September 6, 2007
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
30 CFR Parts 49 and 75
Mine Rescue Teams and Equipment;
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51320 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR receptionist’s desk and wait for an C. Costs.
escort. D. Benefits.
Mine Safety and Health Administration Information Collection Requirements: V. Feasibility.
Comments concerning the information A. Technological Feasibility.
30 CFR Parts 49 and 75 B. Economic Feasibility.
collection requirements of this proposed
VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act and Small
RIN 1219–AB53 rule must be clearly identified with Business Regulatory Enforcement
‘‘RIN 1219–AB53’’ and sent to both the Fairness Act.
Mine Rescue Teams Office of Management and Budget A. Definition of a Small Mine.
(OMB) and MSHA. Comments to OMB B. Factual Basis for Certification.
AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health may be sent by mail addressed to the VII. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.
Administration (MSHA), Labor. Office of Information and Regulatory VIII. Other Regulatory Considerations.
ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of public Affairs, Office of Management and A. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of
hearings; close of comment period. Budget, New Executive Office Building, 1995.
725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC B. The Treasury and General Government
SUMMARY: The proposed rule would Appropriations Act of 1999: Assessment
20503, Attn: Desk Officer for MSHA.
revise MSHA’s existing standards for of Federal Regulations and Policies on
Docket: Comments can be accessed Families.
mine rescue teams for underground coal
electronically at http://www.msha.gov C. Executive Order 12630: Government
mines. It would strengthen training
under the Rules and Regs link. MSHA Actions and Interference with
requirements and address composition,
will post all comments on the Internet Constitutionally Protected Property
availability, and certification
without change, including any personal Rights.
requirements for coal mine rescue D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice
information provided. Comments may
teams. This proposed rule would Reform.
also be reviewed at the Office of
implement the provisions of the Mine E. Executive Order 13045: Protection of
Standards, Regulations, and Variances,
Improvement and New Emergency Children from Environmental Health
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350,
Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act) to Risks and Safety Risks.
Arlington, Virginia. Stop at the 21st F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism.
improve overall mine rescue service;
floor to sign in at the receptionist’s desk G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation
improve mine emergency response time;
and wait for an escort. and Coordination with Indian Tribal
improve mine rescue team effectiveness;
Mailing List: MSHA maintains a list Governments.
and increase the quantity and quality of
that enables subscribers to receive e- H. Executive Order 13211: Actions
mine rescue team training. Concerning Regulations That
mail notification when rulemaking
DATES: All comments must be sent on or documents are published in the Federal Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
before November 9, 2007. MSHA will Register. To subscribe, go to http:// Distribution, or Use.
hold four public hearings on October 23, www.msha.gov under the Mailing List I. Introduction
October 25, October 30, and November link.
1, 2007. Details about the public The Mine Improvement and New
hearings are in the ‘‘Supplementary FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Emergency Response Act of 2006
Information’’ section of this document. Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of
became effective on June 15, 2006
ADDRESSES: Comments must be clearly
Standards, Regulations, and Variances,
(MINER Act). The goal of the MINER
identified with ‘‘RIN 1219–AB53’’ and MSHA, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Act is ‘‘to improve the safety of mines
may be sent to MSHA by any of the (internet e-mail), 202–693–9440 (voice),
and mining.’’ To accomplish this goal,
following methods: or 202–693–9441 (facsimile).
the MINER Act includes provisions to
(1) Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: improve mine emergency response time,
http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the Outline of the Preamble improve mine rescue team effectiveness,
instructions for submitting comments. and increase the quantity and quality of
(2) Electronic mail: zzMSHA- This outline will assist the mining
mine rescue team training.
email@example.com. Include ‘‘RIN 1219– community in finding information in
AB53’’ in the subject line of the this preamble. Section 4 of the MINER Act requires
message. MSHA to publish regulations on mine
(3) Facsimile: 202–693–9441. Include II. Statutory and Rulemaking Background.
rescue teams by December 2007.
‘‘RIN 1219–AB53’’ in the subject line of III. Section-by-Section Analysis. Because the mine rescue team
the message. A. Technical Amendments to Existing provisions contained in section 4 of the
(4) Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards. MINER Act apply only to underground
Standards, Regulations, and Variances, B. Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for coal mines, this proposed rule would
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Underground Coal Mines; Amendments affect those mines and the mine rescue
to Existing Requirements. teams that cover them.
Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939. C. Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for
(5) Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Underground Coal Mines; Additional Public Hearings
Office of Standards, Regulations, and MINER Act Provisions.
Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, IV. Regulatory Economic Analysis. MSHA will hold four public hearings
Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia. Stop at A. Executive Order 12866. concerning the proposed rule. The
the 21st floor to sign in at the B. Population at Risk. hearings will be held as follows:
Date Location Contact
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October 23, 2007, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. .......... Little America Hotel, 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 .................... 801–596–5700
October 25, 2007, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. .......... Four Points by Sheraton Lexington, 1938 Stanton Way, Lexington, KY 40511 ......... 859–259–1311
October 30, 2007, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. .......... Charleston Civic Center, West Virginia Room 105, 200 Civic Center Drive, Charles- 304–345–1500
ton, WV 25301.
November 1, 2007, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. ........ Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 2101 Richard Arrington Boulevard, North Birmingham, 205–324–5000
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51321
The hearings will begin with an availability, and training. As specified existing standards in subpart A,
opening statement from MSHA, by the MINER Act, MSHA is proposing applicable to all underground mines,
followed by an opportunity for members additional standards for mine rescue and add a new subpart B, applicable
of the public to make oral presentations teams for underground coal mines. only to underground coal mines, to
to the hearing panel. Requests to speak address MINER Act requirements.
A. Technical Amendments to Existing
at a hearing should be made at least 5 MSHA also is requesting comments
days prior to the hearing date. Requests Standards
on whether this proposed rule will
to speak may be made by telephone This proposed rule would make no result in different approaches to
(202–693–9440), facsimile (202–693– substantive change to requirements for providing mine rescue services and, if
9441), or mail (MSHA, Office of mine rescue teams at underground so, what those approaches would be.
Standards, Regulations, and Variances, metal and nonmetal mines. MSHA is The Agency believes that the new
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, proposing the following non-substantive requirements in the MINER Act might
Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939). Any organizational changes to the existing result in providers of mine rescue
unallocated time at the end of each standards. services seeking alternative methods of
hearing will be made available to • For clarity, MSHA proposes to add providing these services. This issue will
persons making same-day requests to a heading designating the existing be discussed in more detail later in the
speak. standards as Subpart—A—Mine Rescue preamble.
The presiding official may limit Teams for Underground Metal and
presentations and exclude irrelevant or Nonmetal Mines. This proposed rule 2. Section 49.11 Purpose and Scope
unduly repetitious material and would make no changes to §§ —49.1 MSHA proposes to add the phrase,
questions to ensure the orderly progress through 49.9. ‘‘as amended by the Mine Improvement
of the hearings. The hearing panelists • MSHA proposes to delete § 49.10 and New Emergency Response Act of
may ask questions of speakers. Speakers Effective date. The effective date 2006,’’ to update § 49.11 Purpose and
and other attendees may present written language is obsolete. scope. This change is a technical
information to the MSHA panel for B. Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for amendment. The proposed rule also
inclusion in the rulemaking record. Underground Coal Mines; Amendments would number the existing paragraph
MSHA will accept post-hearing written to Existing Requirements (a) and add a new paragraph (b).
comments and data for the record from Paragraph (b) would contain a table to
any interested party, including those not MSHA is proposing a new subpart B provide mine operators a quick visual
presenting oral statements, until the that would contain all the standards summary of their new compliance
close of the comment period on applicable to mine rescue teams for obligations under the MINER Act. As
November 9, 2007. underground coal mines. Subpart B noted in the table (Table 49.11):
The hearings will be conducted in an would contain the existing requirements
renumbered as §§ 49.11 through 49.19, Team members of State-sponsored teams
informal manner. Formal rules of who are full-time State employees whose
evidence and cross examination will not with modifications to achieve the goals primary job duties include (1) inspecting
apply. MSHA will make transcripts of of the MINER Act and to address the underground mines for compliance with
the hearings, post them on MSHA’s Web unique conditions present in anthracite State safety laws or (2) training mine rescue
site http://www.msha.gov, and include coal mines. The proposal reserves teams or (3) conducting mine safety training
them in the rulemaking record. § 49.14 because it is not applicable to or (4) other similar duties that would
underground coal mines. enhance their mine rescue knowledge may
II. Statutory and Rulemaking In addition, to address the new substitute their regular job experience for 50
Background MINER Act provisions, subpart B percent of the training requirements (annual
In accordance with section 115(e) of contains the following five new training which includes mine rescue contests
standards: and mine-site training) for non-State
the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act
employee mine rescue team members.
of 1977 (Mine Act), MSHA issued § 49.20 Requirements for all coal mines.
standards in 30 CFR part 49 for mine § 49.30 Requirements for small coal MSHA requests comments on this
rescue teams in underground coal and mines. provision, particularly on allowing
metal and nonmetal mines (45 FR § 49.40 Requirements for large coal experience to substitute for 50 percent
47002, July 11, 1980). Part 49 contains mines. of the training requirements.
requirements addressing the three § 49.50 Certification of coal mine rescue 3. Section 49.12(b) Alternative
essential elements of effective mine teams. Composition Requirements for Mine
rescue teams: (1) Ready availability; (2) § 49.60 Requirements for local mine
Rescue Teams for Anthracite Coal Mines
proper equipment; and (3) basic levels rescue contests.
of skills and training. Existing § 49.2(b) requires mine
1. New Subpart B and the rescue teams to have five members and
After several underground coal mine
Reorganization of Part 49 one alternate. MSHA is proposing this
disasters in 2006, Congress passed and
the President signed the MINER Act. MSHA requests comments on the requirement for underground coal mines
Section 4 of the MINER Act requires proposed re-organizational change to 30 as § 49.12(b) and would add a provision
that the Secretary issue regulations for CFR part 49. MSHA specifically solicits specifically to address underground
mine rescue teams by December 2007. comments on the approach taken in this anthracite coal mines that have no
The MINER Act also requires that any proposal, that is, retaining all existing electrical equipment at the face or
new standards not waive training standards as a separate subpart A working section.
