Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standard, 17684-17687 [2018-08409]

Download as PDF amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 17684 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 78 / Monday, April 23, 2018 / Notices manufacturer’s recommended safe use procedures. (12) Qualified personnel who use nonpermissible hand-held drill equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of such equipment in areas where methane could be present. (13) The nonpermissible electronic hand-held drill equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all of the above terms and conditions. (14) Cables supplying power to lowvoltage hand-held drill equipment will only be used when permissible handheld drill equipment is not available. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. 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–2018–011–C. Petitioner: Mingo Logan Coal LLC, P.O. Box E, Sharples, West Virginia 25183. Mine: Mountaineer II Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09029, located in Logan County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to allow the use of nonpermissible electronic lowvoltage or battery-powered nonpermissible electronic hand-held drill equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. The petitioner states that: (1) Nonpermissible electronic lowvoltage or battery-powered nonpermissible electronic equipment will be limited to hand-held drill equipment. (2) All other hand-held drill equipment used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be permissible. (3) Other hand-held drill equipment may be used if approved in advance by the MSHA District Manager. (4) All nonpermissible low-voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible handheld equipment to be used within 150 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Apr 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be examined prior to use by a certified person to ensure equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. (5) The results of the examinations will be recorded and retained for one year and made available to MSHA on request. (6) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible hand-held drill equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. (7) Nonpermissible hand-held drill equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When methane is detected at such level while the nonpermissible hand-held drill equipment is being used, the equipment will be deenergized immediately and withdrawn further than 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. (8) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (9) Coal production will cease in the entry or crosscut where the drill is in use. Accumulations of coal and combustible materials referenced in 30 CFR 75.400 will be removed before drilling begins to provide additional safety to miners. (10) Nonpermissible electronic handheld drill equipment will not be used when float coal dust is in suspension. (11) All hand-held drill equipment will be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended safe use procedures. (12) Qualified personnel who use nonpermissible hand-held drill equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with use of such equipment in areas where methane could be present. (13) The nonpermissible electronic hand-held drill equipment will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all of the above terms and conditions. (14) Cables supplying power to lowvoltage hand-held drill equipment will only be used when permissible handheld drill equipment is not available. Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its Part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions in the PDO. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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. 2018–08408 Filed 4–20–18; 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 Standard 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 Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 23, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: 1. Email: 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: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 78 / Monday, April 23, 2018 / Notices 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. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD 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 (Secretary) 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–2018–012–C. Petitioner: Hamilton County Coal, LLC, 18033 County Road, 500E, Dahlgren, Illinois 62828–4294. Mine: Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 11– 03203, located in Hamilton County, Illinois. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1506 (Refuge alternatives). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit through alternative ¨ safety measures, use of the Drager PAS Lite® Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and ChargeAir Filling Stations in conjunction with a centrally located built-in-place (BIP) Refuge Alternative (RA) at Mine No. 1. The petitioner states that: (1) The proposed alternative safety measures place the primary focus on facilitating escape and emphasize survivable refuge as a last resort. The utilization of SCBS along with ChargeAir Filling Stations provides the best opportunity for mine evacuation due to the SCBS making verbal communication possible and eliminating potential hazards that exist within transfer between Self-Contained Self Rescuers (SCSRs). (2) If mine escape is not possible, the utilization of a centrally located BIP RA as last resort provides the best opportunity for survival due to its inherent