Petitions for Modification
Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and 30 CFR Part 44 govern the application, processing, and disposition of petitions for modification. This notice is a summary of petitions for modification filed by the parties listed below to modify the application of existing mandatory safety standards published in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines
The final rule establishes the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) requirements for refuge alternatives in underground coal mines and the training of miners in their use. It includes testing and approval requirements. The final rule implements section 13 of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. Consistent with the MINER Act, it includes MSHA's response to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Report on Refuge Alternatives.
Flame-Resistant Conveyor Belt, Fire Prevention and Detection, and Use of Air From the Belt Entry
This final rule addresses the recommendations of the Technical Study Panel (Panel) on the Utilization of Belt Air and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties of Belt Materials in Underground Coal Mining. The Panel was established under Section 11 of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006. The final rule is consistent with the Panel's recommendations and includes requirements for: Flame-resistant conveyor belts; training Atmospheric Monitoring System operators; levels of respirable dust in belt entries; airlocks along escapeways; minimum and maximum air velocities; approval for the use of air from the belt entry to ventilate working sections; monitoring point-feed regulators; smoke sensors; standardized tactile signals on lifelines; replacing point-type heat sensors with carbon monoxide sensors; and belt conveyor and belt entry maintenance.
Fee Adjustment for Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of Mining Products
This notice describes MSHA's revised fee schedule for testing, evaluating, and approving mining products as permitted by 30 CFR 5.50. MSHA charges applicants a fee to cover its costs associated with testing and evaluating equipment and materials manufactured for use in the mining industry. The new fee schedule, effective January 1, 2009, is based on MSHA's direct and indirect costs for providing services during fiscal year (FY) 2008.
Wireless Communications and Electronic Tracking Systems Guidance
This notice is announcing the issuance of a Program Policy Letter (PPL) to provide mine operators guidance for implementing the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act) requirements for wireless communications and electronic tracking systems. Material in the guidance does not constitute a regulation.