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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 25. Department of Energy
Chapter 20. Board of Coal Mining Examiners Certification Requirements
5/21/2024

4VAC25-20-340. Examinations.

A. When an underground mine is issued a closure order or violation related to a hazardous roof or ventilation condition, the underground mine foreman may be examined to determine his knowledge of the roof control plan and ventilation requirements in the area of his responsibility at the mine. The examination shall be conducted on the surface at the mine site on the day the violation or closure order is issued.

B. The chief shall develop a pool of no more than 50 questions addressing the areas listed in subsection D of this section, which shall be approved by the BCME. These questions shall be available on request and should be incorporated as part of continuing education and other training for underground mine foremen.

C. A division inspector shall administer a written examination using 10 questions from the approved pool. The foreman shall answer eight out of 10 questions correctly to demonstrate thorough understanding of the mine's roof or ventilation plans. The inspector shall select questions from the pool which are most relevant to the conditions or practices resulting in the order of closure or violation.

D. The underground mine foreman may refer to roof control, ventilation, bleeder, or other plans available to him when examined at the surface of an underground mine. Any underground mine foreman performing tasks requiring certification or otherwise directing work in ventilation or roof support shall be able to provide the following information:

1. Describe the roof control requirements set out in the mine's roof control plan in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

2. Describe the frequency and methods of any required testing of roof, face and ribs in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

3. Show how the roof control practices in the area of the foreman's responsibility comply with the requirements of the roof control plan.

4. Describe the frequency and contents of any pre-shift, on-shift, and, when applicable, weekly examinations of mine ventilation required in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

5. Describe the requirements for action under the mine's fan stoppage plan in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

6. Describe any requirements for face ventilation controls used in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

7. Describe any requirements under the mine bleeder plan in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

8. Describe the requirements for mine ventilation controls such as regulators, ventilation doors, and other similar controls in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

9. Describe the minimum volume of air required in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

10. Describe the minimum requirements for quality of air (oxygen, carbon dioxide, and methane) in the area of the foreman's responsibility.

11. Describe the procedure to follow in the area of the foreman's responsibility upon an accumulation of methane at:

a. 1.0% or greater not less than 12 inches from the roof, face, ribs, or floor;

b. Greater than 1.0% in a split that ventilates any group of active areas;

c. 1.5% (or 2.0% as applicable) in a split of air returning from areas where coal is being extracted or is capable of being extracted; or

d. 5.0% or greater in any area of the mine.

E. The division inspector completing an examination of an underground mine foreman under this part shall discuss the results of the exam with the foreman before leaving the mine.

Statutory Authority

§§ 45.1-161.28 and 45.1-161.34 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 13, Issue 22, eff. August 20, 1997; amended, Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 1, eff. October 19, 2017.

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