Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Office of the Secretary

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Ground Control Plans for Surface Coal Mines and Surface Work Areas of Underground Coal Mines

ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) sponsored information collection request (ICR) titled, "Ground Control Plans for Surface Coal Mines and Surface Work Areas of Underground Coal Mines," to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for continued use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).
DATES: Submit comments on or before September 26, 2012.
ADDRESSES: A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained from the Web site,,on the day following publication of this notice or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or sending an email

Submit comments about this request to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-MSHA, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Telephone: 202-395-6929/Fax: 202-395-6881 (these are not toll-free numbers),

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129 (this is not a toll-free number) or by email

44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).


Each operator of a surface coal mine is required by Regulations 30 CFR 77.1000 to establish and follow a ground control plan that is consistent with prudent engineering design and that will ensure safe working conditions. The mine operator is required by § 77.1000-1 to file the ground control plan under § 77.1000 for highwalls, pits, and spoil banks with the appropriate MSHA District Manager. The mining methods employed by the operator are selected to ensure highwall, pit, and spoil bank stability. In the event of a highwall failure or material dislodgment, there may be very little time to escape possible injury; therefore, preventive measures must be taken. Each plan is based on the type of strata expected to be encountered, the height and angle of highwalls and spoil banks, and the equipment to be used at the mine. The plan is used to show how the mine operator will maintain safe conditions around the highwalls, pits, and spoil banks. Each plan is reviewed by the MSHA to ensure highwalls, pits, and spoil banks are maintained in a safe condition through the use of sound engineering design.

This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if the collection of information does not display a valid Control Number.See5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1219-0026. The current approval is scheduled to expire on October 31, 2012; however, it should be noted that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional information, see the related notice published in theFederal Registeron May 2, 2012 (77 FR 26046).

Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in theADDRESSESsection within 30 days of publication of this notice in theFederal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1219-0026. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

• Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

• Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

• Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

• Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.


Title of Collection:Ground Control Plans for Surface Coal Mines and Surface Work Areas of Underground Coal Mines.

OMB Control Number:1219-0026.

Affected Public:Private Sector—Businesses or other for-profits.

Total Estimated Number of Respondents:844.

Total Estimated Number of Responses:844.

Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours:5,840.

Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden:$2,844.

Dated: August 22, 2012. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer.