web site located at the following Web address: http://www.unece.org/trans/ danger/publi/ghs/ghs_welcome_e.html. The UNSCEGHS bases its decisions on Working Papers. The Working Papers for the 34th session of the UNSCEGHS are located at: https://www.unece.org/ trans/main/dgdb/dgsubc4/c42017.html. Informal Papers submitted to the UNSCEGHS provide information for the Sub-committee and are used either as a mechanism to provide information to the Sub-committee or as the basis for future Working Papers. In addition to participating at the Public meeting, interested parties may submit comments on the Working and Informal Papers for the 34th session of the UNSCEGHS to the docket established for International/Globally Harmonized System (GHS) efforts at http://www.regulations.gov, Docket No. OSHA–2016–0005. The PHMSA Meeting: The Federal Register notice and additional detailed information relating to PHMSA’s public PO 00000 Frm 00098 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49683 meeting will be available upon publication at: http:// www.regulations.gov (Docket No. PHMSA–2017–0037, Notice No. 2017– 06), and on the PHMSA Web site at: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/ regs/international. PHMSA will host the meeting to gain input from the public concerning proposals submitted to the UNSCE TDG for the 21st Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations, which may be implemented into relevant domestic, regional, and international regulations beginning January 1, 2021. During this meeting, PHMSA is also soliciting input relative to preparing for the 52nd session of the UNSCE TDG as well as potential new work items that may be considered for inclusion in its international agenda. Copies of working documents, informal documents, and the meeting agenda may be obtained from the United Nations Transport Division’s Web site at: http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/ danger.html. Authority and Signature This document was prepared under the direction of Loren Sweatt, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, pursuant to sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657), and Secretary’s Order 1– 2012 (77 FR 3912), (Jan. 25, 2012). Signed at Washington, DC, on October 16, 2017. Loren Sweatt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2017–23261 Filed 10–25–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–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: 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 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1 49684 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 206 / Thursday, October 26, 2017 / Notices Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before November 27, 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 petition 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. ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES I. Background Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that: 1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or 2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2017–018–C. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Oct 25, 2017 Jkt 244001 Petitioner: Revelation Energy, LLC, P.O. Box 249, Stanville, Kentucky 41659. Mine: D–1A Garmeada Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19791, located in Bell County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (Weekly examination). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard in reference to weekly examinations in its entirety for the hazardous condition of return air course. The petitioner states that: (1) As a result of a dip with a steep incline on the end, a large pool of water has developed at the outby end of the Northwest Mains and extending inby approximately 1200 feet in the rightside return, in the No. 5 entry. This mine utilizes split air and there are two returns. There is a return entry in the No. 1 entry also. Currently, a 10-horsepower pump with a 2-inch discharge line is installed in the pool of water. This is a low spot in the mine with elevations rising going in each direction. The mine height in this area is approximately 12 feet. The water level is currently 41⁄2 feet deep. The water has been pumped down to current levels, reducing the affected area to approximately 70 feet in length. It is proposed to utilize a metal catwalk bridge, with handrails to provide safe travel through this area for the weekly examinations. The bridge would provide safer travel through the area, as the bridge is level. If the water is completely pumped out, it would result in a steep, slippery slope that would be treacherous to travel and could contribute to slip, trip, and fall hazards. It would be difficult to establish and maintain safe travel in this portion of the right return, No. 5 entry. (2) The remaining life of the reserve is approximately 10 years. Access to this reserve is only possible through the existing mine drifts, as all other approaches are blocked by abandoned mines. The procedures listed in this petition will provide a level of safety no less than equivalent to that afforded by 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) for the remaining life of the mine. (3) Therefore, the petitioner proposes an alternate plan to provide safe access over pooled water in the right return, No. 5 entry for approximately 70 feet at the outby end of the Northwest Mains. The petitioner states that use of the bridge as described below will keep employees from being exposed to hazardous travel in order to meet the requirements of the applicable standard: (a) A metal catwalk bridge approximately 75 feet long with PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 handrails will be utilized to provide safe access for travel across a pool of water. (b) Each end of the bridge across the entry will be blocked with danger signs, flagging, and/or fencing to warn miners of the potential hazard and that travel through this area is only permitted across the bridge. (c) A pump will be maintained in the pool to maintain the water level. (d) Life vests will be provided and worn while traveling across the bridge. (e) All miners at the D–1A Garmeada mine will be given notice of this request for modification during safety meetings. Within 60 days after approval of this petition and the order becoming final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions to the Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These revisions will apply to initial and refresher training. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2017–019–C. Petitioner: Marfork Coal Company, Inc., 500 Lee Street, East, Suite 701 (25301), Post Office Box 2548, Charleston, WV 25329. Mine: Slip Ridge Cedar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09048, located in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.360 (Preshift examination at fixed intervals). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard as it pertains to preshift examinations that are only required on a side of the mine that is active (i.e. both sides of the mine only have to be fully examined when both sides are active). The petitioner states that: (1) The Slip Ridge mine is a large underground coal mine that has been permanently divided into three separate areas via the installation of MSHAapproved 120 PSI mine seals. (2) On the East end of the mine is the Ellis Creek Side and this is the active mining side with two continuous miner sections producing 5 to 6 days a week. (3) The West end of the mine is called the Slip Ridge Transfer and this end of the mine serves only as a belt through (i.e. transfer) for coal from two other Marfork mines (Horse Creek and Allen Powellton) on its way to the Marfork Plant. (4) The East and West ends of the mine are separated by approximately 3.66 miles of old mine works that were sealed on each end with MSHAapproved 120 PSI seals. (5) The East and West ends of the mine are ventilated by separate mine fans. E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1 ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 206 / Thursday, October 26, 2017 / Notices (6) The East and West ends of the mine are monitored by separate CO systems. (7) The East and West ends of the mine have their own dispatcher. (8) Other than being on the opposite ends of a common sealed area, the East and West ends of the mine are effectively separate and independent underground coal mines. (9) Currently, if the East side of the mine is scheduled to produce coal, the regulations require preshift examinations in accordance with 30 CFR 75.360 be completed on both sides of the mine, regardless of their autonomy. (10) Application of the existing standard may result in a diminution of safety to the miners as it currently requires that preshift examination on both the East and West ends of the mine be performed on any day that either end of the mine will be active (i.e. the West end has to be fully examined preshift every day that the East end wants to produce coal even if the West end is idle). Preshift examination of the idle side of the Slip Ridge Mine does not advance safety for the miners working on the active side of the mine and can expose examiners on the idle side to additional time and hazards underground. The petitioner proposes the following alternative method of compliance to the existing standard: (a) Since the East and West side are separated by two sets of 120 PSI seals, ventilated with their own mine fans and monitored by independent CO systems, each end of the mine should be treated separately for purposes of 30 CFR 75.360. (b) On any active side of the Slip Ridge Mine, a preshift examination as set forth in 30 CFR 75.360 will be performed. (b) No preshift examination under 30 CFR 75.360 will be required on an idle side of the mine. (c) Preshift examinations of the idle side of the mine will be performed prior to work being performed underground on the previously idle side of the mine. (d) Marfork will update the CO monitoring systems to allow either side of the dispatcher to monitor the CO systems for both sides of the mine. This dual monitoring will allow the atmospheric conditions in the idle side of the mine to be monitored by the dispatcher on the active side of the mine. (e) If a CO event occurs that would otherwise require evacuation, both sides will withdraw personnel. (f) Marfork will set up dual monitoring of both mine fans so that the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Oct 25, 2017 Jkt 244001 status of each fan can be monitored from both sides of the mine. (g) In the event of a fan stoppage on one side of the mine, both sides will withdraw personnel. (h) In the event of a fan stoppage on an idle side of the mine, the active side would be alerted via an alarm and personnel will be withdrawn from the active side. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded by the existing standard by ensuring that the examinations are performed on the active side of the mine while continually monitoring the fan and CO systems on the idle side of the mine. Docket Number: M–2017–020–C. Petitioner: Spartan Mining Company, 500 Lee Street, East, Suite 701 (25301), Post Office Box 2548, Charleston, WV 25329. Mine: Road Fork #52 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09522, located in Wyoming County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard in the following three situations: (1) When mining within 50 feet (+1-degree accuracy factor) of a horizontal wellbore; (2) when initially mining through a horizontal wellbore; and (3) when subsequently mining through horizontal wellbores as addressed in this petition. The petitioner states that: (1) Potential in-seam methane in the majority of the Road Fork #52 Mine reserve area has been reduced and/or extracted by the drilling operation of horizontal coalbed methane wells by CDX Gas, LLC (‘‘CDX’’). The first well in the area was put into production in January 2006 and the last in October 2006. The location of these wells in relation to the future mining for the Road Fork #52 Mine is shown on the map attached to this petition as Exhibit A. (Road Fork #52 Mine will mine coal to the left of the mining shown on the map). (2) CDX will use the following methodology to drill these wells: (a) A vertical wellbore (access hole) is drilled and cased to a point 150 feet or more above the coal seal; (b) From the bottom of the casing in the access hole, a curved hole is drilled to intersect the coal seal at a tangent point; (c) From the tangent point, a short common horizontal bore is drilled horizontally through the coal seam for a distance up to 500 feet; PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49685 (d) From the end of the common horizontal bore, several interconnected horizontal bores, ranging from 5 to 6.5 inches in diameter are drilled horizontally through the coalbed for distances up to 3500 feet; (e) A second vertical wellbore (production hole) is drilled to intersect the common horizontal bore. The production hole is commonly cased with 7-inch O.D. casing to a point 100 feet more or less above the coal seam. The production hole is drilled 50 to 100 feet below the coal seam to provide a ‘‘rat-hole’’ for pumping liquid from the well; and (f) Coal bed methane gas entering the horizontal wellbores travels through the common horizontal bore to the production hole and then to the surface. (3) The Road Fork #52 Mine will employ the continuous mining room and pillar method of mining. It is anticipated that each lateral wellbore will be mined through at least once. (4) Prior to mining within 50 feet (+1degree accuracy factor) of a horizontal wellbore, the petitioner proposes to verify that the following procedures have been performed on the well: (a) The well will be vented to outside atmosphere pressure for at least 8 hours; (b) A volume of fresh water sufficient to fill the horizontal (lateral) wellbores will be injected into the well with sufficient pressure to attain a bottomhole pressure of approximately 500 pounds per square inch (PSI); (c) The liquid will be bailed from the production hole, using normal bailing equipment, to a point just above the level of the coal seam; (d) A volume of gel, made up of 2 to 4 percent bentonite and fresh water, sufficient to fill the horizontal wellbores plus 25 percent excess, will be injected into the well with sufficient pressure to attain a bottomhole pressure of approximately 500 PSI; and (e) The wellbore will be filled to the surface with fresh water and allowed to stand for at least 72 hours, with the water level being supplemented as required. In the alternative, water will be injected into the wellbore for 72 hours at an average rate of 2 gallons per minute or more. (5) Prior to mining through the first lateral wellbore of a horizontal coalbed methane well, the petitioner proposes to verify that the following procedures have been performed on the well: (a) The water will be bailed from the vertical section of the wellbore, as close to the coal seam elevation as practical using normal bailing equipment; (b) The surface wellhead will be maintained open to bring the vertical E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1 ethrower on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 49686 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 206 / Thursday, October 26, 2017 / Notices section of the wellbore to outside atmospheric pressure; (c) The petitioner further states that the MSHA District Manager and the appropriate West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training representative will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the anticipated minethrough time; (d) Drivage sights will be installed within 80 feet of the mine-through point; (e) Firefighting equipment will be provided near the working face, including two 10-pound fire extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust, and fire hose of sufficient length to reach the working face and capable of delivering at least 50 gallons per minute of water at minimum pressure of 50 PSI; (f) At least 9,000 CFM of intake air at the face will be supplied, but no less than the amount in the approved ventilation plan; (g) The continuous miner methane monitor will be calibrated prior to use when the mine-through is anticipated or is occurring; (h) A test for methane will be conducted with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes during the time mining commences at the minimum barrier distance line or within 30 feet of the wellbore, whichever is greater; (i) All equipment will be deenergized and the area thoroughly examined when the wellbore is intersected; (j) Once the area has been determined to be safe and mining has resumed, hand-held methane detector tests will continue at least every 10 minutes during production shifts, until mining has progressed 20 feet past the initial mine-through point; (k) No persons will be permitted in the area of the mine-through operation except those persons actually engaged in the operation, including mine management, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency; and (l) A certified official will directly supervise the mine-through operation and only the certified official in charge will issue instructions concerning the mine-through operation. (6) Prior to mining through a lateral wellbore of a coalbed methane well which has already at least one lateral wellbore mined through, the petitioner proposes to verify the following procedures have been performed on the