Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 44925-44930 [2019-18375]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices Title of Collection: Access to Multiemployer Plan Information. OMB Control Number: 1210–0131. Affected Public: Private Sector— businesses or other for-profits and notfor-profit institutions. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,636. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 235,798. Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 30,379 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $521,815. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). I. Background Dated: August 20, 2019. Frederick Licari, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2019–18338 Filed 8–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–29–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice is a summary of petitions for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below. DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before September 26, 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: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Deputy 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 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 service such as UPS or Federal Express on or before the deadline for comments. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202–693– 9440 (voice), fontaine.roslyn@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. 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–2019–046–C. Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219. Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09018, located in Mingo County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric equipment and conductors; permissibility). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces. The petitioner states that: (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372, 75.1002(a), and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44925 necessary. It is necessary to determine the exact location and extent of mine workings to ensure the safety of miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines which may mine in close proximity to the active mines. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, and complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) The operator may use the following total stations and theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or greater within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces subject to this petition: —Sokkia CX–105 —TopCon 235 (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating. (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook will be made available to MSHA on request. (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be examined by the person who operates the equipment prior to taking the equipment underground to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The result of these examinations will be recorded in the logbook and will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case; (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion; (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery; (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections; and E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 44926 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to ensure that it is securely fastened. (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at least 1 year. (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dates of service will be recorded in the equipment’s logbook and will include a description of the work performed. (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions of this petition. (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When 1.0 percent or more methane is detected while such equipment is being used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings and longwall faces. All requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied with prior to entering within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces, the surveyor(s) will conduct a visual examination of the immediate area for evidence that the area appears to be sufficiently rock-dusted and for the presence of accumulated float coal dust. If the rock-dusting appears insufficient or the presence of accumulated float coal dust is observed, the equipment will not be energized until sufficient rock-dust has been applied and/or the accumulations of float coal dust have been cleaned up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is to be used in an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a working face where a continuous mining machine is used, the area will be rocked-dusted prior to energizing the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment. (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces, methane tests will be made in accordance with 30 CFR 75.323(a). Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces when production is occurring. (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any non-certified person enters the area. (m) 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 within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces. If there are two people in the surveying crew, both persons will continuously monitor for methane. The other person will either be a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, or be in the process of being trained to be a qualified person but has yet to make such tests for a period of 6 months, as required in 30 CFR 75.150. Upon completion of the 6-month training period, the second person on the surveying crew must become qualified, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, in order to continue on the surveying crew. If the surveying crew consists of one person, that person will monitor for methane with two separate devices. (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings or longwall faces. Replacement batteries will be carried only in the compartment provided for a spare battery in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment carrying case. Before each shift of surveying, all batteries for the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be charged sufficiently so that they are not expected to be replaced on that shift. (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces, the surveyor will confirm by measurement or by inquiry of the person in charge of the section, that the air quantity on the section, on that shift, within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces is at least the minimum quantity that is required by the mine’s ventilation plan. (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with the use of such PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 equipment in areas where methane could be present. (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces. A record of the training will be kept with the other training records. (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000–23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training. (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final. After 5 years, the operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the date of manufacture. (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces, regardless of whether the equipment is used by the operator or by an independent contractor. (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the following conditions: On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind of the discharge point of any face E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices ventilation controls, such as tubing (including controls such as ‘‘baloney skins’’) or curtains. Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air from where production is occurring. Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in a split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls means any change to the mine’s ventilation system that causes the ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine’s approved ventilation plan. If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation controls will be reestablished immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other applicable laws, standards, or regulations. Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and time of the disruption and the date and time the surveyor communicated the disruption to the section foreman, the date and time production ceased, the date and time ventilation was reestablished, and the date and time production resumed. All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The operator will keep a record of VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. 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–2019–047–C. Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219. Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09018, located in Mingo County, West Virginia. 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 battery-powered nonpermissible 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) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) The operator utilizes the continuous mining method. Accurate surveying is critical to the safety of the miners at the mine. (3) Mechanical surveying equipment has been obsolete for a number of years. Such equipment of acceptable quality is not commercially available. Further, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have such equipment serviced or repaired. (4) Electronic surveying equipment is, at a minimum, 8 to 10 times more accurate than mechanical equipment. (5) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, and complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) The operator may use the following total stations and theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or greater in or inby the last open crosscut, subject to this petition: —Sokkia CX–105 —TopCon 235 (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-voltage or PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44927 battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating. (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook will be made available to MSHA on request. (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by the person who operates the equipment prior to taking the equipment underground to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The result of these examinations will be recorded in the logbook and will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case; (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion; (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery; (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections; and (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to ensure that it is securely fastened. (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at least 1 year. (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dates of service will be recorded in the equipment’s logbook and will include a description of the work performed. (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions of this petition. (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. 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. E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 44928 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices All requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied with prior to entering in or inby the last open crosscut. (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within in or inby the last open crosscut, the surveyor(s) will conduct a visual examination of the immediate area for evidence that the area appears to be sufficiently rockdusted and for the presence of accumulated float coal dust. If the rockdusting appears insufficient or the presence of accumulated float coal dust is observed, the equipment will not be energized until sufficient rock-dust has been applied and/or the accumulations of float coal dust have been cleaned up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is to be used in an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a working face where a continuous mining machine is used, the area will be rocked-dusted prior to energizing the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment. (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent. (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut, methane tests will be made in accordance with 30 CFR 75.323(a). Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in or inby the last open crosscut when production is occurring. (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any non-certified person enters the area. (m) 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. If there are two people in the surveying crew, both persons will continuously monitor for methane. The other person will either be a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, or be in the process of being trained to be a qualified person but has yet to make such tests for a period of 6 months, as required in 30 CFR 75.150. Upon completion of the 6month training period, the second person on the surveying crew must become qualified, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, in order to continue on the surveying crew. If the surveying crew consists of one person, that person will VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 monitor for methane with two separate devices. (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut. Replacement batteries will be carried only in the compartment provided for a spare battery in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment carrying case. Before each shift of surveying, all batteries for the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be charged sufficiently so that they are not expected to be replaced on that shift. (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut, the surveyor will confirm by measurement or by inquiry of the person in charge of the section, that the air quantity on the section, on that shift, in or inby the last open crosscut is at least the minimum quantity that is required by the mine’s ventilation plan. (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with the use of such equipment in areas where methane could be present. (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last open crosscut. A record of the training will be kept with the other training records. (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000–23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training. (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final. After 5 years, the PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the date of manufacture. (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut, regardless of whether the equipment is used by the operator or by an independent contractor. (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the following conditions: —On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind of the discharge point of any face ventilation controls, such as tubing (including controls such as ‘‘baloney skins’’) or curtains. —Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air from where production is occurring. —Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in a split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls means any change to the mine’s ventilation system that causes the ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine’s approved ventilation plan. —If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation controls will be reestablished immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other applicable laws, standards, or regulations. —Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and time of the disruption and the date and time the E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices surveyor communicated the disruption to the section foreman, the date and time production ceased, the date and time ventilation was reestablished, and the date and time production resumed. —All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. —The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. 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–2019–048–C. Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219. Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46–09018, located in Mingo County, West Virginia. 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 battery-powered nonpermissible 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) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200(a), use of the most practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes the following: (a) The operator may use the following total stations and theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or greater in return airways, subject to this petition: —Sokkia CX–105 —TopCon 235 (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating. (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook will be made available to MSHA on request. (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in return airways will be examined by the person who operates the equipment prior to taking the equipment underground to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The result of these examinations will be recorded in the logbook and will include: (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the integrity of the case; (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion; (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection to the battery; (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to ensure proper connections; and (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to ensure that it is securely fastened. (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at least 1 year. (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Dates PO 00000 Frm 00088 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44929 of service will be recorded in the equipment’s logbook and will include a description of the work performed. (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in return airways will not be put into service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions of this petition. (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. 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 return airways. All requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied with prior to entering in return airways. (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways, the surveyor(s) will conduct a visual examination of the immediate area for evidence that the area appears to be sufficiently rock-dusted and for the presence of accumulated float coal dust. If the rock-dusting appears insufficient or the presence of accumulated float coal dust is observed, the equipment will not be energized until sufficient rock-dust has been applied and/or the accumulations of float coal dust have been cleaned up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is to be used in an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a working face where a continuous mining machine is used, the area will be rocked-dusted prior to energizing the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment. (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent. (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways, methane tests will be made in accordance with 30 CFR 75.323(a). Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in return airways when production is occurring. (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any non-certified person enters the area. (m) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use of nonpermissible E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1 jspears on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 44930 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 166 / Tuesday, August 27, 2019 / Notices electronic surveying equipment in return airways. If there are two people in the surveying crew, both persons will continuously monitor for methane. The other person will either be a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, or be in the process of being trained to be a qualified person but has yet to make such tests for a period of 6 months, as required in 30 CFR 75.150. Upon completion of the 6-month training period, the second person on the surveying crew must become qualified, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, in order to continue on the surveying crew. If the surveying crew consists of one person, that person will monitor for methane with two separate devices. (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of return airways. Replacement batteries will be carried only in the compartment provided for a spare battery in the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment carrying case. Before each shift of surveying, all batteries for the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be charged sufficiently so that they are not expected to be replaced on that shift. (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways, the surveyor will confirm by measurement or by inquiry of the person in charge of the section, that the air quantity on the section, on that shift, in return airways is at least the minimum quantity that is required by the mine’s ventilation plan. (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards and limitations associated with the use of such equipment in areas where methane could be present. (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways. A record of the training will be kept with the other training records. (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000–23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:12 Aug 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes final. After 5 years, the operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the date of manufacture. (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in return airways, regardless of whether the equipment is used by the operator or by an independent contractor. (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the following conditions: —On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind of the discharge point of any face ventilation controls, such as tubing (including controls such as ‘‘baloney skins’’) or curtains. —Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air from where production is occurring. —Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in a split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls means any change to the mine’s ventilation system that causes the ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine’s approved ventilation plan. —If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation PO 00000 Frm 00089 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 controls will be reestablished immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other applicable laws, standards, or regulations. —Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and time of the disruption and the date and time the surveyor communicated the disruption to the section foreman, the date and time production ceased, the date and time ventilation was reestablished, and the date and time production resumed. —All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. —The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to MSHA on request. 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. Roslyn B. Fontaine, Deputy Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2019–18375 Filed 8–26–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P E:\FR\FM\27AUN1.SGM 27AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 166 (Tuesday, August 27, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44925-44930]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-18375]


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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.

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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 September 26, 
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: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Deputy 
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: Roslyn B. Fontaine, 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-2019-046-C.
    Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant 
Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219.
    Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09018, located in Mingo County, 
West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
including, but not limited to, portable battery-operated mine transits, 
total station surveying equipment, distance meters, and data loggers, 
within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372, 75.1002(a), and 75.1200, use of the most 
practical and accurate surveying equipment is necessary. It is 
necessary to determine the exact location and extent of mine workings 
to ensure the safety of miners in active mines and to protect miners in 
future mines which may mine in close proximity to the active mines.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, 
and complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise 
measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) The operator may use the following total stations and 
theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and 
theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or 
greater within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces subject to 
this petition:

--Sokkia CX-105
--TopCon 235

    (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-
voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and 
theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and 
theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating.
    (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying 
equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record 
books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are 
kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase 
of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook 
will be made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will be examined 
by the person who operates the equipment prior to taking the equipment 
underground to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. The result of these examinations will be recorded 
in the logbook and will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case;
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion;
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery;
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections; and

[[Page 44926]]

    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to 
ensure that it is securely fastened.
    (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified 
person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be 
recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at 
least 1 year.
    (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer's 
recommendations. Dates of service will be recorded in the equipment's 
logbook and will include a description of the work performed.
    (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used within 
150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions of this 
petition.
    (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used 
if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. When 
1.0 percent or more methane is detected while such equipment is being 
used, the equipment will be de-energized immediately and withdrawn 
further than 150 feet from pillar workings and longwall faces. All 
requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied with prior to entering 
within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces.
    (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings or longwall 
faces, the surveyor(s) will conduct a visual examination of the 
immediate area for evidence that the area appears to be sufficiently 
rock-dusted and for the presence of accumulated float coal dust. If the 
rock-dusting appears insufficient or the presence of accumulated float 
coal dust is observed, the equipment will not be energized until 
sufficient rock-dust has been applied and/or the accumulations of float 
coal dust have been cleaned up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment is to be used in an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a 
working face where a continuous mining machine is used, the area will 
be rocked-dusted prior to energizing the nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment.
    (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible 
warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent.
    (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment within 150 feet of pillar workings and longwall faces, 
methane tests will be made in accordance with 30 CFR 75.323(a). 
Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used within 
150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces when production is 
occurring.
    (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 
CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental 
examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any 
non-certified person enters the area.
    (m) 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 within 150 feet of 
pillar workings and longwall faces. If there are two people in the 
surveying crew, both persons will continuously monitor for methane. The 
other person will either be a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 
75.151, or be in the process of being trained to be a qualified person 
but has yet to make such tests for a period of 6 months, as required in 
30 CFR 75.150. Upon completion of the 6-month training period, the 
second person on the surveying crew must become qualified, as defined 
in 30 CFR 75.151, in order to continue on the surveying crew. If the 
surveying crew consists of one person, that person will monitor for 
methane with two separate devices.
    (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air more than 150 
feet from pillar workings or longwall faces. Replacement batteries will 
be carried only in the compartment provided for a spare battery in the 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment carrying case. Before 
each shift of surveying, all batteries for the nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment will be charged sufficiently so that 
they are not expected to be replaced on that shift.
    (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 
150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces, the surveyor will 
confirm by measurement or by inquiry of the person in charge of the 
section, that the air quantity on the section, on that shift, within 
150 feet of pillar workings or longwall faces is at least the minimum 
quantity that is required by the mine's ventilation plan.
    (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards 
and limitations associated with the use of such equipment in areas 
where methane could be present.
    (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific 
training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar 
workings or longwall faces. A record of the training will be kept with 
the other training records.
    (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 
days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and 
conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000-
23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training.
    (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic 
surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 
within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the 
date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or 
retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years 
prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station 
or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and 
acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes 
final. After 5 years, the operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing 
new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older 
than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other 
electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the 
date of manufacture.
    (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired 
by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The 
conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment used within 150 feet of pillar workings 
or longwall faces, regardless of whether the equipment is used by the 
operator or by an independent contractor.
    (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the 
following conditions:
    On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind 
of the discharge point of any face

[[Page 44927]]

ventilation controls, such as tubing (including controls such as 
``baloney skins'') or curtains.
    Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air 
from where production is occurring.
    Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in a 
split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be 
disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls 
means any change to the mine's ventilation system that causes the 
ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine's 
approved ventilation plan.
    If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the 
surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman 
that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while 
ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation controls will be reestablished 
immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production 
will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and 
are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other 
applicable laws, standards, or regulations.
    Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook 
required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the 
nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and 
time of the disruption and the date and time the surveyor communicated 
the disruption to the section foreman, the date and time production 
ceased, the date and time ventilation was reestablished, and the date 
and time production resumed.
    All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other 
personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations 
will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the 
requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition 
becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is 
occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide 
the record to MSHA on request.
    The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who 
will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance 
with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will 
train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The 
operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to 
MSHA on request.
    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-2019-047-C.
    Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant 
Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219.
    Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09018, located in Mingo County, 
West Virginia.
    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 battery-powered nonpermissible 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) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) The operator utilizes the continuous mining method. Accurate 
surveying is critical to the safety of the miners at the mine.
    (3) Mechanical surveying equipment has been obsolete for a number 
of years. Such equipment of acceptable quality is not commercially 
available. Further, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have such 
equipment serviced or repaired.
    (4) Electronic surveying equipment is, at a minimum, 8 to 10 times 
more accurate than mechanical equipment.
    (5) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, 
and complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise 
measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) The operator may use the following total stations and 
theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and 
theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or 
greater in or inby the last open crosscut, subject to this petition:

--Sokkia CX-105
--TopCon 235

    (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-
voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and 
theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and 
theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating.
    (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying 
equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record 
books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are 
kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase 
of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook 
will be made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by the person who 
operates the equipment prior to taking the equipment underground to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
The result of these examinations will be recorded in the logbook and 
will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case;
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion;
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery;
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections; and
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to 
ensure that it is securely fastened.
    (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified 
person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be 
recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at 
least 1 year.
    (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer's 
recommendations. Dates of service will be recorded in the equipment's 
logbook and will include a description of the work performed.
    (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in or 
inby the last open crosscut will not be put into service until MSHA has 
initially inspected the equipment and determined that it is in 
compliance with all the terms and conditions of this petition.
    (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used 
if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. 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.

[[Page 44928]]

All requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied with prior to 
entering in or inby the last open crosscut.
    (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment within in or inby the last open crosscut, the 
surveyor(s) will conduct a visual examination of the immediate area for 
evidence that the area appears to be sufficiently rock-dusted and for 
the presence of accumulated float coal dust. If the rock-dusting 
appears insufficient or the presence of accumulated float coal dust is 
observed, the equipment will not be energized until sufficient rock-
dust has been applied and/or the accumulations of float coal dust have 
been cleaned up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is to 
be used in an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a working face 
where a continuous mining machine is used, the area will be rocked-
dusted prior to energizing the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment.
    (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible 
warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent.
    (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment in or inby the last open crosscut, methane tests will be made 
in accordance with 30 CFR 75.323(a). Nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment will not be used in or inby the last open crosscut 
when production is occurring.
    (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 
CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental 
examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any 
non-certified person enters the area.
    (m) 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. If there are two people in the surveying crew, both 
persons will continuously monitor for methane. The other person will 
either be a qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, or be in the 
process of being trained to be a qualified person but has yet to make 
such tests for a period of 6 months, as required in 30 CFR 75.150. Upon 
completion of the 6-month training period, the second person on the 
surveying crew must become qualified, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, in 
order to continue on the surveying crew. If the surveying crew consists 
of one person, that person will monitor for methane with two separate 
devices.
    (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air outby the last 
open crosscut. Replacement batteries will be carried only in the 
compartment provided for a spare battery in the nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment carrying case. Before each shift of 
surveying, all batteries for the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment will be charged sufficiently so that they are not expected to 
be replaced on that shift.
    (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or 
inby the last open crosscut, the surveyor will confirm by measurement 
or by inquiry of the person in charge of the section, that the air 
quantity on the section, on that shift, in or inby the last open 
crosscut is at least the minimum quantity that is required by the 
mine's ventilation plan.
    (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards 
and limitations associated with the use of such equipment in areas 
where methane could be present.
    (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific 
training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in or inby the last open 
crosscut. A record of the training will be kept with the other training 
records.
    (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 
days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and 
conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000-
23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training.
    (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic 
surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 
within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the 
date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or 
retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years 
prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station 
or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and 
acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes 
final. After 5 years, the operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing 
new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older 
than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other 
electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the 
date of manufacture.
    (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired 
by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The 
conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment used in or inby the last open crosscut, 
regardless of whether the equipment is used by the operator or by an 
independent contractor.
    (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the 
following conditions:
    --On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind 
of the discharge point of any face ventilation controls, such as tubing 
(including controls such as ``baloney skins'') or curtains.
    --Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air 
from where production is occurring.
    --Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in 
a split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be 
disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls 
means any change to the mine's ventilation system that causes the 
ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine's 
approved ventilation plan.
    --If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the 
surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman 
that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while 
ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation controls will be reestablished 
immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production 
will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and 
are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other 
applicable laws, standards, or regulations.
    --Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook 
required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the 
nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and 
time of the disruption and the date and time the

[[Page 44929]]

surveyor communicated the disruption to the section foreman, the date 
and time production ceased, the date and time ventilation was 
reestablished, and the date and time production resumed.
    --All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other 
personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations 
will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the 
requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition 
becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is 
occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide 
the record to MSHA on request.
    --The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who 
will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance 
with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will 
train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The 
operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to 
MSHA on request.
    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-2019-048-C.
    Petitioner: Jet Coal Co., Inc., One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant 
Street, Suite 4300, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219.
    Mines: No. 8 Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 46-09018, located in Mingo County, 
West Virginia.
    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 battery-powered nonpermissible 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) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200(a), use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to miners. Underground mining by its nature, size, 
and complexity of mine plans requires that accurate and precise 
measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner.
    As an alternative to the existing standard, the petitioner proposes 
the following:
    (a) The operator may use the following total stations and 
theodolites and similar low-voltage battery-operated total stations and 
theodolites if they have an ingress protection (IP) rating of 66 or 
greater in return airways, subject to this petition:

--Sokkia CX-105
--TopCon 235

    (b) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is low-
voltage or battery-powered nonpermissible total stations and 
theodolites. All nonpermissible electronic total stations and 
theodolites will have an IP 66 or greater rating.
    (c) The operator will maintain a logbook for electronic surveying 
equipment with the equipment, or in the location where mine record 
books are kept, or in the location where the surveying record books are 
kept. The logbook will contain the date of manufacture and/or purchase 
of each particular piece of electronic surveying equipment. The logbook 
will be made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by the person who operates the 
equipment prior to taking the equipment underground to ensure the 
equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. The result 
of these examinations will be recorded in the logbook and will include:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case;
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion;
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery;
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections; and
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover or battery attachment to 
ensure that it is securely fastened.
    (e) The equipment will be examined at least weekly by a qualified 
person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.153. The examination results will be 
recorded weekly in the equipment logbook and will be maintained for at 
least 1 year.
    (f) The operator will ensure that all nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment is serviced according to the manufacturer's 
recommendations. Dates of service will be recorded in the equipment's 
logbook and will include a description of the work performed.
    (g) The nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment used in 
return airways will not be put into service until MSHA has initially 
inspected the equipment and determined that it is in compliance with 
all the terms and conditions of this petition.
    (h) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used 
if methane is detected in concentrations at or above 1.0 percent. 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 return airways. All requirements of 30 CFR 75.323 will be complied 
with prior to entering in return airways.
    (i) Prior to setting up and energizing nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment in return airways, the surveyor(s) will conduct a 
visual examination of the immediate area for evidence that the area 
appears to be sufficiently rock-dusted and for the presence of 
accumulated float coal dust. If the rock-dusting appears insufficient 
or the presence of accumulated float coal dust is observed, the 
equipment will not be energized until sufficient rock-dust has been 
applied and/or the accumulations of float coal dust have been cleaned 
up. If nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment is to be used in 
an area not rock-dusted within 40 feet of a working face where a 
continuous mining machine is used, the area will be rocked-dusted prior 
to energizing the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment.
    (j) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition, as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320. All methane detectors will provide visual and audible 
warnings when methane is detected at or above 1.0 percent.
    (k) Prior to energizing nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment in return airways, methane tests will be made in accordance 
with 30 CFR 75.323(a). Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
will not be used in return airways when production is occurring.
    (l) Prior to surveying, the area will be examined according to 30 
CFR 75.360. If the area has not been examined, a supplemental 
examination according to 30 CFR 75.361 will be performed before any 
non-certified person enters the area.
    (m) A qualified person, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible

[[Page 44930]]

