Petition for Modification of Application of an Existing Mandatory Safety Standard

CourtLabor Department,Mine Safety And Health Administration
Citation87 FR 10254
Published date23 February 2022
SectionNotices
Record Number2022-03776
Federal Register, Volume 87 Issue 36 (Wednesday, February 23, 2022)
[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 36 (Wednesday, February 23, 2022)]
                [Notices]
                [Pages 10254-10256]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2022-03776]
                [[Page 10254]]
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                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 summaries of three 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 March 25, 2022.
                ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments including the docket number of
                the petition by any of the following methods:
                 1. Email: [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: 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),
                [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
                (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.
                 3. In addition, sections 44.10 and 44.11 of 30 CFR establish the
                requirements for filing petitions for modification.
                II. Petitions for Modification
                 Docket Number: M-2021-042-C.
                 Petitioner: Signal Peak Energy, LLC. 100 Portal Drive, Roundup,
                Montana, 59072.
                 Mine: Bull Mountains Mine No. 1, MINE ID No. 24-01950, located in
                Musselshell County, Montana.
                 Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i) (Portable (trailing)
                cables and cords).
                 Modification Request: The petitioner seeks modification of the
                existing standard to permit 995-volt trailing cable lengths up to 1,000
                feet in continuous mining sections. The petitioner states that the mine
                runs continuous miner sections with shuttle cars, roof bolters, and a
                continuous miner. Distribution boxes are required to remain in
                compliance using maximum trailing cables lengths on development of
                recovery rooms. The distribution boxes must be advanced progressively
                and electrical connections made with each breakthrough. The
                petitioner's alternative method to 30 CFR 18.35 would allow for 1,000-
                feet trailing cables to apply to continuous miners, shuttle cars, and
                roof bolters. The proposed alternative method will minimize the needs
                for distribution boxes and electrical connections to be made and will
                provide no less than the same measure of protection required by section
                18.35.
                 The petitioner states that:
                 (a) The maximum length for 995-volt trailing cables will be
                1,000 feet. The length of 1,000 feet will apply to trailing cables
                for continuous miners, shuttle cars, and roof bolters.
                 (b) Cable Sizes:
                 1. The 995-volt continuous mining machine trailing cables shall
                not be smaller than 2/0 American Wire Gauge (AWG).
                 2. The 995-volt trailing cables for shuttle cars and roof
                bolters shall not be smaller than No.2 AWG.
                 (c) Circuit Breaker Protection:
                 1. All circuit breakers used to protect 2/0 AWG trailing cables
                exceeding 850 feet in length shall have instantaneous trip units
                calibrated to trip at 1,280 amperes and will be labeled.
                 2. All circuit breakers used to protect No. 2 AWG trailing
                cables exceeding 700 feet in length shall have instantaneous trip
                units calibrated at 500 amperes and will be labeled.
                 (d) Replacement Instantaneous Trip Units:
                 1. Replacement instantaneous trip units used to protect 2/0 AWG
                trailing cables will be calibrated to trip at 1,280 amperes. The
                trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed or locked, and
                will have permanent legible labels. Each label will identify the
                circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting 2/0 cables. The
                label will be maintained to be legible.
                 2. Replacement instantaneous trip units used to protect No. 2
                AWG trailing cables will be calibrated to trip at 500 amperes. The
                trip setting of these circuit breakers will be sealed or locked, and
                will have permanent legible labels. Each label will identify the
                circuit breaker as being suitable for protecting No. 2 AWG cables.
                The label will be maintained to be legible.
                 (e) All components that provide short-circuit protection shall
                have a sufficient interruption rating in accordance with the maximum
                calculated fault currents available.
                 (f) Trip settings will not exceed the setting specified in the
                approval in documentation or 70 percent of the maximum available
                current, whichever is less.
                 (g) Any trailing cable that is not in safe operating condition
                shall be removed from service immediately and repaired or replaced.
                 (h) Each splice or repair in the trailing cables shall be made
                in a workmanlike manner and in accordance with the instructions of
                the manufacturer of the splice repair kit. Splices will be made with
                an MSHA-approved splice wrap.
                 (i) Before each production shift, persons designated by the
                operator will visually examine the trailing cables to ensure that
                the cables are in safe operating condition and that the trip
                settings of the calibrated breakers do not have seals or locks
                removed and that they do not exceed the settings stipulated in
                paragraphs (b) and (c).
                 The petitioner asserts that the alternate method proposed will at
                all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection
                afforded the miners under the applicable standard.
                 Docket Number: M-2021-043-C.
                 Petitioner: Century Mining, LLC, 7004 Buckhannon Road, Volga, West
                Virginia, 26238.
                 Mine: Longview Mine, MSHA ID No. 46-09447, located in Barbour
                County, West Virginia.
                 Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1904(b)(6) (Underground diesel fuel
                tanks and safety cans).
                [[Page 10255]]
                 Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the
                existing standard, 30 CFR 75.1904(b)(6), to permit an alternative
                method of compliance to allow the use of a Brookville 25-ton diesel
                locomotive in a dual role as a motor/diesel fuel transportation unit.
