Petition for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards, 36422-36424 [2020-12962]

Download as PDF 36422 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 116 / Tuesday, June 16, 2020 / Notices information collection requirements submitted to the OMB for existing ICRs receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. Agency: DOL–ETA. Title of Collection: Job Corps Placement and Assistance Record. OMB Control Number: 1205–0035. Affected Public: Individuals or Households. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 34,000. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 34,000. Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 4,210 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. I. Background Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). Crystal R. Rennie, Acting Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–12963 Filed 6–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FT–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration Petition for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: This notice is a summary of a petition for modification submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the party listed below. DATES: All comments on the petition must be received by MSHA’s Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before July 16, 2020. 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, Acting 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. lotter on DSK30NT082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:13 Jun 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 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: Aromie Noe, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances at 202–693– 9557 (voice), Noe.Song-Ae.A@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. 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 for filing petitions for modification. II. Petition for Modification Docket Number: M–2020–007–C. Petitioner: Rockwell Mining, LLC, 300 Kanawha Boulevard, East (ZIP 25301), P.O. Box 273, Charleston, West Virginia 25321–0273. Mine: Matewan Tunnel, MSHA I.D. No. 46–08610, located in Boone County, West Virginia. Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1108(c) (Approved conveyor belts). Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the Part 14 belt standard for Matewan Tunnel because of the unique layout of the mine as well as additional safety measures that will be put in place for its overland coal belt. These measures will make the conveyor belt in the Matewan Tunnel at least as safe as compliance with Part 14. The petitioner states that: (1) The Matewan Tunnel is a straight, three-entry tunnel mine developed in 1998. The mine has been non-producing since 1998. At the time of development, the sole purpose of the project was to provide an excavation to install a PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 conveyor system to transport raw coal. The seam is 33 inches thick, requiring 48 inches of outseam excavation to facilitate the conveyor system. The Matewan Tunnel does not liberate any methane. (2) The Matewan Tunnel consists of three entries developed on a straight course 10,500 feet from outcrop to outcrop. The roof in the belt entry (center entry) is supported by 6-foot fully grouted bolts with T5 steel channels in every row. Steel straps and four-foot conventional bolts support the ribs. The final conveyor structure is offset in the entry to provide complete access along its entire length. Thus, the ventilation system will not likely be compromised by roof or rib integrity measures. (3) The 42-inch conveyor is 12,445 feet long and is powered by two separate drive installations located on the surface at each end of the underground excavation (500 HP at Rocklick and 1,000 HP at Harris). The conveyor is uniquely designed to turn over on each end to maintain the material handling surface in an upward facing position. Both the top and bottom structure are troughed 35 degrees to provide simultaneous transportation capacity on the top and return portions of the belt. The conveyor uses special belt with steel cable carcass related at 1,900 pounds per inch of belt width. Traveling 680 feet per minute (FPM), the belt system has a carrying capacity of 1,000 tons per hour (TPH) on each belt (top and bottom totaling 2,000 TPH). (4) The Matewan Tunnel currently only transports a fraction of its design capacity. The Matewan Tunnel transports only raw coal from two continuous miner sections in the Black Oak Mine with an estimated daily volume of 4,000 raw tons to Rocklick. The return belt capacity is not utilized at the mine. —The portal at the Preparation Plant side of the Matewan Tunnel is known as the Rocklick Portal. The portal at the other end is known as the Harris Portal. The Matewan Tunnel is ventilated from the Rocklick Portal with a 5.5 foot blowing fan with a 1,200 revolutions per minute speed, set to Blade Setting No. 5, producing 95,000 cubic feet per minute of airflow. —At the Rocklick Portal, fresh air enters in the No. 1 entry and travels to the No. 11 crosscut and splits. A small portion of the air goes to entry Nos. 2 and 3 from crosscut No. 11 back to the surface at the Rocklick Portal. The remaining air flows to the Harris E:\FR\FM\16JNN1.SGM 16JNN1 lotter on DSK30NT082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 116 / Tuesday, June 16, 2020 / Notices Portal from crosscuts 11 to 75 in all three entries. The air in the Matewan Tunnel is considered intake common air. —The existing belt, which is believed to have been installed between 2005 and 2007, is in working condition with little wear. There are no belt drives, tails, or dumping points in the tunnel. The belt runs one shift per day, approximately 8 to 9 hours. At the Harris Portal, an additional 1,250 feet of conveyor takes the belt to the Black Oak Mine surface loading point. At the Rocklick Portal, about 500 feet of conveyor belt takes the coal to the raw coal pile. —The Matewan Tunnel has numerous safety features at or above the minimum standards, including: (a) Connecting crosscuts are open every 600 feet, on each stopping line. (b) Carbon monoxide monitors every 1,000 feet. (c) The conveyor has belt alignment rollers every 1,000 feet. (d) Fire taps located every 300 feet. Hoses are located at breaks #1, 37, and 74, which exceeds the minimum requirements. (f) Two-way communications (pager phones) are located underground