electronic surveying equipment in return airways. If there are two 
people in the surveying crew, both persons will continuously monitor 
for methane. The other person will either be a qualified person, as 
defined in 30 CFR 75.151, or be in the process of being trained to be a 
qualified person but has yet to make such tests for a period of 6 
months, as required in 30 CFR 75.150. Upon completion of the 6-month 
training period, the second person on the surveying crew must become 
qualified, as defined in 30 CFR 75.151, in order to continue on the 
surveying crew. If the surveying crew consists of one person, that 
person will monitor for methane with two separate devices.
    (n) Batteries contained in the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment will be changed out or charged in fresh air out of return 
airways. Replacement batteries will be carried only in the compartment 
provided for a spare battery in the nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment carrying case. Before each shift of surveying, all batteries 
for the nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will be charged 
sufficiently so that they are not expected to be replaced on that 
shift.
    (o) When using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in 
return airways, the surveyor will confirm by measurement or by inquiry 
of the person in charge of the section, that the air quantity on the 
section, on that shift, in return airways is at least the minimum 
quantity that is required by the mine's ventilation plan.
    (p) Personnel engaged in the use of nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment will be properly trained to recognize the hazards 
and limitations associated with the use of such equipment in areas 
where methane could be present.
    (q) All members of the surveying crew will receive specific 
training on the terms and conditions of the petition before using 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment in return airways. A 
record of the training will be kept with the other training records.
    (r) If the petition is granted, the operator will submit within 60 
days after the petition is final, proposed revisions for its approved 
30 CFR part 48 training plans to the District Manager. These revisions 
will specify initial and refresher training regarding the terms and 
conditions of the petition. When training is conducted on the terms and 
conditions in the petition, an MSHA Certificate of Training (Form 5000-
23) will be completed and will indicate that it was surveyor training.
    (s) The operator will replace or retire from service any electronic 
surveying instrument that was acquired prior to December 31, 2004 
within 1 year of the petition becoming final. Within 3 years of the 
date that the petition becomes final, the operator will replace or 
retire from service any theodolite that was acquired more than 5 years 
prior to the date that the petition becomes final or any total station 
or other electronic surveying equipment identified in this petition and 
acquired more than 10 years prior to the date that the petition becomes 
final. After 5 years, the operator will maintain a cycle of purchasing 
new electronic surveying equipment whereby theodolites will be no older 
than 5 years from the date of manufacture and total stations and other 
electronic surveying equipment will be no older than 10 years from the 
date of manufacture.
    (t) The operator will ensure that all surveying contractors hired 
by the operator are using nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment 
in accordance with the terms and conditions of this petition. The 
conditions of use in the petition will apply to all nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment used in return airways, regardless of 
whether the equipment is used by the operator or by an independent 
contractor.
    (u) The petitioner states that it may use nonpermissible electronic 
surveying equipment when production is occurring, subject to the 
following conditions:
    --On a mechanized mining unit (MMU) where production is occurring, 
nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used downwind 
of the discharge point of any face ventilation controls, such as tubing 
(including controls such as ``baloney skins'') or curtains.
    --Production may continue while nonpermissible electronic surveying 
equipment is used, if such equipment is used in a separate split of air 
from where production is occurring.
    --Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment will not be used in 
a split of air ventilating an MMU if any ventilation controls will be 
disrupted during such surveying. Disruption of ventilation controls 
means any change to the mine's ventilation system that causes the 
ventilation system not to function in accordance with the mine's 
approved ventilation plan.
    --If, while surveying, a surveyor must disrupt ventilation, the 
surveyor will cease surveying and communicate to the section foreman 
that ventilation must be disrupted. Production will stop while 
ventilation is disrupted. Ventilation controls will be reestablished 
immediately after the disruption is no longer necessary. Production 
will only resume after all ventilation controls are reestablished and 
are in compliance with approved ventilation or other plans, and other 
applicable laws, standards, or regulations.
    --Any disruption in ventilation will be recorded in the logbook 
required by the petition. The logbook will include a description of the 
nature of the disruption, the location of the disruption, the date and 
time of the disruption and the date and time the surveyor communicated 
the disruption to the section foreman, the date and time production 
ceased, the date and time ventilation was reestablished, and the date 
and time production resumed.
    --All surveyors, section foremen, section crew members, and other 
personnel who will be involved with or affected by surveying operations 
will receive training in accordance with 30 CFR 48.7 on the 
requirements of the petition within 60 days of the date the petition 
becomes final. The training will be completed before any nonpermissible 
electronic surveying equipment can be used while production is 
occurring. The operator will keep a record of the training and provide 
the record to MSHA on request.
    --The operator will provide annual retraining to all personnel who 
will be involved with or affected by surveying operations in accordance 
with 30 CFR 48.8. The operator will train new miners on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.5, and will 
train experienced miners, as defined in 30 CFR 48.6, on the 
requirements of the petition in accordance with 30 CFR 48.6. The 
operator will keep a record of the training and provide the record to 
MSHA on request.
    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.

Roslyn B. Fontaine,
Deputy Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2019-18375 Filed 8-26-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4520-43-P