Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standard, 5111-5113 [2019-02745]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2019 / Notices tramming the continuous mining machine up and down the slope, the extended cable will allow the petitioner to use the power supply at the top and bottom of the slope and eliminate the need for a move box. The petitioner states that, given the width of the slope, the elimination of the move box will reduce the likelihood of an accident. (5) An electrical engineering study was conducted and has demonstrated that the continuous mining machine cable can be safely extended. (6) The petitioner seeks to extend the length of the feeder cable up to 2,000 feet with No. 2 AWG or larger copper cable. (7) When the cable length is extended beyond the requirements set forth in 30 CFR 75.503, the petitioner will only operate the feeder in tram mode up and down the slope and throughout the mine in non-production activities, such as moving the feeder from one location in the mine to another. (8) The petitioner states that extending the feeder cable for tramming will allow the petitioner to tram the feeder longer distances and handle the cable less often. While tramming the feeder up and down the slope, the extended cable will allow the petitioner to use the power supply at the top and bottom of the slope and eliminate the need for a move box. The petitioner states that, given the width of the slope, elimination of the move box will reduce the likelihood of an accident. (9) An electrical engineering study was conducted and has demonstrated that the feeder cable can be safely extended. (10) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with 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 the miners under the existing standard. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. I. Background [FR Doc. 2019–02744 Filed 2–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Feb 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 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 petition must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before March 22, 2019. 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 a copy 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 (fax). [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. SUMMARY: 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 PO 00000 Frm 00066 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5111 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–2018–023–C. Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10233, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d), (h) and (i) (Mine map). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the substation of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel connections between veins, at 1,000 feet intervals of advance from the intake slope, and to limit the required mapping of mine workings above and below to those present within 100 feet of the coal vein(s) being mined through rock tunnels, unless these veins are interconnected to other veins beyond the 100 feet limit. The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1200(d), (h) and (i) for the following reasons: (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal veins, contour lines provide no useful information and their presence would make portions of the map illegible. (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been practiced since the late 1800s and provides critical information about spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which fluctuate considerably. (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining or the mining of coal veins of lower quality in proximity to inaccessible and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or may not be mapped. (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the petitioner’s contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock tunnels between veins in relation to the mine, and a hazard analysis is done when mapping E:\FR\FM\20FEN1.SGM 20FEN1 5112 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2019 / Notices indicates the presence of known or potentially flooded workings. (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that exist beyond 100 feet from the mine are recognized as presenting no hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation between the workings. (6) The petitioner states that the mine workings above and below are usually inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually subject to changes during the life of the mine. (7) When evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a coal vein above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine mapping, the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate precautions will be taken in accordance with 30 CFR 75.388, which addresses drilling boreholes in advance of mining. (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the affected area. The petitioner proposed the following terms and conditions: (a) A search by a registered engineer or surveyor of all available mapping, including cross-sections will be conducted to determine the spacing between coal veins and the proximity of the existing and projected workings of the mine to other workings of adjacent mines. A hazard analysis will be done when mapping indicates the presence of known or potentially flooded workings. (b) The map will show cross section(s) through the slope, at locations of rock tunnels between coal veins, and along gangways at 1,000-foot intervals. The mapping provided will show the crop line of the vein being mined. (c) Where adjacent workings are located within 1,000 feet of the projected limit(s) of the same vein being mined, those working will be mapped, the potential water and gas hazards will be evaluated, and a revised drilling program, if needed, will be established under 30 CFR 75.388. (d) Where projections include miningthrough into inaccessible areas of the same coal vein or adjacent vein(s) and the conditions cannot be determined, a plan detailing the operation will be submitted under 30 CFR 75.389 for approval by the District Manager. (e) Prior to recovering pillars known to be below the water level elevation in adjacent workings, a revised recovery plan will be submitted under 30 CFR 75.220(a)(1) for approval by the District Manager. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Feb 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 (f) When veins within 100 feet above or below the coal vein being mined are interconnected by rock tunnels to other veins, all interconnected vein mapping will be provided to within 1,000 feet of the active workings. (g) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2018–024–C. Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10233, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202– 1(a) (Temporary notations, revisions, and supplements). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the required interval of survey to be established on an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 6 months as required. The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1202–1(a) for the following reasons: (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite mining make surveying on a 6-month interval impractical. In most cases, annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of gangway advancement with associated up-pitch development. (2) The vast majority of small anthracite miners are using nonmechanized, hand-loading methods of mining. (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient control between both survey gangways. (4) The availability of engineering/ surveyor resources are very limited in the anthracite coal fields with surveying on an annual basis difficult to achieve with three contractors currently available. The petitioner proposes the following terms and conditions: (a) The mine map will be revised and supplemented at intervals of not more than 12 months on the basis of a survey made or certified by a registered engineer or a registered surveyor. PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (b) The mine map will also be revised and supplemented on the basis of a survey made or certified by a registered engineer or registered surveyor prior to final retreat mining or from the point of the deepest penetration of gangway advance or breast advance if not connected to a surveyed location. (c) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Docket Number: M–2018–025–C. Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36–10233, located in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400(c) (Hoisting equipment; general). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit operating the gunboat used in the mine to transport persons without safety catches or other no less effective devices because, to date, no such safety catch or device is available for use in the steeply pitching and undulating slopes with numerous curves and knuckles present in the main haulage slopes of the petitioner’s mine. The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1400(c) for the following reasons: (1) Anthracite mine slopes range in length from 180 to 1,000 feet and vary in pitch from 30 to 75 degrees. (2) A functional safety catch has not been developed and, consequently, if a makeshift device is installed it could activate on knuckles or curves when no emergency existed, causing a tumbling effect on the conveyance which would increase rather than decrease the hazard to miners. Therefore, the petitioner proposes to operate the steel gunboat with secondary safety connections securely fastened around the gunboat and to the hoisting rope above the main connecting device, and use hoisting ropes having a safety factor in excess of three. The petitioner proposes the following terms and conditions: (a) A communication signal system, audible to the hoist operator, will be installed so that it can be activated from E:\FR\FM\20FEN1.SGM 20FEN1 5113 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 34 / Wednesday, February 20, 2019 / Notices the gunboat at any location along the slope. (b) The design safety factor of the hoist rope will be maintained at all times as not less than three times the values specified in 30 CFR 75.1431. (c) A detailed inspection procedure of the ropes and terminations used at the mine will be posted in the hoist house and complied with at all times. (d) A secondary safety connection will be securely fastened around the gunboat and securely fastened to the hoisting rope at a point above the main connecting device. The secondary safety connection must meet the safety factor requirements described in Item (b) above. The secondary safety connection will be the same size as or greater than the primary hoist rope and properly terminated above the primary hoist rope attachment with at least two clips on each end or with equivalent strength chains. (e) At least 2 feet of clearance must be maintained between the highest part of the secondary attachment and the head sheave when the gunboat is positioned in the full dump position. (f) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding compliance with the PDO. The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will guarantee no less than the same measure of protection for all miners than that of the existing standard. Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2019–02745 Filed 2–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET Public Availability of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Agency Inventories Under the Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Executive Office of the President. ACTION: Notice of public availability of agency inventories of activities that are not inherently governmental and of activities that are inherently governmental. AGENCY: The Federal Activities Inventory Reform (FAIR) Act, Public Law 105–270, requires covered agencies to develop an annual inventory of activities performed by their employees that are not inherently governmental functions. In addition, OMB Circular A– SUMMARY: 76, Performance of Commercial Activities, requires covered agencies to develop an annual inventory of activities performed by their employees that are inherently governmental functions. These inventories help the agencies gain a better understanding of how labor is being used to carry out their mission. After OMB review, the agencies are required to make their list of activities available to the public. In accordance with the FAIR Act, OMB is publishing this notice to announce the availability of the inventories for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 from the agencies listed below. These inventories include both activities that are not inherently governmental and activities that are inherently governmental. If an agency has not yet posted its inventory on its website, the agency’s point of contact should be able to provide assistance. As provided in the FAIR Act, interested parties who disagree with the agency’s initial judgment may challenge the inclusion or the omission of an activity on the list of activities that are not inherently governmental within 30 working days of this Notice and, if not satisfied with this review, may appeal to a higher level within the agency. Russell T. Vought, Acting Director. Attachment: FAIR Act Release FY 2017 CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO) ACT AGENCIES Item Agency 1 ......... Department of Commerce 2 ......... Department of Defense ..... 3 ......... 4 ......... 5 ......... Department of Education ... Department of Energy ....... Department of Health and Human Services. Department of Homeland Security. 6 ......... Point of contact Email Telephone Virna Winters ..................... Ron Ortega ........................ Thomas Hessel .................. vwinters@doc.gov .............. rortega@doc.gov ............... Thomas.j.hessel.civ@ mail.mil. 202–482–3483 202–482–3490 703–697–3402 Camille Manuel .................. Jeff Davis ........................... William Kim ........................ camille.manuel@ed.gov ..... jeff.davis@hq.doe.gov ....... William.Kim@hhs.gov ........ 202–245–6658 202–287–1877 202–205–1341 https://prhome.defense.gov/ M-RA/Inside-M-RA/TFM/ Reports/. http://www.ed.gov. http://energy.gov. http://www.hhs.gov/. Katherine Chimera ............. 202–447–0177 www.dhs.gov. Maria Milligan ..................... katherine.chimera@ hq.dhs.gov. pamela.campbell@ hq.dhs.gov. Maria.L.Milligan@HUD.gov 202–402–6417 https://www.hud.gov/. Felisha Griffin ..................... Neil Ryder .......................... Tanisha Bynum-Frazier ..... Keisha Brown ..................... Kenneth Black .................... Michelle Langley ................ Catherine Jones ................. felisha_griffin@ios.doi.gov Neil.Ryder@usdoj.gov ....... bynum.frazier.t@dol.gov .... brown.keisha@dol.gov ....... blackkh@state.gov ............. LangleyML@state.gov ....... Catherine.jones@dot.gov .. 202–513–7561 202–616–5499 202–693–4546 202–693–7271 202–485–7211 202–485–7198 202–366–4272 www.doi.gov. http://www.justice.gov/. www.dol.gov. Germaine Myles ................. Kim Steide ......................... 202–366–5935 202–622–9490 http://www.treasury.gov/. Steven Carney ................... germaine.myles@dot.gov .. kimberly.steide@treasury.gov. Steven.Carney@va.gov ..... 202–461–5959 https://www.va.gov. Jennifer Cranford ............... Cranford.Jennifer@epa.gov 202–564–0798 www.epa.gov. Pamela Campbell .............. 7 ......... 8 ......... 9 ......... 10 ....... Department of Housing and Urban Development. Department of the Interior Department of Justice ........ Department of Labor .......... 11 ....... Department of State .......... 12 ....... Department of Transportation. 13 ....... Department of the Treasury 14 ....... Department of Veterans Affairs. Environmental Protection Agency. 15 ....... VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Feb 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Website www.commerce.gov. 202–447–5255 E:\FR\FM\20FEN1.SGM 20FEN1 http://www.state.gov. www.dot.gov.

