Petition for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory Safety Standards

CourtLabor Department,Mine Safety And Health Administration
Citation86 FR 71666
Record Number2021-27347
Publication Date17 December 2021
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Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 240 / Friday, December 17, 2021 / Notices
Inc., have signed the Consent Decree
agreeing to provide access to the
defendants to complete the work.
Finally, 148 Settling Non-Participating
Parties, each of which entered into
settlements with Solutia and Pharmacia,
have joined the Consent Decree agreeing
to forego further litigation over their
liability in Sauget Area 2. In return, the
United States agrees not to sue the
defendants under sections 106 and 107
of CERCLA related to this work.
The publication of this notice opens
a period for public comment on the
Consent Decree. Comments should be
addressed to the Assistant Attorney
General, Environment and Natural
Resources Division, and should refer to
United States v. Pharmacia LLP, et al.,
D.J. Ref. No. 90–11–2–06089/7. All
comments must be submitted no later
than thirty (30) days after the
publication date of this notice.
Comments may be submitted either by
email or by mail:
To submit
comments: Send them to:
By email ....... pubcomment-ees.enrd@
usdoj.gov.
By mail ......... Assistant Attorney General,
U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box
7611, Washington, DC
20044–7611.
During the public comment period,
the proposed Consent Decree may be
examined and downloaded at this
Justice Department website: https://
www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.
We will provide a paper copy of the
proposed Consent Decree upon written
request and payment of reproduction
costs. Please mail your request and
payment to: Consent Decree Library,
U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611,
Washington, DC 20044–7611.
Please enclose a check or money order
for $116.75 (25 cents per page
reproduction cost) payable to the United
States Treasury. For a paper copy
without Appendices C and E (the
Record of Decision and signature pages
of the Settling Non-Participating Parties
listed in Appendix A), the cost is only
$30.25.
Patricia Mckenna,
Assistant Section Chief, Environmental
Enforcement Section, Environment and
Natural Resources Division.
[FR Doc. 2021–27378 Filed 12–16–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410–15–P
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 January 18, 2022.
ADDRESSES
: You may submit your
comments including the docket number
of the petition by any of the following
methods:
1. Electronic Mail: zzMSHA-
comments@dol.gov. Include the docket
number of the petition in the subject
line of the message.
2. Facsimile: 202–693–9441.
3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery:
Regular Mail or Hand Delivery: MSHA,
Office of Standards, Regulations, and
Variances, 201 12th Street South, Suite
4E401, Arlington, Virginia 22202–5452,
Attention: S. Aromie Noe, Acting
Director, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances. 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.
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. Before
visiting MSHA in person, call 202–693–
9455 to make an appointment in
keeping with the Department of Labor’s
COVID–19 policy. Special health
precautions may be required.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
: S.
Aromie Noe, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances at 202–693–
9440 (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 (CFR) 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, sections 44.10 and 44.11
of 30 CFR establish the requirements for
filing petitions for modification.
II. Petition for Modification
Docket Number: M–2021–034–C.
Petitioner: Rosebud Mining Company,
301 Market Street, Kittanning,
Pennsylvania 16201.
Mine: Knob Creek Mine, MSHA ID
No. 36–09394, located in Indiana
County, Pennsylvania.
Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1700
(Oil and gas wells).
Modification Request: The petitioner
requests a modification of the existing
standard, 30 CFR 75.1700, as it relates
to oil and gas wells at the mine.
Specifically, the petitioner is proposing
procedures for: Cleaning out and
preparing oil and gas wells prior to
plugging or re-plugging; plugging or re-
plugging oil or gas wells to the surface;
plugging or replugging oil or gas wells
for use as degasification boreholes;
preparing and plugging or re-plugging
oil or gas wells; and mining through a
plugged or re-plugged well.
The petitioner states that:
(a) The Knob Creek Mine is opened
into the Upper Kittanning Coal seam
through three drifts. Coal is produced
on one underground section using a
continuous mining machine and a
continuous haulage system. The mine
normally operates one production shift
per day, 5 to 6 days per week, and
produces an average of 452 tons of raw
coal per day. The mine employs 20
persons underground and 3 on the
surface.
