Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule, 31710-31711 [2018-14536]

Download as PDF 31710 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 131 / Monday, July 9, 2018 / Proposed Rules Environmental Review This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). The Proposed Amendment Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 71 as follows: PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for 14 CFR part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11B, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 3, 2017, and effective September 15, 2017, is amended as follows: ■ Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth * * * * * AGL MI E5 Hillsdale, MI [Amended] Hillsdale Municipal Airport, MI (Lat. 41°55′17″ N, long. 84°35′12″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 6.5-mile radius of Hillsdale Municipal Airport. Issued in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 28, 2018. Walter Tweedy, Acting Manager, Operations Support Group, ATO Central Service Center. [FR Doc. 2018–14528 Filed 7–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR Parts 70, 71, 72, 75, and 90 [Docket No. MSHA 2018–0014] RIN 1219–AB90 Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. AGENCY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jul 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 Request for information; close of comment period. ACTION: On May 1, 2014, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published a final rule, ‘‘Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors’’ (Dust rule). In the preamble to the Dust rule, MSHA stated its intent to take the lead in conducting a retrospective study beginning February 1, 2017. In this Request for Information (RFI), MSHA is soliciting stakeholder comments, data, and information to assist the Agency in developing the framework for this study to assess the impact of the Dust rule on lowering coal miners’ exposures to respirable coal mine dust to improve miners’ health. In addition, as part of the Agency’s ongoing effort to provide compliance and technical assistance to mine operators and miners, MSHA is soliciting information and data on engineering controls and best practices that lower miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust. DATES: Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST) on July 9, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit comments and informational materials, identified by RIN 1219–AB90 or Docket No. MSHA 2018–0014, by one of the following methods: • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: zzMSHAOSRVRegulatoryReform@dol.gov. • Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452. • Hand Delivery or Courier: 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 4th floor East, Suite 4E401. • Fax: 202–693–9441. Instructions: All submissions must include RIN 1219–AB90 or Docket No. MSHA 2018–0014. Do not include personal information that you do not want publicly disclosed. Email Notification: To subscribe to receive email notification when MSHA publishes rulemaking documents in the Federal Register, go to https:// www.msha.gov/subscriptions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila A. McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at mcconnell.sheila.a@dol.gov SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 (email), 202–693–9440 (voice), or 202– 693–9441 (fax). These are not toll-free numbers. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Availability of Information MSHA will post all comments without change, including any personal information provided. Access comments and information electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, or https:// www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. Review comments in person at MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 4th floor East, Suite 4E401. To read background documents on the final rule, ‘‘Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors’’ (79 FR 24814), go to https:// www.regulations.gov, and search under RIN 1219–AB64 or Docket No. MSHA– 2010–0007. I. Background On May 1, 2014, MSHA published a final rule, ‘‘Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors’’ (79 FR 24814). The purpose of the rule is to reduce occupational lung diseases in coal miners. Chronic exposures to respirable coal mine dust cause lung diseases that can lead to permanent disability and death. The Dust rule improves health protection for coal miners by reducing their occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust and by lowering the risk that they will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity over their working lives. Several provisions specifically lower coal miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust by lowering exposure limits; basing noncompliance determinations on MSHA’s inspectors’ single-shift samples; and changing the definition of normal production shift. Other provisions reduce respirable coal mine dust levels and further protect miners by requiring full-shift sampling to account for occupational exposures greater than eight hours per shift and requiring more frequent sampling of selected occupations and locations using the Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM). All of the phased Dust rule requirements were effective as of August 1, 2016. II. Study To Assess Effects of Dust Rule As MSHA noted in the preamble to the Dust rule, the health effects from occupational exposure to respirable coal E:\FR\FM\09JYP1.SGM 09JYP1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 131 / Monday, July 9, 2018 / Proposed Rules mine dust consist of interstitial and obstructive pulmonary diseases (79 FR 24819). Interstitial lung diseases, like coal workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) and silicosis, have a significant latency period between exposure and disease. The health effects from exposure to respirable coal mine dust may not be realized for a decade or more until the disease becomes clinically apparent. In addition, the chronic effects of interstitial lung diseases, such as CWP and silicosis, may progress or worsen even after miners are no longer exposed to respirable coal mine dust. Thus, miners’ exposure to respirable coal mine dust before