at every seventh break throughout the mine. The control room operator at Rocklick monitors the communication system. Two-way wireless radios worn by the surface employees can communicate with the examiner underground. (g) The roadways are graveled. (h) Emergency belt stop switches every seventh break. (i) No violations have been issued on the belt since May 19, 1998. —Certified examiners travel the belt entry on a two-man rubber ride to examine the belt twice per shift and record those findings in the required examination books. —Normally, Matewan Tunnel operates with only one miner underground while the belt is running. The examiner of the Matewan Tunnel is a certified foreman and electrician. Examinations take about 1 hour per shift. When necessary, a certified miner helps with maintenance and other tasks in the mine. —There are no belt drives, tailpieces, or electric motors inside the Matewan Tunnel. The belt only runs through the mine on conveyor structure and rollers. —The belt is approximately 1 inch thick, 42 inches wide and has steel cable imbedded in the belt. The belt at each end is turned over so that the coal side is always facing up on VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:13 Jun 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 transport and return. The design greatly reduces any spillage and accumulations in the mine. —Self-Contained Self-Rescuer caches are stored at breaks 14, 28, 37, 42, 56, and 70. There are also emergency barricade materials kept in the No. 3 entry. —The Matewan Tunnel also has emergency lifelines throughout. Further, the following significant fire detection and fire-fighting devices are in the mine: (1) The beltline has 13 smoke detection and carbon monoxide (CO) sensors spaced approximately every 5 to 6 breaks. The CO sensors are currently set to ‘‘low alarm’’ at 5 parts per millions (ppm) and ‘‘high alarm’’ at 10 ppm, far below levels that present any danger to miners. The CO monitoring system will be shut off by the dispatcher if the belt hits ‘‘high alarm’’ and the sensor will be checked if it hits ‘‘low alarm.’’ (2) The two-man ride used to examine the belt has self-rescuers and separate fire extinguishers. —The only alternative to using the Matewan Tunnel belt will be to truck Black Oak Mine coal to Rocklick. This will significantly increase the number of trucks on Route 85 in Boone County between Black Oak and Rocklick Preparation Plant. The increase in trucks going in and out of the Rocklick Preparation Plant will also add congestion to the load out traffic flow. —The operator has not experienced any safety issues with the conveyor belt in the Matewan Tunnel nor has it received any 30 CFR 75.400 citations for accumulations of combustible materials during current ownership. The operator has not experienced any fire related issues on the conveyor belt at the Matewan Tunnel nor has it experienced any significant issues with rollers on the belt in the Matewan Tunnel beyond routine maintenance. —Based on a chemical laboratory analysis, the belt has been confirmed to be Part 18 compliant. The belt has not been tested for Part 14 compliance due to the operator’s difficulty in finding an appropriate testing facility. The petitioner proposes the following alternative method of achieving the purposes of the standard: (a) Prior to a qualified person entering the mine, the CO system data from the prior 2 hours will be monitored for any sign of combustion. At the end of coal transport each day (fire run), the CO system data from the prior 4 hours will be monitored for any signs of PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 36423 combustion (i.e., CO by CO monitors on the belt). (b) A daily functional (bump) test of at least one sensor will be conducted for CO in addition to the weekly functional test required under 30 CFR 75.1103–8. There are 13 sensors, which are checked every 13 days, with a different sensor to be bump tested each day. (c) The operator will train miners on the location of Part 18 belt and interim safety measures being taken herein and revise instruction under 30 CFR 75.1502 as appropriate. (d) A daily visual inspection of all fire suppression systems will be conducted by a qualified person. (e) The operator will install a ‘‘waterwall system’’ every 2,000 feet that will be tapped into the CO monitoring system. The waterwall will activate at 50 ppm of CO. The waterwall will provide a minimum of 50 psi and 45 GPM of water curtain from roof to floor and rib to rib. (f) Except during the on-shift exam, the belt will be cleared of coal and will run empty during examinations. Examinations generally take less than one hour. Currently, the belt runs approximately 8–9 hours a day. (g) Other than replacing water pumps, no motors, electrical equipment, or belt drives will be added underground and no changes will be made to the belt configuration or layout while this petition is in effect. (h) Examiners will enter the mine from the Harris Portal at the downwind side so the examiner is traveling towards the fan. From entries 75 to 11, the examiner will be traveling into fresh air. From crosscut No. 11 to the Rocklick Portal, fresh air will come from behind the examiner for those 11 breaks. (i) Examiners will be trained to immediately notify the dispatcher in the event of CO detection. Radio contact is established throughout the Matewan Tunnel beltline. Should a fire be encountered and not extinguished according to the Mine Act, the examiner will withdraw from the Matewan Tunnel and notify MSHA as required under applicable law. (j) If the CO detection system is down, the belt will not operate until necessary repairs have been made. (k) All necessary replacements to belt will be Part 14 compliant. (l) The belt will not be in operation while most maintenance is conducted on the beltline. The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will provide no less than the same measure E:\FR\FM\16JNN1.SGM 16JNN1 36424 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 116 / Tuesday, June 16, 2020 / Notices of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard. Roslyn Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances. [FR Doc. 2020–12962 Filed 6–15–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4520–43–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration [OMB Control No. 1219–0042] Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Representative of Miners, Notification