Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 29881-29883 [2019-13472]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before July 25, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ‘‘docket number’’ on the subject line, by any of the following methods: 1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHAcomments@dol.gov. Include the docket number of the petition in the subject line of the message. 2. Facsimile: 202–693–9441. 3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering documents are required to check in at the receptionist’s desk in Suite 4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petition and comments during normal business hours at the address listed above. MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila McConnell, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202–693– 9440 (Voice), barron.barbara@dol.gov (Email), or 202–693–9441 (Facsimile). [These are not toll-free numbers.] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:35 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that: 1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or 2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine. In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification. II. Petitions for Modification Docket Number: M–2019–016–C. Petitioner: S & J Coal Company, 15 Road View Lane, Pine Grove, Pennsylvania 17963. Mine: Slope #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36–09963, 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. The petitioner states that: (1) To date, a functional safety catch has not been developed because no such safety catch or device is available for steeply pitching and undulating slopes with numerous curves and knuckles present in the main haulage slopes of anthracite mines. Makeshift devices, if installed, could be activated on knuckles and curves when no emergency exists causing a tumbling effect on the conveyance which would increase rather than decrease the hazard to miners. (2) Anthracite mine slopes range in length from 180 to 1,000 feet and vary in pitch from 30 to 75 degrees. (3) 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 (3). 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 the gunboat at any location along the slope. (b) The design safety factor of the hoist rope will be maintained at all times not less than three (3) times the value specified in 30 CFR 75.1431. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29881 (c) A detailed inspection procedure of the ropes and terminations used at the mine will be posted in the hoist house and will be complied with at all times. (d) A secondary 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 and be of the same size as the primary hoist rope, 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 alternative method stated in the petition and the special terms and conditions stated in 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–2019–017–C. Petitioner: Blackjewel, LLC, P.O. Box 249, Stanville, Kentucky 41659. Mine: D–31 Cut-Through Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 44–06782, located in Lee County, Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1108(c) (Approved conveyor belts). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit the continued use of existing steel cable conveyor belt. The petitioner states that: —The D–31 Cut-Through mine is not an active mine and is in non-producing status; however, it is used as a belt corridor to convey coal mined in Kentucky to the preparation and loadout facilities in Virginia. Therefore, no coal is being mined and there is typically only one employee that conducts examinations. —The mine is approximately 9,500 feet long, is in a straight line, and has portals on each end for access. —The mine has no belt drives, take-ups, transfer points, nor power underground, other than the lowvoltage power required for mine phones, mine monitoring equipment, tracking, and communications. E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 29882 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Notices —The main travelway in the mine is beside the belt so that every time the mine is examined, the belt is examined in its entirety. —The mine currently has carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring at 1,000 feet spacing for fire detection. —The mine currently has fire valves for firefighting at a maximum spacing of 300 feet along the belt, with enough hose stored along the belt to reach the entire length of the belt from the valves. —There are no seals in the mine. —The existing conveyor belt has been in service since approximately 2003 and has no incidents or issues due to the design and layout of the belt. —The belt is a steel cable belt with approximately 20,000 feet of belt that is continuous using vulcanized splices with a few temporary maintenance clips here and there., The belt has never been replaced in its entirety since its installation. —The petitioner states that the belt has several years of life left on the belt. —The belt is equipped with turnovers outside on each end of the belt, such that no rollers contact the coal carrying dirty side of the belt anywhere underground. The petitioner states that the design virtually eliminates carryback and reduces significantly the risk of fire associated with the belt. The design also minimizes wear on the rollers. —There is no return since there is no mining being done in the mine. All entries are intake. —Belt air velocity is typically greater than 100 feet per minute and over 10,000 cubic feet per minute. —The mines uses tracking radios, mine phones, and a dial telephone midway for communication. —Employees in the mine, with usually one employee working in the mine at any time, have two means of escape on either end of the belt. The petitioner proposes the following actions in order to continue using the conveyor belt currently in use. (1) Replace the belt with Part 14 compliant belt when it becomes necessary to replace the belt. (2) Activate a different CO sensor each day by applying 50 parts per millions CO gas until all CO sensors are checked, then repeat. (3) Inspect the belt and belt entry twice each shift when the belt is running. The petitioner states that the proposed alternative method will provide a degree of safety that is at least equal to the requirements of the existing standard. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:35 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 Docket Number: M–2019–018–C. Petitioner: Hartshorne Mining Group, LLC, P.O. Box 449, Calhoun, Kentucky 42327. Mine: Poplar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19806, located in McLean County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric equipment). 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 surveying equipment including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, in or inby the last open crosscut. The petitioner states that: (1) The alternative method of compliance will allow the mine operator to comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, using the most practical and accurate surveying equipment. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. (3) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The examination will include the following: (a) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (b) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (c) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (d) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (e) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to ensure that it is securely fastened. (4) The results of the examinations will be recorded and retained for 1 year and made available to MSHA on request. (5) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. (6) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent for the area being PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 surveyed. When 1.0 percent or more methane is detected while such equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and withdrawn outby the last open crosscut. (7) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (8) Batteries in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut. (9) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in areas where methane may be present. (10) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be put into service in or inby the last open crosscut until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in 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. Docket Number: M–2019–019–C. Petitioner: Hartshorne Mining, LLC, P.O. Box 449, Calhoun, Kentucky 42327. Mine: Poplar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15–19806, located in McLean County, Kentucky. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507– 1(a) (Electric equipment other than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; permissibility requirements). 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 surveying equipment including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, in return airways. The petitioner states that: (1) The alternative method of compliance will allow the mine operator to comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, using the most practical and accurate surveying equipment. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 122 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 / Notices (3) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The examination will include the following: (a) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case. (b) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion. (c) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery. (d) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections. (e) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to ensure that it is securely fastened. (4) The results of the examinations will be recorded and retained for 1 year and made available to MSHA on request. (5) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways. (6) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent for the area being surveyed. When 1.0 percent or more methane is detected while such equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and withdrawn out of the return airway. (7) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. (8) Batteries in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of the return airway. (9) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in areas where methane may be present. (10) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be put into service in the return airway until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this petition. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at all times guarantee no less than the same VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:35 Jun 24, 2019 Jkt 247001 measure of protection afforded by the existing standard. Sheila McConnell, Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2019–13472 Filed 6–24–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment Request National Science Foundation. Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request. AGENCY: ACTION: The National Science Foundation (NSF) has submitted the following information collection requirement to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This is the second notice for public comment; the first was published in the Federal Register, and no comments were received. NSF is forwarding the proposed submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance simultaneously with the publication of this second notice. The full submission may be found at: http:// www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. DATES: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received by July 25, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for National Science Foundation, 725 17th Street, NW, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, and Suzanne H. Plimpton, Reports Clearance Officer, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314, or send email to splimpto@ nsf.gov. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877– 8339, which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (including federal holidays). Copies of the submission may be obtained by calling 703–292–7556. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: NSF may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29883 Comments regarding (a) whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of burden including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology should be addressed to the points of contact in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Title of Collection: Biological Sciences Proposal Classification Forms. OMB Number: 3145–0203. Overview of this Information Collection: Five organizational units within the Directorate of Biological Sciences of the National Science Foundation will use the Biological Sciences Proposal Classification Form. They are the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems IOS) and Emerging Frontiers (EF). All scientists submitting proposals to these units will be asked to complete an electronic version of the Proposal Classification Form. The form consists of brief questions about the substance of the research and the investigator’s previous federal support. Each division will have a slightly different version of the form. In this way, submitters will only confront response choices that are relevant to their discipline. Use of the Information: The information gathered with the Biological Sciences Proposal Classification Form serves two main purposes. The first is facilitation of the proposal review process. Since peer review is a key component of NSF’s grant-making process, it is imperative that proposals are reviewed by scientists with appropriate expertise. The information collected with the Proposal Classification Form helps ensure that the proposals are evaluated by specialists who are well versed in appropriate subject matter. This helps maintain a fair and equitable review process. The second use of the information is program evaluation. The Directorate is committed to investing in a range of substantive areas. With data from this E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1