(b) The Knob Creek mine uses a room
and pillar method of mining. A
continuous miner with attached haulage
develops main entries. After the mains
are established, butts, rooms, and/or
panels are developed off of the mains.
The length of the rooms and/or panels
typically extends a distance of 600 feet,
depending on permit boundaries,
projections, and conditions.
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(c) The Knob Creek Mine Permit
contains: Oil or gas wells that have been
depleted of oil or gas production;
producing wells; oil or gas wells that
have not produced oil or gas and may
have been plugged; and coal bed
methane wells (CBM). Wells drilled into
potential oil or gas producing
formations that did not produce
commercial quantities of either gas or
oil (e.g., exploratory wells, wildcat
wells, or dry holes) are classified as oil
or gas wells by MSHA. These wells
would alter the mining projections for
the life of the mine and not allow the
most efficient use of air available to the
mine, if the barrier established by 30
CFR 75.1700 were to remain in place.
The presence of the 30 CFR 75.1700
barrier would also limit the safest and
most efficient use of in-seam CBM
wells.
The petitioner proposes the following
alternative method:
(a) District Manager’s approval is
required.
(1) The type of oil or gas well
considered under this petition includes
wells that have been depleted of oil or
gas production, have not produced oil
or gas and may have been plugged, and
active wells. No Marcellus and Utica
wells are contained within the Knob
Creek Mine Permit or are subject to this
modification.
(2) A safety barrier of 300 feet in
diameter (150 feet between any mined
area and a well) shall be maintained
around all oil and gas wells (including
but not limited to: Active, inactive,
abandoned, shut-in, and previously
plugged wells; water injection wells;
and carbon dioxide sequestration wells)
until the District Manager has given
approval to proceed with mining.
(3) Prior to mining within the safety
barrier of 300 feet in diameter around
any well the mine plans to intersect, the
petitioner shall provide the District
Manager with a sworn affidavit or
declaration executed by a company
official stating that all mandatory
procedures for cleaning out, preparing,
and plugging each gas or oil well have
been completed as described by the
terms and conditions of this Decision
and Order.
(4) If well intersection is not planned,
the mine petitioner may request a
permit to reduce the 300 foot diameter
of the safety barrier that does not
include intersection of the well. The
petitioner will provide any
documentation that the District Manager
may require to help verify the accuracy
of the location of the well in respect to
the mine maps and mining projections.
This information may include survey
closure data, down-hole well deviation
logs, historical well intersection
location data, and any additional data
required by the District Manager. If the
District Manager determines that the
proposed barrier reduction is reasonable
and provides approval, the petitioner
may then mine within the safety barrier
of the well.
(5) The affidavit or declaration must
be accompanied by all logs described in
(b)(8) and (b)(9) and any other records
which the District Manager may request;
the District Manager also may inspect
the well.
(6) The District Manager will
determine if the petitioner has
complied. If the District Manager
determines that the procedures for
cleaning out, preparing, and plugging
each well have been properly
performed, the District Manager may
approve the petitioner to mine within
the safety barrier of the well, subject to
the terms and conditions of the Decision
and Order.
(7) The terms and conditions of the
Decision and Order will apply to all
types of underground coal mining by
petitioner at this mine.
(b) The petitioner proposes to use the
following mandatory procedures for
cleaning out and preparing oil and gas
wells prior to plugging or re-plugging.
(1) The petitioner shall test for gas
emissions inside the hole. The District
Manager shall be contacted if gas
emissions are present.
(2) A diligent effort shall be made to
clean the well to the original total
depth. The petitioner shall contact the
District Manager prior to stopping the
pulling of casing or the cleaning out the
total depth of the well.
(3) If this depth cannot be reached,
and the total depth of the well is less
than 4,000 feet, the petitioner shall
completely clean out the well from the
surface to at least 200 feet below the
base of the lowest mineable coal seam,
unless the District Manager requires
cleaning to a greater depth.
(4) If the total depth of the well is
4,000 feet or greater, the petitioner shall
completely clean out the well from the
surface to at least 400 feet below the
base of the lowest mineable coal seam.
The petitioner shall remove all material
from the entire diameter of the well,
wall to wall.
(5) The petitioner shall provide the
District Manager with all information it
possesses concerning the geological
nature of the strata and the pressure of
the well.
(6) If the total depth of the well is
unknown and there is no historical
information, the petitioner shall contact
the District Manager before proceeding.
(7) Down-hole logs shall be prepared
for each well. Logs shall consist of a
caliper survey; a gamma log; a bond log;
and a deviation survey for determining
the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal
seams down to the lowest minable coal
seam; potential hydrocarbon producing
strata; and the location of any existing
bridge plug. A journal shall be
maintained describing the depth of each
material encountered; the nature of each
material encountered; bit size and type
used to drill each portion of the hole;
length and type of each material used to
plug the well; length of casing(s)
removed, perforated, ripped, or left in
place; any sections where casing was
cut or milled; and other information
concerning cleaning and sealing the
well. Invoices, work-orders, and other
records relating to all work on the well
shall be maintained as part of this
journal and provided to MSHA upon
request.
(8) When cleaning out the well as
provided for in section (b), a diligent
effort shall be made to remove all of the
casing in the well. After the well is
completely cleaned out and all the
casing removed, the well should be
plugged to the total depth by pumping
expanding cement slurry and
pressurizing to at least 200 pounds per
square inch (psi). Casing may be cut,
milled, perforated, or ripped at all
mineable coal seam levels to facilitate
the removal of casing remaining in the
coal seam, with mining equipment. Any
remaining casing shall be perforated or
ripped to permit the injection of cement
into voids within and around the well.
(9) All casing remaining at mineable
coal seam levels shall be perforated or
ripped at least every 5 feet from 10 feet
below the coal seam to 10 feet above the
coal seam. Perforations or rips are
required at least every 50 feet from 200
feet (400 feet if the total well depth is
4,000 feet or greater) below the base of
the lowest mineable coal seam up to 100
feet above the uppermost mineable coal
seam. The petitioner shall take
appropriate steps to ensure that the
annuli between the casing and the well
walls are filled with expanding cement
(minimum 0.5 percent expansion upon
setting) and contain no voids.
(10) If it is not possible to remove all
of the casing, the petitioner shall notify
the District Manager before any other
work is performed. If the well cannot be
cleaned out or the casing removed, the
petitioner shall prepare the well as
described in this petition from the
surface to at least 200 feet below the
base of the lowest mineable coal seam
for wells less than 4,000 feet in depth
and 400 feet below the lowest mineable
coal seam for wells 4,000 feet or greater,
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unless the District Manager requires
cleaning out and removal of casing to a
greater depth.
(11) If the petitioner, using a casing
bond log, can demonstrate to the
satisfaction of the District Manager that
all annuli in the well are already
adequately sealed with cement, the
petitioner may not be required to
perforate or rip the casing for that
particular well. When multiple casing
and tubing strings are present in the
coal horizon(s), any remaining casing
shall be ripped or perforated and filled
with expanding cement as previously
indicated. If needed, an acceptable
casing bond log for each casing and
tubing string shall be used in lieu of
ripping or perforating multiple strings.
(12) If the District Manager
determines that the completely cleaned-
out well is emitting excessive amounts
of gas, the petitioner shall place a
mechanical bridge plug in the well. The
mechanical bridge plug shall be placed
in a competent stratum at least 200 feet
(400 feet if the total well depth is 4,000
feet or greater) below the base of the
lowest mineable coal seam, but above
the top of the uppermost hydrocarbon-
producing stratum, unless the District
Manager requires a greater distance. The
petitioner shall provide the District
Manager with all information it
possesses concerning the geological
nature of the strata and the pressure of
the well. If it is not possible to set a
mechanical bridge plug, an
appropriately sized packer may be used.
The petitioner shall document what has
been done to ‘‘kill the well’’ and plug
the hydrocarbon-producing strata.
(13) If the upper-most hydrocarbon-
producing stratum is within 300 feet of
the base of the lowest minable coal
seam, the petitioner shall properly place
mechanical bridge plugs as described in
(b)(11) to isolate the hydrocarbon-
producing stratum from the expanding
cement plug. The petitioner shall place
a minimum of 200 feet (400 feet if the
total well depth is 4,000 feet or greater)
of expanding cement below the lowest
mineable coal seam, unless the District
Manager requires a greater distance.
(c) The petitioner proposes to use the
following mandatory procedures for
plugging or re-plugging oil or gas wells
to the surface. After completely cleaning
out the well as specified in section (b):
(1) Expanding cement slurry shall be
pumped down the well to form a plug
which runs from the surface to at least
200 feet (400 feet if the total well depth
is 4,000 feet or greater) below the base
of the lowest mineable coal seam, or
lower if required by the District
Manager. The expanding cement will be
placed in the well under a pressure of
at least 200 psi. Portland cement or a
lightweight cement mixture may be
used to fill the area from the surface to
100 feet above the top of the uppermost
mineable coal seam, or higher if
required by the District Manager.
(2) Steel turnings or other small
magnetic particles shall be embedded in
the top of the cement near the surface
to serve as a permanent magnetic
monument of the well. In the
alternative, a 4-inch or larger diameter
casing, set in cement, shall extend at
least 36 inches above the ground level
with the American Petroleum Institute
(API) well number engraved or welded
on the casing. When the hole cannot be
marked with a physical monument (e.g.,
prime farmland), high-resolution GPS
coordinates (one-half meter resolution)
shall be recorded.
(d) The petitioner proposes to use the
following mandatory procedures for
plugging or re-plugging oil and gas wells
for use as degasification wells. After
completely cleaning out the well as
specified in section (b), the following
procedures shall be followed:
(1) The petitioner shall set a cement
plug in the well by pumping an
expanding cement slurry down the
tubing to provide at least 200 feet (400
feet if the total well depth is 4,000 feet
or greater) of expanding cement below
the lowest mineable coal seam, unless
the District Manager requires a greater
depth.
(i) The expanding cement will be
placed in the well under a pressure of
at least 200 psi.
(ii) The top of the expanding cement
shall extend at least 50 feet above the
top of the coal seam being mined, unless
the District Manager requires a greater
distance.
(2) The petitioner shall securely grout
a suitable casing into the bedrock of the
upper portion of the degasification well
to protect it. The remainder of this well
may be cased or uncased.
(3) As required by the District
Manager in the approved ventilation
plan, the petitioner shall fit the top of
the degasification casing with a
wellhead that may be equipped with
check valves, shut-in valves, sampling
ports, flame arrestor equipment, and
security fencing.
(4) Operation of the degasification
well shall be addressed in the approved
ventilation plan. This may include
periodic tests of methane levels and
limits on the minimum methane
concentrations that may be extracted.
(5) After the area of the coal mine that
is degassed by a well is sealed or the
coal mine is abandoned, the petitioner
shall plug all degasification wells using
the following procedures:
(i) A tube shall be inserted to the
bottom of the well or, if not possible, to
within 100 feet above the coal seam
being mined. Any blockage must be
removed to ensure that the tube can be
inserted to this depth.
(ii) A cement plug shall be set in the
well by pumping Portland cement or
lightweight cement mixture down the
tubing until the well is filled to the
surface.
(iii) Steel turnings or other small
magnetic particles shall be embedded in
the top of the cement near the surface
to serve as a permanent magnetic
monument of the well. Alternatively, a
4-inch or larger casing, set in cement,
shall extend at least 36 inches above the
ground level with the API well number
engraved or welded on the casing.
(e) If the District Manager agrees with
the petitioner’s determination that
certain wells cannot be completely
cleaned out due to damage to the well
caused by subsidence, caving, or other
factors, the petitioner proposes to use
the following procedures for preparing
and plugging or re-plugging such oil or
gas wells.
(1) A hole shall be drilled adjacent
and parallel to the well, to a depth of
at least 200 feet (400 feet if the total well
depth is 4,000 feet or greater) below the
lowest mineable coal seam, unless the
District Manager requires a greater
depth.
(2) A geophysical sensing device shall
be used to locate any casing which may
remain in the well.
(3) If the well contains casing(s), the
petitioner shall drill into the well from
the parallel hole. From 10 feet below the
coal seam to 10 feet above the coal
seam, the petitioner shall perforate or
rip all casings at least every 5 feet.
Beyond this distance, the petitioner
shall perforate or rip all casings at least
every 50 feet from at least 200 feet (400
feet if the total well depth is 4,000 feet
or greater) below the base of the lowest
mineable coal seam up to 100 feet above
the seam being mined, unless the
District Manager requires a greater
distance. The annuli between the
casings and the well wall shall be filled
with expanding cement (minimum 0.5
percent expansion upon setting) and the
petitioner shall ensure that these areas
contain no voids. If the petitioner, using
a casing bond log, can demonstrate to
the satisfaction of the District Manager
that the annulus of the well is
adequately sealed with cement, then the
petitioner may not be required to
perforate or rip the casing for that
particular well or fill these areas with
cement. When multiple casing and
tubing strings are present in the coal
horizon(s), any remaining casing shall
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be ripped or perforated and filled with
expanding cement as previously
indicated. If needed, an acceptable
casing bond log for each casing and
tubing string shall be used in lieu of
ripping or perforating multiple strings.
(4) If the District Manager agrees with
the petitioner’s determination that there
is insufficient casing in the well to
allow the method outlined in (e)(3) to be
used, the petitioner shall use a
horizontal hydraulic fracturing
technique to intercept the original well.
From at least 200 feet (400 feet if the
total well depth is 4,000 feet or greater)
below the base of the lowest mineable
coal seam to a point at least 50 feet
above the seam being mined, the
petitioner shall fracture in at least six
places at intervals to be agreed upon by
the petitioner and the District Manager.
Expanding cement shall be pumped into
the fractured well to fill all intercepted
voids.
(5) Down-hole logs shall be prepared
for each well. Logs shall consist of a
caliper survey; a gamma log; a bond log;
and a deviation survey for determining
the top, bottom, and thickness of all coal
seams down to the lowest minable coal
seam; potential hydrocarbon producing
strata; and the location of any existing
bridge plug. The petitioner may obtain
the logs from the adjacent hole rather
than the well if the condition of the well
makes it impractical to insert the
equipment necessary to obtain the log.
(6) A journal shall be maintained
describing the depth of each material
encountered; the nature of each material
encountered; bit size and type used to
drill each portion of the hole; length and
type of each material used to plug the
well; length of casing(s) removed,
perforated, ripped, or left in place; any
sections where casing was cut or milled;
and other pertinent information
concerning sealing the well. Invoices,
work orders, and other records relating
to all work on the well shall be
maintained as part of this journal and
provided to MSHA upon request.
(7) After the well has been plugged as
described in (e)(3) and/or (e)(4), the
petitioner shall plug the adjacent hole,
from the bottom to the surface, with
Portland cement or a lightweight cement
mixture. Steel turnings or other small
magnetic particles shall be embedded in
the top of the cement near the surface
to serve as a permanent magnetic
monument of the well. Alternatively, a
4-inch or larger casing, set in cement,
shall extend at least 36 inches above the
ground level. A combination of the
methods outlined in (e)(3) and (e)(4)
may have to be used in a single well,
depending upon the conditions of the
hole and the presence of casings. The
petitioner shall discuss the nature of
each hole with the District Manager.
The District Manager may require that
more than one method be utilized. The
petitioner may submit an alternative
plan to the District Manager for
approval to use different methods to
address wells that cannot be completely
cleaned out. The District Manager may
require additional documentation and
certification by a registered petroleum
engineer to support the proposed
alternative methods.
(f) The petitioner proposes to use the
following procedures when mining
within a 100-foot diameter barrier
around a well.
(1) A representative of the petitioner,
a representative of the miners, the
appropriate State agency, or the MSHA
District Manager may request that a
conference be conducted prior to
intersecting any plugged or re-plugged
well. Upon receipt of any such request,
the petitioner shall schedule such a
conference. The party requesting the
conference shall notify all other parties
listed above within a reasonable time
prior to the conference to provide
opportunity for participation. The
purpose of the conference shall be to
review, evaluate, and accommodate any
abnormal or unusual circumstance
related to the condition of the well or
surrounding strata when such
conditions are encountered.
(2) The petitioner shall intersect a
well on a shift approved by the District
Manager. The petitioner shall give
sufficient notice of planned intersection
to the District Manager and the miners’
representative to arrange for the
presence of representatives.
(3) When using continuous mining
methods, the petitioner shall install
drivage sights at the last open crosscut
near the place to be mined to ensure
intersection of the well. The drivage
sites shall not be more than 50 feet from
the well.
(4) The petitioner shall ensure that
fire-fighting equipment including fire
extinguishers, rock dust, and sufficient
fire hose to reach the working face area
of the well intersection (when either the
conventional or continuous mining
method is used) is available and
operable during all well intersections.
The fire hose shall be located in the last
open crosscut of the entry or room. The
petitioner shall maintain the water line
to the belt conveyor tailpiece along with
a sufficient amount of fire hose to reach
the farthest point of penetration on the
section.
(5) The petitioner shall ensure that
sufficient supplies of roof support and
ventilation materials are available and
located at the last open crosscut. In
addition, emergency plugs and suitable
sealing materials shall be available in
the immediate area of the well
intersection.
(6) On the shift prior to intersecting
the well, the petitioner shall service all
equipment and check it for
permissibility. Water sprays, water
pressures, and water flow rates used for
dust and spark suppression shall be
examined and any deficiencies
corrected.
(7) The petitioner shall calibrate the
methane monitor(s) on the longwall,
continuous mining machine, or cutting
machine and loading machine on the
shift prior to intersecting the well.
(8) When mining is in progress, the
petitioner shall perform tests for
methane with a handheld methane
detector at least every 10 minutes from
the time that the continuous mining
machine is mining within 30 feet of the
well until the well is intersected. During
the actual cutting process, no individual
shall be allowed on the return side until
the well intersection has been
completed and the area has been
examined and declared safe. The
petitioner’s most current approved
ventilation plan will be followed at all
times unless the District Manager
determines a greater air velocity is
necessary during the intersection.
(9) When using continuous or
conventional mining methods, the work
area shall be free from accumulations of
coal dust and coal spillages, and rock
dust shall be placed on the roof, rib, and
floor to within 20 feet of the face when
intersecting the well. When the well is
intersected, the petitioner shall
deenergize all equipment, and
thoroughly examine and determine the
area to be safe before permitting mining
to resume.
(10) After a well has been intersected
and the working place determined to be
safe, mining shall continue inby the
well at a sufficient distance to permit
adequate ventilation around the well.
(11) If the casing is cut or milled at
the coal seam level, torches should
generally not be used. However, in rare
instances, torches may be used for
inadequately or inaccurately cut or
milled casings. No open flame shall be
permitted in the area until adequate
ventilation has been established around
the well bore and methane levels of less
than 1.0 percent are present in all areas
that will be exposed to flames and
sparks from the torch. The petitioner
shall apply a thick layer of rock dust to
the roof, face, floor, ribs, and any
exposed coal within 20 feet of the casing
prior to the use of torches.
(12) Non-sparking (brass) tools shall
be located on the working section and
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71670
Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 240 / Friday, December 17, 2021 / Notices
shall be used exclusively to expose and
examine cased wells.
(13) Only persons engaged in the well
intersection shall be permitted in the
area of the well.
(14) The petitioner shall alert all
personnel in the mine of the planned
intersection of the well prior to their
going underground if the planned
intersection is to occur during their
shift. This warning shall be repeated for
all shifts until the well has been mined
through.
(15) The well intersection shall be
under the direct supervision of a
certified individual. Instructions
concerning the well intersection shall be
issued only by the certified individual
in charge.
(16) If the petitioner cannot find the
well in the middle of the panel or room
and misses the anticipated intersection,
mining shall cease and the District
Manager shall be notified.