of Legal Identity, and Notification of Commencement of Operations and Closing of Mines Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Request for public comments. AGENCY: The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is soliciting comments on the information collection for: (1) Designation of miner representative; (2) notification of mine operator’s legal identity; and (3) notification of commencement of operations and closing of mines. DATES: All comments must be received on or before August 17, 2020. ADDRESSES: Comments concerning the information collection requirements of this notice may be sent by any of the methods listed below. • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments for docket number MSHA– 2020–0019. • Regular Mail: Send comments to USDOL–MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington, VA 22202–5452. • Hand Delivery: USDOL–Mine Safety and Health Administration, 201 12th Street South, Suite 4E401, lotter on DSK30NT082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:13 Jun 15, 2020 Jkt 250001 Arlington, VA 22202–5452. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 4th floor via the East elevator. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Roslyn B. Fontaine, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at MSHA.information.collections@dol.gov (email); (202) 693–9440 (voice); or (202) 693–9441 (facsimile). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background Section 103(h) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), 30 U.S.C. 813(h), authorizes MSHA to collect information necessary to carry out its duty in protecting the safety and health of miners. Further, section 101(a) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 811, authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to develop, promulgate, and revise as may be appropriate, improved mandatory health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries in coal or other mines. Below are explained regulatory provisions relevant to this request for collection of information. Representative of Miners. The Mine Act establishes miners’ rights that may be exercised through a representative. Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations (30 CFR) part 40 contains procedures that a person or organization must follow to be identified by the Secretary as a representative of miners. The regulations define what is meant by ‘‘representative of miners,’’ a term that is not defined in the Mine Act. Title 30 CFR 40.2 requires a representative of miners to file the information specified in section 40.3 with the MSHA district manager and the mine operator. Title 30 CFR 40.3 requires the following information to be filed with MSHA: (1) The name, address, and telephone number of the representative of miners. If the representative is an organization, the name, address, and telephone number of the organization and the title of the person or position, who is to serve as the representative, and his or her telephone number. (2) The name and address of the operator of the mine where the represented miners work and the name, address, and MSHA identification number, if known, of the mine. (3) A copy of the document evidencing the designation of the representative. (4) A statement that the person or position named as the representative of miners is the representative for all purposes of the Act; or if the representative’s authority is limited, a statement of the limitation. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (5) The names, addresses, and telephone numbers, of any additional or alternate representatives to serve in his or her absence. (6) A statement that copies of all information filed pursuant to this section have been delivered to the operator of the affected mine, prior to, or concurrently with, the filing of this statement. (7) A statement certifying that all information filed is true and correct followed by the signature of the representative of miners. Title 30 CFR 40.4 requires that a copy of the information provided the mine operator pursuant to section 40.3 be posted upon receipt by the operator on the mine bulletin board and maintained in a current status. Once the required information has been filed, a representative retains his or her status unless and until his or her designation is terminated. Under section 40.5, a representative who is unable to comply with the requirements of Part 40 must file a written statement with the appropriate MSHA district manager terminating his or her designation. Notification of Mine Operator’s Legal Identity. Section 109(d) of the Mine Act requires each operator of a coal or other mine to file with the Secretary, the name and address of such mine, the name and address of the person who controls or operates the mine, and any changes in such names and addresses. MSHA’s regulations in 30 CFR part 41 provides for the mandatory use of MSHA Form 2000–7, Legal Identity Report, for notifying MSHA of the legal identity of the mine operator. The legal identity of a mine operator is fundamental to enable the Secretary to properly ascertain the identity of persons and entities charged with violations of mandatory standards. It is also used in the assessment of civil penalties. Because of turnover in mining company ownership, and because of the statutory considerations regarding penalty assessments, the operator is required to file information regarding ownership interest in other mines held by the operator and relevant persons in a partnership, corporation, or other organization. This information is also necessary to the Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor in determining proper parties to actions arising under the Mine Act. Additionally, MSHA Form 7000–51, Mine Operator Identification Request, is used to allow mine operators to request an MSHA mine identification number for each mine. Mine operators request mine identification numbers prior to completing and submitting the required E:\FR\FM\16JNN1.SGM 16JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 116 (Tuesday, June 16, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36422-36424]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-12962]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petition 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 a petition for modification 
submitted to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) by the 
party listed below.