advantages. Utilizing a borehole to the surface to supply continuous fresh air to trapped miners, the BIP RA is able to maintain a VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Apr 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 superior environment, as compared to portable RAs. The result is an improved psychological and physiological environment that can be advantageous to the health and safety of miners in the stress of an emergency. The location and construction of the BIP RA has a higher likelihood of avoiding damage from both primary and secondary explosions that often occur at the face area. The communication system to the BIP RA has a higher likelihood of surviving a disaster because it is protected inside the borehole to the surface and behind the structure walls. (3) Mine No. 1 extracts coal from the Herrin No. 6 coal seam by both continuous mining and longwall extraction methods. The average mining height at Mine No. 1 is approximately 8.5 feet. Mine No. 1 utilizes both SCSRs and SCBAs which are approved by MSHA and/or NIOSH. These devices include the Ocenco M–20 SCSR, Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSR, CSE Self Rescuer Long ¨ Duration (SLRD) SCSR, and the Drager PAS Lite® SCBA. The breathable air units are provided in the underground mine workings as follows: —A cache of Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs located at the section power centers; ¨ —A cache of 24 Drager PAS Lite® SCBAs located outby the section loading in the primary escapeway; ¨ —An additional 14 Drager PAS Lite® SCBAs located on the section safety ride; —A cache of (2) Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs located at intervals not to exceed 2,000 feet along both the primary escapeway and the alternative escapeway; —At intervals not to exceed 5,700 feet along the primary escapeway, the mine has in place refill station(s) for ¨ the Drager PAS Lite® SCBAs and an additional five (5) one-hour SCSRs and/or SCBAs; —At intervals not to exceed 5,700 feet along the alternate escapeway, the mine has in place caches of Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs; —Both the SCBA refill(s) and the caches are accessible by a man door located in the stopping line separating the primary and alternate escapeway; and —All mantrips and vehicles on which persons travel throughout the mine are provided with SCBAs equal to the occupant capacity of the equipment. All employees and visitors are trained in the donning and transfer of these units. The petitioners request for modification of the application of 30 CFR 75.1506 will be conditioned upon compliance with the following: —The mine will construct a BIP RA in a crosscut located within one hour of PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 17685 walking distance from the shaft and slope bottoms. —The BIP RA will be constructed with two (2) approved 15-pounds per square inch (psi) minimum stoppings adjacent to the escapeway entries. The BIP RA will provide a minimum of 60 cubic feet of volume per person and a minimum of 15 square feet of floor space per person. —Access to the BIP RA will be gained through a door which is approved in conjunction with a 15-psi stopping. —An air-sampling pipe will be installed in the 15-psi minimum stopping. The air-sampling pipe will be of 1 inch diameter and will be equipped with a threaded cap located inside the BIP RA. —A Pressure Relief Pipe will be installed in the 15-psi minimum stopping. This pipe will be of six inch diameter and will be equipped with a one-way check valve. —Air monitoring equipment will be placed inside the airlock area of the BIP RA. —Ten (10) SCBAs and ten (10) Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs will be stored within the airlock area of the BIP RA. —An airlock wall will be constructed within the BIP RA. This airlock wall will be constructed as a dry-stacked and plastered stopping. —A pressure by-pass pipe will be installed within the airlock wall. This pipe will be six inches in diameter. —Access through the airlock will be gained by use of a man door. —A cased eight inch diameter borehole will be utilized to provide breathable air from the blower located on the surface. —A 2-wire page phone cable will be installed in the borehole and shunted on both ends. —A storage box will be provided within the BIP RA and will contain at a minimum a page phone and spare battery, fire extinguisher, lightsticks, portable toilet, sanitation bags, toilet paper, first aid kit, pipe wrench, etc. —A minimum of the 2,000 calories of food and 2.25 quarts of portable water per person per day in approved containers sufficient to sustain the maximum number of persons reasonably expected to use the BIP RA for at least 96 hours. —At a minimum, breathable air units will continue to be maintained as provided above in this petition. —Miners will continue to travel into irrespirable atmospheres to gain access to the BIP RA by use of the ¨ Drager PAS Lite® SCBAs as follows: a. The ChargeAir Filling Station is an automatic cascading refill system that is E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES 17686 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 78 / Monday, April 23, 2018 / Notices stored at approved locations in underground mines. It contains numerous banks of cylinders that are used to store breathing air at a pressure of 6,000 psi. The plumbing of these banks allows for automatic cascading when the users are refilling their SCBA’s. b. The ChargeAir Filling Station utilizes specialized valves that allow for the cascading process to be done automatically with no need for the user to open and close storage cylinder valves. Typically cascading is done with a user manually