final implementation of the Dust rule on August 1, 2016, may continue to contribute to the development of lung diseases in coal miners. New miners hired after August 1, 2016, are the only cohort of coal miners who are unaffected by exposures that occurred before full implementation of the Dust rule. In the preamble to the Dust rule, MSHA stated its intent to take the lead in conducting a retrospective study beginning February 1, 2017 (79 FR 24867), with an unspecified completion date. Since the Dust rule went into effect, MSHA has analyzed more than 250,000 respirable dust samples taken by mine operators who use the CPDM and by MSHA inspectors who use the gravimetric sampler. MSHA’s analysis shows that more than 99 percent of the samples were in compliance with the MSHA respirable coal mine dust standards. The sample data allow MSHA to evaluate the effectiveness of dust controls in mines and whether the rule results in reduced levels of respirable coal dust. However, due to the latency between exposure and disease, MSHA likely will not be able to evaluate fully the health effects of the rule for a decade or more. While the Agency continues to evaluate the respirable dust samples, MSHA also is seeking comments, data, and information from stakeholders to assist the Agency in developing a framework to assess the health effects of the Dust rule and its impact on the health protections provided to coal miners going forward. With respect to suggested elements for a framework, commenters should be specific and include detailed rationales and supporting documentation, if any. Throughout the comment period, MSHA will continue to consult with interested parties and the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as it collects and evaluates all available information, comments in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:21 Jul 06, 2018 Jkt 244001 response to this RFI, respirable coal mine dust sampling data, and compliance rates for controlling exposure to coal mine dust. III. Engineering Controls and Best Practices As mentioned, since the Dust rule’s publication and implementation, MSHA has continually evaluated respirable dust controls and best practices for compliance with the rule’s requirements. The Agency has met with mine operators and miners to provide mine-specific compliance and technical assistance. MSHA also held a MSHA/ NIOSH-sponsored meeting on engineering controls and best practices on December 6, 2016. Technical assistance materials and other materials from the meeting are available on MSHA’s website at https:// www.msha.gov. MSHA intends to continue its consultations and will continue to offer technical assistance on best practices for controlling coal mine dust and quartz exposures. MSHA is interested in the engineering controls and best practices that mine operators find most effective to achieve and maintain the required respirable coal mine dust and quartz levels—particularly those practices that can be replicated throughout coal mines nationwide to achieve similar results. IV. Data Request The purpose of this RFI is to solicit comments, data, and information from industry, labor, NIOSH, and other stakeholders to assist MSHA in developing the framework for a study to assess the health effects of the Dust rule. Commenters should be specific about any recommendations they offer, including detailed rationales and supporting documentation. V. National Academy of Sciences Study MSHA notes that in the Explanatory Statement to the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 114–113), Congress directed NIOSH to charter a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study to examine and describe: Current monitoring and sampling protocols and requirements to understand miners’ occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust in the United States and other industrialized countries; coal mine dust composition and application procedures, including the impact of new rock dust mixtures and regulatory requirements; monitoring and sampling technologies, along with sampling protocols and frequency; and the efficacy of those technologies and protocols in aiding decisions regarding the control of respirable coal mine dust PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 31711 and mine worker exposure. Congress directed MSHA to provide assistance and necessary data to NAS for its study, which the Agency has done and continues to do when requested. MSHA will evaluate the results of the NAS study after the report is final. David G. Zatezalo, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2018–14536 Filed 7–6–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 17 Exclusion of Gender Alterations From the Medical Benefits Package Department of Veterans Affairs. Petition for Rulemaking and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: On May 9, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received a Petition for Rulemaking petitioning VA to amend its medical regulations by removing a provision that excludes ‘‘gender alterations’’ from its medical benefits package. The effect of the amendment sought by the petitioners would be to authorize gender alteration surgery as part of VA care when medically necessary. VA seeks comments on the petition to assist in determining whether to amend the medical benefits package and eliminate the exclusion of gender alteration from VA’s medical benefits package. DATES: Comments must be received/ submitted on or before September 7, 2018. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through http:// www.regulations.gov; or by mail or hand delivery to Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘Notice of Petition for Rulemaking and request for comments— Exclusion of Gender Alterations from the Medical Benefits Package.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, Room 1063B, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) During the comment period, comments may SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09JYP1.SGM 09JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 131 (Monday, July 9, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31710-31711]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-14536]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Parts 70, 71, 72, 75, and 90

