[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2013)]
[Pages 29384-29386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11887]



Mine Safety and Health Administration

Petitions for Modification of Application of Existing Mandatory 
Safety Standards

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Notice.


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 June 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments, identified by ``docket 
number'' on the subject line, by any of the following methods:
    1. Electronic Mail: [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, 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

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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), 
[email protected] (Email), or 202-693-9441 (Facsimile). [These are 
not toll-free numbers.]


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 Number: M-2013-019-C.
    Petitioner: Peabody Twentymile Mining LLC, Three Gateway Center, 
Suite 1500, 401 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.
    Mine: Foidel Creek Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 05-03836, located in Routt 
County, Colorado.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 75.1101-7(a) (Installation of water 
sprinkler systems; requirements).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance with 
respect to its sprinkler system for its conveyor belts. The petitioner 
proposes the following alternative for best protection and could be 
installed in a horizontal position:
    1. The pendant spray in its sprinkler system at belt drives and 
belt take-ups will be oriented for the best level of protection as 
determined by Twentymile and may be oriented in a horizontal position.
    2. The number of sprays on the branch lines may exceed eight and 
may be positioned at a spacing of less than six feet. The number of 
sprays is not limited so long as 10 psi is maintained at the 
furthermost spray.
    3. The pressure in the branch lines when tested should be at a 
minimum of 10 psi. The pressure will not exceed 250 psi when the sprays 
are operating.
    4. Each water sprinkler system will consist of a system with 
automatic sprinklers located not more than eight feet apart so that the 
water discharge from the sprinklers will cover 50 feet of flame-
resistant belt, or 150 feet of non-flame-resistant belt, adjacent to 
the belt drive. In addition, automatic sprinklers will be located so 
that the water discharged from the sprinkler(s) will cover the drive 
motor(s), entire belt take-up, electrical controls, and gear reducing 
unit for each belt drive.
    5. The residual pressure in each sprinkler system will not be less 
than 10 psi with any eight sprinklers open. The supply of water will be 
adequate to provide a constant flow of water for at least ten minutes 
with all sprinklers functioning.
    6. Each water sprinkler system will have a strainer with a flush-
out connection and a manual shut-off valve.
    7. Installation of the branch line may be no less than 3 inches but 
may be more than 12 inches from the roof but no closer than 3 inches.
    8. Each automatic sprinkler will be designed to stop the running 
conveyor belt when a water sprinkler is activated.
    9. Each automatic sprinkler will be a standard \3/8\-inch orifice, 
pendant-type sprinkler, sidewall or umbrella spray with fusible link 
actuation. Actuation temperature for each automatic sprinkler will be 
between 200 degrees Fahrenheit and 230 degrees Fahrenheit.
    10. A functional test to ensure proper operation will be conducted 
during the installation of each new system and during the subsequent 
repair or replacement of any critical part thereof. The functional test 
will be conducted in accordance with the following:
    a. Close the manual shut-off valve.
    b. Open the flush-out valve.
    c. Attach a test manifold to the end of the branch line.
    d. The manifold consists of a 2'' diameter pipe 2-3 feet long. The 
manifold is coupled to the end of the branch line. The end which 
attaches to the branch line is grooved and the other end is capped. 
There are ten \1/2\-inch threaded pipe couplers welded to the 2-3 foot 
pipe. Eight fire suppression sprays with open orifices will be threaded 
to 8 of the pipe couplers. A suitable pressure gauge will be attached 
to the ninth pipe coupler on the downstream end. The tenth coupler is a 
spare and plugged.
    e. Open the valve on the branch line and read the pressure 
indicated on the gauge. The water sprinkler system pressure is adequate 
if the gauge indicates 10 psi or more.
    f. Verify that the water flow switch is activated and the dispatch 
center receives the alarm.
    g. Restore the system to its operational condition.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
guarantee the miners no less than the same measure of protection 
afforded by the standard.
    Docket Number: M-2013-020-C
    Petitioner: Liberty Fuels Company, LLC, 4707 Highway 493, DeKalb, 
Mississippi 39328.
    Mine: Liberty Mine, MSHA I.D. No. 22-00803, located in Kemper 
County, Mississippi.
    Regulation Affected: 30 CFR 77.803 (Fail safe ground check circuits 
on high-voltage resistance grounded systems).
    Modification Request: The petitioner requests a modification of the 
existing standard to permit an alternative method of compliance when 
the boom/mast is raised or lowered during necessary repairs. The 
petitioner states that it realizes that some stages of assembly/
disassembly of draglines require special consideration when the boom 
mast is raising/lowering into position. The boom is raised/lowered 
utilizing the on-board motor electrical system. This is critical 
because during this process, power to the machine must not be 
interrupted. Power loss may result in the boom becoming uncontrolled 
and falling, and could injure workers. To address this condition, the 
following guidelines are proposed to help prevent loss of power to the 
machine. This procedure only addresses raising and lowering the boom on 
draglines utilizing the machine's electrical system. It does not 
replace other mechanical precautions or the requirements of 30 CFR 
77.405(b) that are necessary to safely secure booms/masts during 
construction or maintenance procedures.
    The following procedure has been designed for ``boom raising'' or 
``boom lowering'' at the Liberty Mine. During this period of 
construction and maintenance, the machine will not be performing mining 
operations. This procedure will also be applicable in instances of 
disassembly or major maintenance, which require the boom to be raised 
or lowered. The following guidelines will be used to minimize the 
potential for electrical power loss during this critical boom 