opening and closing valves at a control panel. The sequence in which the banks are opened is very important. If the wrong bank of cylinders is opened, the number of SCBA’s that can be refilled will be fewer than anticipated. Draeger has made the ChargeAir Filling Station an automatic cascade system to help eliminate errors by removing the human factor in this process. c. Once the user has donned their SCBA they proceed to exit the mine. The ChargeAir Filling Station is pressurized at all times while underground making it ready for use at any moment. When the SCBA user arrives at the ChargeAir Filling Station, they access the control panel and open the main pressure valve. Once the valve is opened, high pressure air is sent to all of the refill lines. The user grasps an individual refill line and connects it to their SCBA. The SCBA is instantly recharged. d. The user then disconnects from the ChargeAir Filling Station and proceeds to the next ChargeAir Filling Station, replenishing their 60-minute SCBA air supply. This refilling of the users SCBA is repeated along the escapeways until the SCBA user exits the mine. e. In an emergency situation when visibility is minimal and the atmosphere is toxic, changing out escape equipment becomes increasingly difficult. With the ¨ Drager PAS Lite® SCBA refill system, the units are not exchanged during an escape, but rather recharged while donned and miners are breathing clean air. f. An SCBA utilizes a positive pressure system, which means that breathing air flows into the face piece upon each inhalation. In addition, the air is cool due to the expansion from compression. g. Wearing a full face mask makes verbal communication possible, which is very important in an emergency. h. The system removes the potential hazards that exist within transfer between SCSRs and the potential hazards created by use of a negative pressure system. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Apr 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 —All underground mine personnel will be trained in the provisions of this petition before the petition is implemented. A record of this training will be documented and made available for inspection by authorized representatives of the Secretary and representatives of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 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–2018–013–C. Petitioner: The Coteau Properties Company, 204 County Road, Beulah, North Dakota 58523–9475. Mine: Freedom Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 32–00595, located in Mercer County, North Dakota. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1607(u) (Loading and haulage equipment; operation). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the use of large tow ropes and/or a Lambordini Model 9LD 625–2 engine driven hydraulic power pack to tow disabled haulage trucks in lieu of a solid tow bar and safety chain. The petitioner states that: (1) The proposed towing system will only apply to vehicles with a ‘‘fail safe’’ braking system and emergency steering capabilities. (2) The tow ropes used to tow a disabled vehicle will be a minimum of 35⁄8 inch Dyneema material, at least 50 feet in length, with an average breaking strength of 1,459,000 pounds and maintained in good condition. Tow ropes will be attached to both vehicles with tow balls or equivalent attachments. Connecting the towing ropes between vehicles must be done when the vehicles are at a protected location and the engines are not running. (3) Radio communications between the towed and the towing vehicles must be maintained at all time when the vehicles are moving. The towed vehicle driver must be able to see at least 10 feet in front of the vehicle. Towing speed will not exceed 5 miles per hour. (4) The engine driven hydraulic ‘‘power pack’’ will be adequately designed to supply the correct hydraulic pressure recommended by the towed vehicle manufacturer. The power pack will be securely mounted to the towed vehicle as to not impede the operation of the vehicle or pose safety hazards such as a broken hydraulic line or exhaust fumes that may enter the operator’s compartment. The power PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 pack will not impede the ability to exit the vehicle quickly. (5) The power pack will operate at all times when the vehicle is being towed to maintain normal braking and steering functions. The power pack must be examined prior to each use by a qualified mechanic trained to perform the examination. (6) Prior to towing operation, testing of the brakes and steering will be performed at a protected location. The test must include fully pressurizing the air system to assure the brakes function properly and depleting the air system to assure the ‘‘fail safe’’ brakes reapply at the proper pressures. (7) All qualified mechanics will be trained to perform the installation of the power pack and to recognize conditions that would prohibit use of the power pack to tow a vehicle. 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–2018–004–M. Petitioner: Hutchinson Salt Company, Three Gateway Center, 401 Liberty Avenue, Suite 1500, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. Mine: Hutchinson Salt Company Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 14–0412, located in Reno County, Kansas. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.12084 (Branch circuit disconnecting devices). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance of the standard with respect to branch circuit disconnecting devices. The petitioner states that: (1) The Hutchinson Salt Mine maintains an electrical system throughout the mine. That system includes the use of underground transformer stations where the voltage coming into the mine is stepped down for use of the electrical equipment in the mine. (2) Petitioner proposes to use an LBU II Loadbreaker fuse cutouts as disconnects at each underground transformer station on the incoming sides of the transformers. (3) There are approximately 20 transformers throughout the underground portion of the mine. These areas are accessed as needed for maintenance purposes. This condition exposes persons to fatal electrical hazards. (4) The petitioner currently has a means to disconnect the 480-volt power at the output side of the step down transformers in the mine. The petitioner E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 78 / Monday, April 23, 2018 / Notices is filing this petition for modification with respect to the power coming to each transformer station. (5) The petitioner proposes the following alternative method to be utilized. (a) Petitioner will install LBU II Loadbreaker fuse cutouts at each transformer station underground (branch power station) where feasible as a means of disconnecting the 2,300-volt power supply. (b) Such cutouts will be installed at least 9 feet above the mine floor in the open air. It will be possible to operate such switches from the mine floor. (c) A properly rated hot stick will be utilized to break the fuse under load if necessary. (d) The miner using such hot stick will utilize appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. (e) If it becomes necessary to lock and tag out the Loadbreaker cutouts, appropriate procedures will be utilized, including, either disabling the hot stick with a lockout device covering the hook or removing the fuse cutouts from their holders and locking them in a box. (f) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager for the area in which the mine is located. These proposed revisions will specify task training for miners designated to perform electrical work under the requirements of this petition. 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. 2018–08409 Filed 4–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: 18–032] National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board; Meeting National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ACTION: Notice of meeting. amozie on DSK30RV082PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended, and the President’s 2004 U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Policy, the National SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:09 Apr 20, 2018 Jkt 244001 Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board. Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Thursday, May 17, 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Local Time. DATES: Sheraton Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Harborview Ballroom, 300 South Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. 17687 services for terrestrial, maritime, aviation, and space users Patricia Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–08352 Filed 4–20–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES Institute of Museum and Library Services James J. Miller, Designated Federal Officer, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358–4417, fax (202) 358–4297, or jj.miller@nasa.gov. Submission for OMB Review, Comment Request, Proposed Collection: IMLS National Medals Nomination Forms The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. It is imperative that the meeting be held on these dates to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants. Visitors will be requested to sign a visitor’s register. The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: • Update on U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Policy and Global Positioning System (GPS) modernization • Current and planned GPS capabilities and services while assessing future PNT architecture alternatives with a focus on affordability • Methods in which to Protect, Toughen, and Augment (PTA) access to GPS/Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) services in key domains for multiple user sectors • Economic impacts of GPS/GNSS on the United States and in select international regions, with a consideration towards effects of potential PNT service disruptions if radio spectrum interference is introduced • Potential benefits, perceived vulnerabilities, and any proposed regulatory constraints to accessing foreign Radio Navigation Satellite Service (RNSS) signals in the U.S. and subsequent impacts on multi-GNSS receiver markets • Opportunities for enhancing the interoperability of GPS with other emerging international GNSS • Emerging trends and requirements for PNT services in U.S. and international fora through PNT Board technical assessments, including back-up PO 00000 Frm 00046 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities. ACTION: Submission for OMB review, comment request. AGENCY: The Institute of Museum and Library Services announces the following information collection has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. This notice proposes the clearance of the IMLS National Medals Nomination forms and instructions. A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. DATES: Comments must be submitted to the office listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section below on or before May 22, 2018. OMB is particularly interested in comments that help the agency to: • 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 E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 78 (Monday, April 23, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 17684-17687]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-08409]