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requirements for existing teams. applicable to underground metal and Because mining methods and
nonmetal mines and creating a new conditions in underground anthracite
III. Section-by-Section Analysis separate subpart B containing existing coal mines are unique, anthracite mine
The MINER Act requires underground standards and proposed new MINER operators have been granted petitions
coal mine operators to use mine rescue Act provisions for underground coal for modification under section 101(c) of
teams that meet specific requirements mines. The Agency also is considering the Mine Act allowing mine rescue
for certification, composition, an alternative that would retain the teams covering these mines to be
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51322 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
comprised of three members each and electrical equipment at the face or stations, without consideration of road
one alternate team member to serve both working section, to have two mine or traffic conditions, and the experience
teams. In support of these petitions, rescue teams consisting of at least three and expertise of MSHA’s technical staff
anthracite mine operators cited the members per team and one alternate in the Office of Coal Mine Safety and
following: shared between both teams. This Health. The Agency solicits comment on
• Most anthracite mines are not proposed provision is consistent with whether some existing stations may
highly mechanized. Production and the action taken in existing petitions for need to be moved to meet this
maintenance work is done largely by modification. requirement. MSHA also solicits
hand, using simple hand tools and comment on whether mine operators
4. Section 49.12(c) Alternative
equipment. Anthracite mines may have will encounter any difficulties in
Experience Requirement for Members of
no underground electric power or may meeting the requirements of the
Contract Mine Rescue Teams
have power only at the bottom of the proposal. MSHA specifically requests
hoist slope. Existing § 49.2(c) requires mine rescue information, from members of the
• Typically, extraction occurs in a team members to have been employed mining community affected by this
single face or production area. Many in an underground mine for at least 1 provision, on the number of additional
anthracite mines are developed only year within the past 5 years. MSHA is mine rescue teams and stations that
short distances underground, rarely proposing this requirement for would be needed to comply with this
more than several thousand feet. underground coal mines as § 49.12(c) new requirement. MSHA is particularly
• Anthracite seams dip steeply and and would add a provision specifically interested in: (1) How compliance
are often near vertical. Openings are to implement the requirement in the would be achieved; (2) location of new
narrow and constricted. Access between MINER Act for members of contract rescue stations; (3) make-up and
levels is by means of hardwood ladders mine rescue teams. The MINER Act composition of new teams; and (4) any
through small, steeply pitched requires that members of contract mine other information that might be useful.
openings. rescue teams have ‘‘a minimum of 3 MSHA is also interested in feasibility
• The hoist bucket, used to transport years underground coal mine information, including economic
personnel, typically can accommodate experience that shall have occurred feasibility. The Agency requests that
no more than four persons. within the 10-year period preceding commenters include specific
• Rock dusting is not required their employment on the contract mine information, such as cost or technical
because of the extremely low rescue team.’’ capability, in support of their positions.
combustibility of anthracite coal, caused The proposed rule would retain the
existing provision that, for the purpose 6. Section 49.13 Alternative Mine
by its low volatile content.
of mine rescue work only, miners who Rescue Capability for Small and Remote
• The average underground anthracite
are employed on the surface but work Mines
mine employs four miners.
• In the past 20 years, no more than regularly underground can use that time Existing § 49.3 provides alternative
one mine rescue team has been needed to meet the experience requirement. capability for small and remote mines
in the anthracite region for rescue and MSHA also would waive the and is proposed as § 49.13 for
recovery activities. Further, no more underground experience requirement underground coal mines. Proposed
than three rescue team members have for those miners on a mine rescue team paragraphs (a) and (c)(3) would be
entered a working place at the same on the effective date of the rule. revised to be consistent with the 1-hour
time during such activities. 5. Section 49.12(f) Available Within 1 requirement of the MINER Act. These
In accordance with section 101(c) of Hour Ground Travel Time From the provisions would require 1 hour ground
the Mine Act, MSHA investigated each Mine Rescue Station travel time from the mine rescue station
petition of § 49.2(b) from these small, to the covered mine and that the
Existing § 49.2(f) requires that no operator’s application include the total
underground anthracite coal mines and
mine served by a mine rescue team shall underground employment of any mines
made the following finding:
be located more than 2 hours ground within 1 hour of the operator’s mine.
Considering this confirmation and the travel time from the mine rescue station
narrow width and constricted openings, the Proposed paragraph (c)(2) would be
with which the rescue team is revised to require that the operator
limited capacity of hoist conveyances, the
associated. MSHA is proposing this include the location of the mine rescue
pitched seam, the short travel distance from
the slope bottom to the working face, and the requirement for underground coal mines station serving the mine.
low combustibility of anthracite coal, as § 49.12(f). Proposed § 49.12(f) revises
petitioner’s alternative method of two mine existing § 49.2(f) to include the MINER 7. Section 49.14 [Reserved]
rescue teams with three members each is as Act requirement that the mine rescue Existing § 49.4 provides alternative
safe as maintaining two teams of five team be available at the underground mine rescue capability for special
members. As such, it achieves the result of coal mine within 1 hour ground travel mining conditions. The proposed rule
the standard to ensure the availability of time from the mine rescue station. This would not include this provision in
mine rescue capability for purposes of change from 2 hours to 1 hour ground
emergency rescue and recovery. subpart B because it is not applicable to
travel time between the mine and its underground coal mines.
On the basis of the petitions and the mine rescue station is intended to
findings of its investigations, MSHA ensure that a team will arrive at the 8. Section 49.15(a) Mine Rescue
granted 22 petitions for modification of mine more quickly in case of a mine Station
§ 49.2(b) that allow anthracite coal emergency. Existing § 49.5(a) requires operators of
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mines to operate under the approved MSHA projects that the availability of underground coal mines to designate, in
alternate method. Currently, 10 a team within 1 hour ground travel time advance, the location of the mine rescue
underground anthracite coal mines from the station to the covered mine station serving the mine, except where
operate under this approved alternative would result in the establishment of 28 alternative compliance is permitted.
method. additional mine rescue stations. This Proposed § 49.15(a) would require
The proposed rule would allow estimate is based on the general every operator of an underground mine
anthracite coal mines, which have no locations of mines and mine rescue to designate, in advance, the location of
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51323
the mine rescue station serving the taken in existing petitions for MSHA has reviewed the Mine Safety
mine. The proposal would delete the modification. For three-person teams Technology and Training Commission
exception related to alternative and one alternate, this would mean (Commission) report on Improving Mine
compliance. This proposed provision is seven self-contained oxygen breathing Safety Technology and Training:
consistent with the goals of the MINER apparatus and seven cap lamps; Establishing U.S. Global Leadership
Act. equipment required per team rather (2006). This report contained a number
than per team member, such as gas of recommendations addressing the
9. Section 49.16(a) Alternative training of mine rescue teams. One
detectors, may not be reduced.
Equipment Requirement for Anthracite recommended that the ‘‘minimum
Mines 10. Section 49.18(b) Training for Mine amount of training required of mine
Existing § 49.6(a) requires mine rescue Rescue Teams rescue team members should be
stations to have specific amounts of Under the existing standard, after increased to eight hours per month,’’ for
equipment that are appropriate for two completion of the initial training, all a total of 96 hours annually. MSHA’s
mine rescue teams composed of five team members must ‘‘receive at least 40 proposal takes the Commission’s
members and one alternate. MSHA is hours of refresher training annually. recommendation into consideration.
proposing this requirement for This training shall be given at least 4 Although the proposal includes 64
underground coal mines as § 49.16(a) hours each month, or for a period of 8 hours of training, MSHA requests
and adding a provision specifically to hours every 2 months.’’ For comment on the proposed 64-hour
address underground anthracite coal underground coal mines, this training training requirement. Specifically, the
mines that have no electrical equipment includes training requirements in Agency is interested in comment
at the face or working section. existing § 49.8(b)(1) through (b)(5), pertaining to whether the proposed
Because MSHA allows mine rescue which would be redesignated as amount should be increased or
teams for underground anthracite coal § 49.18(b)(1) through (b)(5) in this decreased in the final rule. Commenters
mines, which have no electrical proposal. should specifically address: the
equipment at the face or working The proposed rule would add a new rationale for the amount of training; the
section, to have three members for each paragraph (b)(6), which is consistent type of training; the number of hours of
team and one alternate to serve both with the goals of the MINER Act. It training that should be required for
teams, anthracite mine operators have would require all mine rescue team specific activities; and the impact of
submitted petitions for modification members, at least once during each 12- such a requirement on the mining
under section 101(c) of the Mine Act to month period, to participate in training industry’s ability to form additional
MSHA to allow the mine rescue station that includes wearing mine rescue mine rescue teams or retain current
to maintain eight self-contained oxygen apparatus while in smoke, simulated mine rescue team members.
breathing apparatus and eight cap lamps Proposed paragraph § 49.18(d) has
smoke, or an equivalent environment.
and a charging station, rather than been revised to be consistent with the
While some mine operators or training
twelve of each as required by the goals of the MINER Act by requiring the
facilities may use actual smoke,
existing standard. training courses to be conducted by
operators can use a nontoxic smoke,
In accordance with section 101(c) of instructors who have been employed in
such as theatrical smoke, which is
the Mine Act, MSHA investigated each an underground mine and have had a
harmless. An equivalent environment
petition and made the following finding: minimum of 1 year experience as a mine
could include, for example, training
MSHA’s investigation found that reducing rescue team member or mine rescue
with glasses or face shields that reduce
the quantity of equipment required to be instructor within the past 5 years. This
vision and simulate smoke. This
purchased and maintained at the anthracite requirement is necessary to ensure that
requirement would assure that mine
mine rescue station to a quantity consistent mine rescue team members are
rescue team members are trained in
with the requirements of granted instructed by persons with practical
modifications currently in effect, which realistic conditions.
mine rescue experience. Mine rescue
allow anthracite mines to be covered by two This proposal also would increase the team instructors who have received
mine rescue teams of three members each existing annual training requirement MSHA approval prior to the effective
and an alternate, will provide the same from 40 to 64 hours, given at 8 hours date of the final rule would not have to
measure of protection to the miners. every 2 months. This increase is in meet these new requirements.