well: (a) The water will be bailed from the vertical section of the wellbore, as close VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:29 Oct 25, 2017 Jkt 244001 to the coal seam elevation as practical using normal bailing equipment; (b) The surface well head will be maintained open to bring the vertical section of the wellbore to outside atmospheric pressure; (c) Drivage sights will be installed within 80 feet of the mine-through point; (d) Firefighting equipment will be provided near the working face, including two 10-pound fire extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust, and fire hose of sufficient length to reach the working face and capable of delivering at least 50 gallons per minute of water at minimum pressure of 50 PSI; (e) At least 9,000 CFM of intake air at the face will be supplied, but no less than the amount in the approved ventilation plan; (f) The continuous miner methane monitor will be calibrated on one of the five production shifts prior to the shift during which the mine-through is anticipated; (g) A test for methane will be provided with a hand-held methane detector at least every 10 minutes during the time mining is conducted within 30 feet of the wellbore; (h) All equipment will be deenergized and the area thoroughly examined when the wellbore is intersected; (i) Once the area has been determined to be safe and mining has resumed, hand-held methane detector tests will continue at lease every 10 minutes during production shifts, until mining has progressed 20 feet past the initial mine-through point; (j) No persons will be permitted in the area of the mine-through operation except those persons actually engaged in the operation, including mine management, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the appropriate State agency; (k) A certified official will directly supervise the mine-through operation and only the certified official in charge will issue instructions concerning the mine-through operation; and (l) The production hole will remain open and accessible until all mining susceptible of intersecting horizontal wellbores has been completed. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2017–23263 Filed 10–25–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION Notice of Intent To Award—Grant Awards for the Provision of Civil Legal Services to Eligible Low-Income Clients Beginning January 1, 2018 Legal Services Corporation. Announcement of intention to make FY 2018 Grant Awards. AGENCY: ACTION: The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) hereby announces its intention to award grants to provide economical and effective delivery of high quality civil legal services to eligible low-income clients, beginning January 1, 2018. DATES: All comments and recommendations must be received on or before the close of business on November 27, 2017. ADDRESSES: Legal Services Corporation—Grant Awards, Legal Services Corporation; 3333 K Street NW., Third Floor, Washington, DC 20007. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Reginald Haley, Office of Program Performance, at (202) 295–1545, or haleyr@lsc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to LSC’s announcement of funding availability on March 22, 2017, 82 FR 14753, and Grant Renewal applications due beginning June 5, 2017, LSC intends to award funds to provide civil legal services in the indicated service areas. Applicants for each service area are listed below. The amounts below are estimates based on the 2017 grant awards to each service area. The estimates incorporate the adjustments for the agricultural worker population as described at http://www.lsc.gov/agworker-data. The funding estimates may change based on the final FY 2018 appropriation. LSC will post all updates and/or changes to this notice at http:// www.grants.lsc.gov/grants-granteeresources. Interested parties are asked to visit http://www.grants.lsc.gov/grantsgrantee-resources regularly for updates on the LSC grants process. E:\FR\FM\26OCN1.SGM 26OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 206 (Thursday, October 26, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49683-49686]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-23263]


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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: 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

[[Page 49684]]

Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before November 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Electronic Mail: [email protected]. 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 petition 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), 
[email protected] (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

    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-2017-018-C.
    Petitioner: Revelation Energy, LLC, P.O. Box 249, Stanville, 
Kentucky 41659.
    Mine: D-1A Garmeada Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15-19791, located in Bell 
County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) (Weekly examination).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard in reference to weekly examinations in its entirety 
for the hazardous condition of return air course. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) As a result of a dip with a steep incline on the end, a large 
pool of water has developed at the outby end of the Northwest Mains and 
extending inby approximately 1200 feet in the right-side return, in the 
No. 5 entry. This mine utilizes split air and there are two returns. 
There is a return entry in the No. 1 entry also. Currently, a 10-horse-
power pump with a 2-inch discharge line is installed in the pool of 
water. This is a low spot in the mine with elevations rising going in 
each direction. The mine height in this area is approximately 12 feet. 
The water level is currently 4\1/2\ feet deep. The water has been 
pumped down to current levels, reducing the affected area to 
approximately 70 feet in length. It is proposed to utilize a metal 
catwalk bridge, with handrails to provide safe travel through this area 
for the weekly examinations. The bridge would provide safer travel 
through the area, as the bridge is level. If the water is completely 
pumped out, it would result in a steep, slippery slope that would be 
treacherous to travel and could contribute to slip, trip, and fall 
hazards. It would be difficult to establish and maintain safe travel in 
this portion of the right return, No. 5 entry.
    (2) The remaining life of the reserve is approximately 10 years. 
Access to this reserve is only possible through the existing mine 
drifts, as all other approaches are blocked by abandoned mines. The 
procedures listed in this petition will provide a level of safety no 
less than equivalent to that afforded by 30 CFR 75.364(b)(2) for the 
remaining life of the mine.
    (3) Therefore, the petitioner proposes an alternate plan to provide 
safe access over pooled water in the right return, No. 5 entry for 
approximately 70 feet at the outby end of the Northwest Mains. The 
petitioner states that use of the bridge as described below will keep 
employees from being exposed to hazardous travel in order to meet the 
requirements of the applicable standard:
    (a) A metal catwalk bridge approximately 75 feet long with 
handrails will be utilized to provide safe access for travel across a 
pool of water.
    (b) Each end of the bridge across the entry will be blocked with 
danger signs, flagging, and/or fencing to warn miners of the potential 
hazard and that travel through this area is only permitted across the 
bridge.
    (c) A pump will be maintained in the pool to maintain the water 
level.
    (d) Life vests will be provided and worn while traveling across the 
bridge.
    (e) All miners at the D-1A Garmeada mine will be given notice of 
this request for modification during safety meetings.
    Within 60 days after approval of this petition and the order 
becoming final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions to the 
Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These revisions will 
apply to initial and refresher training.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2017-019-C.
    Petitioner: Marfork Coal Company, Inc., 500 Lee Street, East, Suite 
701 (25301), Post Office Box 2548, Charleston, WV 25329.
    Mine: Slip Ridge Cedar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09048, located 
in Raleigh County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.360 (Preshift examination at fixed 
intervals).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard as it pertains to preshift examinations that are only 
required on a side of the mine that is active (i.e. both sides of the 
mine only have to be fully examined when both sides are active). The 
petitioner states that:
    (1) The Slip Ridge mine is a large underground coal mine that has 
been permanently divided into three separate areas via the installation 
of MSHA-approved 120 PSI mine seals.
    (2) On the East end of the mine is the Ellis Creek Side and this is 
the active mining side with two continuous miner sections producing 5 
to 6 days a week.
    (3) The West end of the mine is called the Slip Ridge Transfer and 
this end of the mine serves only as a belt through (i.e. transfer) for 
coal from two other Marfork mines (Horse Creek and Allen Powellton) on 
its way to the Marfork Plant.
    (4) The East and West ends of the mine are separated by 
approximately 3.66 miles of old mine works that were sealed on each end 
with MSHA-approved 120 PSI seals.
    (5) The East and West ends of the mine are ventilated by separate 
mine fans.

[[Page 49685]]

    (6) The East and West ends of the mine are monitored by separate CO 
systems.
    (7) The East and West ends of the mine have their own dispatcher.
    (8) Other than being on the opposite ends of a common sealed area, 
the East and West ends of the mine are effectively separate and 
independent underground coal mines.
    (9) Currently, if the East side of the mine is scheduled to produce 
coal, the regulations require preshift examinations in accordance with 
30 CFR 75.360 be completed on both sides of the mine, regardless of 
their autonomy.
    (10) Application of the existing standard may result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners as it currently requires that 
preshift examination on both the East and West ends of the mine be 
performed on any day that either end of the mine will be active (i.e. 
the West end has to be fully examined preshift every day that the East 
end wants to produce coal even if the West end is idle). Preshift 
examination of the idle side of the Slip Ridge Mine does not advance 
safety for the miners working on the active side of the mine and can 
expose examiners on the idle side to additional time and hazards 
underground.
    The petitioner proposes the following alternative method of 
compliance to the existing standard:
    (a) Since the East and West side are separated by two sets of 120 
PSI seals, ventilated with their own mine fans and monitored by 
independent CO systems, each end of the mine should be treated 
separately for purposes of 30 CFR 75.360.