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[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 122 (Tuesday, June 25, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29881-29883]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-13472]



[[Page 29881]]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: This notice is a summary of petitions for modification 
submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the 
parties listed below.

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA's Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before July 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Electronic Mail: [email protected]. Include the docket 
number of the petition in the subject line of the message.
    2. Facsimile: 202-693-9441.
    3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, 
Arlington, Virginia 22202-5452, Attention: Sheila McConnell, Director, 
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. Persons delivering 
documents are required to check in at the receptionist's desk in Suite 
4E401. Individuals may inspect copies of the petition and comments 
during normal business hours at the address listed above.
    MSHA will consider only comments postmarked by the U.S. Postal 
Service or proof of delivery from another delivery service such as UPS 
or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety 
and Health Act of 1977 and Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of 
petitions for modification.

I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 
(Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file 
a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard 
to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that:
    1. An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard 
exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure 
of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or
    2. That the application of such standard to such mine will result 
in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.
    In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish 
the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2019-016-C.
    Petitioner: S & J Coal Company, 15 Road View Lane, Pine Grove, 
Pennsylvania 17963.
    Mine: Slope #2 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 36-09963, 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.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) To date, a functional safety catch has not been developed 
because no such safety catch or device is available for steeply 
pitching and undulating slopes with numerous curves and knuckles 
present in the main haulage slopes of anthracite mines. Makeshift 
devices, if installed, could be activated on knuckles and curves when 
no emergency exists causing a tumbling effect on the conveyance which 
would increase rather than decrease the hazard to miners.
    (2) Anthracite mine slopes range in length from 180 to 1,000 feet 
and vary in pitch from 30 to 75 degrees.
    (3) 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 (3).
    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 the gunboat at any 
location along the slope.
    (b) The design safety factor of the hoist rope will be maintained 
at all times not less than three (3) times the value 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 will be complied 
with at all times.
    (d) A secondary 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 and be of the 
same size as the primary hoist rope, 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 alternative method stated in the petition 
and the special terms and conditions stated in 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-2019-017-C.
    Petitioner: Blackjewel, LLC, P.O. Box 249, Stanville, Kentucky 
41659.
    Mine: D-31 Cut-Through Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 44-06782, located in Lee 
County, Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1108(c) (Approved conveyor belts).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit the continued use of existing steel cable 
conveyor belt.
    The petitioner states that:

--The D-31 Cut-Through mine is not an active mine and is in non-
producing status; however, it is used as a belt corridor to convey coal 
mined in Kentucky to the preparation and loadout facilities in 
Virginia. Therefore, no coal is being mined and there is typically only 
one employee that conducts examinations.
--The mine is approximately 9,500 feet long, is in a straight line, and 
has portals on each end for access.
--The mine has no belt drives, take-ups, transfer points, nor power 
underground, other than the low-voltage power required for mine phones, 
mine monitoring equipment, tracking, and communications.

[[Page 29882]]

--The main travelway in the mine is beside the belt so that every time 
the mine is examined, the belt is examined in its entirety.
--The mine currently has carbon monoxide (CO) monitoring at 1,000 feet 
spacing for fire detection.
--The mine currently has fire valves for firefighting at a maximum 
spacing of 300 feet along the belt, with enough hose stored along the 
belt to reach the entire length of the belt from the valves.
--There are no seals in the mine.
--The existing conveyor belt has been in service since approximately 
2003 and has no incidents or issues due to the design and layout of the 
belt.
--The belt is a steel cable belt with approximately 20,000 feet of belt 
that is continuous using vulcanized splices with a few temporary 
maintenance clips here and there., The belt has never been replaced in 
its entirety since its installation.
--The petitioner states that the belt has several years of life left on 
the belt.
--The belt is equipped with turnovers outside on each end of the belt, 
such that no rollers contact the coal carrying dirty side of the belt 
anywhere underground. The petitioner states that the design virtually 
eliminates carryback and reduces significantly the risk of fire 
associated with the belt. The design also minimizes wear on the 
rollers.
--There is no return since there is no mining being done in the mine. 
All entries are intake.
--Belt air velocity is typically greater than 100 feet per minute and 
over 10,000 cubic feet per minute.
--The mines uses tracking radios, mine phones, and a dial telephone 
midway for communication.
--Employees in the mine, with usually one employee working in the mine 
at any time, have two means of escape on either end of the belt.

    The petitioner proposes the following actions in order to continue 
using the conveyor belt currently in use.
    (1) Replace the belt with Part 14 compliant belt when it becomes 
necessary to replace the belt.
    (2) Activate a different CO sensor each day by applying 50 parts 
per millions CO gas until all CO sensors are checked, then repeat.
    (3) Inspect the belt and belt entry twice each shift when the belt 
is running.
    The petitioner states that the proposed alternative method will 
provide a degree of safety that is at least equal to the requirements 
of the existing standard.

    Docket Number: M-2019-018-C.
    Petitioner: Hartshorne Mining Group, LLC, P.O. Box 449, Calhoun, 
Kentucky 42327.
    Mine: Poplar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15-19806, located in McLean 
County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    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 surveying equipment 
including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, 
total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, 
in or inby the last open crosscut.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The alternative method of compliance will allow the mine 
operator to comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, using the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining requires that 
accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and 
efficient manner.
    (3) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. The examination will include the following:
    (a) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (b) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (c) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to 
the battery.
    (d) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (e) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to 
ensure that it is securely fastened.
    (4) The results of the examinations will be recorded and retained 
for 1 year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (5) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last 
open crosscut.
    (6) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used 
if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent for 
the area being surveyed. When 1.0 percent or more methane is detected 
while such equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized 
immediately and withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (7) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (8) Batteries in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last open 
crosscut.
    (9) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in areas where methane 
may be present.
    (10) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be 
put into service in or inby the last open crosscut until MSHA has 
initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in 
compliance with all the terms and conditions in 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.

    Docket Number: M-2019-019-C.
    Petitioner: Hartshorne Mining, LLC, P.O. Box 449, Calhoun, Kentucky 
42327.
    Mine: Poplar Grove Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 15-19806, located in McLean 
County, Kentucky.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    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 surveying equipment 
including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, 
total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, 
in return airways.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The alternative method of compliance will allow the mine 
operator to comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, using the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining requires that 
accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and 
efficient manner.

[[Page 29883]]

    (3) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
The examination will include the following:
    (a) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (b) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (c) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to 
the battery.
    (d) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (e) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to 
ensure that it is securely fastened.
    (4) The results of the examinations will be recorded and retained 
for 1 year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (5) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways.
    (6) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used 
if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent for 
the area being surveyed. When 1.0 percent or more methane is detected 
while such equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized 
immediately and withdrawn out of the return airway.
    (7) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (8) Batteries in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of the return airway.
    (9) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in areas where methane 
may be present.
    (10) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be 
put into service in the return airway until MSHA has initially 
inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with 
all the terms and conditions in 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. 2019-13472 Filed 6-24-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4520-43-P