On the basis of these petitions and the response to requirements in the MINER
findings of its investigation, MSHA Act for additional mine rescue team C. Subpart B-Mine Rescue Teams for
granted 17 petitions for modification of training. Underground Coal Mines; Additional
§ 49.6(a)(1) and (5) that allow each mine The MINER Act requires that team MINER Act Provisions
rescue station for anthracite coal mines members be familiar with operations of Section 4 of the MINER Act requires
to have eight self-contained oxygen covered mines, have knowledge of the the following:
breathing apparatus, eight cap lamps, operation and ventilation of covered • MSHA must establish, and update
and a charging rack, as the approved mines, and train at covered mines. The every 5 years thereafter, criteria to
alternative method. Currently, 10 MINER Act requires mine rescue team certify the qualifications of mine rescue
underground anthracite coal mines members to participate in two mine teams. MSHA is proposing new § 49.50
operate under this approved alternative rescue contests each year. MSHA has to address the criteria for certifying the
method. determined that an additional 24 hours qualifications of coal mine rescue teams.
Proposed § 49.16(a) would require training per year is necessary to cover • Underground coal mine operators
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that mine rescue stations covering training requirements in the MINER Act, must have an employee knowledgeable
anthracite coal mines that have no including participation in two mine in mine emergency response who is
electrical equipment at the face or rescue contests. Therefore, a minimum employed at the mine on each shift and
working section have at least the of 64 hours of refresher training is make available two certified mine
amount of equipment appropriate for necessary to accommodate the existing rescue teams whose members are
the number of mine rescue team and new MINER Act mine rescue team available at the mine within 1 hour
members, consistent with the action training requirements. ground travel time from the mine rescue
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51324 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
station. MSHA is proposing changes to Plan. New requirements have been underground mining conditions and
existing § 75.1501(a) to address the added to existing § 75.1501 to ensure operations at a particular mine. MSHA
requirement for an ‘‘employee that the responsible person understands expects that team members who work at
knowledgeable in mine emergency and has knowledge of the procedures the covered mine would be familiar
response.’’ and steps necessary to effectively with that mine’s conditions and
• Mine rescue team members must be respond to a mine emergency. The operations through participation in
knowledgeable, experienced, and responsible person must receive training mine rescue training and quarterly mine
trained; participate in two mine rescue in the following: organizing a command evacuation drills at the mine. Team
contests per year; and participate in center; directing firefighting personnel; members who do not work at the
mine rescue training at each covered deploying firefighting equipment; covered mine would need to become
mine. MSHA is proposing §§ 49.30 and directing mine rescue personnel; familiar with its operations by
49.40 to address these qualification and establishing a fresh air base; deploying participating in mine rescue training at
training-related requirements for small mine rescue teams; providing for mine the mine. This training would include:
and large underground coal mines, gas sampling and analysis; establishing identifying the designated escapeways,
respectively. In addition, MSHA is security; initiating an emergency mine intakes, returns, the ventilation system,
proposing § 49.60 to address evacuation; contacting emergency locations and types of fire fighting
requirements for a local mine rescue personnel; and communicating equipment, the communication system,
contest. appropriate information related to the mine-wide monitoring system, and the
emergency. This additional training will type of transportation equipment used
1. Section 75.1501(a) Person enhance the responsible person’s at the mine. Also, team members would
Knowledgeable in Mine Emergency knowledge in mine emergency response need to be familiar with the location of
Response and will assure appropriate actions are the mine rescue station, stored SCSRs,
The MINER Act requires the operator taken in emergency situations. breathable air, hardened rooms, and
to have a person employed on each shift The proposed rule is performance- other emergency response equipment or
who is knowledgeable in mine oriented and, therefore, does not supplies.
emergency response. The responsible prescribe the duration of this training. MSHA recognizes that the amount of
person required by existing 30 CFR Instead, the proposal allows the time required to familiarize teams with
75.1501 would meet some of the operator to provide training appropriate a particular mine will vary, depending
requirements of this provision. Existing to the unique conditions of the mine on mining conditions. For example,
§ 75.1501(a) requires that— and the experience of the miner being more complex mines and newer team
trained. The proposal includes topics members may require more time. For
(a) For each shift that miners work
underground, there shall be in attendance a
required to be addressed in the training. this reason, MSHA is not proposing a
responsible person designated by the mine MSHA expects the operator to assure minimum amount of time for mine
operator to take charge during mine that the responsible person is rescue team training underground at
emergencies involving a fire, explosion or gas adequately prepared to respond covered mines. MSHA expects the
or water inundations. The responsible person appropriately to mine emergencies. operator to evaluate each team member
shall have current knowledge of the assigned Consistent with other MSHA training to determine the amount of training
location and expected movements of miners requirements, the proposed rule would necessary for that person to become
underground, the operation of the mine require that the operator certify by familiar with operations at the covered
ventilation system, the location of the mine signature and date after each mine.
escapeways, the mine communications
system, any mine monitoring system if used,
responsible person has completed the b. Section 49.20(a)(2) Participation in
and the mine emergency evacuation and training and that the certification be Two Local Mine Rescue Contests.
firefighting program of instruction. kept at the mine for 1 year.
The MINER Act adds a new training
MSHA is proposing to amend 2. Section 49.20 Requirements for All requirement that mine rescue team
§ 75.1501(a) to require that the Coal Mines members must participate in two local
responsible person also have current Proposed § 49.20 would address mine rescue contests annually. Mine
knowledge about the mine’s Emergency MINER Act provisions that are the same rescue contests are designed to sharpen
Response Plan and Mine Rescue for all underground coal mine rescue skills and test the knowledge of team
Notification Plan. Under section 2 of the teams, regardless of the size of the members who would be called on to
MINER Act, all underground coal mine operation. It would require the operator respond to a mine emergency.
operators must adopt an Emergency to make available two certified mine Historically, mine rescue contests have
Response Plan, which must be approved rescue teams whose members are provided individuals with practical,
by MSHA. MSHA provides guidance to familiar with the operations of each coal hands-on experience and are one of the
mine operators for preparing Emergency mine covered by the mine rescue team, most effective forms of training. Some
Response Plans in a Program Policy participate annually in two local mine team members who are regular
Letter (PPL P06–V–10, 10/24/2006), and rescue contests, and train at the covered participants in contests have been called
in the Program Information Bulletin on mines. The proposed rule contains on in recent years to perform actual
Breathable Air (PIB 07–03, 02/08/2007). criteria for the certification of mine mine rescue and recovery work. They
The PPL and PIB are available on the rescue teams for underground coal have done so successfully and training
MINER Act Single Source Page at mines as § 49.50 and requirements for a exercises, such as mine rescue contests,
http://www.msha.gov. local mine rescue contest as § 49.60 of were essential to maintaining a well-
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MSHA is also proposing to require this subpart. prepared team.
that the responsible person be trained For the purpose of this requirement,
annually in mine emergency response a. Section 49.20(a)(1) Familiarity with MSHA would consider a two-day
coordination and communication. In the Operations of Covered Mines. contest, with a different competition
event of a mine emergency, the MSHA considers ‘‘familiarity’’ with and simulated mine rescue exercise on
responsible person must be able to the operations of the covered mine as each day, as two contests if the team
quickly initiate the Emergency Response first-hand experience of the participated on both days. MSHA
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51325
expects that this would minimize costs must have at least 3 years underground and contract teams covering large
for many teams, while providing coal mine experience within the 10-year underground coal mines, to have
necessary training, because the team period preceding their employment on knowledge of the operations and
would have travel costs for only one the contract mine rescue team. Contract ventilation at each covered mine. MSHA
trip, rather than two trips. Another teams would have to have knowledge of expects that this requirement would be
potential benefit is that this provision the operations and ventilation of the met when each team member reviews
would minimize team members’’ covered mine and train quarterly at a the mine’s ventilation plan, mine maps,
absence from their mines where they are covered large mine and semi-annually at roof or ground control plans, and mine
available to respond in the event of an a covered small mine. Although the emergency evacuation plans. MSHA
emergency. MINER Act uses the phrase
also expects that team members who
‘‘commercial mine rescue team
c. Section 49.20(b) Requirements for work at the mine would generally meet
provided by contract,’’ the proposal
Types of Mine Rescue Teams this requirement because they
refers to these teams as contract teams
The MINER Act introduces new terms provided through an arrangement with participate in the quarterly mine
to describe different types of mine another mine or a third party. emergency evacuation training and
rescue teams: mine-site, composite, • A State-sponsored team is made up drills.
contract, and State-sponsored teams. of State employees who train at least
• A mine-site team is made up of e. Mine Rescue Team Training at Each
annually at the covered mine. Covered Mine
team members who work at the mine MSHA invites comment regarding the
and train at least annually at the types of State relationships with teams The MINER Act requires members of
covered mine. and team members that would qualify mine rescue teams to participate in
• A composite team provides the team members as ‘‘employees’’ and training at each covered mine. MSHA
coverage for multiple mines and has the team as ‘‘State-sponsored.’’ MSHA
team members which include at least interprets this to mean that at least one
invites comment regarding the types of of the training sessions must be
two active employees from each covered teams that are available to mines having
mine who have knowledge of the conducted underground at the covered
36 or fewer employees who could
operations and ventilation of the mine. The number of training sessions
qualify to be a mine rescue team
covered mine and train semi-annually at member and whether these mines required at the covered mine would
the covered mine. A composite team can should be able to use other types of depend on the mine size and type of
be a multiple employer team, a team teams, such as teams consisting of one mine rescue team. In accordance with
that provides coverage for multiple miner per covered mine. the MINER Act, the Agency includes the
mines owned by the same operator, or following chart to illustrate the required
a State-sponsored team. d. Knowledge of Operations and number of training sessions at each
• A contract team is a mine rescue Ventilation at the Covered Mine covered mine each year by mine size
team that is provided by an arrangement The MINER Act requires members of and type of mine rescue team.
with another coal mine or with a third mine rescue teams covering small
party. Members of a contract team mine underground coal mines, and composite
TABLE 1.—FREQUENCY OF TRAINING FOR MINE RESCUE TEAM MEMBERS AT EACH COVERED UNDERGROUND COAL MINE
Type of team
Large (>36) Small (™36)
Mine Site .................................................................................. 1 (annually) ........................................................................... 2 (semi-annually).