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

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standard

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 Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before May 23, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Email: [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 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), 
[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

[[Page 17685]]

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 (Secretary) 
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-2018-012-C.
    Petitioner: Hamilton County Coal, LLC, 18033 County Road, 500E, 
Dahlgren, Illinois 62828-4294.
    Mine: Mine No. 1, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03203, located in Hamilton 
County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1506 (Refuge alternatives).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit through alternative safety measures, use of 
the Dr[auml]ger PAS Lite[supreg] Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus 
(SCBA) and ChargeAir Filling Stations in conjunction with a centrally 
located built-in-place (BIP) Refuge Alternative (RA) at Mine No. 1.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The proposed alternative safety measures place the primary 
focus on facilitating escape and emphasize survivable refuge as a last 
resort. The utilization of SCBS along with ChargeAir Filling Stations 
provides the best opportunity for mine evacuation due to the SCBS 
making verbal communication possible and eliminating potential hazards 
that exist within transfer between Self-Contained Self Rescuers 
(SCSRs).
    (2) If mine escape is not possible, the utilization of a centrally 
located BIP RA as last resort provides the best opportunity for 
survival due to its inherent advantages. Utilizing a borehole to the 
surface to supply continuous fresh air to trapped miners, the BIP RA is 
able to maintain a superior environment, as compared to portable RAs. 
The result is an improved psychological and physiological environment 
that can be advantageous to the health and safety of miners in the 
stress of an emergency. The location and construction of the BIP RA has 
a higher likelihood of avoiding damage from both primary and secondary 
explosions that often occur at the face area. The communication system 
to the BIP RA has a higher likelihood of surviving a disaster because 
it is protected inside the borehole to the surface and behind the 
structure walls.
    (3) Mine No. 1 extracts coal from the Herrin No. 6 coal seam by 
both continuous mining and longwall extraction methods. The average 
mining height at Mine No. 1 is approximately 8.5 feet. Mine No. 1 
utilizes both SCSRs and SCBAs which are approved by MSHA and/or NIOSH. 
These devices include the Ocenco M-20 SCSR, Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSR, CSE 
Self Rescuer Long Duration (SLRD) SCSR, and the Dr[auml]ger PAS 
Lite[supreg] SCBA. The breathable air units are provided in the 
underground mine workings as follows:

--A cache of Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs located at the section power centers;
--A cache of 24 Dr[auml]ger PAS Lite[supreg] SCBAs located outby the 
section loading in the primary escapeway;
--An additional 14 Dr[auml]ger PAS Lite[supreg] SCBAs located on the 
section safety ride;
--A cache of (2) Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs located at intervals not to 
exceed 2,000 feet along both the primary escapeway and the alternative 
escapeway;
--At intervals not to exceed 5,700 feet along the primary escapeway, 
the mine has in place refill station(s) for the Dr[auml]ger PAS 
Lite[supreg] SCBAs and an additional five (5) one-hour SCSRs and/or 
SCBAs;
--At intervals not to exceed 5,700 feet along the alternate escapeway, 
the mine has in place caches of Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs;
--Both the SCBA refill(s) and the caches are accessible by a man door 
located in the stopping line separating the primary and alternate 
escapeway; and
--All mantrips and vehicles on which persons travel throughout the mine 
are provided with SCBAs equal to the occupant capacity of the 
equipment. All employees and visitors are trained in the donning and 
transfer of these units.

    The petitioners request for modification of the application of 30 
CFR 75.1506 will be conditioned upon compliance with the following:

--The mine will construct a BIP RA in a crosscut located within one 
hour of walking distance from the shaft and slope bottoms.
--The BIP RA will be constructed with two (2) approved 15-pounds per 
square inch (psi) minimum stoppings adjacent to the escapeway entries.

    The BIP RA will provide a minimum of 60 cubic feet of volume per 
person and a minimum of 15 square feet of floor space per person.