                Specifically, the petitioner is requesting a modification of the
                existing standard as it applies to the requirement for a shut-off valve
                in the diesel return line from the locomotive's engine back to the fuel
                tank.
                 The petitioner states that:
                 (a) The Longview Mine is currently under construction. The
                mine's slope floor will have rail installed for diesel equipment,
                including Brookville locomotives, to transport personnel, equipment,
                and supplies. The petitioner will use a Brookville 25-ton Diesel
                Locomotive to fuel diesel-powered equipment (i.e., forklifts) at or
                near the working section.
                 (b) The petitioner is purchasing diesel-powered permissible 650
                shield hauler scoops. These scoops will be utilized to transport
                shields (roof supports) to and from rail-mounted cars from the
                longwall set-up or recovery face.
                 (c) Utilizing a locomotive as a diesel fuel transportation unit
                will eliminate the need for equipment to tram, potentially several
                hundred feet, to an outby fueling location.
                 (d) As required by West Virginia regulations, the petitioner
                will submit a plan to the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health
                Safety and Training outlining the special safety precautions that
                will be taken to insure the protection of miners when fueling in an
                escapeway using the locomotive.
                 The petitioner proposes the following alternative method:
                 (a) The petitioner will equip the diesel Brookville locomotive
                with a fuel tank constructed of 3/16-inch steel plates designed to
                serve as both the motor's fuel tank and fuel dispensing tank. The
                tank will be equipped with an 8 gallons per minute (gpm) pump that
                can only dispense 50 percent of the tank's capacity, which will
                ensure the motor's fuel supply cannot be completely depleted.
                 (b) The petitioner will shut off the locomotive's engine during
                the fueling process. The 8 gpm fuel dispensing pump will operate
                using a separate battery power source, added to supply power to the
                pump. The fuel dispensing hose is a 50-foot hose with a no-latch
                open device and a self-closing valve. There is a power supply switch
                at the pump's nozzle storage bracket as well as an emergency shut-
                off switch located above the fuel tank. The emergency switch is
                protected by a cover that automatically ensures that the switch is
                in the off position any time the cover is closed.
                 (c) The petitioner will post the following fueling procedures on
                the fuel tank:
                 1. Make sure the fueling sign is hung and the locomotive's
                engine is shut off.
                 2. Inspect fire extinguishers prior to beginning the fueling
                process.
                 3. Ensure that fire extinguishers are located outby the fueling
                point.
                 4. Verify fuel hose, equipment, etc. are in good condition.
                 5. Test for methane in the atmosphere.
                 6. Check for potential ignition sources and other hazards in the
                area.
                 7. Notify the mine dispatcher before starting.
                 8. Unlock and open the emergency shut-off switch.
                 9. Check for any spills after the fueling is complete.
                 10. Shut off the emergency switch and close locked cover.
                 11. Notify the mine dispatcher after completion.
                 (d) The petitioner shall:
                 1. Equip the tank with a 4-inch vent designed to open at a
                pressure not to exceed 2.5 pounds per square inch, as required by 30
                CFR 75.1904(b).
                 2. Identify and mark tank openings and pressure-test the tank,
                fittings, and components.
                 3. Equip the pump dispensing line and fuel supply lines with
                shut-off valves as required by 30 CFR 75.1904(b)(6).
                 4. Equip the pump dispensing line with an anti-siphoning device
                as required by 30 CFR 75.1905(b)(iii).
                 5. Provide the pump dispensing line with a self-closing valve
                with no latch-open device as required by 30 CFR 75.1905(b)(3)(ii).
                 6. Install additional fire suppression and detection to ensure
                that the system protects and meets all of the requirements of 30 CFR
                75.1911.
                 (e) Within 60 days after the Proposed Decision and Order (PDO)
                becomes final, the petitioner will submit proposed revisions for its
                approved part 48 training plan to the District Manager. The proposed
                revisions will include initial and refresher training regarding
                compliance with the terms and conditions of the PDO.
                 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.
                 Docket Number: M-2021-044-C.
                 Petitioner: Mingo Logan Coal, LLC, P.O. Box E, Sharples, West
                Virginia 25183.
                 Mine: Mountaineer II Mine, MSHA ID No. 46-09029, located in Logan
                County, West Virginia.
                 Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i) (Portable (trailing)
                cables and cords).
                 Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of 30
                CFR 18.35(a)(5)(i) to increase the maximum length of trailing cables
                supplying power to face equipment. Specifically, the petitioner
                requests a modification to permit an increase in the maximum length of
                trailing cables supplying power to face equipment to 1,000 feet.
                 The petitioner states that:
                 (a) The mine plan requires maintenance of large pillars for roof
                control requirements. The larger pillars require machines to travel
                longer distances to the working face.
                 (b) The power center is currently located two crosscuts outby in
                the air intake entry, and the maximum cable length is 380 feet.
                 (c) The air intake entry is the primary escapeway.
                 (d) The power center partially obstructs the intake ventilation.