Composite ................................................................................ 2 (semi-annually) ................................................................... 2 (semi-annually).
Contract ................................................................................... 4 (quarterly) ........................................................................... 2 (semi-annually).
State-sponsored ...................................................................... 1 (annually) ........................................................................... 2 (semi-annually).
MSHA notes that the MINER Act MSHA also requests comment on breathing apparatus for a minimum of 2
requires mine rescue teams servicing whether this training needs to be hours every 2 months. MSHA
mines with 36 or fewer employees to conducted underground at the covered anticipates that operators will integrate
train at each covered mine semi- mine. the new requirements, including mine
annually. This requirement would f. Integration of Mine Rescue Team rescue training at the covered mines,
appear to mean that mine-site teams and Training Requirements with these existing requirements.
State-sponsored teams, which are
As discussed earlier, the MINER Act 3. Section 49.30 Requirements for
required to train at large mines
requires two new categories of training Small Coal Mines
annually, would have to train at small for mine rescue team members:
mines semi-annually if they service participation in mine rescue contests Proposed § 49.30 would be applicable
small mines. Although it is unclear why and participation in training at the to each underground coal mine that has
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this added burden is placed on small covered mines. These additional 36 or fewer employees who could
mines, MSHA included this provision, requirements complement the existing qualify to be a mine rescue team
consistent with the MINER Act. MSHA training in § 49.8, proposed as § 49.18 member. The MINER Act requires that
invites comment regarding this matter. for underground coal mine rescue members of mine rescue teams covering
Commenters should explain any teams. The existing standard requires these small mines know the operations
suggested alternatives, including training sessions underground every 6 and ventilation of the mine.
supporting documentation and data. months; and team members to wear
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51326 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
4. Section 49.40 Requirements for site at http://www.msha.gov for abilities. Requiring a minimum of three
Large Coal Mines comment and would welcome any teams would reduce the possibility of a
Proposed § 49.40 would be applicable suggestions. MSHA would accept competition between teams only from
to each underground coal mine that has certification statements in all formats, the same mine and promote
more than 36 employees who could both electronic and paper. competitions among teams in close
qualify to be a mine rescue team geographic proximity.
6. Section 49.60 Requirements for a Team Members. Even though
member. The MINER Act requires that Local Mine Rescue Contest participation in a mine rescue contest is
the mine operator of a large mine Coal mine rescue team members must considered a training exercise, team
designate either an individual mine-site participate in two local mine rescue members must be prepared to compete
team or a composite team as one of the contests annually. The proposed rule as if the contest were a real mine
two mine rescue teams. The second includes criteria for a local mine rescue emergency. Team members must have
mine rescue team can be a mine-site, contest. The proposed rule also requires the necessary equipment to participate
composite, contract, or State-sponsored that the mine operator provide in a simulated mine rescue exercise.
team. information concerning the schedule of Participation in a simulated mine rescue
5. Section 49.50 Certification of Mine upcoming local mine rescue contests to exercise while being timed, observed,
Rescue Teams the District Manager when requested. and judged provides a measure of stress.
MSHA specifically requests comments The mine rescue contest is an
Section 4 of the MINER Act requires
on the following criteria for a local mine opportunity to test the team member’s
MSHA to establish, and update every 5
rescue contest: level of knowledge and skill under
years thereafter, criteria to certify the • The contest must be conducted in simulated mine emergency conditions.
qualifications of mine rescue teams. It the United States and use MSHA- The ability to make correct decisions
also requires each operator of an recognized rules. quickly, while under stress and wearing
underground coal mine to designate two • The contest must include a breathing apparatus, is a vital skill for
certified mine rescue teams. The minimum of three competing mine each mine rescue team member to
proposed certification criteria include a rescue teams. develop.
certification statement, equipment and • Team members must have the Judges. In order for judges to
training requirements, and the necessary equipment to participate in a administer the mine rescue contest
frequency of certification. The proposal simulated mine rescue exercise; fairly and provide appropriate and
would require that a mine operator participate in a simulated mine rescue meaningful feedback, judges should
certify that each of the mine’s two exercise while being timed and have a strong background in contest
designated mine rescue teams meet the observed by trained judges who evaluate rules and critiquing team member
requirements of this section. To meet the performance of each team and performance. Each year, MSHA
the proposed requirement, the mine provide written feedback; and wear provides training at the National Mine
operator must submit an annual oxygen breathing apparatus. Health and Safety Academy for MSHA,
certification statement to the District • Contest judges must have State, industry, mine rescue team
Manager. MSHA requests comments on completed annual training for mine personnel, simulated mine rescue
other alternatives for certification of rescue contest judges. exercise designers, and other interested
mine rescue teams. a. Criteria for a Local Mine Rescue parties. This training is provided under
MSHA is proposing that, to be Contest. a train-the-trainer concept, thereby
certified, the mine rescue team must be Contest Rules. MSHA-recognized expanding the reach of the training.
available when miners are underground rules are developed annually by the Persons attending this training are then
and within 1-hour ground travel time National Mine Rescue Contest Rules qualified to provide training to judges at
from the mine rescue station to the Committee, comprised of mine rescue the local level. The training is titled,
mine; team members must be physically associations and individuals from ‘‘National Mine Rescue Rules and
fit, experienced working in an MSHA, State agencies, academia, and Interpretations Training.’’ This training
underground mine, and properly the mining industry. MSHA publishes is also Web cast to Western Kentucky;
trained; and the mine rescue station these National rules on its Web site at Denver, Colorado; Birmingham,
must be adequately equipped. The http://www.msha.gov/MineRescue/ Alabama; and Price, Utah. This training
criteria for these qualifications are CONTEST and gives training on them also includes time for a question and
contained in the existing and proposed for any interested persons each year at answer discussion.
standards. For ease of understanding, the National Mine Health and Safety The Agency solicits comments on
the Agency has developed a chart in Academy. MSHA would allow contest whether there should be a minimum
which the proposed rule lists the organizers to use the National Mine amount of annual training prescribed for
criteria for annual certification of mine Rescue Contest Rules and other rules contest judges. In MSHA’s experience,
rescue teams by the section number of recognized by MSHA. A consistent set training on contest rules and
the existing and proposed standards in of recognized rules would help mine interpretations provides the necessary
30 CFR part 49. This chart is proposed rescue teams work together more background for evaluating and
as § 49.50, Table–49.50: Criteria to efficiently and effectively when critiquing mine rescue team
Certify the Qualifications of Mine responding to a mine emergency. performance. MSHA is considering
Rescue Teams. Three Teams. In MSHA’s experience, allowing attendance at this training to
MSHA has developed certification a mine rescue contest must have at least satisfy the requirement for annual
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forms that operators may use to assist three teams competing to provide a training for judges. MSHA requests
them in complying with this section. meaningful competition and learning comments on this approach or whether
These optional forms are attached as an opportunity. Mine rescue contests are a some other training is more appropriate
appendix to this rule. MSHA would vital element in improving mine rescue for mine rescue contest judges.
provide the forms in an electronic team expertise. They increase mine b. Notifying MSHA. The proposed rule
format and allow electronic filing. rescue skills, build team cohesiveness requires mine operators to notify the
MSHA has posted the forms on its Web and trust, and broaden problem-solving appropriate District Manager, on
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51327
request, when and where their other alternatives to participation in requiring review by the Office of
designated teams plan to participate in local mine rescue contests. Management and Budget if it has an
mine rescue contests. This notice would annual effect on the economy of $100
IV. Preliminary Regulatory Economic
allow MSHA to attend the contest and million or more; creates a serious
provide assistance. MSHA could verify inconsistency or interferes with an
that the contest meets the requirements A. Executive Order 12866 action of another agency; materially
of § 49.60 and achieves its purpose to alters the budgetary impact of
increase mine rescue skills, build team Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 as
amended by E.O. 13258 (Amending entitlements or the rights of entitlement
cohesiveness and trust, and broaden recipients; or raises novel legal or policy
problem-solving abilities. Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory
Planning and Review) requires that issues. Based on the PREA, MSHA has
c. Alternative to Participation in Local determined that the proposed rule
Mine Rescue Contests. regulatory agencies assess both the costs
and benefits of regulations. To comply would not have an annual effect of $100
This proposal allows alternatives to million or more on the economy and
local mine rescue contests so long as the with E.O. 12866, MSHA has prepared a
Preliminary Regulatory Economic that, therefore, it is not an economically
training provides equivalent skills ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ pursuant
development. Under the proposal, Mine Analysis (PREA) for the proposed rule.
The PREA contains supporting data and to section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. MSHA,
Emergency Response Development
explanation for the summary materials however, has concluded that the
(MERD) drills could count as equivalent
presented in this preamble, including proposed rule is otherwise significant
training when the team participates in a
the covered mining industry, costs and under Executive Order 12866 because it
realistic simulation exercise, such as fire
benefits, feasibility, small business raises novel legal or policy issues.
and explosion drills, while wearing
breathing apparatus. Other training that impacts, and paperwork. The PREA is B. Population at Risk
provides an equivalent realistic located on MSHA’s Web site at http://
simulation exercise, such as fire and www.msha.gov/REGSINFO.HTM. A The proposed rule would apply to 653
explosion drills, can substitute for printed copy of the PREA can be underground coal mines and cover
participation in a local mine rescue obtained from MSHA’s Office of 42,597 miners and 8,250 (non-office)
contest. MSHA would allow actual Standards, Regulations, and Variances contractors working at them. Table 2
underground participation in a rescue or at the address in the ADDRESSES section shows a summary distribution of mines,
recovery operation as a substitute for of this preamble. underground employment, costs
participation in a local mine rescue Executive Order 12866 classifies a attributed to this proposal, and revenues
contest. MSHA requests comments on rule as a significant regulatory action for these underground coal mines.
TABLE 2.—SUMMARY DATA FOR UNDERGROUND COAL MINES
Number of em-
Total number of Annual revenue Annual cost
Mine size A Number of mines ployees B under- Cost per mine
miners B (billions) (millions)
1–19 ................................. 220 2,255 1,952 $0.3 $0.7 $3,100
20–500 ............................. 420 32,852 29,742 9.8 2.3 5,500
>500 ................................. 13 7,490 6,503 3.0 0.1 7,300
All Mines .......................... 653 42,597 38,197 13.1 3.1 4,700
A Size based on total mine employment, excluding office workers.