DATES: All comments on the petition must be received by MSHA's Office 
of Standards, Regulations, and Variances on or before July 16, 2020.

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, Acting 
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: Aromie Noe, Office of Standards, 
Regulations, and Variances at 202-693-9557 (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. 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 for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petition for Modification

    Docket Number: M-2020-007-C.
    Petitioner: Rockwell Mining, LLC, 300 Kanawha Boulevard, East (ZIP 
25301), P.O. Box 273, Charleston, West Virginia 25321-0273.
    Mine: Matewan Tunnel, MSHA I.D. No. 46-08610, located in Boone 
County, West Virginia.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1108(c) (Approved conveyor belts).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
Part 14 belt standard for Matewan Tunnel because of the unique layout 
of the mine as well as additional safety measures that will be put in 
place for its overland coal belt. These measures will make the conveyor 
belt in the Matewan Tunnel at least as safe as compliance with Part 14.
    The petitioner states that:
    (1) The Matewan Tunnel is a straight, three-entry tunnel mine 
developed in 1998. The mine has been non-producing since 1998. At the 
time of development, the sole purpose of the project was to provide an 
excavation to install a conveyor system to transport raw coal. The seam 
is 33 inches thick, requiring 48 inches of outseam excavation to 
facilitate the conveyor system. The Matewan Tunnel does not liberate 
any methane.
    (2) The Matewan Tunnel consists of three entries developed on a 
straight course 10,500 feet from outcrop to outcrop. The roof in the 
belt entry (center entry) is supported by 6-foot fully grouted bolts 
with T5 steel channels in every row. Steel straps and four-foot 
conventional bolts support the ribs. The final conveyor structure is 
offset in the entry to provide complete access along its entire length. 
Thus, the ventilation system will not likely be compromised by roof or 
rib integrity measures.
    (3) The 42-inch conveyor is 12,445 feet long and is powered by two 
separate drive installations located on the surface at each end of the 
underground excavation (500 HP at Rocklick and 1,000 HP at Harris). The 
conveyor is uniquely designed to turn over on each end to maintain the 
material handling surface in an upward facing position. Both the top 
and bottom structure are troughed 35 degrees to provide simultaneous 
transportation capacity on the top and return portions of the belt. The 
conveyor uses special belt with steel cable carcass related at 1,900 
pounds per inch of belt width. Traveling 680 feet per minute (FPM), the 
belt system has a carrying capacity of 1,000 tons per hour (TPH) on 
each belt (top and bottom totaling 2,000 TPH).
    (4) The Matewan Tunnel currently only transports a fraction of its 
design capacity. The Matewan Tunnel transports only raw coal from two 
continuous miner sections in the Black Oak Mine with an estimated daily 
volume of 4,000 raw tons to Rocklick. The return belt capacity is not 
utilized at the mine.