                This complicates the ventilation system because it increases the
                overall restriction at the section's intake dumping point. This
                further complicates ventilation because belt air intake is utilized
                throughout the mine and a strict balance between intake and belt air
                intake must be maintained per regulation and the approved
                ventilation plan.
                 (e) One-thousand-foot cables will allow the power center to be
                located in a crosscut instead of the escapeway. The cable length
                during normal production will be 466 feet. However, extending the
                maximum length to 1,000 feet, prevents the risk of cable damage and
                potential operator injury if a machine travels beyond the 500 feet
                length allowed by the standard, breaking the cable. Operators may
                lose track of how much cable is on the reel and overextend the
                distance. Extending the maximum cable lengths to 1,000 feet when
                mining larger pillars mitigates a potential safety hazard of a cable
                breaking and striking an operator.
                 (f) Locating the power center in a crosscut rather than in the
                primary escapeway improves miner safety by providing unobstructed
                egress from the mine during an evacuation event.
                 (g) Locating the power center in a crosscut will not obstruct
                the intake ventilation.
                 The petitioner proposes the following alternative method:
                 (a) The maximum length of the 995-volt, three-phase, alternating
                current trailing cables shall not exceed 1,000 feet in length and
                shall have a 90 degree Celsius insulation rating. The maximum length
                of the 600-volt, three phase, alternating current, trailing cables
                supplying section loading machines, roof bolters, and shuttle cars
                shall not exceed 1,000 feet in length and shall have a 90 degree
                Celsius insulation rating.
                 (b) The trailing cable shall not be smaller than No. 2/0
                American Wire Gauge (AWG) for the continuous mining machine.
                 (c) The trailing cables shall not be smaller than No. 2 AWG for
                the section roof bolting machines and shuttle cars.
                 (d) All circuit breakers used to protect No. 2/0 AWG cables not
                to exceed 1,000 feet in length shall have instantaneous trip units
                set to trip at 1,500 amperes. The circuit breakers' trip settings
                shall be sealed and the circuit breakers shall have permanent,
                legible labels identifying the circuit as being suitable for
                protecting No. 2/0 AWG cables.
                 (e) Replacement circuit breakers and/or instantaneous trip units
                used to protect No. 2/0 AWG trailing cables shall be set to trip at
                1,500 amperes and this setting shall be sealed.
                 (f) All circuit breakers used to protect No. 2 AWG trailing
                cables not to exceed 1,000 feet in length shall have instantaneous
                trip units set to trip at 600 amperes. The circuit breakers' trip
                setting shall be sealed, and the
                [[Page 10256]]
                circuit breakers shall have permanent, legible labels, identifying
                the circuit breakers as being set for the size of the cable.
                 (g) Replacement circuit breakers and/or instantaneous trip units
                used to protect No. 2 AWG cables shall be set to trip at 600 amperes
                and shall be sealed.
                 (h) During each production day, persons designated by the
                operator shall visually examine the trailing cables to ensure that
                the cables are in safe operating condition and that the trip
                settings are sealed and do not exceed the settings stipulated in
                this petition.
                 (i) Any trailing cable that is not in safe operating condition
                shall be removed from service immediately and repaired or replaced.
                In addition, if mining methods or operation procedures cause or
                contribute to the damage of any trailing cable, additional
                precautions shall be taken to ensure that the cable is protected and
                maintained in a safe operating condition.
                 (j) Each splice or repair in the trailing cable shall be made in
                a proper workmanlike manner and in accordance with the instructions
                of the manufacturer of the splice or repair kit. The outer jacket of
                each splice or repair shall be vulcanized with flame resistant
                material or made with material that has been accepted by MSHA as
                flame resistant under 30 CFR part 18.
                 (k) Permanent warning labels shall be installed and maintained
                on the covers of each circuit breaker and trailing cable
                disconnecting device indicating that the trailing cable can only be
                connected to a properly adjusted and sealed circuit breaker. These
                labels shall warn miners not to change or alter the sealed trip
                settings and not to connect the trailing cables to an improperly
                adjusted circuit breaker.
                 (l) The conditions of this petition shall not be implemented
                until all miners designated to examine the integrity of the seals,
                verify the trip settings, and examine trailing cables for defects
                have received the training outlined in this petition.
                 (m) Within 60 days after the proposed decision and order becomes
                final, the petitioner shall submit proposed revisions to its
                approved 30 CFR part 48 training plan to the MSHA District Manager.
                The proposed revisions shall specify task training for miners
                designated to verify that the trip settings of the circuit
                interrupting devices protecting the affected trailing cables do not
                exceed the specified settings. The training shall include the
                following elements:
                 1. The hazards of setting the circuit interrupting device too
                high to adequately protect the trailing cable.
                 2. How to verify that the circuit interrupting devices
                protecting the trailing cables are properly set and maintained.
                 3. Mining methods and operating procedures to protect the
                trailing cables against damage.
                 4. Proper procedures for examining the affected trailing cables
                to ensure they are in safe operating condition.
                 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. 2022-03776 Filed 2-22-22; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4520-43-P
                

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