    (b) On any active side of the Slip Ridge Mine, a preshift 
examination as set forth in 30 CFR 75.360 will be performed.
    (b) No preshift examination under 30 CFR 75.360 will be required on 
an idle side of the mine.
    (c) Preshift examinations of the idle side of the mine will be 
performed prior to work being performed underground on the previously 
idle side of the mine.
    (d) Marfork will update the CO monitoring systems to allow either 
side of the dispatcher to monitor the CO systems for both sides of the 
mine. This dual monitoring will allow the atmospheric conditions in the 
idle side of the mine to be monitored by the dispatcher on the active 
side of the mine.
    (e) If a CO event occurs that would otherwise require evacuation, 
both sides will withdraw personnel.
    (f) Marfork will set up dual monitoring of both mine fans so that 
the status of each fan can be monitored from both sides of the mine.
    (g) In the event of a fan stoppage on one side of the mine, both 
sides will withdraw personnel.
    (h) In the event of a fan stoppage on an idle side of the mine, the 
active side would be alerted via an alarm and personnel will be 
withdrawn from the active side.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard by ensuring that the examinations are 
performed on the active side of the mine while continually monitoring 
the fan and CO systems on the idle side of the mine.

    Docket Number: M-2017-020-C.
    Petitioner: Spartan Mining Company, 500 Lee Street, East, Suite 701 
(25301), Post Office Box 2548, Charleston, WV 25329.
    Mine: Road Fork #52 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09522, located in 
Wyoming County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700 (Oil and gas wells).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard in the following three situations: (1) When mining 
within 50 feet (+1-degree accuracy factor) of a horizontal wellbore; 
(2) when initially mining through a horizontal wellbore; and (3) when 
subsequently mining through horizontal wellbores as addressed in this 
petition. The petitioner states that:
    (1) Potential in-seam methane in the majority of the Road Fork #52 
Mine reserve area has been reduced and/or extracted by the drilling 
operation of horizontal coalbed methane wells by CDX Gas, LLC 
(``CDX''). The first well in the area was put into production in 
January 2006 and the last in October 2006. The location of these wells 
in relation to the future mining for the Road Fork #52 Mine is shown on 
the map attached to this petition as Exhibit A. (Road Fork #52 Mine 
will mine coal to the left of the mining shown on the map).
    (2) CDX will use the following methodology to drill these wells:
    (a) A vertical wellbore (access hole) is drilled and cased to a 
point 150 feet or more above the coal seal;
    (b) From the bottom of the casing in the access hole, a curved hole 
is drilled to intersect the coal seal at a tangent point;
    (c) From the tangent point, a short common horizontal bore is 
drilled horizontally through the coal seam for a distance up to 500 
feet;
    (d) From the end of the common horizontal bore, several 
interconnected horizontal bores, ranging from 5 to 6.5 inches in 
diameter are drilled horizontally through the coalbed for distances up 
to 3500 feet;
    (e) A second vertical wellbore (production hole) is drilled to 
intersect the common horizontal bore. The production hole is commonly 
cased with 7-inch O.D. casing to a point 100 feet more or less above 
the coal seam. The production hole is drilled 50 to 100 feet below the 
coal seam to provide a ``rat-hole'' for pumping liquid from the well; 
and
    (f) Coal bed methane gas entering the horizontal wellbores travels 
through the common horizontal bore to the production hole and then to 
the surface.
    (3) The Road Fork #52 Mine will employ the continuous mining room 
and pillar method of mining. It is anticipated that each lateral 
wellbore will be mined through at least once.
    (4) Prior to mining within 50 feet (+1-degree accuracy factor) of a 
horizontal wellbore, the petitioner proposes to verify that the 
following procedures have been performed on the well:
    (a) The well will be vented to outside atmosphere pressure for at 
least 8 hours;
    (b) A volume of fresh water sufficient to fill the horizontal 
(lateral) wellbores will be injected into the well with sufficient 
pressure to attain a bottomhole pressure of approximately 500 pounds 
per square inch (PSI);
    (c) The liquid will be bailed from the production hole, using 
normal bailing equipment, to a point just above the level of the coal 
seam;
    (d) A volume of gel, made up of 2 to 4 percent bentonite and fresh 
water, sufficient to fill the horizontal wellbores plus 25 percent 
excess, will be injected into the well with sufficient pressure to 
attain a bottomhole pressure of approximately 500 PSI; and
    (e) The wellbore will be filled to the surface with fresh water and 
allowed to stand for at least 72 hours, with the water level being 
supplemented as required. In the alternative, water will be injected 
into the wellbore for 72 hours at an average rate of 2 gallons per 
minute or more.