[[Page 29386]]

    The Liberty Mine will use this procedure during disassembly or 
major maintenance only. Major maintenance requiring the raising and 
lowering of the boom mast would be performed on an as needed basis, 
which could span long periods of time. Therefore, training and review 
of the procedure would be conducted prior to this need. At such time 
all persons involved in the process would be trained and retrained.
    (1) Liberty Mine employees, its contractors and affected persons 
will be trained on the requirements of the procedure at the mine.
    (2) The procedure will be coordinated by a Liberty dragline 
maintenance supervisor and, if possible, the contractor's 
representative will assist. At least two (2) MSHA qualified 
electricians will be present at all times during the procedure.
    (3) The number of persons required on board the machine will be 
limited. An MSHA qualified electrician, dragline operator, the dragline 
oiler, and individuals with critical tasks that are pertinent to the 
boom raising/lowering process will be permitted on the machine. The 
dragline maintenance supervisor and contractor's representative may 
either be on board or at a location on the ground to assist in the 
    (4) The affected area under the boom will be secured to prevent 
persons from entering and/or contacting the frame of the machine during 
the ``boom raising/lowering''. The area will be secured and only those 
identified in Item 3 will be permitted inside the secured 
area. At no time will anyone be permitted under the boom.
    (5) Communication between the dragline operator, the MSHA qualified 
electrician at the dragline, the MSHA qualified electrician at the 
substation, the dragline maintenance supervisor and the contractor's 
representative, if present, will be a dedicated channel on the 
company's two-way radio.
    (6) An MSHA qualified electrician will complete an examination of 
all electrical components that will be energized. The examination will 
be done within two (2) hours prior to the boom raising/lowering 
process. A record of this examination will be made available to 
interested parties. The machine will be de-energized to perform this 
    (7) After the examination has been completed, the electrical 
components necessary to complete the boom raising/lowering process will 
be energized to assure they are operating properly as determined by an 
MSHA qualified electrician. When completed the machine will be de-
energized and locked out.
    (8) The ground fault and ground check circuits will be disabled 
    (a) The internal grounding conductor of the trailing cable has been 
tested and is continuous from the frame of the dragline to the 
grounding resistor located at the substation. Utilizing the ground 
check circuit and disconnecting the pilot circuit at the machine frame 
and verifying the circuit breaker cannot be closed will be an 
acceptable test. Resistance measurements can also be used to assure the 
ground conductor is continuous. The grounding resistor will be tested 
to assure it is properly connected, is not open, or is not shorted.
    (b) Normal short circuit protection will be provided at all times. 
The over current relay setting may be increased up to 100 percent above 
its normal setting.
    (9) During the boom raising/lowering procedure an MSHA qualified 
electrician will be positioned at the substation dedicated to monitor 
the grounding circuit. The MSHA qualified electrician at the substation 
will at all times maintain communications with an MSHA qualified 
electrician at the dragline. If a grounded phase condition or an open 
ground wire should occur during the process, the MSHA qualified 
electrician at the substation will notify the MSHA qualified 
electrician at the dragline. All persons on board the machine must be 
aware of the condition and must remain on board the machine. The boom 
must be lowered to the ground or controlled and the electrical circuit 
de-energized, locked and tagged out. The circuit must remain de-
energized until the condition is corrected. The ground fault and ground 
check circuits will be reinstalled prior to re-energizing and testing 
the machine. Once the circuits have been tested and no adverse 
conditions are present, the boom raising/lowering procedure, as 
outlined above, will be resumed.
    (10) During this construction/maintenance procedure, persons cannot 
get on/off the dragline while the ground check ground fault circuits 
are disabled unless the circuit is de-energized, locked and tagged out 
as verified by the MSHA qualified electrician at the substation.
    (11) After the boom raising/lowering is completed, the MSHA 
qualified electrician at the substation will restore all the protective 
devices to their normal state. When this has been completed, the MSHA 
qualified electrician at the substation will notify the dragline 
operator that all circuits are in their normal state. At this time 
normal work procedures can begin.
    The petitioner asserts that the proposed alternative method will 
not result in a diminution of safety to the miners affected.

    Dated: May 14, 2013.
George F. Triebsch,
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances.
[FR Doc. 2013-11887 Filed 5-17-13; 8:45 am]