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 34 (Wednesday, February 20, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5111-5113]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-02745]


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

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 petition must be received by MSHA's Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before March 22, 2019.

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 a copy 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 (fax). [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 (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-2018-023-C.
    Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10233, located in 
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1200(d), (h) and (i) (Mine map).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the substation of cross-sections in lieu of 
contour lines through the intake slope, at locations of rock tunnel 
connections between veins, at 1,000 feet intervals of advance from the 
intake slope, and to limit the required mapping of mine workings above 
and below to those present within 100 feet of the coal vein(s) being 
mined through rock tunnels, unless these veins are interconnected to 
other veins beyond the 100 feet limit.
    The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1200(d), (h) and 
(i) for the following reasons:
    (1) Due to the steep pitch encountered in mining anthracite coal 
veins, contour lines provide no useful information and their presence 
would make portions of the map illegible.
    (2) The use of cross-sections in lieu of contour lines has been 
practiced since the late 1800s and provides critical information about 
spacing between veins and proximity to other mine workings, which 
fluctuate considerably.
    (3) The vast majority of current underground anthracite mining 
involves either second mining of remnant pillars from previous mining 
or the mining of coal veins of lower quality in proximity to 
inaccessible and frequently flooded abandoned mine workings that may or 
may not be mapped.
    (4) All mapping for mines above and below is researched by the 
petitioner's contract engineer for the presence of interconnecting rock 
tunnels between veins in relation to the mine, and a hazard analysis is 
done when mapping

[[Page 5112]]