    (5) Prior to mining through the first lateral wellbore of a 
horizontal coalbed methane well, the petitioner proposes to verify that 
the following procedures have been performed on the well:
    (a) The water will be bailed from the vertical section of the 
wellbore, as close to the coal seam elevation as practical using normal 
bailing equipment;
    (b) The surface wellhead will be maintained open to bring the 
vertical

[[Page 49686]]

section of the wellbore to outside atmospheric pressure;
    (c) The petitioner further states that the MSHA District Manager 
and the appropriate West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and 
Training representative will be notified at least 48 hours prior to the 
anticipated mine-through time;
    (d) Drivage sights will be installed within 80 feet of the mine-
through point;
    (e) Firefighting equipment will be provided near the working face, 
including two 10-pound fire extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust, and 
fire hose of sufficient length to reach the working face and capable of 
delivering at least 50 gallons per minute of water at minimum pressure 
of 50 PSI;
    (f) At least 9,000 CFM of intake air at the face will be supplied, 
but no less than the amount in the approved ventilation plan;
    (g) The continuous miner methane monitor will be calibrated prior 
to use when the mine-through is anticipated or is occurring;
    (h) A test for methane will be conducted with a hand-held methane 
detector at least every 10 minutes during the time mining commences at 
the minimum barrier distance line or within 30 feet of the wellbore, 
whichever is greater;
    (i) All equipment will be deenergized and the area thoroughly 
examined when the wellbore is intersected;
    (j) Once the area has been determined to be safe and mining has 
resumed, hand-held methane detector tests will continue at least every 
10 minutes during production shifts, until mining has progressed 20 
feet past the initial mine-through point;
    (k) No persons will be permitted in the area of the mine-through 
operation except those persons actually engaged in the operation, 
including mine management, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the 
appropriate State agency; and
    (l) A certified official will directly supervise the mine-through 
operation and only the certified official in charge will issue 
instructions concerning the mine-through operation.
    (6) Prior to mining through a lateral wellbore of a coalbed methane 
well which has already at least one lateral wellbore mined through, the 
petitioner proposes to verify the following procedures have been 
performed on the well:
    (a) The water will be bailed from the vertical section of the 
wellbore, as close to the coal seam elevation as practical using normal 
bailing equipment;
    (b) The surface well head will be maintained open to bring the 
vertical section of the wellbore to outside atmospheric pressure;
    (c) Drivage sights will be installed within 80 feet of the mine-
through point;
    (d) Firefighting equipment will be provided near the working face, 
including two 10-pound fire extinguishers, 240 pounds of rock dust, and 
fire hose of sufficient length to reach the working face and capable of 
delivering at least 50 gallons per minute of water at minimum pressure 
of 50 PSI;
    (e) At least 9,000 CFM of intake air at the face will be supplied, 
but no less than the amount in the approved ventilation plan;
    (f) The continuous miner methane monitor will be calibrated on one 
of the five production shifts prior to the shift during which the mine-
through is anticipated;
    (g) A test for methane will be provided with a hand-held methane 
detector at least every 10 minutes during the time mining is conducted 
within 30 feet of the wellbore;
    (h) All equipment will be deenergized and the area thoroughly 
examined when the wellbore is intersected;
    (i) Once the area has been determined to be safe and mining has 
resumed, hand-held methane detector tests will continue at lease every 
10 minutes during production shifts, until mining has progressed 20 
feet past the initial mine-through point;
    (j) No persons will be permitted in the area of the mine-through 
operation except those persons actually engaged in the operation, 
including mine management, personnel from MSHA, and personnel from the 
appropriate State agency;
    (k) A certified official will directly supervise the mine-through 
operation and only the certified official in charge will issue 
instructions concerning the mine-through operation; and
    (l) The production hole will remain open and accessible until all 
mining susceptible of intersecting horizontal wellbores has been 
completed.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the existing standard.

Sheila McConnell,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2017-23263 Filed 10-25-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4520-43-P