[Docket No. MSHA 2018-0014]
RIN 1219-AB90


Retrospective Study of Respirable Coal Mine Dust Rule

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Request for information; close of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: On May 1, 2014, the Mine Safety and Health Administration 
(MSHA) published a final rule, ``Lowering Miners' Exposure to 
Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust 
Monitors'' (Dust rule). In the preamble to the Dust rule, MSHA stated 
its intent to take the lead in conducting a retrospective study 
beginning February 1, 2017. In this Request for Information (RFI), MSHA 
is soliciting stakeholder comments, data, and information to assist the 
Agency in developing the framework for this study to assess the impact 
of the Dust rule on lowering coal miners' exposures to respirable coal 
mine dust to improve miners' health. In addition, as part of the 
Agency's ongoing effort to provide compliance and technical assistance 
to mine operators and miners, MSHA is soliciting information and data 
on engineering controls and best practices that lower miners' exposure 
to respirable coal mine dust.

DATES: Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern 
Standard Time (EST) on July 9, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments and informational materials, identified by 
RIN 1219-AB90 or Docket No. MSHA 2018-0014, by one of the following 
methods:
     Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: [email protected].
     Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and 
Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 
22202-5452.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: 201 12th Street South, Suite 
4E401, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist's 
desk on the 4th floor East, Suite 4E401.
     Fax: 202-693-9441.
    Instructions: All submissions must include RIN 1219-AB90 or Docket 
No. MSHA 2018-0014. Do not include personal information that you do not 
want publicly disclosed.
    Email Notification: To subscribe to receive email notification when 
MSHA publishes rulemaking documents in the Federal Register, go to 
https://www.msha.gov/subscriptions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila A. McConnell, Director, Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at 
[email protected] (email), 202-693-9440 (voice), or 202-693-
9441 (fax). These are not toll-free numbers.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Availability of Information

    MSHA will post all comments without change, including any personal 
information provided. Access comments and information electronically at 
https://www.regulations.gov, or https://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. Review comments in person at MSHA, Office of 
Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, 
Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on 
the 4th floor East, Suite 4E401. To read background documents on the 
final rule, ``Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, 
Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors'' (79 FR 24814), go to 
https://www.regulations.gov, and search under RIN 1219-AB64 or Docket 
No. MSHA-2010-0007.

I. Background

    On May 1, 2014, MSHA published a final rule, ``Lowering Miners' 
Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal 
Dust Monitors'' (79 FR 24814). The purpose of the rule is to reduce 
occupational lung diseases in coal miners. Chronic exposures to 
respirable coal mine dust cause lung diseases that can lead to 
permanent disability and death. The Dust rule improves health 
protection for coal miners by reducing their occupational exposure to 
respirable coal mine dust and by lowering the risk that they will 
suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity over their 
working lives. Several provisions specifically lower coal miners' 
exposure to respirable coal mine dust by lowering exposure limits; 
basing noncompliance determinations on MSHA's inspectors' single-shift 
samples; and changing the definition of normal production shift. Other 
provisions reduce respirable coal mine dust levels and further protect 
miners by requiring full-shift sampling to account for occupational 
exposures greater than eight hours per shift and requiring more 
frequent sampling of selected occupations and locations using the 
Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM). All of the phased Dust rule 
requirements were effective as of August 1, 2016.

