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The Technical Study Panel
on the Utilization of Belt Air
and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties
of Belt Materials in Underground Coal Mining
Single Source Page

These are the materials related to the September 2007 meeting.

The Technical Study Panel on the Utilization of Belt Air and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties of Belt Materials in Underground Coal Mining held its first meeting on January 9, 2007 and January 10, 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC 20004. The Panel's second meeting took place at the Holiday Inn, Coraopolis, Pa. on March 28 - March 30th, 2007. The third meeting was held at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 16-17, 2007. The fourth meeting took place at the Best Western Birmingham Airport Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama on June 20-21, 2007. The fifth and final meeting was held at the Sheraton Reston Hotel in Reston, Virginia on September 17-19, 2007.

The Technical Study Panel was created under Section 11 of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act)(Public Law 109-236). The Technical Study Panel is established in accordance with the requirements of the MINER Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the Technical Study Panel is to "provide independent scientific and engineering review and recommendations with respect to the utilization of belt air and the composition and fire retardant properties of belt materials in underground coal mining." (MINER Act, Sec. 11)

The Technical Study Panel's report is to be submitted by December 20, 2007 to the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Committee on Health Education, Labor and Pensions of the Senate, and the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives.

Dr. Jan M. Mutmansky, Professor Emeritus of Mining Engineering, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania is the Technical Study Panel's elected chairman.

Other Panel members are: Dr. Jurgen F. Brune, Director, Spokane Research Laboratory, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Dr. Felipe Calizaya, Associate Professor, University of Utah, Mining Engineering, Salt Lake City, Utah; Dr. Jerry C. Tien, Associate Professor, Department of Mining Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla, Rolla, Missouri; Mr. Thomas P. Mucho, Thomas P. Mucho & Associates, Inc., Mining Consultancy, Washington, Pennsylvania; and Dr. James L. Weeks, Director, Evergreen Consulting, LLC, Silver Spring, Maryland.


Below are links to materials submitted for the September 2007 meeting.

The final meeting of the Technical Study Panel involved delivery of subcommittee recommendations to the full Panel for discussion, followed by full Panel deliberation and voting on the recommendations that will appear in the final report.

Twenty recommendations were discussed, and all voting led to unanimous, 6-0 decisions affirming each of the 20 recommendations. The recommendations may be seen using the links provided below. The transcripts from the meeting, posted below, should be reviewed for additional information on individual recommendations.

The following guide provides page number references in the transcripts where discussion began on each recommendation:

Page numberTitle of Recommendation
7 Lifelines
19 Belt Entry and Conveyor Maintenance
30 Conveyor Belt Flammability Testing and Approval
52 Improved Fire Resistance Standards for All Underground Coal Mines
59 Other Belt Tests
70Coordinating Belt Testing with Other Countries
78, 137 Special Requirement for the Use of Belt Air
93, 128 Belt Air Approval Recommendation
116 Discontinuing Point-Type Heat Sensors
160 Smoke Sensors
170 Use of Diesel Discriminating Sensors
182Review of AMS Records
188 AMS Operator Training Certification
220, 402Escapeways and Leakage
383, 408Minimum and Maximum Air Velocities
478 Research
512 Respirable Dust
527 Mine Methane

Transcripts of the Public Meeting Held September 17-19, 2007

All Meeting Submissions
Some or all of the files available on this page are PDF. For more information on PDF, PDF readers and accessibility issues, please use this link.