indicates the presence of known or potentially flooded workings.
    (5) When no rock tunnel connections are found, mine workings that 
exist beyond 100 feet from the mine are recognized as presenting no 
hazard to the mine due to the pitch of the vein and rock separation 
between the workings.
    (6) The petitioner states that the mine workings above and below 
are usually inactive and abandoned and, therefore, are not usually 
subject to changes during the life of the mine.
    (7) When evidence indicates prior mining was conducted on a coal 
vein above or below and research exhausts the availability of mine 
mapping, the vein will be considered mined and flooded and appropriate 
precautions will be taken in accordance with 30 CFR 75.388, which 
addresses drilling boreholes in advance of mining.
    (8) Where potential hazards exist and in-mine drilling capabilities 
limit penetration, surface boreholes may be used to intercept the 
workings and the results analyzed prior to beginning mining in the 
affected area.
    The petitioner proposed the following terms and conditions:
    (a) A search by a registered engineer or surveyor of all available 
mapping, including cross-sections will be conducted to determine the 
spacing between coal veins and the proximity of the existing and 
projected workings of the mine to other workings of adjacent mines. A 
hazard analysis will be done when mapping indicates the presence of 
known or potentially flooded workings.
    (b) The map will show cross section(s) through the slope, at 
locations of rock tunnels between coal veins, and along gangways at 
1,000-foot intervals. The mapping provided will show the crop line of 
the vein being mined.
    (c) Where adjacent workings are located within 1,000 feet of the 
projected limit(s) of the same vein being mined, those working will be 
mapped, the potential water and gas hazards will be evaluated, and a 
revised drilling program, if needed, will be established under 30 CFR 
75.388.
    (d) Where projections include mining-through into inaccessible 
areas of the same coal vein or adjacent vein(s) and the conditions 
cannot be determined, a plan detailing the operation will be submitted 
under 30 CFR 75.389 for approval by the District Manager.
    (e) Prior to recovering pillars known to be below the water level 
elevation in adjacent workings, a revised recovery plan will be 
submitted under 30 CFR 75.220(a)(1) for approval by the District 
Manager.
    (f) When veins within 100 feet above or below the coal vein being 
mined are interconnected by rock tunnels to other veins, all 
interconnected vein mapping will be provided to within 1,000 feet of 
the active workings.
    (g) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) 
becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its 
approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These 
proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training 
regarding compliance with the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2018-024-C.
    Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10233, located in 
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1202-1(a) (Temporary notations, 
revisions, and supplements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the required interval of survey to be 
established on an annual basis from the initial survey in lieu of every 
6 months as required.
    The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1202-1(a) for the 
following reasons:
    (1) The low production and slow rate of advance in anthracite 
mining make surveying on a 6-month interval impractical. In most cases, 
annual development is frequently limited to less than 500 feet of 
gangway advancement with associated up-pitch development.
    (2) The vast majority of small anthracite miners are using non-
mechanized, hand-loading methods of mining.
    (3) Development above the active gangway is designed to mine into 
the level above at designated intervals thereby maintaining sufficient 
control between both survey gangways.
    (4) The availability of engineering/surveyor resources are very 
limited in the anthracite coal fields with surveying on an annual basis 
difficult to achieve with three contractors currently available.
    The petitioner proposes the following terms and conditions:
    (a) The mine map will be revised and supplemented at intervals of 
not more than 12 months on the basis of a survey made or certified by a 
registered engineer or a registered surveyor.
    (b) The mine map will also be revised and supplemented on the basis 
of a survey made or certified by a registered engineer or registered 
surveyor prior to final retreat mining or from the point of the deepest 
penetration of gangway advance or breast advance if not connected to a 
surveyed location.
    (c) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) 
becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its 
approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These 
proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training 
regarding compliance with the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners 
under the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2018-025-C.
    Petitioner: Little Buck Coal Company, 21 Pine Lane, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Broad Mountain Slope, MSHA I.D. No. 36-10233, located in 
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1400(c) (Hoisting equipment; 
general).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit operating the gunboat used in the mine to 
transport persons without safety catches or other no less effective 
devices because, to date, no such safety catch or device is available 
for use in the steeply pitching and undulating slopes with numerous 
curves and knuckles present in the main haulage slopes of the 
petitioner's mine.
    The petitioner requests modification of 30 CFR 75.1400(c) for the 
following reasons:
    (1) Anthracite mine slopes range in length from 180 to 1,000 feet 
and vary in pitch from 30 to 75 degrees.
    (2) A functional safety catch has not been developed and, 
consequently, if a makeshift device is installed it could activate on 
knuckles or curves when no emergency existed, causing a tumbling effect 
on the conveyance which would increase rather than decrease the hazard 
to miners. Therefore, the petitioner proposes to operate the steel 
gunboat with secondary safety connections securely fastened around the 
gunboat and to the hoisting rope above the main connecting device, and 
use hoisting ropes having a safety factor in excess of three.
    The petitioner proposes the following terms and conditions:
    (a) A communication signal system, audible to the hoist operator, 
will be installed so that it can be activated from

[[Page 5113]]

the gunboat at any location along the slope.
    (b) The design safety factor of the hoist rope will be maintained 
at all times as not less than three times the values specified in 30 
CFR 75.1431.
    (c) A detailed inspection procedure of the ropes and terminations 
used at the mine will be posted in the hoist house and complied with at 
all times.
    (d) A secondary safety connection will be securely fastened around 
the gunboat and securely fastened to the hoisting rope at a point above 
the main connecting device. The secondary safety connection must meet 
the safety factor requirements described in Item (b) above. The 
secondary safety connection will be the same size as or greater than 
the primary hoist rope and properly terminated above the primary hoist 
rope attachment with at least two clips on each end or with equivalent 
strength chains.
    (e) At least 2 feet of clearance must be maintained between the 
highest part of the secondary attachment and the head sheave when the 
gunboat is positioned in the full dump position.
    (f) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO) 
becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its 
approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the District Manager. These 
proposed revisions will include initial and refresher training 
regarding compliance with the PDO.
    The petitioner asserts that the alternative method will guarantee 
no less than the same measure of protection for all miners than that of 
the existing standard.

Sheila McConnell,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2019-02745 Filed 2-19-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4520-43-P