B Does not include 8,250 (non-office) contractor employees, 4,096 of which work underground.
C. Costs $3.1 million. Disaggregated by mine with 20–500 employees; and $0.1
size, yearly costs would be $0.7 million million (or about $7,300 per mine) for
As shown in Table 3, MSHA estimates (or approximately $3,100 per mine) for mine operators with more than 500
that the proposed rule would result in mine operators with fewer than 20 employees. All cost estimates are
total yearly costs for the underground employees; $2.3 million (or about presented in 2005 dollars.
coal mining industry of approximately $5,500 per mine) for mine operators
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51328 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
Specific to the mine rescue team employees would incur costs of rescue teams. As shown in Table 4, the
proposed rule, MSHA has broken down approximately $1.3 million per year and total yearly cost of the proposed rule for
total compliance costs for mines with 1– underground coal mines with 37 or State-sponsored mine rescue teams
36 employees and mines with 37 or more employees would incur costs of would be about $132,000. Of this,
more employees. Of the $3.1 million approximately $1.8 million per year. $89,000 would be for training and
total yearly cost of the proposed rule, In addition, the proposed rule would $43,000 would be for participation in
underground coal mines with 1–36 impose costs on State-sponsored mine two local mine rescue contests.
These cost estimates are based on a the event of an emergency situation at members. These factors provide for
variety of key assumptions regarding the an underground coal mine. Mine more efficient decision-making during
response of industry and States to the operators often rely on mine rescue an emergency and increased confidence
proposed rule: (1) 28 mine rescue teams to save miners during an in the personnel who implement these
stations would be added to the 92 underground emergency such as an decisions.
stations currently serving underground explosion, fire, roof fall, or water MSHA has qualitatively determined
coal mines; (2) an additional 56 mine inundation. In such a situation, the that the proposed rule would make coal
rescue teams would be formed; (3) none timely arrival of a properly-trained mine mine rescue teams better able to
of the existing 145 mine rescue teams rescue team can sometimes mean the respond to emergencies when a quick
would disband; and (4) the additional difference between life and death. In response by rescue teams is vital to
mine rescue teams would not impose most instances, other types of rescue miners. The proposed rule would
any costs on mine operators other than units, e.g., a rescue squad from the local improve overall mine rescue service in
those itemized in the PREA. In addition, fire department, are unlikely to have the three areas:
although MSHA is aware that the specialized training and equipment to • It would improve mine emergency
requirements in the proposed rule may respond effectively to an emergency due response time by requiring that mine
place some pressure on States to to the hazardous nature of the rescue team members be available at the
increase the number of State-sponsored underground coal mine environment. mine within 1 hour ground travel time
mine rescue teams and stations, MSHA A good mine rescue team will have from the mine rescue station.
assumed no change in the existing knowledge and familiarity with the • It would increase the quality and
provision of these services in response mine layout, including the location of effectiveness of training by requiring
to the proposed rule. MSHA solicits working sections, mining equipment, team members to be familiar with the
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comments on these and all other fire-fighting equipment, first aid covered mines’’ operations, participate
assumptions and data used in the PREA. supplies, transportation, escapeways, in training at the covered mines, and
and emergency shelters; know the participate in two local mine rescue
mine’s roof conditions and ventilation contests.
The purpose of this proposed rule is system; and have an established • It would strengthen the
to enhance the availability and working relationship with mine requirements for knowledge and
effectiveness of mine rescue teams in management and among the team experience of mine rescue team
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51329
members by requiring them to have Small Business Regulatory Enforcement categories considered, MSHA believes it
knowledge of the operations and Fairness Act (SBREFA), MSHA analyzed is generally appropriate to conclude that
ventilation of the covered mines and by the impact of the proposed rule on small there is no significant economic impact
requiring contract team members to entities. Based on that analysis, MSHA on a substantial number of small
have at least 3 years underground coal notified the Chief Council for Advocacy, entities. If the estimated costs are equal
mine experience within the 10-year Small Business Administration (SBA), to or exceed one percent of revenues,
period preceding their employment on and made the certification under the MSHA will investigate whether a
the contract team. Regulatory Flexibility Act at 5 U.S.C. further analysis is required. For this
The proposed rule also would 605(b) that the proposed rule would not proposed rule, MSHA has determined
increase awareness of the mine operator have a significant economic impact on that the estimated costs are less than
by requiring the mine operator to a substantial number of small entities. one percent of the estimated revenues.
provide two certified mine rescue teams The factual basis for this certification is Therefore, MSHA certifies that this
and to have a person knowledgeable in presented in full in Chapter V of the proposed rule would not have a
mine emergency response on each shift. PREA and in summary form below. significant economic impact on a
The proposal includes criteria for substantial number of small entities.
A. Definition of a Small Mine
certifying the mine rescue teams and Coal mining revenues are derived
clarifies training requirements for the Under the RFA, in analyzing the from data on the price of coal and total
knowledgeable person. impact of a proposed rule on small coal production. Total underground coal
Team members employed at a given entities, MSHA must use the Small production in 2006 was 359 million
mine are exceptionally knowledgeable Business Administration’s (SBA’s) tons. The price of underground coal in
in mine gases, ventilation, first aid, and definition for a small entity, or after 2005 was $36.42 per ton.1 Thus, based
other health and safety subjects as they consultation with the SBA Office of on the total amount of coal production
apply generally and at that specific Advocacy, establish an alternative and the cost of coal per ton, the total
mine. Their level of mine rescue definition for the mining industry by estimated revenue in 2006 for
training, combined with their everyday publishing that definition in the Federal underground coal production was $13.1
presence during the normal work cycle, Register for notice and comment. MSHA billion. Using the same approach, the
provides an added measure of safety for has not established an alternate estimated 2005 underground coal
each worker at the mine. definition and is required to use the revenue by employment size category is
SBA definition. The SBA defines a approximately $0.3 billion for 220
V. Feasibility small entity in the mining industry as mines with 1–19 employees, $1.3 billion
MSHA has concluded that the an establishment with 500 or fewer for 368 mines with 1–36 employees, and
requirements of the proposed rule are employees. $10.1 billion for 640 mines with 1–500
technologically and economically MSHA has also examined the impact employees.
feasible. of this proposed rule on underground The proposed rule would result in an
coal mines with fewer than 20 average yearly cost per underground
A. Technological Feasibility employees, which MSHA has coal mine of $3,074 for mines with 1–
This proposed rule is not a traditionally referred to as ‘‘small 19 employees; $3,231 for mines with 1–
technology-forcing standard and does mines.’’ These small mines differ from 36 employees; and $4,680 for mines
not involve new scientific knowledge. larger mines not only in the number of with 1–500 employees. The average
The requirements of the rule involve employees, but also in economies of yearly cost per mine for all underground
training and purchase of equipment and scale in material produced, in the type coal mines is $4,733. When dividing the
a requirement that the mine rescue and amount of production equipment, yearly compliance costs by the annual
station be located closer, within 1 hour and in supply inventory. Therefore, the revenues in each mine size category, the
(rather than 2 hours) ground travel time cost of complying with MSHA’s cost of the rule for underground coal
to the covered mines. MSHA projects proposed rule and the impact of the mines is 0.24% of revenues for mines
that this requirement would necessitate proposed rule on small mines will also with 1–19 employees, 0.10% of
additional mine rescue stations and be different. It is for this reason that revenues for mines with 1–36
mine rescue teams. MSHA has small mines are of special concern to employees, and 0.03% of revenues for
concluded that the proposed rule is MSHA. mines with 1–500 employees. The cost
technologically feasible. In addition, MSHA has examined the as a percentage of revenues for all
cost of compliance for underground coal underground coal mines would be
B. Economic Feasibility mines with 36 or fewer employees, approximately 0.02%.
The total cost of the proposed rule is consistent with the requirements of the When applying MSHA’s and SBA’s
approximately $3.1 million annually for MINER Act, to ensure that the proposed definition of small entities, the annual
all underground coal mine operators. rule would not significantly and cost of the proposed rule to small mines
These compliance costs are well under adversely impact this subset of mines. is substantially less than one percent of
one percent of the yearly revenues of Thus, the detailed factual basis below their estimated annual revenues. The
$13.1 billion for these underground coal also shows the economic impact on proposed rule, therefore, would not
mine operators. MSHA concludes that underground coal mines with 36 or have a significant economic impact on
the amount of these costs supports its fewer employees. a substantial number of small entities.
finding that the proposed rule is Accordingly, MSHA has certified that
B. Factual Basis for Certification
economically feasible. MSHA solicits the proposed rule would not have a
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comments on this issue. MSHA initially evaluates the
significant economic impact on a
economic impact of a rule on ‘‘small
VI. Regulatory Flexibility Act and substantial number of small entities that
entities’’ by comparing the estimated
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement are covered by the proposed rule.
costs of the rule for small entities to
Fairness Act their estimated revenues. When 1 U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Information
Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility estimated costs are less than one percent Administration, ‘‘Annual Coal Report 2005,’’ Table
Act (RFA) of 1980, as amended by the of estimated revenues for the size 28, October 2006.