--The portal at the Preparation Plant side of the Matewan Tunnel is 
known as the Rocklick Portal. The portal at the other end is known as 
the Harris Portal. The Matewan Tunnel is ventilated from the Rocklick 
Portal with a 5.5 foot blowing fan with a 1,200 revolutions per minute 
speed, set to Blade Setting No. 5, producing 95,000 cubic feet per 
minute of airflow.
--At the Rocklick Portal, fresh air enters in the No. 1 entry and 
travels to the No. 11 crosscut and splits. A small portion of the air 
goes to entry Nos. 2 and 3 from crosscut No. 11 back to the surface at 
the Rocklick Portal. The remaining air flows to the Harris

[[Page 36423]]

Portal from crosscuts 11 to 75 in all three entries. The air in the 
Matewan Tunnel is considered intake common air.
--The existing belt, which is believed to have been installed between 
2005 and 2007, is in working condition with little wear. There are no 
belt drives, tails, or dumping points in the tunnel. The belt runs one 
shift per day, approximately 8 to 9 hours. At the Harris Portal, an 
additional 1,250 feet of conveyor takes the belt to the Black Oak Mine 
surface loading point. At the Rocklick Portal, about 500 feet of 
conveyor belt takes the coal to the raw coal pile.
--The Matewan Tunnel has numerous safety features at or above the 
minimum standards, including:

    (a) Connecting crosscuts are open every 600 feet, on each stopping 
line.
    (b) Carbon monoxide monitors every 1,000 feet.
    (c) The conveyor has belt alignment rollers every 1,000 feet.
    (d) Fire taps located every 300 feet. Hoses are located at breaks 
#1, 37, and 74, which exceeds the minimum requirements.
    (f) Two-way communications (pager phones) are located underground 
at every seventh break throughout the mine. The control room operator 
at Rocklick monitors the communication system. Two-way wireless radios 
worn by the surface employees can communicate with the examiner 
underground.
    (g) The roadways are graveled.
    (h) Emergency belt stop switches every seventh break.
    (i) No violations have been issued on the belt since May 19, 1998.

--Certified examiners travel the belt entry on a two-man rubber ride to 
examine the belt twice per shift and record those findings in the 
required examination books.
--Normally, Matewan Tunnel operates with only one miner underground 
while the belt is running. The examiner of the Matewan Tunnel is a 
certified foreman and electrician. Examinations take about 1 hour per 
shift. When necessary, a certified miner helps with maintenance and 
other tasks in the mine.
--There are no belt drives, tailpieces, or electric motors inside the 
Matewan Tunnel. The belt only runs through the mine on conveyor 
structure and rollers.
--The belt is approximately 1 inch thick, 42 inches wide and has steel 
cable imbedded in the belt. The belt at each end is turned over so that 
the coal side is always facing up on transport and return. The design 
greatly reduces any spillage and accumulations in the mine.
--Self-Contained Self-Rescuer caches are stored at breaks 14, 28, 37, 
42, 56, and 70. There are also emergency barricade materials kept in 
the No. 3 entry.
--The Matewan Tunnel also has emergency lifelines throughout. Further, 
the following significant fire detection and fire-fighting devices are 
in the mine:

    (1) The beltline has 13 smoke detection and carbon monoxide (CO) 
sensors spaced approximately every 5 to 6 breaks. The CO sensors are 
currently set to ``low alarm'' at 5 parts per millions (ppm) and ``high 
alarm'' at 10 ppm, far below levels that present any danger to miners. 
The CO monitoring system will be shut off by the dispatcher if the belt 
hits ``high alarm'' and the sensor will be checked if it hits ``low 
alarm.''
    (2) The two-man ride used to examine the belt has self-rescuers and 
separate fire extinguishers.

--The only alternative to using the Matewan Tunnel belt will be to 
truck Black Oak Mine coal to Rocklick. This will significantly increase 
the number of trucks on Route 85 in Boone County between Black Oak and 
Rocklick Preparation Plant. The increase in trucks going in and out of 
the Rocklick Preparation Plant will also add congestion to the load out 
traffic flow.
--The operator has not experienced any safety issues with the conveyor 
belt in the Matewan Tunnel nor has it received any 30 CFR 75.400 
citations for accumulations of combustible materials during current 
ownership. The operator has not experienced any fire related issues on 
the conveyor belt at the Matewan Tunnel nor has it experienced any 
significant issues with rollers on the belt in the Matewan Tunnel 
beyond routine maintenance.
--Based on a chemical laboratory analysis, the belt has been confirmed 
to be Part 18 compliant. The belt has not been tested for Part 14 
compliance due to the operator's difficulty in finding an appropriate 
testing facility.

    The petitioner proposes the following alternative method of 
achieving the purposes of the standard:
    (a) Prior to a qualified person entering the mine, the CO system 
data from the prior 2 hours will be monitored for any sign of 
combustion. At the end of coal transport each day (fire run), the CO 
system data from the prior 4 hours will be monitored for any signs of 
combustion (i.e., CO by CO monitors on the belt).
    (b) A daily functional (bump) test of at least one sensor will be 
conducted for CO in addition to the weekly functional test required 
under 30 CFR 75.1103-8. There are 13 sensors, which are checked every 
13 days, with a different sensor to be bump tested each day.
    (c) The operator will train miners on the location of Part 18 belt 
and interim safety measures being taken herein and revise instruction 
under 30 CFR 75.1502 as appropriate.
    (d) A daily visual inspection of all fire suppression systems will 
be conducted by a qualified person.
    (e) The operator will install a ``waterwall system'' every 2,000 
feet that will be tapped into the CO monitoring system. The waterwall 
will activate at 50 ppm of CO. The waterwall will provide a minimum of 
50 psi and 45 GPM of water curtain from roof to floor and rib to rib.
    (f) Except during the on-shift exam, the belt will be cleared of 
coal and will run empty during examinations. Examinations generally 
take less than one hour. Currently, the belt runs approximately 8-9 
hours a day.
    (g) Other than replacing water pumps, no motors, electrical 
equipment, or belt drives will be added underground and no changes will 
be made to the belt configuration or layout while this petition is in 
effect.
    (h) Examiners will enter the mine from the Harris Portal at the 
downwind side so the examiner is traveling towards the fan. From 
entries 75 to 11, the examiner will be traveling into fresh air. From 
crosscut No. 11 to the Rocklick Portal, fresh air will come from behind 
the examiner for those 11 breaks.
    (i) Examiners will be trained to immediately notify the dispatcher 
in the event of CO detection. Radio contact is established throughout 
the Matewan Tunnel beltline. Should a fire be encountered and not 
extinguished according to the Mine Act, the examiner will withdraw from 
the Matewan Tunnel and notify MSHA as required under applicable law.
    (j) If the CO detection system is down, the belt will not operate 
until necessary repairs have been made.
    (k) All necessary replacements to belt will be Part 14 compliant.
    (l) The belt will not be in operation while most maintenance is 
conducted on the beltline.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
provide no less than the same measure

[[Page 36424]]

of protection afforded the miners under the existing standard.

Roslyn Fontaine,
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2020-12962 Filed 6-15-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4520-43-P