--Access to the BIP RA will be gained through a door which is approved 
in conjunction with a 15-psi stopping.
--An air-sampling pipe will be installed in the 15-psi minimum 
stopping. The air-sampling pipe will be of 1 inch diameter and will be 
equipped with a threaded cap located inside the BIP RA.
--A Pressure Relief Pipe will be installed in the 15-psi minimum 
stopping. This pipe will be of six inch diameter and will be equipped 
with a one-way check valve.
--Air monitoring equipment will be placed inside the airlock area of 
the BIP RA.
--Ten (10) SCBAs and ten (10) Ocenco EBA 6.5 SCSRs will be stored 
within the airlock area of the BIP RA.
--An airlock wall will be constructed within the BIP RA. This airlock 
wall will be constructed as a dry-stacked and plastered stopping.
--A pressure by-pass pipe will be installed within the airlock wall. 
This pipe will be six inches in diameter.
--Access through the airlock will be gained by use of a man door.
--A cased eight inch diameter borehole will be utilized to provide 
breathable air from the blower located on the surface.
--A 2-wire page phone cable will be installed in the borehole and 
shunted on both ends.
--A storage box will be provided within the BIP RA and will contain at 
a minimum a page phone and spare battery, fire extinguisher, 
lightsticks, portable toilet, sanitation bags, toilet paper, first aid 
kit, pipe wrench, etc.
--A minimum of the 2,000 calories of food and 2.25 quarts of portable 
water per person per day in approved containers sufficient to sustain 
the maximum number of persons reasonably expected to use the BIP RA for 
at least 96 hours.
--At a minimum, breathable air units will continue to be maintained as 
provided above in this petition.
--Miners will continue to travel into irrespirable atmospheres to gain 
access to the BIP RA by use of the Dr[auml]ger PAS Lite[supreg] SCBAs 
as follows:

    a. The ChargeAir Filling Station is an automatic cascading refill 
system that is

[[Page 17686]]

stored at approved locations in underground mines. It contains numerous 
banks of cylinders that are used to store breathing air at a pressure 
of 6,000 psi. The plumbing of these banks allows for automatic 
cascading when the users are refilling their SCBA's.
    b. The ChargeAir Filling Station utilizes specialized valves that 
allow for the cascading process to be done automatically with no need 
for the user to open and close storage cylinder valves. Typically 
cascading is done with a user manually opening and closing valves at a 
control panel. The sequence in which the banks are opened is very 
important. If the wrong bank of cylinders is opened, the number of 
SCBA's that can be refilled will be fewer than anticipated. Draeger has 
made the ChargeAir Filling Station an automatic cascade system to help 
eliminate errors by removing the human factor in this process.
    c. Once the user has donned their SCBA they proceed to exit the 
mine. The ChargeAir Filling Station is pressurized at all times while 
underground making it ready for use at any moment. When the SCBA user 
arrives at the ChargeAir Filling Station, they access the control panel 
and open the main pressure valve. Once the valve is opened, high 
pressure air is sent to all of the refill lines. The user grasps an 
individual refill line and connects it to their SCBA. The SCBA is 
instantly recharged.
    d. The user then disconnects from the ChargeAir Filling Station and 
proceeds to the next ChargeAir Filling Station, replenishing their 60-
minute SCBA air supply. This refilling of the users SCBA is repeated 
along the escapeways until the SCBA user exits the mine.
    e. In an emergency situation when visibility is minimal and the 
atmosphere is toxic, changing out escape equipment becomes increasingly 
difficult. With the Dr[auml]ger PAS Lite[supreg] SCBA refill system, 
the units are not exchanged during an escape, but rather recharged 
while donned and miners are breathing clean air.
    f. An SCBA utilizes a positive pressure system, which means that 
breathing air flows into the face piece upon each inhalation. In 
addition, the air is cool due to the expansion from compression.
    g. Wearing a full face mask makes verbal communication possible, 
which is very important in an emergency.
    h. The system removes the potential hazards that exist within 
transfer between SCSRs and the potential hazards created by use of a 
negative pressure system.

