(a) The mine operator shall maintain and repair seals to protect miners from hazards of sealed areas.
(b) Prior to sealing, the mine operator shall -
(1) Remove insulated cables, batteries, and other potential electric ignition sources from the area to be sealed when constructing seals, unless it is not safe to do so. If ignition sources cannot safely be removed, seals must be constructed to at least 120 psi;
(2) Remove metallic objects through or across seals; and
(3) Breach or remove all stoppings in the first crosscut inby the seals immediately prior to sealing the area.
(c) A certified person designated by the mine operator shall directly supervise seal construction and repair and -
(1) Examine each seal site immediately prior to construction or repair to ensure that the site is in accordance with the approved ventilation plan;
(2) Examine each seal under construction or repair during each shift to ensure that the seal is being constructed or repaired in accordance with the approved ventilation plan;
(3) Examine each seal upon completion of construction or repair to ensure that construction or repair is in accordance with the approved ventilation plan;
(4) Certify by initials, date, and time that the examinations were made; and
(5) Make a record of the examination at the completion of any shift during which an examination was conducted. The record shall include each deficiency and the corrective action taken. The record shall be countersigned by the mine foreman or equivalent mine official by the end of the mine foreman's or equivalent mine official's next regularly scheduled working shift. The record shall be kept at the mine for one year.
(d) Upon completion of construction of each seal a senior mine management official, such as a mine manager or superintendent, shall certify that the construction, installation, and materials used were in accordance with the approved ventilation plan. The mine operator shall retain the certification for as long as the seal is needed to serve the purpose for which it was built.
(e) The mine operator shall -
(1) Notify the District Manager between two and fourteen days prior to commencement of seal construction;
(2) Notify the District Manager, in writing, within five days of completion of a set of seals and provide a copy of the certification required in paragraph (d) of this section; and
(3) Submit a copy of quality control results to the District Manager for seal material properties specified by § 75.335 within 30 days of completion of quality control tests.
(f) Welding, cutting, and soldering. Welding, cutting, and soldering with an arc or flame are prohibited within 150 feet of a seal. An operator may request a different location in the ventilation plan to be approved by the District Manager. The operator's request must address methods the mine operator will use to continuously monitor atmospheric conditions in the sealed area during welding or burning; the airflow conditions in and around the work area; the rock dust and water application methods; the availability of fire extinguishers on hand; the procedures to maintain safe conditions, and other relevant factors.
(g) Sampling pipes.
(1) For seals constructed after April 18, 2008, one non-metallic sampling pipe shall be installed in each seal that shall extend into the center of the first connecting crosscut inby the seal. If an open crosscut does not exist, the sampling pipe shall extend one-half of the distance of the open entry inby the seal.
(2) Each sampling pipe shall be equipped with a shut-off valve and appropriate fittings for taking gas samples.
(3) The sampling pipes shall be labeled to indicate the location of the sampling point when more than one sampling pipe is installed through a seal.
(4) If a new seal is constructed to replace or reinforce an existing seal with a sampling pipe, the sampling pipe in the existing seal shall extend through the new seal. An additional sampling pipe shall be installed through each new seal to sample the area between seals, as specified in the approved ventilation plan.
(h) Water drainage system. For each set of seals constructed after April 18, 2008, the seal at the lowest elevation shall have a corrosion-resistant, non-metallic water drainage system. Seals shall not impound water or slurry. Water or slurry shall not accumulate within the sealed area to any depth that can adversely affect a seal.
[73 FR 21207, Apr. 18, 2008]