[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 38 (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13089-13094]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-04370]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration


Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: 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 submitted to the Mine Safety and Health 
Administration (MSHA) by the parties listed below to modify the 
application of existing mandatory safety standards codified in Title 30 
of the Code of Federal Regulations.

DATES: All comments on the petitions must be received by the Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances on or before March 28, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, 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: MSHA, Office of Standards, 
Regulations and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, 
Virginia 22209-3939, Attention: George F. Triebsch, Director, Office of 
Standards, Regulations and Variances. Persons delivering documents are 
required to check in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor. 
Individuals may inspect copies of the petitions 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: Barbara Barron, Office of Standards, 
Regulations and Variances at 202-693-9447 (Voice), 
barron.barbara@dol.gov (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are 
not toll-free numbers.]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

 I. Background

    Section 101(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 
(Mine Act) allows the mine operator or representative of miners to file 
a petition to modify the application of any mandatory safety standard 
to a coal or other mine if the Secretary of Labor determines that:
    (1) An alternative method of achieving the result of such standard 
exists which will at all times guarantee no less than the same measure 
of protection afforded the miners of such mine by such standard; or
    (2) That the application of such standard to such mine will result 
in a diminution of safety to the miners in such mine.
    In addition, the regulations at 30 CFR 44.10 and 44.11 establish 
the requirements and procedures for filing petitions for modification.

II. Petitions for Modification

    Docket No: M-2013-005-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Francisco Mine Underground Pit, MSHA I.D. No. 12-02295, 
located in Gibson County, Indiana.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
or inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable 
battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, 
distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature 
and size, and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open 
crosscut.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane

[[Page 13090]]

is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-006-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Francisco Mine Underground Pit, MSHA I.D. No. 12-02295, 
located in Gibson County, Indiana.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
return airways, including, but not limited to, portable battery-
operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance 
meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
These examinations will include the following steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn out of the return airways.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-007-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Francisco Mine Underground Pit, MSHA I.D. No. 12-02295, 
located in Gibson County, Indiana.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
within 150 feet of pillar workings, including, but not limited to, 
portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying 
equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the 
miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines that may 
mine in close proximity to these same active mines, it is necessary to 
determine the exact location and extent of the mine workings.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining by its nature 
and size, and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined by surveying 
personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a 
safe operating

[[Page 13091]]

condition. These examinations will include the following steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar 
workings.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket No: M-2013-008-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Gateway Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-02408, located in Randolph 
County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
or inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable 
battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, 
distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open 
crosscut.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-009-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Gateway Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-02408, located in Randolph 
County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
return airways, including, but not limited to, portable battery-
operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance 
meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.

[[Page 13092]]

    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
These examinations will include the following steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn out of the return airways.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-010-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Gateway Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-02408, located in Randolph 
County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
within 150 feet of pillar workings, including, but not limited to, 
portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying 
equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the 
miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines that may 
mine in close proximity to these same active mines, it is necessary to 
determine the exact location and extent of the mine workings.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined by surveying 
personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a 
safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar 
workings.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket No: M-2013-011-C.

[[Page 13093]]

    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Wildcat Hills Underground Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03156, 
located in Saline County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.500(d) (Permissible electric 
equipment).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
or inby the last open crosscut, including, but not limited to, portable 
battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, 
distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
or inby the last open crosscut will be examined by surveying personnel 
prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe 
operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in or inby the last open 
crosscut.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn outby the last open crosscut.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air outby the last open crosscut.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-012-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Wildcat Hills Underground Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03156, 
located in Saline County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.507-1(a) (Electric equipment other 
than power-connection points; outby the last open crosscut; return air; 
permissibility requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment in 
return airways, including, but not limited to, portable battery-
operated mine transits, total station surveying equipment, distance 
meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used in 
return airways will be examined by surveying personnel prior to use to 
ensure the equipment is being maintained in a safe operating condition. 
These examinations will include the following steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment in return airways.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn out of the return airways.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.

[[Page 13094]]

    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air out of the return.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-013-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Midwest Mining, LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-1000.
    Mine: Wildcat Hills Underground Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 11-03156, 
located in Saline County, Illinois.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1002(a) (Installation of electric 
equipment and conductors; permissibility).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance to 
allow the use of battery-powered nonpermissible surveying equipment 
within 150 feet of pillar workings, including, but not limited to, 
portable battery-operated mine transits, total station surveying 
equipment, distance meters, and data loggers. The petitioner states 
that:
    (1) To comply with requirements for mine ventilation maps and mine 
maps in 30 CFR 75.372 and 75.1200, use of the most practical and 
accurate surveying equipment is necessary. To ensure the safety of the 
miners in active mines and to protect miners in future mines that may 
mine in close proximity to these same active mines, it is necessary to 
determine the exact location and extent of the mine workings.
    (2) Application of the existing standard would result in a 
diminution of safety to the miners. Underground mining, by its nature 
and size and the complexity of mine plans, requires that accurate and 
precise measurements be completed in a prompt and efficient manner. The 
petitioner proposes the following as an alternative to the existing 
standard:
    (a) Nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment may be used. Such 
nonpermissible surveying equipment includes portable battery-operated 
total station surveying equipment, mine transits, distance meters, and 
data loggers.
    (b) All nonpermissible electronic surveying equipment to be used 
within 150 feet of pillar workings will be examined by surveying 
personnel prior to use to ensure the equipment is being maintained in a 
safe operating condition. These examinations will include the following 
steps:
    (i) Checking the instrument for any physical damage and the 
integrity of the case.
    (ii) Removing the battery and inspecting for corrosion.
    (iii) Inspecting the contact points to ensure a secure connection 
to the battery.
    (iv) Reinserting the battery and powering up and shutting down to 
ensure proper connections.
    (v) Checking the battery compartment cover to ensure that it is 
securely fastened.
    (c) The results of such examinations will be recorded and retained 
for one year and made available to MSHA on request.
    (d) A qualified person as defined in 30 CFR 75.151 will 
continuously monitor for methane immediately before and during the use 
of nonpermissible surveying equipment within 150 feet of pillar 
workings.
    (e) Nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be used if methane 
is detected in concentrations at or above one percent for the area 
being surveyed. When methane is detected at such levels while the 
nonpermissible surveying equipment is being used, the equipment will be 
deenergized immediately and the nonpermissible electronic equipment 
withdrawn further than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (f) All hand-held methane detectors will be MSHA-approved and 
maintained in permissible and proper operating condition as defined in 
30 CFR 75.320.
    (g) Batteries in the surveying equipment will be changed out or 
charged in fresh air more than 150 feet from pillar workings.
    (h) Qualified personnel who use surveying equipment will be 
properly trained to recognize the hazards associated with the use of 
nonpermissible surveying equipment in areas where methane could be 
present.
    (i) The nonpermissible surveying equipment will not be put into 
service until MSHA has initially inspected the equipment and determined 
that it is in compliance with all the terms and conditions in this 
petition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will at 
all times guarantee no less than the same measure of protection as that 
afforded by the existing standard.

     Dated: February 21, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-04370 Filed 2-25-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P