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51330 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
VII. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 proposed rule. The PREA is posted on requirements on underground coal mine
MSHA’s Web site at http:// operators in providing and training
www.msha.gov/REGSINFO.HTM. A mine rescue teams. These proposed
The mine rescue team proposed rule print copy of the PREA can be obtained changes would not directly affect States
would continue the existing paperwork from MSHA’s Office of Standards, or their relationships with the national
burden requirements and impose Regulations, and Variances at the government; however, some States
several new paperwork burden address provided in the ADDRESSES sponsor mine rescue teams. In the spirit
requirements. Proposed § 49.16 would section of this preamble. of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act,
continue to require certification of MSHA specifically solicits comments on
inspection and testing of breathing 2. Procedural Details
this proposed rule from State officials.
apparatus, as well as a record of any The information collection package
corrective action taken for breathing has been submitted to OMB for review B. The Treasury and General
apparatus. Proposed § 49.18 would under 44 U.S.C. 3504, paragraph (h) of Government Appropriations Act of
continue to require preparation of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 1999: Assessment of Federal
training materials for new mine rescue as amended. A copy of the information Regulations and Policies on Families
team members and a record of each new collection package can be obtained from Section 654 of the Treasury and
mine rescue team member’s training. the Department of Labor by electronic General Government Appropriations
The Office of Management and Budget mail request to firstname.lastname@example.org or Act of 1999 (5 U.S.C. 601 note) requires
(OMB) has approved these by phone request to 202–693–4129. agencies to assess the impact of
requirements, which are in existing MSHA requests comments to: proposed agency actions on family well-
§§ 49.6 and 49.8, under OMB control • Evaluate whether the proposed being. MSHA has determined that this
number 1219–0078. In addition, collection of information is necessary proposed rule would have no effect on
proposed § 49.50 would impose a new for the proper performance of the family stability or safety, marital
annual paperwork burden for mine functions of the agency, including commitment, parental rights and
operators to certify that each designated whether the information will have authority, or income or poverty of
mine rescue team meets the practical utility; families and children. Accordingly,
requirements of this part. MSHA has • Evaluate the accuracy of the MSHA certifies that this proposed rule
developed optional forms for the mine Agency’s estimate of the burden of the would not impact family well-being.
operator to use for this certification. proposed collection of information,
Proposed § 75.1501 also would require C. Executive Order 12630: Government
including the validity of the
mine operators to certify that each Actions and Interference With
methodology and assumptions used;
responsible person has completed the Constitutionally Protected Property
• Enhance the quality, utility, and
required mine emergency response Rights
clarity of the information to be
training. collected; and This proposed rule would not
Overall, the underground coal • Minimize the burden of the implement a policy with takings
industry would incur approximately collection of information on those who implications. Accordingly, E.O. 12630
2,466 paperwork burden hours in the are to respond, including through the requires no further Agency action or
first year with associated paperwork use of appropriate automated, analysis.
burden costs of approximately $83,300. electronic, mechanical, or other
Total burden hours in the first year D. Executive Order 12988: Civil Justice
technological collection techniques or Reform
consist of two components: first year
other forms of information technology,
burden hours and annual burden hours. This proposed rule was written to
e.g., permitting electronic submission of
Annual burden hours are those that provide a clear legal standard for
occur every year. Of the 2,466 burden Comments on the information affected conduct and was carefully
hours, 39 burden hours would occur in collection requirements should be sent reviewed to eliminate drafting errors
the first year and every 10 years to both OMB and MSHA. Addresses for and ambiguities, so as to minimize
thereafter with associated costs of both offices can be found in the litigation and undue burden on the
$2,450 (equivalent to $349 of Federal court system. Accordingly, this
ADDRESSES section of this preamble. The
annualized costs). The remaining 2,427 proposed rule would meet the
regulated community is not required to
burden hours would occur in the first applicable standards provided in
respond to any collection of information
year and every year thereafter with Section 3 of E.O. 12988.
unless it displays a current, valid, OMB
associated costs of approximately
control number. MSHA displays OMB E. Executive Order 13045: Protection of
control numbers in 30 CFR part 3. Children From Environmental Health
MSHA projects that the proposed rule
would require additional mine rescue VIII. Other Regulatory Considerations Risks and Safety Risks
teams and equipment. Existing This proposed rule would have no
A. The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
standards require information collection adverse impact on children.
for mine rescue teams and equipment. Accordingly, E.O. 13045 requires no
MSHA would add the information MSHA has reviewed the proposed further Agency action or analysis.
collection burden for additional teams rule under the Unfunded Mandates
and equipment to that approved under Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1501 et F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
existing Office of Management and seq.). The proposed rule would not Executive Order (E.O.) 13132 requires
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Budget (OMB) control number 1219– increase private sector expenditures by MSHA to develop an accountable
0078. more than $100 million annually; nor process to ensure a meaningful and
For a detailed explanation of how the would it significantly or uniquely affect timely input by State and local officials
burden hours and related costs were small governments. The proposed rule in the development of regulatory
calculated, see Chapter VII of the may result in increased expenditures by policies that have ‘‘federalism
Preliminary Regulatory Economic State, local, or tribal governments, implications.’’ Policies that have
Analysis (PREA) accompanying this however, because it places new federalism implications are defined as
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51331
having ‘‘substantial direct effects on the that this proposed rule is not a § 49.10 [Removed]
States, on the relationship between the significant energy action because it 3. Remove § 49.10.
national government and the States, or would not have a significant adverse
on the distribution of power and effect on the supply, distribution, or use 4. Add new subpart B to read as
responsibilities among the various of energy. Further, because this follows:
levels of government.’’ The proposed proposed rule would result in yearly Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for
rule would place new requirements on costs of approximately $3.1 million to Underground Coal Mines
underground coal mine operators in the underground coal mining industry,
providing and training mine rescue relative to annual revenues of $13.1 Sec.
teams. These proposed changes would billion in 2006, it would not be a 49.11 Purpose and scope.
not directly affect States or their significant energy action because it 49.12 Availability of mine rescue teams.
relationships with the federal would not be likely to have a significant 49.13 Alternative mine rescue capability for
government. Although the proposed adverse effect on the supply, small and remote mines.
rule does not directly affect States, some 49.14 Reserved.
distribution, or use of energy. 49.15 Mine rescue station.
States sponsor mine rescue teams. Accordingly, E.O. 13211 requires no 49.16 Equipment and maintenance
Consistent with the spirit of E.O. 13132, further Agency action. requirements.
MSHA specifically solicits comments on 49.17 Physical requirements for mine
this proposed rule from State officials. List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 49
Education and training, Mine safety 49.18 Training for mine rescue teams.
G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation
and health, Reporting and 49.19 Mine emergency notification plan.
and Coordination With Indian Tribal 49.20 Requirements for all coal mines.
Governments 49.30 Requirements for small coal mines.
Dated: August 29, 2007.
This proposed rule would not have 49.40 Requirements for large coal mines.
‘‘tribal implications,’’ because it would Richard E. Stickler, 49.50 Certification of coal mine rescue
not ‘‘have substantial direct effects on Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and teams.
one or more Indian tribes, on the Health. 49.60 Requirements for a local mine rescue
For the reasons set out in the contest.
relationship between the Federal
government and Indian tribes, or on the preamble, and under the authority of the Appendix to Part 49 Subpart B: Optional
Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of Forms for Certifying Mine Rescue Teams.
distribution of power and
responsibilities between the Federal 1977 as amended by the Mine
Improvement and New Emergency Subpart B—Mine Rescue Teams for
government and Indian tribes.’’ Underground Coal Mines
Accordingly, E.O. 13175 requires no Response Act of 2006, MSHA is
further Agency action or analysis. proposing to amend chapter 1 of title 30 § 49.11 Purpose and scope.
of the Code of Federal Regulations as
H. Executive Order 13211: Actions follows. (a) This subpart implements the
Concerning Regulations That provisions of section 115(e) of the
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, PART 49—MINE RESCUE TEAMS Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of
Distribution, or Use 1977 as amended by the Mine
1. The authority for part 49 is revised Improvement and New Emergency
Executive Order 13211 requires to read as follows:
agencies to publish a statement of Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act).
energy effect when a rule has a Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811, 825(e). Every operator of an underground coal
significant energy action that adversely mine shall assure the availability of
Subpart A—Mine Rescue Teams for mine rescue capability for purposes of
affects energy supply, distribution, or
Underground Metal and Nonmetal emergency rescue and recovery.
use. MSHA has reviewed the proposed
rule for its impact on the supply, (b) The following Table 49.11
distribution, and use of energy because 2. Add a new subpart A with the summarizes the new requirements for
it applies to the underground coal heading as shown above consisting of mine rescue teams contained in section
mining industry. MSHA has concluded existing §§ 49.1 through 49.9. 4 of the MINER Act.
TABLE 49.11—SUMMARY OF NEW MINER ACT REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERGROUND COAL MINE OPERATORS AND MINE
Type of Mine Rescue Team
Mine-site Composite Contract State-sponsored*
Team members must participate at least an- YES ............................ YES ............................ YES ............................ YES
nually in two local mine rescue contests.
Team members must participate in mine res- Annually at Large Semi-annually ............ Quarterly at Large Annually at Large
cue training at the underground coal mine Mines. Mines. Mines
covered by the mine rescue team. Semi-annually at Semi-annually at Semi-annually at
Small Mines. Small Mines. Small Mines
Teams must be available at the mine within YES ............................ YES ............................ YES ............................ YES
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1 hour ground travel time from the mine
Team members must be knowledgeable YES ............................ YES ............................ YES ............................ YES
about the operations and ventilation of the
Teams must have team members which in- .................................... YES ............................ ....................................
clude at least two active employees from
each of the covered mines.
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51332 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
TABLE 49.11—SUMMARY OF NEW MINER ACT REQUIREMENTS FOR UNDERGROUND COAL MINE OPERATORS AND MINE
Type of Mine Rescue Team
Mine-site Composite Contract State-sponsored*
Team must be comprised of persons with a .................................... .................................... YES ............................
minimum of 3 years underground coal
mine experience that shall have occurred
within the 10-year period preceding their
employment on the contract mine rescue
All mine operators must provide for two certified mine rescue teams. Large mine operators shall provide one team that is either an individual
mine-site mine rescue team or a composite team.
*Note: Team members of State-sponsored teams who are full-time State employees whose primary job duties include (1) inspecting under-
ground mines for compliance with State safety laws or (2) training mine rescue teams or (3) conducting mine safety training or (4) other similar
duties that would enhance their mine rescue knowledge may substitute their regular job experience for 50 percent of the training requirements
(annual training which includes mine rescue contests and mine-site training) for non-State employee mine rescue team members.
