[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 94 (Tuesday, May 15, 2012)]
[Pages 28600-28601]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11695]



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[Docket Number CDC-2012-0006; NIOSH-255]

Draft publication: Coal Dust Explosibility Meter Evaluation and 
Recommendations for Application

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 95l.

AGENCY: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) 
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice of draft publication available for public comment.


SUMMARY: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
announces the availability of the following notice of draft publication 
available for public comment entitled ``Coal Dust Explosibility Meter 
Evaluation and Recommendations for Application.'' The document and 
instructions for submitting comments can be found at http://www.regulations.gov.
    Public Comment Period: Comment period ends May 29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Written comments, identified by CDC-2012-0006 and docket 
number NIOSH-255, may be

[[Page 28601]]

submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal erulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: NIOSH Docket Office, Robert A. Taft Laboratories, 
MS-C34, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
     Facsimile: (513) 533-8285.
     Email: [email protected].
    All information received in response to this notice will be 
available for public examination and copying at the NIOSH Docket 
Office, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226. For access to 
the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/review/docket255/default.html. NIOSH includes all comments received without 
change in the docket, including any personal information provided. All 
electronic comments should be formatted as Microsoft Word. All material 
submitted to the Agency should reference docket number NIOSH-255 and 
must be submitted by May 29, 2012 to be considered by the Agency.
    Background: This report details the results of a cooperative study 
between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 
investigating the ability of the Coal Dust Explosibility Meter (CDEM) 
to accurately predict the explosibility of samples of coal and rock 
dust mixtures collected from underground coal mines in the U.S. The 
CDEM, which gives instantaneous results in real time, represents a new 
way for miners and operators to assess the relative hazard of dust 
accumulations in their mines and the effectiveness of their rock 
dusting practices. The intention of the device is to assist mine 
operators in complying with the (MSHA) final rule 30 CFR 75.403, 
requiring that the incombustible content of combined coal dust, rock 
dust, and other dust be at least 80% in underground areas of bituminous 
coal mines.
    This study was completed in 2010, and involved field use of the 
CDEM within MSHA's 10 bituminous coal districts. As part of their 
routine dust compliance surveys in these districts, MSHA inspectors 
collected sample coal and rock dust mixtures, field testing these 
samples for explosibility with the CDEM. Samples were then sent to the 
MSHA laboratory at Mt. Hope, WV, for parallel testing, first using a 
drying oven to determine the surface moisture followed by traditional 
low temperature ashing (LTA) method. The LTA method determines 
explosibility of a coal and rock dust sample in a laboratory by heating 
the mixture to burn off the combustible material. The results, when 
combined with the surface moisture, are reported as total incombustible 
content (TIC). If the TIC is >=80%, the sample is deemed to be 
nonexplosible and compliant with 30 CFR 75.403.
    The CDEM utilizes a different approach, using optical reflectance 
to determine the ratio of rock dust to coal dust in a mixture. The CDEM 
offers real-time measurements of the explosion propagation hazard 
within a coal mine entry, allowing for immediate identification and 
mitigation of the problem.
    The conclusions of this study support the field use of the CDEM to 
measure the explosibility of coal and rock dust mixtures, to more 
effectively improve the onsite adequacy of rock dusting for explosion 

Director for Mining, 626 Cochrans Mill Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15236, 
telephone (412) 386-5301, email [email protected].
    Reference: Web address for this publication: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docket/review/docket255/pdfs/CDEM_IC_Final_May01.pdf.

    Dated: May 9, 2012.
John Howard,
Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[FR Doc. 2012-11695 Filed 5-14-12; 8:45 am]