II. Study To Assess Effects of Dust Rule

    As MSHA noted in the preamble to the Dust rule, the health effects 
from occupational exposure to respirable coal

[[Page 31711]]

mine dust consist of interstitial and obstructive pulmonary diseases 
(79 FR 24819). Interstitial lung diseases, like coal workers' 
pneumoconiosis (CWP) and silicosis, have a significant latency period 
between exposure and disease. The health effects from exposure to 
respirable coal mine dust may not be realized for a decade or more 
until the disease becomes clinically apparent. In addition, the chronic 
effects of interstitial lung diseases, such as CWP and silicosis, may 
progress or worsen even after miners are no longer exposed to 
respirable coal mine dust. Thus, miners' exposure to respirable coal 
mine dust before final implementation of the Dust rule on August 1, 
2016, may continue to contribute to the development of lung diseases in 
coal miners. New miners hired after August 1, 2016, are the only cohort 
of coal miners who are unaffected by exposures that occurred before 
full implementation of the Dust rule.
    In the preamble to the Dust rule, MSHA stated its intent to take 
the lead in conducting a retrospective study beginning February 1, 2017 
(79 FR 24867), with an unspecified completion date. Since the Dust rule 
went into effect, MSHA has analyzed more than 250,000 respirable dust 
samples taken by mine operators who use the CPDM and by MSHA inspectors 
who use the gravimetric sampler. MSHA's analysis shows that more than 
99 percent of the samples were in compliance with the MSHA respirable 
coal mine dust standards.
    The sample data allow MSHA to evaluate the effectiveness of dust 
controls in mines and whether the rule results in reduced levels of 
respirable coal dust. However, due to the latency between exposure and 
disease, MSHA likely will not be able to evaluate fully the health 
effects of the rule for a decade or more.
    While the Agency continues to evaluate the respirable dust samples, 
MSHA also is seeking comments, data, and information from stakeholders 
to assist the Agency in developing a framework to assess the health 
effects of the Dust rule and its impact on the health protections 
provided to coal miners going forward. With respect to suggested 
elements for a framework, commenters should be specific and include 
detailed rationales and supporting documentation, if any. Throughout 
the comment period, MSHA will continue to consult with interested 
parties and the Department of Health and Human Services' National 
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as it collects 
and evaluates all available information, comments in response to this 
RFI, respirable coal mine dust sampling data, and compliance rates for 
controlling exposure to coal mine dust.

III. Engineering Controls and Best Practices

    As mentioned, since the Dust rule's publication and implementation, 
MSHA has continually evaluated respirable dust controls and best 
practices for compliance with the rule's requirements. The Agency has 
met with mine operators and miners to provide mine-specific compliance 
and technical assistance. MSHA also held a MSHA/NIOSH-sponsored meeting 
on engineering controls and best practices on December 6, 2016. 
Technical assistance materials and other materials from the meeting are 
available on MSHA's website at https://www.msha.gov.
    MSHA intends to continue its consultations and will continue to 
offer technical assistance on best practices for controlling coal mine 
dust and quartz exposures. MSHA is interested in the engineering 
controls and best practices that mine operators find most effective to 
achieve and maintain the required respirable coal mine dust and quartz 
levels--particularly those practices that can be replicated throughout 
coal mines nationwide to achieve similar results.

IV. Data Request

    The purpose of this RFI is to solicit comments, data, and 
information from industry, labor, NIOSH, and other stakeholders to 
assist MSHA in developing the framework for a study to assess the 
health effects of the Dust rule. Commenters should be specific about 
any recommendations they offer, including detailed rationales and 
supporting documentation.

V. National Academy of Sciences Study

    MSHA notes that in the Explanatory Statement to the 2016 
Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 114-113), Congress directed 
NIOSH to charter a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study to examine 
and describe: Current monitoring and sampling protocols and 
requirements to understand miners' occupational exposure to respirable 
coal mine dust in the United States and other industrialized countries; 
coal mine dust composition and application procedures, including the 
impact of new rock dust mixtures and regulatory requirements; 
monitoring and sampling technologies, along with sampling protocols and 
frequency; and the efficacy of those technologies and protocols in 
aiding decisions regarding the control of respirable coal mine dust and 
mine worker exposure. Congress directed MSHA to provide assistance and 
necessary data to NAS for its study, which the Agency has done and 
continues to do when requested. MSHA will evaluate the results of the 
NAS study after the report is final.

David G. Zatezalo,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2018-14536 Filed 7-6-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4520-43-P