--All underground mine personnel will be trained in the provisions of 
this petition before the petition is implemented. A record of this 
training will be documented and made available for inspection by 
authorized representatives of the Secretary and representatives of the 
Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

    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-2018-013-C.
    Petitioner: The Coteau Properties Company, 204 County Road, Beulah, 
North Dakota 58523-9475.
    Mine: Freedom Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 32-00595, located in Mercer 
County, North Dakota.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.1607(u) (Loading and haulage 
equipment; operation).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the use of large tow ropes and/or a 
Lambordini Model 9LD 625-2 engine driven hydraulic power pack to tow 
disabled haulage trucks in lieu of a solid tow bar and safety chain.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The proposed towing system will only apply to vehicles with a 
``fail safe'' braking system and emergency steering capabilities.
    (2) The tow ropes used to tow a disabled vehicle will be a minimum 
of 3\5/8\ inch Dyneema material, at least 50 feet in length, with an 
average breaking strength of 1,459,000 pounds and maintained in good 
condition. Tow ropes will be attached to both vehicles with tow balls 
or equivalent attachments. Connecting the towing ropes between vehicles 
must be done when the vehicles are at a protected location and the 
engines are not running.
    (3) Radio communications between the towed and the towing vehicles 
must be maintained at all time when the vehicles are moving. The towed 
vehicle driver must be able to see at least 10 feet in front of the 
vehicle. Towing speed will not exceed 5 miles per hour.
    (4) The engine driven hydraulic ``power pack'' will be adequately 
designed to supply the correct hydraulic pressure recommended by the 
towed vehicle manufacturer. The power pack will be securely mounted to 
the towed vehicle as to not impede the operation of the vehicle or pose 
safety hazards such as a broken hydraulic line or exhaust fumes that 
may enter the operator's compartment. The power pack will not impede 
the ability to exit the vehicle quickly.
    (5) The power pack will operate at all times when the vehicle is 
being towed to maintain normal braking and steering functions. The 
power pack must be examined prior to each use by a qualified mechanic 
trained to perform the examination.
    (6) Prior to towing operation, testing of the brakes and steering 
will be performed at a protected location. The test must include fully 
pressurizing the air system to assure the brakes function properly and 
depleting the air system to assure the ``fail safe'' brakes reapply at 
the proper pressures.
    (7) All qualified mechanics will be trained to perform the 
installation of the power pack and to recognize conditions that would 
prohibit use of the power pack to tow a vehicle.
    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-2018-004-M.
    Petitioner: Hutchinson Salt Company, Three Gateway Center, 401 
Liberty Avenue, Suite 1500, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.
    Mine: Hutchinson Salt Company Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 14-0412, located 
in Reno County, Kansas.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 57.12084 (Branch circuit disconnecting 
devices).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance of the 
standard with respect to branch circuit disconnecting devices.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The Hutchinson Salt Mine maintains an electrical system 
throughout the mine. That system includes the use of underground 
transformer stations where the voltage coming into the mine is stepped 
down for use of the electrical equipment in the mine.
    (2) Petitioner proposes to use an LBU II Loadbreaker fuse cutouts 
as disconnects at each underground transformer station on the incoming 
sides of the transformers.
    (3) There are approximately 20 transformers throughout the 
underground portion of the mine. These areas are accessed as needed for 
maintenance purposes. This condition exposes persons to fatal 
electrical hazards.
    (4) The petitioner currently has a means to disconnect the 480-volt 
power at the output side of the step down transformers in the mine. The 
petitioner

[[Page 17687]]

is filing this petition for modification with respect to the power 
coming to each transformer station.
    (5) The petitioner proposes the following alternative method to be 
utilized.
    (a) Petitioner will install LBU II Loadbreaker fuse cutouts at each 
transformer station underground (branch power station) where feasible 
as a means of disconnecting the 2,300-volt power supply.
    (b) Such cutouts will be installed at least 9 feet above the mine 
floor in the open air. It will be possible to operate such switches 
from the mine floor.
    (c) A properly rated hot stick will be utilized to break the fuse 
under load if necessary.
    (d) The miner using such hot stick will utilize appropriate 
Personal Protective Equipment.
    (e) If it becomes necessary to lock and tag out the Loadbreaker 
cutouts, appropriate procedures will be utilized, including, either 
disabling the hot stick with a lockout device covering the hook or 
removing the fuse cutouts from their holders and locking them in a box.
    (f) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order becomes 
final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager for the area in 
which the mine is located. These proposed revisions will specify task 
training for miners designated to perform electrical work under the 
requirements of this petition.
    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. 2018-08409 Filed 4-20-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4520-43-P