§ 49.12 Availability of mine rescue teams. present at all existing underground consideration for small and remote shall
(a) Except where alternative mines, upon initial excavation of a new be given where the total underground
compliance is permitted for small and underground mine entrance, or the re- employment of the operator’s mine and
remote mines (§ 49.13), every operator opening of an existing underground any surrounding mine(s) within 1 hour
of an underground mine shall: mine. ground travel time of the operator’s
(1) Establish at least two mine rescue (f) No mine served by a mine rescue mine is less than 36.
teams which are available at all times team shall be located more than 1 hour (b) An application for alternative
when miners are underground; or ground travel time from the mine rescue mine rescue capability shall be
(2) Enter into an arrangement for mine station with which the rescue team is submitted to the District Manager for the
rescue services which assures that at associated. district in which the mine is located for
least two mine rescue teams are (g) As used in this part, mine rescue review and approval.
available at all times when miners are teams shall be considered available (c) Each application for an alternative
underground. where teams are capable of presenting mine rescue capability shall contain:
(b) Each mine rescue team shall themselves at the mine site(s) within a (1) The number of miners employed
consist of five members and one reasonable time after notification of an underground at the mine on each shift;
alternate who are fully qualified, occurrence which might require their (2) The location of the designated
trained, and equipped for providing services. Rescue team members will be mine rescue station serving the mine;
emergency mine rescue service. Mine considered available even though (3) The total underground
rescue teams for anthracite coal mines, performing regular work duties or in an employment of mines within 1 hour
which have no electrical equipment at off-duty capacity. The requirement that ground travel time of the operator’s
the face or working section, shall consist mine rescue teams be available shall not mine;
of at least three members per team and apply when teams are participating in (4) The operator’s mine fire, ground,
one alternate that may be shared mine rescue contests or providing and roof control history;
between both teams. services to another mine. (5) The operator’s established escape
(c) To be considered for membership (h) Each operator of an underground and evacuation plan;
on a mine rescue team, each person mine who provides rescue teams under (6) A statement by the operator
must have been employed in an this section shall send the District evaluating the usefulness of additional
underground mine for a minimum of 1 Manager a statement describing the refuge chambers to supplement those
year within the past 5 years, except that mine’s method of compliance with this which may exist;
members of contract mine rescue teams part. The statement shall disclose (7) A statement by the operator as to
shall have a minimum of 3 years whether the operator has independently the number of miners willing to serve
underground coal mine experience that provided mine rescue teams or entered on a mine rescue team;
shall have occurred within the 10-year into an agreement for the services of (8) The operator’s alternative plan for
period preceding their employment on mine rescue teams. The name of the assuring that a suitable mine rescue
the contract mine rescue team. For the provider and the location of the services capability is provided at all times when
purpose of mine rescue work only, shall be included in the statement. A miners are underground; and
miners who are employed on the surface copy of the statement shall be posted at (9) Other relevant information about
but work regularly underground shall the mine for the miners’ information. the operator’s mine which may be
meet the experience requirement. The Where a miners’ representative has been requested by the District Manager.
underground experience requirement is designated, the operator shall also (d) A copy of the operator’s
waived for those miners on a mine provide the representative with a copy application shall be posted at the mine.
rescue team on the effective date of this of the statement. Where a miners’ representative has been
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rule. designated, the operator shall also
(d) Each operator shall arrange, in § 49.13 Alternative mine rescue capability provide the representative with a copy
advance, ground transportation for for small and remote mines. of the application.
rescue teams and equipment to the mine (a) If an underground mine is small (e) In determining whether to approve
or mines served. and remote, an operator may provide for an application for alternative
(e) Upon the effective date of this part, an alternative mine rescue capability. compliance, the District Manager shall
the required rescue capability shall be For the purposes of this part only, consider:
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51333
(1) The individual circumstances of equipment. Mine rescue stations serving § 49.17 Physical requirements for mine
the small and remote mine; underground anthracite coal mines, rescue team.
(2) Comments submitted by, or on which have no electrical equipment at (a) Each member of a mine rescue
behalf of, any affected miner; and the face or working section, shall have team shall be examined annually by a
(3) Whether the alternative mine at least the amount of equipment physician who shall certify that each
rescue plan provides a suitable rescue appropriate for the number of mine person is physically fit to perform mine
capability at the operator’s mine. rescue team members. rescue and recovery work for prolonged
(f) Where alternative compliance is periods under strenuous conditions.
(1) Twelve self-contained oxygen
approved by MSHA, the operator shall The first such physical examination
breathing apparatus, each with a
adopt the alternative plan and post a shall be completed within 60 days prior
minimum of 2 hours capacity (approved
copy of the approved plan (with to scheduled initial training. A team
by MSHA and NIOSH under 42 CFR
appropriate MSHA mine emergency member requiring corrective eyeglasses
part 84, subpart H), and any necessary
telephone numbers) at the mine for the will not be disqualified provided the
equipment for testing such breathing
miners’ information. Where a miners’ eyeglasses can be worn securely within
representative has been designated, the an approved facepiece.
operator shall also provide the (2) A portable supply of liquid air,
(b) In determining whether a miner is
representative with a copy of the liquid oxygen, pressurized oxygen,
physically capable of performing mine
approved plan. oxygen generating or carbon dioxide
rescue duties, the physician shall take
(g) The operator shall notify the absorbent chemicals, as applicable to
the following conditions into
District Manager of any changed the supplied breathing apparatus and
condition or factor materially affecting sufficient to sustain each team for 6 (1) Seizure disorder;
information submitted in the hours while using the breathing (2) Perforated eardrum;
application for alternative mine rescue apparatus during rescue operations; (3) Hearing loss without a hearing aid
capability. (3) One extra oxygen bottle (fully greater than 40 decibels at 400, 1000,
(h)(1) An approved plan for charged) for every six self-contained and 2000 Hz;
alternative mine rescue capability shall compressed oxygen breathing apparatus; (4) Repeated blood pressure
be subject to revocation or modification (4) One oxygen pump or a cascading (controlled or uncontrolled by
for cause by MSHA, where it is system, compatible with the supplied medication) reading which exceeds 160
determined that a condition or factor breathing apparatus; systolic, or 100 diastolic, or which is
has changed which would materially less than 105 systolic, or 60 diastolic;
(5) Twelve permissible cap lamps and
alter the operator’s mine rescue (5) Distant visual acuity (without
a charging rack;
capability. If such action is glasses) less than 20/50 Snellen scale in
contemplated, the operator will be (6) Two gas detectors appropriate for one eye, and 20/70 in the other;
notified, and given an opportunity to be each type of gas which may be (6) Heart disease;
heard before the appropriate District encountered at the mines served; (7) Hernia;
Manager. (7) Two oxygen indicators or two (8) Absence of a limb or hand; or
(2) If an application for alternative flame safety lamps; (9) Any other condition which the
compliance is denied or revoked, the (8) One portable mine rescue examining physician determines is
District Manager shall provide the communication system (approved under relevant to the question of whether the
reason for such denial or revocation in part 23 of this title) or a sound-powered miner is fit for rescue team service.
writing to the operator. The operator communication system. The wires or (c) The operator shall have MSHA
may appeal this decision in writing to cable to the communication system Form 5000–3 certifying medical fitness
the Administrator for Coal Mine Safety shall be of sufficient tensile strength to completed and signed by the examining
and Health. be used as a manual communication physician for each member of a mine
system. These communication systems rescue team. These forms shall be kept
§ 49.14 [Reserved]
shall be at least 1,000 feet in length; and on file at the mine rescue station for a
§ 49.15 Mine rescue station. period of 1 year.
(9) Necessary spare parts and tools for
(a) Every operator of an underground repairing the breathing apparatus and § 49.18 Training for mine rescue teams.
mine shall designate, in advance, the communication system. (a) Prior to serving on a mine rescue
location of the mine rescue station (b) Mine rescue apparatus and team each member shall complete, at a
serving the mine. equipment shall be maintained in a minimum, an initial 20-hour course of
(b) Mine rescue stations are to provide
manner that will ensure readiness for instruction as prescribed by MSHA’s
a centralized storage location for rescue
immediate use. A person trained in the Office of Educational Policy and
equipment. This centralized storage
use and care of breathing apparatus Development, in the use, care, and
location may be either at the mine site,
shall inspect and test the apparatus at maintenance of the type of breathing
affiliated mines, or a separate mine
intervals not exceeding 30 days and apparatus which will be used by the
shall certify by signature and date that mine rescue team. The initial training
(c) Mine rescue stations shall provide
the inspections and tests were done. requirement is waived for those miners
a proper storage environment to assure
When the inspection indicates that a on a mine rescue team on the effective
equipment readiness for immediate use.
(d) Authorized representatives of the corrective action is necessary, the date of this rule.
Secretary shall have the right of entry to corrective action shall be made and the (b) Upon completion of the initial
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inspect any designated mine rescue person shall record the corrective action training, all team members shall receive
station. taken. The certification and the record at least 64 hours of training annually,
of corrective action shall be maintained which shall consist of refresher training
§ 49.16 Equipment and maintenance at the mine rescue station for a period given at 8 hours every 2 months.
requirements. of 1 year and made available on request Refresher training shall include:
(a) Each mine rescue station shall be to an authorized representative of the (1) Sessions underground at least once
provided with at least the following Secretary. each 6 months;
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51334 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
(2) The wearing and use of the approval together with reasons for (i) Include at least two members from
breathing apparatus by team members revocation shall be provided the each covered mine,
for a period of at least 2 hours while instructor. The affected instructor may (ii) Are knowledgeable about the
under oxygen every 2 months; appeal the decision of the District operations and ventilation of the
(3) Where applicable, the use, care, Manager by writing to the Administrator covered underground coal mines, and
capabilities, and limitations of auxiliary for Coal Safety and Health. The (iii) Participate in mine rescue
mine rescue equipment, or a different Administrator shall issue a decision on training at each covered mine at least
breathing apparatus; the appeal. semi-annually at large and small mines.
(4) Advanced mine rescue training (f) Upon request from the District (3) Contract team. A mine rescue team
and procedures, as prescribed by Manager, the operator shall provide that is provided by an arrangement with
MSHA’s Office of Educational Policy information concerning the schedule of another coal mine or with a third party
and Development; upcoming training.