(17) The terms and conditions of the
Decision and Order shall not impair the
authority of representatives of MSHA to
interrupt or halt the well intersection
and issue a withdrawal order should
they deem it necessary for the safety of
the miners. MSHA may order an
interruption or cessation of the well
intersection and/or a withdrawal of
personnel by issuing either an oral or
written order to that effect, to a
representative of the petitioner.
Operations in the affected area of the
mine may not resume until MSHA
permits resumption. The petitioner and
miners shall immediately comply with
oral or written MSHA orders.
(18) A copy of the Decision and Order
shall be maintained at the mine and be
available to the miners.
(19) If the well is not plugged to the
total depth of all minable coal seams
identified in the core hole logs, any coal
seams beneath the lowest plug will
remain subject to the barrier
requirements of 30 CFR 75.1700 should
those coal seams be developed in the
future.
(20) All necessary safety precautions
and safe practices according to industry
standards required by MSHA
regulations and State agencies having
jurisdiction over the plugging site shall
be followed to ensure the protection of
the miners involved in the process.
(21) All miners involved in the
plugging or re-plugging operations shall
be trained on the terms and conditions
of the Decision and Order prior to
starting the process, and a copy of the
Decision and Order shall be posted at
the well site until the plugging or re-
plugging has been completed.
(22) Mechanical bridge plugs shall
incorporate the best available
technologies that are either required or
recognized by the appropriate State
agency and/or oil and gas industry.
(23) Within 30 days after the Decision
and Order becomes final, the petitioner
shall submit proposed revisions for its
approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan
to the District Manager. These proposed
revisions shall include initial and
refresher training on compliance with
the terms and conditions stated in the
Decision and Order. The petitioner shall
provide all miners involved in well
intersection with training on the
requirements of the Decision and Order
prior to mining within 150 feet of the
next well intended to be mined through.
(24) The responsible person required
under 30 CFR 75.1501, Emergency
evacuations, shall responsible for well
intersection emergencies. The well
intersection procedures shall be
reviewed by the responsible person
prior to any planned intersection.
(25) Within 30 days after the Decision
and Order becomes final, the petitioner
shall submit proposed revisions for its
approved mine emergency evacuation
and firefighting program of instruction
required under 30 CFR 75.1502. The
petitioner will revise the program of
instruction to include the hazards and
evacuation procedures to be used for
well intersections. All underground
miners shall be trained on this revised
plan within 30 days of submittal. The
procedure as specified in 30 CFR 48.3
for approval of proposed revisions to
already approved training plans shall
apply.
The petitioner asserts that the
alternative method proposed will at all
times guarantee no less than the same
measure of protection afforded the
miners under the mandatory standard.
Song-ae Aromie Noe,
Acting Director, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2021–27347 Filed 12–16–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4520–43–P
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Petition for Modification of Application
of an Existing Mandatory Safety
Standard
AGENCY
: Mine Safety and Health
Administration, Labor.
ACTION
: Notice.
SUMMARY
: This notice includes the
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 January 18, 2022.
ADDRESSES
: You may submit your
comments including the docket number
of the petition by any of the following
methods:
1. Email: zzMSHA-comments@
dol.gov. Include the docket number of
the petition in the subject line of the
message.
2. Facsimile: 202–693–9441.
3. Regular Mail or Hand Delivery:
MSHA, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances, 201 12th
Street South, Suite 4E401, Arlington,
Virginia 22202–5452, Attention: S.
Aromie Noe, 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. Before
visiting MSHA in person, call 202–693–
9455 to make an appointment, in
keeping with the Department of Labor’s
COVID–19 policy. Special health
precautions may be required.
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
: S.
Aromie Noe, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances at 202–693–
9440 (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 (CFR) part
44 govern the application, processing,
and disposition of petitions for
modification.
I. Background
Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine
Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine
Act) allows the mine operator or
representative of miners to file a
petition to modify the application of any
mandatory safety standard to a coal or
other mine if the Secretary of Labor
(Secretary) determines that:
1. An alternative method of achieving
the result of such standard exists which
will at all times guarantee no less than
the same measure of protection afforded
the miners of such mine by such
standard; or
2. The application of such standard to
such mine will result in a diminution of
safety to the miners in such mine.
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