Changes were made because: Mine safety is a priority. Existing surface mine safety regulations: –Only apply to bituminous coal mines –Are antiquated. No safety regulations for anthracite or industrial minerals surface mines.
Revisions to Chapter 209 Delete the existing provisions and adopt new standards for coal and industrial mineral surface mines. (Adopt some of the safety standards contained in Mine Safety and Health Administrations ( MSHA) 30 CFR by reference.
Adoption of Portions of 30 CFR 30 CFR Part 56 –for noncoal. 30 CFR Part 77 –for coal and surface areas of underground coal mines.
Adopting MSHA Regulations Results: –replace antiquated regulations –provide consistency between state and federal standards –minimize operator costs
Which Sections to Adopt? Other Factors Considered in Decision: Conditions that Mine Conservation Inspectors (MCIs) have the expertise to evaluate. Activities that occur within the areas normally visited during MCI inspections.
PADEPs Surface Mining Conservation Inspectors (MCIs) Currently, MCIs identify unsafe conditions and work with the operator to correct those conditions. The MCIs ability to correct unsafe conditions is hampered by the limited scope of the current regulations.
Current Authority The existing PADEP regulations differ from MSHA regulations and are not nearly as comprehensive.
The Department is Adopting MSHA Regulations Regarding: General safety at surface installations Safeguards for mechanical equipment General electrical equipment Ground control General competent persons provisions
The Department is Adopting MSHA Regulations Regarding General fire protection Auger mining Loading and haulage Miscellaneous items such as: general emergency communication, smoking prohibition, protective clothing, daily inspections, and accident reporting.
Adopting MSHA Regulation Sections The changes to Chapter 209 adopt approximately 130 of 700 sections of MSHA's 30 CFR.
Department Mine Conservation Inspectors MCIs are safety generalists vs. MSHA inspectors are safety specialists. MCIs conduct safety inspections as part of their routine environmental inspections. MCIs focus their safety inspections on areas within the scope of their expertise.
The Department and MSHA Department MCI's will work closely with MSHA to ensure consistent interpretations of rules. Prior to implementation, the Department will provide sufficient training to MCIs regarding which MSHA regulations are being incorporated.
The Department's Approach Department emphasis on prevention: –compliance assistance is the primary method of making mine sites more safe. Department compliance/enforcement efforts will follow current program-wide policies and procedures.
Additional Inspections MSHA Inspectors usually visit mine sites twice a year. MCIs conduct inspections in addition to MSHA safety inspections. Additional inspection helps keep the focus on safety.
Comments Reporting All Accidents as proposed (including minor accidents and occupational injuries) would be overly burdensome Pending requests for Alternative Health and Safety Standards need to be addressed.
Comments Compliance assistance should be explained. How the Department selected provisions of the MSHA regulations to adopt needs further explanation. Access to documents is too general.
Changes Made The accident definition (209a.42(a)) was changed to clarify that only serious accidents need to be reported. A provision to provide a process to accept pending requests for Alternative Health and Safety Standards (209a.43 (b)) was added.
Responses to Comments Further explanation is in the final preamble regarding: –Compliance assistance –Selection of adopted sections Access to records –The Department concluded that it was important to retain access to all available records in the event they are needed for an investigation.
MRAB MEETING The Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board (MRAB) was briefed on the comments & proposed adjustments at the January 10, 2008 meeting. The MRAB supported the rulemaking and recommended DEP proceed with changes made in response to comments.
After the Regulations are Approved Safety Inspection Form will be developed. The new regulations will be reviewed with Department MCIs and training will be provided.
Safety Inspection Form Will help the MCIs: –Focus on the areas covered by the regulations –Quickly look up the specific regulation they need
MCI Training To ensure regulatory consistency between PADEP and MSHA: –MSHA's interpretation of the regulations will be explained to MCIs –Specific items in the regulations, such as equipment safety and highwall stability, will be covered.
Thank You! J. Scott Roberts – Deputy Secretary, Mineral Resources Joe Pizarchik – Bureau Director, Mining and Reclamation William Allen – Division Chief, Monitoring and Compliance Marc Roda – Legal Counsel