(5) Mine map training and ventilation and whose members—
(g) A record of training of each team
procedures; and (i) Are knowledgeable about the
member shall be on file at the mine
(6) The wearing of mine rescue operations and ventilation of the
rescue station for a period of 1 year.
apparatus while in smoke, simulated covered underground coal mine, and
smoke, or an equivalent environment at § 49.19 Mine emergency notification plan. (ii) Participate in mine rescue training
least once during each 12-month period. (a) Each underground mine shall have at a covered large mine at least quarterly
(c) A mine rescue team member will a mine rescue notification plan and at a covered small mine at least
be ineligible to serve on a team if more outlining the procedures to follow in semi-annually.
than 8 hours of training is missed notifying the mine rescue teams when (4) State-sponsored team. Members
during 1 year, unless additional training there is an emergency that requires their who are State employees and participate
is received to make up for the time services. in mine rescue training at a covered
missed. (b) A copy of the mine rescue large mine at least annually and at a
(d) The training courses required by notification plan shall be posted at the covered small mine at least semi-
this section shall be conducted by mine for the miners’ information. Where annually.
instructors who have been employed in a miners’ representative has been
an underground mine and have had a designated, the operator shall also § 49.30 Requirements for small coal
minimum of 1 year experience as a mine mines.
provide the representative with a copy
rescue team member or a mine rescue of the plan. At mines with 36 or fewer employees,
instructor within the past 5 years and mine rescue team members shall be
who have received MSHA approval § 49.20 Requirements for all coal mines. knowledgeable about the operations and
through one of the following methods: (a) The operator of each underground ventilation of the mine.
(1) Completion of an MSHA or State coal mine shall make available two
approved instructor’s training course certified mine rescue teams whose § 49.40 Requirements for large coal mines.
and the program of instruction in the members— At mines with more than 36
subject matter to be taught; or (1) Are familiar with the operations of employees, one of the two certified
(2) Designation by the District the mine, and mine rescue teams shall be an
Manager as approved instructors to (2) Participate at least annually in two individual mine-site team or a
teach specific courses, based on their local mine rescue contests. composite team.
qualifications and teaching experience (b) Team members shall meet the
outlined above. Previously approved following: § 49.50 Certification of coal mine rescue
instructors need not be redesignated to (1) Mine-site team. Members who teams.
teach the approved courses as long as work at the mine and participate in For each mine rescue team designated
they have taught those courses within mine rescue training at the mine at least to provide mine rescue coverage at an
the 24 months prior to the effective date annually at large mines and semi- underground coal mine, the mine
of this part. annually at small mines. operator shall send the District Manager
(e) The District Manager may revoke (2) Composite team. A mine rescue an annual statement certifying that each
an instructor’s approval for good cause. team that covers multiple mines and team meets the requirements of this part
A written statement revoking the whose members— as listed in the following Table 49.50.
TABLE 49.50.—CRITERIA TO CERTIFY THE QUALIFICATIONS OF MINE RESCUE TEAMS
Qualification Criteria (30 CFR)
(a) Team Members
(1) Except where alternative compliance is permitted, team has at least five members and one alternate. .......................... 49.12(a)
(2) Members are physically fit. .................................................................................................................................................. 49.17
(3) Members have experience working in an underground coal mine. .................................................................................... 49.12(c)
(4) Members are familiar with the operations of the mine. ....................................................................................................... 49.20(a)(1)
(5) Members are knowledgeable about the operations and ventilation of the mine. ............................................................... 49.20(b)(2)(ii)
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(6) Members are properly trained. ............................................................................................................................................ 49.18
(7) Members participate in mine rescue training at the mine. .................................................................................................. 49.20(b)(1)
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules 51335
TABLE 49.50.—CRITERIA TO CERTIFY THE QUALIFICATIONS OF MINE RESCUE TEAMS—Continued
Qualification Criteria (30 CFR)
(8) Members participate in at least two mine rescue contests annually. ................................................................................. 49.20(a)(2)
(b) Team Availability
(1) Team is available at all times when miners are underground. ........................................................................................... 49.12(a)
(2) Team is available within 1-hour ground travel time from the mine rescue station to the mine. ......................................... 49.12(f)
(c) Team Equipment
Appropriate mine rescue equipment is provided, inspected, tested, and maintained. ............................................................. 49.16
§ 49.60 Requirements for a local mine evaluate the performance of each team substitute for participation in a local
rescue contest. and provide written feedback, and mine rescue contest. Examples include
(a) A local mine rescue contest is one (iii) Wear oxygen breathing apparatus a Mine Emergency Response
that— while participating in a realistic Development (MERD) drill or an
(1) Is conducted in the United States; simulation rescue exercise; and equivalent realistic simulation exercise,
(2) Uses MSHA-recognized rules; such as fire and explosion drills, where
(3) Has a minimum of three mine (5) Includes contest judges who have
rescue teams competing; completed annual training for mine the team participates in simulated mine
(4) Includes team members who— rescue contest judges. rescue team exercises and wears
(i) Have the necessary equipment to (b) Upon request from the District breathing apparatus.
participate in a simulated mine rescue Manager, the operator shall provide
information concerning the schedule of Appendix to Part 49 Subpart B:
team exercise, Optional Forms for Certifying Mine
(ii) Participate in a simulated mine upcoming mine rescue contests.
rescue team exercise while being timed (c) Other training that provides
and observed by trained judges who equivalent skills development can BILLING CODE 4510–43–P
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51336 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
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BILLING CODE 4510–43–C
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51338 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 172 / Thursday, September 6, 2007 / Proposed Rules
PART 75—[AMENDED] DEPARTMENT OF LABOR receptionist’s desk and wait for an
6. The authority for part 75 continues Mine Safety and Health Administration Information Collection Requirements:
to read as follows: This proposed rule would not require
Authority: 30 U.S.C. 811. 30 CFR Part 49 any additional paperwork or
7. Amend § 75.1501 by revising information collection.
RIN 1219–AB56 Docket: Comments can be accessed
paragraph (a) to read as follows:
Mine Rescue Team Equipment electronically at http://www.msha.gov
§ 75.1501 Emergency evacuations. under the Rules and Regs link. MSHA
(a) For each shift that miners work AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health will post all comments on the Internet
underground, there shall be in Administration (MSHA), Labor. without change, including any personal
attendance a responsible person ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of public information provided. Comments may
designated by the mine operator to take hearings; close of comment period. also be reviewed at the Office of
charge during mine emergencies Standards, Regulations, and Variances,
involving a fire, explosion or gas or SUMMARY: This proposed rule would 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350,
water inundations. amend MSHA’s existing standard Arlington, Virginia. Stop at the 21st
(1) The responsible person shall have addressing mine rescue team equipment floor to sign in at the receptionist’s desk
current knowledge of the assigned at mine rescue stations serving and wait for an escort.
location and expected movements of underground coal and metal and Mailing List: MSHA maintains a list
miners underground, the operation of nonmetal mines. MSHA proposes to that enables subscribers to receive e-
the mine ventilation system, the amend the existing standard to reflect mail notification when rulemaking
location of the mine escapeways, the advances in mine rescue team documents are published in the Federal
mine communications system, any mine equipment technology. The proposed Register. To subscribe, go to http://
monitoring system if used, locations of amendments would increase safety and www.msha.gov under the Mailing List
firefighting equipment, the mine’s improve effectiveness of mine rescue link.
Emergency Response Plan, the Mine teams.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rescue Notification Plan, and the Mine DATES: All comments must be sent on or Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of
Emergency Evacuation and Firefighting before November 9, 2007. MSHA will Standards, Regulations, and Variances,
Program of Instruction. hold four public hearings on October 23, MSHA, at email@example.com
(2) The responsible person shall be October 25, October 30, and November (internet e-mail), 202–693–9440 (voice),
trained annually in mine emergency 1, 2007. Details about the public or 202–693–9441 (facsimile).
response. Training shall include hearings are in the SUPPLEMENTARY SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
knowledge in the following: INFORMATION section of this document.
(i) Organizing a command center; ADDRESSES: Comments must be clearly I. Introduction
(ii) Directing firefighting personnel; identified with ‘‘RIN 1219–AB56’’ and The existing standards for mine
(iii) Deploying firefighting equipment; may be sent to MSHA by any of the rescue teams contained in 30 CFR part
(iv) Directing mine rescue personnel; following methods: 49 apply to all underground mines. Part
(v) Establishing fresh air base; (1) Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: 49 contains requirements addressing
(vi) Deploying mine rescue teams; http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the three essential elements of effective
(vii) Providing for mine gas sampling instructions for submitting comments. mine rescue teams: (1) Ready
and analysis; (2) Electronic mail: zzMSHA- availability; (2) proper equipment at
(viii) Establishing security; firstname.lastname@example.org. Include ‘‘RIN 1219– mine rescue stations; and (3) basic
(ix) Initiating an emergency mine AB56’’ in the subject line of the levels of skills and training. This
evacuation; message. proposed rule would revise and update
(x) Contacting emergency personnel; (3) Facsimile: 202–693–9441. Include MSHA’s existing standard in 30 CFR
and ‘‘RIN 1219–AB56’’ in the subject line of part 49 for mine rescue team equipment.
(xi) Communicating appropriate the message. It is critical that mine rescue team
information related to the emergency. (4) Regular Mail: MSHA, Office of members be provided with the latest in
(3) The operator shall certify by Standards, Regulations, and Variances, protective equipment so they can safely
signature and date after each 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, and effectively carry out their mission.
responsible person has completed the Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939.
training and keep the certification at the (5) Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, Public Hearings
mine for 1 year. Office of Standards, Regulations, and MSHA will hold four public hearings
* * * * * Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, concerning the proposed rule. The
[FR Doc. 07–4317 Filed 9–4–07; 12:30 pm] Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia. Stop at hearings will begin at 2 p.m. and will be
BILLING CODE 4510–43–P the 21st floor to sign in at the held as follows:
Date Location Contact
October 23, 2007, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ........... Little America Hotel, 500 South Main Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84101 .................. 801–596–5700
October 25, 2007, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ........... Four Points by Sheraton Lexington, 1938 Stanton Way, Lexington, KY 40511 ....... 859–259–1311
mstockstill on PROD1PC66 with PROPOSALS3
October 30, 2007, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ........... Charleston Civic Center, West Virginia Room 105, 200 Civic Center Drive, 304–345–1500
Charleston, WV 25301.
November 1, 2007, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ......... Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, 2101 Richard Arrington Boulevard, North, Bir- 205–324–5000
mingham, AL 35203.
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